Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ready, Set, Blog - Challenge 1 of Project Food Blog

My daughter and me.
On Wednesday I mentioned I am participating in Project Food Blog, a contest sponsored by Foodbuzz. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about up-and-coming blogs and see how others share their love of food. There are 10 challenges, over 1,800 contestants and one grand prize. After this first challenge you'll see the 1,800+ contestants whittled down to just 400. Challenge one is "Ready, Set, Blog" and its purpose is to let everyone know who you are, why you blog about food and why you should win. So, here we go... Wish me luck! :-D 
"A Touch of Color with Flowers"

Food blogging is a whole new world to me or at least it was prior to me starting my blog in February. Online recipe searches frequently returned blogs in the results, but not being a blogger and never "following" a blog I had no idea how wonderful these blogs could actually be. My desire to start my own blog first stemmed from me wanting to have a platform to share artwork I was working on. It was around that time that my husband "introduced" me (via online) to
Diana from A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. Diana and my husband went to college together and he knew that we had a lot in common, especially in the areas of 

cooking and how we raise our children. He was right! I admired the
"Trees 1"
blog Diana had created and she was a huge inspiration for me starting the food part of my blog. I have always loved to cook and friends would often ask me questions about why I eat the food I do, how I prepare my food and how they could improve their own eating styles. It made perfect sense to have my own food blog while keeping the art aspect of it too, because I love both and that's what blogging is about – sharing your loves and what's important to you. Through Diana's blog I hooked up to Foodbuzz and began to see just how expansive food blogging
My husband and kids.
had become. I was excited to discover there were so many food bloggers with all of these great blogs filled with tons of wonderful recipes, including ones that catered more to my style of eating. So, what is my style when it comes to food? As often as possible, I want my food to be made from scratch from beginning to end. This can mean grinding my own flour, baking my own sandwich bread, making my own butter. Why? First it interests me to see what I can make in my kitchen that allows me to rely less on the food industry. Also, because I have two beautiful children to raise and a wonderful husband and I want them filled with the healthiest foods I can get. When you make your foods from scratch you know each and every ingredient your
Veggies ready to ferment.
eating. Sometime in the last century we fell into a trap of "being too busy" and no longer having the time to spend at home preparing nutritious and delicious food. Sadly as we've gone the way of purchasing prepared foods, we've lost our ability to make the most simple items like yogurt, sourdough bread and fermented vegetables . We assume that what we buy at the supermarket is just as nutritious as what we'd make at home, but anymore processed, canned and frozen foods are filled with artificial ingredients, GMO grains and even toxic chemicals. It's sad, because it certainly doesn't have to be this way, but we're paying the price with obesity, cancer, learning disabilities, diabetes, heart disease. I want to support local farmers who raise their animals or grow their vegetables organically. In supporting them, I have found them to be a fantastic resource. Take the time to talk to them and you might be surprised at what you can learn.

Story time with the kids.
I know that cooking from scratch isn't for everyone. It isn't even always for me. My 3-year-old and 5-month-old keep me extremely busy and let's not forget about trying to do the occasional painting, or all the other activities that fill my life. There are those days where I'm too exhausted to cook, so we'll order something or I keep a couple of organic food items like mac-and-cheese, frozen pizza or sardines and salmon on hand. I also try and freeze extra food I make for those days that leave you ready to curl up in a ball on the couch and hope that you can catch a quick cat nap. Even if you aren't ready to take on this style of eating, you never know what inspiration you might get from checking out my posts. It's all about baby steps. I certainly didn't change my style of eating overnight and I doubt any of my readers will either, but in the mean time you can read my posts over a lunch break or while you relax at home and share with me any thoughts you might have.

Beef brisket brining for corned beef
As I continue to learn about blogging I hope that I will be able to make my own blog more approachable, enjoyable to read and a fun place to look at pictures for inspiration. A part of my blog I'm continually working on getting better at is photography. All my photos are done with a point-and-shoot camera and I have to rely on natural lighting (which isn't always available in the Northern climate). Taking pictures is probably the most difficult part to the blog. Have you ever tried to take a picture of a scoop of ice cream on a 90ยบ day or with a toddler trying to grab the food before you've gotten a decent shot? :-) Not to mention those times when you've
Homemade Mayonnaise
already eaten the food and then discover the photos you took are out of focus, poorly lit or composed poorly. What do you do? That's both the difficult and fun part of blogging – everything isn't perfect in a professional kitchen, with studio lighting. But I work with my strengths and I'm excited knowing there is always room to improve. One final note. Why do I think I should win Project Food Blog? I think we are seeing a greater desire for natural, wholesome and delicious foods. I'm not a chef, my dishes aren't overly difficult to make, but they are filled with nutrition and flavor. Plus, I'm ready and willing to try and improve in any area necessary to make this blog as successful as possible. With my readers and Foodbuzz's help, I know I'll be able to do just that. I hope those of you reading this will continue to follow my blog and are excited to explore the recipes I have to share. If this is your first time here... Welcome!, and I hope you'll come along for the ride too! Hopefully I'll stay around in the Project Food Blog competition and can share some great posts for the challenges to come!!!
Butternut Squash Soup
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Basil Pesto, Pasta and Shrimp
Chicken Hearts and Gizzards


  1. Therese, what a beautiful post. I feel so honored to have been mentioned. You have such a beautiful place and inspire me! You are such a great example of a God loving mother and wife. I am so blessed to know you. Have a wonderful weekend!!


  2. Thank you and good luck to you too!

  3. I too try to cook from scratch as often as possible, I think its coming back slowly if even the simplest traditions like making jam are passed on to our generations children then we've done something good!

    I particularly enjoyed your comment about "toddlers getting the food before you've gotten the shot". My entire family often lurks as I take pictures, it never fails that my little one steals the cookies every time!

    You have an adorable blog and a beautiful family, you have really wonderful and inspirational photos as well! Best of Luck!

  4. Great post! You have my vote fellow mommy (=

  5. You and your daughter are just beautiful. Your sweet spirit and gentle grace is evident in each post that I read. Today was no different. I wish you the best of luck in the deserve to do very well!

  6. I just discovered your blog through Project Food Blog. I love your food philosophy and your art is gorgeous!

  7. Thank you all for the wonderful compliments. It helps me feel that it really is worth all the time and effort!!! I really appreciate each of you taking the time to put a comment on my page. And for those of you also competing in PFB... GOOD LUCK!!! I'll be checking out your posts too! :-)

  8. Great post and I really like your very different approach. If it inspires people to be more knowledgeable about where their food comes from, you have really accomplished something!

  9. I totally agree with what you're saying here. Nothing more important than paying attention to what we're putting in our bodies. Best of luck to you!

  10. Great post! Your artwork is lovely, and your food all looks really tasty. I look forward to reading more in the future. I voted for you! =)

    Good luck!

    You can check out my PFB post at :

  11. You take some awesome photos with a point and shoot! I have also been more interested in photography since I started food blogging as well! I voted for you and hope you go far in PFB (of course I hope to win, but if you make it to the 1st place and not me I'll cheer you on!)

  12. I really enjoyed reading your post and the pictures are beautiful, you got my vote! Good luck with the competition!

  13. Theresa-
    Anyone who cooks fresh and homemade and makes it a priority- has my vote. We share similar paths-i just finished making butter in my Polish butterchurn that I smuggled out of Poland in the 80's. Next week brings 50 freshly butchered chickens, 90 dozen organic eggs, cabbages, potatoes, onions, garlic, raw honey, beets, and garlic from Amish farms. My wife, our Family see this as the ONLY way to cook and eat!

  14. RajStyle, your website is exquisite. True talent and true inspiration.

  15. Thank you all for the very nice and encouraging comments!

  16. Great post. You have my vote. Good luck in the competition.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.