Project Food Blog Challenge #1 Ready, Set, Blog!

It’s Project Food Blog showtime, folks. This post is my official entry into the contest, a contest in which I am up against almost 2000 other bloggers (all of whom are Foodbuzz Featured Publishers). Each of us is vying for the title of “The Next Food Blog Star”…how’s that for intimidating?

Project Food Blog is an interactive competition comprised of a series of ten culinary and blogging challenges. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and a feature on Foodbuzz for one year.

For the first challenge, contestants were tasked to answer the questions: Why Do You Blog? and What Makes Your Blog Unique? Contestants must also tackle: Why Do You Think You Have What it Takes to be The Next Food Blog Star?

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Why do I blog?

1. I blog to share my passions: cooking, nutrition, gardening, and having a balanced life.

2. I blog to be part of a community…a community of people who are extremely passionate, who spend a lot of their time just like me…celebrating all things food. I promote the work of other bloggers as frequently as possible and I get a huge kick when my work gets promoted. Food bloggers are an amazingly talented bunch and I am honored to call myself one.

3. I blog because I love it…because it’s fun. After a year and a half, I still get excited putting each post together. I love pushing the publish button…I love putting my recipes, writing and photos “out there” there for the world to see.

What Makes My Blog Unique?

1. My Information

I love to talk about why I eat the foods I do and I want to encourage my readers to use whole food ingredients when they cook. I have a background in holistic medicine so I like to pepper my posts with nutritional information, but I try to be objective, not “preachy” about the health “stuff”. Readers tell me they love my blog because it teaches them something they didn’t already know. This drives me…fires me up to write the next post.

The content of my blog isn’t necessarily typical for a recipe blog, or even a healthy recipe blog. Reading my blog might inspire someone to put purslane it in their salad. Or maybe it will get them out in their yard to discover an edible plant like anise hyssop. It might give them the confidence to try this healthier version of pop-tarts. Or take on a new technique, like making yogurt at home.

2. My Recipes

I’ve never been to cooking school, but I grew up in a restaurant family and I am a good cook. I enjoy adapting favorite recipes as well as creating recipes from scratch, and I love experimenting with new ingredients.

I really enjoy recipe development and recipe writing, and I’ve become more adept at these since starting this blog. I frequently enter recipe contests and I’ve even won a few: my turkey pho…

…and my minestrone…

will be in the first food52 cookbook.

And this arugula salad with pomegranate, avocado and goat cheese…

…will be in the Foodista cookbook.

I’d love to write my own cookbook someday.

3. My Photos

In addition to my information and my recipes, I believe the effort I put into my food photography also makes my blog stand out. My photos started out like this…

…and now they look like this.

I’ve pretty much fallen in love with photography since launching this blog, and I spend as much time reading about food photography as I can. I also practice a lot, and I only expect my photography to improve with time.

Why should I be crowned “The Next Food Blog Star?”

A few recipe projects and writing opportunities have come my way because of this blog. I am very grateful for those because I want to hone my skills as a recipe developer and food writer. I’d like to write for magazines someday, and as I mentioned above, I’d like pen a cookbook.

But above all else, I am a blogger.

Being a blogger means I’m a writer, an editor, a publisher, a recipe developer, a food stylist, a photographer, and an seo specialist (well, ok, I admit it…I kind of stink at seo).

I love doing it all, though…I love being a blogger…and I’ve got what it takes to be a “food blog star”.


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  1. 1

    Shirley @ gfe — September 17, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

    Beautiful job, Winnie. You laid it all out so well and so succinctly! And, with such gorgeous photos, too. What progress you’ve made as well! That bowl of ice cream photo is stunning. I’m so excited for you … best of luck!


  2. 2

    Winnie — September 17, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

    Thank you so much Shirley. Was a tough post to write…guess that’s why it’s called a “challenge” ;)

  3. 3

    My Communal Table — September 17, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    Great way of making your point. Let us know how we can vote! On to round 2… for sure. Best of luck or shoud we say break a spatula or something like that. Elizabeth

  4. 4

    Winnie — September 17, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    Thanks so much for the vote of confidence! Only 400 bloggers advance to the next round. I do hope to be one of them, but all of the submissions I’ve read have been great, so who knows? I will put up a post on Monday when voting is open..

  5. 5

    Monet — September 18, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    I am such a big fan of your blog…and you listed so many of the reasons why above. I hope you do write a cookbook one day because you know I will be first in line to buy it! You will do great in this contest because you produce such consistent, wonderful posts. Thanks for sharing, as always!

  6. 6

    Winnie — September 18, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    Thanks for all your sweet words Monet…I always appreciate your comments so much! I can’t wait to see your entry (though I really don’t want to compete against you).

  7. 7

    Liz the Chef — September 18, 2010 @ 9:11 am

    You have my vote! Such modesty, though – you are a shining star in the world of food-blogging. How did you so improve your photography? That is my goal in the coming months ahead…In the meantime, bring on your cookbook!

  8. 8

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 4:54 am

    You are the sweetest. Getting a DSLR camera was the single most important this I did to improve my photography…I have the starter Canon Rebel and a good macro lens…these have served me well so far. Beyond that, it was really just practice, learning the manual settings, and all of that. I want to get better at Food Styling, though…that’s my next goal.

  9. 9

    ClassicKitchenTwist — September 18, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    I love ready your blog & great entry! I am also enjoying reading all of the entries and don’t know how they are going to chose the 400 to move on! What type of camera do you use? Your pics are so beautiful!

  10. 10

    ClassicKitchenTwist — September 18, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

    oops! should be reading your blog:)

  11. 11

    Ashlee — September 18, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing you blog with me I enjoy reading about others and why they blog. Check my post out for ready set blog and let me know what you think

  12. 12

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 4:54 am

    Thanks Ashlee…I’ll make sure to check out your entry!

  13. 13

    Casey Angelova — September 19, 2010 @ 2:35 am

    Beautiful food and photos. Your outlook of blogging is very honest. Best of luck with PFB!!!

  14. 14

    Winnie — September 19, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

    Thank you Casey!

  15. 15

    Diana@Spain in Iowa — September 20, 2010 @ 4:41 am

    Winnie, this is a lovely post! Our before and after pictures look pretty similar, lol! You have come so far and I just admire all of the information and recipes you continue to share. Best of luck! P.S. Love the new site design!!

  16. 16

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    Thank you Diana,
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you through your blog this year…did not imagine we’d be in a competition “against each other”, but best of luck to us both :)

  17. 17

    Jason Phelps — September 20, 2010 @ 6:03 am

    Attitude is altitude.

    Good luck!


  18. 18

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 8:56 am

    Well said Jason. Good luck to you, as well ;)

  19. 19

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  20. 20

    Maria at Fresh Eats — September 20, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    Wonderful post. Excellent “before” and “after” photos. You have so much to offer and I love your blog. I didn’t realize you were in the Foodista cookbook too — congrats!

  21. 21

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 8:56 am

    THANKS Maria!!!

  22. 22

    Oui, Chef — September 20, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    Way to go, Winnie….you got my vote! – S

  23. 23

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    Thanks Steve- you are awesome!

  24. 24

    Katrina — September 20, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    I found this on the contestant page and your pictures drew me in! I love your blog and will add it to my subscription feed. What you said about being part of a community really spoke to me and I found myself nodding my head. Keep up the great work!

  25. 25

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    Wow Katrina…thanks so much.

  26. 26

    Jessica@Healthy Exposures — September 20, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    You have a wonderful way with words, and that camera ;) Really – you said this so well, your recipes all look delicious, I adore your “foodie” perspective, and your photos are incredible works of art in and of themselves. You’ve got a vote of mine, and regardless, I am a new follower!

  27. 27

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

    Thank you so much for the incredible compliments…I’m blushing ;)

  28. 28

    Therese @ artistta — September 20, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    Beautiful pictures and lovely post! You have my vote!

  29. 29

    Winnie — September 20, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

    Thank you sooooooo much!

  30. 30

    Nate @ House of Annie — September 20, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

    You got our vote!

    Come check our our PFB post:

    Cheers and aloha.

  31. 31

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 8:02 am

    Thanks Nate!

  32. 32

    stephchows — September 21, 2010 @ 7:21 am

    You’ve got my vote!

  33. 33

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 8:01 am


  34. 34

    Lindsay — September 21, 2010 @ 7:39 am

    Great post! Just gave you a vote! You can check out my entry here: Thanks and good luck!!

  35. 35

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 8:00 am

    Thank you Lindsay!

  36. 36

    Jenn — September 21, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

    Great entry! And I am drooling over that minestrone….beautiful!!

  37. 37

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Thanks Jenn. What a compliment (your photos are so gorgeous!)…

  38. 38

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — September 21, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    Great post Winnie! After meeting you in person, I agree with everything you said :)

  39. 39

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Thank you so so much Megan.

  40. 40

    Amy — September 21, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    What a beautiful blog. I’m impressed at your recipe-developing ability (and jealous!) Got my vote. :)

  41. 41

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    Thanks Amy. I appreciate it so much.

  42. 42

    Mansi — September 21, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

    Hi, I’m a fellow PFB contestant too!

    I loved reading your story, there’s so much warmth in it! and your pics are just amazing. I’ll surely be trying some of your recipes!

    you got my vote, good luck ahead!:)

  43. 43

    Winnie — September 21, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

    Thanks Mansi!

  44. 44

    the actor's diet — September 22, 2010 @ 12:31 am

    i love your blog! so glad to have found it.

  45. 45

    Winnie — September 22, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    Why, thank you!

  46. 46

    Kimmy — September 22, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    Beautifully said. I love the before and after photography example. I think that’s something we all can we relate to. You have a very unique perspective on food. You have my vote! I hope you’ll check my page out too.

  47. 47

    Winnie — September 23, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    Thank you so much Kimmy! And I most certainly will check out your entry ;)

  48. 48

    Rajani — September 22, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    loved your entry, glad for pfb, discovering so many talented bloggers :)

  49. 49

    Winnie — September 23, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    Me too…did not think I’d come near to using 400 votes, but I did…so many great blogs!

  50. 50

    janelle — September 23, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    I just ‘voted’ you. WOW love your blog, your voice, and share your perspective. I just learned about purslane recently!!! And I have a cocktail going into Foodista’s cookbook;). Good stuff! Looking forward to knowing you;).

    Glad you entered!

  51. 51

    Winnie — September 23, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    Thanks Janelle! So nice to “meet” you and I’m looking forward to checking out your blog and your recipes, too…

  52. 52

    @lickmyspoon — September 23, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    From your pictures and recipes I would have never known you didn’t go to culinary school. Your blog is amazing and I wanted to wish you the best of luck in the competition. You’ve got my vote. :)

  53. 53

    Winnie — September 23, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    Thanks! And you got one from me, too :)

  54. 54

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