Blogging is not rocket science, it's about being yourself and putting what you have into it.
A few days back, Framed Recipes completed a rotation around the sun! I just cannot believe it has been a year since this was blog was born. Some bloggers call it blog anniversary, I prefer to call it my blog's birthday. So, yes it is the first birthday of Framed Recipes.
The year long journey has been wonderful. Just like a newborn, my blog has given me many sleepless nights (thinking about the posts & recipes), needs constant attention and care (everyday, on and on), responding to comments and queries.
It has given me the "Aha!" moments as well as the "Am I good at this? " moments. And it is not just me, my entire family has devoted several hours nurturing this blog. There has been ups and downs throughout the year. But I am enjoying it to the core and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, I would change.
During the initial few days, after we announced the existence of the blog to the world, there was this one day, where I actually saw 300 views on a single day! Whoa!!! That was the maximum views I had till then. Yippeee!!! I knew I had visited the website only 5 times that day, so I must have had 295 other visitors/views. Woohooo! Next day, I talked to my sister and shared this exciting news with her. She calmly said, "you must have visited only 5 times, the rest (290 times), that was me" 🙂 .
Thus with support and appreciation of my family and friends, my website is growing, slowly but steadily.
Things I learnt in the past one year
Over the course of this one year, I have learnt so many things about blogging. Not just the regular run of the mill lists like:
- Post regularly
- Content is the king
- Bond with your readers.
Yes, those are crucial for any blogger, but there are things that we learnt as a family over the past one year.
New found respect for food bloggers: Let me admit it. I took bloggers for granted - till I started my own. Food bloggers spend hours and hours doing research, experimenting, photographing and posting the recipes. It does not stop there. You need to socialize and then some more. I have read that bloggers spend 4-5 hours on each post and then another few hours, socializing. Trust me, it is not an easy job.
You cannot please them all: If there is one thing that is constant in food blogging world, it is that, you cannot please them all. If you write less, you hear from people that there is not much to read in your blog. If you write a good many words, then you hear complaints like "OMG!!! she writes way too much, I just needed the recipe".
You cannot please them all: This is with regards to the actual recipe that you post. There was a time when I decided that I will prepare and post recipes based on social media demands. So, one day, I found that people on Facebook were looking for simple cake recipes. I dig my stash of easy cake recipes, try them out and a few days later, blog about Yogurt Cake. However, by that time, nobody was interested in simple cake recipes anymore and the 'recipe-request-for-the-day' was for thirst quenchers.
If you have a picky eater, start a blog: Sonshine
was is a very picky eater. He would refuse to try any new flavor. When we discussed about starting this blog, I had one condition for him - that he has to eat or at least taste everything I make. I am very proud to say that Sonshine is exploring many new flavors now. I wont say, he has become a "master eater"; he still cringes when I offer him something new; but he is trying new stuff.
Making new friends: This was the best part of starting a blog. I have made some new friends in the food blogging community and I am proud to say that I know them and I follow their blogs more or less on a daily basis. This was definitely a bonus because everyday I learn something new.
Family bonding: This blog is not a one-man nor a one-woman show - it is family run!. These recipes are family favorites. Our family bonds together during the photo shoots. We fight, we talk, we criticize, we encourage, we wait impatiently for the photo shoot to get over and my husband to say "yes, we are done" before we dig in and finish off the goodies.
Festivals and celebrations happen early: If I have to get a recipe out for a particular festival or celebration, I have to plan and execute much prior to the actual festival. And, then on the actual festival day, we celebrate again. So, double the fun celebrating!
Planning: The photo shoots for the blog happen on weekends, since the official photographer has a day job; which is very crucial for the sustenance of this blog and also to put a roof over the head, a few clothes to wear and fill our tummies with food 🙂 . Weekends are so busy for our family, juggling between Sonshine's activities, photo shoots and socializing (not over the social media, actually meeting people). Things go haywire when we plan an out of town activity with our friends. My brain starts buzzing with alternate plans or dishes that can be completed in short span of time along with the plans of having fun at the parties!
You become more observant: The dishes at the restaurants that you took for granted are no longer something to satiate your hunger. You become more aware of the plating ideas and and the food combinations served. You try to find humor in situations, try to "find" life experiences that you can blog about, you spend hours researching on the origins of the dish. And sometimes, in spite of all this you have nothing to write about.
You spend a lot of time and money: Apart from spending a lot of time socializing over the internet and posting your recipes, you spend a lot of time picking the freshest available ingredients. You also spend a lot of money buying other stuff required for food photography. I am not talking about the new "must-have" camera gear. I am talking about the props you buy for food photography. I try to get mine from the thrift stores/flea markets in my town. After a few purchases, you become a flea market queen - one glance and you will know which cheap find at the thrift store will look amazing as a prop.
I am sure there are a lot more things that I can add. But those, in later posts! For now, these are my learning from a year of blogging! If you are a blogger, and would like to share your most valuable learning, do drop in a comment. Let me learn from you too.
With all this ranting, I forgot to tell you, we celebrated the blog birthday by making Bhappa Doi. I adapted the recipe shared by Soma in a FB food group called Home Chefs Guild.
- 400 Milliliter (1 tin) Condensed milk
- 200 Milliliter Milk; divided
- 200 Milliliter Curd/Yogurt
- 2 Pinches Saffron
- 1 Cardamom Pod; husked, seeded and seeds crushed to powder.
- 2 Lime/Lemon
- Fresh Fruits of your choice
- Sliced Almonds/Pistachios
- Mint Leaves
- Big Bowl
- Small Bowls (2)
- Mortar & Pestle
- Aluminum Foil
- In a small bowl, add 2 tablespoon milk and soak the saffron threads and let it rest till it is ready to use.
- Using a peeler, peel the limes/lemons and crush the peels gently with your hands.
- Add the crushed the peels to the rest of the milk and let the citrus flavor infuse into the milk for about 10-15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt till there are no lumps.
- Remove the lime peels from the milk..
- Add the condensed milk, lemon/lime infused milk, saffron and cardamom powder to the yogurt and mix well.
- Boil water in the steamer.
- Pour the yogurt mix into the serving bowls, close tightly with aluminum foil. (This is crucial since you do not want any steam entering the pudding.)
- Place inside the steamer and steam on medium high for 15 minutes and then on low medium for another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from steamer, cool and then refrigerate till ready to serve.
Garnish & Serve
- Before serving, garnish with fruits, sliced almonds or crushed pistachios and mint leaves..
1. Since we are doing a cold infusion of lemon flavors, the lemon flavor will be very subtle and not overpowering.
2. You can make this as individual servings or as one big pudding, to be cut and served. Note that the pudding is not very stiff, so when you cut a piece from the big one, you might squish it and it might not retain it's shape. Instead you can make individual servings. If you have corning ware ramekins you can use them. Or any other small bowl should work.
3. Considering an individual serving size of half a cup, this recipe serves 6 to 7 people.
4. Cook time given in the recipe is the time required for one batch of the pudding. If your steamer cannot hold all the individual bowls, you will have to do this in batches. Calculate the cook time accordingly.