Today I am not sharing a recipe with you, in stead I am going to tell you more about me and my blog. I was nominated by my friend Olivia from Olivia’s Cuisine a few days back for the Writing Process Blog Tour where basically we need to tell our readers what all goes in before we hit the “publish” button. I have read a number of bloggers describing their work and when Olivia nominated me, to be honest I was a little nervous. I cannot write to save my life, I mean I’m really not good at it but I will give it my best shot.
First of all I would like to thank Olivia for nominating me. She is this sweet blogger friend of mine, whom I met [virtually] just a few weeks back. She has a wonderful blog and in case you haven’t visited her little space yet, you must at Olivia’s Cuisine. I think she clicks beautiful pictures and styles them so well!
So before I start I would like to tell a little bit about myself. I am from India and have been in US for close to 3 years now. I haven’t been trained in culinary science, in fact if I tell you what I have been trained in you will be surprised. I am a medical doctor and did my undergraduate in Medicine from India. But after my undergrad I wasn’t keen to get into clinical side and so I went ahead and did my MBA in Health Care from Scotland. I was working in India with a multinational firm before I got married to my best friend of 10 years and moved to US on a visa which didn’t allow me to work. I started spending more time in kitchen and eventually realized that this is what I want to do in life. Nothing makes me happier than being in the kitchen, my only regret is that I wish I knew this some 10-12 years back.
Anyway this blog tour comes with its set of questions, so here I go!
What am I working on right now?
A lot of things actually. At first I was super busy with Diwali recipes and now that Diwali is done, I am again busy with fall and Halloween recipes. Also I have started thinking about Christmas recipes, I know there’s still time for it but we can always think right? I am also trying to improve my food photography, I have improved definitely but there’s still a long way to go. I am also trying to learn how to shoot with artificial light since it’s getting darker and it’s not always possible to cook and photograph by 2 pm!
I am also reading this book which my husband gifted me on my birthday. [fact: I asked him to get me a book on French baking! 😀 ]
How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I try to share wholesome healthy Indian recipes on my blog that I grew up eating. Everything in India is made from scratch, we never knew about frozen food while growing up. All our curries, breads etc. were made everyday for every meal from scratch. I still follow that because that’s what I have seen my mom do all her life. I share simple vegetarian recipes most of which are healthy. Then of course, there are lots of dessert recipes on the blog because I love to bake! I believe everything is fine in moderation and so I try to balance healthy and not so healthy recipes on my blog too. Even though with so many festivals around, you might have seen more of the unhealthy stuff!
Other than that I also try to do step-by-step pictures for most of my recipes especially the Indian recipes. I know Indian food sounds intimidating to many with so many spices and ingredients. I feel by looking at the step by step pictures, it’s easier for my readers to follow the recipe [well at least I hope so!].
Why do I write what I do?
Simply because it makes me very happy. I had little interest in cooking before I got married and in these 3 years things have changed so much that now I can’t think beyond cooking! Isn’t it funny how unpredictable life can be. The blog gives me an opportunity to share with everyone what I love doing the most. It also helps me to have all my recipes at one place, I used to flip through so many notepads trying to find my recipes before but now I just check on my blog, it’s so easy that way.
Blogging also gives me an opportunity to try new recipes and venture into new cuisines, and I love doing that. Also I have met several wonderful bloggers who are as passionate about food as I am and it’s a lot of fun to talk to them about recipes and see what they come up with.
How does my writing process work?
I have a notepad and a pen which I keep with me in my kitchen all the time. I keep noting down the ingredients as I proceed with the recipe, it’s easier this way for me. It has happened with me in the past where I didn’t note down anything and then forgot the measurement for several ingredients so now I try not to repeat that mistake. Since I mostly do step-by-step pictures and since my kitchen is really dark, I use artificial light near my gas stove for the same.
As soon as the dish is ready, I first set up my table to click pictures. Now sometimes I get it right in one go, and sometimes I set everything up, click 100 pictures and don’t like even one! Then I try a different background or a different prop and sometimes I just give up! I told you I am learning especially about photo styling, I think I am quite terrible at it. Once the pictures are done, I first edit and compile the step-by step pictures. I then write the instructions for steps and then go on to edit my main food pictures. The text for the post goes in last because like I said before I can’t write to save my life so I try to defer it till the end.
And now as a part of this Writing Process Blog tour, I have to nominate 3 more blogger friends of mine. So here they are!
Azu from Sweet Cannela : Azu is the first friend that I made on the blogging world. She is from Mexico and her blog is full of lip smacking Mexican recipes and much more. What I love about Azu is that how she always tries to make every recipe of her healthier like this healthy Mocha Tofu Pie. Also I relate to her food a lot because in a way Mexican and Indian cuisines are similar. I love her work and if you are looking for traditional Mexican recipes and also looking for tips on high altitude baking, you know where to head to!
Vanessa from Vegan Family Recipes: Vanessa is a mom of 2 and shares vegan recipes on her blog which are healthy and nutritious. She is extremely sweet and also super creative with her Vegan recipes, for example look at this Vegan Coconut Banana Cheesecake with only 6 ingredients! How awesome is that! I love her enthusiasm and spirit to cook healthy vegan meals for her family. I love her photos and her work!
Ami from Naive Cook Cooks: Ami is from India but she shares recipes from all over the world. I love how creative she gets with using leftover meals and also with her 30 minute meals series. Her photography is beautiful, I so love this picture of Indian spiced puffed rice mix. I always look forward to her recipes and updates because they are always so interesting and different.
So these are my 3 nominations! I hope I didn’t bore you much with my long post. I want to thank Olivia again for giving me this opportunity to talk about how I work behind my blog. Thanks for reading!
22 thoughts on “Writing Process Blog Tour”
Yay! This was so much fun!!! I can’t believe you studied Medicine! That’s awesome. (I believe that every single experience is a valid one!). Also, don’t doubt your food styling and your writing. You’re one of the best that I’ve seen online in a while. I love your pictures and your writing and you inspire me with every single post! <3
Thanks Olivia, you are so sweet and really kind. Thank you so much for appreciating my work, means so much !<3
Hey Manali, it was a great post, glad you shared everything! Your blog, recipes and pictures are amazing! I’m glad you discovered your true passion, it really took me a long time!
Thank you Mira for your kind words! 🙂 It took me a long time as well!
Manali, this was a GREAT post! I loved reading about your writing process and why you do what you do. Isn’t it funny when we discover what our true calling is, long after we thought it was something else? I am so there with you my sistah! The same thing happened to me!
It’s funny and surprising at the same time Kristi! I sometimes feel I found my true calling a bit too late, but I guess better late than never!
A blog tour seems like an awesome idea! I loved learning more about you. It’s interesting to see how your career path has changed so much over the years!
That’s why they say, you never know what life has in store for you, Karishma! 🙂 Thanks for reading!
Loved learning more about you, Manali! That’s why the blog tour is so much fun!
I love behind the scenes posts like this. It is always nice to know a bit more about the person behind the blog.
I am looking forward to the French baking recipes.
Thanks Dannii! Ahh yes french recipes will come once I get a hang of it!
this was a great post Manali! I always love reading behind the scenes stuff! and I always like stopping by your blog to see what new things you post! have a great day 😉
Thanks Michele, I enjoyed writing this post! for a change it was not about recipes!
What a great post, Manali! It was fun reading more about your behind-the-scenes work. I can’t wait to see what new recipes you have in store for us!
Thank you Gayle, I had fun writing this!
Thanks a ton Manali for this sweet intro about me!! I had no idea too that you studied medicine!! haha it’s funny cause mostly lot of us come from different professions! I have a masters in chemical engineering and I totally love having cooking as my job!
I will soon start working on my side of the post! Thanks again girl!
Ami, I’m glad you liked the post! I really love your work and can’t wait to read your blog tour! Isn’t it amazing how all of us come from such different backgrounds yet food connects us all!
I love the idea of the Writing-process-blog-tour! How interesting to learn about the behind the scenes of a post. Manali, didn’t know you were a doctor! I am a Biomedical Engineer and after working in the pharmaceutical industry for some years, I realized that it didn’t fill me 100%, and that is how I found my love for cooking. I think we have a lot in common!
Thanks for the nomination! I’ll try to do it before the wedding…
Azu, I look forward to reading your blog tour post! Wow I didn’t know u were a bio medical engineer, truly we have a lot in common!