This week finds me feeling incredibly conflicted. My first live television segment was last Thursday and by all accounts it was a success. Preparing for the segment was so much fun, the items I shared with the audience were things I really love and the news team and producers at FOX were incredibly kind and complimentary. I was feeling great.
The following few days were equally busy because the International Home + Housewares Show was in town. It’s an enormous trade show where some of the biggest housewares, cookware and gadget companies unveil their new wares. Journalists, bloggers and celebrity chefs are everywhere. Jon and I were asked to attend as part of our work with the lifestyle website Inspired Home. We checked out some amazing things at the show and also attended a cocktail reception for all Inspired Home contributors. The other bloggers, writers, chefs and spokespeople at the event are hugely successful. Many have thousands if not millions of followers. Their photos, videos and social accounts are beautiful testaments to their talent and success. Jon left the event feeling completely energized and inspired. I left feeling…. lost and small.
While I too was inspired by the folks we met, their passion, perfection and whole-hearted dedication to their craft was intimidating. Their blogs are their brand and their brand is their career. The photography is perfectly curated, the messages painstakingly refined. They’ve all worked hard for their success and its paid off. It raised a ton of questions in my head.
Truth is, my blog is probably one of the oldest in the bunch. I’ve been doing this for a while. But its never been my first priority (or second or third). My job, my kids, my marriage, my freelance clients all come first. On top of that, my site has always been a strange mix of food blog, personal diary, family scrapbook and “mommy blog”. The recipes I photograph are actual meals, served to my family. I work in my home kitchen. The food is photographed on our real dining room table, usually with a couple of little hands reaching into the shot and a giant pile of dirty dishes just out of view. These sound like excuses. People don’t want to read about excuses. In fact, I suspect, when looking for recipes, people often don’t read at all. How many times have you googled a meal idea, clicked on a beautifully-plated image and scrolled right past the copy, in search of the recipe?
So here I sit. Feeling like a jack of all trades and master of none. Wondering what to do next. Should I work harder to refine my “brand”, pursuing perfection in hopes of attracting success? Stick to my weird, imperfect mix of real food and real life? Get back to hustling on the PR freelance track helping other people achieve their success? Or just stop thinking, have a good cry and spend the afternoon baking cookies with my kids?
Maybe today I’m not a brand at all. Today maybe I’m just me.
For those of you scrolling to find the recipe, you can stop now.
Behold: Matcha & White Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re a fun riff on a chocolate chip cookie. The slightly earthy green tea flavor of the matcha (Japanese green tea powder) is the perfect counterpoint to creamy white chocolate and a buttery cookie dough. They’re a fun way to welcome Spring and perfectly green for St. Patty’s Day celebrations.
Matcha & White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon matcha green tea powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift together flour, matcha powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk in salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Slowly add flour mixture until just mixed. Stir in white chocolate chips.
- Drop batter by rounded tablespoons on prepared cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks. Cool completely.