The Writing Process Blog Tour

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I’m taking you on a tour today, and it doesn’t have much to do about food.  Shocking, isn’t it?  There’s been a chain letter type questionnaire called The Writing Process Blog Tour floating around the Internet.  I’ve never been one to be into chain letters, but this is different, and I’ve really enjoyed the posts that I’ve read out there.  I’ve enjoyed them so much that when my friend Mary Frances over at The Sweet {Tooth} Life asked me if she could nominate me, I said yes with no hesitation.  You can check out her post here, along with recipes such as Caramel Toffee Chocolate Blondies, Gluten Free and Dairy Free Chocolate Covered Strawberry Truffles, and Apricot Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (all of which I would devour). 🙂

If you decide to remain on this tour, you’re about to find out that there is a method to my blogging madness.  Buckle up…cuz you’re in for a wild ride.  Honestly, it’s not gonna be wild at all, but I hope you still buckle up and stay awhile. 🙂

WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

I’ve always got several irons in the fire so to speak, but first and foremost, I’ve been working on a Farmer’s Market Friday series since May, where I feature different fresh, seasonal produce each week.  I’m trying to come up with new and interesting recipes that utilize the produce, and I’m really having fun with it.  Most of my other recipes include a whole lotta produce, too, because I can’t seem to get enough, and the grill has been going strong.  It is summer after all. 🙂

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?

My blog is inspired by recipes outside the box, meaning that I try to utilize ingredients that aren’t in a box.  I call myself a produce nerd, because I completely geek out at farmer’s markets and Whole Foods’ produce department, and  I’m truly inspired by the whole local, fresh, and seasonal movement.  While I’m not a vegetarian, I love creating vegetarian meals, especially when they include gluten free grains like quinoa and farro.  Aside from all the healthy fare, I’m an avid baker, so there’s plenty of indulgent desserts and bread baking going on.

I graduated from cooking school in March 2014, where I learned everything from traditional French cooking to pastry and bread baking.  I think that’s definitely enhanced  my style of cooking.  In a nutshell, I don’t think my blog is totally “different” than many out there, I but I do have an eclectic mash-up of interests, which means recipes that are all over the board.  You’ll find everything from Greek chicken skewers to quinoa enchilada stuffed peppers to my German chocolate cake roll.  You never know what’s going to pop up, but you know it’s going to be homemade.

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I WRITE?

I’ll tell you something now that I’ve never mentioned here on my blog before.  When I was younger, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I got older, my answer was a writer.  I was bookworm growing up, and would often finish a Nancy Drew mystery in 1-2 days.  I got a typewriter when I was in elementary school (yes, I was a child of the 70’s!), and would type up my own mystery stories that I was sure I would publish one day.  It’s a good thing I never did, or I would’ve been hauled off to jail for plagiarizing Nancy Drew mysteries. 😉

I took many writing classes for “fun” in college, including creative writing, poetry, and literature.  I always dreamed of being published one day, but sadly I never pursued that because I got a real money-making job and that took priority.  Starting this blog was fueled by my love of food and writing, and the goal was to share personal stories and recipes to connect with people and hopefully inspire them to get in the kitchen.  I didn’t always know how to cook, and if I can do it, anybody can!  I still have a dream to be published one day — outside of this blog — and that will definitely be a cookbook.  🙂

HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?

Despite the fact that I love to write, I find it to be the hardest part of blogging.  I know many readers are mostly interested in the photos and recipes, but the writing is still very important to me.  Sometimes I sit down to write my post in a playful mood with stories to tell and things just flow, and sometimes it’s like torture because I just blank out.  I try to think about what I’m going to write beforehand, while I’m driving, running, or whatever, so that I have something to connect to the dish or a personal story to tell.  If things aren’t flowing, I save what I’ve written and come back later when I’m feeling a little more spunky.  I’m a talkative person with a big sense of humor, and I want to write the same way I talk to my friends.  After all, I’ve gotten to know other bloggers and readers really well over time, so I do consider them friends.

I’m now finished with my rants on writing, and would like to nominate the following two bloggers to keep this tour going:

CINDY @ PICK FRESH FOODS

Cindy is a wife and mother in Colorado, and I liked her the instant I “met” her through blogging.  She’s so down to earth, and she shares a lot about her family life, which I can totally relate to.  I’m so impressed that she’s teaching her kids to cook this summer, which I think is a great idea!   Not only is she a likable person, but I love her blog, which focuses on whole foods and nutritious recipes.  She’s even got a degree in nutrition, and provides readers with valuable information and tips on eating healthfully.  Her recipes include Blueberry Mango Smoothies, Meatball Sub Sandwiches, and Strawberry Scones.  If you haven’t checked out Cindy’s blog, you should, because she’s got it all. 🙂

DEB @ COOKING ON THE FRONT BURNER

Deb is one hard working wife and mother.  She’s got a paying job and she manages her blog, coordinates giveaways, contributes to White Lights on Wednesday, and is co-host of the Best of the Weekend link party every Friday night.  I “met” Deb when she was hosting the Marvelous Monday link party ages ago, and I’ve really clicked with her.  I love how she refers to her husband as the DIY guy, and fondly posts photos of her visits and shopping excursions with her family on Instagram.  Deb has Italian roots, and whips up homemade pasta, cocktails, and some wicked good desserts for dinner guests and family.  Her blog is full of delicious dishes like her Berry Brie Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette, Grilled Pork Kabobs with Chile and Lime, and Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches…yum!

KRISTI @ INSPIRATION KITCHEN

I e-mailed Kristi and asked her if I could nominate her, and somebody else beat me to it.  She’s a popular girl, and for good reason.  I still want to include her here because her writing always puts a smile on my face when I read it.  Honestly, most of the time I’m not just smiling, I’m howling with laughter.  She loves humor just as much as her spicy food, and she’s just got an approachable style that’s intoxicating.  I’m not sure if she sleeps, because she has a paying job, her blog, an Etsy shop, photography business, and she’s always learning something.  She definitely has more energy than I do! 🙂  Check out some of her delicious recipes, including Shrimp Scampi with Lime, Honey, & Beer, Potato Chip & Pastrami Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and Blueberry Zucchini Bread.

I hope you’ll visit all of these blogs, and remain buckled up for their leg of the Writing Process Blog Tour.  Thanks for reading! 🙂