The food blogging arena is a crowded place. I don't suppose there is anyway to know for sure just how many food blogs are out there but I googled, food, blog, recipe under the blog category and my search turned up 93,377,565 food blogs! Everyday I stumble across new blogs that hook me with magazine quality photographs or draws me in with fabulous writing. You can set up a blog in just under 10 minutes and I am sure that new ones are being created every day. Whether anybody other than your BFF and your sister even cares to read it is another matter.
Because it is so crowded, starting out in the already established food blogging landscape dressed in your generic wordpress or blogger template can be intimidating. It's a lot like you arrived at a party. Late.You're wearing jeans and everyone else is in cocktail dresses and tuxedos. Awkward.
Still the the fact that you've made your blog public means that must you crave some sort of social interaction with like-minded individuals. You know, the sort of people who understand that you sometimes place plates of food on your bed to be photographed because that's the best spot for natural light in your otherwise black hole of an apartment. What? That's just me, oh all right then.
It is intimidating to see your newbie blog efforts in and amongst the more seasoned professionals and the superstar bloggers. Everyone at this fantastic party is already chatting with everyone else. Yet no one seems even remotely interested interested in 'talking' to you. The sound of crickets chirping loudly on your early posts are disheartening. You can't help but wonder, what are you doing wrong? Why do people think it cool that Lorraine makes Bacon Jam but there is nary a peep about my monkey cake or heart beat muffins. Like the slighty dorky new kid in high school you wonder, Whhhhhhhhy don't they like me, ma?
Enter the lovely Kristen of Dine and Dish, who thought up Adopt- a- blogger as a way to have veteran bloggers mentor us newbies. Meet my sweet, bloggy-guru, Cate, of Cate's World Kitchen who has kindly agreed to make me less of a dork and clue me in on the ways and secrets of successful food blogging.
Cate's recipes are well organized and easy to navigate. I am intrigued by the way her travels have inspired her cooking and I can't wait to try a few more of her recipes particularly the Asian inspired ones. You can access Cate's recipe here for this delicious spicy black-eyed peas dish . Cate I hope you can forgive the substitutions but collard greens aren't available in my country. Instead I used a mix of two local varieties of spinach, calalloo and bhaji. I also used locally available scotch bonnet pepper instead of the chipotle chillies. I'm not sure why I threw in the okra but I did 'cause I swore that they were part of the recipe until I re- read it and realized I'd made an 'ooops'.
This was served with an amazing Iraqi beef stew from Saveur magazine that I first saw here. I have worked out a easier and healthier version of this amazing stew so you can look forward to that recipe in a future post.
While you are waiting on that, you can go hang out with Cate in her kitchen. So far I have enjoyed chatting and learning about her life. I'm afraid that at some point she may get tired of my emails with my random and usually a propos of nothing thoughts...I suppose I should stay focused and take notes on running a successful blog....be organized...... post often...have an about me page... blah blah blah It's so much more fun just hanging out and cooking. Cate I'm afraid you have your work cut out for you;-)