Refections on 10 Years of Food Blogging

basil potted plant

 

One of my greatest pleasures during the summer months is to have fresh basil growing all over my backyard, some in planters and pots and some in the ground. Basil is my hands down absolute favorite herb, just the smell of it makes me happy. I often have a big bouquet of it sitting on my kitchen island.

It’s my go-to herb and I use it in too many dishes to mention here. Making fresh basil pesto is another summer pleasure of mine, I’m happy when I know I have a stash packed away in my freezer as well as my fridge, especially when I pull a jar out in the dead of winter.
fresh basil

 

Talking about basil brings me back to the very first post I wrote on this blog written August 15, 2007. Yes, this August will mark my tenth year of Proud Italian Cook, I honestly can’t believe it’s been ten years, where did the time go? One thing I know for sure is that the older I get the faster time flies by.

I didn’t know a thing about starting and maintaining a blog back then I just knew I wanted to do it. I was reading a small group of blogs at the the time and I thought what a fun hobby and a nice visual way to document my own recipes for family. With the help of my daughter we got it up and running then little by little I started to learn the technical aspects, how to actually take pictures, write something and post it. It was a huge challenge for me because my brain has a problem comprehending technical issues, and I made a ton of mistakes.

The first time I hit “publish” I was so stressed out, what was I thinking? I have no clue what I’m doing here, this is way over my head. If anything went wrong behind the scenes I would be in pure panic mode until it was fixed, my poor husband had to deal with me through it all.

Sometimes I look back on older posts of mine and I cringe at my writing and pictures of food where I used my flash. Apparently I use to write with caps quite often, I guess I really wanted to get my point across. The grammar police would have a field day with my writing, I still have issues with commas and exclamation points! (see what I mean).

The best perk of blogging and one I never even thought existed back then was the community of people that I would virtually meet along the way, some even face to face, bloggers and followers who share the same passion as I do. They have been a source of encouragement and support and have inspired me with all they do as well as their positive comments, and for that I am eternally grateful.

It’s fair to say that if I never started my little food blog, my world would be a very different place.

 

making pesto

 

Yes, things are quite different in the blogging world today since the time I first started, it’s not as small and personal as it use to be, social media outlets are rapidly changing. Sometimes I wonder if the blog platform will still be relevant for the next generation, things like snapchatting keeps them very busy. Over the years I have seen blogs come and go, maybe it just wasn’t fun anymore, too much competition or worrying about ranking and SEO, if that’s the case I would agree, quit, the joy is gone.

Having a blog is a major commitment and time consuming and you certainly wouldn’t want to waste your precious time if it felt like a burden. On the flip side if you enjoy it, find your niche, add good content, tell a story and speak in your own true voice, your honesty will shine through and people will connect and want to follow you, and in my case throw in a good recipe every now and then.

 

basil pesto

 

I feel like I’m evolving in my old age, I very recently went from a PC to a Mac which has been like learning a whole new language to me, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone big time so I feel I’m challenged daily now until I get the hang of it, in fact this will be is my first post using my Mac, I hope it turns out when I hit publish!pasta

 

I love being on Instagram, it’s a visual short and sweet tidbit of my daily doings, cooking, family, life, so I’m going to continue with that, and if you care to follow me there just click here.

I’ve also made some short videos on my blog with a 14 year old future computer genius friend of mine, we had fun doing it and learned a ton of things, so I’ll be doing more of that.

I never realized when I started this blog that August 15th was Julia Child’s birthday so maybe it was meant to be, plus I’ve always loved her quote, “People who love to eat are always the best people”.basil pesto pasta

So for now since I’m still having fun I’m just going to slide right into the next decade. To be continued…

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Summer Corn with Basil Butter

basil buttered corn I’m giving you a recipe today that will rock your world, two words … basil butter. You can slather it on just about anything, grilled veggies, fish, chicken, steak, burgers, eggs, pasta, polenta and mashed potatoes just to name a few, and it’s quick and easy to make!

basil butter In addition to the fresh basil there’s some garlic and lemon zest added into the butter, believe me you’ll want to make extra so you can stash it away in your freezer, it’s that good.

basil plant I love this time of year because I can walk out my back door and grab as much basil as I want, have I ever told you that basil is my favorite herb of all?

basil butter Besides making fresh basil pesto this is another great way to capture the flavors of summer. This is an old Fine Living recipe that never fails. You can shape it into a log by using plastic wrap tightening the ends as if it were a sausage, then refrigerate until firm so you can cut off coins making it easy to spread.

basil buttered corn

I love it smeared all over fresh corn on the cob, the combination basil, lemon zest and garlic is a match made in heaven!

If you like to see more of what I’m cooking up during the week you can follow me on Instagram here.

Basil Butter
 
Adapted from Fine Living
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet basil
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the butter, basil, garlic, lemon zest,salt and pepper.
  2. Mash with a spoon until very well combined, I like to keep turning it with a rubber spatula.
  3. Use immediately or wrap into a log and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Cut into coins to use on veggies, fish, chicken, burgers, steaks, pasta, polenta, potatoes, eggs or anything else you can think of.
  5. The butter keeps well in the fridge for 2 weeks or up to a month in the freezer.

 

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Ah… Sweet Basil !!

Is there any thing better than the smell of fresh Basil ?? With an abundance of it growing in my back yard I feel guilty not using it every day. So I try to incorporate it into many of my weekly meals. Caprese salad is a staple,and fresh tomato sauce is just not the same without it. Fresh Basil was the star in a rice salad I made the other day, without it , the whole thing would have been Blah. I even make a bouquet of it and place it in a vase on my counter in my kitchen so I can smell it and savour whats left of summer. My next project is to make pesto, I believe I have perfected it, keeping it green is the key! I can’t wait to hand some out to family! It will be a sad day, when again, I have to start paying for my basil through fall and winter here in Chicago.You may ask “why don’t you dry it or freeze it?” the answer is I have.
It’s just not the same!
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