's Sites We Love Saveur Magazine has listed The Skinny Gourmet among its "Sites We Love"

I've been having a great time checking out Nashville's high end dining on the cheap thanks to Groupon. Have you tried it yet? Its awesome. I don't know why I ever hesitated.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Developments for the Skinny Gourmet

With any luck at all it will not rain tonight in northern Illinois. Altruistically, this will help the many people in the Midwest who are facing potentially horrible flooding. On a much more petty level, this will also mean I get to see the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, live in concert. This is a woman whose music I have sung along to with reckless abandon for years. I can't carry a tune, but Aretha pumping through the speakers can carry us both. I'll finish out this week with the rest of the recipes from last friday's picnic--Bruschetta Simplice and Roasted Beet Bruschetta with Goat Cheese. But look in the next couple of weeks for some experimentation with fusing gourmet concepts and soul food principles in honor of the timeless Aretha Franklin.

I've been doing a lot of behind the scenes work to set the Skinny Gourmet up to keep blogging when I return to African in less than one month, and thinking about a lot of changes to improve the look and feel of the blog. For starters, I am working on a concept to redesign the look and feel of the site. I am going to try to migrate away from the standard blog template to give the presentation of the blog a classy, interested, and somewhat understated design that goes with the food and the concept. I have also decided that I simply must create a more functional menu that will allow for easier browsing of the site. If you have any thoughts, feedback, or suggestions for the redesign process I would love to hear them, either by email or comment. At some point I will likely solicit votes on a new logo for the Skinny Gourmet.

I am rapidly discovering this requires me to wear a few too many hats at once. To be a truly successful food blogger it seems one must be an imaginative chef, a gifted writer, a talented food photographer with the equipment to match, a graphic artist, and an IT team. Whew. I have been reading up a lot on Lara Ferroni's food photography site, "Still Life With...". She is a photographer I admire quite a lot, and if you have thought my photos have one iota of beauty to them, I gladly credit her influence. Still, I have a camera more suited to distance photos than close-ups. I have only the fickle sun and some miserable interior bulbs as lighting. I have no 'props' but those furnished by my obsession with plates (which my husband only begrudingly tolerates). I have roped my friend Ian Carswell into being my technical support staff and all around web consultant. So far I am paying him in food.

This first month of blogging has been incredibly fun. Indeed, I think I may blog as escapism. I have experienced the giddy thrill that seems to only come to newcomers before we are made sophisticated by time and experience. The first day I listed my blog I had four visitors. I did a fun little dance in the cafe. I wasn't talking to myself in cyberspace! Then for the next two weeks no one came, or so it seemed. Actually my site tracking had malfunctioned. I fixed it and was astonished to see I was averaging more than 30 people per day on my blog. It was like the little food blog that could. And it kept growing. With the growth were some other fun firsts. I can't believe I'm admitting this to you all, but I took special thrill in the first posted comment, the first email, and the first book sale. I recommend cookbooks because I love them and rely on them and want to share them with you. But Amazon has a recommendation program where a pretty tiny percentage of purchase is passed on to the blogger. I have made $0.51. I really wish Amazon would cut me a check for the 51 cents so I could just keep it. Its a very cute sum. I know some bloggers made enough money to support themselves. I was never in it for the money, and frankly never thought I would make a cent, let alone 51 of them.

Thank you all for the interest you have shown in my little blog. I look forward to hearing from you as we move forward. Here's to the food!

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