A Summer Lunch, and Micropayments for Bloggers with CoinTent

Turkey Pesto Avocado Club {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Peach Arnold Palmer {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

This post is sponsored by CoinTent, a micropayment system that allows bloggers to monetize premium content.

There’s something a little different about today’s post: CoinTent, a new service with the goal of providing bloggers and other internet content creators a way of directly monetizing their content through small pieces of premium content sold at a price between $0.05 and $1, has asked if I would test out their plugin. So, you’ll notice that in today’s post, one recipe is visible but the other two are hidden behind a paygate. As I’m sure many of you know, bloggers put a lot of time and effort into their little pieces of the internet, first and foremost because it’s something we truly love to do. But sometimes, when you’ve worked a 50 hour week at your regular job and you’re facing a Saturday with three recipes to cook and shoot, you wonder if it’s worth it. Being able to earn a little side income helps us rationalize the amount of effort we put in, and also helps pay the grocery/prop/photo equipment bills. Some bloggers have figured out how to make what they love a full time job (see these incredibly helpful income posts from Pinch of Yum, if you haven’t already), but for most of us, we’re still trying to work through that part of the blogging equation. If successful, a direct monetization tool like CoinTent could be a really interesting way to create income – as well as feel validated by your primary consumers, your readers, and not just third party advertisers and brands.

S'Mores Tartlet {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

S'Mores Tartlet {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I’d like to ask you guys a big favor (and no, it’s not to click through the paygate, although if you choose to do that, thank you so much for your support!). What I would really love is to hear everyone’s thoughts on the potential of CoinTent. As a reader, would you be willing to pay directly for content? Because of the content itself? Because you’d like to support the bloggers you like the most? If not, why not? And since I know many of you are bloggers, too, what do you see as the advantages of using a system like CoinTent for monetization? The drawbacks? I’d love to discuss all of this with you, so please, if you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments.

Peach Arnold Palmer {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

S'Mores Tartlet {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

And now, if you’re not here for a diatribe on blogging and income, here’s the regular part – the food! I put together this menu with the idea of an easy summer lunch to make for family or friends on vacation. Nothing is difficult or requires much time in the kitchen, and everything makes the most of summer produce and flavors. As the main event, we have a turkey pesto club with goat cheese-pesto spread, crispy  bacon, super ripe tomatoes, and mashed avocado, a combination that’s good on homemade slider buns, biscuits, or any other good bread you have. In my opinion, nothing beats a really good sandwich for a perfect lunch. To wash them down, I made a big batch of fresh peach Arnold Palmers – half iced tea, half lemonade, with a generous dose of sweetened fresh peach puree, this is the most refreshing summer beverage I’ve tried this year. And as for dessert, I’ve taken the ooey gooey goodness of s’mores and turned them into individual-sized tartlets, with chocolate graham cracker crusts, a warm chocolate ganache filling, and a marshmallow meringue on top. So good. Seriously.

Turkey Pesto Avocado Club {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Turkey Pesto Club

Serves 4.

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 TBS pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 3/4 c. packed fresh  basil
  • 4 buns, biscuits, or 8 slices of bread
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 lb. sliced turkey
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, thickly sliced
  1. Fry the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pine nuts and garlic until finely chopped. Add the goat cheese and pulse until smooth, then add the basil and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3.  Slice the buns in half and toast until golden brown, in a toaster or in a dry skillet. Spread the bottom of each half with 1-2 TBS of the goat cheese and pesto spread. Cut the avocados in half and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash roughly with a fork, then spread on the other half of the buns. Place 2 slices of bacon on top of the goat cheese spread, then top with turkey and a slice or two of avocado. Top with the avocado covered buns and serve immediately.

[cointent_lockedcontent title=”Get the recipes for S’Mores Tartlets and Peach Arnold Palmers for $.50 with CoinTent” subtitle=”Your support helps keep Katie at the Kitchen Door going” post_purchase_title=”Thank you for your support!”]

Peach Arnold Palmer {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Fresh Peach Arnold Palmer

Serves 8-10.

  • 3/4 c. fresh lemon juice (from 3-4 lemons)
  • 3/4 c. + 1 c. sugar
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 2 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
  1. In a large pitcher, stir together the lemon juice and 3/4 c. of the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add 4 cups of cold water and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the tea bags in a heatproof container, preferably with measurements marked on the size (quart-sized mason jars work great). Pour 4 cups of the boiling water over the tea bags. Let steep for 5-10 minutes, then remove the tea bags, cover the tea, and place in the fridge to chill.
  3. In a small saucepan, place the sliced peaches, the remaining 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until peaches are very soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then puree with an immersion blender. Add the peach puree to the pitcher of lemonade, and place in the fridge.
  4. When ready to serve, mix the peach lemonade and the iced tea together in one pitcher. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

S'Mores Tartlets {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

S’Mores Tartlets

Makes 6 small tartlets

  • 8 whole graham crackers
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder
  • 4 TBS melted butter
  • 3 egg whites, divided into batches of 1 and 2
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 3/4 c. marshmallow fluff
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground. Pour into a small bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder, then stir in the melted butter. Lightly beat one of the egg whites, then add to the graham cracker crumbs and stir until crumbs are all well moistened. Divide the crumbs between six 3-inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms, and press crumbs firmly into bottom and along sides with your fingers. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combined the chocolate chips and the heavy cream. Heat, stirring constantly, until all of the chocolate chips have just melted, then remove from the heat immediately and divide the chocolate mixture between the six tartlet shells, filling each about 3/4 of the way up. Chill the tartlets until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, preheat the oven to broil. In a large bowl, use an electric beater to beat the remaining 2 egg whites until frothy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar over the top, then beat until soft peaks form. At this point, continue beating while slowly sprinkling the 3 TBS of sugar over the top. Beat until stiff peaks form, then add the marshmallow fluff and beat until fully combined and stiff. Spread a dollop of the fluff meringue on top of each tartlet, then broil on high until golden brown in spots, about 4 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers, reheating quickly before serving.

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14 thoughts on “A Summer Lunch, and Micropayments for Bloggers with CoinTent

  1. Hi Katie! As tempting as it sounds to make some extra pennies with blogging recipes, I´m not really feeling comfortable with the thought of it. I personally consider my blog as my hobby – so fully 100% voluntarily I cook, bake , take pics – and post whenever I think I can provide some acceptable quality for my (few ;-)) readers. No one forces me to do so, and although it is quite a lot of work indeed, I´m well aware of the fact that I am neither a professional cook or photographer. So I can hardly expect anyone to pay for my content. But I´m full of ideas, it´s great fun, and it´s really wonderful to learn how many amazing food blogs there are out there. Yours included, and btw love todays sandwich. There would be a whole lot more to say, but so far, I´m done for the moment. Thanks a lot for sharing &take care! Sabine.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sabine! It’s interesting – I definitely started out in the same boat as you – 100% hobby – and was amazed (still am, actually) that there were people out there that were interested in following along. As it’s grown though, I feel more pressure to post regularly and create unique content, and I think the desire to be compensated for that work comes along with that pressure. Of course, it’s still so much fun to do most days – and with a lot of great perks like free cookbooks :-)

  2. Part of the fun is reading and sharing, if you start charging for content you change the dynamics and you might as well buy a cookbook. If bloggers want to earn money,they need to say so upfront,BEFORE you connect with an audience! Thanks for your thoughts though,respect the honesty.

    • Hi Jacqueline – So interesting that you think bloggers need to be clear about their goals when they start their blogs! I can definitely see how having a favorite blog turn into a pay-for-content sort of thing could feel like a betrayal as a reader, but doubt there are many bloggers out there who start a blog with such a clear mission. Great food for thought.

  3. As a new blogger, I feel my blogging style and look is evolving and improving every month, but is still somewhat of a work in progress. Like Sabine, I do this as a hobby, and for me, it started with a desire to write more consistently, and share my stories and recipes with others. I worry that if it were a requirement to pay for a post, people might spend their limited blog surfing time looking elsewhere for recipes and ideas. I wouldn’t be opposed to placing a button on my blog that would be truly voluntary (but I suspect then only blood relatives and dear friends would share their pennies with me :) Having said that, I would be happy for other bloggers to have a button on their page for a voluntary donation. I would gladly send my pennies to those who inspire me (including you, Katie!)

    • MB, that’s so sweet of you! Your frequent comments are donation enough :-) I’ve definitely thought about the donation option, but have always felt like it would be a little weird. After reading your comment, though, I did a brief survey of friends and family and they all thought it would be totally normal. Maybe I’ll do a Katie at the Kitchen Door kickstarter someday…

  4. I see both sides of this discussion. I see that we pay for content when we buy magazines, however would readers be willing to purchase content when online, from bloggers who are not considered professional chefs or photographers, etc… I feel people find the Internet a place where content should be free of charge because they are not receiving an actual physical product. i.e. why some people feel that mp3s and music should be free but have no problem buying a cd. same goes for books. it is all content, however the way people obtain and use that content also determines whether they deem it worth their hard earned cash. but then, i also see that i am putting a good amount of time and effort into each post and recipe. i am also wondering how the dynamic of blogging world would change if we started to charge for content. would people remain faithful or would they jump ship and read those that aren’t charging? and I have also heard of bloggers thinking about bundling content and offering subscriptions … so several bloggers would join forces and offer content. how would that alter the blogging world? all I know is that it is always changing and it is very hard to stay ahead of the game….or in the game.

    • Great comparison to mp3/movie content – there’s been such an evolution in that field (oh the good old days of Napster!) and personally, I want to pay for digital content, but just wish that providers would make it easy (like, really easy) for me to buy it and then use it however I want. I imagine you’re right, that food/other internet content will keep evolving… I just hope blogs don’t disappear entirely (like some doomsayers have suggested).

  5. I think this is an interesting concept. While I don’t think it is a good idea for basic content that you would otherwise be providing on the blog, such as recipes used in posts, it might be useful for bonus content. If you have a drink in the background of a photo that you wouldn’t otherwise post, but offer it for the additional charge that makes sense. You could do the same with a meal plan. I post weekly meal plans fairly often, but the readers then have to click through my site to find all of the recipes, with this option they could then view a condensed version all in one post for a minimal fee, saving them time. Definitely something I would have to consider though.

    • JC – I very much agree, the idea works best for me when applied to bonus content. The point of a food blog is to provide recipes, so blocking them all would feel counter-productive, but getting paid for extra content feels reasonable. Not sure how effective it would be, but an interesting idea!

  6. Katie – first off, the tart looks amazing! As do so many other recipes on your lovely site. I’m already thinking about ways to modify it, not that it isn’t already perfect as is, but I can’t help trying to put my own spin on just about every recipe I read!

    As far as the pay for content bit, as a relatively new blogger I can see both sides of this, but as a surfer for recipes and reader of many blogs, I feel like it would be too much nickel and diming for my taste. I think perhaps creating an e-book or something of that nature seems a better way to generate income than asking for payment on individual recipes, but that’s just my opinion. I would definitely love to figure out a way myself to earn a little extra income, but until then I’m just having fun cooking, eating, learning how to use my camera and posting with the hope that others will find some pleasure from all my hard work too!

    • Hi Kate – I’ve had a couple people sign up and pay for the content, but at a pretty low conversion rate given the total pageviews. The service is relatively new, so I would imagine that once it has more users, conversion rates would go up – it will be interesting to see how quickly it catches on. Thanks for your comment!

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