Thursday, July 26, 2012

Part 1: How to become published food bloggers?

WE WERE SO stoked to be featured in the latest Real Magazine, in a sister vs sister cook off and thought we would share with you the fruits of our labour and a bit of a run down of how we got to do it.Vanessa and I were both eight months pregnant when we managed to score a face to face with the Editor and Art Director of Real Magazine (New World's foodie magazine), we literally waddled in, to two very surprised faces when they both realized that we really did do things 'together'!

It really is a 'who you know' kinda senario, I used to work at Fairfax Media Magazines, designing and art directing lifestyle magazines. When Vanessa and I started getting serious about our blog and about our cooking, food styling and photographing, I started getting serious about trying to get us a foot in the door. I started with the Photo Editor at Fairfax, showing her our work, and wondered if she could advise us. Thankfully she quite liked our photo's, and the ball started rolling. She started to mention us to Editors, Art Directors and we sold a few pics that were published in some of the food, gardening and lifestyle magazines. Then we did a job for Life and Leisure Magazine, and finally we had some published work that we could use in our portfolio. (This is invaluable, so even if you have to do some jobs for free, or cheap to start with, your gain is getting a portfolio of published work to use to promote yourself).

Real Magazine - July/ August 2012

We had about 20 minutes to show them our photography, food styling and we talked (rather frantically) about what we were all about (sisters who loved food, photography, like to write about it blah blah) but the clincher was when we started talking about our sister vs sister food fight - two sisters, one ingredient, very different results, and the faces lit up a bit, so we kept talking (again, way too fast) and we left feeling hopeful we might get a phone call in the near future.

A few weeks later the phone rang and Claire, the Editor said "hey girls, lets give it a go and see if it captures the reader's imaginations". Yep, we tried to act all professional, and not yelp....YIPPPPEEEE ! but lo and behold a wee little....yippee......left my lips and went down the phone line. So our brief was set.  Cook Off #1 was Apples. 


  • Intro's for each recipe explaining why we chose the dish
  • 2 x Apple based recipes + photographs of the finished dishes
  • Photos of apples on a light background with space for a heading
  • Photos of the kids and us cooking (not as easy as it sounds!)
  • Photos of us together (self timer) and profile shots of each of us
  • Interesting facts about apples
  • Tips for cooking our dish

How it all looked published in the magazine.

Even though Vanessa and I have two older children, we failed to remember the newborn stage, and kept uttering out loud, " It will be easy, newborns sleep a lot don't they?" even Claire, Real Mag's Editor emailed us saying sorry about the timing, she couldn't even achieve anything for the first six weeks when her son was born. But, with our blinkers shining bright, I had my baby daughter, Eliza a week before the brief was set, and Vanessa had baby Leo a week after,  and off we went  co-ordinating some sort of working life, and baby sleep sync program.

When we heard we were also going to be interviewed, we assumed it would be by telephone, so we thought, "Great, we can literally stay in the pj's and keep up appearances!", but NO.....that wasn't to be the case, they wanted to see us, and get off the cuff quotes. Thankfully, the journalist who turned up, was a woman called Katherine, who as a mother to young kids herself, was understanding to our chaos, and didn't seem to mind our half finished conversations. Somehow, she managed to fill in the blanks and make us sound like we had it all together.

Just like newsreaders we looked the part from the waist up.

Little did we know the big plan with the Sister vs Sister concept was to get the public voting. And little did we know, sibling rivalry that has lay dormant for a few years, has returned with some gusto. What dish would you vote for? Vote here

JULY 24, 2012

Vanessa's Apple Custard Tart
51% (354 votes)
Ingrid's Sweet Apple Yorkies
49% (341 votes)

It's pretty close, but Vanessa has the edge with 51% of the vote, it seems voters love the nostalgia of a good custard pie, and the timings seem to be very important. The baked pancake requires resting, so that adds an extra 20 mins to the process, an issue for some time-poor cooks.

In our next post Vanessa goes into more detail about the food, the photoshoot and behind the scenes.

Ingrid's Dish: Sweet apple yorkies 

I love pancakes, but I hate waiting for them. With a new baby and a toddler, I haven't got time to stand over a hot element cooking them, making sure they don't burn. I also made the rule in my household that the one cooking them always gets the first pancake, however, the first pancake always seems to be the malformed, or the thinnest, the one that doesn't bubble. A stack of oven-warmed pancakes arriving on the table just so everybody can eat them together just doesn't cut it for me either. I want them straight from the pan, butter still sizzling and hot enough to melt my refrigerated golden syrup swirls.

This baked eggy puffy cloud packed with sticky gooey caramelised apples is about as close as I can get to my idea of breakfast heaven on a cold winter’s day. It's sort of a sweet version of the Yorkshire pudding (which appeals to my English Hull-born bloke) and also why I call my dish Sweet Apple Yorkies.

It has origins from the Apple Dutch Baby or the German Pancake and could be filled with just about any stone fruit or spice. Caramelised apples, however, are just perfect, and your whole family will get excited watching the magic of the custardy egg rising over the edges of the pan in the oven. One more rule however, these must be eaten immediately, or risk watching them fall.

Vanessa's tip: Top pancake with grilled bacon for a hearty brunch.

Ingrid's sweet apple yorkies
I used 2 x 20cm [pie tins but you could also use a large , 30cm wide, cast iron skillet or deep ovenproof  frying pan and divide the pancake into 4 when cooked – it would save on dishes!

What you need:
Caramelised apples 
25g butter
4 cooking apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped
¼ cup golden syrup

¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 200˚C or 180˚C fan. Divide the butter between the pans and allow it to melt in the oven for a few minutes.
2. Place chopped apples evenly over the pan. Pour over melted golden syrup and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the apples are caramelised.
3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and gradually add the milk and vanilla , whisking to remove any lumps.
4. Add eggs one at a time. Lightly whisk the batter. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Pour batter over apples.
5. Bake for 20 minutes until the batter puffs up and the edges are golden. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Preparation time: 30 mins + 20 mins resting time
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 4

* Resting the batter allows time for the starch to absorb the liquid and air bubbles to form making your batter light and fluffy.
* Don't over mix your batter as you will get rubbery pancakes.

* Remember to have your table set and plates ready, as the yorkies will sink a few minutes after you remove it from the oven.


  1. Your doing a great job girls and good luck with more to come!

  2. I missed this post, good one! Was that the final score? You must be pleased :-).