Just ask any man and he will (hopefully) say that given the choice between a blow up doll and a real live girlfriend, he chooses the real life girlfriend. That is what the IFBC was for me (no there was no blow up doll in the goodie bag). It was my chance to finally meet people in real life that I had been reading and talking to for so long. That is what I mostly took away from the conference. Well, that and I pay $350 but can’t get a chair (but that’s another rant for another day).
I’ve been reading many bloggers recaps of the IFBC. Some all rosy and happy. Some bitter. Most somewhere in between. Meeting people however seems to be the one thing most people can agree on as the positive.
Many people had epiphanies while there. I am not excluded in this category. But I don’t think mine was the same as others. The one thing I most definitely learned this last weekend is that I am not a food writer. Oh I may be a writer as in the fact that I write words on this blog and some of you actually read them (still not sure why). But food I cannot write about.
This became painfully obvious during the writing with all of your senses portion of the conference. While describing my lemon as a sunshine colored double sided 18 year olds perky breast, the rush of wow, I am not cut out to describe food came over me. Let’s face it, most of my post aren’t actually about food. They are about me (fabulous me, try not to vomit)rambling on about something and then down at the bottom, oh yeah, I made some food.
I let the pictures do the talking, which for most people is fine. And according to much hate mail, I make recipes that contribute to the obesity of America (and Canada and probably a third world country or two thrown in for good measure). That’s my thing. Writing is not.
The other thing much talked about this weekend was traffic. Lots of bloggers asked me how I got my traffic, what was my secret. Umm, none. Been around a long time. Plain and simple. So since I have no real answer to that maybe you can answer that…Why Do You Read My Little Fattening Food Blog?
Oh wait, almost forgot, I made food. 😉 This is my take on Coconut Cream Pie. I hate, as most of you know to make pie crust. This was way better than pie crust anyway. And technically way better than pie crust! So I did something more healthy than the original (did you feel the Earth stop rotating there for a moment?)
I am not a super coconut cream pie fan, but have to say this is full on yummy. I’d describe it but I learned I suck at that. So I’ll just say eat it instead.
Toasted Coconut Meringue Stacks filled with Coconut Cream Pie Filling
Coconut Cream Pie Filling (ala Tom Douglas)
2 cups milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Place shredded coconut into a food processor and pulse until coconut becomes more meal like and less of a stringy mess.
To make the pastry cream, combine the milk and coconut in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until the mixture almost comes to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and flour until well combined.
Temper the eggs (to keep them from scrambling) by pouring a small amount (about 1/3 Cup) of the scalded milk into the egg mixture while whisking.
Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and coconut. Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until it melts.
Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over a bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until completely cold. The pastry cream will thicken as it cools. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
Pastry Cream Recipe adapted from Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen…and shameless lifted from Cakespy so as not to have to type it all out. Thanks Jessie.
Toasted Coconut Meringues
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup toasted unsweetened coconut, finely chopped (use a food processor)
Preheat oven to 250F.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed, until soft peaks form.
Gradually (no really or else it will clump)sprinkle in sugar, 1 TBSP at a time, beating until sugar is completely dissolved and stiff glossy peaks have formed.
Fold in coconut until thoroughly combined.
Place into a piping bag, and pipe out round discs to your size liking. I went about the size of a small soup can top.
Bake 1 hour or until dry. Remove to rack to cool.
To assmeble: Take a meringue and pipe some cream pie filling on top. Top that with a meringue and pipe some cream pie filling on top of that. Keep going till you get as high as you want. Keep going till your arm falls off, well maybe not. 🙂 Top with fresh whipped cream and some extra coconut pieces.
alas, I did not make it to IFBC… I still wish that I had (even with the disappointing bits).
I love Tom Douglas, and try to make it to one of his restaurants each time I am in Seattle…
and this? I want to make Right Now. Jason is not a big coconut fan, but he has band practice tonight. Perhaps this will be MY evening. !
Happy Weekend – enjoy!
I read you because you’re funny – you’re right, you don’t write the way other food bloggers do, and I like that. I like your insight on life. Your pictures are definitely delicious-looking and you make lots of ooey-gooey fun things, but honestly, it’s not the food that keeps me coming back to your blog, it’s the quirky way you write down your thoughts and the goings-on in your life and then tie them into baked goods at the end of the post. Like the bridesmaid dress post recently. I like that.
You rock. Hard.
Jen Yu says
I read b/c I love you 🙂
I stumbled apoun your blog while searching for something I don’t even remember and I was hooked. I read it backwards to the beginging and was sad when I finished and always look forward to your new post. I read it because I like how you write what you think and I can relate to alot of it and it’s pretty funny also. I loooooooove the recipes and the great pictures. I have only made three things but have alot more I want to try. Keep up the good work. I love it!
I like the way you write. Even if they are just words, they make me laugh and keep me coming back for more. Of course your delicious recipes and photos help too! And I just love ya!
The only thing I can cook is eggs because I know I would chow down way too much if I were a baker of desserts. That’s why I love reading your blog. The desserts are delish looking; plus, the anecdotes always make me chuckle :).
I admit I don’t always even read the writing if I’m in a rush, but I keep coming back because the recipes are consistently fabulous. And really…I’m happy enough to find out what it tastes like myself, rather than read something verbose!
Your recipes are original every time! You combine things in so many different ways that I would never think of. These gems can’t be found anywhere else!
I love your blogs for your fabulous recipes and pictures, plus your stories are hilarious (like your dad’s “favorite” phrase post).
I read because you’re hilarious. and I’m a sugar addict and this is my food porn. and some of your recipes are unbelievable. I love opening up a post and yelling to my husband, “OMG! Come look what she did now!”
I read for the sheer audaciousness of your concoctions. keep ir up!
To be honest, I actually like food blogs like yours more than food blogs about food. Life and people are what interest me. You are funny and snarky and right up my alley. Plus the food looks awesome. All the time.
And you’re not actually contributing to the obesity epidemic, by the way. Most obese people don’t sit at home and take the time to bake all of these elaborate things. Most of them sit at home and eat fried chicken and McDonalds. so whoever’s sending you hate mail. Should stop.
I want these. Badly. Very badly.
OMG, these comments are fantastic! Not to worry, I met many people there who HATED the sensual, food poetry session. Me included! It was a pleasure sitting by you on Sunday & sharing electricity! Sorry to hear that your goody bag was minus the doll :-0
I like this. I would say you are a writer who cooks and posts beautiful photos of her food. But you ARE a writer. Maybe not a “food writer,” per say, but I just LOVE your writing style!
Oh, and your food’s not so bad either 🙂 This looks scrumptious!
That is an irresistible dessert! A fabulous creation.
Well I happen to love your suckiness at food writing, but I actually don’t think you suck! I LOVE your blog and style of writing and I always walk away wanting to bake and laughing…because you are that good, so don’t change it and those haters can eat a rice cake :)that leaves more whipped cream for me!!
I read your blog because it makes me laugh and you are so genuine in your posts, or maybe you’re making it all up, either way I love it. Keep it up! And you keep us stocked with delish baked goods and hockey stories:)
I don’t like making pie crust either, it’s kind of a pain.
I read your lovely blog because I like that you don’t gush on about lemons for 4 paragraphs and you keep me entertained with your stories. That, and your photos always make me drool.
I read because I love your writing style… your humor is right up my alley and your posts always make me smirk. I love someone who makes me smirk.
Plus, the pictures… oh, the glorious pictures… they always make me hungry.
Oh, and finally, you don’t speak to me condescendingly… like you’re trying to teach me to cook… I hate when food bloggers talk down to me and come across like they are cooking experts and all knowing.
So, keep it up. You obviously ARE a writer and a darn entertaining one at that.
I read your blog because I enjoy what you write. And the pictures don’t hurt. =) I like that you write about life, not just food. I definitely think you should keep rambling, and oh, making some food. =P
Anita Turner says
These coconut pie cookies look very tasty, I think I will try them. Thanks!
You know I read. I read because you are not the typical blog writer. Typical is boring. Your stories are always interesting, usually comical and sometimes full of sarcasm. I dont need to know that lemons taste citrusy and chocolate tastes chocolaty in descriptions of recipes. I know these things already. However, your recipes are always inspiring, creative and drool worthy. Plus you love hockey. (Even if it is the flyers.) GO PENS! I think its a rare thing to find comical, snarky, drool worthy and hockey fan in one place. You have it all. 😉
Wish I had made it to the conference. Someday lady. Someday.
Oh here in Malaysia, a few of us bloggers meet every now and then, trying to invite other local bloggers or any other bloggers from other countries if they happen to be in the country. And it usually happens in a restuarant as there are only a handful of us.
It’s really nice when you get to meet the people that you’ve only known thru what they write on their blogs, and when you meet them in person, the relationship deepens. It’s nice 🙂
So, don’t forget to tell me if you ever come to Malaysia 🙂
it looks lovely!
I read your blog precisely because you describe a lemon as a ‘sunshine colored double sided 18 year olds perky breast’. That made me laugh. A lot. And made me feel all warm and happy and giggly because whenever I read that phrase it’s so ridiculously hilarious that I have to start laughing again. Seriously. Plus you make kickass baked everything. Nearly everything you make makes me want to make it because it looks so darned delicious, except for the stuff with coconut because I don’t like it. And if I kept talking about why I love reading your blog I’d run out of space. I wouldn’t want you to change anything about this blog because it’s wonderful as is. Well… maybe if you added a section called ‘101 Reasons Why The Canucks Are So Much More Kickass Than Every Other Hockey Team Out There’… 😉
Your wit is unlike most…and THAT is reason enough to read your blog! There aren’t enough light-hearted attempts at being so wonderfully honest (and sarcastic?!) with what life tosses out there…and you seem to have quite the knack for letting the chips fall where they may AND dealing with life’s lemons in a better-than-lemonade-anyday way! I appreciate you (and your blog) beyond words! DON’T CHANGE A THING!!!
Kate Thompson says
I chanced upon your blog a long time ago by a picture and thought it looked delicious. I read your story and thought you were intelligent and witty. From there I went to the beginning of your blog and read every single post and I’ve been here since.
Your pictures speak enough for the food. If it appeals to me, I attempt the recipe and in most cases it is delicious. I don’t need for you to tell me it is delicious. I am here to read what is also on your mind in regards to your life…because you are interesting.
bellini valli says
I am sorry that food conference was not all you hoped it would be, but a lot can be said for putting faces to names and learnong a little along the way.I read your blog because I like your writing style, you say things I am too cautious to say and always make smile.. and I like to drool all over the delicious desserts.
okay, i won’t call you a writer; you’re a storyteller. the food blogs i tend to read the most tell a story of some kind–sometimes about the food, somtimes not–and i like a good story. also, i share your love of bread pudding 🙂
Jessica J. says
I read because you’re so real. You don’t sugar coat life, you tell it how you think it is and you’re funny too.
The food photos are also AMAZING! 🙂
I am a faithful reader of your blog because I like to drool over beyootiful pictures of sweets that would send me over to a clothing store to upsize my jeans. Again.
I read your blog because 1) your food looks scrumptious, 2) the food I make based on your recipes ALWAYS taste wonderful, 3) your stories are honest and hilarious, 4) you say what I wish I could say, and 5) you don’t apologize for having opinions. Thanks for putting in a great effort to bring all us of your blog!
Pamela L. says
Darn it girl. I read your blog because your funny and I love reading about your life. Just as I do for many others, including Jen Yu and David Lebovitz. Once in awhile I’ll do a recipe(your chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake!!), but I’m in for the story, and in that case, you are a writer!
Not the food – my husband is diabetic – we do very few desserts that arn’t fresh fruit.
Did however do the pear upside down cake. I had to give the rest of it away that night so we wouldn’t finish it.
Basically -LADY I LOVE YOUR STYLE. I’m in Michigan but if I ever get out your way I’m going to look you up and buy you a beer or three. We share many of the same rants.
Don’t change a thing.
I read your blog because you always have inventive and tasty looking recipes and food. I also really enjoy the way you write about your life and I find that I can relate to your stories. I like that you say what is on your mind, even if others don’t like it.
I read because you make me laugh!
I read your blog because you’re funny and I LOVE your pictures.
Good food, great phtos. What’s not to like? I love the fact that you blog because you want to share your life with me. Keep up the funny stuff!
I read because you’re fabulous! And you make the kind of food that I want to eat 🙂 Besides, I already know what a lemon tastes like.
i LOVE your blog! I come mostly for the writing and pictures! You are VERY funny and I like that!
I avoid blogs where the writer uses all kinds of flowery prose (gag). I can’t even finish most magazine articles because the writers tend to ramble.
I come here for the sarcasm and delish pics!
Yummo – this looks better than cream pie in pie crust too.
Your stories draw me in, your posts always make me smile, and your recipes and gorgeous photos inspire my own baking creations. How could I not read your blog?!?
I read you because you are fun to read. You always manage to bring a smile to my face, and you follow up that smile with something that looks yummy, and a recipe that I will want to make but likely won’t (too many recipes in the world that I want to make!)
Lori @ RecipeGirl says
I read your blog bc you’re funny & you have good pics that make me want to lick my screen. I think there were MANY of us at IFBC who were extremely uncomfortable w/ the writing exercise… I’m not like that either (at ALL). And I would never read a food blog that was written that way.
I hate pie crust. You and me is soul sistahs. See ya in ARK!
I read! Even though a Wings fan through and through (your most hated :)) I love reading your blog for several reasons, like you food is what ties our lives together, no matter what quirky thing happens that day to make you think of the deliciousness that you create, I love the story that goes along with the food. A smell, taste or dish can bring back memories or create new ones. I don’t always cook what you create (damn you and your ice cream maker making such yummy looking dishes!) but I love the story that goes along with it. Screw the lemons…add it to some Easy Street Wheat!
Peabody, I read your blog because you never cease to entertain me and your crazy rants always bring a smile to my face! That and you love sweets just as much as I do!
I read you because you make me laugh and inspire me to cook. Plus, your site is my go to place when I need to bring desert somewhere – although I usually have to search for a little while to find something in my skill and time set.
I read your blog because your recipes are imaginative and are often the kinds of things I like to eat (I’m a picky eater, so not many blogs match my tastes), and because I enjoy your stories. And, I too hate hot weather and the coming of summer makes me depressed, so we are kindred spirits in that regard.
I read your blog because it makes me laugh and it makes me happy. I also LOVE your recipes and have tried quite a few (much to my waistline’s dismay). I was browsing through your site the other day and read your post about having a “life sucker” as a friend and it reminded me that lately, with work being so stressful, that maybe I was starting to act like one of those people by whining everyday about how rotten work is (at least to my boyfriend)and I don’t want to be.So I’m working extra hard at not being one. And I made him some banana nut muffins. : ) So thanks! (he thanks you too)
Lindsay Erwin says
I read you because you’re real. I mean, you are charismatic and popular and awesome and you make me laugh with what you write and I love your recipes, but you are just … real. I wrote you an email and friend requested you on FB about living in Korea and eating sweet garlic bread and you totally responded. You didn’t even know me, but yet I think you saw my appreciation for food and my ability to laugh about it. Reading your blog makes me feel like I know you. That’s what matters.
Thank you. Keep on doin’ what you do because I’ll always be reading …
I read your blog b/c the “real” you seems to come across …your wit, your sarcasm, etc. I may not agree with everything you say, but it least you have the guts to say how you feel. And the baked treats aren’t bad either, although most are a little complicated for my style of baking!
I accidently found your blog- I read one story/recipe and i was hooked.
You talk about life in a way we can all relate- and then you break your baking down into the same terms- its down to earth and realistic…. and we never know what your going to go on about next & what food the newest rant will be created.. LOL
I read your blog because I think you are funny and love the way you relate life and food.
I am a dual citizen-Canadian and US and I am torn between the two countries, I love to hear your take on those things.
Your pictures are great and the food is fabulous.
Nutmeg Nanny says
Hmmmm why do I read your blog….well mostly because your witty, funny, take good pictures and all your recipes sound tasty:) Who the hell cares if you make fattening food? Don’t freaking make the recipe if you don’t like it. I once got hate mail because I apparently used a recipe that called for way too much butter. Screw that. I love butter and it seems as if you love it too…which is another reason I love you blog 🙂
I came for the food porn but I stayed for the stories. Your humorous take on life and the ability to laugh at yourself is wonderful to read about.
BTW, even though I gain 10 lbs just reading your recipes, I think they are still wonderful.
Keep up the good work!
I’ve been “with” you for a very long time and just love the way you write, it’s fresh, fun, serious and always delicious.
thank you for your voice.
This coconut creation looks like heaven to me.
I read to understand how someone could love hockey and not be a Red Wings fan… just kidding.
I love your stories and how they relate to food. I found you through theNest or something and have been hooked for years. You inspire me to actually take the time to make things myself.
Livin Local says
How do I love thee blog, let me count the ways: unintentional humor, intentional humor, quirky stories, lack of transitions, great photos, more great photos, fun ideas, makes me feel welcome to your life’s party.
You are a writer…and sometimes its about food, but mostly it is just plain fun to read. The food photos actually are my equivalent of window shopping. I can’t always afford the calories, but I can enjoy what you have made and the amazing creativity of your way with sugar and fat laden foods. Don’t change a thing! These look like more fun to eat than pie, too!
Lisa @ The Cooking Bride says
I read your blog because a lot of the time the writing is pretty humorous and the pictures are yummy!
What a great twist on coconut cream pie – love it!
Jill B says
I read because you ARE different, because you are creative and make me think of interesting twists (or wish I could), and you always have good stuff. Some I like more than others, but that’s true of most anyone (even you, since you sometimes make things for others that you don’t love). You’re my go-to for some eye-catching marvel of sweet stuff.
Like this recipe – I wouldn’t have given it a second thought by the name, but seeing it, and realizing what’s going on, I might have to try it after all!
Kate @ Savour Fare says
I was just talking to my husband about this. “I am not a writer,” sayeth I. “But you write,” he said. “That makes you a writer.”
“Yes, I said, but sometimes a lemon is just lemony.”
I starte reading you because I happened upon you one day looking for a cookie recipe on Google and landed here.
I KEEP reading you because you’re sarcastic and funny and don’t really care what people think when it comes to a lot of things, which I admire in people.
Oh yeah, and you make good food…