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Wowzers! It’s Slow The Cook Down’s one year anniversary – how time flies when you are having fun!
My first year of food blogging has been a massive learning experience, not only in the kitchen but also with photography, writing skills, website creation and the dreaded self-promotion! It’s true what I read about before I took the plunge and started Slow the Cook Down, a blogger does indeed wear many hats!
Spending more time in the kitchen, and coming up with a new recipe to post at least once a week, has made me much braver in the kitchen. I’m much more willing to take risks and have some fun experimenting. If it goes wrong, it’s not a big deal – ok, sometimes it is, like on a Sunday night, you’ve been cooking for 6 hours and it tastes like tripe…that was kind of a big deal! But, if it does go wrong, chances are next time it will get fixed and be amazing! I hope the one thing that people take away from my blog is that cooking isn’t hard and it should be fun!
The three most viewed recipes on my website in my first year of food blogging are (drum roll please…)
These recipes all have a three things in common. The photos are pretty damn good (if I do say so myself!), they are all recipes people are somewhat familiar with and they are the recipes I promote most on social media and food submission sites. Ah…the holy trinity of food blogging!
Photography has been an area where I think I have improved the most, I mean, look at this, the first photo on my blog – I hope we can all agree that I’ve improved a bit from this effort! Notice the ‘arty’ angle!
Photography has been such an important thing that I have been trying to get right, and finally (although I don’t want to speak too soon!) I feel like I’m on the right track. At some point, I will go back through my posts and redo the photographs, as I feel that there are some really tasty recipes that didn’t quite get the leverage because the photos were shoddy! Feel free to give some love to Risotto with Steak and Red Wine, Beetroot & Gorgonzola Tart and Chicken Fried Steak Burger!
There are A LOT of food blogs out there. Millions. When I started, that felt pretty daunting! People are making a (pretty decent!) living cooking and writing, and there are a lot of big established blogs that have a huge reach. How the hell am I going to stand out?! What I learnt pretty quickly, is that food bloggers are a super friendly lot, keen to help each other out and share each other’s content to help growth.
A few months back, a few of us bloggers got together to form a small but perfectly formed group where we could share each other’s recipes (if we liked them!) and give and take advice and critique. They’ve helped me improve my food blogging no end. All of us are from totally different backgrounds, so it’s great to get feedback and share our thoughts, hints and tips. I strongly advise you to check out these blogs for some really tasty treats!
The brain child of the fabulous Simon, a true pit master! Simon shows us that BBQ cooking can be so much more than burgers, sausages and potato salad. He pairs up some awesome flavours and reminds us all to go and experiment and have fun cooking! Just check out his signature Blessed Bastard Chicken Wings!
This blog belongs to the charming Therese, who, unlike the rest of us, actually trained as a chef and worked in the trade. Her blog explores flavours and techniques that most of us won’t have explored in our own kitchens, but still manages to make it accessible. Lots of nose to tail recipes to be found here! I’m in love with her Slow cooked Char Siu style pork belly
Sean, the owner of Diversivore is the clever one of the group with qualifications in biology and education coming out of his ears, and this really shapes his site. He cooks with ingredients you may not be familiar with, whilst all the time teaching and educating his readers about new techniques and the history of cooking. I can read his musings for hours! Just look at his cucamelon recipe – super cute!
Mary Ellen has had her blog since 2007 so is a true seasoned pro! Mary Ellen’s recipes are accessible to even the most nervous of home cooks and her blog is a huge catalogue of tasty treats. If you are looking for new ideas, drop by and have a good browse! I’m especially keen on these Korean Pulled Pork Tacos.
Now, I can’t sign off on this post without saying a huge thank you to Mr D. He was the one who encouraged (bullied?!) me into starting the blog and has been super supportive all the way. Yes, he gets to eat my amazing food, but he also has to put up with the tantrums when the photos look trash and the food tastes bleugh! He feeds the cats and washes my pants when I am elbow deep in flour and butter, and very occasionally will even do my washing up for me! Love you!
Finally, a MASSIVE thank you to all of the readers of my blog, and for those who follow me on social media. Every comment, like, share, pin and tweet, yum and stumble is truly appreciated, and the more you interact the more people will find me. Please do subscribe to my blog below and keep coming back for more! You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. Who knows what the future holds for Slow The Cook Down, but it’s been an exciting first year and that’s thanks to all of you!