On Love, Food, and Giving FEEDback

FEEDback Book Recipe: Parmesan Peppercorn Potato StacksBalsamic-Kissed Strawberry & Beet Smoothies

FEEDback Book Recipe: Salted Peanut Butter Crunch Granola

FEEDback Book Recipe: Flexible Avocado Smoothie Bowls

{February 14, 2018} 

 

Harvest and Honey is not my first (blog) love. No, she’s not the first and who knows? She might not be the last. I actually started another blog – “The DIY Chef” – about 7 years ago and diligently worked my way through a couple of culinary school textbooks, writing and sharing my experiences with my devoted readers (read: my parents and a few very sweet co-workers). It was all very Julie and Julia of me and it was there, right on those “pages” where I fell in love with food blogging. I loved the whole of it – the learning and the sharing and the capturing of food in all sorts of different ways. The how-to’s, the how-comes, the why’s and the why nots … the whens and the “just don’t bothers.” If I really think about it now, I have, for better or for worse, reinvented myself as a curious food lover in more ways than I can almost count at this point . . .

 

Recipe contest enterer (and winner!)

Restaurant reviewer

Food writer

Food photographer

Food stylist

Cookbook author

Food blogger

 

My affection for and curiosity about the culinary world is endless, if nothing else. It’s one of the truest loves I’ve ever had and I’ve never tired of exploring it, though admittedly and very recently, I have faltered a bit. After over 4 years of very steady, head-down and fully focused work on this blog of mine – Harvest and Honey – I will admit to having grown a little restless with it, with this space. The motivation seemed to have drained out a bit as of late, which was such a strange feeling (or lack thereof) seeing as how I’ve been almost overwhelmed by inspiration and passion for this blog for years now. It’s interesting to me that this has never happened before – this draining of affection and desire to pursue work here, in this space.

I can tell you that is does feel good to say that “out loud” to you here. Really good, actually. Phew. I am nothing if not an open book.

And so, on this day during which we are all supposed to champion and celebrate and enshrine that and those which we love the most  . . . will you be my valentine?  . . . I have found myself stepping back and reevaluating my own love for this blog. Why do I love it so much? What keeps bringing me back to the literal and figurative table day after day, week after week, and year after year? All the cooking and shooting and cleaning up of said cooking and shooting, all of the editing and writing and feelings of vulnerability and doubt, feelings of confidence and self-assuredness . . . the feeling that you’re a part of a vast community and the feeling of also being an outsider in that very same community. Success. Failure. Love. Hate.

Love.

The best kind of love is the kind that weathers the storm. The kind that sticks around through the thick and the thin, the better and the worst of the worse. I think that’s how I feel about this little online space of mine, which just rounded the corner past it’s 4th birthday. My tagline is “an open-ended love letter, culinarily inspired,” and it rings so true even now, several years after I first typed it into the “tagline” box when I was creating my blog for the first time. It’s the “open-ended” nature of this project that keeps me coming back to the table; that keeps me wanting more. There’s no destination or specific goal in mind with this – it’s a question-marked, blurry-edged, abyss of what’s to come. The end is in fact, open, and that keeps me coming back . . . even after faltering a little as I have recently. I want to see what will happen next.

FEEDback Books: Savory Cheddar and Chive Waffles Oatmeal BowlsFeedBack BooksFEEDback Book Recipe: Flexible Avocado Smoothie BowlsFEEDback Book Recipe: Savory Cheddar and Chive Waffled Oatmeal Bowls

 

If you turn your attention to the tab just to the far right on my navigation menu (or, the very bottom of the menu if you’re on a mobile device) you’ll see the words “FEEDback Books.” These books are a project that I’m really proud of and excited about, and just like this blog itself, they’re a totally open-ended endeavor – I truly have no clue what I’m doing or how they will be received. But not knowing an outcome is a silly reason not to do something, right? Right.

Over the coming year, I am going to be releasing a series of $5 mini e-books for your cooking and viewing pleasure. These small, 6 to 8-recipe cookbooks will each have a theme (for example: brunch) and be written with a minimalist approach: to help justify spending five bucks, I will try to avoid asking you to purchase or use anything that is really necessary to the recipe’s ultimate success. Additionally, each book will have a special guest blogger or chef contributor who will share a recipe of their own as well, to round out the book. When you cook from the books and use #feedbackbooks on your various social media channels, you will be entered to win prizes in our monthly giveaways, thanks to my wonderfully generous sponsors and donors.

All of the proceeds of these FEEDback Books will be donated to charities that are working to fight issues of global hunger and food insecurity, a cause that is near and dear to my heart (Action Against Hunger, for example). I live knees-deep in a world of food every day in one way or another, and never have had to question or worry about where my food will come from … whether it will even come at all. I don’t take this for granted and I’m hoping that this project of mine, however small its impact may be, will help to shine another light on an issue that effects so many. Eat well, have fun and do some good. That’s the idea. Every little bit helps.

So, if you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to join my FEEDback project and cook from these books with me! The first one, Keep on the Sunny Side, is dedicated to brunch and has several **delicious ** and easy recipes to help bridge together your breakfast and lunch hours as only brunch can. Most of them are pictured here.

 

Parmesan Peppercorn Potato Stacks with Pesto Cream

Balsamic-Kissed Strawberry & Beet Smoothies

Flexible Avocado Smoothie Bowls

Savory Cheddar and Chive Waffled Oatmeal Bowls

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

DIY Bloody Mary Mix (from Jayme of Holly and Flora)

 

Thanks in advance for your support, guys. I’m hopeful that these little bitty books will do a little bit of good. And that you’ll enjoy the recipes as much as we do.

 

xo,

Lauren

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