Writing Process Blog Tour

    Blog Tour Cook With Manali

    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! 😀 ]

    Cook With Manali Blog Tour

    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.

    Cook With Manali Writing Process BlogTour

    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

    1. Love this post! And I have that Bouchon book too, good taste 😉 I think your photos are really great, and your styling is perfect. But I think no matter where you’re at with your photography and no matter what others say, you will always be your hardest judge so that’s why you will always feel the need to improve 🙂 life long learning, right?

      1. Thank you Trang! you are very kind but I really do think I have a lot to learn. Like you said it’s a life long thing 🙂 Thank you so much for reading!

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