A chill of silence enters the room, who wants to talk first?
Me? No, I don't want to start the conversation. I don't like it for one, and I hate the feeling that I get in the pit of my stomach when I have to. I can be the rather outspoken type, but then as soon as I understand someone is mad I cower in a corner and feel regret for saying anything at all. Like most, I want to make everyone happy. Which is a big reason why I work so hard to develop recipes that work for a wide range of people with varying allergies and sensitivities. I don't want to leave anyone out! I also have a naturally competitive nature. I drive myself crazy trying to figure out the unknowns. This obsession may be a little unhealthy. The happy/ excited feeling I get when I solve these little kitchen mysteries cannot even be described in words. Baking is my addiction, its all I do, all I think about, all I talk about.
In knowing this, you won't be surprised to hear that I put hours, sometimes days of time into everything that I post on this site. Even when I'm not in the kitchen, my brain is running trying to solve questions like "how can I make cheesecake without nut , soy or dairy based cream cheese?".
Often on Facebook I will ask friends to describe the texture and taste of a favorite recipe. I did this last week for a Samoa Cookie recipe that I developed and posted. I wanted to make sure my memory of the cookie was similar to others so that I could create the best copy cat possible. More than often when I do this- people are quick to link up another recipe to show me. While I am grateful, I must tell you all that I never look at them. While I am working on a specific item, I will not look at any other gluten free versions on the web. To me this is idea stealing.. I want to learn how to do it on my own! I am like your stubborn 2 year old that wants to buckle her own seat-belt all on her own!
Developing new recipes is a process. First I often will study the classic ratio. In the case of shortbread for the samoa cookies, I knew that I needed to find the correct balance between butter and flour. A few months ago I spent a large amount of time playing with a grain free shortbread recipe that I ultimately used as the base for a twix bar recipe that I posted. To make the samoas I used that same shortbread recipe, made a few tiny alterations so that the dough held together better and found it worked wonderful. I don't look at a box of Somoa Cookies as Im not looking to reproduce their recipe exactly- I'm just trying to replicate the flavor and texture that I remember using my own set of ingredients. I'm able to build my archive of recipes by slowly building my skills. As I learn new tricks in how things work, I'm able to use the new knowledge I gain in a new application.
Being able to create a wide variety of recipes that are 100% my own has taken me almost 2 years now of constant experimentation. Plus of course a boat load of cash. It takes time to learn how to be a recipe developer- its an exciting and frustrating journey (one that I highly recommend).
This past week several times my recipes were essentially copied by their ingredient list and placed on other website. In each instance, the blog author did it in a very kind manner, giving me credit. Their intentions were wonderful, I felt torn. I spent some time thinking on this further, and spoke to a number of wonderful blogger friends to ask how they dealt with these situations. I didn't want to be that "mean" blogger demanding to have my recipe taken down. I was flattered and highly complimented that my recipes were even given a second posting.
Long story short. I have to say, what I don't like saying.
Please Fellow Bloggers, do not re-post the ingredients and directions to my recipes into your own websites. Each recipe represents me, my time, money and a lengthy thought process that brought me to the end result. Naturally, I would like to keep it here, the place it was designed for. Legally, it belongs only here too, but thats a discussion I'm not looking to push hard tonight.
My photographs are also my original creations. If you would like to share these photos in reference to my recipes with a link, feel free! . If you made my recipe, loved it and want to show off one of my photos, feel free! These images are here to give my recipes a little visual extra spark, they are here for you to share! I think it goes without saying that using them as representation for your own recipes isn't so cool. Fortunatly, I haven't had much issues with that happening
In order for a recipe to be placed in the "adapted" category it needs to have had major changes. I'm not talking a spice or two added or changed, Im talking new flours introduced, and the measurements of the other ingredients drastically changed. At least 4 big differences must be noted in the comparison of the two recipes. For example: Using hazelnut flour in a recipe in the same proportion to the almond flour called for- does not mean the recipe has become yours to post.
Here is an example of a blog that shared my recipe in a perfectly acceptable manner. You will note that she talked about her alterations, shared my photo and provided a link to my website so that her readers could come to my website to get the recipe. This is wonderful and perfect! (Ps. Thanks for the sweet review Susan. You all should check out her awesome website!)
Sharing the link to any of my posted recipes on facebook, pinterest, twitter etc. is always welcome! Talking about the recipe and your alterations on your website is also perfectly fine. These things support my site- and I am grateful for each time they happen. I just prefer to keep the actual recipe and directions here.
Ok, so there. I said it. the pit in my stomach is starting to vanish. We all make mistakes, and often times they come from really wonderful intentions. I know I have made plenty!
Oh, and those blueberry pancake popovers pictured way up at the top. Thats one of many recipes going into my new books that I co-authored with Iris Higgins coming out in March! The Essential Gluten Free Baking Guides Part 1 & Part 2. I though they might lighten the mood.