I worry about not having another great idea, ever again. This happens in the kitchen, but in life, too.

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Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

A friend I was recently hanging out with at a wedding said, “I don’t think people read blogs anymore.” She hasn’t been blogging much herself, and was trying to figure out what it was she wanted out of blogging, if she were to return to it. It made me wonder if the statement is true. I read a curated selection of blogs line by line. Many of the sites in my reader are ones I’ll click through occasionally, browse through pictures, but I’ve found myself overwhelmed by the amount of content out there. And sometimes, exhausted by pictures that make me feel like I’m nothing without a white subway tile kitchen, a pair of Birkenstocks, and a teepee tent in my child’s room (Pinterest fans, you know what I’m talking about).

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

As a content creator myself, this might sound blasphemous, but it’s true. Blogging platforms and social networks have allowed all of us to become creators, to publish as often as we like. In the beginning, we all followed the same people (the pioneers like Clotilde, Deb, David), and our friends, of course. But at some point, the lists grew bigger and bigger and even our friends and acquaintances, many of whom would hardly call themselves bloggers, began to produce with such frequency that it felt like there was never an opportunity to get caught up. How could anyone keep up with everyone, at all times? More, this lifestyle — it began to feel fake, at least on some level.

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

A number of bloggers have written about this topic, touching on a drop in commenting/engagement to issues breaking through the noise as a result of Facebook algorithm changes (why even bother, some asked?). Even The New York Times penned a story about blogger burnout. Who were these people, privileged enough to blog for a living, complaining about feeling like they’d stepped over the line, and felt like they needed to reel their personal lives back in, behind the screens?

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

I go back and forth on this myself. I’ll ride through phases of creative lulls and peaks, and sometimes, like Joy, I worry about not having another great idea, ever again. This happens in the kitchen, but in life, too.

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

I was recently pointed toward this wonderful video, which I have watched over and over again. As a creative person, it’s hard enough to feel ‘on’ all the time, but it’s even harder when you feel pressured by creativity, or maybe find energy in knowing that people are listening. One of the most wonderful things about blogging for me, and it has remained true, despite life changes and time, is that it is a space I control 100%. I can be as open or closed as I want. I have no editor. I am the boss-lady here. I can think big and dream big, and take breaks when I need to.

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

So, do I think people don’t read blogs anymore? I don’t. I think people read blogs, but I don’t fault them for feeling out how and where they should spend their time. I often hop away after reading, before leaving a comment, and I wonder if I should be making more of an effort. But, as with anything in life — a favorite band, an old friend, a treasured book — sometimes, it’s about rediscovering, or coming home to something you have taken for granted. Sometimes, it’s about taking a break. Sometimes, it’s about cleaning house. I know, for myself, the internet would be a lonely place without my favorite voices and I cherish the opportunity to continue to know them, even if we’re sometimes not great at keeping in touch.

P.S. Heidi’s post on maintaining a long-term blog is excellent, as is Olga’s post on the realities of cooking and blogging + real life.

Apple Cider Cakes from Sunday Suppers

Apple Cider Cakes
Adapted from Sunday Suppers
*makes 17 mini cakes

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of good olive oil
1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of apple cider
1/2 cup of applesauce

For the topping:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and grease the cavities of a mini bundt cake pan.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix.
3. Add the olive oil, sugar, vanilla extract, cider, and applesauce to another large bowl and mix.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix and use a large spoon to stir until thoroughly incorporated. Fill the bundt cake cavities about 3/4 of the way and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. While the cakes are baking, make the topping by mixing the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
6. When the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove them from the pan and roll them in the sugar.
7. Clean your mini bundt cake pan, grease 5 more cavities and divide the rest of the batter among the greased cavities. Bake for another 15 minutes, let cool for 5, then roll warm cakes in cinnamon sugar.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • So often, I find that you post something so fitting and so apt for how I’m feeling. You’ve captured so much here about blogging and living an online life and creativity which I can absolutely relate to and your conclusion about the voices that you cherish, even if you don’t always keep in touch is just spot on.

  • That’s the same reason I can’t stop it. It’s my space and I need it more than anything right now. Sometimes it feels good to create, even for the sake of creating. But the burnout is real, especially when I let creating content define who I am. What I’m trying to say… I love this post.

  • Great post, Kasey. After so much upheaval this year about the state of blogging, I love that so many bloggers are coming back with smart, fresh answers. And I’m so glad to see a move away from “keeping up,” because who could, really? And I love what you said about maintaining our own spaces –– it’s incredibly empowering to have a place to be who and whatever we want. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Kasey, I loved so much about this post… you touched on the things I’m feeling ( and sometime struggling with) at the moment too. How to stay inspired, what to share, etc…. Thank you for eloquently expressing the complexity of what so many of us are feeling these days.
    And I’m so glad you brought up the thing I most enjoy about my own blog. It’s my space pure and simple. I can do what I want when I want. That has been the most incredible part of blogging and I don’t ever want to forget gratitude for that independence.
    And…. on top of your rockin’ essay on the state of blogging, your photos are so friggin’ stunning and delish, lady. Wow!
    xoxoxo
    E

  • Katie

    I’m officially scratching Birkenstocks and a teepee off my Christmas list and adding a mini Bundt pan. Terrific essay. For me, blogging works best (and I do my best work) when it isn’t a chore to cross off the to do list, but a source of creativity and inspiration. My readers always respond most when I manage the latter.

  • Thank you, Kathryn! Online life can be weird and wonderful. How lucky we are to speak freely about the things we love, hope for, fear, and dream of. x

  • I think blogging keeps me accountable to … myself. I agree that burnout is real, especially when you’re particularly hard on yourself…I think we just need to remember we’re all just doing our best (and doing awesome). xo

  • Thank you, E! That’s my favorite part — the complete and whole ownership. There are so few things in life that are so purely ours. And I love the threadwork of voices we create. xo

  • Thank you, E!! I spend many nights pouring over my favorite blogs and cookbooks (yours included!) feeling like I’ll never think of anything to write/ cook / etc. But there’s always a breakthrough. The best ones come when they are not forced, but arise out of a genuine desire to share. xx

  • Ha! Truth be told, it’s my favorite baking purchase of the year. I really appreciate the thoughtful feedback — and I agree 100%; my best work is done not when I feel like I HAVE to create, but when I WANT to. Wouldn’t it be nice if all work felt that way? 😉 xx

  • Kasey, I keep thinking about this post and how spot on it was.

    You are so right. It’s a great life lesson to trust that the breakthrough will come, that we have to live through the discomfort of feeling stuck and it will pass. Ahhhh I’m living in that uncomfortable lull right now… trying to have faith that the creative well will refill if I let it. All part of the process, right?

    xoxo
    E

  • I know that discomfort so well! But oh how good those breakthroughs feel…And yes! Wait it out. Sending you creative vibes! xo

  • I’ll take those creative vibes:) Thanks lady! xoxo

  • Heather Christo

    I love this post Kasey. I think everyone who does this experiences burnout and there is definitely a rhythm and a recipe for success with balance. But I love being “the boss” in my space and I love that I can constantly adapt it as I see fit. But yes- it often feels like my creativity is sitting on a bunsen burner.

  • I love (looooove) this post, lady. Lately, for me, the ‘creative pressure’ has kind of sucked all the fun out of maintaining a blog, and is one of the reasons I don’t post as frequently anymore. What used to be an enjoyable recipe development process now feels like a chore that causes me intense stress and anxiety, and, at the end of the day, isn’t really worth it. Watching that Ira clip in 3.. 2..

  • Ha — love the analogy 🙂 I hope you’ve got LOTS of creativity flowing for your new book 🙂 xx

  • I hear you! I actually started blogging less, and immediately felt like I got MORE out of it because what I was sharing felt more genuine and well-loved.

  • What a tremendously well written post, Kasey! I too struggle with those feelings, the pressure, and sometimes the fear of not being “creative enough” and you were able to transform all those messy emotions into words. Thank you so much for sharing! It’s always good to remember that one is not alone with those feelings.

    P.S. Apple cider cakes!!

  • Self doubt, it haunts us all. Thank you for giving a new blogger hope (1 year this month)! I do it because I love it and can only hope others do too.

  • Carol

    Where is the amount of the sugar that is added to the wet mixture in Step 3?

  • Wow, this post was extremely eye opening to me. AS a full-time blogger and content creator myself, I often find myself in denial about the fact that there is so much content out there it becomes overwhelming, and that even many of my close friends tend to skim my blog for interesting and exciting things rather than reading every word as (I think) they used to. I really appreciate you putting this discussion out there– it’s something to be talked about and nothing to be afraid of. As long as our blog is unique and consistent in our voice, then people will continue reading. Loved everything about this! Inspired by you!

  • I’ve updated the post — thanks!

  • Thank you! It seems like we all do — even the ones who seem like they are the most creative ones of all. I’m glad this resonated, and thank you for sharing your struggles, too! x

  • Congratulations on 1 year of blogging! Keep on doing it because you love it.

  • Thanks for sharing, and way to go for making blogging a full time job 🙂

  • Carol

    Thanks……

  • “But, as with anything in life — a favorite band, an old friend, a treasured book — sometimes, it’s about rediscovering, or coming home to something you have taken for granted. Sometimes, it’s about taking a break. Sometimes, it’s about cleaning house. I know, for myself, the internet would be a lonely place without my favorite voices and I cherish the opportunity to continue to know them, even if we’re sometimes not great at keeping in touch.” That is so perfectly and beautifully put. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and these beautiful apple cider cakes.

  • BobbiJo#1

    Outstanding!!! VEGAN!!!!! Perfect little warm sweet Good Morning bundle to share with your neighbors!!!! Thanx!raf

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