Happy Blogday

Posted By Kerri

It’s one year today since Dinner Diary went live. Stephen and I had the idea for a food blog a while before that but were stuck on a focus and a name. I’m not sure in which order those two things were decided (I have a vague memory of the two of us shouting possible names to each other across the lounge after we’d drunk quite a lot of wine, Dinner Diary was MY idea though 🙂 ) but once they were sorted we quickly set about registering our domain name and creating our first post.

Initially we both wondered if it might be a fad but we soon got used to eating cold food while we wrangled with the poor lighting in our North London flat and embraced the opportunity to buy new dishes and plates; the essential elements of food blogging 🙂 We quickly found that dinner time became an opportunity to cook something new and interesting instead of relying on our old favourites and we both spent a lot more time trawling the web for recipes and obsessively snipping articles from magazines.

We’ve both been interested in food for a long time and have always spent most weekends and many evenings cooking but Dinner Diary gave us the push we needed when we got home from work late and tired and didn’t feel like cooking – if we ate cheese on toast every night then it wouldn’t make very interesting reading.

We decided early on that we wouldn’t be selective with our postings, we’d photograph everything and be honest about how it tasted so, when we spent all day Saturday laying in the sun drinking Pimms and only ate crisps for dinner we posted it. Last Thursday when I was hungover, home alone and too lazy to even slice some cheese for a sandwich I ate a supermarket pizza. It was horrible but I posted it anyway.

Aside from the cold food the blogging benefits far outweigh the negatives, I’ve already mentioned all the shopping we’ve had to do so that the photographs look good but there’s also the opportunity to eat interesting food. No-one wants to read page after page of sausages and mashed potatoes or fish and new potatoes so we try to be creative although it has been noted that we eat a lot of chicken!

Which leads me nicely into one of the negatives: it’s very difficult not to over-eat when you’re cooking interesting, creative food every day. The recipes that interest us the most tend to be the ones with a lot of butter or oil or carbohydrates – pasta, risotto, casseroles and stews – none of which are particularly good for the waistline. Hence the chicken. It’s our quiet nod to healthy eating and of course, it’s reasonably priced and versatile. As much as we’d love to eat rib of beef and langoustines every night because they’re interesting and look good our budget (and our waistlines!) doesn’t stretch that far.

A lot of food bloggers write posts about themselves which is not something Stephen and I have ever done (Stephen and Kerri are not our real names in case you were wondering!), apart from the “we like food and we like taking pictures of food” strapline that we have on our homepage. It seems to say it all though. We do like food and we do like taking photos of food. We did toy with the idea of publishing a photo of ourselves along with a longer biography but we decided against it, both of us are quite attached to our pseudonyms now*.

One of the original reasons for starting Dinner Diary was so that we would have a record of the food we’d eaten and an online repository for storing our recipes, I don’t think we even told anyone apart from our close friends what we doing for the first four of five months. The food record and recipe repository is still one of the most useful things about Dinner Diary for us, we both use it constantly to find our recipes and look for inspiration. Accidentally clicking on one of our favourites like Roast Chicken when there’s two hours before lunch can be painful though.

Having said that, reading the comments left by people is a great thing. It’s still really exciting to log on and see “comment in moderation” waiting and it’s even more interesting when people we don’t “know” leave us a comment although that often leads us to wonder how they found us. We recently added a traffic analyser which is really interesting…we found that “too much chilli” was one of the search comments that led people to us, as was “slutty”. The analyser told us that we get on average 846 hits per day, I think we might need a new analyser…!

I’m confident that we’ll keep going for another year, it’s complete natural for us now to have the camera in the kitchen while we’re cooking and without thinking we both usually have an idea in our heads about how the dish is going to look when finished. Being able to look back at what you’ve eaten over the last year is a brilliant thing too, as is having a permanent, central place to keep your recipes.

In honour of our first anniversary, we cooked game pie today. Game casserole was one of the first dinners to appear on Dinner Diary so it seemed fitting. I got us a new placemat too 🙂



*Stephen and Kerri are our real names, we wrote this when we were still known as Fred and Ginger. Most of that paragraph is irrelevant now but I’ll leave it there for posterity. Thanks, Ethel 🙂

Sep 30th, 2007

9 Comments to 'Happy Blogday'

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  1. Jules said,

    Happy Birthday to you , Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dinner Diary, Happy Birthday to you!

  2. Darren said,

    As I’m sat here drinking a glass of white wine from the MENDOZA! region of Argentina – allow me raise a toast to your blogiversary!

  3. Antonia said,

    Happy Birthday to Dinner Diary indeed!
    Game pie – how delicious. I had a rather strange combination of leftovers tonight and so am most envious!

  4. Stephen said,

    Thanks for the birthday wishes guys! 🙂

    The game pie contained wood pigeon, partridge and venison. The partridge was rather gamey and I didn’t particularly enjoy having to remove its feet, but it mellowed out and blended in with the other ingredients in the pie.

    We also had red cabbage with apple and red wine. This took three and a half hours to cook; it’s not often that a side dish takes longer to cook than the main dish. It was good, but a little too sweet for our tastes. We’ll use less sugar next time, or possibly no sugar because the apple does add sweetness of its own.

    Next time we cook something involving small birds, I would like it to involve stuffing them inside each other, which I suspect will be rather hard work.

  5. Richard said,

    Happy blogday – keep up the good work!

  6. Hippolyra said,

    Congratulations on a year!

    My camera now lives on top of the fridge and I live, think and breathe food. My first waking thought today was “Ahh forgot an ingredient on last night’s post” It takes over your life, but in a fun way.

  7. Kerri said,

    Thanks Richard, I don’t think I wished you a happy blogday – sorry about that!

    Hippolyra – you’re right, it does take over your life but we’d both been obsessed with food for a long time – blogging just helps to focus you I think.


  8. Fran said,

    It’s raining, and I feel a bit icky, so I’m reading old stuff to inspire me and found this! I bet you never thought you’d still be gong now!

    And I can’t believe Kerri isn’t your name! What a fraud!

    x Ethel

  9. Kerri said,

    It’s all part of the fictionsuit, Ethel 😉

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