Hi friends! Today, we are looking back at one whole year of blogging. We have been food bloggers for an entire year! How did that happen?! A Hedgehog in the Kitchen turns ONE YEAR OLD and we are very proud parents. I can’t believe how quickly this past year has gone by.
Our blogging path has been a crash course in all things food blog.
Looking back, there was just so.much.to.learn and we are still learning new things each and every day. That is one of the reasons that we have absolutely fallen in love with blogging.
I believe that one of the most important roles we can play in life is that of the student. Learning something new is the greatest gift we can give ourselves because each time you learn a new skill, you are expanding your mind and your horizons. Blogging has done that for us.
Hugo and I both love our day jobs – Hugo works in the field of electricity and sustainable energy here in France which he is passionate about. I am an autism specialist and run my own center in the heart of Paris. We are so lucky to already do what we love. Blogging is not at all an escape from our other jobs but, instead, a beautiful addition to our life.
However, it is such a joy to be able to come together to create a “third thing” : a new passion that gives us the gift of learning a vast variety of skills, as well as the opportunity to create an awesome business that we have started together from the ground up.
It is really fun to look back over the last/first year and to share some of the things that we have learned from this new adventure in our lives.
I love to write.
As long as I can remember, I have always loved to journal. I have journaled almost every day since I was about 7 years old. This morning, I listened to a Food Blogger Pro podcast with Bjork Ostrom. He was interviewing Molly Yeh from My Name is Yeh and she was talking about how she always loved to journal and that part of the incentive for her to start a blog was to have a home for her thoughts and a place to express herself in writing. Although, I didn’t realize it when we started our blog, this blog serves that purpose for me too. I love communicating through writing. Writing to you guys about food and sharing our stories about life here in Paris, has given me the chance to express myself continuously in writing which I absolutely adore. Thank you so much for reading what I put out there.
You meet the coolest people through blogging
I think the most suprising part of this past year blogging has been how many amazing friends we have made. I have always worked for myself, and one of the biggest questions I get asked when I say that I started my own center and that I work for myself and often from my home office, is “don’t you get lonely?”. It seems that a lot of people think that if you work from home or you’ve started your own business, that you don’t have contact with other people. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Blogging is so much more than spending time behind your computer screen (although we do a TON of that too!). It’s finding your community – your “tribe” – making new friends, sharing information and learning from other people.
One of the most important things you can do as a food blogger is improve your photos.
We were fully aware that our photos were not good when we started blogging and that we had to learn absolutely everything we could because photography is so important for an activity that is as visual as blogging. I think my work as an autism specialist has really made me a more visual person because individuals with autism are very visual and tend to fixate on visual stimulation and notice things much more acutely than the average person. The children I work with in my center have taught me to focus on detail and notice the World around me in a very detailed and visually oriented way.
One of the first things that Hugo and I did as soon as we started our blog was to try to find every single thing we could read or watch about food photography in the hopes that we could learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible so that we could take better food photos.
Lemon meringue tart – photographed in May 2016, after we had been blogging for 4 months.
Ile Flottante revisited as a tart – photographed in January 2017, after 11 months of food blogging.
Hugo has been making delicious food for as long as we have known each other and many years before. He is always learning new techniques and flavor combinations to be a better cook but our biggest challenge was sharing those recipes in this very visual space. Things kind of clicked into place for us when we discovered the Pinch of Yum food blog started by Lindsay Ostrom and her husband Bjork and started studying Lindsay’s food photography. She has a unique style that produces food photos that inspire you to create a beautiful recipe and also give you the confidence that you actually can create that meal. That is what we strive to do here on A Hedgehog in the Kitchen. The best tool we found for learning to be a better food photographer was her ebook Tasty Food Photography. She walks you through everything from getting familiar with your camera to producing photos that have that inspirational and accessible look to them.
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Food is a love language.
Food brings people together. Besides eating being a primal need, the preparation of food and sharing of food is a way to communicate, to share your culture with others and to discover new cultures. All you have to do is look at travel accounts on Instagram to see that people are sharing a lot of pictures of food. If you take a look at travel accounts, you see that people share pictures of food when they are on vacation. One of the main ways that people experience another place is through the local food. I have been living in Paris for almost 15 years and not a month goes by that I don’t have a Parisian moment where I am struck by a food experience that I am having that reminds me that food is so different in each place and such a beautiful way to connect people from different cultures. Having our food blog, has reminded us of this even more. Our #1 most popular post on this blog to date is our Caramelized Apple Galette des Rois. We shared a picture of this galette that we eat in France in the month of January and told the story of baking a little objet – a “fève” – into the tart and that the person who finds it is a king or queen for the evening and gets to wear a fabulous crown. We learned that people love to share stories and that they love to share stories around food.
We love serving this Mont d’Or Food Platter when we have friends over. Let’s pretend we’re having a dinner party and you’re invited!
Cooking is one of our favorite activities to do as a couple.
Hugo and I are a couple that love spending time together. We really enjoy spending pretty much all of our free time together doing different activities, such as traveling, exploring Paris and the rest of France, trying new foods, reading poetry, hanging out with our families, hosting dinner parties… Creating this new activity together has been a really fun project for us personally. We have created an actual space to house all of our photos and experiences and recipes and we have the added bonus of being able to share everything with you.
Some of our favorite meals of 2016 :
We will never stop learning.
One year into blogging, we have a huge list of things we want to learn. We have so much more that we want to learn about food photography and styling. We also want to continue to perfect our French recipes and to learn more about other types of cooking. We want to learn to make cool food videos which is one of the next things we’d like to start sharing on our Instagram page. I want to keep getting better at communicating with you guys, our new community of friends all around the globe. We are so excited to have the chance to keep connecting with you and learning from you and what you enjoy seeing on our little slice of the internet.
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