15 Food Blogger Trends of 2012 That Need to Go

BlogHer Original Post

6) Learn to let the perfection of Instagram pictures go: I heard several pleas for food bloggers to quit pretending that every Instagram picture of every meal they're eating just happens to be arranged in such an artistic way. This outs you as the hipsters of food blogging. If any of you actually styles your table with vintage LPs or posts pictures of picnic food being lovingly transported on your fixed-gear bike, then expect an intervention from a team of food bloggers who will only be there to help. Unless you're willing to go BIG and tablescape the crap out of your meal in a way that would make Sandra Lee toast you with a giant boozy cocktail, a plain bowl of soup that isn't styled into oblivion would be just fine to post every once in a while. Hell -- I instagrammed a bag of Gardettos. You can do this.

7) Bills got to get paid, but learn the art of moderation: You food bloggers who have made it big? We envy the sponsor opportunities you get, and the giveaways you get to host. But here's a gentle suggestion from a large number of people—it would be nice if you stepped away from the Price is Right environment every once in a while and just posted a recipe that you like.

8) Step-by-step pictures of your recipes: I know many people are very impressed with some of our photography skills, especially since so many food blogger are self-taught. But none of us (even beginning cooks) need 50 pictures of you dicing an onion. Unless these pictures show you doing this while dressed in drag singing "I Don't Want To Cry" in a way that would make Mariah proud...then step-by-step is obviously necessary.

9) Please quit frightening us with your cocktails: I know all of us understand that cupcakes are "so over" (I still find them delightful) and we've branched out to other baked goods. But for the love of all that is holy, please don't remake cupcakes into cocktails. Whipped cream, marshmallows, frosting, cotton candy, donuts—none of these things should be flavoring vodka, nor should you be drinking any cocktail that has "whimsical" in its name. If you want to see a mixologist have a stroke, order a carrot cake martini.

10) Kale chips: We've all made them. Unless you can find a way to make them taste like cheese straws, nothing else needs to be added to the discussion.

11) The rigid seasonal food blogger schedule: On October 1, you don't have to post a pumpkin recipe, and then go on to post 20 more throughout the month. You do not have to post about strawberries and asparagus on April 1. If you want to post about chocolate chip pumpkin bread in March, free yourself from the tyranny of the schedule and post it.

12) National "insert food here" days: Give yourself a break & run far away from the absolutism of these holidays. Why? Because there's a National Cheese Doodle Day, and I don't think we should be encouraging food lobbyists to behave this way. This also creates a lot of pressure for us smaller bloggers. I just don't have the skills to create a recipe and celebrate National Raisinette Day like I think it should be done. I will make one very emphatic demand here: Stop telling me that there is a National Tequila Day. Because we all know that National Tequila Day is every day that ends with "y".

13) Quinoa: I personally am on the fence about this one because I have a shameful secret to share—I have never cooked or eaten it. But based on the fact that food bloggers like this person tweet about it with so much rapture, I'm going to give the advice that the reverence for quinoa should probably be toned down. Because when a food product has jumped the shark with this? Maybe it's time to move on and try other grains.

14) Things baked in things baked in things: The outcry over this issue was loud and forceful: The madness has to stop. A sprinkle stuffed in a mini chocolate chip stuffed in a M & M stuffed in a Rollo stuffed in a cookie stuffed in a brownie stuffed in a cupcake stuffed in a cake that's baked in a pie? Why do so many of you insist on creating what I like to refer to as the "turducken" of the baking world? Free yourself from these strange concoctions and delight in a simple, delicious brownie.

15) Last but not least, gentle authentic bloggers, please quit posting about authenticity: Every time you do this, God kills a kitten, and I do a shot of whatever booze is closest. Think of it this way: you know how if you have to say you're classy, you're probably not? Same goes with authenticity. Just be authentic, and we will notice and admire you and want to be your friend because you're down to earth and real.

A suggestion for ringing in the 2013 food blogger year: The "trend" that was loathingly mentioned the most was that food bloggers should leave the food blogger Borg mentality behind. The whole point of having a blog is to express yourself. So do that. Even though I do a shot of booze every time someone uses the phrase "find your voice," there's so much truth to that. Don't try to be like another blog, don't criticize other bloggers for blogging their own way, and no one has the right (even if you're a food blogger with tons of hits) to declare that there is a right way or a wrong way to blog or to participate in the food blogger community. You're even free to keep doing any of the things on the above list! Some of us may roll our eyes, but we will still like you. Promise!

Small-time bloggers & big-time bloggers? All of us need to be kind to each other, help one another and stop taking ourselves so seriously. Obviously, I love food blogging, but I'm not curing cancer. Laugh at yourselves, laugh with other bloggers and make your blog your blog, not anyone else's. Otherwise, our blogs will just be written versions of Pinterest boards, and nobody wants that.

I received tons of submissions, and this article would have been five times longer if I had published them all. But look on the bright side—maybe food bloggers will keep doing the same things that drive you crazy next year and then they'll make the list of :Food Blogger Trends You'd Like to See Go Away" in 2013!

Happy holidays everyone! Enjoy your Christmas tree cake pops!

PS: Some people tried to get me to talk smack about pimento cheese, brown butter, bacon and pies. They're dead to me now.

Kristina McLean


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