The Surreal Life, Blogger style

Posted by Aarti on December 2nd, 2011 . Filed under: Uncategorized .

A few years ago, I was out of work, out of ideas and generally, out of hope.

My days consisted of umpteen cups of coffee, sixteen too many re-runs of “Reba”, and cooking.  With no news jobs on the docket, I had abandoned my dreams of joining Christanne Amanpour as she took on the Ayatollah.

Then one of my close friends started a blog; she’d just had a baby and in order to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest adorable developments in her son’s life, she posted stories and photos.  It was wonderful.

And so, ever the copycat, I decided to start my own.

I’m not sure why.  But I’m so glad that I listened to that instinct.

I discovered that, despite what my secondary school History and English Lit teachers had said, I actually could write (So THERE Mr. Bond-Lewis and Mr. Moore!).

I discovered that I could take a good photo every now and then.

I discovered that I could cook a little something here and there, and talk about it on camera.

Food blogs took over the hours I had previously devoted to Reba: Pioneer Woman, Joy the Baker, A Life of Spice, Gluten Free GirlHunter Angler Gardener Cook.

The intense beauty of their writing, their dedication to blogging regularly, the honest-to-goodness breathtaking photos, the vulnerability with which they shared their lives… they all made me feel like not simply a reader, but like a dear old pen pal.  Today, whenever writer’s block looms on the horizon, I still visit these “friends” in search of inspiration, both of the food and the writing variety.

Imagine my joy then, to have these veritable lords (Ladies?) of the blogging world actually know who I am!

I was literally sweating out of every pore on my face when I got to meet Ree, aka The Pioneer Woman.  Then, she wrote about me.  (Um, we email each other now.  Ri-dinky-donk.)

I tested and re-tested my Palak Paneer recipe before I gave it to Shauna (GF Girl), who graciously tried it out and wrote about it on her blog.

Jaden Hair, of the feisty and fabulous Steamy Kitchen blog, made my Ketchup Chutney, shmeared it on a cheese sandwich and shared it with her readers.


And now, two more of my heros have honoured me.

Joy, aka Joy the Baker, interviewed me as part of her adorable new podcast, “Let’s be Friends”… you can listen to it for free here, and find out why, among other things, if you’re considering a stint on reality TV you must have cute PJs… I can’t tell you how geeked I am about this you guys.  SO.  GEEKED.  OUT.

We just met up for coffee on Wednesday.  Yup.  Just me.  And Joy.  Chillin.  So ridiculously surreal.


And then, as if THAT wasn’t good enough, Monica Bhide, (whose book Modern Spice encouraged me to keep cooking the way I do without fear of shaming my ancestors), who, waaaaay back in the day before Food Network Star, actually responded to my email requesting notes on my budding YouTube show… interviewed me for a series entitled, “In Conversation with Exceptional Women”.

I actually spit up my tea when she asked if she could include me in the company of Ruth Reichel, Amanda Hesser, Lynne Rosetto Kasper, Paula Wolfert and Padma Frickin Lakshmi.

And now, it’s available as an ebook!  Click on the picture to buy this little treasure… skip over my interview and read about what’s in Ruth’s fridge, a surprising fact about Padma, what motivates Dorie Greenspan.

So yeah… this is The Surreal Life.  Free of alcohol-laced absurd hook-ups in the swimming pool and oversized egos.  Replete with sweetness, generosity and geeky blogger dreams coming true.










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16 Responses to The Surreal Life, Blogger style

  1. Erin Smith

    All of that blogger love is well-deserved, Aarti. I will need to start listening to Joy’s podcast now.

    I also get excited when I meet fellow gluten-free bloggers and Twitter friends in person or when they give a shout out to me on their blog. It is all very exciting.

  2. Notyet00

    Yeah you are so right,.u must be feeling so good,.,wish ya happy week ahead,..

  3. Carol Suzuki

    Isn’t it amazing how life unfolds? I’m so very happy for you! And it gives me an insight as to why you are so involved with your fans on your blogs and Facebook and take so much time to answer their questions….you’ve been there yourself. Please understand that because I have no discernible talent to share with the world as you have, the fact that you even mentioned me in one of your blogs about punning put me over the moon! Maybe you think that’s sad, but that was my equivalent to your Joy the Baker interview, seriously. Yes, I didn’t let on. I was trying hard to be cool you see. But I was geeked out, too. “Aarti knows who I am!” so I can only imagine the magnitude of what it means to you to be, not only recognizable, but admired by all those YOU admire. I think you are one of those people who have that special something, the it factor. And I believe no matter what field of interest you decided on, that would surface and you would be successful. Thanks for shining so brilliantly, sparkle pony!

  4. Jaden

    You, my dear, are amazing!!! Love you right back!

  5. amy

    so nice to see that celebs (and i mean you, aarti!) get excited about things just like they rest of us normal folk!

  6. Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

    I listened to your interview on Joy’s web site and was smiling the whole way through. It sounded like you girls were already bff’s – not speaking for the fist time. Great work! Also, congratulations on getting through that difficult period a few years ago – looks like it’s all well behind you :)

  7. Joline

    haha. i geeked out when you replied to one of my facebook messages! seriously, if I could share a cuppa with you over a nice chat about Jesus, I’d be a mess and my kids would think I was all that . . . which they already, do, only, I’m just saying . . . YOU are now in THAT category. Cheers and blessings to you!

  8. Stephanie Lang

    Love this! Reading Joy the Baker encouraged me to start my own food blog in June of 2009. Blogging “friends” are what keep me excited and interested and glued to my computer screen, mouth gaping, stomach growling, and oven preheating to immediately start cooking. You were great on We’re about to Be Friends. You have certainly got a sparkle, Aarti!

  9. Sheila

    Smiling like a silly thing. It’s been so awesome to watch your career zoom into fast gear. You’re inspiration to the rest of us dreamers. :)

  10. Kara

    You’re great, Aarti!! I love that even though you are big and famous now, you can still relate to all us little people! And, I’m so thankful you continue to blog and connect with us. I feel like you are one of my friends!

  11. TJ

    I love this post. I’ll be referring to it when I feel my dreams are running out of steam. Thank you for being so genuine.

  12. Jessica

    After spending the weekend with Jaden, I have to agree she is pretty amazing! But so are you Aarti! I just love everything about this post…and the podcast with Joy is pure fun!

  13. Seena

    How fantastic Aarti! And no matter how much I watch you on Food Network,. I keep coming back to your cooking channel on YouTube. There is nothing like inviting your fans home (virtually) and cooking them a wholesome meal. :D

    And yes you CAN write. And so beautifully!

  14. sarah

    Ha! I watched a lot of Reba and What I Like About You during a bummer period in my life. Gotta love the WB, now CW!

  15. Kenya

    I’m very late responding but I wouldn’t call it copy catting, I call it inspiring. Just like you have inspired me. I love the whole set up of your blog and how it expresses who you are as a person, you love and joy of food, etc. And I want one for myself!!! So call me a copy cat too!!

  16. Julia

    You are very inspiring to small bloggers like me! I love so many of your recipes and find you completely hilarious.


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