It Gives Me Great Joy

Seventy-five posts ago, I quietly launched Kitchen Confidante. I announced it to friends and family as my “new baby,” and just as any parent would, I nurtured it with love. It is an extension of me, and I am proud of it. And like my…

It Gives Me Great Joy

Seventy-five posts ago, I quietly launched Kitchen Confidante. I announced it to friends and family as my “new baby,” and just as any parent would, I nurtured it with love. It is an extension of me, and I am proud of it. And like my real children, my food blog continues to mature and surprise me.

If you were to tell me when I started this endeavor that I would be entering a contest called Project Food Blog, I surely would not have believed you. For those of you who are not familiar with Project Food Blog, it is the first competition of its kind, hosted by Foodbuzz, where food bloggers compete in a series of culinary challenges, until one (just one!) food blogger is left. As I read through the series of challenges, I couldn’t help but feel excited about Project Food Blog and the idea of challenging myself to see how I could tackle each one. It will be fun! {Incidentally, voting begins September 20th.}

So, here goes. This is the first challenge:

“For the very first Project Food Blog Challenge, we’re asking you to create a blog post that defines you as a food blogger and makes it clear why you think you have what it takes to be the next food blog star.”

Star. Wow, what an interesting choice of words. I have humble expectations for this blog, but exceedingly high standards. My journey as a food blogger is a reflection on the things I value deeply in life. Family. Friends. Beauty. Exceptional taste. Culture. Exploration. Emotion.

Because when it comes down to it, I am an emotional eater.

Tell someone you are an emotional eater, and they instantly picture you with an unhealthy relationship with food, secretly gorging on comfort foods in the middle of the night to cope with life stress. But I’m talking about the power of food. How it can transport you – to your childhood, to a different country, to specific memories in your life. It can connect you to people who are equally passionate about food, whether they are professional chefs, wine lovers, or home cooks. And yes, good food can make you happy. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Food transcends time and place. The food I share with you pulls from platefuls of memories. Growing up in New York, and having lived in amazing cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, I have had the pleasure to explore some of our country’s best regional cuisines. And I am forever grateful to my parents for giving my brother, sister, and I the chance to travel all over the world, to taste the most amazing foods and cultivate an international palate. These food adventures have given me the chance to learn what really exceptional food tastes like, whether it is my grandmother’s Philippine kitchen, the bazaars of Istanbul, the street fairs of the Midwest, or the fanciest restaurants in New York City.

But really — why do I blog? To be frank, for very selfish reasons. It gives me great joy.

It Gives Me Great Joy

… to share family favorites…

…showcase the flavors of my heritage…

…play with my food and develop my own recipes…

…reminisce about flavors discovered through travel…

…explore new tastes…

…meet other food bloggers….

{that’s me, on the right, with Spicy Green Mango}
 

…and share the stories behind those passionate about food.

For me, Kitchen Confidante is my way of extending the hospitality of my upbringing beyond my kitchen and this culinary-rich part of the world I am lucky to call home.

I always hope to bring you beauty through food, one post at a time.

 

Comments

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  1. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines

    Liren best of luck to you! I’m glad to read another post about being excited about rising to the occassion. I was lured in a long time ago by your amazing photos, but it was your uniqueness that kept me coming back! Best of luck to you. Hope we can meet too one day.
    -Gina-

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you for the well wishes, Gina, and your kind comments. I really am genuinely excited about this competition – I see it as a way to grow, as well as have fun. I hope to meet you too! Any chance you will be attending the Foodbuzz Festival in November?

      Reply
  2. norma

    Good luck to you. Enjoyed this post. I had a difficult time in writing about myself and I can’t wait to meet you in San Fran.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Denise, you’re the best :) Coming from you, the compliments mean so much. Thank you for the good luck wishes!!

      Reply
  3. Gitte

    Liren, you have a very interesting blog with lots of beautiful pictures. Wishing you the best of luck.

    Reply
  4. Liren

    Thank you, everyone, so much for your supportive and kind words! I really am quite overwhelmed by it all, and am just so touched. Each one of your sweet comments make blogging so rewarding and really inspire me!

    Reply
  5. Monet

    Your blog is always inspiring, and I know you are going to do well on this challenge…and the ones to come! Your photography is always so beautiful, and the dishes you present tempt me week after week. You love what you do, and your passion is evident to us all!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Monet, you are so encouraging and so wonderful! Thank you, thank you – I am so flattered to know that you can sense that I love what I do!

      Reply
  6. Cheryl

    Liren- I love the emotion and sincerity you captured in your post, it is very representative of who you are! I know that you truly love what you are doing, it shines through in every post you write and picture you take, not to mention the fact that your recipes are wonderful. I am thrilled to call you a friend.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Jan, thank you! I’m touched that you were touched :) Really, though, I sincerely appreciate your comments – it’s so nice to know that am able to connect with you through my writing and photographs!

      Reply
  7. Spicy Green Mango

    Oh, Liren! You are so cute! I love that you blog and whatever happens, I know you will be amazing! I have humble expectations as well, but honestly, I have so much faith in you! You will always have my vote. Best of luck!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Chandara, know that you will always have my vote, too. The beauty and personality that you exude in each of your posts and photographs is just phenomenal! Hugs!

      Reply
  8. Kath

    You ROCKED the first challenge! Your post shows a lot of thought behind it and it’s well written. The photos are gorgeous! I’m sure you’ll be on to the next challenge!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Aww, thank you, Kath! I’m honored you think so! Thank you so very much!

      Reply
  9. Sara @CaffeIna

    I’m glad you are participating! I will soon post my first challenge too and it was hard to write it in the right tone but at the end I think the most important is to have fun and take the competition as a personal challege

    Reply
    • Liren

      Sara, I agree! This first challenge was indeed harder than I expected! I can’t wait to run over and see your first post! Good luck to you as well – and yes, let’s have fun :)

      Reply
  10. Magic of Spice

    Liren, this is such a wonderful entry…I have always been impressed by your lovely blog and warm spirit :) Best wishes to you in this contest…

    Reply
    • Liren

      Aw, thank you so much for your warm wishes! It always makes me smile to see your comments – people like you make my blogging even more worthwhile!

      Reply
  11. Steph (Desserts for Breakfast)

    “The food I share with you pulls from platefuls of memories”

    I love this idea that every bite not only encompasses the one immediately in front of us but all of the food memories and associations of our past. What a gorgeous and delightful notion!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Steph, I’m so glad you can relate! I do feel as though there are so many layers to the food we experience — all the senses of the here and now, combined with the tastes we remember from the past — such a complex and amazing thing!

      Reply
  12. Susi

    Liren, beautiful post! I’m glad to have met you through foodbuzz. I think you are already a shining star and you will take this competition by storm! I’ll be there routing for you all the way :o)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Susi, you overwhelm me! I am so glad to have connected with such amazing and talented people through Foodbuzz — you, for sure, are one of them! Your words mean so much, thank you!

      Reply
  13. Shulie

    Liren you are the sweetest and I am so glad we know each other and are friends now for fgood ew months. Your quiet confidence is so elegant and your dishes reflect it so beautifully. Love reading your blog and congrats on this project. Shulie

    Reply
    • Liren

      Shulie, I feel so lucky to have met such lovely friends through this blogging experience, and you are indeed one of the sweetest. Thank you so much for everything!

      Reply
  14. Jillyann

    This was a great post…best of luck! I love your beautiful pictures and recipes. Your blog brings joy to many I’m sure.

    Reply
  15. Lindsey

    So beautiful, you deserve all the accolades you have received and will receive for your blog! So glad I found it!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Lindsey, it never ceases to amaze me how this blogging world can connect such a group of amazing people. I feel the same way about you and your talented writing. Thank you so much for your positive thoughts!

      Reply
  16. fooddreamer

    Your blog is so lovely, it’s clear that you approach it with love and joy. Thanks for sharing all of your great recipes and pictures.

    Reply
  17. Becky

    Congratulations on being chosen for Project Food Blog! I have recently discovered your blog and love it. You are so right about food being able to “transport” you to many places. Keep giving great joy with your food adventures.

    Reply
  18. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Liren, I am so glad to have recently discovered your blog. It is beautiful to look at and interesting to read. Good luck. It’s hard to compete against your peers (I struggled with my post) but at the end of the day, the personal challenge of competing will make us all better bloggers!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Mardi, thanks for the well wishes – good luck to you, as well! I know it can be strange competing against peers and friends, perhaps that is why this first challenge is maybe the toughest! I know you will do well and I look forward to seeing what everyone can do with the challenges!

      Reply
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