Why You Should NEVER Make This Healthy Blooming Onion Recipe {and an honest conversation about blogging}

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onions

Weird way to start a blog post, right??
Well, this one has been a long time coming.
And, when something happened this week, instead of a recipe, I decided to tell you all about why you SHOULD NOT make this weeks recipe.

What You Don’t Know About Writing Blog Posts:

I’m not sure how many of you know this, but it takes me (and most food bloggers) a while to write a blog post.

I would say, it takes longer than most people think. It may look like I whip up a tasty dish in the kitchen, snap a photo and then throw it online with a few sentences for good measure.

But, the truth is, this is really what writing a weekly post looks like:

The Art of The Post…

1. Conceptualize: Find out what is either trending/seasonal/local and figure out what my audience might want and what I’m going to make {about 1 hour}
2. Research: Once I know what I’m making, I need to do some research. Sometimes, I use a family recipe, but more often than not, I need to come up with a new recipe. And, regardless of what some people here may make you believe, this research takes a while. I look at people who may have made a similar dish before, compare at least 8-10 recipes, do some background on where it came from, find out if there is any cultural connection, and then see if I can also add a alternative – maybe a healthy spin. {about 2-3 hours}
3. Make Sure I Have the Ingredients: If I don’t, I need to whip out and buy the ingredients {1 hour}
4. Make the Actual Dish: This may take an hour. Or it may take 5…it depends on what I’m making. For arguments sake, let’s find a happy medium {2 1/2 hours}
5. Style and Photograph the Food: Now, I don’t consider myself a food photographer, so my timing is far less than some food photographers out there. But, by the time I find my props, set them up, portion the dish, take a few shots and then edit the shots, it takes more than a few minutes {1 1/2 hours}
6. Write the Blog Post (and make sure the SEO is good): For those of you that may not know this, there is a reason we (bloggers) don’t just put the recipe up here with a pretty photo. There is a rough ‘magic’ number when it comes to how many words should be in a post, how many links you have in a post, how many photos are in a post (and if they are tagged properly), where keywords are placed…all these things will make your post rank higher in a google search. And for those of you that don’t know, that’s what SEO (search engine optimization) is all about. That’s why there is always a story here on the blog – but also, I like to talk 😉 {4 hours}
7. Publish your Post and Put it on Socials: This takes more time than you’d think because once you’ve hit ‘publish’ and your post goes live, then you have to share it to Instagram, and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and (sometimes) LinkedIn and (sometimes) YouTube and (sometimes) TikTok. And, it’s not just about sharing. It’s about coming up with a catchy caption, perhaps making a carousel with up to 10 photos (again, more editing) and then making sure you engage with your audience (answer all the comments!!). But also, if you’d like your posts to be seen, you need to engage with others too – so you need to spend an hour or so before and after your post goes live, engaging with others on these platforms {3 hours}
8. More About Socials: If you want more out of your posts, you should also learn Canva (an app that creates custom layouts for your photos) so you can make more “pinnable” images for Pinterest to find you and also make a few videos so you can create some reels or make a TikTok {1 – 2 hours}.

Aaaaand I think that’s it…phew!

That, people, is roughly 17 hours that it takes, every week to create content…without making a dime.

And, I love it! I really do! But, this is what I’ve been doing for 9 years…every week…because I want to create content for all of you.

But, when things go wrong – and they do – it can put a damper on everything.

What Happened This Week?

This week, my theme was Superbowl snacks.

And my blogpost was going to be a Copycat Blooming Onion they make at the Outback Steakhouse. But, when I looked at the original recipe, I thought, “I can make this healthier”.

And trendier…I’ll use the air fryer.

So I researched a bunch of recipes (6 to be exact) that look like yummy versions of what I was thinking.

Based on everything I found online, I put together what I thought would be the best recipe. Then I gathered all the ingredients…

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Prepped all the onions (this took way longer than I thought)…

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Made a few alterations (I realized I needed to add more oil) all while making a huge mess of the kitchen (very normal during this process)…

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Then I put it all in the air fryer.

I watched it carefully.

I took it out and tried it.

No. Just, no.

Then I thought, “maybe it needs a sauce”… sour cream, horseradish, lots of spices, a spoonful of relish (to mimic Big Mac sauce).

Still no.

I even styled the photo.

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Tried it again.

Yup. A hard no.

Most days, this would mean I go back to the drawing board and start all over.

But today was different.

Today, I thought, would be the day that you all (finally) understand that, if I miss a blog post one week, it’s probably because I had a miserable fail in the kitchen and I just didn’t have another day in the week to make something else.

And that’s okay. We all learn from our mistakes.

I just wanted to be transparent about this process.

But, what I hope more than anything is that y’all like what I’m giving you here because you do feel like my family. It feels like (when I push that publish button) I’m bring my finished dish to a long table that you are all sitting at and my heart is so big knowing you will love what I made you.

But some days, you might leave the dish under the broiler for a few too many minutes and the dish can’t be saved so y’all just laugh and have a big bowl of cereal.

So, I guess my question today is…

Would you rather have cornflakes or Rice Krispies?