I'm having some blogging issues these days. I'm trying to get back into a sort of rhythm with my blog. My blog didn't start out as a business for me. It was a hobby and I made a little bit of money with it.
I always knew there were ways to make my blog more of a profitable business, but I never took my blog all the way to that level. I have done sponsored posts with brands I love and I work with an ad network. There once was a time that I felt I had to finally buckle down; to take this blog seriously. It probably was as soon as I returned from IFBC New Orleans (an amazing conference). I felt inspired and I felt like my blog was insignificant. Insignificant for the fact that my photos weren't the best (I learned so much from NY Times Andrew Scrivani at IFBC...he taught a priceless session that pushed me to take better photos). Insignificant because my writing wasn't the best. I knew so many other talented writers out there that inspired me. I had to work on my writing and treat this blogging thing more seriously. I know that sometimes feeling insecure about your talents can push you to do better. Those same insecurities can sometimes create the opposite effect and they can create a wall.
Another thing I had to work on was social media! Oh, social media. I love you and some days I don't like you very much. When I started my blog 4 years ago, I was tweeting and pretty much, that was it. I didn't even have a Facebook page in the beginning months. Then along came Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus! What...WHATTTTT!?! I was cool with just posting and tweeting. Oh, I forgot something! In those beginning days there was also the wonderful Foodbuzz. It was a fantastic place where I met most of my original food blogging friends. We would share posts there, comment to each other, click when we liked a post to give the post some buzz. I made their Top 9 various times and I felt like I was doing something right (Foodbuzz is now DailyBuzz).
I think I also was probably baking a little bit more. My father was very ill and I had a mission to try to fatten him up with my sweets. It also was the motivation I felt from him when I brought him something delicious: a new cake, an incredible bread. His smiles and his encouraging words pushed me to try different things for him. I not only baked for my kids, I mostly baked for him. When he passed away a year and a 1/2 ago, I lost my baking spunk.
I have some fun things planned for this blog. I will still be posting recipes and sharing some other wonderful things! Things will quiet down here when school starts up again and I will dedicate more time to my favorite place!!
I feel like using my I-Phone is a wonderful way for me to sometimes capture something to share here that I may not have thought of posting when I came across the recipe. Some mornings I make something spontaneously and I don't have the desire to grab my camera. For example, when I baked this large and wonderful pancake.
I came across it in a Martha Stewart issue and thought it was something for sure we had to make. I have a cast-iron skillet and my kids love pancakes. I thought, I had to give this whirl!
I made the batter and posted it on Instagram (yes, I'm talking again about Instagram!). I thought it was funny that it was not something I planned to share here. It ended up being one of my posts with the most likes, so it inspired me to create a post and share it with all of you!
So here is a breakfast idea that is fun and really easy to make. It saves you the time of waiting at the stove flipping pancakes. Most of my family loved it. My smallest critic told me he prefers my "real pancakes" and asked "when are you making them again, mommy?". I thought this was a wonderful way to use up some of my mangoes. They were just delightful sliced on served on the side with this delicious pancake!
Very slightly adapted from Martha Stewart.
Oven-Baked Strawberry Pancake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for pan
- 1 cup strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced in chunks
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in upper third. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or other nonstick ovenproof pan) in oven. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together milk, egg, and melted butter in another bowl. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined.
- Remove skillet from oven and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, swirling to coat. Pour in batter and smooth top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle evenly with strawberries and remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.
- Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool 5 minutes before dusting with confectioners' sugar and serving with syrup.