Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
With a photo like that, do I really need any words?!
I firmly believe that in order to start off the New Year properly, one must have chocolate. And lots of it.
Janet, wonderful customer of my husband’s company brought these Chocolate & Toffee Barks into the office a few months ago. While totally intended for Russ, one of Digital Doctor’s helpful techs, I snuck a piece.
Crunchy. Chocolatey, Nutty. Toffeeeey.
And then snagged another.
Crap. I was addicted, and had to email Janet for her recipe, partly because I needed to feed my new addiction…but mostly because I had to replenish the stash that I snuck. Surprisingly, it was no more than a handful of ingredients that I already had on hand and the only skill needed was stirring, spreading, chilling and eating.
Christmas Eve, as I was spreading the melted dark chocolate for these treats, I had an epiphany. As defined by Websters with my edit in red:
“a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience or SPREADING CHOCOLATE.”
Suddenly, the motion of spreading gooey heavenly chocolate was much more than just Step 3 of a recipe. IT WAS THE ANSWER.
What is it that transcends a normal food blog into Internet Foodblog Superstardom? Here’s the beginning of Steamy Secrets to Food Blog-Whoring.
Now, I know some of you are just food blogging to share with close friends, family and blog-friends. Great. But…some of you yearn for something a bit more…maybe the next level where you can actually make some moolah from blogging? Maybe a food career? Become a professional food blogger? Be a food blog stupidstar? Have a big ego? (check)
I really think that 2008 will the year of the food bloggers. Food reality competitions are soooo 2007, and the Food Network was soooo 2006. (well, for me, anyways. and i bet you one day, i might just eat my words). My fav celeb chefs are the ones who make themselves accessible – Zimmern, Ruhlman, Greenspan, Gower, Nguyen, and others I’m sure I’ve left out. These are chefs who enjoy a dedicated, proactive, progressive and massively influential fans (psst…that us, the food bloggers.)
Here’s my take. If you’ve always had a dream to make a little splash in the food world, why not go for it in ’08?
Listen well, young grasshoppa. A blog-whore you shall learn to be.
First off, I’ve always said that any moron can come up with a recipe.
Case in point. The World Wrestling Federation has a friggin’ cookbook. Savory Smackdown? Seriously.
So, given that recipes are a dime a dozen, there is is an exception:
You see, these are recipes, tips and tricks that are so simple, readers get an uncontrollable urge to just swiftly flick their wrist, and click on the del.icio.us button so that the link is safely tucked away for fu.tur.e re.fere.nce. These are also recipes and tips that popular food blogs, like Epicurious, Chowhound, SlashFood, The Ktchn, Stumbleupon and Lifehacker enjoy highlighting.
The lesson is to add value.
Great Cooking Tips. What’s a kitchen tip that saves you SO much money, time or hassle? How much time/money does it save? How did you come up with the tip? Give some practical applications. Remake Popular Recipes. Take a popular recipe and make it even better. Ok, so my No Knead Bread post didn’t really remake the recipe, but I bribed my son to be chef with a whale tattoo and showed that it was so simple that a 4 yr old could bake bread. Google “No-Knead Bread” and I think I come up #2. Anyone have a pet orangutan? Bread so easy an chimp could make it! (kidding guys…kidding)
Wanna know what are popular recipes?
When I started this blog 11 months ago, it was because of these wonderful, generous folks who inspired, nudged, cheered, befriended, laughed with and advised me. Some gave me a start in my food career. Others wooed me with food porn (and inspired me to be a food photographer). One special friend coached me on television presence and inspired me to garden. And my most dearest friends, Julie, Lisa and Kelly were my homegirl cheerleaders.
And hey, my turn to give back to this year’s crop of young padawans new food bloggers. Steamy Secrets will be an ongoing series as long as I have the brain capacity to continue. Next week, I’ll share with you my top secrets of food photography for people who ARE NOT professional food photographers (because I’m not one either!)
I’ll teach you how to take drool-worthy photos like this:
So, what Steamy Secrets would you like to learn? (ahem….about BLOGGING I mean)
A great treat that you can customize to your liking. Substitute with milk chocolate chips, those fancy white chocolate chips, pecans, walnuts, pistachios (ooooh that would be pretty).
note: the Dark Chocolate & Toffee Macadamia Bark takes 2 hours to chill.
½ box of graham crackers
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ lb butter (2 sticks)
3 cups dark chocolate chips (or your favorite chocolate bars, broked up in small pieces)
1 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts (or other nut if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a lipped baking sheet with a layer of tin foil. Arrange a single layer of graham crackers in the pan without overlapping. In a small saucepan, melt butter and add the sugars. Whisk to dissolve. Let boil and simmer for 5 minutes on low. Very carefully pour mixture onto the graham crackers, working quickly with a spatula to even out the layer. Bake 10 minutes. Remove and evenly spread out the chocolate chips and leave it to melt for 5 minutes. Using spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly. Top with chopped nuts. Let cool. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Break pieces.
Share with the world.