Friday, December 12, 2014

Quarterly Bites: Winter 2014

As 2014 draws to a close more and more of our time is spent indoors, reflecting on the past 12 months and preparing for a new year full of new opportunities.

Lizz Delicious is officially 3 years old! I began my food blog in December of 2011 after receiving nearly 100% food-related gifts for Christmas. It has been a wonderful and fulfilling journey though not without its challenges.

For 2015, you'll notice a few changes. To start, let me introduce to you my "Quarterly Bites." On the 1st day of February, May, August, and November I will be publishing what most people will refer to as blog posts. Mine, however, will be constructed like newsletters. They will include relevant information concerning the goings-on at the Lizz Delicious homestead as well as seasonal inspirations and recipes, product recommendations, promotions, and the like. You'll be receiving the same great information that you would via weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly blog posts but more concentrated and useful. To sign up via email, click here. Otherwise, be sure that you're following Lizz Delicious on Facebook or Google+ as the newsletter links will be shared on those pages automatically.

The rest of the site will become more developed with helpful resources and guides and will be geared more toward helping you on your vegan or plant-based journey. I'm really looking forward to it!

What's New With Lizz
Married life has been great so far! It has been over 2 months and the only thing that's changed is how much my love for my wife has grown. The two of us have set a goal for ourselves for the coming year; we're going to go backpacking. It's going to require some training on our part but it will be well worth the hard work. In fact, if you'd like to follow us on our progress you can do so by subscribing to a blog I created to share our adventures called Expedition Me & You.

In regards to recipe and book development, I am collecting most of my plant-based recipes in a manuscript that I intend to publish some time next year. This will be a print best pressure cooker reviews cookbook targeted toward those vegans who want to eat healthier but may not be 100% oil free or gluten free, for instance, though most of the recipes so far are oil-free. I'm having great fun with this one! It will consist primarily of quick, healthy meals for every skill level but will also contain healthier desserts and weekend baking for those who may be interested. Also, I am developing another e-book for vegan pizza fiends. This one will also be geared toward those of us who want to eat healthier but who also want our food to taste good and not necessarily like cardboard! You'll find recipes in it for whole grain crusts, homemade sauces, faux meats, and nut based cheeses. More details will come after the beginning of the year. To help me with developing recipes, though, I would love to hear about what your favorite pizza is. Making pizza is a personal thing, so if you have recommendations for the best. Pizza. Ever. I really would love to hear about it. Comment on this post or reach out to me via Facebook.

Seasonal Inspiration
For those of you looking to add some more holiday flavor into your menu this week, take a gander at these recipes I've previously published on Lizz Delicious. They may just be what you're looking for!

When it comes to gifts, shopping for vegans can be a bit tricky. Take a look at my list of 15 Great Vegan Stocking Stuffer Ideas for starters. Then, if you're on the crafty side, don't forget to check out my e-book of vegan "gifts in a jar." Vegan Glass Jar Goodies shows you how to make 10 different recipes for layered mixes in jars that can be made for absolutely any occasion. Click here for 3 free recipes from the book!


Frothy Hot Cocoa
This issue's recipe is for a thick, sweet, chocolatey vegan hot cocoa. It's warming, filling, and very easy to make.

Ingredients
2 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Directions
In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients. Set to medium heat. Whisk frequently until the mixture starts to bubble. At the first sign of bubbles, whisk constantly for 5 minutes until all ingredients are fully incorporated and heated through. If desired, top with homemade coconut whipped cream or serve with vegan marshmallows, a cinnamon stick, or a candy cane.

Makes 2 servings.

Product Recommendations
The lovely folks at Lilly's Sweets sent me a couple of bags of their vegan dark chocolate baking chips in November. They are not only dairy-free but are also sugar-free, sweetened with stevia. I actually really like stevia as a sweetener, but my wife does not. When I used the baking chips in a batch of blondies, she was absolutely amazed at how similar they tasted to regular baking chips. Yum! They made an excellent addition to my black bean brownies, too, as well as to an oatmeal breakfast cookie (scone) I whipped up, too. If you're a health-conscious individual looking to cut out a few calories, you should give them a try.

In Closing
Don't forget to take a break this holiday season. So many of us rush around trying to do everything when we all know that it just isn't possible. The less happy you are the less happy you'll be able to make anyone else! Disconnect from the internet for a few minutes each night. Read a relaxing book. Take up a new hobby. Just remember, if you don't feel like you can get everything done, you probably can't. Ask for help or just save your ideas for next year instead.

Happy holidays! See you next year! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Taking A Break (At Enchanted Rock)

Never before have I understood why there are such things as wedding planners.

The past couple of months have been absolutely full of wedding planning, shopping, and scheming. And we're still not done with everything. It's less than one month now, people, and we're definitely feeling the pressure.

Which is why we packed up our bags Saturday morning and hit the road toward Fredericksburg.

Chris decided that all she wanted for her birthday was a tent. She's a big astronomy nerd and she has about reached the maximum of what she can see in the city with her telescope. The light pollution is just so terrible in Austin. Our hope was to spend some time stargazing at Enchanted Rock this weekend, but as the clouds rolled in and the chance of rain increased we realized that would not be part of our trip.

We did, however, go anyway.

The two of us started our day by puttering her Volkswagen up to the dealership. Even though the car had been there a few days before, it had started making a rattling noise inside the engine and definitely needed to be looked at. Chris has been struggling with cars for the past couple of years. Her baby, a 1998 Mustang, finally reached a point beyond repair last year. We traded her in for the VW. The price was right. But apparently that was because there were a bunch of things wrong with it. We've got $1700 left to pay on it, but depending on how the car does at the dealership we may be about to part ways. Yes, it is that bad. We won't know until Tuesday (hopefully). Until then we'll be getting practise as a one car family.

We hit up HEB afterward in order to procure camping supplies and groceries for the rest of the week. Home was next. We loaded the car, grabbed the poodle, and headed to REI for a lantern. And then, we were off!

Just as the rain started coming down!

Like in most instances, the weatherman was off in his estimate of when the rain would cease. The two of us scrambled to assemble the tent between showers once we arrived. Rather difficult without any practise, you know! When finally in a tent-like shape, the three of us huddled inside waiting for the drops to subside. They finally did, around dinnertime.



The two of us grilled a couple of zucchini and a bunch of vegan hot dogs. We happily ate them while we grilled a pineapple for dessert. It was at this point that Rusty made it quite clear that he did not enjoy camping. He either sat or stood and watched us quizzically as if asking us what on Earth we were doing, eating outside, sitting outside, doing nothing outside?? Who were all these people he could hear and not see?? Why was it so cold? And so forth. Eventually, he wound up in Chris's lap and fell asleep. Then, the two of us humans read until the sun began to set and then played an easier version of 20 questions in the dark.

Sleeping was troublesome. A large church group with many, many teenagers remained loud into the night. We also had neighbors close to us chopping wood very late and shouting swear words for no apparent reason. Oh, and the cement under the tent? Extremely uncomfortable. I awoke every few hours out of pain and had to turn over. Tent pad in our future? I think, yes.

We took turns eating granola and drinking cold brew coffee for breakfast. We loaded the car and drove to the Enchanted Rock trail.

I very much enjoyed photographing the local flora and fauna. Most visitors seemed to as well. There were, in fact, many, many visitors today. Enchanted Rock is so popular they sometimes have to close for a couple of hours to prevent there being too many people on the site itself.

It took us awhile to reach the top. Chris is still suffering from a foot injury she obtained while training for her 5k. She did a great, job, though, and so did our adventure poodle. Mr. Rusty enjoyed hiking a lot more than he enjoyed camping, that's for sure.


Now that looks fun to climb, no?

Considering the time of year, the rain really was a good thing. Otherwise the heat would have been oppressive and neither of us would have wanted to climb the Rock at all. Even with it being cooler the humidity made for a challenge.



It's almost like being on the top of Texas. Hahaha.

And at this hour in one month we will be wife and wife. Now that's one adventure I'm really looking forward to!


Until next time!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Annapurna's World Vegetarian Cafe

So this is super crazy, you guys, but it's just over three months until my wedding! I cannot get over how close we're getting, not to mention how much stuff the two of us still need to do before the big day. I am beside myself with giddiness, glee, and excitement. This weekend will be all about the food. Yes, I'm a crazy whackjob and am trying to devise a way to cater the thing myself. It's not that unrealistic, okay? For starters, we're expecting less than 30 people. It's also going to take place midday. I'm also going to have lots of help from my family setting up, if push comes to shove. I'm all about getting my hands dirty in order to get things done. That's actually how I have fun. But anyway! Fun times this weekend.

It's been almost two months since Chris and I headed to Santa Fe to scope out our venue, catering options, and hotel. Of course, we were also excited to go on a mini-vacation. Vegans are no different about travel than anyone else, you know? I absolutely needed to visit the vegetarian restaurants there. The two of us had dinner at Annapurna's World Vegetarian Cafe that Friday night. The ayurvedic vegetarian eatery boasts an extensive menu with daily specials and an ever-changing bakery case. A lot of the items are not only vegetarian but are also vegan, can be made vegan, or are also gluten-free.

For dinner, I ordered the lentil-based Veggie Burger. 


I expected something spicy but the lentil patty ended up being 100% palatable and not frightening to someone with a low heat tolerance like myself. I particularly enjoyed the bun! Light and fluffy. I may have tasted a bit of potato starch or flour in there. It had a sweetness to it I found to be quite pleasurable.


Chris, meanwhile, ordered the South Indian Sampler.


The combo plate featured a savory pancake stuffed with vegetables, a soup with dumplings, and a savory doughnut.


Of course, she loved everything.


I adored my masala fries. They were the spiciest portion of my meal and even though I had difficulty fitting all of this food in my belly I made sure that I finished them. And yeah, I ordered dessert.


The last time I had pecan pie it had been made by my grandfather. I wasn't really fond of it, but I wanted to give it another chance. After all, vegan and gluten-free pecan pie had to be different, right? Well, it was most definitely different than my grandfather's but I can't say my mind has been changed about this type of dessert. I enjoyed it, but I probably wouldn't order it again. It's a texture thing. The flavor was great; delicate cinnamon and spice filling covered the chewy pecans while the doughy gluten-free crusty supported everything without getting mushy. I ended up eating mostly just the pecans and the crust. Gooey filling just isn't up my alley, I guess.

Chris indulged in a giant biscotti covered in chocolate. Now THAT was good. Also gluten-free. Soft and flavorful, definitely delicious.

I enjoyed the atmosphere the most. I mean, look at the light coming in through the window! The decor is exotic and inviting. Very soft music can be heard overhead. Outdoor seating is available, too. The deli style ordering is a bit of a challenge, especially if you want to add something on to your order. My advice is to make sure you order everything you may want when you get there so you won't have to wait in line again for dessert, or for another drink.

We had originally wanted Annapurna's to cater our wedding, but if all goes to plan I'm going to save a lot of money while being able to offer all of my guests food they're more familiar with. We'll see this weekend. At any rate, interested persons wishing to dine at Annapurna's can do so at any of their three locations; two in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe. In case you are looking to eat some non-veg, you should try the best electric smoker guide on thehouseofbbq.com.

If you'd like to read more about our weekend in Santa Fe scoping things our for our October wedding, take a look at this post here. You'll get to see photos from our venue! If you're interested in more vegan options in Santa Fe, you can also take a look at my Thai Vegan write-up.

Oh, My! Tomato Pie!

When I first moved to Austin, Kerbey Lane Cafe was my favorite place to eat. I tried nearly every vegetarian thing on the menu. Then I went vegan, limiting my options a bit. Vegan pancakes and the breakfast platter became my usual picks. I have always been intrigued by their seasonal menus, which unfortunately don't usually have vegan options. The highlight of the summer menu is their Tomato Pie. I have never tried it but have always been intrigued.

So I decided to make tomato pie at home.

For starters, I used the all-knowing master of knowledge, Google, to see if any copycat recipes had been shared for Kerbey Lane Tomato Pie. Surprise! The KLC blog posted a recipe themselves. How about that?

I have made two versions of this pie since discovering the recipe online. The photos are from the first attempt, which I felt worked the best.

I'm not really good with pie crust... I made a traditional pie crust from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook with regular flour and vegetable shortening. It was quite flaky and pleasant but it didn't roll very well at all and barely came to the edge of my pie plate. But it looks pretty darned good, eh?



Of course I was pleased to discover how incredibly tasty tomato pie is. In fact, I loved it. And it didn't really take that long to make, either. I typically shy away from dishes that require a lot of prep, but this baby was absolutely worth it. We were having seconds by 7:30.

The only challenge I really had was interpreting the instructions provided by the KLC blog. I'm not sure they're accurate... Maybe it's more like user error. Who's to say? The original recipe called for four tomatoes. It didn't specify which kind. It didn't indicate what size pie crust or pan to use, either. So, perhaps my pie plate was a bit too small for the original recipe, though I don't know how you could have fit that many tomatoes in a deep dish sized pie plate, either! Anyway, I used their recipe to inspire mine and I hope my version inspires you!



INGREDIENTS
2 ripe hothouse or beefsteak tomatoes, cut into thick slices
Salt, divided
10 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu, pressed for at least 20 minutes and liquid drained off
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1-2 tablespoons plain Vegenaise
Pre-made vegan 9-inch pie crust or your favorite recipe (see note)
Vegan Parmesan, optional
Kalamata olives and fresh basil, for garnish

DIRECTIONS
Note, the second time I made this dish I tried my hand at a whole grain crust. I used 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup cornmeal, 1/8 cup refined coconut oil, and 1/4 cup water. I mixed it in a food processor until crumbly, then added an additional 1/8 cup water until the dough became soft and stretchy. I rolled it out on a well-floured surface and then transferred to the pie plate. I poked the bottom with a fork a few times and then baked it at 400 degrees for 11 minutes, until it started to look golden. It was crisp on top and had an excellent flavor! Anyway, moving on.

Place your sliced tomatoes on a wire rack over the sink. Sprinkle them with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, then flip and repeat. You're trying to drain out as much liquid from the tomatoes as possible! Don't go too crazy with the salt, but sprinkle them evenly.

In a small bowl, combine the fresh basil and onions. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, thoroughly squish the tofu with your hands until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Vegenaise, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well with a fork or a wooden spoon.

When the tomatoes have sat long enough, press them each between two paper towels to remove additional liquid. Press firmly but don't mutilate them! Then dice the tomatoes into small pieces.

If your pie crust isn't pre-baked, bake it in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. It should be light brown.

To assemble the pie, layer half of the onion and basil mixture on the bottom. Then add the diced tomatoes. Top with the remaining onion and basil mixture. Pour the tofu mixture (effectively, the tofu cheese) over it. Push down with your fingers or a fork to ensure the tofu is pressed well into every nook and cranny. If you're using a smaller pie dish, like I did, you may have a little extra. If able, use a deep dish pan. If not, that's okay. If you want to use the extra tofu in something else, go ahead. Be creative!

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with a nice layer of vegan Parmesan cheese. I used a homemade recipe from the Non-Dairy Formulary. Bake for an additional 15 minutes until the Parmesan is nice and browned! If not using the Parmesan, bake for 45 minutes altogether.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with chopped olives and fresh basil. We ate ours with fresh green beans lightly sauteed in grapeseed oil and minced garlic!

Makes 4-6 servings. Depending on how much you love it. ;-)

Dont' forget to Pin It! Just click here to add it to your boards:
http://pinterest.com/pin/214624738467462343/

By the way, did you know that Tuesday is also known as Tofu Tuesday?? I have been sharing tofu recipes with readers via social networks where tofu is the main ingredient. If you'd like to join in on Twitter, click here to tweet about this recipe. Also be sure to check out some of my other tofu-centric dishes, like my Tofu Shawarma and Veganized Paula Deen Collard Greens(with tofu bacon bits).

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A New Addition to the Family

Last year I shared with you the story of a stray cat that wound up on our porch. We nicknamed her Porchy as a result. This poor little dear was emaciated and pregnant. We started feeding her and set about finding her a foster family that could take care of her while she was carrying her kittens. She had 6 adorable fluffy babies, all girls. They named them after princesses and found them all homes. Afterward, they brought Porchy to a feral cat colony, but a few weeks later she miraculously appeared on our Porch once more.

Porchy and her babies



















We were told that she wasn't indoor cat material. She had been dubbed "Shredder" by her foster family. But we continued to look after her and she continued to faithfully sleep on our porch each night. As winter approached, we constructed her a cat house from a large plastic container. As temperatures plummeted, we purchased a heated bed for her, too. She started following me on my walks with Rusty, hiding in the bushes mostly but attending to us nonetheless.

A few days after we returned from Santa Fe, she started favoring one of her front paws over another. Within a matter of days her condition visibly worsened. I thought about bringing her to the vet constantly and ultimately did so the same week. They were scared of her at the vet since she was technically a feral or stray cat, but she behaved perfectly while they handled her. The vet determined that she was in a bad cat fight. She had bitten her lip really bad. It swelled up and made her start drooling a lot. She also appeared to have a bad cat bite on the paw that was swelling up. He gave her a steroid injection and a slow release antibiotic and sent us home.

Dr. Hardy, our new vet, suggested that we keep her inside for at least 24 hours. Chris and I emotionally struggled over whether or not we should add a new cat to our household. We live in an apartment and were at our two pet maximum currently. Our current cat was also very spirited. And we also feared that keeping Porchy inside would make her depressed. After the 24 hours, the two of us opted to try keeping her inside long term. We brought her to Emancipet to be tested for feline diseases that weekend. After she received a clean bill of health, back home we went and she the integration process began.

She seemed to improve a lot within the next week. At the end of week two, though, she had stopped coming out from her cat house voluntarily. She seemed to be getting depressed and lethargic. I was worried that she missed going outside and that we had hit a brick wall with incorporating her into our family.

Then, one evening, I was petting her while she ate. Suddenly, an abscess on her chest we were unaware of burst all over the floor. It was possibly the grossest and scariest thing that had ever happened to me. The cat seemed fine, of course, but having never had this happen to me before I quickly freaked out. After calling several veterinarians for advice and to schedule her a visit, I calmed down. We brought her back to Dr. Hardy the next day, despite having been told by friends that it would cost a small fortune to fix her up.

Porchy was dropped off at Dr. Hardy's office. They examined her, cleaned her wound, gave her more medicine, sent us home with ointment, and only charged us about $40. I was amazed.

For about a week and a half I have been giving her a warm compress each night followed by ointment. Her wound is drastically improved and she is once again very social. She is still very skiddish, she is wary of Chris, but she comes out of her cat house and even ventures into the bedroom and living room on occasion. I am beyond thrilled. She is a doll. All of the animals are getting along quite well. Porchy is on the mend. Life, in general, is good.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Earth Burger - Now Open!

Make no mistake, my favorite vegetarian restaurant is +Green Vegetarian Cuisine  in San Antonio, Texas. That's why I was so excited to hear that they had decided to expand. They now have two locations in SA and one in Houston. They also recently opened their first+Earth Burger, a fast-food burger and sandwich joint that is 100% vegetarian.

I had been following this project since they started promoting it last year. I backed their Kickstarter, too. I just really wanted this project to come to fruition. Mostly because I want them to open a location in Austin, hahaha. When word came that they would be open at the beginning of June, I excitedly asked my partner if we could go there for my birthday. And, as I am spoiled, she said, "of course," and we celebrated my 32nd day of birth by going to San Antonio during Earth Burger's opening weekend.

First, the two of us biked along the San Antonio greenway on a portion of the Salado Creek Loop. The temperature averaged 90 degrees but a cool breeze and a steady speed kept us from burning in the Texas heat. Absolutely dreamy! Take a look.


Big skies, vibrant colors, peace, and serenity.

I should mention, however, that this photo was taken just after I fell off my bike. True story! My shoelace got caught in my pedal, I braked, and proceeded to fall onto my side. So graceful. We tucked my laces into my shoes and moved on!


I really recommend this trail. And I wish they had something remotely as wonderful in Austin. I mean, really.

The portion of the trail we traveled is near the San Antonio International Airport. Seeing the planes fly by made us feel like little kids again. With kids all around the house, the place does get very messy which is why I suggest everyone to have the best canister vacuum for hardwood floors
 at home.
I have very fond recollections of getting French fries from McDonald's and driving out to the Manchester airport in New Hampshire with my brother and father, staring up through the front window of the car watching the jets land. It's rare that you can get so close to planes like that these days!


Needless to say, as a beginner biker I was pooped after our nearly 8 mile adventure. We couldn't get to Earth Burger fast enough as far as I was concerned. Thankfully, it took us less than 10 minutes to get there!!

I feel odd saying it this way, but unfortunately by the time we arrived there weren't any seats available, inside or out. I'm definitely glad to have seen it so busy. Immensely so. I just would have preferred some air conditioning! Instead, Chris and I pulled up a patch of grass and enjoyed our meal.


Pictured above is Chris's "Spicy Chik-n Sandwich." It came topped with tomato, onion, lettuce, and Sriracha vegan mayo. She loved it.


And I ordered the "Chopped BBQ Sandwich" made from TVP and drowning in a sweet barbecue sauce. It came with onions and pickles. The bun was so light and fluffy. Really flavorful. It paired excellently with the seasoned crinkle fries and Dr. Pepper. Hey, it's Texas. Kind of required.

We had ordered desserts and were told that we could come back in to pick them up when we were finished. I had a concern for the well-being of my ice cream sitting outside. I wanted coconut soft serve not coconut soup. I gobbled it up in the car on the drive home. I just love the texture of their soft serve. Thick, creamy, and smooth. The coconut flavor was light but strong enough to put off a coconut hater for sure. 

There are a number of reasons why you should visit Earth Burger. First and foremost is obviously that the food is delicious. Then there's the fact that everything is affordable. A combo is $8 and that includes the burger/sandwich, fries, and a drink. It filled me up so much that I didn't eat dinner until 8 o'clock later that day. Also, the concept is a long time coming. We need more vegetarian fast food restaurants. We also need them to be locally owned and vegetarian operated, just like Earth Burger and Green. This family goes above and beyond, too. Did you know that they use biodegradable plastic cups and straws? Brilliant.

Let's all make sure we support Earth Burger. While no plans have been announced to expand into other cities, the best way to plant that bug in their ear is to give them your business. You can find them at the Park North Shopping Center, 818 NW Loop 410 in San Antonio open Sunday to Thursday 10a-10p and Friday 10a-8p. CLOSED SATURDAY. Visitwww.EatAtEarthBurger.com for more information and for a complete menu!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Blog, My Content

At the beginning of this year I decided to step it up a notch when it came to blogging. As a member of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance I am exposed to a number of amazing blogs on a daily basis. They're extremely active, well photographed, and full of varied content including recipes, reviews, giveaways, and so, so much more. I wanted to be like these blogs. Who wouldn't want to be that awesome?

So I signed up for a couple of PR directories so I could get regular offers from companies that were supposed to align with my blog's purpose. I also started sending out monthly newsletters to readers, each containing a new recipe with personal notes on what's been going on with me. Around this time I also signed up to create recipes once per month for the website All About Vegan Food.

Everything went really well for a few months. And then, what seemed like all of a sudden, I just did not want to blog about anything anymore. I started thinking about why I felt this way. Here's what I came up with.

  1. The powers that be typically recommend that you post a new blog entry at least once per week to keep generating new and return site traffic. While I had been able to maintain this for a couple of years before, I was somehow struggling with it now. Probably because I have additional hobbies and interests now. And I had the added tasks to creating my newsletter and contributing to another website. The weekend would creep up on me and my brain screamed, "Ugh! I have to write another blog post!"
  2. My inbox was inundated with offers for free content and interview requests. And then follow ups to those emails I did not dignify with a response. And they were mostly for providing me with content like recipes that my "readers will love." You know, for like bacon bowls and great barbecue. Right up my alley! A very small percentage of offers were related to actual vegan-friendly products. I would say that most PR groups don't even look at a blog or their description in the directory they use before sending out offers.
  3. The hostile atmosphere of blogging has reared its head on me more than once in the past six months. I've experienced this in times previous while running other blogs before I started Lizz Delicious. Essentially, while I have tried to foster a spirit of community, encouraging vegan bloggers to work together through offering guest posts on my blog, trying to organize blog parties, and searching for content to use in my recipe roundups, the majority of writers are only concerned with their own content, seeking likes and plus ones and re-tweets and not reciprocating. They want to know if you'll write about them on your blog, or if you'll review their book. But they never have any option to cross-promote. Because, I would presume, they're more focused on being successful than they are on interacting with the rest of the community.


These three things were stressing me out so much that I really thought about just not blogging anymore. Why keep doing it if it was no longer fun? After a couple of days, though, that seemed kind of drastic. I therefore contemplated how I could remedy my fractured relationship with blogging. I've consequently come up with a new premise for Lizz Delicious, though the only thing that will really change is my attitude toward, blogging, hahaha.

Basically, I'm going forward operating under the concept of being a "cookbook author with a personal blog" as opposed to being a "food blogger." I feel like this will suit me better. Of course, I'm still going to write 1-2, maybe 3 posts per month, but they're going to be about me, or they'll be for a new recipe, or about a restaurant I just tried out. I'm not going to do product reviews, giveaways, or shared content anymore. I just don't have the time. I would rather provide my readers with quality content as opposed to frequent syndicated nonsense. And my true passion is recipe development. I am in love with the new cookbook I'm working on. That's the only thing I really want to focus on right now.

I just wish I figured this out earlier. I feel like I would be further along developing my next cookbook, or I would have been able to share more recipes with you. This is a lesson I feel like a lot of bloggers could benefit from, which is why I'm sharing my story here. Don't try to make your blog into something it's not. We're raised being told to be ourselves and your blog should be no different. Do your own thing. Write what makes you happy. Don't conform. You will lose that battle!

Thanks for reading, you guys. I appreciate each and every one of you. I couldn't ask for a better audience :-)