I often get asked “How did you start your blog?” and “Do you have any tips for me if I’m just getting started?” I’m not very good at answering these questions, particularly the second one because what worked for me in 2011 when I started my blog is probably outdated today.
But I do have one tip that will stand the test of time: Make good blog friends.
I’ll never forget the week I started my blog (waaaay back in 2011). Jack and I had worked really hard to choose recipes, learn to take flattering pictures of food (harder than you think!), and design/program a good looking website. We made the website live and I wondered if my mom would be our only reader.
One day, while Jack was trying to explain to me how Twitter works, there was a sudden “BLEEP” from my computer… someone had tagged me in a tweet that said “Love and Lemons is love at first sight,” and it was from an account called Cookie and Kate. 30 seconds later, “bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep”… re-tweets and messages started flashing in and I squealed with both Tweety confusion and excitement that this blog thing was going to work. Of course, there would be years and mountains of (mostly free) work ahead of me before I could call this labor of love a job… but it had to start somewhere, little by little. In my case, this start was initiated by one kind soul who was the first to share a slice of her readership with me.
Fast forward to now… Cookie and Kate has become one of my favorite vegetarian blogs to read and Kathryne has become one of my very best blog friends. If you aren’t following her blog, you should – she makes delicious, attainable vegetarian food and her first cookbook, Love Real Food, is a real stunner. I’ve read it cover to cover and I have one tip for you: don’t read it while you’re hungry! I drooled over recipes like Roasted Eggplant Lasagna, Chickpea Tikka Masala, and Fresh Greek Nachos before stopping at her gorgeous peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
These cookies are so delicious and SO quick to make. It’s a one bowl recipe that results in decadent, soft pillowy cookies that are lightly crisp on the outside. These little guys contain no flour (so they’re naturally gluten and grain free) and they’re sweetened with coconut sugar. I made my cookies with eggs as the recipe states, but Kathryne also gives a vegan option in the footer of the recipe which I’ll include here as well.
I’ll be making these Greek Nachos with Herbed Tahini this week – yum!
Her book is not only gorgeous, but there are also the cutest pictures of her dog Cookie 🙂
Love Real Food comes out tomorrow – go get yourself a copy!
- 2 cups lightly packed coconut sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 jar (16 oz.) natural creamy peanut butter (1¼ cups)
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the coconut sugar and eggs and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and salt until blended.
- Add the peanut butter and whisk until the dough is smooth and the peanut butter has completely blended into the batter (you might need to switch to a big spoon toward the end, which you'll need for mixing in the chocolate chips, anyway). Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate chips are evenly incorporated.
- For cookies that stay perfectly mounded, chill the dough for 15 minutes before proceeding. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie dough scoop or two spoons to scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 to 2 inches of space around each one. Chill any remaining dough while you bake the first batch.
- Bake until the cookies are golden at the edges but still just a little underdone in the center, 11 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the hot baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them with a metal spatula to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- These cookies keep well at room temperature for about 4 days, and freeze well for up to 3 months.