my cooking mojo took a break without telling me

Welp, I’m here with a blogger confession. If you’re on the receiving end of this blog you probably think I’m just taking a break and taking it easy, enjoying the holidays or on a yacht with a cool, crisp Zima – but in reality I’ve been cooking…a lot. And failing…a lot. I don’t really attempt anything too crazy, so I’ve been surprised that what I’ve been throwing together has been, well…not great. I refuse to post anything that I don’t absolutely LOVE, hence the unplanned hiatus.

This has happened before – they can’t all be winners – but this has happened with recipe after recipe lately. What the heck dudes and dudettes!? Part of it is because I’m busy, like we all are this time of year so maybe I’m not putting a TON of thought into what I’m making, but I’ll be damned if even simple things are just totally meh.

I mean, here’s me, being like “what the hey?!”

It’s almost like writers block. After it happened a few times, the stress of the fail kind of seeps into your head, and you start planning and over-planning the next recipe – likely making it too complicated and having really high hopes, only to take blog-worthy photos, take a bite and be totally underwhelmed and over-salted.

You guys, I even made a Swedish meatball inspired meatloaf. Dave liked it, but I thought it was kinda bland. No dice.

I also made a chicken + vegetable stew – which was fine. But nothing to write home (or on a blog) about. Also the broth looked a little bit like dirty sweat sock water.

Then there were the damn fajitas. Somehow I over-spiced and over-salted them. I even made what I thought was going to be a clear winner – a roasted pablano, cilantro and lime cream sauce. YOU COULDN’T EVEN TASTE THE PABLANO. And the steak was chewy. *Shakes fist at the sky.*

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some good classics lately, like chicken and dumplings, a family classic – mustard bread, and my famous (to me and dave) cheese ball. To prove it, here’s a snap from a fabulous Friendsgiving I had at Jeff + Paul’s house cutting said mustard bread. See, I made something edible!

I know something good will come soon, but I just hate not posting anything at all for such a long period – and not even because I imagine anyone is missing my sass + spice, but because I love writing and putting stuff out there, if only for my own cathartic brain dump.

Maybe now that I’ve confessed I’ve sucked lately, something will come to me. I mean, I even made a mediocre grilled cheese. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN. Fingers crossed this bout of failing leaves me soon!

In the meantime, as I wait for that moment of yumminess that has been evading me, I wanted to share that I’ve christmas’d it up at the old homestead which has made me quite jolly, despite the food fails that have plagued me lately. Maybe I’ll make a pine tree needle smoothie with matcha? 😀

Love y’all, hope you hang in there with me!


18 thoughts on “my cooking mojo took a break without telling me

  1. I’m commenting on your blog, and not on Facebook, mostly to prove to myself that people still do that. But sister, have I ever been where you are. You put together a perfect grand slam of things that you know are going to make the family happy as well as provide some snappy blog content, and you swing and miss and something something sports metaphor.

    In times like these, I usually blame it on overcooking, over stylizing, and overextending…trying to cook, photograph, and tell a story all in the name of content content content can start to burn out your basic abilities in all three of those areas. That’s when I like to take a step back, make something crowd pleasing from my tried-and-true collection, play some DMX while I cook, make a hellacious mess, slop everything on a plate, and leave my camera in the bag. I feel like it comes back to the need to remind myself that cooking is fun and silly and tasty, and sometimes that’s all it should be.

    Also FWIW, I think Swedish Meatball-Inspired Meatloaf sounds dope.

    1. Malcom, you’re the best. Thanks for this.
      Agreed on all points. I think I need to simplify and just let it be whatever the hell it will be. I like to cook, I like to eat, and if the next thing I share is my killer hormel chili and cream cheese dip with Doritios because i love it, then so be it – it’s GOOD. I’m going to re-up the Swedish meatball recipe for sure – just needs stronger flavor. Thanks buddy – appreciate the note. 😀

      1. I mean, look…I straight-up Instagrammed some On-Corr frozen pork paste riblets today. To me, food should always be a little bit ridiculous and silly. As bloggers, we get sucked into this trap of having to constantly transform eating into award-winning, revenue-generating CONTENT, and sometimes you have to willingly stop doing that, and cook to remind yourself that it’s fun. Which is a long-winded way of saying: Bust out the canned chili and the Doritos, and if it makes you feel better, style the hell out of that plate of yuck. It’s going to be delicious and dumb and that’s what matters.

        1. “plate of yuck” – all time favorite comment!! We did call it dog-food dip growing up. 😀 Delicious, ridiculous + silly is a great way to think about time in the kitchen cookin – or could be a good cookbook title. Thanks for the reminder that this is all supposed to be fun – I already have some wacky ideas a-brewin’. Cheers!

  2. Splash Miracle Whip on your grilled cheese. Yum. Love the tree, blue lights are a favorite in this part of the family. Don’t worry, you’ll get your sparkling mojo back. Merry Christmas to you and Dave.

  3. Wait I need to make the mustard bread! Also “dirty sock sweat water”😭😭😭 Today I just failed on French Macarons for the first time! They taste amaze, but I totally over-whipped the egg whites trying to make them a fun color which was a big no no because they cracked and aren’t pretty! Good lesson learned though and they’re so fun to make I’ll just have to make more 🤪

  4. Oh gosh, it happens all the time to me..I always try to have a few posts ahead but that’s hard for me, too! Plus if I do make something and it looks good I’m like a little kid, I’d rather post it asap than hold it back. So I’m either over or under posting all the time! You’re mojo’s there. Breathe deep and look at your first posts and you’ll find what initially inspired you, right there! And then resist the urge to redo the photos, lol! That’s just too much and its ok. Merry Christmas!!

    1. Great advice! Even this week already I seem to be getting back into the swing of things (thank goodness)! Love the idea to go waaaaayyyyy back – and oh boy those old photos – glad it’s the same for all of us…learn as you go! 😀 Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      1. Oh we all have that I think – even professional photographers say the same thing. When I started my personal goal with the photography was to take pics that didn’t a) look like vomit or b) make people vomit, lol!

        Sometimes just sharing an issue makes you feel so much lighter!! 🙂

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