So occasionally I Google my blog name to see what folks are saying about me and NSHP. Just to make sure no one hates me. I'm a neurotic, socially fragile person, what can I say.
So I was reading the buzz and I noticed a link to an article at Jezebel.com talking about pretty bloggers.
The ones run by beautiful hipsters who take photos of their beautiful lives. Complete with perfect clothes, perfect homes filled with beautiful things. Hanging out eating imported cheese from a country you've never heard of, with their model-thin friends and drinking Chardonnay out of photogenic vintage mason jars.
Later, they all head out to some idyllic pasture to make tussie-mussies from wildflowers (the extra blossoms will be photographed braided into their hair).
photo via eros turannos
The whole idea is that these bloggers make us normal folks feel depressed and guilty. We don't have pretty, picture perfect lives. Most of us don't waltz around in vintage floral sun dresses or spend our days consumed with gluing colorful buttons to our refrigerator.
So yea, I'm reading this article on just these sort of blogger and there, in the comment section, is a mention of NSHP. (A comment I just loved, by the way.)
Okay, I love, love, LOVE Ms. Humble's food blog, but her degree in biological anthropology, smarty pants husband, cute kid, stay-at-home and bake-all-day life, in Seattle makes me oh so jealous. And I'm always left wondering---who's eating all of that beautiful food she's making?My kid is darn cute, this is true.
But jealous? Really?
Okay, I so cook pretty-ish things but I never set out to make what I do seem easy or normal. As realistic as I try to keep things, even Ms. Humble isn't 'Ms. Humble' 100% of the time outside of the pages of this blog. Sure, I cook almost constantly, but I'm also no stranger to pizzas and takeout. Occasionally...and I loath to admit this, I've even been known to grab a bag of dubious, cheap tacos at Taco Bell.
See what I mean? I'm normal.
I don't pretend everything is rainbows and unicorns in my kitchen. I can and do mess up. I don't have a magic wand that turns out perfect food. Nor do I take myself or what I do very seriously. I don't want to fall into the black hole of romanticizing food, where I would ramble on and on about how creme caramel reminds me of afternoons in Paris, or discuss the perfect pairing of romantic rainy Seattle days and piping hot lattes.
Some of my family know about and read this blog. They would torture me if I aspired to write like that. It just isn't me.
I'm your normal 20-something mom. I cook, I eat. I frequently get inspired by a new recipes and if I overindulge, my pants get tight.
Perhaps I make what I do look too easy? Is that it?
Well it isn't. Trust me. Food blogging--as many of you probably know--is a lot of work. Cooking with the additional, near constant demands of a toddler requires almost superhuman juggling abilities.
Sure you get to see the pretty results of my baking, but you never see my daughter streaking through the kitchen with her tush hanging out because she has recently discovered how to remove her diaper.
No one sees the stained apron or the stacks of dirty dishes that take an entire day to wash.
No one sees the look of horror that follows collapsing on an ivory sofa--one that I am a masochist for buying--after a long day's work only to remember I've been dusting cocoa powder covered hands on my butt all afternoon.
Anyway, my point is: Don't feel guilty or depressed by the crafty, talented wannabe Martha Stewarts out there. I can only speak for food blogging, but it really isn't as effortless as some, or even I, may make it look.
Since I spent all my time writing the above, I'm just going to say that the following recipe is very yummy. Like eating a truffle with a spoon. Nom.
Chocolate Pots De Créme
from Luscious Chocolate Desserts
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
Kettle of boiling water
Preheat your oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Ready four 5-ounce ramekins and a 9"x13" baking pan.
Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and chocolate until smooth.
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, making sure to break up any lumps in the brown sugar. Temper the mixture by adding 1/3rd of the hot cream, whisking gently to blend. Add the remaining cream, whisking steadily to combine.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and divide between your ramekins.
Place the ramekins into the baking pan and place in the oven. Pour the boiling water in to the pan so that it comes up 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the custard is barely set around the edges and still wiggles when shaken in the center. Remove the custards from the water bath and allow to come to room temperature on a wire rack. Once cool, chill for at least 3 hours or up to one day.
Garnish, if desired, with a little lightly sweetened whip cream.
For a little extra reality, I snapped a photo of what it looks like when you step back from the tripod:
What food photography looks like from my POV. Gray cards, scraps of fabric and couple of dishes (now empty because of a hungry photographer).