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Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts: Questions and some Pancakes

Friday, September 23, 2011

Questions and some Pancakes

 I love getting mail!  And fan mail?  So cool!  Lately, I have gotten a few emails about how I started blogging, and what have I done to be successful. One reader suggested that I write a post dedicated to answering some questions, to the benefit more than just her.  I thought this was a great idea!  So here it goes….

Yes, I really did just start blogging in April 2011. It all started when I was talking to my best friend Beth (via instant messaging because we don’t live near each other), about what I should do with my life.  At the time I was working from home for 12 hours a week or so, and needed something else to do with my time while my son is in school. She said I needed to do something fun, something that would work with  my personality rather than going back into accounting (my career before Mommyhood).  She threw out the idea of a blog and I kind of laughed at her.  Can you really make any money with a blog?  That was part of the criteria, I had to make money.  She proved to me you could, so I thought okay, let’s try this and thus, the blog was born.

The next day, I asked a couple people what I should name my blog.  Back and forth for awhile we came up with Dinners, Dishes and Desserts.  I set up my account with blogspot, wrote an “about me” section, and I was so excited.  I headed straight into the kitchen and whipped up some cookies.  I wrote the post immediately, and I have been hooked since! 

One of the first things I did was find other food blogs, so I could see how they set up their sites, what they posted about etc.  I saw a lot of people had a Foodbuzz logo on their site, so I went there and set up an account.  That opened up a whole new world of bloggers to meet.  The more I read, the more links I saw to other sites like “Tasty Kitchen”, “Foodgawker”, “Yummly”, and Mommy sites.  I just went crazy and joined everything I could.  In order to get maximum exposure, I put my posts everywhere I could and I commented on every blog I visited.  I visited A LOT of them.  I think this was probably the best thing I did.  Eventually I set up a Facebook page for my blog, and that opened up to even more bloggers to meet.  I have found that putting myself out there on facebook and now twitter has gained lots of support.  The food blogging community is so supportive of each other.  I have never met a group of people like this; it is so great to be a part of it. 

While I love blogging, I am finding that balancing my time is proving difficult.  On top of blogging, I am working from home for about 20 hours a week.  I try to work while my son is in school but between, housework, running errands, and real work I don’t have a ton of time for my blog.  I really want to turn this blog into a part time job, but that is hard to do.  I spend lots of nights watching TV with my husband with the computer in my lap reading and commenting on blogs.  I am trying to cut down on this, because I know it bothers my husband. I can’t blame him either, if the situation were reversed I am not sure I would like him focusing on something other than me and our family.  So, I am trying to figure out a schedule for myself where I can still spend time blogging and reading/commenting on other blogs but find a way to spend time with the family as well. 

I am so glad I started this blog.  I have met some amazing people in the process.  I can’t wait to see where this is going to go in the future!  Thank you so much to each of you who read this, I would not be here without you.

Of course, I can’t leave you without food today; it is after all why you come here.  Here is a throwback to one of my earlier posts.  These would make the perfect breakfast this weekend!  Enjoy!

S'mores Pancakes
Serves 2 - 2 pancakes per serving
2/3 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Optional - splash of vanilla
1 Tbls mini chocolate cips
20 mini marshmallows, halved
Chocolate Syrup
Reddi-Whip
1 sheet graham crackers

To make the batter, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and splash of vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and the marshmallows. Stir in the marshmallows slowly, so they don't stick together. You could use a griddle if you were making a lot of them, but it was just 2 of us, so I used a non-stick skillet that I sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, and then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Once they are cooked through, put on a plate and get ready for the yummy part! I used an ice cream topping Hot Fudge - so I had to microwave it to get it "dripable" I put a bunch on a spoon, and just drizzled it over the top of my pancakes. Top with a squirt of reddi-whip, and then crush up 1/2 of the graham cracker over the pancakes.

These really did kind of taste like S'mores. Next time though, I think I wouldn't mix the marshmallows into the batter. They kind of melted in there, and didn't stand out. I think I would just sprinkle them over the top. The pancakes are hot, so the whip cream melts quickly. I think the marshmallows would as well. And really, if you have a favorite pancake recipe you could use that, and just stir in the chocolate chips and top this way.

34 Comments:

At September 23, 2011 at 7:04 AM , Anonymous Laurel @ Lolly's Sweet Treats said...

I love s'mores! These look like the perfect Saturday morning treat. It's also nice to hear your perspective on blogging and how you got started. I'm pretty new to the blogging scene, so thank you for that!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 7:13 AM , Anonymous easyfoodsmith said...

OMG! the pancakes look sinfully delicious!! Your story on how you started blogging is so similar to mine!! I too started blogging after I quit a full time corporate job to raise my daughter. Since cooking is my passion so I thought of channelising this passion into a full time hobby. And I am loving it! :-)

 
At September 23, 2011 at 8:20 AM , Blogger Sandra said...

Pancakes look amazing Erin! Great recipe of course..
Blogging can take some time, but it is fun ride..and if becomes too heavy on your shoulders than it is best just to take some time off and rest, you know what I mean. It was great reading more about you..thanks for sharing!
Have a beautiful day!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Thank you so much for this post!! I can't believe you only started blogging in April 2011 - and look at all your followers - Ive only got 76!!! Thanks for all the ideas, your story is very similar to mine - I too would love to make a part time/fulltime job out of this - but where's the money!?! Anyway, love your post - and I agree that the food community is the nicest, most supportive bunch of people I ever met!
Mary x PS pancakes sound amazing!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Pretend Chef said...

These pancakes sound so decadent. I need to make these for a weekend breakfast treat. Great recipe. Blogging does take up a lot of time. Sometimes taking a break is best in order to spend quality time with family and friends. Loved hearing more about how your blog got started. Have a great day!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM , Blogger Foodness Gracious said...

Great post, I know exactly how it goes with catching up with other blogs, rarely do I go to bed before midnight now :) Where or what do you think has given you the most exposure in terms of marketing your blog?
Thanks and take care...

 
At September 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM , Blogger Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Erin, thanks for sharing your personal story. It was really nice to read how you started blogging. You've been working so hard to establish your fans here and not only that to keep up with so many recipes already! I truly admire of your hard work. Keep up the great work because all of us really enjoy your blog. I'm struggling a lot to keep my blog running with two small kids and the last thing I don't want is to regret that I didn't spend time enough with family and kids already grew up. Hope you and I can figure out good time management skills. :-) Now these pancakes are real treat for weekends (especially for hard worker like us mommy bloggers!). Thanks for sharing!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM , Blogger Foodiva said...

Erin, I think I'll go mad if I had to visit as many blogs as you do! But I'm not doing this to make any money so maybe therein lies the difference. If this becomes like a second job for me, or if it starts to really dig into family time and upset them, I would stop in a heartbeat. My philosophy is, I don't really care if only 10 people read my blog, as long as they're the same 10 people :-). That's why bloggers like you impress me - you just go for it!

Which brings me to these lovely pancakes, I'd drop everything to have a taste of this. It looks amazing!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM , OpenID sweetcarolinescooking.com said...

Thanks for sharing, Erin! I can't believe you just started blogging in April. Very impressive. You were smart to get your blog out there early by finding/commenting on other blogs and joining food sites. I didn't catch up on that until oh, 5 or 6 months into blogging. Woops! Finally jumped on the band wagon though and you're right, the more you put yourself out there, the more exposure. Thank God for social media! ;)

 
At September 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM , Anonymous Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

Great post, Erin. I started my blog in May, but I didn't really start trying to put myself out there until a couple of months ago. You gave some great tips to help new bloggers! Oh, and those pancakes sound delish!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM , Anonymous kristy said...

This was fun to read. I find it difficult to juggle the work/family/blog balance too. I find myself doing the same thing in front of the tv with the computer. I now limit myself to just a few nights a week (when hubby isn't home). It's helped a bit, but now I find that my Saturday mornings are spent commenting for hours. One of these days I'll find a good balance! Let me know if you find a good rhythm or have any good tips. :)

 
At September 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM , Anonymous Lacy said...

This is really helpful! I know what you mean about finding time. I work about 45 hours a week and try to blog on top of that, plus hang out with my boyfriend who I live with, etc. And these pancakes sound divine!! :)

 
At September 23, 2011 at 3:31 PM , Anonymous alex said...

your pancakes look amazing! and I loved this post, thanks for sharing!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 4:36 PM , Anonymous Jen DZ said...

Your post was very inspiring! I felt like you were writing it right to me! I, too, sit with my computer on my lap next to my husband, read and comment on other blog sites and wonder how to juggle getting the blog up and running successfully while being there for my family. I just started mine September 1 and find its slower going than I hoped. Hard to not feel discouraged sometimes. Thanks for sharing your tips! Best to you!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 4:55 PM , Anonymous Emily said...

Thank you for this post. I'm VERY new to the blogging world, and find it incredibly helpful when experienced bloggers write posts like this.

 
At September 23, 2011 at 5:52 PM , Blogger Pam said...

Blogging is so much fun isn't it? These pancakes would be a big hit in my home.

 
At September 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM , Blogger Cassie @ Bake Your Day said...

Thanks for sharing this! I struggle with the same things...constantly watching TV with my husband with my computer in my lap. It drives me craze because I know it's not quality time but it is so hard to fit it all in. I'm trying to take some steps to manage it all better. The pancakes sound awesome too. Know that you and your blog are loved!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Curry and Comfort said...

My kids would gobble these right up! I hear you about finding time to blog. Since school started, I'm driving kids to carpool, volunteering in the school library and a room parent in one class... where's the time? All we can do is our best and get some rest too. I think your blog is great and your recipes wonderful! :)

 
At September 23, 2011 at 8:27 PM , Blogger Ann said...

Hi Erin! It's hard to believe you started this in April - you are amazingly successful...

...you did leave out one important thing - you make some really terrific dishes and write great posts! You and your great personality are a reason for the success of this blog, too!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 10:23 PM , Blogger Kim Bee said...

Erin this is a wonderful post. First I am impressed you are so new to it. I would have never guessed that. I like the Q and A idea, it's a great addition. Also like your honesty here. It can be very difficult to balance it all. I try to close the laptop a few hours a day and just ignore it. I'm sure it affects my blog but sometimes you just gotta live your life. We love you for you and will always be here no matter what.

 
At September 23, 2011 at 11:03 PM , Anonymous Anne@frommysweetheart said...

Erin...what a great post! Congratulations on creating such a successful blog. You were one of the first people I 'met' when starting blogging and I think you are such a wonderful person with so much to offer all of us. I am in awe of you because I often wonder how you do it all, especially with a young one about. I know how hard it is to find a balance sometimes, how difficult it feels to keep up at times. But you do it beautifully! I love your blog and look forward to following it for a long, long time! And btw.....the pancakes look YUMMY!

 
At September 23, 2011 at 11:10 PM , OpenID momdecuisine said...

Great post, Erin! I am pretty new to blogging, and I know how the time commitment can be an issue, especially when it comes to your kids and husband. You have a great blog and it was interesting to know your story. Oh, and those pancakes!!!!! I'm thinking I need to run to the store to make them this morning for breakfast!

 
At September 24, 2011 at 9:01 AM , Blogger Free Spirit Eater said...

This is a really lovely post, it's great to see how you got started and how quickly you've progressed. And the pancakes look delish! Enjoy the rest of your weekend =]

 
At September 24, 2011 at 9:11 AM , Anonymous Ridiculously Delicious said...

I love the post, your blog and those S'more Pancakes...oh my!! They love yumtastic! I just recently joined foodbuzz, which is how I found your blog. I've been blogging for a while, but just haven't had the time to put myself out there. Thanks for your post, it's been an inspiration. Can't wait to try the pancakes!!

 
At September 24, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Lizzy said...

Fun pancakes, Erin! I think almost all of us food bloggers have dealt with trying to balance family life with blogging...some have found ways to do it, but I'm still struggling. When you find the answer, let.me.know :) xoxo

 
At September 24, 2011 at 11:16 PM , OpenID thefooddoctor said...

I loved reading your post Erin..I know what you are going through with all the things to manage and trying to keep your wonderful blog running...I just wanted to say that you are doing an amazing job and yours is one of my favorite blogs of all times..please if you do find a way to balance it all especially family time and blogging let me know
the pancakes look super yummy and have a new twist that I am looking forward to tryig

 
At September 25, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Blogger Christine's Pantry said...

Congrats on Foodbuzz top 9!

 
At September 25, 2011 at 6:40 PM , Blogger Kim Bee said...

Congrats on top 9!

 
At September 25, 2011 at 7:48 PM , Anonymous Ally said...

Making..me..hungry!
xo
http://allykayler.blogspot.com/

 
At September 25, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

Those pancakes look fantastic! Thanks for sharing a bit about how you got set up and everything, it was really interesting to read :) I think my boyfriend probably gets tired of me talking so much about blogging. Since I've only recently started its so easy to get hooked! You're so right though, this community is so supportive and positive to one another - it's an incredible thing to be a part of.

 
At September 26, 2011 at 12:25 AM , Blogger Elies_Lie said...

chocochip & marshmallows in a pancake! Yummy!
Tq erin for share the recipe with us & ur story of blogging :)
Happy to meet u too! ;)

 
At September 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM , Anonymous naila said...

Oh Thank you sooo much Erin for putting up this post i was eagerly waiting for, for answering all my questions so honestly and clearly . these were just the answers i was looking for. Really appreciate the prompt arrival of the post. it'l indeed be useful to many of us around who want to have a blog of their own.



All the Best and keep goinghigher n higher.

Regards

 
At September 26, 2011 at 7:05 PM , Blogger The Slow Roasted Italian said...

Fantastic post and the pancakes are incredible!!!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:19 AM , Anonymous Joanne said...

That is so funny you mention the laptop thing...So I'm not alone I guess!!! lol. I agree, blogging is so fun but it is very time consuming. There are an endless amount of great blogs to read and only so much time. Well I guess all I can say is thanks for reading mine and I'm glad I get to read yours too!!! <3

 

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