Rejects of the World Unite….

First off let’s set the mood. My background theme music is “We are the Champions” ala Revenge of the Nerds(1984) when Louis is giving his speech about being a nerd, being a loser.
Lately I have been noticing a trend in posts  around the food blogging world. Rejects. Yes, many, many of us, myself included are being rejected by the new Tastespotting. I will be honest and say that I personally had only posted one photo on Tastespotting when it was ran by the previous hosts. I only had to do it once because some person named gingerbreadgirl always posted my photos for me. And though I sometimes didn’t agree with the photo she went with(meaning I thought others from the post were better) I never had to worry about posting. It was a great situation for me. All the traffic but none of the work. ;P Well, let me tell you, I need the gingerbreadgirl back. For I do not have the magic touch to make it on to Tastespotting. Now, that is not entirely true. I do have 9 photos(including my original one from back in the day). I’m just not sure what I have to do to get on, especially my Northwest Noshing photos. Which is funny because one of the ones that didn’t make the cut was actually purchased by someone last week. Yes, paid for photography is not making it. Sigh. I realize they say they are trying to only put up the best but I will be honest in saying that many of the rejected food bloggers I have chatted with have just as good of photos as the ones that are on there.
But there is hope! While Tastespotting was down, those of us addicted to food porn, had to look elsewhere to fill the hole. Many of us found Food Gawker. It is basically the same format with I find quicker turn around and a lot less rejection. Then I found Photograzing which was created by Serious Eats. Only been up for a little bit but looks promising. And lastly the newest one I have been checking out is Foodie Views. Only out for about a week. I am not quite sure how the submission process works since they only seem to select a few a day.
Now, all of this is not to say that I will quit submitting to Tastespotting. It’s like a challenge to me. I feel like I am the nerd girl desperately trying to get to sit at the cool table in junior high. Tastespotting is my cool table. So what sites are my fellow rejects having success getting on? Or if you are just a food porn lover are there any sites you check out that I am missing(Flickr of course but that is a whole other place).
Speaking of the cool table, I will be trying to bring this here pound cake to it. We shall see if I wore the right brand of jeans that day and make it. :) This brown beauty comes to us via the poncho wearing diva herself, Martha Stewart. Martha and I have a love/hate relationship that is leaning more towards love as of late. For awhile I felt that Martha was cranking out too many cookbooks and wasn’t really getting quality. But her last few, the baking and the cookie one, have her back on my good side. This Brown Sugar Pound Cake is easy to make and although very tasty, a little on the boring side. So I made a little warm cherry compote and some brown sugar whipped cream to really make it sing. And sing it does.

P.S. Sarah from Tastespotting has responded to this post. Go and read the info in the comment section, she’s #42.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Warm Cherry Compote

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups packed light-brown sugar
5 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325F.
In a medium bowl sift together, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat another 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans(either two 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch or six mini loaves). Smooth with a spatula.
Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center, about 1 hour(if you are making mini they are 45 minutes). Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Warm Cherry Compote

1 ½  cups sliced, pitted fresh cherries
1/3 cup orange juice
2 TBSP honey

Put all ingredients into a small saucepan. Cook on high heat until brought to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until fruit has thickened up.
Serve over pound cake while still warm.



  1. This post was my first visit to this site – and I have no idea what surfing led me here! Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the idea of a pound cake sweetened with brown sugar, so I tried out the recipe last night. Wow – it definitely had that extra flavor brown sugar provides, and was absolutely luscious. I made the cake recipe to the letter, and it came out perfectly.

    I served it with strawberries mascerated in a light dusting of vanilla sugar and a bit of amaretto, plus some lightly sweetened whipped cream. OH, oh oh, so good.

  2. I glad the owner of Tastespotting took her time to reply. She disnt have to. Helps me understand at least whats going on. To be honest I havent submitted to the new Tastespooting, and only a few times to FoodGawker( which accepted mine). I just have to admire anyone who takes the time to assesmble such a groundbreaking site. And that they are tuning in.
    Peobody you dont need extra validation from any of these sites as your work is always superb and people will find you and tune in on a regular basis.

  3. I’m a new reader of your blog (I discovered it through tastespotting actually ha ha!) and I have to say I am shocked that your photos are rejected as well. They’re so beautiful! I can’t wait to have a look at the submission guide…

  4. i previously saw a brown sugar pound cake recipe (not sure if it was from martha or not) and have been wanting to try it since. i love the extra flavor that brown sugar adds to stuff. it looks delicious and i agree that all your photos are amazing, whether they get accepted to TS or not!

  5. oh please (Megan) dont get that impression. I love tastespotting and I admire Sara for taking time to answer and explain her side. I’m just being honest that her reply is really long..:-)

  6. So what is sarah really saying in her novel of a response?

    Yes, she personally rejects photos/posts, but don’t take it personally.

    Someday guidelines are coming, as well as case by case explanations of why you are rejected.

    She loves peabody’s pictures and posts, but still says nothing as to why they were consistently rejected?

    While I appreciate that she took the time to write a novel back to all of the TasteSpotting concerns, I don’t understand what she’s actually DOING about it. I wish she would at least tell us why Peabody’s incredible posts aren’t making it on to TasteSpotting (perhaps as a preview to that new feature that is coming?), at least that way maybe we can learn to have SOME faith in her choices (after all, it’s only her passing judgment on our posts).

  7. I too have been rejected by Tastespotting and have seen photos/topics/titles less appealing then mine. I have seriously considered starting a site, Taste Spotting Rejects and let those of us who were rejected for one reason or another, post our pictures with wild abandonment!! We rejects need a home to post to and tho we know we are good, it is others opinions we are not worthy! All of us who were rejected, go visit each others blogs and leave some love. TSRejects Unite!!!

  8. So Peabody. Here I am at number 60, which on your blog isn’t unusual. Just the idea that you mention Sarah’s response is #42 says enough. The only time I’ve ever had that many comments is when we’re showing a DB challenge. Period. My photos go up where ever I submit them, and sure, that’s nice, but I’ve never come close to having the comments you do — which is very nice. You know I’m here regardless. What? Do I look stoopid? Now, pass the pound cake. It’s looking mighty fine.

  9. Quite the passionate response here! I find it amazing (and can relate) to how passionate food bloggers are. I love that about us.

    I think Sarah is a wonderful, creative, and kind person… really trying to make the best of what she has taken on.

    I also agree that your photos are amazing and whether they are posted here, there or anywhere, you should be proud of your work :)

  10. My favourite rejection comment so far is “not compelling post/image” even though that one actually hurt, because I loved my post! I have to say, though, my photography and blog traffic have both improved because of Tastebook and other sites like it.

    All writers/photographers/artists/etc. have an ego, and having one’s work evaluated just goes with the job. Even though the decision is often subjective, every “yes” or “no” is an opportunity to make improvements in the work or adjust marketing strategies. To me, “no” doesn’t mean “bad,” it means “change.” But at the same time, I’m just a girl with feelings who wants people to read my stuff like everybody else.

  11. Stephanie B. says:

    I have only been into Food Blogs for about a month or so but i am now hooked. 

    I get lots of great ideas and inspiration from good food sites.

    There are two food websites I visit every day – for the food blog headlines and for the food blog pictures.   

    In Sarahs defense, i visit TasteSpotting over the other food photo sites because the quality is consistently fantastic.   Other food photo sites also have good photos but it is hit or miss.   Tastespotting is always good.   This means people will be rejected and have hurt feelings when there photo is not accepted.    On the flip site food blog readers like myself appreciate the screening process, as I always get good quality at taste spotting.

    sara – keep up the good work!

  12. Having been a painter for some time, I guess I’m accustomed to having my work evaluated subjectively–it’s all about personal taste. I’m using my rejections from TS and foodgawker as feedback to make my photos better. Ok, I wish the feedback were more specific, but given the number of submissions they get, a boilerplate checklist-type response is probably the best I can expect. Sigh…I’ll keep trying. But I also look at photos like the ones here and ask myself ‘what is it that makes this photo fill my eye?’ I learn from that too. So thanks for showing me how to do it better.

    As for the rejection: If it’s true that living well is the best revenge, then when I see this poundcake, I’d say you’re doin’ it right.

  13. Wow!! YOUR photos were rejected on Tastespotting? I know you wrote this post in 2008 but I just now came across it. I have actually been bummed out recently because they are rejected my entries more often than accepting them. Most of my photos were rejected because of “composition”. I was so upset that I googled “Tastespotting rejections” to see what it would come up with – I wanted to make myself feel better. I’m very familar with your blog and love all of your postings so when I saw that YOU actually had an issue with Tastespotting….well, I felt better. I feel better. I’m still not gonna give up.Thanks for giving me a new perspective on it. I go through their pages and I see photographs that I think are not good at all. What in the hell are they looking for?!!! I just don’t “get it”.

  14. Mmmm, those all look so good!! I don’t understand why they wouldn’t accept those photos, especially if they’re like the ones in your foodie blog. They must be extremely picky.


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  2. […] Brown sugar pound cake with warm cherry compote from Peabody. […]

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  5. […] that reads “You don’t need pasties to be tasty!” So true. So true. Tastespotting: I am showing up on Tastespotting, and I hope you are too. Some of you let me know I didn’t need validation for my photos. […]

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