Monday, October 31, 2011

Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen

The subtitle of Spiced reads, "A pastry chef's true stories of trials by fire, after-hours exploits, and what really goes on in the kitchen". With a recommendation by Anthony Bourdain on the cover ("Great insider stuff and a valuable addition to the annals of first-preson culinary history"), I have to admit I was not expecting great things from this book. First, because I dislike Bourdain and find him unnecessarily abrasive. Secondly, I quit sugar early in October, so pasty chef tales didn't seem like a good idea. But in the spirit of trying new things, and since Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen was the Kitchen Reader pick for October, I ordered a copy and gingerly picked it up. It turns out that I was engrossed in Spiced after the first chapter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 Ways to Encourage Conversations and Comments on Your Blog

I recently sat in on an enlightening twitter chat about gaining comments on your blog by following along with the hashtag #blogchat. The discussion included some very thoughtful and experienced bloggers, as well as lots of newbies and everyone in between. We were talking about promoting conversation on your blog. Here are some of the ideas I found most useful. (There are certainly lots of things for me to learn!)

1. People will comment when there is something worth talking about. Try posting about topics you know your readers will find interesting and want to talk about. Invite them to respond by asking "What do you think?"

@Stevefogg I think that conversation can only happen if the blog post is something worth talking about

@Jenica704 Creating talkable content means knowing your audience.

@patricksplace I encourage people to disagree. Things are much more interesting that long as everyone is respectful.

@samfiorella Ask yourself: Is your blog an answer blog or a conversation blog?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simply Cooked's Facebook Page

I'm thrilled to announce that Simply Cooked now has a Facebook page. Those who like the page get to see updates in their news feed and interact with other readers. Please head over there and check it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

8 Strange Potato Chip Flavours That You Might Not Want to Eat

I have been travelling in Bali recently. (More about that in another post, including the Balinese cooking class we went on!) In Asia I have learned that the flavours people consider normal in snack foods vary around the world. For your pleasure, I have been snapping with my phone in grocery stores when I see unusual flavours!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Links #24

Weekend Links is a way of sharing all the engrossing things I see around the internet. I publish Weekend Links approximately every two weeks. As usual, I welcome your ideas and feedback.

food reading links:
--A useful post about speeding up weeknight dinner preparation (from The Kitchn). There are lots of good ideas in the comments.
--Why you should be making your holiday cookie dough now, and freezing it (from The Kitchn, again!).
--Mark Bittman takes on the common statement that "junk food is cheaper than cooking at home" (from the New York Times). What does it cost to feed a family of four at McDonald's and at home?
--I want to get a copy of Ruhlman's Twenty - a new cookbook whose thesis is that there are twenty basic techniques to master to be a good cook. The book includes 100 recipes and lots of photos for each technique (from Michael Ruhlman).
--Furthermore, there are almost 200 cookbooks coming out before Christmas. Here's a list of most of them (from The Eater). It includes one Hong Kong book (Hong Kong and Macau Magic) and a culinary history of Canada (Canadians at Table). I bet the list has a holiday present for every foodie.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spicy Split Pea Dip

As part of this month's Secret Recipe Club I was assigned the blog Ilke's Kitchen. Ilke is a lovely Turkish lady who has moved to the southern United States. She writes recipes for Turkish food and other dishes that she makes at home. I was engrossed by her inventive ideas, beautiful pictures, and engaging stories.

I made this split pea dip to form part of a casual tapas meal with friends. It's smooth yet chunky, kind of like the best hummus you have tasted. It's got a spicy edge but not sharp. It's a simple recipe that I'm bound to adapt again.


Related Posts with Thumbnails