It's a funny thing that happens when one decides to start a
(This post may contain affiliate links)
You think, “I love to cook, and wouldn't it be fun to share some of my favorite recipes? It'll be no big deal. I'll snap a couple of photos while I'm cooking dinner, write a few lines about life's happenings, or things I'm thinking about, and create an online cookbook/diary of sorts.
Maybe it will be a fun way to stay connected to those I love who live far away, or if not, I bet I can at least talk my Mom into reading”
For those that have walked this path, you'll certainly understand. Once you've given birth to this kind of project, it will become such a deeply personal experience.
As time went along, it seemed right to include things from different areas of my life. A place to practice my writing and photography skills, share some of the new information about nutrition that I was learning, and expand my repertoire of cooking skills.
So it naturally grew bigger and took more effort than I'd originally planned. Which wasn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, once I started cooking I simply didn't want to stop.
Of course, as with everything in life, is all good. That is until
As you register your domain name and pick your first recipe, your motives are pure, your enthusiasm great. You construct your first post, and the moment you click “Publish” for the first time, whether you realize it or not, all of a sudden made yourself vulnerable; and are about to learn the hard way, that the internet can be a very
“I’ve managed to get into a bit of a depressive funk about butter and brioche too and developed quite a stagnate posting and cooking rut, which has led to a fair deal of reflection on blogging and why I continue to do it.
I had become completely uncommitted to everything I did; too swept up in the apparent picture perfect worlds of my fellow bloggers, food photographers, stylists and writers – comparing the work that makes me unique to the work I deem flawless of others. I also managed to take to heart a fair deal of anonymous criticism, opinion and negative public comment, too – which really made me question my blog, and worse off… myself” ~ Thalia Ho at Butter and Brioche
A fellow blogger and lover of all things dessert. The words of her post, as well as those of all of us who commented, haven't been far from my mind.
A beautiful reminder: when you think you're alone, that you're the only one who's ever felt this way, you're not — this group of incredibly talented women, who echoed her thoughts and offered heartfelt words of encouragement.
All of us have felt the same way, at one time or another.
Call me naive, but I was genuinely surprised by the appearance of critics to this space. An unkind comment waiting to be approved, or email, that seemed to come from nowhere. Admittedly, the first time it happened, I was woefully unprepared to handle it, and even found my bottom lip with the slightest of quivers.
As I went about my day, it would be there, the words, the feeling. Following me as I went to exercise class, dropped the puppies off at daycare, and ran errands. They echoed through my head as I took my morning shower, went for a walk, and ate dinner with my husband.
Once they started, and if left unchecked, the feelings easily took on a life of their own. “Shouldn't there be more visitors to the site each day? Why don't I have more followers on social media? How come nobody commented on the great recipe, I posted, or the story I stayed up late to write. Shoot, that picture could have been better; maybe I should re-write the middle paragraph (again)”
Guard your thoughts
Step away from the computer
Be extremely careful about what you allow to define who you are
The reality is, it can be a terribly harsh world out there. Sometimes the hurt is intentional, sometimes it isn't, though if we're not careful, it can leave a scar either way.
The reality is that we're humans who are trying our best. We're bound to make mistakes, and will unintentionally offend from time to time.
The reality is, once we decide to put ourselves out there, we open ourselves up for scrutiny, and it's easy for us to appear far stronger than we actually are
The reality is, we have a choice about how we respond. We can realize that we'll never be all things to all people and that sometimes the choir will call for a song we're not able to sing. Sometimes we won't know the words, or the rhythm will feel off, or we won't be able to carry a tune.
In those moments, we can quit, or we can continue to try, continue to write, continue to share. We can remember why it is we started in the first place
Nowadays, I'm far more centered, can hit the delete key with ease, and have honed some skills that help me to keep it all in perspective. Realizing that the woman typing today is still the same as she was when it all began, with a mission that really hasn't changed.
I simply want to cook something healthy for dinner, take a few pictures, write a few words, stay connected with those I love, and still hope I can at least talk
my Mom into reading
Over the weekend, we spent part of an afternoon wandering around Whole Foods. I tell you what, if their incredibly beautiful produce department doesn't encourage you to eat your veggies, I'm not sure what else will. My goodness, I could have come home with one of everything
Some of them found their way into this veggie chili. A colorful, satisfying bowl that has all of the deep chili flavor, textural contrast, and richness that the best of them should have.
With its variety of veggies, rich tomato base, and just the right amount of spice, this vegetarian (and vegan) meal is a satisfying option; in only about an hour.
~ Adapted from Taste Of Home
- 4 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 large red onions, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper cut into ½-inch pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
- 1 (15 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 fresh jalapeño finely chopped (including seeds)
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp natural sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
- In a Dutch oven, saute zucchini, onions, and peppers in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with pico de gallo or shredded cheese
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face this afternoon Ali! Xx
I really enjoy your blog… The recipes, the pictures, the flow of words. I only recently began reading and have not commented because I don’t really have anything to say except ” I’m here! I’m reading! I tried that recipe!”
So here I am saying out loud, “don’t listen to the nay-sayers” I love what you do..
Thank-you so much Barb .. not only for reading .. but for your kind words as well.
Well this has been bookmarked, as I’ve been searching for new veggie recipes of late! I love chilli, and this sounds so good! x
Lots of love,
Marina Rosie xx
I absolutely love chilli, it’s a real comfort food for me and this looks fab! x
I’m curled up on the sofa working while my daughter sleeps on me – I could so do with a bowl of your veggie chilli, it looks delicious!
Chilli is one of my favourite foods. Nothing better than curling up on a Saturday evening with a bowl and lashing of crusty bread. Love this recipe and I will be trying it out over the week
Oh i love the sound of this, i love chilli anyway and to have it in veggie form would be perfect for the whole family.
I agree, when I started blogging I had no idea how much as I love it, it would be a cruel world too. I faced a lot of negativity but then again the positives always outweigh the bad. I like the sound of this veggie chilli too, this is what I call good comfort food x
I’d probably add a few more chillis/jalapenos to this, just to spice it up a bit more 😉 I love chilli though, it’s a real comfort food x
A woman after my own heart. While Chilli does make my stomach go a bit funny I can’t help it I love spice. The more, the better x
I probably won’t be making any food that is hot right now because we hit the high 90’s this past weekend. But this does look good and best saved for colder days.
I absolutely love veggie chilli.This sounds so so good.You just made me smile.Thanks!
I’ve recently become a vegetarian (literally two weeks), so I’m sure I’ll be reading your blog religiously!
This sounds delicious, I shall have to give it a go myself 🙂
Big chilli fan here, although we usually have it with beef mince. I will give this a go, I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables into the children!
This is such a beautiful synopsis of how so many of us bloggers feel when we put ourselves out there the way we do. It really can leave scars if we let it get to us. Your advice on how to deal with this is spot-on x
Yummm! This Veggie Chilli looks delicious. I love eating vegan meals lately.
This looks nice. I’m curious what it’s like with the sweet chocolate added to it!
I’m overly sensitive so unfair, mean comments really do upset me. Some just give negative comments for the sake of being mean I have noticed and can only put it down to them having boring or unhappy lives. Why else try to upset others unnecessarily.
I’m always looking for veggie recipes and this looks like a great option. It looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to give it a try.
I love how you write, and your blog is a joy. But I think it is only human nature to feel the worry. For all the positive comments and feedback, it only takes one on the opposite end of the scale to make us feel worried and question what we do.
Great post! I am an extremely sensitive person but I love to write and i love to create so I am therefore learning to handle it better. Your chilli looks awesome too!
oh that veggie chilli looks sooo good – your recipes give me so much envy and make so jealous! Gotta make more time to try out more stuff 🙂
This is ideal comfort food or great for a casual bite to eat when I have friends over. Thank you 🙂 x
Unfortunately there are people who have nothing better to do than criticize others and, from behind the screen of a computer, they think they are big and strong and they can do anything. But the truth is they are some scared little humans that wouldn’t have the courage to say the words they write to someone’s face. The recipe sounds great by the way! 😉
The internet can be a beautiful place but also quite terrible. It depends on what you’re experiencing during that time. I think it’s important that you give yourself a break from all of it and just spend a day or two in peace. I think this chili recipe is a must try! I love that it doesn’t contain any meat at all.
I’ve experienced a lot of things that would push me away from blogging, but then I think about it and I am deeply devoted to writing whether if it’s to inspire others or to simply express my thoughts, I love it. I also would love to try this recipe since it fits my diet perfectly.
Yummy! Chili is one of my fav dishes and when it’s done with healthy veggies it’s even better. Absolutely will give it a try. Thanks once again for a fantastic recipe:)
I am sorry you had such negative people around these corners – what a shame. Your blog is beautiful and this recipe looks delicious!
Yum, I love how warming chilli is and its great to have veggie options rather than always having meat xxx
I can relate to this. I’m not a food blogger but I relate, but I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years so i can’t feel too scared by the experience.
the chilli looks really lovely.
This is a recipe I would try out, I love chilli’s as a nice comfort food 🙂
You’re right, the internet can be a harsh place. I love your blog and the recipes you post though. Especially this one, maybe I could turn this into a child friendly version for my children.
I actually make veggie chilli a lot! Love it and its so simple!
Wow, this is absolutely looks good! I and my hubby was a huge fan of chili. Glad that you share this recipe.
Even though we are not vegetarian we like to eat lots of plant based food so I am bookmarking this to make as it looks fab!