Whip Smart Kitchen

Recipes, methods & musings for the whip-smart home cook

Finding purpose in passion

Leannda CavalierComment

This post was originally published on my old blog. This version may contain minor edits and updates. The original is preserved at Recipe Repository

Blogging is harder than it looks.

There are so many elements to put together between figuring out your platform, building a website if you decide to go that route, finding your writing style, promoting it, actually creating the content… I could go on for days.*

One thing that I find can get lost in all of that noise is figuring out exactly who you’re writing for, why and of course, how you can help people.

Today’s post is going to be a little different from my usual style. I’m taking on Alex Beadon’s 7-day blogging challenge to get clear on my intended purpose and audience. 

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t for me, but it’s for you too! My hope is by reading my posts this week you can get an idea of whether my blog is right for you (I hope so!), and what you can expect from it.

I don’t want to waste your valuable time reading something that’s not right for you. I also don’t want to waste my time writing to no one, so if you have feedback, let it fly!

Without further ado…

*Prime example This graphic delayed my blog post by three hours because my editing system was processing it slower than a turtle following a sloth.

My tribe

I want to connect with people who are excited about cooking but feel like something is standing in their way, people who want to be excited about cooking because they believe it would improve their lives and people who want to go beyond following recipes. 

This blog is for you if you:

  • Love to eat
  • Want a better relationship with cooking and food
  • Love to learn
  • Would rate flavor at 10 on a 1-10 scale of importance
  • Are interested in nutrition, but not consumed by it
  • Think travel is a necessity
  • Are constantly asking “how?” and “why?”
  • Would like to create restaurant quality meals in your home
  • Have days when you just don’t feel like cooking more often than you’d like
  • Are trying to eat out less
  • Aren’t afraid to put in a little time and effort to get results
  • Want to learn to cook, but don’t know where to start
  • Have been cooking for a while and just want some killer recipes
  • Think it’s worthwhile to make your own creme fraiche or ricotta sometimes just because you can
  • Prefer whole foods, but do the best you can because life happens
  • Crave variety
  • Seek balance
  • Know how fulfilling it is to eat the meal you only had time for because you planned ahead
  • Are constantly looking to improve your lifestyle
  • Are cooking for one, two or a family of ten
  • Would rather be at the beach

This blog may not be for you if you:*

  • Are only interested in fast fixes
  • Will only eat food if it was recently called a “miracle food,” “power food,” or is attached to some other (likely inflated) health claims
  • Are here looking only for fad foods/meals/diets
  • Aren’t interested in trying foods from other cultures
  • Will only eat five meals, two of which you can find at any fast food chain
  • Aren’t into cooking (how did you get here?!)
  • Are staunchly against fusion foods
  • Don’t really care about the story behind the food you eat
  • Eat exclusively for fuel (really, how did you get here?)

*You may actually belong here if some of these apply to you. Let’s talk and you can decide for yourself! If all of these apply to you; however, you will almost certainly be wasting your time here.

Why I’m here

I want to help people solve their food problems because eating is an integral part of life and I want people to find joy in it. Food should not be another source of stress. I have been there. I have been in college with two jobs, two free hours a day and limited funds for food. I have been at home all day trying to make myself useful due to underemployment. I have been in a full-time 9-5 job that inexplicably sucks all of my energy away. I have been on hour four of helping with breaking news coverage after my shift ended thinking about nothing but  a sandwich.

I know what it’s like to have no time on your hands and still get dinner on the table (or at least into a ziplock container). I know what it’s like to work with a modest budget and squeeze a luxe meal plan out of it. I know what it’s like to feel like all you have to do is eat and channel it into something positive and productive, not just extra pounds and dirty dishes. I know what it’s like to search for recipes only to find each one that looks good calls for five herbs and spices you don’t have and don’t want to spend $25 buying.

Finally, I get you. You’re always looking for something new. You’re always pushing to make things just a little bit better and for just a little bit more. You’re on the lookout for ways to be healthier, but you don’t want to deprive yourself. You’re adventurous, but find comfort in familiar things when you’re overwhelmed. There’s a good chance you’re in a perpetual struggle with trying to get it together and trying to gain more in control over your life–dare I say… trying to have it all? 

We have a lot in common, my friend.

What makes me an expert?

I spend a great deal of my time thinking about food. It’s more than just a hobby for me.  

When I moved to Tennessee for my (now) husband’s job, I had a lot of trouble finding my own job. There were very few openings in my field near us, and the handful of interviews I got rendered me overqualified because of my graduate degree or underqualified for fewer than five years professional experience. Every job description was a catch-22. I was working as a sideline reporter and adjunct professor, both of which I loved, but they didn’t pay the bills or keep me busy enough.

But you know what? It was the biggest blessing in disguise.

The one thing that kept me from becoming an utterly-depressed wreck was my love of cooking. I’ve always had a knack for mixing flavors, a desire to try new things and an interest in cooking techniques. I used my abundance of spare time to try out as many recipes as possible, create my own recipes with the techniques I learned and experiment with new ingredients. I could spend two hours in the grocery store turning over every item and it didn’t get in the way of any other commitment. I got a lot of experience stretching a food budget and learning to improvise with the tools I had on hand.

In short, I spent two years unhappy with where my life was and used cooking as an outlet to overcome that. I learned more in that time than I ever could have with a full-time job. It ignited my passion, but furthermore it has changed my everyday life. Now that I do have a full-time job, I have enough experience to ensure we still eat home-cooked meals most of the time. Furthermore, I’m still finding the time to experiment with new techniques and foods.

My experience makes me uniquely qualified to help people better their lives by improving their relationship with their kitchens. How can I, a home cook, help you do that? Here are just a few ways:

  • Recipes should be more than just a blueprint for how to cook one meal. I aim to teach you something that you can apply in your own cooking later, or at least bust out as a fun factoid at dinner.
  • Generally a technique can be used in more than one recipe. If you learn one from me I’ll throw out some ideas for how you can use it, but I’d love for you to come up with some of your own and let me know how it goes!
  • I know I said I love to spend hours in the grocery store, but I also have a wealth of tips for how to get what you need and get out of one faster. Also for how not to spend a billion dollars there. Stick around to hear them!
  • Meal planning is SO important for busy people. For some, that means making meals on Sunday and eating from them all week. For others it means making a plan that’s strict enough that it saves you time and money, but flexible enough that you don’t stray when you get a craving or can’t find the ground lamb you needed for your meatballs. I’m full of experience with both, and would love to help you figure it out.

A simple message

One message that I want people to take away from my blog is that if you have one ounce of desire to learn how to cook and how to manage the food in your life, you can do it! It takes some patience and work, but I have 100 percent faith in you. Let’s talk and I’ll help get you on your way =)


P.S. I have an announcement coming soon about a project I’ve had in the works for a while! Follow me here and on Instagram (@leanndacavalier) to make sure you don’t miss it!