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  • My life as a wife, mother, and child of God. I can tell a good joke, but only at my own expense. I can tell ya how to parent, but only by first failing. And I can tell you how to get to Heaven, but you gotta get there on your own.

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December 27, 2010



KUDOS to you Amanda!! Wonderful post!!

I've been on both sides........and I agree 110% with everything you said!!


Well said!

Queen Mommy

My husband LOVES his mom's fudge. The reason? Because it's a little granular, and he likes that texture. Most people want a smooth fudge...not my husband, which is fine. I readily admit that his mom makes excellent fudge. The other important thing to remember is that everyone has different tastes. Some people may think Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls are the BEST EVER. I personally, think mine are better, in every single way. Nevertheless, I did not go on her site and leave a scathing comment about how she shouldn't say her rolls are so doggone great when they are not. I just chalked it up to personal taste. Honestly, her rolls are fine. My family just prefers my usual recipe. No biggie. If there is a flaw, sure; point it out quietly and give the recipe author time to make corrections, if necessary. I have a friend with a food blog, and I know she usually has several of us test out her recipes before she posts them to make sure there are no flaws. And, there are so many ways to mess up a recipe when baking. Baking is definitely a science....even the way you measure your flour can make a difference in the end product! In the end for me as a recipe try-er and commenter? "Personal taste" and "let it go." P.S. Make your sugar cookies and icing again for Christmas this year. SO love them! They really are the best sugar cookies I've ever made, and I have recommended them to many people also.


Funny you said this. I posted today and included a photo of my cutter collection because a lady was very mean to me last week over not being able to remember where a cutter came from. I know she was a stranger but it stung and my feelings have been hurt since. It's was hard for me not to be smart or snippy back and to resist the urge to explain myself... but I did sit around wondering how I attract these people. I never thought someone would do it to you! I'd automatically assume if a recipe did nut turn out that is was me, not the recipe! This turned from a comment into a note, but good post. You always make me think

CopyKat Recipes

You know, even our best recipe may fail despite our efforts. Ingredients may not be up to snuff, the weather may be off, or you know what, sometimes we all have a bad day. There are lots of things that I try, that I know for some people taste great, but I personally want to gag on.
I don't think we do the other person or ourself any favors if we blast someone's recipe. What's the golden rule, do unto others ....
We have all had those horrific fails, if you haven't you will have one, I promise. I just hope I don't have many when I have a house full of people. Failure with a houseful of people makes the CopyKat lady want to cry, and call out for food.


Amanda, great post. I completely agree. Very nicely written and I love the advice.

I have had negative feedback, ie. My cookies were flat and did not look like yours. The cookies were too dry, any suggestions?

The majority of them come via email and I can give feedback. One came through via twitter, but she tweeted and asked I follow her so we could DM. As it it turned out I tweaked my recipe after tweeting back and forth. It was a good constructive work through.

Then I have had some not so nice comments that make me want to scream, but I post them anyhow, unless there are just being downright mean then I delete it.

Thanks again, for taking the time to write this much needed post. I always need advice on how to handle negative comments, so I love what you have to offer here.

marla {family fresh cooking}

I am so happy that you took the time to write this post, I had one of "those" comments last night. Your advice on how to handle these sort of opinions & comments is professional & well thought out. I need to remember to not take things too personally & unless it is a true attack then I will publish the comment with a polite response back. heck, sometimes I even learn new things from those negative folks. XO


This is a great post. I've been lucky that any criticism I've received for my cooking has been polite and well-thought, and my friends are very quick to admit when it's just their tastes. Then again, I encourage the feedback because a lot of the time it's an easy fix and I'd rather cook things for them that they'll enjoy eating, instead of everyone making pretend yummy noises and then bitching behind my back.

Grandpa Dennis

I have never tasted anything that you have made that I did not love. And if I ever do I will just swallow say..."Well isn't that interesting?"xoxo


No, cuz' I try to use the golden rule, do unto others...

And haven't had negative comments on my blog but when I used to play around on the forums on it came to a point where no matter what I said some snotty person would come on and say something back. I finally left that world and haven't looked back. You'd think in a "Christian" environment that would not be the case, BUT everyone has free will and some choose to exercise it in the wrong way.


i haven't have negative comments left on any of my recipes, but i have on several design posts. i have cried in the shower over a few. i don't have thick skin. :(


I would add that you need to remember that there are actual people on the other side of a blog - and that they are NOT making you pay for what they provide - it's a polite, wonderful service. When we, as readers, make negative posts, and are rude, all we're doing is saying "geez, I could do it better, but I don't care enough to try - so thanks for nothing, even though I give nothing back in return!" (or something to that end.)

For those of you who do provide stuff for we readers, note that it's not just food blogging that gets this - it's nearly everything. There's just something ugly about (some) online communication - as if we, as humans, feel we can say whatever we wish, because it's (relatively) anonymous.

Bravo, btw.

And if you have that yummy fudge recipe, and want to share, I'd take it and try it out - no flames from me, I promise.


I don't think I have ever left a negative comment on someone's food blog. As you stated, sometimes it's personal taste, and sometimes it's an error/change on one's part.

I'd never walk into a kitchen at a restaurant and berate the chef, so why leave a nasty comment on someone's blog?

Cookbook Queen

Um yeah, so I've totally had this happen.

Not frequently (thank goodness) but once a woman left a comment that told me my recipe tasted WEIRD. She was pretty mean about it. I sent her a super nice email and I think it made her feel bad because she emailed me back all super sweet and flowery niceness.

I think that kindness always wins.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

Such a great post! I had someone leave a comment just the other day informing me that my peppermint truffles tasted like "toothpaste" and had "incomplete directions." I usually just let it roll off. I just find it funny how people hold food bloggers to such a high standard yet feel that they can insult them in a way that they never would a chef or cookbook author.


I don't think negative criticism is inherently inappropriate in food blogs or anywhere else. It is definitely in the delivery, however. It's great to get a ton of "ooh yum!" comments but those are just ego boosts. I like hearing real feedback from people who have actually tried a recipe I've posted - good or bad. It's pretty easy to siphon out the ones who are being mean just to be mean, and we shouldn't discount all constructive (negative) criticism. Everyone needs to be kinder on both ends, of course. Blogs are so personal that it is easy to be stung.

Judith Norman

I admire you positive attitude and the way you handle yourself.

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

I've been very lucky to mostly have constructive comments if I erred and forgot to mention exactly when you added an ingredient I had in the ingredient list...but only once did I ever get a really nasty comment. About a Nainamo bar which if you've never heard of it is an institution in Canada and are REALLY good.

Guess this 'gentleman' did not think it measured up to either his gourmet, educational or intelligence quotient for a cookie and slammed me bad. I left it because it sort of made me laugh and only eventually removed the comment because the post turned into nothing but comments about his comment and though supportive saw him getting what I imagined he desperately needed...some attention!

There are people that live for making the ugly comments and it breaks my heart to see that they are successful in hurting feelings. It's not just about having a thick skin; you really do have to consider the source...mean is mean and somehow they just have to be unconsidered in direction proportion to how inconsiderate they are!


Great post! Thanks for reminding me to be positive - though I don't think I've ever left a negative comment on anyone's site (mainly because I know how much effort everyone puts into their posts) It is heartbreaking when I do receive the odd not-so-positive comment but I'm learning to grow a thicker skin. Thanks again for your positive attitude!!


THIS is why I could never be a food blogger. I love to cook. I love to bake. In two days I went through most of a five pound sack of flour. And my baking urge was not satisfied, but blogging about my way. Kudos to you for doing it- and doing it well. Thanks for passing along the advice. Even though I chose to not blog about my food obsession, I'll keep this in mind.
You have such a way with not only your baked goodies, but your words! Thanks for being a great example of letting grace season your words. Hugs to ya!


Negative is not the same a critical all the time. People will critique your recipes, just like people do artwork. It's not always pleasing to hear, but they aren't always being mean or negative. I think that it's important to distinguish between trolling/rude comments to those that are just giving you an honest opinion.


I've had plenty of negative comments about my food (from the boys in my own house) much of it is well deserved :D

BTW, that fudge still looks super-yummy to me - hope you didn't toss it...


I think when you're a popular blogger, you just have to take the good with the bad. You have a great attitude about it all, which is why I love you so much! :)

and BTW, you totally did just oust your grandma about her fudge on your blog... :)

bridget {bake at 350}

Great post, Amanda! :)

The Lumberjack's Wife

I have never left a negative comment and don't intend to. I have had people leave comments that hurt my feelings.
I don't like it.
Boo, mean people.

Amy K

My non-confrontational personality has never left a negative comment (constructive or otherwise). Sure, we all can learn from our mistakes; however, I know without a doubt that your first #3 is true, and who am I to criticize someone else?
If a recipe is a success for me and/or gets rave reviews from my family or friends, then I will most certainly go back and leave a positive comment.
Amanda, as always, thank you for your perspective and inspiration!


I've seen some people leave comments just to be mean. They left several messages on a bunch of different cooking blogs wich had me thinking they didn't even bother to try any of the recipes...all the messages were the same.

I've tried several popular recipes and didn't like them..but never left a comment about it because like everyone else has said..we all have different tastes. I did have one woman come on and tell me my candy cane cookies tasted bad and even her horse wouldn't eat them! come to find out she subbed beet juice for red food coloring and they came out all weird tasting. I dont think it's fair to leave comments like that when you change the entire recipe. I've had people use the wrong ingredients and blame me for it. So for the most part I don't think it's unavoidable but it's all in how you react to it.


Hi Amanda
This is the first time I have visited your blog and this post is a breath of fresh air. I too have a philosophy about providing positive feedback. My Mum taught me "if you din't have something nice to say then don't say anything at all". Something I think the food blogging community seriously lacks. By all the comments that you have received I think you have a lot of support for you thoughts.
Thanks for having the courage to put pen to paper on this subject.


I always leave a comment on someones blog after trying their recipe, whether the results are good or bad. I post what I think might have gone wrong, or what I did to adjust the recipe to my families tastes. I figure it might be some help to someone else who is prone to make mistakes like I do. If I do have constructive critisms I try to be as nice as I can about them, knowing that I wouldn't want a nasty comment myself.


Great post Amanda! I always read your blog and I love all your cookies!Your job is amazing!I own a greek food blog and I've received once a negative comment but I discovered that the person who left it was a bit weird so I didn't answer!

Unplanned Cooking

So true - I don't know why we don't apply our real life etiquette to the Internet. After all, behind each post is a real person :).


LOVED this post. I do have a food blog, and I get some pretty hilarious comments. I have to find them funny or it will just eat at me. Thank you for this, and I will definitely be follwing! :)


hey DON'T throw the fudge away make something else with it it could be broken and put in cookies or rice krispies squares or to top a cake after frosting or brownies hope this gave you some ideas what to do with flops i made a cookie out of a slice of bread, walnuts, craisins, raisins, gramcracker crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and curry and hmmm cinnamon, ginger, it was going to be carmel first my brother calls the the other cookie!! there were a hit gone before the toll house. ha!


oh guess i should of proof read it 1st. my brother calls it the other cookie!

He & me + 3


You are one of the sweetest bloggers I know. I think this post was perfect. I always live by the saying...if you don't have anything nice to say than don't say anything at all. I never leave negative comments. It is just rude. If I can't think of something nice to say then I don't leave a comment.
Hope that you and your family had a beautiful Christmas too and that you do have a blessed New Year.
Saying a prayer for alice now too.

Janmary, N Ireland

I love the example you used of your granny's fudge! It does show up the craziness of negative comments on a recipe unless constructive.

Fortunately I'm no a foodie blogger - I would crumble like a cookie!

Aimee @ Simple Bites

Amen! You sing it sister!


Great post! I'm not sure if I replied earlier, but I tend to take the high road with negative comments. If it's constructive, I'll thank the person and if not, I'll delete the comment or just not respond.


All I can say is: your grandmother has a Facebook?! I'm quite amazed - it's questionable whether or not my grandmother even knows what Facebook is.

Sorry to hear you fudged the fudge recipe (pun intended)! We all have our kitchen disasters, so I can definitely relate. Failures are merely learning opportunities in disguise. I encourage you to try making the fudge again. :)


I don't usually leave comments about not liking the taste of something just because I know that I am a picky eater and not everyone has the same tastes as I do. Anything I do post is purely meant to be helpful to other readers.

That being said, I do think you should always post a comment if there is a mistake in the recipe or a typographical error. As a recipe-poster, I would hope someone would correct any mistake I made so that no more readers would fall victim to my error :)


I'm not a blogger, but just happened to have read a comment that someone else had left on another blog and my first reaction is that it was a really hurtful comment and not necessary, but when I went back and read it again it was actually some pretty constructive feedback that the blogger (who was new-ish to blogging) probably really needed to hear to be successful and I'm not sure how else they could have worded it so that it would have felt "nicer". I also agree that too many people post the "ooh yum" messages rather than giving real feedback about the recipe itself. I like reading comments about how people modified a recipe to their tastes- so if the majority of comments indicate that more/less of something made it more suited to their tastes, I know to look out for that as I'm cooking. If that makes any sense :)

So I agree... leave the feedback, but keep in mind the feelings of the person receiving the feedback- but understand that feedback should also be expected?

Nancy @SensitivePantry

Great post, Amanda! I learned many years ago there is a difference between negative comments and constructive feedback. We can all benefit from the latter--it helps to make us better at what we do. But sniping is just an annoyance in a world that already has enough negativity floating around in it.

I also believe we're all human and sometimes make errors. I've made them on my blog and appreciate when someone points it out. I am mortified...but appreciate the honesty of my readers.

When I have a problem with a recipe, I never do any of the things you have detailed here. I usually go to the page with the recipe and say (politely) that I tried it and my result turned out with this or that particular problem. I ask if there is something I may have done wrong (and include details that I hope may help troubleshoot).

Invariably, my comments are deleted or rejected in moderation, no matter how politely or lacking in criticism they are. I always say, "what might I have done wrong?" I do not say, "your recipe is bad." I simply want advice about what might have gone wrong in each of these cases.

The fact that the comments are rejected makes me suspect that the authors who took beautiful pictures of the food know that the recipe is flawed in some way (flat flavor, sub-par texture), but are posting it anyway because they want to keep posting new recipes and aren't going to let a less than optimal result stop them from adding another notch to their belts. In my experience, the vast majority of people who read food blogs never even try the recipes and are generally flooded with comments that are tantamount to "that looks good." It's extremely rare to see someone say, "I made this and it was great."

One of the reasons some people (again, I don't do this) post negative comments on their own blogs or Twitter that people shouldn't follow a particular recipe is that they may have had similar experiences. If you are unwilling to even post a comment which states someone attempted the recipe and it failed, then you're giving them little recourse then to find a way of addressing it elsewhere, and undermining your credibility as a food blogger.

Of course, I'm guessing this comment will also be deleted. :-p


I saw this post on Great advice! I have JUST started my very own food blog and have not yet had to face this challenge, but I'm glad to have your wisdom if that time comes! Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your fudge next time around!

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