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My First Challenge on Project Food Blog – Go Put Your Strengths to Work!

Please got to my Project Food Blog voting page to cast your vote! You have until 9/23.  Thank you!

Before I get started on my first challenge I wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my husband!  We’ve been happily married for 11 years and can’t wait for more wonderful years ahead.  I love you hogis!

A quick overview on Project Food Blog:

Project Food Blog is where many Foodbuzz Featured Publishers are competing in a series of culinary blogging challenges for the chance of winning a grand prize of $10,000… but wait that is not all.    The lucky and the most “star shaped” blogger will be featured on Foodbuzz.com for one whole year.  That’s such a huge gain for a blogger considering that they reach 11.4 Million global unique users based on the latest FoodBuzz.com media kit.

My First Challenge:  What defines me as the next food blog star?  What sets me apart?

I have been thinking hard for many days on this question.   I have to admit it is pretty intimidating to go head to head with such talented bloggers and as I am writing this post I am still debating if I should move forward, or not. However, just like the entire food blogosphere, my answer is many things can define me as the next food blog star.

Here are my top 5 reasons that I decided to join in on the challenge:

  1. I loooove food and suffer from an obsessive blog addiction disorder where I cannot help but think about it all day long.
  2. I wish to talk, read, watch, think, and taste food every hour of the day.
  3. I have fun trying new recipes and flavors and being creative in the kitchen.
  4. I feel rewarded when I share my successful recipes and pretty photographs of food.
  5. I have been passionate about food ever since I can remember.

Before the land of blogs, I used to take pictures of my food and file the pictures in my recipe/photo album, then as my albums grew out, I started to file my recipes in my own excel workbook with my additional notes.  I launched my blog thanks to a series of fortunate events and I am so happy that I have an interactive cookbook now to share not only with my family and friends, but everyone that loves food as much as me.

Here are a few images of reasons why I am blogging today: 1. Recipe/Photo Album, 2. My first time casually entertaining my friends at the age of 22 with my famous chicken taco salads when I just had gotten married (11 years ago) 3. Food Network Star Family/Friends Premiere Party.

I am also including a pdf down-loadable  link for you to see the sample of my excel recipe file:  Excel Recipe Workbook

I started the year 2010 with a resolution list like most people.  One of the items on my list was “Not to spend too much time reading cookbooks/magazines, watching food programming.”  Most of you are probably wondering why in the hell I would torment myself in such way?

To elaborate further beyond my reasoning, the idea was that instead of occupying most of my free time at nights in the food world, I would be doing house chores, helping my husband, reading books, or exercising. I started my year like everyone else – following my list that I had created.  I limited my activity that revolved around food, and only rewarded myself to my passion/addiction when I had completed some of my other tasks that were on the resolution list. But like most resolutions, it was temporary and lasted about a month.

Then lights started blinking when I discovered Food Buzz thru my husband.  I used to go everyday and just scan the pages of the blog posts and review the Top 9 List of the day.  I thought it was the coolest food site ever and knew that I had to do everything to be part of it.

Then, during the same period, thanks to my friend Christeil, I also got to attend a family season premiere party of the Next Food Network Star Season 6.  I had the opportunity to meet Aarti Sequeira, Doreen Fang and DAS that were going to be possible stars of Food Network and had their own food blogs as well.  (You can read more about this event by clicking here.)

It was inspiring to open my world to food again and decided to follow my strengths and passion instead of making them disappear.  For this challenge, I am following Marcus Buckingham’s message from his book’s title “Go Put Your Strengths to Work“  , a self help/business book that I never got to finish, but ultimately understood that Marcus is basically telling his readers to focus on their strengths vs. their weaknesses and life will reward itself with a better outcome.  That is what I want to do in this challenge…Go put my strengths to work!

Food is such a powerful asset in my life.  It has the power to create memories and help it last forever.  It has a way of bringing family and friends together.  It is a cure for hunger and love.  It is my meditation to self discovery and passion combined into one.  I enjoy making food for my family on a regular basis, but with one condition in mind… I don’t like to make repeat dishes!  I don’t enjoy stepping in the kitchen unless I know I am making something new… so the same idea relays to the style of my blogging.  I try to have content that is new, inspirational and that tells a good story. My family tries not to get attached to my dishes, since they know they might never see it again.  I do occasionally repeat some of the family faves, but it’s more of a chore than an excitement in the kitchen. At times, I am creative and will develop a recipe from scratch, and at times it would be what my mood tells me so.

My cooking inspiration comes from my kids, Mom & Grandma, friends,  Food Network, chefs,  food bloggers, cookbooks, magazines, internet, and not to forget my “hand me down” family recipes that are mostly Armenian, Russian and Middle Eastern.   Being an Armenian American and residing in Los Angeles, California I have been fortunate to be part of a  multi-cultural city.  It has helped me tremendously to   be open to everyone’s nationality background, cultural customs, dishes and spices.  As long as the food tastes good and I am inspired by the list of ingredients, I will add it to my shopping list.  If I love the dish, I will post the recipe on my blog, if I don’t love the dish, I will try to improve it to my taste and decide to blog, or not blog about it.

Just six months ago, I had no idea that there was a community for food bloggers.  After a late bloom of discovery, I have not been able to stop myself from blogging, thinking about blogging, or talking with my friends about blogging.  I am thankful for my hubby for setting up my blog and pushing me to pursue my passion.  I am also proud of myself for the grand opening of my blog on July 1st, 2010 and celebrating since then.  I have published more than 25 posts and more ideas are still flowing thru my foodie brain.  I never thought I had an addictive personality except to love my beautiful girls and family.  Food world combined with blogging is part of my everyday life now and I can happily admit that I suffer from food blog addiction.

Best of luck to everyone that’s in the competition!  I will try to enjoy the ride and take full advantage of my blogging experience! Everyone is so talented and feel glad that I have a place to share my passion.  Cheers!

P.S. My Excel attachment has recipes that I have tried and loved such as tasty Moroccan Chickpea Soup,  Pork Chops with Fennel and Caper Sauce , Shrimp and Corn Tacos and Chicken and Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Olive Broth. Enjoy and Vote!

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  • Info

    Well done on the first challenge! I love the honest way you write and my family would totally empathise with the notion they shouldn’t get attached to any one meal. Good luck with the competition and with the blog.

  • Funandfearlessinbeantown

    I’m participating in PFB too and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s great blog posts!

  • http://www.simplemathbakery.com Jeanne

    You’ve got lots of good reasons to participate in the challenge! You have such a great passion for food, I’ve enjoyed learning more about you through this post.

  • Torviewtoronto

    good wishes
    have fun

  • http://bakingandcookingataleoftwoloves.blogspot.com Becky

    I love reading the competition blogs with everyone writing with a different perspective about the same subject Food and their passion for it. Your passion and love for food definitely shines through, and the way that you manifest it in your life.
    Good luck on the competition.

  • http://www.monocat.com monocat

    Good luck baby. I wish you best of luck. Happy Anniversary to you too. Love you. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/DimpleArts DimpleArts

    Good Luck with the challenge. I chickened out, and will be living vicariously through all of the contestants:)

  • http://alesiathehomecook.blogspot.com Alesia

    Best wishes!Love your entry, :)

  • http://www.bakingbarrister.com Baking Barrister

    Haha I love the sort of makeshift blog in photo albums. I’ve never met anyone who went that far pre-internet! Good luck!

  • http://www.cooksbookblog.com Marisa

    Good luck Adelina! I really enjoyed reading this first post of the competition. I love how organized you are with all of your recipes.

  • http://www.sahmsite.info Mzarina

    That album with real photos got me doing a retake. Awesome! All the best with PFB.

  • http://www.mission-food.com Victoria

    Love your binder! I have saved recipes in binders for years, and taken photos of my food long before I had a blog :) It’s great being a freak, haha. Good luck with the contest!!

  • http://twitter.com/sippitysup sippitysup

    Great entry. I came to check out the competition and got so much more, that photo album is CLASSIC! You look strong. Good Luck. GREG

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Thanks everyone for your warm wishes. I am not sure how far I will get. It might even be my first and last challenge, but at least I don’t have to regret for not trying :)

  • http://alchemy-fabulousfood.blogspot.com/ Hester Casey

    Good luck with the comp. One challenge down, the other 9 will be no bother to you!

  • http://twitter.com/caseyangelova Casey Angelova

    I really dig that binder. Very organized. I have file folders and note books stuck on a shelf. Great post! Best of luck with PFB!

  • http://themomchef.blogspot.com The Mom Chef

    Bravo! Well said. I like your binder a lot. Good luck!

  • Savory Sweet Living

    I wish I could be as organized as you, great entry. Good luck with the competition!

  • http://twitter.com/Nesrinegamal cookoholic

    love your post, good luck :) )))))))

  • http://livlifetoo.blogspot.com/ Kim – Liv Life

    Wonderful post! With all that organization and a binder full of photo you are most definitely all a blogger should be! Good luck to you!

  • http://thejoyofcaking.wordpress.com/ Eileen

    Like you, I didn’t realize there was a world of food bloggers out there when I started six months ago. Best wishes!

  • http://twitter.com/SpicyPerspectiv Sommer Collier

    Great post! Good luck with the challenge!

  • http://chefwanabe.com Anna

    Wow…I thought I was obsessed about blogging, but you let me in tha dust. LOL Food albums? That’s great, I think it’s awesome when we discover something that we are passionate about it. Many people go on with their lives without find anything that makes them feel like we do. And for that I’m really grateful. I’m sure you will do great in the challenges. I’m with my fingers crossed. You have my vote. Have a great week Adelina.

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Aww Anna! You’re sooo sweet! and you will have my vote :)

  • saltyseattle

    Great post- love the sense of community you foster.

  • http://ancientfirewineblog.blogspot.com/ Jason Phelps

    Another unique story abot where someone came from!

    Good luck with PFB.


  • http://twitter.com/Nesrinegamal cookoholic

    Voted….good luck :)

  • http://livwanchinesecookingclass.com Liv Wan

    You got my vote. I wish you all the best and good luck. :D

  • http://bistrogerard.wordpress.com Anca@bistrogerard

    Great post, Adelina, your passion for food and blogging definitely shines through! Best of luck with PFB!

  • Amy

    Laugh, I too suffer from blog addiction disorder. :) I’m glad I discovered your blog (and voted!) Good luck!

  • Denise Romeo

    It’s a compulsion! Cook, Eat, Write, Repeat. You have my vote. Check out my post at http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/638. Good Luck!

  • http://theactorsdiet.wordpress.com/ The Actor’s Diet

    glad that food blogging has become such an important part of your life – i totally get it!

  • http://eatknitgrow.com Lindsay

    Great post! I just gave you a vote! You can check out my entry here: http://tinyurl.com/2ec2hlq Thanks and Good Luck!

  • lapuremama.com

    I loved your post… AND I voted for you :)

  • http://www.jacobskitchen.wordpress.com jacobskitchen

    Great post!

    I voted for you! =)

    best of luck in competition. You should have no problem gliding through the next couple of rounds =)

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    I loved yours as well voted for you you too!!!! Thanks so much!!!

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Thanks so much for the vote!

  • http://www.yummo.ca Yummo

    :^D I have a similar album on Flickr. I have a whole set on Food and a whole set on Wine. I have a public set on Wine with my twitter but that ones a free one since tweeting doesn’t pay :^P I love flipping through them. http://turl.ca/wineshow. I liked reading your post.

  • http://twitter.com/gigabiting Gigabiting

    Wonderfully generous comments. You have my vote.

  • @lickmyspoon

    thank you for sharing the excel sheet. i love seeing your excitement for food and willingness to share with friends and family! i look forward to your posts!

  • http://www.mytastyhandbook.com Adelina Badalyan

    Thanks everyone for all your votes and support! I guess I will wait now until tomorrow noon to find out the results.

  • http://twitter.com/jstestkitchen JellyShotTestKitchen

    Great post – loved that you shared so much of your food philosophy (as well as the photos of your recipe album and entertaining history – adorable picture!) I had never thought about it before, now that you mention it, tons of my childhood memories and current family memories center around family meals or celebrations, ranging from the simple, like Tuesday Taco Night, to the elaborate preparations for the holiday season. Good luck to you! Cheers, Michelle

  • cookbookaddict

    I’m very impressed at how you’ve organized into Excel. I often get upset at myself for not taking more notes when cooking — and then it’s like I’m cooking a recipe for the first time — even though I’ve cooked it before!



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