Hi, friends! One year ago today I hit publish on a website I’d been talking about for a long time and officially started into this food blogging journey. I shared a recipe for Rosemary Blue Cheese Scones with Walnuts & Pancetta. I was insanely nervous (still am a lot of the time) but insanely excited too.
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So here I am one year later sharing another recipe for savory scones. This time they’re zucchini and herb scones with both cheddar and mimolette cheese. I’m thinking about making savory scones an annual tradition, but when I do make scones I’m always wondering why I don’t make them more often. So maybe these will have to enter into the rotation more frequently than annually 🙂
This past year of blogging and food photography has been busy. It’s also been really fun. I’ve learned a LOT and wanted to share a bit about the things I’ve taken away from the past year.Psst: If you’re only here for the scone recipe then click here to jump to the bottom of the page
4 Things I Learned After 1 Year of Food Blogging
1. Producing Creative Content is Hard Work
Hitting “publish” on the website I’d talked about creating for so long made me feel incredibly vulnerable. What if everyone hates this? What if no one is interested? What if I’m really bad? What if I fail?
And putting things out there into the world like this still feels scary sometimes. But it also makes me feel really excited to share the things I love so much with other people that just might love them too.
I have a whole new appreciation for other people doing similar things. I never realized how much a simple “like” could mean for someone who’s working on growing a business or a following. I’ve reconnected with some old friends who are doing similar creative things because of this mutual support and recognition that putting yourself out there into the world like this is hard sometimes. I’m much more cognizant of supporting these types of people now that I’ve been through this journey on my own.
There’s a lot of physical work that goes into making something like this, but there’s a lot of emotional work too. The actual physical work brings me to point number two:
2. A Food Blog is More Than Taking Pictures of Food You Eat
There is way more to blogging than meets the eye. It’s not just recipe testing and eating delicious food all the time (though there is a fair amount of that, to be honest). There’s photography and styling. There’s social media development and website development. There’s SEO and marketing plans. There’s a lot of time that goes into this. There are a lot of dishes that have to be cleaned.
I’ve learned that as part of all of these extra things that go into being a food blogger, you have to make some investments, and you have to always be learning. There are some invaluable resources I’ve used along the way so far.
For General Blogging: Food Blogger Pro. This site is a goldmine for technical setup, website maintenance, community questions, etc. It’s run by Lindsay Ostrom (of Pinch of Yum) and her husband Bjork, and it’s a godsend. They walk through the entire process of setting up and maintaining a website. They also do a weekly podcast every Tuesday, and I’ve listened my way through the entire archive as well.
For Food Photography: Two Loves Studio has a lot of free resources on her website. The Bite Shot is a wonderful youtube channel that focuses on artificial light food photography but with plenty of general photography concepts included as well. For paid courses, I really recommend Foodtography School.
For Food Styling: I felt my photos really leveled up when I invested in some good backdrops. My favorites so far have been the Replica Surfaces because they’re rigid and come with stands so you can create a mini-studio. That plus investing in a 50mm lens for my Nikon camera has improved my food photography markedly.
3. Be Authentic. Attract and Repel.
In order to attract the people who share your passion, you’ll inevitably repel some people who don’t. That’s okay. You can’t be everything to everyone and trying to be will kill you. I’m not the person posting quick & easy 15 minute recipes. I’m not posting gluten-free or vegan everything. Those are some people’s niches, but they’re not mine, and that’s okay.
I have a slightly embarrassing document where I bulleted all the reasons I wanted to start a food blog centered around travel inspired food. Not just the scratch the surface reasons (it will be so fun!) but really the true things I hoped to get out of it. A few of my favorites are:
To inspire someone to travel to a place they’ve never been.
To share culture through food.
To break down barriers of “otherness” – take the foreignness out of cooking food from other places.
These reasons drive the focus of the content I create. I’m going to share a recipe for homemade pasta or homemade gnocchi even though it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive in the hopes that it connects someone to Italian food. I’m going to share a recipe for pisco sours even though it uses raw egg whites because I want to share the amazing experience we had in Peru. In sharing these recipes, I’m inevitably going to repel people who aren’t interested in these things, but my hope is I’m also going to attract the people who are.
4. Done is Better Than Perfect
Just do it. Seriously, if there’s one thing I wish I would have harnessed earlier it’s the attitude of doing rather than forever planning. I first thought I would like to start a food blog 7 years ago after I just moved home from living in France and wanted a way to hang on to all the food experiences I amassed there.
I bought my first DSLR camera 6 years ago with the intent to start practicing food photography so that I could launch a blog with good pictures. I practiced on and off from there on out, never quite feeling like things were right for me officially start. Then one day I realized that I either needed to just go for it or just not. I started out posting photos on Instagram and then that quickly developed into launching the blog without any of the things I had thought I needed to make it just right when it launched.
I’m learning to focus on progress over perfection. It’s pretty freeing. And it’s pretty fun.
What I’m Focusing on in Year Two
This year I’m focusing on finding some balance in the work I’m doing on this blog and living real life. I find myself constantly tinkering with things, whether it be re-retouching photos or checking in on website traffic. When I am working on my little passion project that is this blog I want to be intentional about it. And when I’m not working, I want to not be working.
I’m also committed to continuing to improve my photography. These photos are the way I share the story of a recipe. Photography is also one of the things I feel most passionate about, so I’m excited to invest some more time here.
And finally, I want to engage more with the people who are here for the food and the recipes. I want to get more efficient at my recipe testing so that the things I put out here continue to work for you.
About These Savory Scones
I always forget how easy scones are to whip together. I only made one change from the scone recipe I shared last year to this scone recipe, and that’s cutting the butter into the flour with a food processor instead of a hand mixer. The food processor is just much more efficient.
Once you mix the dough together, it’s just a matter of adding in whatever extras you want then baking the scones. No dough resting required.
I really like a mix of both crumbled cheese and shredded cheese in this recipe. The shredded cheese melts evenly throughout the scones whereas the crumbled cheese creates concentrated little flavor pockets. If you can’t find mimolette cheese, then just add some extra cheddar!
Zucchini & Herb Savory Scones
Savory scones are easy to whip together and they're tender and flaky because of the zucchini and pockets of melted cheese!
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 12 tbsp very cold unsalted butter cubed
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 heaping cup crumbled and shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ heaping cup crumbled and shredded mimolette cheese
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 3 tbsp chopped chives
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
Add flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar together in a food processor. Add in the cold, cubed butter and pulse to cut the butter into the flour mixture. The butter should look pebbly when mixed in
Add the flour and butter mixture to a large bowl. Mix buttermilk and eggs together in a small bowl and add it to the flour mixture. Stir to combine, but don't overstir. The dough should be very sticky.
Shred the zucchini and place in a fine mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt to draw out the moisture. Squeeze out the extra water that results.
Crumble and/or shred the cheddar and mimolette cheese. I like a mix of both crumbled and shredded cheese in these scones. The shredded cheese melts evenly to keep the scones moist and the crumbled cheese creates concentrated pockets of cheese once baked.
Add the drained zucchini, the cheese, the dill, and the chives to the scone dough. Fold the extras into the dough until they're spread evenly throughout.
Turn out the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and flatten into a 1 inch thick disk. Cut the dough into 8 equal triangles.
Place the parchment paper with the scones onto a large baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.