PROJECT FOOD BLOG 2010: ENTRY #1

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.”

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.

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.

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 :).”

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!…