Monday, April 26, 2010

Chocolate Pots De Créme & Pretty Blog Guilt

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 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.

Little Humble happily nomming one of my giant botched lollipops

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
serves four

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
pinch salt

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).


  1. The thing about blogging is that any of us can portray our lives any way we want. I can make mine look like it's all family time and flowers, instead of long work shifts and frozen pizza. I love your blog and your amazing food (even if I'm too timid a cook to attempt most of the recipes.)

  2. That post on Jezebel was SO lame. Talk about sour grapes! I find your blog (and many others) inspiring, enlightening - and the fabulous source of recipes, tutorials and ideas. It's like access to a giant magazine where I am interested in ALL the articles - and I don't have to schlep out to the bookstore or newsstand to find it.

  3. 1. you have enormous talent
    2. you are very creative
    3. your blog & photography is definitely
    an art form
    4. your scientific knowledge is amazing
    5. you are interesting
    6. love your insight into your recipes
    7. love your standards for self & blog
    8. i do not think you are "grandiose"
    9. i think you say it like it is
    10. i have been most impressed w/your emails when i asked questions about pie never once gave me a quick reply...
    11. you could have told us that the beautiful kitchen you "work in" is yours...not mother h!
    12. i admire & respect what i perceive virtually is your "person"

  4. When I first came across the blog I was a bit intimidated, since details are not my strong suit and everything looked so beautiful. "I will just admire from afar!" I thought to myself. Then I started thinking "you know what, even if my details aren't going to be perfect, why should I just still sit here drooling instead of actually trying things?"
    And you know what? I did. And it turned out fabulous, if not as pretty.
    It sounds to me like the jealousy that you don't really have any inclination to do anything about - I'm "jealous" of people who have already completed graduate school, or who don't hate to drive, or can wear a certain color well, but I'm not angry at them for these things.

  5. Yay to anyone who says blogging isn't easy! It takes me hours to produce a single blog entry (though I blog on insects and science, not food) because I have to slog through and edit all of my photos, check my facts, do the writing, make sure everything looks okay... It's hard! I love your blog because you seem firmly rooted in reality. :) Plus, I love to cook (NOT with insects!) and you give me all sorts of awesome recipes to try out - especially the complicated and involved things I particularly love to make - with lovely photos to inspire me to try them. Thanks! I'm glad you put the hard work in it requires to do an excellent food blog, regardless of whether people think you're snooty for it or not.

  6. I admit that I sometimes fall under the perfect blogger spell myself.

    Only it isn't the Martha Stewarts, making their perfect layer cakes or birch twig centerpieces.

    I get jealous of folks living out in the Northwest wilderness, in their oh-so-modern green Method Pre-Fabs. Growing their own organic produce and making cheese.


  7. Ok, so I am a huge fan of your blog. I love the smartypants scientist thing and your kid is super cute. But, I must admit I have always wondered who is eating all that food?

  8. I think it's a sign that others need to take responsibility for their emotions - it's not your blog (or anyone else's blog/life etc) that's the 'problem' here.

    I WANT to look at beautiful blogs and see wonderful pictures and be inspired by others. I want to engage in the fantasy of it, just as I would if I was flicking through a fashion magazine. Oh noes, people have pretty blogs and seemingly perfect lives! A person would have to be either lacking in insight or insecure in themselves to really believe that. What's the alternative, putting up photographs of crusty old underwear left on the floor by last night's pizza? (

    As someone else said, we can portray our lives as we want. If others have a problem with it, the problem lies with them. They can stew while I make arancini.

  9. Nicole,

    I have a large family in the area who are always willing to take extra food off my hands. One of whom is a college-age boy who can consume his weight in food per day and never gain a pound.

    Also, when possible, I divide a recipe by half or a quarter. That way I have enough to photograph but I am not saddled with 2 dozen brownies or 5 dozen cookies.

    I loath to waste food so I do my best to make sure that almost nothing gets tossed.

    So far, the only things that have gone to waste on the blog are the Maca-wrongs I've baked for the macaron 101s. Hard to find a home for cookies that you intentionally cook badly. Not that I can blame anyone.

  10. Thanks for the explanation, you certainly don't owe anyone one, but I must admit I have always been curious and always was afraid to ask as I feared it would come off as sounding rude. The dividing the recipe is a great idea and must admit I never thought of doing that.
    I understand the college boy thing completely as I work for a University and have five male student staff. They are always thrilled to help with blog rejects!! I once had a plate of three dozen cookies disappear in less than 10 minutes.
    Thanks for the great answer and not being offended.

  11. More pictures of the Littlest Humble please! What a cutie pie.

    Also, thanks for answering who eats all your delicious goodies; I was wondering that myself.

  12. "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."

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Often, I will be intrigued by a recipe I see on Tastespotting, and click to go to the blog only to find myself confronted with a bunch of irritating drivel that adds absolutely nothing to the food in question. It's so anti-climatic to be captivated by a picture only to be completely turned off by the glamorized passages that go with it shortly thereafter! Thanks for not letting me down when I clicked on your picture :P

  13. Nicole,

    Absolutely not offended, not in the least.

    I'm asked that question frequently, after all the food I make here does seem a little over the top for a family of three.

    Dividing recipes is great for small families. Though, sometimes you cannot due to ingredients (half an egg?!), pan sizes or method.

  14. I've not been reading your blog for very long, but I really enjoy it. I'm afraid I don't feel jealous of what are clearly wonderful skills that you have, I just enjoy reading your recipes and seeing the great photo's!

  15. I think a couple of things might be going unsaid, and are important to point out for those that are making comments like the one you quoted.

    1)You photograph and post only the best of what you make. Which is normal...why pick a wonky macaron when you have a nice, pretty one?

    2)Due to your scientific background, you are detail-oriented. Attention to detail has been pounded into your head from the day you decided to pursue a career in science. Non-science people don't necessarily get why we pay so much attention to detail (like metric vs. American weights and measures). It can make us seem a little anal at times, or a little too perfect.

    I'm all about the nerdy cookies and science background. I embrace my inner nerd. Thanks for the high quality cooking and baking. Your food is pretty and your sense of humor is awesome. :-)

  16. OMG...I totally thought this was about me at first. No lie, I made a half-snarky, totally self-deprecating food blog post of my own recently, and referenced your site as one of the "pretty" ones that make me feel jealous and unworthy. I then went on to detail all of the ugly and ungraceful moments that led up to my own ultimately nice-looking final product. Warts & all, kwim? Admitting to that "stained apron and stacks of dirty dishes", if you will.

    At any rate, I do hope that if you run across my site/post (which duh--I guess you will now), it was only meant as tongue-in-cheek and no personal attack was intended. I adore your site, and recognize (as a crafty-minded mother of small children) that no, it's NOT as easy as it looks. Please keep up the good work...and the pretty pictures. You give the rest of us out here in the real-world trenches a nice dose of hope and inspiration. <3

  17. Heather,

    That is too funny! What a coincidence.

    It is actually very flattering, there are many other great food blogs out there that could have inspired a little ranting. I love that it was mine.

  18. I think posts like this are great -- my mom and I both have the same "stay up all night putting beautiful things together and still look coiffed the next day" tendency that can make people feel like you can keep everything together. I try to realistically portray the things I do (like you do here), because no one wants to feel inferior. The truth is, I have OCD, am totally obsessive/wired/perfectionistic, and sometimes run myself ragged! But, you know, that's just me.

    As my therapist always says (HA, you couldn't make this stuff up), "Martha Stewart has a staff."

  19. I LOVE this post! I'm a great fan of this blog as a whole package: enticing recipes; stunning photos; beautiful copy. And I think one of the things I love most is the sincerity of your writing.

    I get a feel that you're a perfectionist (as someone said above, being detail-focussed is a big part of bench work), but I think you are very honest about this. You talk about all the test batches, share pictures of prototypes, talk about all the time and effort you put into the quality control of this site.

    I feel when I come here that I'm getting a privileged glimpse of a real, hardworking person, rather than being duped by someone who wants me to believe they live a life that doesn't exist.

  20. This is completely off-topic, but I am in love with that photo of Little Humble!! Can you tell me the technical ooey gooey of that shot? I'd love to be able to reproduce a similar shot. Lighting, f-stop, shutter speed, lenses, etc. and any post-editing you may have done.

  21. I must be some kind of weirdo when it comes to reading blogs. I never get these guilt twinges that seem to be so prevalent! Do I think you and Jane of Sea of Shoes are amazing and awesome? Absolutely? Do I feel bad because I don't have a cool degree and perfect pastries or drool-worthy shoes and a 20-inch waist? Absolutely not!

    Thank you for being amazing. Don't let haters get you down and don't let anyone else's insecurities bug you.


  22. Sarah,

    I shot her while I was taking photos for the Macaron 101. She was looking very cute with that oversized lollipop so I quickly snapped a few photos.

    I used my 35mm/F1.8G lens. F/2.2 aperture, 1/60s shutter speed. Manual exposure (these settings were for the macarons). Auto WB (Someone hid my graycard that day...) ISO 100.

    Since I had my pre-sets set for macarons, not my child, the photo was a little underexposed. I did bumped up the exposure a bit using the tonal-curves editor thingy in post editing. As well as an 'unsharp mask' filter, trying to sharpen a bit as I didn't quite get her in focus (kids are so tricky to shoot).

  23. I have to admit, I HAVE wondered who eats all your tasty food- but mostly out of jealousy over who was devouring all your deeeeeeelishus foodstuffs. You are admirable because of your normalcy- and god knows us lay people out here need a role model, for just being normal- and occasionally a nerdy one at that! yay! I think perhaps after your pie competition, you should have a food nerd contest of some sort!

  24. thanks for posting that last image of how you take those beautiful photos. i love baking and photography too, but i always wonder how to accomplish great food photos without a perfect dining set or gorgeous dishes. now you've given me some ideas :)

    love your blog!

  25. I've only been following your blog for a few weeks. My cousin, a long time follower recommended it since I am an enthusiastic baker too. I find your blog brilliant and beautiful. Your scientific explanations and dissections of each recipe are fascinating and appeal to my inner math brain. Your writing style and sense of humour that comes through is deliciously naughty and entertaining. It will keep me following. Keep up the yummy good work.
    (A friend and I have recently made a pact to attempt your macarons. Being a fan of french meringue, they look too wonderful to resist.)

  26. Heheheh I really enjoyed this post, and your blog in general :-) Thankfully, my kids are too old to streak through the kitchen. Unfortunately, they are old enough to know "exactly" how to be in the way and stay there when I'm trying to cook. I will say, your blog only makes me feel marginally guilty that I don't try harder to make my cookies look better. I've got a full time job and 4 kids and a hubby and by the time I've rolled cookies out and baked them, I'm just too tired to care if I ice them sloppily. But far greater than any guilt is the inspiration your photos give me: I'd love to make integrated circuit cookies, for instance: that's just dang cool. I might add that I don't just follow any old blog, tyvm, let alone take the time to read them. So blog on!

  27. Hahaha! I love you even more for this post. Especially your comment about the dirty dishes that require a day-long washing marathon :) Sometimes I'll finish cooking and photographing something for my blog and want to cry when I see the damage to my kitchen. I'll even swear I'm never doing it again. Everyone in my family knows it's a completely empty threat so they just nod their heads and smile ;) Keep it up Ms. Humble, 'cause you rock! :)

  28. I never thought you weren't a normal person. You just love to bake and happen to have a job and a family like most people. I guess because we all get to know each other virtually, we seem untouchable. We have to fill in the gaps of how a person is, and some people invent more than what is there. That is my guess.

    Anyway, this dessert looks fantastic! YUM!

  29. i love this post. thanks. my tiny kitchen with home brew equipment everywhere is difficult to work with and love sometimes when i'm looking at pictures of lovely kitchens with expansive countertops and perfect lighting.... i love the realism that peeked through here. so thanks.

  30. I love myself all those ridiculously amazing blogs (like Tartlette) that make me feel like I'm flipping through a Martha-Stewart magazine of perfection. But, YOUR blog is my favorite of alllll the blogs I read because it's a perfect balance of down-to-earth-ism and amazing-ism. Perhaps one day my pictures will be as awesome as yours, perhaps not. But you give me something to aspire to that I feel is actually attainable. And your sense of humor doesn't hurt. :)

    BTW- the picture of your daughter is adorable. And now that you've posted a picture of her I must admit my curiosity about the woman behind the blog is piqued... so when do we all get to meet you?

  31. I hate the pretty blogs you describe. Flouncing around the park with flowers and champagne picnics. Get a job!

    The worst thing, though, is when you see these lovely pretty blog pictures of something edible(like a cupcake), and you read the recipe and just know that the person who wrote it made a different one. I cook enough to know what happens when people change flour/sugar/butter ratios. I can't stand the liars! Some famous bloggers do this. World: if you don't want to share a recipe, just don't blog about it. (I think these people actually buy in cakes and stuff, and just pretend).

    The Little Humble is beautiful btw.

  32. Ohhhh, that chocolate is going straight from those tiny pots to my thighs tonight :)

  33. I love your blog (I've even made some food, the mascarpone brownies were delicious). I think it is both pretty and accessible/reproduceable.

    But I still like the ones that are just pretty and that I will not be able to reproduce. They are pretty, and I like them for that beauty, without having to feel bad about myself. Besides, as you mention the pile of dirty dishes, I know that those people have their piles as well, and only the really good get mentioned in the blog. But even if it didn't, and they are truly perfect, I don't care (well, most of the time). I think it's nice to see, and these blogs inspire me without making me feel bad.

    Keep up, Ms Humble! I like your food and your blog.

  34. I really enjoy reading your blog, although it always makes me so damn hungry. I've only made the mascarpone brownies so far, which were delicious! Definitely have to try more of your recipes.
    I do have one 'complaint' though: as I'm European, I have no idea how many grams a cup converts into. I googled and came up with numerous different results, it's quite confusing.
    So if I may make a humble request: using metric measurements would make life so much easier for all your international readers.

    Greetings from Germany and keep up the good work.

  35. Often, when very intelligent women choose to raise their children themselves, (i.e. stay at home moms), their creativity gets channeled into something else. In your case, it is channeled into your food creation and blogging. And we are all the richer for it. I particularly love your self-deprecation!

    I love to cook and each evening as I turn out a masterful dinner for my family (including 2 teens - one with nut allergies and one who is toying with the idea of not eating meat!), I look around my kitchen and sigh dramatically, "oh, if I only had a sous-chef!" Fortunately, my husband LIKES to wash dishes.

    I really do want a gas top range though. And a medium sized cookie-dough scoop. And a self-cleaning floor. And world peace.

  36. Love this post,

    Yes not as eassy as it looks but is fun.
    I started my blod a few months ago. I am still learning, and I am enjoying blogginh very much. It is not perfect, what what is anyways ;)

    PS. I always read your blog, and I love the science related stuff since I am in science too.

  37. Very nice post. And clearly you have tremendous style and class, visible and not.

  38. I must admit the first time I surfed over to your blog (from Foodgawker I think), I was a bit intimidated by the amazing photos and professional layout. Not to mention the quizillions of comments you get. Over time, I've come to see exactly why you're so well loved :) Thank you for your honesty and the immense effort you put into this blog for the rest of us to enjoy.

  39. I think part of what might be going on with respect to "jealousy" of bloggers is that they are -- usually correctly -- perceived as individuals with significant social privilege. One must admit, it takes a substantial degree of social privilege to be able to spend one's days playing in a beautiful kitchen (often with not-so-cheap ingredients), taking photos with expensive cameras, writing at length about one's own life. When the blogger does not acknowledge such privilege in any significant way, it can come off as kind of self-indulgent, as an air of entitlement, which can be alienating to one's readers. This is not intended as a personal criticism in any way, but I think it may explain something about this blogger-jealousy phenomenon.

  40. I guess it's all part of the grass is always greener syndrome. I am a food blogger, mom and business owner and I love your blog. I am also at times drooly, jealous and bitter wondering how you have the time to post as often as you do with your delicious food and breathtaking photos. I consider it a good day if I've blogged AND my children are still alive and fed.

    On a completely separate tangent. I'd love to see a post on your food photography. Your camera, set-up, lighting, etc. Your photos are stellar and I loved the mini-glimpse behind the scenes.

  41. What draws me to your blog more so than most others is that you come from a science-y background. I'm an electrical engineering major, and it's very dry, very boring at times. Many of my peers advocate sticking to a single discipline, and avoiding the traditionally creative-ness. Being one of the few girls in the classes means having to sorta stifle the girliness to be taken seriously. So when I came across your blog which made nerdyness into an edible treat, it was pure genius. And a breath of fresh air. So thank you, and I hope you're here to stay for a while to come!

    You have an adorable daughter!

    On a totally different note, could you write up a post on how to create menus? There are so many delicious recipes to try, but I have no idea how to make a well rounded menu.

  42. Just found your blog today and it is Uh-Mazing!!! I am def going to have to try some of your recipes. I am always looking for new and interesting ideas! And I think I have found a new place to find them!
    Also, I laughed so hard when you were describing the "hippie blogs". Almost word for word of how I thought of them as well!

  43. You are wonderful.

    And always inspiring.

  44. S,

    I agree completely. While I don't think the nitty-gritty of what I do is enviable (it is hard and messy work) the fact that I am able to stay at home with my daughter and bake is certainly a luxury. I feel very fortunate to be given the option of not working and raising my child.


    Yes, volume is a frustrating thing to convert to weight. Even trying to find the volume conversions for a single ingredient online can produce a variety of very different weights.

    Because of this, I try to post recipes in either metric or volume/metric (for which I've weighted out each ingredient in grams. Like today's cookie recipe). I'm not always able to do so when cooking from a volume based recipe, because of time constraints in my kitchen.

    However, if there is ever a recipe on the blog that is only listed in volume and you wish to know the conversions, shoot me an email and I'll happily pull out my scale and measure it out for you.


    I might do one someday when I've had more practice with my dSLR. I've only been using this camera for 5 months now and I still have a lot of learn. I refuse to read the manual because it makes my head hurt so I'm slowly figuring out things as I go.

    Right now it is just a tripod, natural light and a lot of luck :)

  45. Wow, who knew that even food blogs have some degree of drama?

    I don't follow a lot of food blogs because I feel like most of them are really pretentious--full of ridiculous fancy food and fancy ingredients and uppity writers and ridiculously staged photography.

    With that said, though, your blog is absolutely one of my favorites. You actually do come across very humble. The recipes you post, while on the same level as some of the "fancy" foods on other blogs, always seem like something I could actually attempt, and I have very little culinary experience. Your blog inspires me to try new recipes and new ingredients. And while staying at home with a BEAUTIFUL child and baking sounds fantastic, I know that it's not all sunshine and lollipops, regardless of the picture of a lollipop.

    What strikes me about your blog is that even though your work has the caliber of Martha Stewart, you seem more like a real person than magazine-y type food personalities. Your writing gives the impression that you are a fun, funny, and interesting person--someone I'd hang out with, and that's what makes me interested in a blog.

  46. Ms. Humble,
    Thank you so much for writing your inner mind-workings. I was referred to your blog months ago by my pre-med brother because he knew, as a biologist/science teacher-turned-stay-at-home-mom and amateur baker, I would be in love. I can't begin to number how many people I've forwarded your gel electrophoresis cookie post to. I've been lurking ever since.

    In short, I amen everything you said (esp the commentary on the "make your own tote" pic). I love to bake, but don't want to delve into the work of an actual food blogger, so I leave it to random crafts, some desserts, life stories, etc. I started it for friends and family, and that's my audience, and I'm fine with that. I can only imagine how stressful it is for you to keep up what you do with a toddler (even if you are a stay-at-home mom! Who the hell said that's easy, anyway??) and with such devotion. You've got raving fans out here, so all I can say is keep it up (if you so choose).

    To me, you blow people out

  47. This is my first visit, but I'm an instant fan. (The ladies over at Jezebel annoy me, anyway.) You tell em! Keep up the good work.

  48. Mrs. Humble,
    I'm a brasilian 20-something-wife, that absolutely loves your blog! I'm not a food blogger, I'm a wedding blogger (started to blog about my own wedding, but couldn't stop), and the seek to perfection makes people jealous here in Brazil too. I don't have kids yet, so I work all day as a lawyer, but spend most of my free time in my kitchen, preparing not so humble recipes for the husband, and in my dinning table making crafts, painting, decorating, inventing things to make our house look less humble. I can easily be categorized as a Marthette, what I take as a complement. I love the title of your blog. Sometimes we have to be humble, and sometimes we have to be proud. For living, humble! For cooking, crafting and blogging, proud! Keep up the good work!

  49. Thank you for taking a moment to share this with us. I think sometimes others do not realize that what they are reading is not the full picture. It is refreshing to see a glimpse of the real person behind the blog(and your adorable little one) along with your beautiful and talented photography. I have honestly thought in my blogging experience that perhaps I was not exactly cut from the same mold as the more skilled food bloggers because I have so many of these "normal" qualities you described. I'm glad to know we're all in the same boat. And I can totally relate to chasing the diaperless toddler in the midst of trying to blog!! thanks again!

  50. A friend of mine pointed me to this post, because I was feeling the exact same way you were -- phew, I'm not alone! Solidarity with other "perfect", nerdy foodies! I too left my science job to stay-at-home with my two "perfect" toddler daughters and occasionally post photos of them in the hand-smocked dresses I've sewn for them while whipping up a wedding cake to deliver to the local 5-diamond restaurant. Even though I try really hard to not mention what I do (because I do it all for my own "sick" needs, never to intimidate anyone), it's all enough to make people barf apparently. I don't get it, I LOVE to read about others doing this sort of stuff because it normalizes my bizarre self-standards and inspires me to take up even more skills.

    I (like Ms. Humble seems to be) was raised my a mom with impossible standards, so I guess I'm left a little OCD maybe, but this life is not "effortless" and I don't think I ever let on that it is. Clearly it isn't, so why do people assume that just because our results are pretty that our talent magically erases any effort (or dishes).

    For every pretty photo I take of food, there's a dish/pan pile-up on the counter nearby. For every garden photo I take, there's a toddler knee-deep in soil eating a worm 2 feet away (or a mud fight complete with blood-curdling screams over the only ONE worm I found that they shoud be sharing). I sew the clothes because 1. I can, and 2. I have no disposable income anymore and 4 meters of $3 fabric makes two gorgeous dresses for my 2 and 4-yr olds. I crochet play food cupcakes and tea sets for them. My cute house is messy sometimes (heck, often, did I mention the two kids...), will I take pictures of the yucky parts? I guess I could but, why? So my MOM can come across them?

    I do this life, this way, because it makes me feel so happy and full of love. I'm glad there are others like me out there... I word hard at it because I love the results, and you know what, I'm getting tired of feeling guilty about it.

  51. Dear Ms. Humble

    Please! Never feel guilty for writing a pretty blog! I've been following your blog since last December and this was one of the main reasons why I started my own food blog.

    I could go on now about pretty pictures and dirty kitchens, about seemingly pretty and perfect lives and messy flats because I prefer to bake than to tidy up, but the others above have already done that more elaborate than I could. So I'll leave the "we should not feel guilty because we can bake"-speech, because all I wanted to say is: Thank you for the inspiration, Ms. Humble!

    Oh, and I'll really have to try those Chocolate Pots De Créme soon... :-)

  52. I think we all have to agree that most great cooks do not cook for themselves all the time...Great cooks explore flavours & style. Most of the time these talented people cook for a passion & for those they love, so they won't have or spend much time thinking what to eat rather than thinking what to cook.
    I've never been a follower of any foodblog but you couple are simply amazing! Thumbs up! V stylish!


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