The Big Decision:
Hello, my friend. It’s been a little while since we’ve chatted, or rather, you’ve read my musings and typed up a lovely comment in response, and I’ve squealed with joy. The truth is, I’ve been working through some major life decisions lately. I suppose I’m in my early (ish) the twenties and that’s par for the course, but spending a weekend at a strange “wellness” exposition that was really more hokey pokey than scientific had me re-evaluating my life.
I don’t believe that a “medium” can manifest things for me by blowing into a microphone, but for some reason, this experience gave legs to an ongoing reflection on where I’m at in life right now, and where I want to go.
Ask yourself this question: Do I feel like I’m living true to myself in all areas of my life?
The results may surprise you.
It’s a big one, I know. So many parts of your life are encompassed in that question: health, relationships, abundance, honesty, work…it’s one mindf*ck of a question that’s perfectly capable of tripping you up for days at a time. And boy, am I ever tripping.
I started this blog as PaletteDining over three years ago now. From the beginning, I wanted to create my own business that would allow me to channel some of my creative energy that I didn’t necessarily have a place to channel elsewhere.
This website has grown and changed and gone through a complete overhaul as I: graduated university, stepped out into adulthood, experienced some fulfilling and some not so fulfilling relationships, published exhilarating, terrifying pieces of writing, traveled to a new continent, moved twice, developed increasing strength and empowerment in dealing with my mental illnesses, taught myself how to use countless new technologies, created a radio show, settled into an understanding and comfort with my gender that has brought me so much joy, held a beautiful baby on the day he was born for the first time in my life…it’s been a wild three years, and I’ve carried this website through all of that.
I’ve also saturated my brain with knowledge from business leaders in many fields to a point where I have a much greater understanding of what it takes to run a business than I did at 22 years old. I understand now that the market for food blogging is saturated. Everybody eats, yes, but with the arrival and growth of Pinterest, food bloggers must work harder and harder to set their content apart from the rest and earn a living (if that’s what they desire). Is it impossible? Certainly not. I believe that with monetary investment, a strong drive, and few life commitments, one can spend the 60-80 hours per week growing and improving their business to a point where it becomes sustainable.
But that’s the catch: What I wanted when I started this site was a business I could survive off of on my own. I’ve always been fiercely independent with my finances, and these past three years I just haven’t been able to afford, and also haven’t necessarily desired, to put the necessary time and monetary investment into reaching that place. It takes years, it takes time, and it takes effort. I understand this now more than I ever did, and it has caused me to reevaluate whether I want to put ALL my effort into THIS right NOW.
PaletteDining is not my only passion, and it’s not the only place I want to spend my time. I’m tired of spending an hour a day scheduling Pinterest posts because that’s what I have to do to make this business work. I want to spend that hour walking, reading, or chatting with a friend. I’m tired of pushing myself to complete a recipe or a post when I’m just not feeling super inspired. It sucks the fun out of my creative process.
I’ve been sitting with these reflections for a little while, and it’s made me realize that I need to change my outlook on this website from business to hobby in order to continue receiving all the wonderful gifts it brings to my life: online connections with people like you, opportunity to grow creatively, and an outlet for my writing. I have mad respect for businesswomen who are running their food websites and supporting themselves completely with their sites. I just don’t think for me, and my life, this website is the best place to do that right now.
Am I shutting the whole thing down? Certainly not. But I am quitting the “job” and turning it into a hobby. I’m going to post as little, or as often, as I please. I’m going to give myself all the time in the world to respond thoughtfully to every comment. I’m going to pin images because they’re beautiful, not because I think they would help grow my profile. I’m going to tweet silly things, swear like a pirate, and take a huge bite of a freshly baked cake before setting it up for photos.
This job has been an amazing three-year run, and I look forward to the continued growth and development I will experience as I continue the site as a hobby. And, who knows, maybe in a couple of years’ time, I’ll decide I miss this job like crazy. Fortunately, I won’t have to deal with a terrifying interview process as I’ll be applying to myself.
Thank you for all the love and support you’ve continued to provide me as I’ve changed directions over and over again. I look forward to our continued relationship and sharing of sweets, treats, and nuggets of wisdom baked with love.
A couple of years ago an episode of My Drunk Kitchen, I watched Hannah Hart talk about the American tradition of adding a slice of cheddar cheese to apple pie. It took me two years to try something similar myself, and this savory apple crisp is the result of that little seed planted in my head two years ago. Mozzarella cheese pairs its creamy self with the beautifully stinky strength of gorgonzola. Don’t be mistaken, even though this is a savory apple crisp, it’s still a dessert. Sweet, a little salty, creamy, and very decadent, you’ll be asking for a second helping in no time.
Savoury Apple Crisp with Mozzarella and Gorgonzola
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: serves 6
- 5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
- 75 g gorgonzola
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup butter, cold
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. In an 8×8 pan, spread the apple slices evenly over the bottom. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the apples. Crumble the gorgonzola and sprinkle it over the Mozza.
- In a mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, and butter. Mix with your hands to form pea-sized crumbs. Sprinkle these overtop the apples and cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Let the crisp cool for 5 minutes before serving.