I am at a crossroad today. I look back at the road I have walked for eight years and I can see it scattered with food, sparsely at first and in abundance as the road catches up to where I stand. The first stretch seems to be covered with floppy cakes, burnt cookies, ugly looking curries shot at awkward amateur angles, garish plates, mismatched linen and words that seem too eager to please. As the road moves along, things start looking a slightly more stylish in a very understated way. The food develops a personality, the pictures tell a story, awkward angles are banished, lighting gets moody and there is candid honesty and tone in the words that adorn this road. Words that are liberating and suggest that I am having fun. Because that is what I have been doing for the past eight years. Slowly and unsurely at first but then with a conviction that fires my being, I am blogging and having the time of my life. Eight years today! In eight years I have taken two sabbaticals. The words left me then. I wasn’t sure where I would end up. But they came back and so did I. Both times.
Blogging is an amazing concept. Most people do it for the love of it. And then the peer pressure sets in, expectations start inching up and the anxiety starts stripping the fun away.
Don’t let it.
It still happens to me all the time and I sit myself down and tell myself "Doesn’t matter if only 200 people out of the 6303 people on Facebook read your post and only 11 of them liked it! You would still write it even if no one read or liked it, wouldn’t you?". The answer is always yes. So I step away, make myself a cup of coffee and resist the urge to now check the number of Instagram likes to my newest photo post.
As human beings, we are naturally hard-wired to push ourselves harder to succeed and achieve more. Success gives us happiness but it also gives us adult acne (guilty!) and stress related acid reflux (you know you are out there!). I realised a while ago that in this over crowded blogging world of one minute attention spans and posts fighting to be seen, it is very important to not lose sight of why we started blogging in the first place.
To share and learn.
Words from the heart and pictures that speak.
Stripped of all social media followings and rankings.
Because no matter how long you have been blogging (five weeks or five years), nothing will give you more satisfaction than blogging as if no one is reading. Just for you. Have fun and don’t lose sight of why you started your blog. That is what I intend to do as I pick an arm of the crossroad that I set off on today armed with a bucket full of wishes. I want to learn so much more. I want to share so much more. I want to do it with you minus the adult acne!
WIN A COPY OF TASTY EXPRESS (OPEN WORLDWIDE)
I have a little worldwide giveaway that you could enter to win a copy of Tasty Express. Go to my Facebook page and guess the ingredients in the picture posted there. Contest runs until March 22nd, 2014. Have fun! And good luck! x
I love macaroons. With a double oo. Coconutty. Warm. Crisp on the outside. Chewy on the inside. Not very sweet. Coconutty. Oh, I said that already. This bread is like a giant macaroon. It is a simple more-ish bread I made the other day with frozen raspberries, coconut and fresh basil leaves. Delicious warm and toasted with lots of butter. The base macaroon bread recipe is yours to adapt and put your name on.
MACAROON BREAD WITH RASPBERRIES AND BASIL
A more-ish bread for afternoon tea bulked up with almond meal and shredded coconut. Not very sweet with a delightful berry and basil combination, this bread is best toasted and served with butter.
Serves – 8
2 cups desiccated coconut, toasted
1 cup almond meal
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries/berries
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
extra raw sugar for topping
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8 X 5 inch loaf tin with baking paper.
Place coconut, almond meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix to combine.
Add coconut milk, egg and vanilla. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until completely combined. Stir through raspberries and basil. Spoon batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with extra raw sugar.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 45 to 55 minutes until cooked through. Switch off oven and let the bread sit in the hot oven for another 5 minutes before removing and cooling in the tin completely.