Welcome to Mymouthful.com and I know that doesn’t sound great but at least I sat the ball rolling on this blog project of mine and purchased an available domaine that clearly no one else wanted. This is going to be a temporary arrangement until I define my own brand and gain some experience blogging.
I’m chef Andrea and I intend to run this blog with at least one publication a week where I’ll be exploring mostly vegan recipes. I’m originally from the city of Trieste, in the northeastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy, and currently living in Los Angeles, California. This blog is a work in progress so please bear with me while I achieve a well defined brand and in the meantime I promise you exciting recipes you can trust. If it’s on the blog, I personally tested it and it works. And please do contact me and let me know how it worked for you!
Initially the idea for this blog was to document my journey into the vegan world by exploring traditional recipes from my cultural heritage and turning them into vegan versions but, as it is, I’ve been doing a bit of everything, what with the trees in the back yard giving fruit that need to be used up, the local farmers market finds of the week, general interest in recipes from other food blogs, cook books, restaurants I try, etc.
Additionally, I wouldn’t mind to use it as a marketing tool for my private chef activity – just to throw in one more complicating wrench. And finally, since I also earned a degree in English literature a few years ago, I would like to use this blog to yap my head out about foods and recipes I believe have an interesting background whether cultural, historical, or popular (for some of that, check out these articles: Tomato Sauce Anatomy (and some recipes). (And some personal scores evened out)., and Fettuccini Alfredo: Sauce From A Proverbial Melting Pot).
That’s why I finally decided to do a bit of everything, whatever excites me, challenges me, and whatever I think you might like to try, read about, discover. In short, it’s a lot of cooking and talking about cooking and eating. Talking with my mouthful, as it were…
For the record, I’ve been a vegan/vegetarian/pescatarian on and off now for almost sixteen years which means I’m none of it – I just try to stay off meat. “Try” because, as a professional private chef, even that doesn’t come easy. Most of my clients are meat eaters and I can’t always afford not to try something before serving it nor resist the temptation… I love meat but I love animals and the environment more so I do keep that to a conscientious minimum. However, and this is especially true for recipes from my country, I intend to always include a detailed description of the original omnivore recipe so that if you want to try it the way it was originally conceived you can do that – and nothing would make me happier than hearing how you liked that!
As a beginner, completely self taught, so far I can tell you that food blogging is no easy feat.
There’s the recipe development which requires time, money, and multiple attempts in order to solidify a recipe that’s reliable enough to be published. In the process, I’ve learned the hard way that taking notes as I cook is essential to provide accurate ingredients amounts but also important tips and useful comments. Never rely on memory! I know…
There’s also the taking, editing, and uploading of images that, if you’re as picky as I am, requires experience as well as money for equipment although for the moment I employ the most basic and inexpensive. (I built my own soft box for lighting which cost me a total of $9.00 and several hours of research, scouting, and assembly only to find out I could have purchased one for $12.00 on Amazon). It’s so painful to realize I skipped a step of the process or taken a lousy picture. I had to dump a whole sequence of cookies I made just because one was smudged in a way I found unacceptable. In that project, I saved the recipe processing images and made a new batch but decided last minute to substitute an ingredient which greatly affected the color of the dough. To speed up things, I decided not to take any pictures of the process thinking I could use the ones from the previous attempt forgetting the cookie dough was significantly different in color. As a result, I had processing images with the dough of a color, and final product images of another color. They didn’t look like the same cookies! I had to start over from scratch a third time. Vegan ingredients can be expensive and when you’re making your own vegan butter, it can be time consuming so messing up a shoot can be quite distressing – and so far that’s happened almost every time.
Then there’s the writing of an introduction and the actual recipe ingredients and directions which require time for research, drafting, editing, etc. I tend to want to yap about stuff that nobody cares so I have to keep myself in check. Yet I spend a lot of time editing out paragraphs of over-caffeinated ravings on the origins of foods and their history and then forget to include useful applications so that readers know at least what to do with that dish. Which has brought me to pay attention to format in order to eventually frame a signature style that works for the reader and… me and my caffeine high.
Finally there’s the actual blog operation that can be rather daunting for the untrained. It’s like learning a new trade in a new language. I feel so dumb sometimes! I’m using WordPress, which is pretty easy but still requires some time to figure out. I just now found out that there’s a… another thing called Bluehost that’s for… like hosting WordPress and apparently that should make things a lot easier and nicer to look at – although, at this point, I’m kind of broke so that’ll have to wait a few weeks. Time and money…
Most importantly, though, what there needs to be is enough dedication and determination to always move the project forward no matter how small or haphazard some steps may seem at times. This is where the self criticism aspect comes into play. I’m a master self critic and panning is my forte. Therefore, it’s fundamental to keep self criticism in check from turning into self sabotage. I’m extremely successful at self sabotage. I’m the Donald Trump of self sabotage. It’s great. It’s beautiful. The best self sabotage you’ve ever seen!
I hope you’ll enjoy.