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. I heart pound cake. So simple but deliciously rich! I haven’t had one in ages. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Yeah, I can’t seem to get posted on there either. I’m trying the other sites as well. At least photograzing emails you if they don’t use your photo.

  3. Oh, and there is another one called Recipe Muncher too.

    Your pound cake looks fantastic!

  4. Tastespotting rejected YOU?!?!?! That’s it, I’m not following that site anymore – you’re the best, Peabody, so they’re not worthy of your talents!

  5. I agree — Foodgawker is great, and Chuck is working so hard to make the site accessible and still keep the quality high. I’ve had things rejected by Tastespotting also. Oh well.

  6. Personally, I think any table you are at IS the cool table!

    I am 1 for 2 with New Tastespotting, which for the moment are better odds than I had with Old Tastespotting…

  7. your photos are beautiful!! That cherry compote sounds tasty with the pound cake… and I love the top view photo of your piece of the cake! no way that can get rejected!

  8. I actually submitted a photo to both web sites, and Tastespotting accepted my photo while Foodgawker rejected it. Go figure!

  9. Who knows how these things are decided. There are actual people behind these sites and everyone has different tastes. I’ve submitted many photos to TS that I thought were shoo-ins, and they didn’t make it. Some, I didn’t think were very good and they were chosen. Go figure! Now that there are other sites to submit to, TS doesn’t wield the same power that it did before. Or maybe I don’t worry about it as much. ;)

    I think your photos are excellent, as do many, many others, and you’ll always be one of cool kids to me!

    BTW, your pudding photo is on TS (right next to mine). :D

  10. Heavenly pound cake. I need to play around with cherries more! As for Tastespotting, I had 2 photos make it last year, but I’m a bit intimidated submitting anything now with all the amazing photogs who have the cool cameras. I’ll keep you company at the nerd table, although in my eyes you’re already one of the “cool kids”!

  11. Darling, you don’t need the approval of such people.

    I sent them a note to find out why my pics aren’t being accepted, in case there was something I was doing wrong, or if they had some sort of tips guide or something. Granted, relatively few of my pics are great and beauty is subjective, but they’ve posted some *interesting* choices, so trying to pin down what it is they are looking for is appreciated. No response, not surprised.

    I found your analogy to the cool kid’s table very interesting…

    Yes, I think at some level most of us want to be accepted or recognised qualities we admire in others. But really…the ethereal adjectives of cool and popular are what we bestow on and take away from them…

    But then again, isn’t that what an unpopular and uncool girl would say?


  12. A gorgeous cake!

    Food Gawker is a lot easier to get on and not bad at all. Tastespotting rejects about 50% of my submissions… Thanks for the other links!



  13. that’s funny! well, i certainly would not reject this poundcake. i only had a couple things posted to tastespotting and it was also gingerbreadgirl who put them up there!

  14. Well, I’m glad most of you think that it’s easy to get onto foodgawker. I was afraid that we were being too selective, as I see many of our non-accepted pictures on TS. I guess it runs both ways.

    To make you feel even better, our acceptance rate runs a little less than 50%. We don’t care if you’re the popular kid or the nerd. As long as you take good pictures, you’re cool with us!

  15. Gingerbreadgirl! Whoever she is, she’s great. She is the one who introduced me to Tastespotting, when I suddenly noticed a peak in traffic on my otherwise quiet blog. It turned out she had posted me on TS. I’ve since been rejected by Foodgawker and accepted by Tastespotting, for a photo I quite liked. It’s clearly a matter of opinion, and you have plenty of other sources of reassurance about the quality of your photos!

  16. Peabody, Why is it important to get your pictures posted on these other blogs? You need more traffic? Are we not enough?
    I know my little blog is ‘(crap)’ compared to the fancy pants blogs, but I don’t care. I enjoy my small world of probably only 10 commenters. I don’t feel pressured to bake for the blog. I bake when I want to.
    You are a wonderful baker and I love reading your posts.
    Your photography is drool-worthy. Your blog readers adore you…why are you looking to adoration elsewhere?
    As far as I am concerned, you’ve been sitting at the top table a long time ago, and you are the cool kid.

  17. I dunno if it’s just bitterness talking, but I think some of the posts that do get through are not all that… Kidding! Yeah, that probably was bitterness, haha :) I have you on my feed so you don’t need to worry about traffic from this front!
    I’m actually surprised that Martha’s recipe got a glowing endorsement. Maybe I need to take another look at her magazines (?– can’t afford the books). Aside from your words, that picture of the cake with the caramelized, crackly top is just too luscious to resist!

  18. I have also found that Tastespotting has not posted a couple of my submissions… but I’m not sure if it is the photos themselves or the format. I am having difficulties cropping my photos to their new size… so you are not alone peabody! Me too! Foodgawker is fast and they update often. I haven’t visited the other ones. I will keep submitting to Tastespotting because like you say, it’s a challenge!

  19. Your cake looks delicious and your photos are fantastic!!!!

  20. Tastepotting rejected you??? I can’t believe it! Your photos are so drool-inducing they need to come with a warning :) Hey, don’t bother with the cool girls table…I’m sitting where there’s brown sugar pound cake with cream and compote! Oh yeah! :)

    I usually check Recipe Muncher (where you can sign up and your photos go on automatically), FP Daily, and Food Gawker…recently Foodie Views as well :)

    Gingerbreadgirl was the one that got me on Tastespotting too (and Yumyum)!

  21. Your photos are beautiful!!

    The cherry compote sounds amazing with the pound cake. I would love to try this recipe.

  22. I think people get upset about Tastespotting and other food porn sites because they take it personally if submissions don’t get posted. This stuff is totally subjective. What some folks consider to be a crap photograph, the editor (and presumably the submitter) may consider to be great. There is no accounting for taste… It distresses me when I read comments about Tastespotting where people feel that TS for some reason is an authority on good food photography and have low self-esteem because some stupid food porn site rejected their photo. TS is not a food photography authority. The popularity game is lame. The folks/blogs I like the most are unique, different, rebels… That’s why I loves ya, Peabody.

  23. well if your sensational pictures aren’t worthy, i don’t know what is. i don’t feel quite so bad about my constant rejection now. :)
    and clearly, awesome pound cake. i’m especially loving the compote.

  24. I hear ya. I too was rejected by Tastespotting because I refused to remove the barely visible copyright watermark on my photos. I was willing to take it off if they would only specify in their Terms of Use that we bloggers retain ownership of our images once they are on Tastespotting, but it seems TS was unwilling to do so. (I’m assuming bc I never heard back & it’s not in the Terms.) Maybe I was asking for too much, but after reading elsewhere that image ownership was iffy on TS when it first came back, I was too nervous to submit a photo without a line about ownership in there. So alas, no more TS participation for me.

    But thank you for linking to all these new sites! My foodie addiction shall finally be satisfied.

  25. yeah yeah, tastespotting. go with the flow and be pleasantly surprised. i finally got over the “they accepted this crap but won’t accept my gorgeous flick??!” haha. but seriously, you are awesome and you don’t need no tastespotting to rock it!

    btw, i’ve been totally wanting to make that pound cake, yours look luscious!

  26. I’ve actually had an easier time getting on Tastespotting than on Food Gawker. But then again, not all of my photos have ever been accepted… And gingerbreadgirl is the one who first introduced me to tastespotting when she posted one of my photos. I know some people out there had a vendetta against her because they didn’t want their photos posted, but I’m grateful for her!

  27. I have one photo on the new TS, only 3 on the old TS .. when they went down, lots of new sites popped up, so they are no longer the be all and end all of food porn.

    Lots of places to post now, and new ones will probably be coming online in the future.

    This cake looks delightful, love the topping!

  28. brown sugar pound cake? yum…

    i have felt the sting of tastespotting and food gawker rejection…but, some of my photos do make it. altough i think yours are above standard compared to mine, so i don’t really get that.

  29. I’m Michele from FoodieView. Thanks for mentioning our new photo gallery feature! Peabody, didn’t you know that you’re already at the cool table?

    I just wanted to explain a little about how the submission process works. Generally, as long as it’s a food-related picture and it appears that it’s actually your picture pointing to your blog, we’ll post it on the site.

    New photos submitted this way will get put into the Recent photos page, and if they garner votes, they will get put into the Popular photos page. You can encourage your readers to vote with a Foodie Views button that points to your photo on our site. So it’s a little bit like Digg.

    We also hand select a few pictures a day that we put onto the Featured page. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at micheler at foodieview dot com.

  30. Bring that pound cake and you are totally welcome to sit with me at the rejects table. That’s where all the fun is, anyway.

    If they don’t pick your droolicious photos, they must be sniffing glue!

  31. it’s totally subjective. i just get excited when one of my photos actually gets chosen for any of the “food porn” sites. especially since i’m so new to all this. there’s another one i found – it’s run by nicole from For the Love of Food (

    btw, i enjoy your site, love the photos and this pound cake looks awesome. :-)

  32. I too know the feeling of waiting for you picture to be posted. If you are like me you continually check the sites to see if you picture has posted. Then after about a day and I don’t see it up. I know I didn’t make the cut. But its hard not to want to make it on the site. It is like the cool kids table.

  33. Sweetest Pea (um and that’s even when you rant) there is no need to worry about the rejects. Lynn’s got it: that’s were their having the best times, the best laughs and gorgeous pound cakes with cherry compote & brown sugar whipped cream and the best singing!! That last photo is a knock out!!

  34. Tastespotting is totally weird now, if you read the instructions you apparently need to be the person who owns the photo or be given permission to use it in order to post it. I’m thinking this may be due to whatever legal issues they had. Anyway it kind of defeats the purpose as there will be no gingerbreadgirls in the future. There will be no discovery of new blogs, people will either know or not. Kind of like a private club, I think a lot of people have moved over to foodgawker or look at both now.

  35. If Tastespotting rejected you, it’s not wonder I never send them my photos!

    I’ve been meaning to do a post on all the food porn sites for weeks but new ones keep popping up!

  36. well i guess i will forever be at the nerds table cause my picture taking ain’t that great so submitting to ts would be a waste of time, unless my photo came across the computer at ts of somebody who broke they’re glasses and couldn’t see to good that day. you take beautiful pictures, and you make beautiful pound cake!!

  37. I was really hating Martha after the DB crepe cake, but I must say, I LOVE her new cookie book, she’s definitely redeemed herself with that one.
    And a cherry compote could make anything better…

  38. When a site gets too popular, “cockiness” kicks in. Even photo is rejected, at least to have the courtesy to inform and encouragement for continuation. I am also one of the rejects – Sour grapes!! Ha! ha!

  39. I don’t care what kind of jeans you are wearing. Bring the pound cake to the table and you will never have a problem finding somewhere to sit :)

  40. The brown sugar bread sounds good! Serving it with cherry compote is a great idea!

  41. Take this for what it’s worth since my photos are always sub par – but you have some of my favorite food photos out there!

  42. hello hello all!

    Just to start off, I should probably introduce myself as it seems there is some confusion about “who is TasteSpotting.” Many of the comments refer to “they” or “them” at TasteSpotting (TS) – as if there were some secret club on unknown faceless people behind the (now) black screen – but, erm, it’s quite funny because TS is now, in effect, just me, Sarah (but maybe not for long?. In fact, I already know most of you, or at least, I’ve known your blogs for a very long time :) Maybe you recognize my commenting alias – TheDeliciousLife?

    Anyway, I read Peabody’s post this morning, have been following the subsequent comments from everyone throughout the day, and would like to address some of your questions and concerns that you’ve brought up. Please bear with me as I do my best to answer with some sense. I haven’t had much sleep in the last month trying to rebuild the site and map the 17,000+ posts in the archives; and I’ll be honest with you, following the comments through the day has been emotional for me, to say the least. TasteSpotting is a large site, but I still take everything – every user, every submission, every blogger, every blog post, every comment, every word – personally and it certainly never feels good to feel like you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, as it seems here.

    First things first. On “rejection” as Peabody calls it … this makes me *sigh* because I suppose there’s really no other way to word it. Returned? Gently refused? The way guys say it to let me down easily, “It’s not you, it’s me?” No, and the fact is, obviously, I don’t think anyone realistically thinks that TS would or could suddenly become a free-for-all allowing every single submission to hit the front page – that would make TasteSpotting nothing more than a giant user-submitted RSS feed of every food blog out there.

    So the issue isn’t really that TS is moderated, as I believe it is understood that in order for TS to be valuable as a resource from a multitude of perspectives – whether it’s for the hordes (thundering hordes!  what I like to think, at least) of people who come to TS simply to be visually stunned by gorgeous/interesting images; or for cooks seeking out recipes, menus and cuisines; or for readers who want to discover new blogs and sites; or for bloggers who want to share knowledge and creativity with a much larger audience – the content has to be filtered. TS is meant to sustain a virtuous cycle of exposure and discovery.

    The real issue then, it seems, is not that “no one should be rejected!” but about trying to understand why certain submissions are or are not published to the front page. Perhaps knowing the reason would make it feel less negative. I have been working on a draft of Submission Guidelines, but it’s been slow, and I apologize. It should be up by the end of this week. We are also working on the ability for submitters to see all of their submissions, whether or not they have been published onto the front page, and with “reasons” about why they were not published. That feature, of course, will come a tiny bit later.

    I wish there were some simple mathemetical formula for a submission, and while there are some basic factors like photo focus, lighting, etc., as Susan (SGCC), Jen, Susan (Sueshe) have alluded to, in the end, it is a person (or in some cases a few people) who makes that final click to publish, making selection somewhat subjective. However, TasteSpotting is not just about photos – it’s also about what’s on the other side of the link, and less so, but still important, what’s in the caption. The link has to end up on something worthwhile. If it weren’t for the blogs and sites with the stories, recipes, articles, histories, information, on the other side of the link, then TasteSpotting essentially becomes a flickr pool and people have no reason to click through. So it’s a careful balance of the photo and the link, with a descriptive, helpful caption thrown in for good measure that makes a good submission.

    There are of course, other factors involved in whether and when a submission gets published, but again, it’s not a science. I jut wrote about three paragraphs explaining it, but deleted it because I don’t want to overwhelm Peabody’s comments section :) but it will all be covered in the soon-to-come submission guidelines on the site, and I would be more than happy to email it to anyone who would like some idea of it now.

    As for Peabody, I can’t tell you how much it tore at me to read how you felt about TasteSpotting. There are a number of reasons (and I hope this doesn’t come off as ass-kissy to you or showing favoritism in any way) but for God’s sake woman, your stuff is awesome. Yours is, and essentially, so is everyone else’s, and I would never want you, or anyone else to think otherwise about yours or their own foods simply because some moderator on TasteSpotting or on any site for that matter, has chosen subjectively to not publish one of your photos. The selection is on the submissions, not on you. It hurts to think of the analogy of a “cool table,” as if some site were some sort of club, because it implies that there is an exclusion of people, when it has nothing to do with people, and only to do with submissions.

    However, I understand that it is impossible to not take it personally. The fact is, unless all you do is eat toast and drink water to sustain life, food has emotions attached to it, and I know it’s hard to not take things personally. In the end however, the only thing that should matter when it comes to your cooking, your photos, your blog, is the love and feeling you put into it.

    Anyway…I am not sure I addressed everything here, but I do hope that this practically-a-novel I’ve written has answered some questions that people might have had, or even served as a sort of apologetic explanation. If there are more comments, questions, I appreciate honesty (even if it’s brutal) and would love to email.

    Thanks for starting the discussion, Peabody. May I try a slice of the pound cake?


  43. I know what you mean, I’ve felt so inadequate in the eyes of Tastespoting… I definitely don’t have the magic touch either!

  44. I too was feeling like you and it bothered me because I have never had to “try” to fit in and I never worried about if I did! But I really wanted to be on Tastespotting myself and never could understand why I was always “rejected”.

    I’m happy to see the post from Sarah above and it helps me to understand better! although I wish they would at least accept one of my posts….then I would feel even better! LOL. Oh well, maybe one day!

  45. To be honest, her comment is far to long, I’m lazy now.
    And since they rejected me several times in the past, I no longer post there. I use Food Gawker and RecipeMuncher.

    I would never have thought of serving pound cake this way, Pea. My mouth is watering.

  46. i’ll be frank with you peabody, your photos are one of the best in the food blogging world..your photos never fail to make me drool..having trouble with tastespotting go check out recipe muncher. the community would be delighted to welcome a delicious blog like yours :-)

    ps, i noticed too they are rejecting my recent photos when i never had problem in the past..i dont know why..

  47. like patricia..sara’s comment is too long..whew…

  48. Wow. People are ready to tear her down but won’t even read the answer she didn’t have to give you in the first place, and instead tear her down for the length of a reply that she obviously put her heart into?


  49. GORGEOUS cake, and compote!! Peabody, you’re an inspiration, as always.

    Sarah – thanks for your post. As someone who has submitted many photos and never been selected for TS (wah!!), it’s nice to know there are real people over there, and you seem very nice and thoughtful. Even if you never post one of my pics, at least I no longer have to wonder if you’re all sitting around at a table laughing at me… :)

  50. I love this pound cake recipe! I know it by heart!:) I am in the same boat as you. If someone else submits my photos they get in. When I try to do it I get “…gently refused”. Any who, I’ll gladly meet you at any of the “nerd” tables any time. :)


  1. […] has a rockin’ recipe for brown sugar pound cake, but what  I found more interesting this morning is the beginning of that post where she talks […]

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

  3. […] Rejects of the World Unite by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody […]

  4. […] 36. It’s a blow to the self esteem let me tell you. I once read a post by a fellow blogger, Peabody, who had the same issue but in reverse. Tastespotting seemed to be the one doing the denying. I […]

  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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