I am very excited to announce to my readers that I am participating in the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog competition. 2,000 contestants, 10 challenges, and one winner who will win $10,000! What I’m even more excited to share is that I truly believe I have a shot at winning!

So why do I think I have what it takes to be the next food blog star? There are many great food blogs out there that I enjoy reading and I discover new favorites almost every day. But I’ve noticed that there are a few important ingredients that make up an exceptional blog.

Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting

The first thing every blog must have is an interesting subject, a niche in the food blog scene that makes it stand apart from others. The focus of my blog is baking. I also enjoy cooking, but my real passion comes from baking breads and pastries and making other confectionary delights. On my blog you’ll find all of my favorite completely delicious recipes, as well as some handy tips I enjoy passing on to my readers.

I never post a recipe that I didn’t try for myself and find to be delicious. It’s on this site because it worked for me and I liked it. I firmly believe that absolutely anyone can make any recipe from this site. Some are more involved than others and may even seem complicated, but I like to encourage people to get out of their comfort zones from time to time. There’s nothing like pulling something delicious out of the oven that you didn’t think you could make. I love it when that happens.

Fresh from the oven

All you have to do is look at my waistline to know that I’m passionate about baking. My life just wouldn’t be the same without buttery Challah Rolls, chewy White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies, or moist Lime Bundt Cake. What’s more, I love it even more when it comes from my own kitchen, when I’ve worked hard to create something and can enjoy the tasty results.

We all know that we eat with our eyes first, and that’s why photography in food blogging is so important. I am definitely an amateur when it comes to photography; I’m a baker first and foremost. But I like to think that I’m improving with every photo that I take, and sometimes it’s fun to browse through my earlier posts and see how far I’ve come. My photography is simple and straightforward, I don’t do a lot of food styling and I use few props. I really want the food to be the star. If, while you’re reading one of my posts, you find yourself drooling and dashing off to the kitchen to try my recipe, then I’ve done my job.

Keep Calm, Carry On

I will be the first to tell you that I am far from perfect! I mess up a lot and sometimes things go horribly, horribly wrong in my kitchen. I get frustrated and want to give up. It would be so easy to just throw in the towel and reach for a box of oreos. But I’ve tried to adopt a mantra borrowed from an old British World War II poster, “Keep calm and carry on” (which I actually framed and have sitting on my counter as a reminder). I just keep at it, and more often than not everything turns out fine. And in a way I’m grateful for the failures, for the difficult days. It means I’m challenging myself and learning and growing as a baker. I’m moving forward and hopefully passing those lessons on to my readers.

I am very dedicated to this blog. I am proud of it, and I love having it as a part of my life. I try to have something new and delicious to share here regularly and consistently. Sometimes life gets in the way and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always convenient. But I’m committed to this space and it always amazes me how once I’m in the kitchen, making a mess and having a blast, or at my computer telling you about it, everything else takes a back seat.

IMG_1980

A last attribute that I’m striving for is to be as inspirational to my readers as other great food bloggers have been for me. My passion for baking and blogging came about partly through inspiration from other food bloggers that I look up to, like Smitten Kitchen and Joy the Baker. Their dedication and love for food have inspired me in so many ways. I want to pass that on to all of you, to help you discover for yourself how delicious treats can enhance your life.

A great food blog is like a delicious recipe. If you start with quality ingredients and put them all together with a lot of love and effort, amazing things can happen.

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16 Responses to Project Food Blog Challenge #1: Ready, Set, Blog!

  1. We Are Not Martha says:

    This is a great post! I just found you through Foodbuzz and am loving how many awesome blogs I've found through the project! I just got the "Keep calm and have a cupcake" print :)

    Sues

  2. Isabelle says:

    Great entry! Love the photos, especially the "Keep Calm and Carry On" print… I can't believe I never thought to put one in my kitchen, considering it's practically my mantra when I'm cooking. :)
    Good luck with the competition… look forward to seeing your entries for upcoming challenges!

  3. Jennifurla says:

    You love baking? NO??? – he he

    Lovely post

  4. LimeCake says:

    beautiful photos! good luck!

  5. The Comfort of Cooking says:

    Great post, Annalise! Routing for you (and voting) all the way!

  6. sweet swallows says:

    Another baker in the competition! Your photos are lovely, and I agree that Smitten Kitchen and Joy the Baker are bloggers to look up to. Placing a vote for you right now! Best of luck!

  7. Brooke says:

    I'm not sure what you mean about being an amateur photographer. Your photos are GORGEOUS, your website clean and well designed, and our words are well written. What a wonderful discovery! Thanks PFB! *another vote, cast your way!*

  8. Flotch says:

    Smitten Kitchen and Joy The Baker are two of my favourites as well. Your food is absolutely gorgeous. All the best.

  9. Kimmy Bingham says:

    Your photos are beautiful! I love the "after" picture of your kitchen. If I had a dollar for every time my kitchen looked like that, I'd be rich. This competition is so much fun, I've found so many great blogs through it! Good Luck!

  10. CrystalsCozyKitchen says:

    I love that saying: "Keep calm and carry on". It really applies to many aspects of life. I know I find that cooking can help keep me calm or sometimes cause me to need a saying like that…
    I voted for you – Good luck!
    If you'd like to check out my post it's here: http://bit.ly/9JXLNL

  11. Jeannie says:

    Lovely blog! Love your cakes recipes, been drooling over every single cake you've got in here:D

  12. onlinepastrychef says:

    Looking forward to reading your Challenge #2! Best of luck in the competition, from one baker girl to another! :)

  13. Lick My Spoon says:

    What a great quote to live by, can't wait to see what's in store. Just voted for you!

    Lick My Spoon

  14. Amelia PS says:

    i loved finding you via PFB. Voted.

  15. Gina MarySol Ruiz says:

    Beautiful photos and a great post. You have one of my votes. Best of luck in the competition.

  16. Jen Cheung says:

    hey ya! you have a lovely blog here. Stumble upon your blog through foodbuzz. :) I voted for your blog. hope that helps. feel free to drop by!!

    have a lovely weekend
    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

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