Let’s do a little Blog Hop(ping)

To partake in a blog hop you have to first be reading a blog, then stand on one foot (left or right, your preference), put one hand on your head and the other on your tummy, tuck a book under one arm-pit, put a pencil behind your ear then hop up and down for 2 minutes whilst patting your head and rubbing your tummy and trying not to drop / dislodge the book and pencil.

Did you do it?

Ha! I bet you looked silly.

Especially as you didn’t have to do any of that at all.

I’m so mean. Sorry.

A blog hop is actually where someone from another blog asks if you would like to participate in said ‘Hop’, you answer 4 questions and then pass the baton on.

Easy, right? And no danger of falling over.

Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia asked me if I would like to join in. I thought about it, and then thought about it some more before deciding that I would. It’s like hopscotch, yes?

No?

Okay. I’m too old for hopscotch anyway.

Kate’s blog generally focuses on her quilt making, but there is the occasional post about things growing in the garden and scooter rides along the Aussie coast. I am very jealous of the things she grows because being in Australia means she can cultivate all sorts of exotic things that us Brits can only dream of (however there is a lot of worm tea action, which I’m not sure about). I never thought I would get fruit and veg envy, but there you go! Her quilts are also amazing. She can accomplish in a week what would take me months (I’m not kidding)!

Now you’ve had a little look around Kate’s blog, let’s get down to business.

1) What are you working on at the moment?

Why, I’m glad you asked. You’ve actually come at a very good time because there are a few things in the pipe line. Would you like a sneaky peak? Okay.

sneaky peek collage

Also, I will be hosting my very first giveaway in a couple of weeks, which is exciting! I can’t say any more, just keep your eyes peeled.

2) How does your work differ from others in its genre?

My, that’s a very good question. Erm . . . ah . . . well . . . There are a lot of food blogs out there, as I am sure you are aware. Mine focuses on gluten-free recipes, since I discovered 2 years ago that I can’t eat gluten. I try my best to take quality, Pinterest worthy photos, because I think that is important. I want this to be a happy, inspiring place for us all to hang out in. But then I’m sure everyone wants that for their blog, so that isn’t really a difference is it?

This question is hard.

We all have a unique voice and point of view and I guess it’s about creating content that is true to you. If you don’t enjoy it, it will come across.

Some days I don’t have much to say and so concentrate on the recipe, other days I could waffle on for paragraph after paragraph on things that aren’t related to the post and that probably aren’t that interesting. It’s about finding a balance. But most importantly what makes my blog different from all those other food blogs is that it’s mine.

Is that an okay answer? Phew. Next!

3) Why do you create what you do?

Greed. Gluttony. Because I have a sweet (ish) tooth.

Basically I have always loved to bake. I’m not the best cook (I need to follow a recipe at least once) but baking and me work together well. I wonder if in a past life I was a pastry chef.

Not everything works first time (or even the numerous time after the macaron disaster below the other week), but that is part of the fun.

When I discovered that gluten was the source of all evil (for me) I was disappointed because initially I didn’t bake. I made things with wheat flour for other people, but quickly got fed up watching them eat it. Shop bought gluten-free items, on the whole, are not worth the calories – they can taste weird, can be quite dry and contain loads of things that I would rather not eat. So. This blog was born. Here I document and share the things I make and that inspire me.

Also, I may or may not have a slight Photoshop problem. Having a blog means I get to play around with graphic design and create my own design elements. And I get to take photos. All of these things make me very happy.

4) How does your creative process work?

I follow quite a few food blogs, I read a lot of food magazines, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, I watch food programmes, I own a lot of recipe books. All of which provide inspiration. Sometimes it will be in the form of a gluten-containing recipe that I want to adapt to make gluten-free, or sometimes it is just something I want to make and put my own spin on. Sometimes a picture of paper fruit can spark an idea.

Idea formed, I head to the kitchen. Some recipes work straight away, others need more testing and tweaking. I mix ingredients, bake them, taste them, force make ask other people to taste them. Agonize over photo styling, take photos, edit, post the results.

notes & inspiration

I have a notebook that I write ideas down in, or stuff in bits of paper that I have printed things on. I have a lot of scrappy bits of paper. I try not to splatter stuff all over them. I try really hard not to splatter the camera with sticky substances. I usually have a flour hand print on my bottom because I almost always absent-mindedly wipe my hands on my clothing. Whether I am wearing an apron or not. The kitchen floor will always be covered with jars of this and tubs of that. There will normally be a cat trying to get into the space in the cupboard left by the jars of this and the tubs of that. One of them will sit there and meow at me until I let her smell what it is I am holding even though I have told her that she won’t like it. The resulting recoil will prove that I am right.

That’s roughly how it works.

But, enough about me, it’s time to pass the baton on.

My willing baton recipient is Jennie at Scarletscorchdroppers. Based in Hong Kong (although not for much longer) Jennie makes me nostalgic with her photos of Hong Kong (I have spent some time there) and will make you hungry with her recipes. If you have a weakness for chocolate then you definitely need to pay her blog a visit. Most of the recipes contain chocolate, and quite a few of them have alcohol in too!

Over to you Jennie . . .