September 13, 2010

Project Food Blog 2010: Entry #1

"What is it that you REALLY like to do?" "Eat!" - Julie and Julia

First of all, a quick run down for all of my readers: FoodBuzz is holding a competition called "Project Food Blog 2010." Over 1,000 bloggers have registered to compete for the grand prize of $10,000 and a featured spot on Foodbuzz.com for one year. In the first round, they will be whittling the number of contestants down to 400. Then there are 9 more challenges until 1 person is crowned the next food blog star. The first challenge is to create a post that represents who we are as food bloggers and why we think we're food blogging star material. Voting for the first challenge opens on September 20th, so please check out my profile and enjoy my first entry!


I was going to make a flashy video for my first entry, but I thought I would take the judges advice and “be myself and be present.” I admit, my blog doesn’t have the most followers, the most ads or the coolest web design. This blog started as a little project for me, but now it has become so much more.


Last year, I graduated from journalism school in a terrible economic time. I was struggling with finding my place in the “real world” and finding my niche. With a lot of time on my hands and a lack of creative focus, I turned to food. I started cooking every night, baking, reading food blogs/recipes and challenging myself every day. Food became my saviour. Even with everything else going on in my life, I could be myself and relax in my little piece of heaven called “the kitchen.”


(My curry masterpiece: Mango coconut curry with butternut squash and raisins)

I never really cooked for myself until University. When I started out cooking meals for myself, I was horrendous. My “specialties” included “nacho rice” (white rice topped with ground beef, vegetables and cheese) and a disgusting chicken casserole made with rice, chicken and cream of broccoli soup topped with crushed Ruffles chips. I could “make” meals for myself, but I couldn’t really cook. I decided last year that since I was no longer a student, I didn’t need to eat like a student.


(Cupcake love)


Over the last few years, I have come to really appreciate food. I have come to appreciate that if you follow exact measurements, then baking will come out perfect; that poking and prodding food isn’t always the best way to cook; that some meals take a lot of time and patience; and most importantly, that simple, classic and well-seasoned dishes always reign supreme.


(The first risotto I ever made. I swear!)

I know that great chefs always taste their food while cooking, but for me, the satisfaction comes from watching the lucky recipient of my food try their first bite. I always wait in eager anticipation to watch them try my food before I have a single taste. I beam with pride from their “mmmm”-s and their “oh my god”-s and their “how did you make that?!”-s. I love bringing baked goods to work colleagues and friends and seeing their face light up when presented with a sweet treat.

Throughout University, I worked in various restaurants, but I would consider myself a purely self-taught cook. I have learned various techniques, classic dishes and recipes, but I have also learned that cooking comes with its ups and downs. No one cooks Julia Child’s “beef bourguignon” perfectly the first time or bakes a perfect cake on the first try -- or even the first few tries. A friend of mine got married a few months ago, and I wrote in their guest book, “Marriage is like baking: it takes patience, hard work and strength, but the end result is sweet, satisfying and well worth the effort :).”

(That's me cooking risotto just like Anthony Bourdain)

So why should I be the next Project Food Blog star?

-   I want people to learn from blog just as I have learned from other blogs. I look to other food blog’s for inspiration, ideas and challenges and I hope others do the same for mine.

-   Besides food, my other passion is writing. My blog has given me a chance to showcase my writing and experiences. I hope people learn a little bit about me, as well as the food I cook.

-   That being said, you will never find a spelling mistake on my blog. I cringe when I see them on other blogs. I am a writer, so I take these things rather seriously.

-   I have always dreamed of being on a reality TV show! Project Food Blog isn’t quite the same, but I love the concept so much. I am competitive, so I know I have what it takes to complete the challenges with style. I love to be challenged and pushed. In my mind, that’s the only way to learn.


- I challenge myself every month with food blogger competitions like "Hey Hey it's Donna Day," the "Food Network Cooking Club Challenge" and "The Daring Cooks." This blog has also opened amazing doors for me, like my new gig writing for the FoodNetwork.ca community blog. Check out some of my articles here and here.

-   My blog is like a great meal; it’s simple, well executed, delicious and not pretentious. I can admit when I make mistakes. Some of my recipes don’t turn out and some of my techniques need work, but I strive to get better and work hard every single day.

-   I am a life-long learner. I started this blog to learn how to cook, to share my experiences and to hopefully bring others along the journey. Even when Project Food Blog is over, I will still strive to create the perfect posts, take stunning pictures and develop amazing recipes. Every blog post I write and every photo I take improves upon the last.

Most of all, I feel like I’ve found my calling. I spent so much time worrying about what I want to do with my life. Now I have finally found something I am extremely passionate about. Thank you to the featured publishers, the judges and FoodBuzz for this opportunity. 


To all my friends and family out there, you are definitely obligated to vote for me. To everyone else, you can also vote for me if you'd like. I know I can be a foodie superstar! 

Cheers!

12 comments:

  1. Good luck! You did well writing this post - it wasn't easy, huh? And I *so* appreciate a post with no spelling errors!!! :-)

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  2. Hi Laura,

    Good luck with the Foodbuzz challenge.

    Anna
    http://annastable.blogspot.com

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  3. Thanks for the kind words! I have enjoyed reading other people's posts as well. Good luck to everyone :)

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  4. Very nice post. This is an unexpected side benefit of the challenge -- getting to know new bloggers. There are so many of us out there who are eloquent and passionate. I pity the judges. Good luck.

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  5. Love the drinking at the stove photo!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your life. I look forward to reading more. I will be posting my project food buzz entry tomorrow. Check it out and let me know what you think.
    Ashlee
    www.ashandlewplus2.com

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  7. You're getting a vote from me just for posting those two pictures of you and Mr. Bourdain making risotto :D
    And if you like, take a look at my blog too:
    http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/197

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  8. Nice post! Thanks for sharing all those firsts -- they're endearing! You've got my vote!

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  9. Laura Downs! I was so excited when i joined and saw that i had 400 votes to cast... and then I realized I couldn't vote for you 400 times. How upsetting. :( Good luck!

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  10. What a thoughtful, well-written post. Thank you for sharing. You have my vote!

    If you have a moment, please read my post and come visit me @ The Bad Girl's Kitchen.

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  11. Thank you so much everyone for your support! I'm glad the Anthony Bourdain picture was such a hit, lol. He is my culinary idol and holds my dream job (writer, traveler, food critic).

    Thank you for sharing the links to all of your posts as well. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's stories :)

    And yes, unfortunately, you can only vote once (and not 400 times) but I would still really appreciate your vote!

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  12. Extremely decent post. This is a surprising side advantage of the test - getting the chance to know new bloggers. There are so a large number of us out there who are persuasive and enthusiastic. I feel sorry for the judges. Good fortunes. Food Truck

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