A Tale of First Time Food Bloggers

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Back in the spring the TaxLoopholes community began kicking around ideas on finding our biggest expense, and turning that expense into a deduction. Food was high on the list, along with some other necessities (clothing, shoes, travel, electronics). We came up with some pretty neat solutions, including the idea of blogging about the subject at hand. Create a website, add in some banner ads and affiliate marketing opportunities, perhaps provide a place for some audience participation, through a forum or blog comments, some SEO, buy a bit of traffic for positioning, and off you go.

I thought it was a great idea, and so decided to give it a try one night in Phoenix. I even got some fellow bloggers interested in the idea! Besides, I figured, heck, even if we couldn’t write off the full costs of our meal (after all we hadn’t started the business yet and you’ve got take some action before you can take the deduction), we could talk business over dinner and get at least a 50% deduction.

So, accompanied by my trusty fellow bloggers, web-master Jorge Manzitti (yeah, that Jorge), along with the undefinable David Kennedy-Cooley (yeah, that David Kennedy-Cooley), we set off for the Havana Cafe on Camelback for some fine Cuban tapas.

Over the course of the evening we learned many things. We learned that the Havana Cafe has an good wine list, and Jorge is a wine buff. Observance of those basic laws of supply and demand may not have been the smartest move for at least two of the three would-be bloggers (what, you didn’t think we’d let the kid drink, did you?).

We also learned that Havana Cafe serves fantastic tapas. We started with the sampler plate, containing 6 different types of tapas and the Jambon y Queso. They say that Spanish is one of the romance languages, and this is a great example. What’s sexier, jambon y queso, or “ham and cheese plate.” Both were fantastic. The fried portions of the sampler plate were perfectly cooked, not oily, and well seasoned.

But the problem with having a great time is that sometimes, you forget you’re supposed to be working. Halfway through dinner, we realized that (a) we hadn’t yet taken any pictures, and (b) we didn’t actually have a camera. Fortunately, iPhone to the rescue!

That solved problem (b), but didn’t do much for (a). In this first shot, you’ll notice a lovely bed of lettuce, with some strips of peppers and a pot of olives. if you look carefully, you can just about make out the outlines of the tasty and delicious jambon, queso and fresh bread that used to adorn the plate. You’ll have to trust me.

. We didn’t do much better with the tapas platter. Maybe that’s the downside to tapas – you’re hungry and the portions are small. The quicker you finish, the quicker you can order some more. Then again, it could have been the wine. In any event, this action shot perfectly frames a fabulous maduros fritos on its way to David’s mouth.He said it was delicious.

Dessert time! Another sampler, as a way to get the widest variety possible. All I remember is that it was fantastic. I didn’t realize that I was dining with dessert fiends, who gave no quarter when it came to sharing. This shot shows the dessert menu, tipped over in the 3-fork rush for the goodness. By the time I got my fork down and my camera back up, all that remained was the memory.

And that was our first entry into food blogging. It needs work … and a camera, and perhaps not eating the meals before the pictures are taken. But the food was great, the company charming, and we had a great time. If you’ve got an expense you’d like to take a stab at writing off, why not join in the Forum, throw out your idea, and see what comes back.

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