Beautiful Blogger Award & 7 Things About Me

When I was one of the many bloggers that Shirley of Gluten Free Easily bestowed the Beautiful Blogger Award on, I felt deeply honoured to receive it (thank you, Shirley!) and to return the favour with my own response post. I meant to post this months ago, in August, but it was lost for a while in all the backlog of posts that I had and figuring out what last two things I could tell about myself. Here goes:

1) Although I recently marked one year of food blogging, I’m certainly not new to blogging: before I turned my attention to food, I started blogging back in 2006 with a literary blog where I wrote book reviews, with some movies thrown in. It stopped, though, when I got a nasty comment about my writing and, being younger at the time, I was crushed.

2) On a somewhat related note, I love to write. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, probably almost as long as I’ve been reading. When I was around nine or ten, I started writing poetry, most of which was inspired by the literature I was reading at the time, including J.R.R. Tolkien. Imagine lots of fantasy. I dropped poetry for a while and went back to writing stories, but two years ago I picked up poetry again, writing prolifically and developing my craft, and continue writing it on the side.

3) I often call myself a foodie, as does my family. (But really I should be calling myself a food nerd, though it just doesn’t carry the same ring to it, personally. According to this article “a food nerd wants to investigate all aspects of food, where it comes from, how it’s made, what it means in a broader social context and how it relates to your own tiny place in the world”, whereas a foodie “is no longer someone who appreciates and enjoys food.” On my part, I do enjoy and appreciate my food and take an interest in all aspects of it. I’m not a food snob.) There was this book called Nosh (I forget the author’s name right now) and it was basically a casual encyclopedia of all kinds of food trivia, with a side of the author’s own idiosyncrasies about food. It was from that book that, among other things, I learned about and became fascinated with the history of bubble gum. I remember I drove my sister crazy with that – I even engaged a discussion about bubble gum and its history during her birthday dinner.

4) Before I started food blogging, I had no experience with food photography or had thought about the work that goes into “making the food look pretty”. In fact, I distinctly remember that I thought it was easy: all you did was set up the food, point the camera at it, and shoot. Done. I didn’t understand the importance of lighting either, though I knew early on not to use flash. A number of my early photos have a yellow cast or the food looks flat. It’s only been relatively recently that I’ve figured out the macro setting (the camera I started out with didn’t have the best macro) and since discovering it, I am smitten with it. Macro is my camera’s default setting. (For more information on what kind of camera I use and my approach to food photography, click here.) Regular readers of Z’s Cup of Tea know that photography and its challenges are topics that frequently crop up in my posts.

5) Perhaps hand in hand with my own improving photography skills and growing appreciation for photography in general that I have developed a bit of a passion for cameras, particularly in the digital point and shoot range as well as increasingly in micro four thirds and interchangeable lens cameras.

6) I don’t cry from cutting onions, which always makes for a funny scenario when everyone else’s eyes are streaming and I look around, wondering what’s the matter. “The onion!” This happens even with particularly strong onions – however, I’m not completely immune as I once thought I was: sometimes onions still get the best of me and I cry profusely. Or if I don’t cry, my eyes will just start stinging, sometimes hours later from when I’d cut the onion(s).

7) When I see a recipe in a foreign language, it’s as if I understand it or at least have a grasp of it, provided that it’s written in the Roman alphabet. Some words I may recognize (from the snatches I may know of the particular language), for the ones I don’t I figure out or look up if I’m not sure. I don’t think I’m really translating it, in the truest sense of the word, but just piecing together a puzzle. Or maybe I am translating it, but in my own way? It’s confusing, since I’m not fluent in any of these languages I’m “reading” these recipes in but I think it’s cool, nonetheless.

Now I’m supposed to nominate seven other bloggers. (I’ve also seen some where you’re supposed to nominate fifteen, hmm…I think I’ll stick with seven for now.) And they are —

  1. Shirley of Gluten Free Easily (I’m giving it back – Shirley is always so supportive and encouraging, it can’t be said enough. She’s always giving out a helping hand.)
  2. Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free (Amy just recently finished her cookbook and sent it in, now it’s only a matter of waiting until January – next month! – to see it. I can’t wait!)
  3. Kim of Cook IT Allergy Free (Kim is another helpful, supportive, and encouraging gluten-free blogger and she also designed the Cook IT Allergy Free app.)
  4. Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake (Maggie is always developing recipes for tasty, egg-free/vegan, gluten-free foods for her children to eat and that in itself is commendable. I know how much work that can be!)
  5. Sea of Book of Yum (Sea is the creator of the Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger event and her blog is a source of international culinary inspiration made gluten-free, among many other allergen-free innovations.)
  6. Kaitlin of The Whisk Kid (Next to beautiful photography, Kaitlin’s writing is wonderfully evocative and flows like well-crafted stories or novels. Even if the recipes aren’t for you – or even if you don’t really read food blogs or just blogs in general – her writing is what will keep you coming back. )

For the seventh nominee, it is you. You, all you beautiful bloggers out there and all you beautiful readers who keep coming back and being part of the experience that blogging is all about: community. Thank you.

One year ago: Decadent Chocolate Chip Rice Pudding (GFCF)

9 thoughts on “Beautiful Blogger Award & 7 Things About Me

  1. Ah Zoe, you’re so sweet! Thank you so much for saying that about me and honouring me with this award. It means a lot to me coming from you. I know how hard you work too! Thanks for sharing more about yourself. xo

    You know we are proud of you right? Not just your blogging but for what a wonderful person you are. xoxo

  3. I only keep coming back because you make me. 😛 Jk, I come back because every now and then I feel I must keep an eye on you. 😉 And then again there’s the pictures that make me want to pummel you into the kitchen and lock you there until you make whatever it is for me. -_- The dangers of having a foodie for a sister. Are you sure I’m involved in the seventh nominee thing? Becuase if so, I really don’t see why. My blog has hardly anything on it and it is hardly food related in any way. And as for the bubblegum disaster….. that was entirely the fault of that book that gave you the idea to look up the history of bubblegum. Of course, I’m still vexed that you rollered over all other conversation, but I now attribute most of the blame to Wikipedia and that infernal book!

  4. Thanks for all the lovely and sweet comments, everybody! I was glad to share a little more about myself. 🙂

    In regards to onions and tears, I remember reading about a year ago in a British publication that there is a genetically modified onion that’s had the cell that produces the tear-inducing gas removed. (Whether it has been legalized or not is another question.) I don’t agree with it, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

  5. Oh, Zoe, you did such a lovely job on your award post. It’s really cool to learn all these things about you. Of course, I was impressed when I thought this was your first blog and now I find out you’ve been blogging for years. Holy moly, girl, you’re advanced! Your writing is top notch and your photos are great (you sure learned quickly). Foodie (which is a term now being looked down on … oh, the political correctness of the food world) or food nerd, as long as you have a love of food, that’s what matters. Very intriguing on the grasping recipes in foreign languages. When I wore contacts (before Lasik), I rarely cried when peeling onions. Aaargh on a GMO onion so there’d be no crying. Can you say RIDICULOUS? Thanks for honoring me again with the award. I so appreciate your generous words and you, Zoe. 🙂


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