Oh my goodness. I’m not sure I quite understood what I was in for when I registered for BlogHer Food, but either way, my experience this past weekend did not disappoint. The conference was exhausting and exhilarating, beneficial and memorable. My brain is overflowing with ideas and to-dos, and I am grateful for having made so many new friends.
If I were to make a list of the top nine things I learned during the conference, it would look a little like this:
- Food bloggers are a seriously talented and hardworking bunch (and if you want to see what I mean, just visit Diane and Todd’s blog or read Kim’s book – amazing, I tell ya).
- Nursing women can’t live on appetizers alone.
- It’s easier than I thought to address issues of hunger through a blog, and I can’t wait to start writing on this topic.
- Adequate sleep, as it turns out, is essential for optimum brain function.
- The key to not feeling awkward when you are constantly meeting new people is to be okay with sometimes being alone.
- When hotels have stellar customer service, it can make all the difference.
- Food tastes better when it’s served beautifully.
- Working with brands and sponsors is not as straightforward as I had imagined, which has led me to reconsider my “monetizing the blog” strategy.
- Submitting work to magazines and art directors for publishing, however, seems much less intimidating.
For those of you that have ever considered writing a blog, be it food-focused or otherwise, I would encourage you to give it a try! The initial investment is small, and you never know, you just might discover your passion.
Next up, I am doing my first ever cookbook giveaway! I was initially introduced to James Peterson’s Baking last year when my friend, Kristi, came over for a day of creating in the kitchen. She brought this book with her, and I was immediately charmed by its thorough explanations and step-by-step photography. It contains recipes for many classic baked goods, including coconut macaroons, fruit-studded tarts, and crème brulee, and while a few of the desserts are a bit too involved for everyday, it’s an excellent resource for when you are looking to make something extra special. For a person like me that is relatively new to baking, I think it will prove to be a valuable teaching tool as well.
Without question, the portion of the book that has has me most excited going forward is the section on cakes. Instead of giving start-to-finish instructions (save for a few examples), the author chooses to provide recipes for individual cakes, fillings, and frostings, allowing the home baker to mix and match the various components to create a one-of-a-kind dessert. Because of this, the options truly are endless, and I think this is a cookbook that I’ll get a lot of mileage from in the years to come.
To enter to win your very own copy of this handy cookbook, simply leave a comment on this post, sharing what baked dish you would most like to learn to make.
You can earn up to three additional entries by doing one or more of the items below and leaving a comment letting me know you did so. Please enter a separate comment for each entry to help me keep it all straight.
(1) Like Pepper Lynn on Facebook.
(2) Follow me on Twitter.
(3) Follow me on Pinterest.
Entries will be accepted through Sunday, June 17th, at 11:59pm PST and a winner will be randomly selected and contacted early next week. US residents only.
UPDATED 6/18/2012: This contest is now closed.
Just so you know, this is NOT a sponsored giveaway.