I’m a Food Blogger, and I Forgot Why I Love to Cook

My favorite way to cook is with absolutely no plan or recipe. No roadmaps to follow, no measurements, no ingredients to match; I’m the artist.

I walk into the kitchen, the possibilities feel endless. Except – they are. They end with the fact that my kitchen is not a grocery store, and I’ve got to deal with what I have.

But that’s one of the best parts.

The restriction is a force pushing you into a creative direction. There is no room for choice overload. Your parameters are set, make something magical with them. 

It’s one of the most routine, everyday, go-through-the-motions tasks. Yet, I find so much joy in it. Here’s why. I'm a Food Blogger, and I Forgot Why I Love to Cook

I love to cook because it’s the truest form of creativity.


Yes – my job, my blogs, they allow room for me to let my creative flag fly. But I’m being creative for someone else, for you, for the reader, the customer, the audience. Whether I realize it or not, there are restrictions. In the kitchen, there are no rules. It’s a different kind of creativity. It allows me to create without constraint. In my writing world, there are often pressures to be creative in a certain way. To put words together perfectly. To create an experience, and bring someone else into my world, through my words. That creativity isn’t always there. But in the kitchen, it’s effortless. The process flows out innately. It envelops me as soon as I hear the ignition of the first flame.

I'm a Food Blogger, and I Forgot Why I Love to Cook

I love to cook because it’s challenging yet nurturing.

With each meal comes practice. Your first meal isn’t going to be a masterpiece. Neither will your 50th or your 100th. But each time you place yourself in front of that stove, you are growing. You are getting better. And you are training yourself to understand.

 

I love to cook because it’s the only place I am fearless.

Failure is going to happen. And it will teach you. But you musn’t be afraid or intimidated. A bad casserole isn’t the end of the world. There are always options in the kitchen. But one of them shouldn’t be to quit. The fearlessness one experiences after practice in the kitchen is unlike any other. Understanding that there are always options (i.e. you will not starve if this dinner turns out sour – there’s always that pizza place across the street) is imperative to overcoming barriers in cooking.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” -Julia Child

I love to cook because I simply love to create.

I love the feeling of turning something raw into a finished product. There is nothing like throwing ingredients together and forming the perfect equation to a wonderful marriage of flavors and textures.

I'm a Food Blogger, and I Forgot Why I Love to Cook

I love to cook because it brings your senses to life.

The sound of onions crackling in olive oil. The smell of garlic enveloping your house with an unmistakable aroma that you wish you could bottle up. The touch of the knife as you chop, julienne, slice and mince. The sight and taste of your masterpiece after a meticulously orchestrated symphony of culinary creativity. So often we allow our senses to be taken for granted. Cooking reminds us that they should be recognized, and often.

 

I love to cook because it brings people together.

The power of food and cooking is invaluable. It connects generations, families, friends, colleagues, enemies. There is nothing more I love than to cook with my mother, the one who has taught me everything I know about cooking. I love to sit and watch my grandmother as she navigates the kitchen, creating dishes that her mother and mother-in-law taught her, and whose mothers I’m sure taught them.

 

I love to cook because I love to love.

I enjoy creating meals from the bottom of my heart for my loved ones to enjoy. There is no greater feeling than putting your heart and soul into a dish, and seeing, hearing, knowing, that the person you love is enjoying every bite.

I'm a Food Blogger, and I Forgot Why I Love to Cook

I wanted to take the time to share with you the reason I love to cook because I believe that cooking can often be looked at as a negative thing. Of course, we all lead busy lives, and we often lack the time to put our hearts into a gourmet meal. Thus, cooking is seen as an obstacle. A pain in the ass. And trust me, I believe this to be true at times. When I’m utterly exhausted from a long day of work. But it’s not cooking that I hate during those times. It’s the energy necessary to do so. And always, always, when I get myself up to get it done, I feel so much better.

And as of late, I’d sort of become numb. I’d forgotten my love for cooking.

Until recently, when I was creating a recipe for a client. I realized that some of the ingredients I’d planned on using had gone bad, I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, and I was on a deadline. So, I had to work around these obstacles and create a recipe out of what was in my kitchen (thanks to this, I’m usually pretty stocked). I put so much pressure on myself to make visions of perfection when making food for this blog or for clients. So, I immediately hit a slight panic mode.

But once I began sifting through our food supply, I calmed down. I realized – this is the best part. Here, I am creating. I am using my practice. I am not following a recipe I scribbled down, I am creating a recipe as I go, writing it down after the fact. The bliss I experience while cooking came rushing back to me. All of my everyday anxieties, my stress, my worries, flew out the window. I was in my zone; my favorite place.

As a food blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘blogging game’. The analytical side of blogging (which, yes, it’s much more mathematical than you’d ever realize). We are constantly trying to understand digital trends, algorithms, what’s popular, etc etc. Sometimes I catch myself losing a bit of fuel because I’m cooking according to keywords or Pinterest trends. But really – I started this website because I really freakin’ like to cook, and I think I’m pretty good at it (after much trial and error), and I wanted to help others while hopefully inspiring them. I believe it’s important to come back down to earth every once in a while, and think about why you love something, and realize that there are enormous joys in the simplest of tasks.

I'm a Food Blogger, and I Forgot Why I Love to Cook

Photos by Jill Cariaga.

Join the conversation:
Bloggers: have you ever lost a bit of control over your passions?
Bloggers/readers/chefs: why do YOU love to cook?

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Comments

    • says

      I now expect every comment from you to contain a RH reference. Your fault. And seriously though, I look back at the beginning of this journey at how I would still share recipes I wasn’t 150% happy with. And the fact that I didn’t get much response – DUH! Now, I can see when I put my heart and soul into something and its like my readers and followers can sense it.
      The Blissful Balance recently posted…Strawberry Watermelon SangriaMy Profile

  1. says

    Thanks so much for this! I do often get caught up in following the recipe I’ve scribbled down or making sure to take careful notes as I cook that I don’t take the time to enjoy the process… But the process is the best part!

  2. says

    Yes to every word in this post. I love to cook because it is an amazing creative outlet, I find it super relaxing, and let’s be real – I like eating more than I like to do anything. And I’m a firm believer that if you like to eat, you better learn to like to cook. I have 100 percent lost my food blogging mojo, and am definitely struggling in the creativity aspect because it feels like blogging has taken the fun out of it. I definitely need to get back to basics.
    Les @ The Balanced Berry recently posted…Pineapple Cherry MargaritasMy Profile

  3. says

    I can relate to this 100%. I think it’s so easy to allow the process of creating and cooking to become a stressful situation (especially when on a deadline), when in actuality, it’s almost a blessing to be forced to use your creativity to improvise. Because we’re wiser than we think, especially with years of cooking/cooking for the blog practice.
    Erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…Orange and Plum Oatmeal BakeMy Profile

  4. says

    great article Christina! Funnily enough i feel the exact same way when i create workouts. a lot of the time i just want to share the workouts that i do because i LOVE them and want to share them with people. but i’ve slowly realized that many people maybe can’t perform the exercise, or don’t have dumbbells on hand, etc. so a lot of the time the workouts have to be modified, and the result is they aren’t exactly what i wanted. i try to mix them up though so there is a good balance of both.
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…Mexican Shrimp Quinoa BowlMy Profile

  5. says

    Ohh Christina, you beautifully articulated all of the thoughts that swirl in my brain every day. I’ve actually made a conscious effort to NOT try to follow food trends unless I’m going to be in love with them forever, I think thats better for my blog in a round about way, because when I’m not excited about a recipe, none of my readers are either. Lastly, I’m seriously crushing on that dress :)

  6. says

    I love to cook, because I love to eat! I love food. I love what you can do with it and how certain flavors bring so much life to a dish. I also love to cook with friends, because it is just a fun environment and there is laughter and joy and food makes people HAPPY!
    ACKTIVE LIFE recently posted…Slowing Down and Practicing Self-CareMy Profile

  7. says

    I love this, because it just reflects you, so accurately. It reflects the beauty of cooking as an art, not a mere ‘form’ or ‘mechanic.’ I’m not as much of a recipe blogger, but what you said about getting caught up in the ‘blogging game’ is something that I’ve shied away from by not creating recipes, even though I love to cook. This post has now inspired me to go create food for the sake of love and the sake of just creating. I can’t wait to see more of what you create Christina, and we don’t expect it to be ‘perfect’ because I love that you are REAL, REALLY who you were made to be in that kitchen. <3
    Emily recently posted…Freedom From BondageMy Profile

  8. says

    Sometimes I think you read my mind… I mean this is twice now in once week. GET OUT OF MY HEAD. Just kidding, please stay.
    I was literally just thinking about this last night. Working with a deadline and wondering where my spark went. But then I snapped out of it and realized it was just the fear talking, and that I am going to do a kickass job and keep moving forward.
    So well said Christina!
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen recently posted…Roasted Asparagus Salad with Balsamic Almond DressingMy Profile

  9. says

    love where you went with this! but also so glad you got your mojo back! wooo! never lose your love 😀 <3
    for me, i started my blog because i LOVE to cook, create recipes, adapt some family recipes, etc. it's not perfect, but it is me, and i'm not going to change why i started. now, i hope school doesn't get in the way of my love to cook :)

  10. says

    I can absolutely relate! I think I get so caught up in getting a post up in time or blogging a summer recipe, just because summer is coming up. Or sometimes I don’t make a favorite dish just because I don’t think it will photograph well.
    I need to sit back and remember that I REALLY love to cook.
    Rachel @LittleChefBigAppetite recently posted…The Best Spicy Mango SalsaMy Profile

    • says

      Totally. What’s funny is I swear every time I share unplanned recipes, they do the best on my blog. Every time I’ve shared something that I made on a whim, and felt the most creative, and thought “actually I’ll share this” it turns out to get the best response!

  11. says

    I love this post Christina! The kitchen is the perfect place for me to forget my stresses from the day and create a meal that I can be proud of. I can’t tell you how many muffins I’ve burned, pancakes I’ve flopped, and eggs I’ve over scrambled, but these failures make the success all the more delicious.

    Enjoy your weekend and be sure to whip up something yummy :)

  12. says

    I adore this post, Christina! Cooking is creativity and courage and love and stress-relief. I can share my love for food with others, and I can show them that I love them by cooking for them. I’m hugely type-A, but when I’m in the kitchen, I can usually take the pressure off. I relax and just create. I think we all experience those little dips in passion, and that feeling when the inspiration and joy comes back is amazing. As always, thanks for sharing what’s on your mind.
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Five Friday Favorites 05/06/16My Profile

  13. says

    This is beautiful, Christina, and so well-written. As bloggers, we all understand the pressure of cooking recipes that will “go viral,” that are paleo/GF/vegan/30 minute/no bake because we know that’s what people want. You can easily get burnt out, cranking recipes out just for the hell of it.
    But then sometimes I cook something purely to cook and eat – not for the blog, not to post a picture of – just to enjoy the process of cooking and to sit down for a nice meal. I love seeing the process of turning basic ingredients into something beautiful, delicious, and uniting.

  14. says

    Sometimes we get too indulged doing other things we love doing then we forget but it’s wonderful when we get back on track and realize it’s more beautiful than ever before. I mean, the more different our perspectives are, the more we can see the picture clearly and know what we really want! :) I think this is beautiful It makes me realize what i really want and that i can always do something greater than the things i just do because i am used to doing them before. Some things are always sweeter the second time around. Like my love for making films before? Yeah I somehow loved it too much and did something on the side and made money too til i’ve forgoten the essence of it all but then..! We can always go back! Let’s make food prep videos!! :)

  15. says

    Brilliant health tips and food recipe I have ever read! I should try it as soon as possible. Can you share a clip of this recipe step by step to quick learning? By the way, thank you so much for sharing your amazing experience.

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