Tuesday 3 January 2012

Reflecting on 2011 - goals for the Feel-good Foodbook in 2012

Christmas 2010 - proudly modelling my new apron and matching tagine!I’ve always enjoyed fine dining and experimenting with intriguing flavour combinations in the kitchen, but 2011 was a gastronomic game-changer for me.

My cooking skills rapidly accelerated, as I attempted to portray myself as a Nigella-esque domestic goddess to my boyfriend. My repertoire of recipes expanded, as I pushed myself to practice new dishes and to perfect old faithfuls. My interest in photography blossomed, as I realised that a meal’s presentation was second only in importance to its flavour. My tastebuds tingled, as I moved to London and investigated the capital’s exceptional independent eateries. When my desire to share this passion for good food became irrepressible, I decided to join the growing mass of food bloggers and diarise my taste sensations online.

But it’s been harder than I expected to reproduce my obsession for culinary delights on the page. My excuse is that I’ve lacked the time to post frequently, but the truth is that I’ve been afraid that my writing style lacked the eloquence to make for an captivating read. The library of food photos on my computer grew exponentially, but the correlating stories remained locked inside my head – too timid to be released into the wider world.

Like many people, I’m embracing the new year as a chance to start afresh. My fitness regime and willpower had crumbled by December, so most of my 12 resolutions for 2012 concentrate on recreating a healthier lifestyle…whilst still experiencing all of the tasty treats on offer! But three of the challenges I’ve set myself for this year focus on boosting my confidence at putting into words the joy I feel when I serve up a bowl of magnificent meatballs or when I try a chunk of cheese from a producer at the local market.

Goals for the Feel-good Foodbook in 2012:
 My ever-increasing cookbook collection

1. Test out at least one new recipe from one of my cookbooks every week:
These days most of my evenings are spent engrossed in the latest edition of Jamie Oliver magazine, and my bookcase is beginning to groan from the weight of my ever-increasing cookbook collection! In order to develop my culinary skills further and stop our suppertimes becoming staid, I’m planning to test out at least one new recipe each week. I’ve already accepted that these dishes may not all be a resounding success on the first trial, but know this will be a fun way to learn about different cuisines and cooking techniques.

2. Write at least one new article every week:
I’m hoping that goal #1 will make achieving this second goal much easier! But in order to break down the mental barrier that’s so far prevented me from blogging more, I want to adapt my writing style in 2012. According to the food-writing workshops I’ve attended during the past year, the reason people read food blogs (rather than just searching for meal ideas on BBC Food or a basic cookbook) is because they enjoy the personal insights and sense of character that are interspersed amongst the recipes and restaurant reviews. So far I’ve been too concerned with providing impressive descriptions to make my writing appear natural. This year I want to relax my writing style and present a more “human” tone, whilst ensuring my articles are still sprinkled with onomatopoeia and alliteration (see what I did there…?!)

3. Take one food-related photograph every day for a year:

There are a number of food bloggers that I view as role models for my own writing and have assumed a celebrity-like status in my eyes. Two of my top blogging idols are Joy the Baker and Shutterbean, who leave me drooling at their fabulous photos and laughing in agreement at the real talk on their weekly podcast. Tracy has just completed her Project 365 challenge, and after posting a week's worth of eats and treats back in the summer I’ve been inspired to go the whole hog and capture a food-related photograph every day in 2012. You can keep track of my progress on my Project 366 Pinterest board or by following katy_riddle on Instagram, and hopefully you’ll be able to see an improvement in both my food styling and photographic abilities in the regular Project 366 updates on this blog.

I’m excited by the prospect of another food-filled year, and am determined to achieve the aims I’ve set myself. I hope you’ll continue reading during the next 12 months to see if I succeed – you can also find me on Facebook or follow @Feelgd_Foodbk on Twitter for more regular gastronomic ramblings (and sometimes stomach rumblings!).
Happy new year!


  1. I recognize myself a lot in your post. Sometimes it's easier to stay hidden behind a descriptive style. But I'm still a newbie at blogging (even more at writing in english) so I hope it'll be easier this year.
    I'll make sure to follow your 366 project on pinterest!

  2. Thanks so much for your support Cindy - your blog looks lovely, though I must confess my French is very rusty so I'm grateful that Google was able to assist me with the translation! I saw a Galette de Rois for the first time on Raymond Blanc's Christmas cookery show last week - it sounds delicious! Thanks again, Katy

  3. Just give me a day or two and I'll publish the english version. Easy peasy recipe!

  4. Sounds like a good year! I will be interested to follow along and see how it pans out. For the last couple of years, I've been resolved to cook my way through my cookbooks as well, with an emphasis on Jamie Oliver. So we have something in common. :)

  5. Thank you - I recently subscribed to Jamie Oliver Magazine and got a free copy of Jamie's Great Britain as a gift for joining, so we'll definitely both be testing out lots of his recipes in 2012! Hope you enjoyed the griddle pan waffles, I can't wait to try those out myself! Thank you, Katy