It was a gift, a new hat. I was offered either a hat or footwear and I chose the hat. After all, I’ve got plenty of shoes. Wait, did I just say that? Whatever, I chose the hat. I actually asked if they had anything in blue, you know, to go with the color scheme of my page a little better. In retrospect I guess that was a little rude?
Despite the little color snaffoo, I’m happy to have this new accessory and I’d like to tell you about it and why it’s there.
Let me start by saying that bloggers get emails couched as offers very often. The senders are creative in hiding their motives, but once you read between the lines, they’re mostly companies willing to do me the favor of putting a link to their web site on my blog. Or they’re willing to provide me with a guest post free of charge, which turns out to be a link filled advertisement for their product or site.
I’ve rejected each one. This is how I feel about my blog: it’s mine. The content, love it or hate it, is a reflection of me. I write or approve every word, every link, I make all my own graphics and take all my own pictures (sorry about that last one), I even approve every comment before it publishes. Control freak? OK, I’ll own it. But I don’t owe anyone anything here and no on owes me anything. That affords me the autonomy to write what I please. My blog may not have a clear identity, but it’s my identity crisis and I wear it proudly. And it’s way cheaper than therapy. And yes, I do know. Don’t ask.
I was recently contacted by The Daily Meal, whose editorial director is Beard Award winner, Colman Andrews. They wrote to say that they look at food destinations online and “both Colman and I enjoy Baking In A Tornado. You are invited to become a member of our Culinary Content Network. Our goal at The Daily Meal is to be about all things food and drink. We realize that to do this we need to create great content AND showcase as many other wonderful articles, recipes, reviews and videos in this space as possible. That’s why we have tapped you.”
First thought: I’m being punked, right? Because if they’re about all things food and drink, what do they want with me? I wrote back and explained why this just isn’t a good fit.
My blog posts are not about food. I write about all different aspects of my life, mostly in a sarcastic tone. I include food pictures because (cooking and) baking relieves stress for me. I add recipes because my first readers asked for them. But my recipes are more “everyday” and my posts are not foodie posts, they reflect my philosophy:
My life is not about food but is enhanced by food. And my posts are not about food but are enhanced by food.
Grilled Marinated London Broil
They were OK with that: “You keep blogging and writing your content the way you regularly do (you know your audience) we have no requirements about how much you post. We never replicate your content on our site. We provide either a picture with a link back to your post or a link directly to your blog. There are approximately 200+ members and the network will be closed once we reach 300 members. We are intentionally keeping the Network small and exclusive.”
They went on to explain that they showcase members, provide opportunities for promotion, offer the ability to act as their ambassadors on all-expenses-paid press trips, allow me to pin to their 17,000+ follower pinterest account and so much more.
After much back and forth, googling, checking out the web site and the reputation of those involved, refusing to do anything they ask until I reach a comfort level and STILL not scaring them off, I decided to enter into my first affiliation.
I WANT YOU TO KNOW:
This affiliation costs me nothing and pays me nothing. I remain autonomous, answering only to me.
If you want to check out the links on my new hat, I think you’ll end up on a site that you’ll really enjoy. I know I do, it reminds me of a magazine in fact. There’s food, stories, pictures, recipes, reviews and so much more. It’s an interactive site too, you can submit a recipe, a review or a story or leave a comment on something you read there. When you do head over be prepared, you could get lost there for hours. But please, at some point, come back here and tell me what you think.
Grilled Marinated London Broil
Top Round Steak – approximately 1 ½ inches thick and about 1 ¾ lbs.
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP hoisin sauce
¼ cup dried onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 tsp ginger
*Mix all marinade ingredients and pour over the steak. Marinate all day or overnight.
OPT: I often make the marinade when I purchase the steak, put them both into a gallon freezer bag and freeze. I let it marinate as it defrosts the day before I’m going to serve it.
*Grill steak, turning once, on a greased grill until done according to your taste.
*Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
*Slice against the grain.