Why Do I Blog?

A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).

– – Definition from Wikipedia.

I just received an email saying domain registration fees will be charged on my card soon. Which made me realize that in about 3 months time, my 3rd year of blogging will be complete. And it makes me wonder should I renew my membership? Why am I thinking that, is blogging a task? Does it not make me happy? The three years were so bad?

Definitely not! Initially when I started blogging, I was highly inspired by the movie Julie and Julia. I thought I would do something like what Julie did. I even wrote a few posts regarding that idea. But soon I joined the circle of restaurant reviewers and meets. Discussing food and writing about restaurants. I was getting invited to new restaurant openings, I was meeting new people. The restaurants I went to, would give us goodie bags in the end. Treat us like celebrities. I felt special. Caveat to all this treatment was to write a blog. And most of the time I didn’t want to. But I did. Though it wasn’t my best work. If you look at a blog you love, you will notice one thing and that is he/she is writing something that she loves to do.

The term blogger is very loosely used by everyone today. As there is too much confusion between microbloggers and bloggers. The game of likes and followers have led to people to an all time low. Where the last I heard,  people were having fights over copied hashtags. Meanwhile PR people are on a different level with people related who write/post about food. This post is not a rant or putting anyone down. It is just my views on the world that blogging has become.

Initially when I started, senior bloggers/journalists did not like the new set of bloggers. That is understandable. That cycle works in every industry. What is sad is that, after three years in the blogging world. Right now if you ask anyone/everyone – they do not like food bloggers at all. So the hatred that was only contained within this industry has spread to most part of the world. Ever wonder why is that?

The thing which started for the love of food, the thrill of writing and the ambition to learn something new with every new post, is all about how many views, how many followers and how many likes you have. Content is thrown out of the window. Knowledge about food or certain topic is basically pointless. Blogging is not about how many views, likes, comments or people are following you. Those stats are for the PR people to profit their pockets. A lure of a certain five star meal is leading us to do things, which are not appropriate. I am not pointing fingers, I did the same things. In fact if you look at my last ten posts you will see a brunch review. When I look back, I was too bored to write about it. I kept wondering that writing a post should be exciting and talking about something new you tried/cooked/experienced. When did it become a task for me, that too an annoying one.

It needed to stop. Because a blog is about you, what opinions you have, what you think about food that made you write at the first place. It is your food journal that you share with the world. Everyone who has a blog, is surely passionate about food. No one would go to such lengths for free food. But then again people surprise me all the time. Back to the point – my point is write what you want to write, not what certain people want you to write. Every meal doesn’t need to be sponsored. Every post doesn’t need to be about how this buffet at a five star is amazing. You can also write about the wonderful food your mom cooks, probably that was the reason you started enjoying food at the first place.

I am not here to give gyaan. My basic point is – probably I am telling this to myself more than to you is that – write something that you will enjoy writing and when you look back at your blog after 10 years, you shouldn’t be like what the hell was I thinking.

Blogging is a fantastic platform, don’t waste it on what the PR team wants you to write. Even if we are abused or demonized. Lets be honest, blogging has lead to us to have some fantastic experiences, wonderful friends and a growth which was essential. It is in some weird way a very fun community to be a part of. Let us not lower our selves for weird virtual-istic approval of followers and likes. Let the essence of blogging remain pure. I always think working with clear and honest intentions will pass the test of time, and progress will follow.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Brunch at JW Sahar, Mumbai

I was invited by JW Sahar, Mumbai, for the celebration of their 1st anniversary Sunday Brunch. As sunday brunches are to be enjoyed with friends and family. We organized a small bloggers table as the #FTBBloggersMeet FTB being Fat Toxic Bawarchi, our as in me, Mohit Chotrani and Roshan Shetty‘s Youtube venture. JW Sahar’s buffet are known to be lavish. I think they are one of those very few 5-stars which have Sushi on their buffet. Obviously I was excited. I thought it is the anniversary brunch so the expectations were high. Were the expectations met? Definitely.

As soon you enter the Cafe, first thing you see is that there are three tables filled with intricately crafted artisan desserts. Well lets just say they had me at the entry. The dessert spread is huge, but the exciting part is the innovative desserts. You will see different theme desserts on each table. One theme was based on circus, bright color chocolates, cupcakes and a huge 3 tier cake. Another one was travel theme. Where a chocolate plane is plain amazing. Third one chocolates in the shape of lips, lipsticks and gold bars. Oh wait, there was a fourth! A modern electronics theme like tablets, computers shaped desserts. As you are mesmerized by the desserts and you literally drag yourself towards your table. You move ahead and on your left you find a big tub of Alaskan Crab. And you know you are going to stuff your face with it. Somehow I moved to my table while eyeing a brushetta counter with the different toppings and breads.

After all the hi and hellos, I got to work. Now I obviously couldn’t eat everything there, cause apart from desserts, 2 seafood counters, there was a Japanese sushi and soup counter, a whole section of Italian, Thai, Mexican, Indian, add a bit of British touch with pot pies, a whole roasted chicken and pork belly. Probably a few more other things that I missed. Oh! Waffle counter and Ice cream counter. And obviously a cocktail counter. Lets just say there is something for everyone.

I am going to keep this post short and sweet, and tell you exactly what I loved. Alaskan Crab. One thing you have to eat is the Alaskan Crab. The crab was extremely tasty. Soft and silky with the melt in your mouth feel. Next was sushi. Do I need to write more after Sushi. I think not. Coming to the Pot Pie, I kind of liked the pot pie in a weird way. As you break the crust on top. You realize it is hollow from inside. The filling was very little. On the first bite. It may seem okay. But as you keep eating it, which weirdly I did. You kind of start liking it. The flavors are subtle. Though the ramekin is big and filling less. But seemed apt for a buffet.

Next we head to quail eggs. Tasted quail eggs for the first time and I must say I liked them. Different yet same than regular eggs. These tiny half fried eggs were a tasty treat. My friend aka blogger Jagurti Punjabi got this amazing tiny fish delicacy from the Thai counter. Which was so good! I have no idea what exactly it was. But it was fish in a cupcake wrapper type leaf and cooked with the same leaf. Topped with a delicious sauce.

Now comes the dessert. I feel the chocolates were the best part of the buffet. Most of them were truffles made with dark chocolate. So a bite of those heavenly chocolate with the perfect dark chocolate ganache inside is a pure treat. I liked the berry dessert and a bit of drama that was added to it. The cheesecake and berry cake were splendid.

Why would I recommend this buffet. Well firstly it has a huge spread and upon asking the manager said, that the spread is like this every Sunday, just the theme keeps changing. Secondly, the food is amazing. It is not just the variety but you have to see the type of variety that is offered. Seafood like crab, prawns, fish, mussels. Chicken, pork, and a good variety of vegetarian options also. Food is everywhere here. And you can eat as much as you want. I am already planning for my next brunch there, I advise you do the same.

2 Years and Counting

Its been 2 years! 2 years since I started blogging. It has been a great journey so far. I sometimes cant believe the growth from a shy introvert loner to an awkward happy person. When I started blogging, I was just another budding home baker. But now I think I can call myself a Pastry Chef. Yes! After a brief but much learning experience from working in a professional kitchen, I can finally call myself a Pastry Chef. Though I still am not professionally trained but my kitchen is my school and books and oven are my teachers. I will strive for that perfect dessert every time.

This year, the blog also won the Runners Up Award in the Baking Category at the Indian Food Bloggers Award IFBA 2015. This probably is a sign from God that I need to blog more. I do happen to bake but I don’t blog about it much, also the vlog Fat Toxic Bawarchi keeps me busy.

But no more excuses, I will take this sign and move forward and bake and blog more. Thank you God! And also I would like to thank all the readers, my FTB Family, the great FBAI Whatsapp group which doesn’t leave any food related question unanswered and FBAI for introducing this wonderful world to me. And that one person you know who you are for the constant push and motivation. And seeing potential in me when I don’t see it in myself.

Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

Wow! It has been a year. A year full of food, fun and meeting fantastic people. It is ToxicBaker’s 1st anniversary. I posted my introductory post a year back and I am going to write a short thank you post today. It has been a fabulous journey and for that I would like to thank Sameer Malkani from Food Bloggers Association India FBAI for introducing me to this wonderful world of blogging and fellow foodies. This past year I have met some amazing people, sharing the same love for food as me or in some cases more. Every single moment has been amazing from writing, baking and the foodie meets (which are talked about abundantly on twitter)

My knowledge on food has increased tenfold. I went places, I never went before. I came to know about dishes, I never knew existed. I tasted some of the best food in the city. I feel privileged with the special treatment sometimes you receive as a blogger simultaneously making you humble and supportive towards others. Blogging is not only writing about passion. Blogging is belonging to this epic community, who not only share the same passion, but also love and support you like family.

Blogging has changed me and I am loving this change. I hope to blog more this year and meet new people and absolutely have more fun than last. Lastly thank you all my readers love you guys. Also a big hug to my all my bloggers/foodie friends for all your love and support.

Cookie Week !!!

So this week and actually the past week also has been the cookie week !!! Customized cookie was always a scary thing. I used to be like how on earth do they do this. I always thought I wouldn’t be able to do customized cookies. But then one day I got an order from a nearby cafe for superhero cookies. I was like lets do it! After that I got an order of 150 cookies for a princess and knight birthday theme. So after decorating 150 cookies, all your fear for customized cookies just goes away. And then you are like ‘bring it on’. Moral of the story keep practicing.

I actually enjoy the cookie orders more and love decorating them. Though it is a tedious process, at the end it is worth it. So these past two weeks I have got some really nice cookie orders. Starting from –

Scooby Doo Theme Cookies –

Scooby Doo Theme Cookies

Scooby Doo Theme Cookies

These were super duper fun to make. It totally got me back reminiscing my childhood cartoon network memories.

Superhero Theme Cookies –

Superhero Theme Cookies

Superhero Theme Cookies

I have made superhero theme cookies numerous times. But this time there were some new additions like Fantastic Four, Flash, Punisher, Wonderwoman and Ironman. I just adore making the Batman cause I am also a somewhat comic buff and Batman being my favorite superhero I always want to make one extra for me.

Simple Wedding Favor Cookies –

Simple Wedding Favor Cookies

Simple Wedding Favor Cookies

These were simple yet cute wedding favor cookies.

50th Birthday cookies –

50th Birthday Cookies

50th Birthday Cookies

These were a daughter and her husband’s gift to her mother’s 50th birthday.

Every new theme is a new challenge and more fun for me like my next one.

Nail Spa Anniversary –

Nail Spa Anniversary Cookies

Nail Spa Anniversary Cookies

Tips N Toes Nail Spa One Year Anniversary Cookies. The nail spa is located in Khar, Mumbai. Its anniversary is on 14th February so we decided on a mixture of both nail spa theme and Valentine’s Day.

Plain Non Iced Chocolate Cookies –

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Finally Mini Valentine’s Day Cookies –

Mini Valentine's Day Cookies

Mini Valentine’s Day Cookies

These are the mini Valentine’s Day Cookies set which I am taking pre orders for this Valentines. They are super cute and a perfect gift for a loved one that too with special budget friendly prices this month. For more info on this contact toxicbaker1@gmail.com

So this was how my past two weeks have gone. I have also made these adorable baby girl theme cupcakes but those are for a later post. I have thoroughly enjoyed decorating each and every cookie. Decorating cookies is a long and patient process but once when you are into it. It becomes an addiction and a sweet one !!

I feel themed cookies bring out a child in all of us. I am pretty sure if tomorrow you see a cookie in a shape of your favorite book, accessory or gadget, you will instantly grab and eat it.