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Health & Balance

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6 Inspiring Female Bloggers

WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine

By Anna Davies
Redbook Magazine Logo
Creating a blog is more than just flinging your diary open for the world to see. A blog can bring you a circle of friends, an amazing sense of confidence, and a safe space to discover who you truly are. Read on as six women tell how blogging changed their lives, and let them inspire you to find your own virtual village.

"It's like my kitchen has an open door to the world."

Elise Bauer, 47

I have the good fortune to have been brought up by parents who are excellent home cooks. For years I thought that I, too, could cook; after all, I had watched my folks as a child and helped out making the salads and the salsa. But as a single, busy Silicon Valley consultant, I mostly ate out. It wasn't until I was in my 40s, making a third call home in a month to ask a ridiculously simple cooking question, that I realized that my parents knew more about roasting, baking, braising, and sautéing than I could ever hope to — and that I had better start learning from them for real.

Showing up for visits with pen and pad in hand, I'd watch my mother's every move as she made dinner. Conversations at the dinner table turned to my parents' recipes and methods from four decades of cooking for a large family. I compiled family favorites, like my mom's albóndigas soup and my dad's stuffed bell peppers, and made Web pages for them, painstakingly coding every one by hand to post on my personal site. Everything changed, though, when blogging software became available. Suddenly, I could just type into a template, click a button, and presto — what used to take hours took just minutes.

As I posted more and more recipes, what caught me by surprise was how many people started reading the site, trying out the recipes, and commenting on them. Simply Recipes was meant to be basically a working set of cooking notes for me to share with my family and friends, but a lot more people than that started showing up to read it. At first, comments were difficult to get used to. Who were all these strangers remarking on my recipes? Over time, though, I realized that not only do people care enough about what I'm doing to leave a comment about it, but they're also teaching me to be a better cook. One reader taught me how to knock the socks off a sauce by adding pancetta to the base. Recently, a group of readers rightly decided that my mango chicken curry could benefit from the addition of some coconut milk. Through this blog I've magically tapped into a world of thousands of people who collectively know more about food and cooking than I ever could. Cooking is communal; it is so much more fun when doing it with friends.

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