10 Lessons We Learned from Filming Season 1 of Our Cooking Show

As we finish up our first e-cookbook and start on production of Bits & Pieces Season 2, I felt a desire to reflect about Season 1.  There was so much to learn and today I wanted to share our experience with you!  We made this video mostly for our curious friends and subscribers, but also thought it might be helpful for those of you considering filming your own online cooking show.

When we were starting out, there wasn’t any “manual” to go by, and we kind of wished there was some sort of resource like this out there for us.  It might have put us on the right track and spared us some unnecessary headaches!

We made up our own rules, walked into it blindly, and hoped for the best.  I would say that we were somewhat prepared for what was to come, but also a bit naive.  We had no idea how much time, money, and energy it would take to make these Youtube videos!  I didn’t realize how much of a perfectionist I was.  And we weren’t sure what our working dynamic with each other would be like.

Well we soon found out, and it was a bumpy, crazy, frustrating, and exciting ride!  We did some things right and other things wrong, but it was all necessary growing pains and we’re thankful for the experience.

So here are the 10 lessons we learned from filming Season 1:

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Weekend in Chicago

I know I promised you some California adventures, but we filmed this footage before we left for our trip, so it only makes sense to present things in order right?

Our friend Grace was visiting Chicago from New York for a wedding and was staying with us in the suburbs.  But at the same time, our brother-in-law Dan (my sister’s hubby), flew in for the weekend from California for a business conference.  So he got to stay in a nice fancy hotel in the city.  We just thought it was a great opportunity to meet up with both of them and explore Chicago.

Grace is my sister’s close friend since birth!  She stood in my sister’s wedding and has known Dan for years, so it totally made sense to hang out all together, which made things convenient and more fun.

It’s always so nice to see people we have history with, especially in our new home.  Truth be told, Joe and I didn’t get a chance to discover Chicago too much on our own before they came to visit, so it was great to just be able to walk around and be tourists ourselves.

We got to eat at places I’ve never been to, such as Walker Bros. Original Pancake House.  There are several locations, but we chose the one in Glenview.  Grace actually went to school in Chicago so she knows the area well.  It was her recommendation to go here since it’s known to be a good homey breakfast/ brunch spot amongst the locals.

We ordered a variety of things, and everything was well seasoned and delicious.  I ordered the Dutch Baby, and I was in love with the buttery taste and spongy texture.

But Grace and I agreed that we liked the Crab Benedict the best.

You can check out more of what we ate and what we did in our Weekend in Chicago vlog below:

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Our California adventure

We’re back from our two-week California adventure and are trying to settle into our routine again.  When some of our friends casually ask us, “so what did you do there?” I almost have to take a deep breath as if getting ready to recite a monologue from Shakespeare.  That’s a loaded question!

Joe’s brother’s family was visiting Chicago from Korea.  We figured it was a great time to take advantage of this rare occasion and take a Yoon family vacay to Disneyland.  It’s just ironic that Joe and I used to live right next to Disneyland last year, and now we had to stay in a hotel to visit!

And of course we had to have some in-N-out.

Then Joe and I went to a work event, called the “Foodie Happy Hour,” sponsored by one of our partners, Side Chef

…at Youtube Space LA!

I had to cook food for 100 people and it was gone in five minutes.

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What’s on our plate lately

What’s on our plate lately? A handful of things, but mostly too much food!  Cooking, eating, and taking photographs is all we’ve been doing for the last 2-3 weeks.  This is all for the sake of our e-cookbook, which we’re hoping to get done soon.  The photographs were one phase, which is now completed.  And now we have to work on our layout.  We’re currently brainstorming about how we can make this e-cookbook special and uniquely ours.  So that might take us a while.  But we’ll keep you updated with our progress.

Meanwhile, what’s next?  I’m currently typing this blog entry late at night, with bleary eyes and a mushy brain while scrambling to race the clock.  We’re going to be boarding a plane to California in a matter of a few hours, and I have a sneaking suspicion I may be pulling an all-nighter.

But before we left, we wanted to post a quick vlog update.  So by the time you see this, we’ll probably already be in California.  No…we’re not moving back.  We’re going there for a family vacation.  Joe’s brother’s family is visiting from Korea, so we’re all going together.  But we’re also going there for work!  Turns out that I will be a featured chef at an event called the Foodie Happy Hour at Youtube Space LA!  SQUEAL!!! 

Watch our quick video below to hear more about it:

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Shooting our cookbook

The last two weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of food, photography, and WAY too much eating.  My stove has been getting a serious work out as a result of us shooting our first e-cookbook!  This is a reward we promised to our Kickstarter backers, who made it possible for us to produce Season 1 of Bits & Pieces, our online cooking show.

But once we reward our backers, we plan to make this available for sale as well.  Since it’s a “self-published” e-cookbook, and not a professional printed version, honestly, we could probably be a little relaxed about it, take freeze frames of our videos, and call it a day right?  But you know us, and that’s not how we roll!

We want to be proud of everything we “throw out there” into the world.  So we went all out and re-shot 15 of the best recipes from Season 1, in order to include clear step-by-step photography, interesting bonus tid-bits, and better final “beauty” shots of the food.

Call us crazy, but we always aim to give you our best work and keep up with our own high standards.  So we’re treating this e-cookbook exactly as a “real” published cookbook produced by a team of people, when in reality, it’s just us doing everything again.

It was fun trying to be creative and shooting in our own unique style.  But it was also stressful because in order to get this cookbook done as quickly as possible, we shot two recipes a day, everyday for 10 days.

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No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes with Strawberries : Behind the Scenes

This episode was one of our easiest recipes we’ve filmed for Bits & Pieces, and yet it took me the most time to prepare.  Since this was our last episode for season 1, I was extra picky about it… yeah even more than usual.

Right off the bat, I had in mind to make a dessert.  I really wanted to make something with Nutella, and after searching online, I became intrigued with the idea of a no bake Nutella cheesecake.  In my gut, I knew this was it.  But of course I decided to ignore myself!

I could’ve saved myself a lot of trips to the grocery store, effort, and wasted ingredients if I had just listened to my gut.  But instead, I decided to make brownies.  They could’ve been good.  There was peanut butter and BACON involved.  The taste was pretty interesting, but the texture, balance, and look wasn’t perfect.  So that got scrapped.

Then I moved onto the idea of a no fuss chocolate cake.  I saw a recipe that allows you to mix and bake a cake all in one pan.  So I tried that too, and as convenient and easy as it was, I wasn’t satisfied with the flavor. UGH!

So after a string of failures, you guessed it…I finally went back to my original idea!  I never learn.

That’s how I ended up making individual No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes with Strawberries.  It was a great decision, but the process getting to this point was a nightmare.  You can hear more about it as well as our thoughts on Season 1 in our Behind the Scenes VIDEO:

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