Interviews: Kitchen Flops and Funnies

BlogHer Original Post

We are another week closer to our exciting BlogHer Food Conference in Seattle this June 8-9. Last week I asked two of our speakers how they got started in food blogging. I thought this week I would go for a humorous question and answer with a few of our speakers who know a thing or two about flops in the kitchen.

First off, the question is:

What’s your biggest food blogging flop?

I decided to let our speakers take that question whatever way they wanted, whether it was a flop in the kitchen or a recipe that didn’t quite do as well as she wanted on her blog.

I asked two of the speakers from the Embracing Imperfections session on Day 2. Jessica Goldman Foung, of Sodium Girl (@sodiumgirl) took the time to share a cute story with us. It made me laugh because, oh, I feel like I’ve been there, done this.

Food FlopsI know you want to bite into these creamy cupcakes. But if you do, be warned. You may lose a molar.

Because here’s the truth: I’m not a baker. I’m a throw-inner, an improviser, and a great low-sodium cook. But no, I’m not a baker. And these cupcakes were particularly destined for disaster as they were for a dear friend with a gluten allergy, making them both wheat and salt-free. Pretty much a cupcake’s worst nightmare. Combine that with my use of orange juice in place of eggs (see: “not a baker” above), and the result was a post about pastry butchery. As well as a lesson in getting back on the proverbial culinary bike.

The greatest obstacle between someone and cooking may be the fear of failure. But for those on a low-sodium diet, staying out of the kitchen is not an option. Neither is making mistakes or messes. They happen, a lot, especially as you attempt to rewrite recipe history without salt. So when failure strikes, remember you can throw away the cupcakes, but never the towel. Every mistake means a lesson learned, making you a better cook.

And as for my takeaway, I realized that this friend is getting a birthday meatloaf the next time around.

You can also find Jessica on Facebook, Pinterest or Yelp before her session.

Julie Tilnser of Bad Home Cooking also replied to my interview question. Her spin on the question is a unique one and goes back to the beginnings of food blogging, really. I like her point of view.

My biggest food blogging flop? Probably naming my food blog Bad Home Cooking.

Really. Who wants to read a food blog written by somebody who can't cook? I myself look to food blogs for the recipes, for the how-to's, the vignettes, for the food porn photos. But when you Google "rice with chicken soup" and see a post called "Rice with Chicken Crap" on a blog called Bad Home Cooking, are you gonna look?

Well maybe you will. Because at some point people started showing up to read about my misadventures in the kitchen, and commiserating about how they, too, didn't always know what they were doing in that arena either. There's so much going on in the food space these days it's all too easy to start feeling a little ... inadequate. I think people need to know that it's ok admitting you're no Martha Stewart or Ree Drummond (although we can aspire!).

You can follow Julie in her bad cooking adventures on twitter and Facebook until the conference. Should be fun(ny!)!

You still have time to register for BlogHer Food and catch these speakers. We'll be asking another few speakers a food blogging question next week, so be sure to check back in! In the meantime, feel free to share your biggest food blogging flop -- and feel free to take that however you want.


Family and Events Section Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land. She is an editor, writer and photographer.


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