What should the scope of a Food & Cooking blog be?

Quoting the blog guidelines:

Is the blog about the site? Is it about the site’s topic? Is it about the industry around the topic? Keep in mind the audience of your community and their interests. Another generic blog about may not be all that interesting. A community blog should be interesting to both current members and potential new members.

I've posted answers generally summarizing what was discussed in chat recently. Please feel free to edit in additional examples and subcategories, or to add extra answers if you feel there's a notable category I've missed.

In general, anything related to food and cooking which is not explicitly listed as off-topic is probably fair game. The topics here are primary topics we hopefully agree are good starting-points.

If things you see here give you ideas, feel free to post them on this brainstorming question.

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These are great ideas; you guys will be set up with a blog as soon as we sort through our technical and design issues. meta.stackexchange.com/a/128321/166017 –  Laura Apr 5 '12 at 18:41
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10 Answers

Recipe documentation (traditional food blog)

Good:

  • Food that might not be familiar to many readers
  • Discussion of techniques and flavors involved, background of the recipe...
  • Incremental photos and description (bringing the reader into the kitchen)
  • Seasonal/thematic foods (Halloween, Thanksgiving)

Bad:

  • Lasagna is the best dish ever, and here is a picture of it.
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A side note: I think this has unique potential for us, because we have possible contributors scattered around the world. –  Jefromi Mar 13 '12 at 21:36
    
And of course, it would give people some outlet to share their best recipes - a persistent desire that's not fulfilled by the main site. –  Aaronut Mar 13 '12 at 22:10
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Kitchen experiments

  • optimization of a task (how to boil pasta)
  • finding limits (how much alcohol can I put in truffles)
  • testing commonly held beliefs (potato in soup to remove salt)
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Off topic: health and nutrition

No health or nutritional quality claims. (Note that you can still say "a large amount of oil is left in the falafel".)

(a vote up means you agree this is off-topic)

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What about topics like Is there a way to make falafel without deep frying?. I think a blog post documenting the different techniques suggested in the answers, complete with photos and maybe comments on how technique affects taste, and nutritional info...that would make a great post. Would it be excluded because it dares to try to cook healthily? –  Laura Mar 13 '12 at 21:08
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@Laura: My view would be that documenting how much oil is left in the food is great, but making claims about whether it's good or bad is not a good idea. Edited to reflect that. –  Jefromi Mar 13 '12 at 21:14
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Recipe construction/repair

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Reviews

  • general-purpose knowledge about selecting equipment (characteristics of chef's knives)
  • surveys of available products (various styles of garlic press)

but not:

  • too-localized specific product reviews (a single knife)
  • incomplete reviews (this knife seems sharp and balanced to me!)
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OK, if we also exclude a review on five different brands of a single type of knife (because we don't have the resources to do it properly). –  rumtscho Mar 13 '12 at 21:16
    
@rumtscho: No. We exclude incomplete/improperly done reviews. If someone can manage to do a good job on that review, then we can most certainly accept it. –  Jefromi Mar 13 '12 at 21:22
    
There was actually a similar review on the bicycles blog not too long ago, about rear blinky lights. bicycles.blogoverflow.com/2012/03/tail-light-review It's INCREDIBLY popular and gets tons of hits. Reviewing knives would be great, or comparing cookies sheets, or so on. –  Martha F. Mar 13 '12 at 23:33
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I'd suggest that a review of a single product is fine. Though probably for a product more complicated than a knife. E.g., if someone wants to do an in-depth review of a common-ish food processor, that'd be fine. (The depth would come from testing how well it does on a variety of tasks) –  derobert Mar 14 '12 at 1:11
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Techniques

  • concise write-ups of single things (how to julienne carrots, chiffonade herbs, or sous-vide) , avoiding very complex tasks (though perhaps some could be split, e.g. a post about building a sous-vide setup, then a post about using it)
  • comparison of methods for a task
  • large-scale/commercial cooking (including "war stories")
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+1 to comparison, -1 to basic things –  rfusca Mar 13 '12 at 21:11
    
@rfusca: Goodness, making things complicated... everyone feel free to upvote rfusca's comment if you agree. I don't want to split this answer. –  Jefromi Mar 13 '12 at 21:16
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I am +1 for basic things - this is exactly what gets the attention of most people. –  rumtscho Mar 13 '12 at 21:18
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I too am A-OK with basic. It'll help get the plethora of nearly-identical basic questions off the site (especially in cases like "how to cook a steak"). –  Aaronut Mar 13 '12 at 22:08
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I added "concise" to the basic techniques bullet. Perhaps rfusca and others will find the idea more agreeable if they're short, sweet articles, not pretentiously turning julienning into a 5000-word essay! –  Jefromi Mar 13 '12 at 22:11
    
Or combine the two -- talk about the traditional method for julienning, and compare with using labor saving types of devices -- mandolin, food processor, etc. –  Martha F. Mar 13 '12 at 23:37
    
I would not limit the write ups to basic techniques at all. There might be plenty of people who can julienne a carrot but don't know the best way to sous-vide or something. –  ElendilTheTall Mar 15 '12 at 11:48
    
@ElendilTheTall: Fair enough. I'll go ahead and edit - I doubt anyone who upvoted would object to a sous-vide tutorial. –  Jefromi Mar 15 '12 at 16:26
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Substitutions and Workarounds

  • cooking method workarounds for people who don't have a given piece of equipment (e.g. what to do if you don't have a dedicated double boiler, room in your oven to roast garlic (how to roast garlic on the stove top))
  • cooking preparations workarounds for people who can't include a given, commonly used food item (e.g. how to adjust for recipes that don't include eggs, alternative thickening agents that aren't animal based)
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Ingredient selection and use

  • culinary uses which wouldn't fit the site (dishes with 50 cloves of garlic)
  • surveys of ingredients from less-common cuisines (peppers used in Mexican cuisine)
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Ingredient/Pantry Checklist Example: The Italian Pantry

  • What staple ingredients would you always want to keep around to impart the flavor of a regional cuisine.
  • What are some common classic ingredient combinations, that people could use to play around with as a starting point.
  • What type of things help distinguish a dish as coming from that particular region.
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This is largely what I meant by the second bullet point of ingredient selection and use - but I'm happy to have anything that's about exploring a new regional cuisine! –  Jefromi Apr 4 '12 at 0:04
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Recipe/cooking Showdowns

  • Give two authors the task of making a certain dish, or use a certain set of ingredients.
  • They document the process of creating their recipe, why the might of did something particular, or certain problems that they came up against.
  • Post to show how two different chefs go about tackling the same dish and/or ingredients.
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