Surprising.recipes is the English spin-off of gerechtenweb.blog, a dutch blog with healthy, easy and surprising recipes. Gerechtenweb ”was created in early 2007 to do something with blogging, photos and cooking. The intention is to publish simple and surprising recipes. From 2007 to May 2012 I have put 75 dishes online with iWeb. When iWeb ceased to exist, I migrated everything to wordpress.com. In 2013 I started with an additional English version.
The blog has changed considerably over the years. In the beginning I was happy to get a recipe with a photo online. Learning by doing: gradually I became more self-assured in cooking and baking. Also the photos, although certainly not professional, got better, also because of the use of better cameras of course. Before, I used to upload all those photos separately. With iCloud, this is now also fully automatic.
Gradually, an own style and image for surprising.recipes and gerechtenweb emerged. Below you will find some typical features:
The plates: Royal Boch on-line
Many of the dishes are presented on plates from the Royal-Boch on-line collection. I love the sleek and simple design that makes the difference. It is a bit of an oddity in the Royal-Boch collections, which are rather traditional. In an attempt to appeal to a more modern and younger audience, they included this design by Bob Van Reeth in their collection in the early 2000s. I doubt if it was a great success, because despite active searching I find little on the internet. I have dedicated only one page to it, where you can find much more information: Royal Boch on-line collection.
The recipes: WPRM recipe maker
Currently I create the recipes with the plugin WP recipe maker, from bootstrapped.ventures. This Belgian company is one of the market leaders for recipe cards on WordPress sites.
Recipe cards ensure that the recipes are well structured. This makes them easy to find for search engines. I also find WPRM very user-friendly, both for making recipes and for the visitor.
The layout: RECEPTAR
The layout or theme of the blog is Receptar from webmandesign.eu. This is a Slovakian company, and as you can guess from the name, it is ideal for a food blog. The photo takes a prominent place, also the eye wants to eat of course. It is very easy to use (which is also important to me) and also gives a nice cookbook feel in the desktop version.
Many foodbloggers all use similar themes. This leads to uniformity, which is why they all look a bit the same. Fortunately, the Receptar theme has not yet been discovered or adopted by the majority of foodbloggers.
The style: direct and clear
On many food blogs it is a safari to get what you are looking for: the recipe and the photos. Pop-ups, advertising, even more pop-ups, lengthy text to satisfy search engines, etc. Professional bloggers must of course make money, and many sites are optimized to make money, not to be user-friendly.
The purpose of surprising.recipes is not to earn as much money as possible. I want to become more proficient in cooking, photos and blogging. And I love to experiment with new technologies and offer added value for the reader. That is why, after a short introduction without many frills, you will find the recipe immediately, because that is what it is all about. Background information, internal and external references, a photo gallery and an experimental advertising banner then come later, for the interested reader that wants to scroll further down.
Surprising.recipes is the English version of gerechtenweb.blog. I work in a very international environment. Interested colleagues naturally have their problems with the language of the low countries. That is why over the years I have decided to set up an English version, following the same concept.
This of course reduces my capacity to publish recipes, because I have to do everything twice. But it also helps me to follow and pick up on international trends. Moreover, translating such a recipe into English is also a challenge in itself 🙂
One of the reasons to start blogging in 2007 was to keep up with modern technological developments. That reason is still valid and social media naturally play a major role in this. It gives me also a reason to do something on things like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and others that come and go.