A Writing Winner

by Holly on November 13, 2011

in blog stuff,dessert,recipes,seriousness

Something really unexpected happened while I was in Europe for two weeks…I won an award.

Coming from someone whose greatest life achievements include winning most valuable player on her 4th grade slowpitch softball team and being voted “Most Likely to Be on A Reality TV Show” by her high school, this is kinda big. Because as much as these awards make great drunk fodder at the bar on a Friday night, they aren’t exactly the types of things I can put on a resume much less things that will get me to the Olympics or even a callback from the producers of Survivor.

And so, when I sat down for breakfast in the cold, open-air halls of London’s St. Pancras Station last Monday morning and opened my phone to find a slew of messages congratulating me on winning “Best Writing Voice” in the 2011 Foodbuzz Blog Awards, I sat dumbfounded.

“I won,” I mumbled to my parents in disbelief. “I won that blog award I was nominated for.”

Amidst the congratulatory excitement from Mama + Daddy E and immediate scurrying to catch our train to Paris, I have to admit that while I felt happy and honored and unexpectedly touched that so many of you actually voted for me, what I really felt was validated.

You see…for much of my life, my family and friends have always told me I am a good writer. I am not sure if it started with the handmade books I typed out and bound together with construction paper and ribbon in elementary school that were filled with stories about a contentious figure skating competition in which my novel’s heroine fought against seemingly impossible odds to win the gold medal with a perfect set of 6.0s or if it was my travel blog from Thailand that made people take notice of this talent that I never believed I possessed.

What I do know is that I am dumb and pig-headed, and so as soon as people started telling me I should become a writer, my don’t-tell-me-what-to-do-because-I-know-what’s-best-for-me self decided I would pursue anything in life but that.

I traveled. I contemplated grad school. I worked dead-end jobs. My idea for future career paths changed daily depending on what TV show I happened to be watching that day – on The Bachelor Mondays, I would forget about a job and marry rich; on American Idol Tuesdays, I wanted to hire a voice coach to become the next Kelly Clarkson, on Project Runway Wednesdays, I was going to be a fashion designer; on Grey’s Anatomy Thursdays, I pondered going to medical school; and on Saturday Night Live weekends, I had myself convinced I could and would be as funny as Tina Fey.

And then about 2 1/2 years ago, I started this blog.

Slowly over the proceeding weeks and months and eventually years, I rediscovered through food that it is in words and phrases and sentences and punctuation and the stringing together of sounds and syllables that I am best able to express my truest self.

While I talk (ahem, a lot), writing provides me with an outlet where I can create stories and characters and feelings and emotions that me running my big ol’ mouth will never provide.

Writing is a path I am now pursuing. I’ve sought out freelance work. I’m constantly writing things down…whether it be a few sentences, a poem or just a word I heard that captured my attention (word of the day today: loquacious). And when I received the Foodbuzz award, I finally felt like I could actually call myself a writer.

Thank YOU for giving me that.

Thank YOU for voting.

Thank YOU for reading this blog and providing me with a safe space to express myself.

I would love to give each and every one of you a hug, but I’m hoping that since Internet hugs can get totally awkward, a delicious cookie will do.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup flour*
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

*I used a 50-50 whole wheat/white flour blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make brown butter, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue heating – butter will become foamy and eventually, small brown speckles will appear on the bottom of the pan. Cook until butter is a rich, light brown color. Pour into a bowl, and place back in the refrigerator to solidify.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift flour, soda and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together brown sugar, sugar and solidified brown butter. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla etract. Mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and fold in wet ingredients until dough comes together. Fold in chocolate chips. On a cooking sheet, scoop generous 1-inch sized rounds onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are just lightly golden brown.

Makes 2 dozen cookies


kena November 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Oh my..this recipe looks yum yum!! I am very excited to try these…I love chocolate and pumpkin…I think I will make this and take it to my thanksgiving party!

Sissy #1 November 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

You rock.

Pure2raw twins November 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Holly you are amazing. I cannot even put into words how wonderful you are. Congrats on the award, and to be honest no one does it better than you!!!

cookies sound amazing

Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

You ABSOLUTELY deserved this award. Seriously, every time I see that you have a new post in my Google Reader, I get excited because it means I get to have a little added humor in my day. Congrats!

amanda November 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm

girl, this post, is exactly the reason why you won! you had my vote without a doubt. xoxox

Lori @ Lori Wants Happy November 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Yay!! I really do love your blog and am so happy you won. You never fail to entertain me.

I’ve also been thinking about how much I like writing, and while the issue of being good at it is still up in the air, I started a new blog anyway. (The Little Bites veg. bakery was put on hold, but Atmosphere remains in my playlist, to keep you updated.)

Anyhow, congrats again! P.S. If you’re looking for a couple’a good words, my recent ones have been “blither” and “bucolic.”

Laura November 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

Congrats girl, this is all cause of YOU!

Evan November 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

CONGRATULATIONS, Holly!!! The award is well-deserved, no doubt. You’ve won so many friends with your words, and it’s only the beginning – I’m so psyched to see where this award takes you :)

Brett November 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Pretty nails!

Courtney November 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

you are a WRITER!! so cool :) and congrats!!!!

Parita @ myinnershakti November 18, 2011 at 7:13 am

Congrats! You are an amazing writer! Keep it up :)

Natalie @ Adventures in Jackson November 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm

You GO girl! I am so happy you won. RTR (Raise the Roof!)

elizabeth November 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I commented earlier and wanted to follow up!! I made these cookies with banana in place of pumpkin and they are DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the fantastic recipe :)

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