It's a funny thing that happens when one decides to start a
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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.
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 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