Today it’s International Women’s Day and my thought go naturally to every woman! I could develop a bit more about this topic but I’d rather let the journalists do their job. Instead, I would love to focus on the women food blogging community, because let’s face it, it’s mainly women who are blogging about food. I don’t complain about that and my point is not to say there should be more men and so on. However, I think it’s the perfect occasion to tell you all what’s happening in the life of a woman food blogger.
What we see when scrolling down a food blog is basically mouthwatering pictures of food along with the recipe attached. We might even see all the blahblah around but come on, don’t be shy, we all know that we often skip this part due to a lack of time or interest. But if you think for a minute, do you have an idea about what blogging about food really is? I noticed that most of the women bloggers are quite modest about this and won’t tell how much time they spend in the kitchen and behind the screen. Also, because it’s so exciting, we won’t count hours we really spend! But since today is our day, I would love to honor all the women of the food blogging community by telling you what we really do.
Step one, of course we need to create the recipe. This might seem an easy part, I mean if we blog about food it means we’re good at cooking or baking, right? In reality it’s a bit more difficult. We need to think a bit in advance about the recipe we want to create. We don’t want to post a “standard recipe” that you could find anywhere on the web. Then of course we need to do the recipe by gathering up all the ingredients we thought of using, and sometimes it’s a complete failure and we can’t even think of posting the recipe on the blog! Cooking and baking is an endless experiment. It’s really fun but sometimes the result is far away from what we expected. Not only do we want the recipe to taste good but also to look delicious.
Step two, you may think “eat”?! Nooooo, please DON’T! The food looks and smells good but sorry guys, it’s time for the photography session. You might think that all we need to do is to press on the button of the camera and then it’s done. In reality, being a good food photographer is a bit more complicated. Learning how to use the camera is paramount, especially when you have a DSLR camera (I’m still working on it). But first we need to think about the environment around the food, which means using and/or buying accessories so that we can play with the colors. We don’t only want you willing to eat the food but also dream of the food you want to eat. The esthetical aspect of the picture is fundamental when blogging about food. I cannot agree with anyone who claims that all that really matters is the recipe (although the recipe must be as amazing as the pictures are, don’t get me wrong). But the fact is, we all naturally salivate in front of a beautiful picture of food and all the success stories about food blogging match with beautiful food pictures and that’s why the photography session is so important. The recipe here might not be the one which illustrates my point the most, but I would recommend you have a look at my Raw Chocolate Almond Smoothie or my Chocolate Mango-Coco Beggar’s Purses recipes.
Step three, we have got to write the post with the recipe and all the blahblah around (this takes me even more time since I write all my recipes both in English and French, which means to write them twice actually, plus I have to think about the measurement conversions). And again, we’ve got to work on the pictures and select the few ones we want to use for the post.
Step four, a woman blogging about food has to be good in marketing. We all need to use all the platforms we might find on the web to help us being referenced as much as possible. This means playing with social media in a smart way, publishing the recipes on photography platforms and even try to be published in select magazines (see my page Press). I tell you straight away, there are endless possibilities and it can be difficult to not get lost. You also have to answer to all the requests you receive about your recipes and comments you get on your blog, so that you can keep the interacting part alive. When talking about marketing, we also want to make some strategic partnerships with food and design companies or magazines.
Step five, dealing with both our full-time job and our almost full time blog. Women blogging about food almost always have the feeling they have two full-time jobs. And seriously, we do! It takes so much time to do both of them seriously but that’s what we do!
Step six, family time. Women’s food blogging includes women, don’t forget it. So we often have someone to share our life with and children and we need to find a balance between everything! My boyfriend is very supportive even if I know it’s not alway easy (if you think for instance that I just had a complete burn out because this article suddenly disappeared as I didn’t save it for a little while), so I’ve got to say I’m really lucky having him in my life!
Step seven, allow oneself to have some free time! Otherwise the burn out is close. So we all try to spend free time with our family and friends, training, doing some crazy shopping sessions sometimes, and travel (I love this part!). Having a full time job and being a recipe developer – food photographer – food blogger – marketing manager – owner of its own business – wife and/or mom – friend WOMAN is really something, I tell you! We should all be so proud of ourselves!
Step eight (yes I finish with eight because we’re the 8th of March, the International Women’s Day), well everyone is starving now, so it’s time to EAT the recipe you whipped up. Hope you didn’t forget! I think you all deserve a slice of this delicious Pecan Brownie Cheesecake.
Last but not least, in honor of all the women food bloggers who enable me each day to do a little bit more and a little better, I suggest you visit these amazing food blogs I love: Sally’s Baking addiction, Une gamine dans la cuisine, Lemony Thyme, Savory Simple, What a Girl Eats, Erica’s Recipes, Le bistro de Jenna, Epices et moi, Objectif: zéro miettes, Royal Chill, La gourmandise selon Angie, Elodie’s Bakery, La Raffinerie Culinaire, J’ai le coeur gourmandise, Eat me Baby, Chloé Délice, Two Peas and Their Pods, The Clever Carrot, The Daring Gourmet, Chin Deep, Bavardages Gourmands, Murmures, Have Mo’s Cake and Eat it Too, Mlle Prune, Des recettes à Gogo, Popote et Nature, Marine en cuisine and MANY others!
***HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!***
- For the brownie:
- ½ cup semi-salted butter, at room temperature
- 5 oz dark chocolate
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1¼ cup flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g pecan nuts
- For the filling:
- 250g (9 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a square cake pan or cover with baking paper.
- For the brownie : chop the chocolate and dice the butter, then warm them together in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Whisk the eggs with sugar until you get a smooth texture. Stir in the chocolate mixture with the vanilla extract, then add the flour and baking powder and pecans (reserve some pecans for later). Pour the batter into the square cake pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- For the filling: whisk in together the cream cheese, vanilla sugar, egg and sugar and whipping cream.
- Pour the filling over the brownie and bake for 15 minutes. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door ajar.
- Place the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 3 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle some cocoa powder on top then cut the cheesecake into squares. Place one pecan on top of each cheesecake square to decorate.