What I’m Liking Wednesday

As I’ve mentioned before, I like listening to The Moth podcast. At the end of every podcast they say, “we hope you have a story-worthy week”. Lately, I’ve really been paying attention to what I spend my time doing and the interactions I’ve had and really try to have a “story-worthy” week. This past week was filled with a lot:

  • Saturday, we got together to buy beer for the tasting party, made sure we had all of the ingredients ready for making pretzels, and then Saturday night we went to the RAWdance Concept series, where we saw a handful of talented dancers share their latest ideas. We then went to Public Works, where we met up with some more artists, this time of the painting/photography/etc. type, enjoyed some drinks and even witnessed a friend’s artwork get sold!
  • Sunday, as I mentioned, we had the beer tasting, and made some pretzels. It was a huge success! Everyone enjoyed the day of beer (or fresh basil lemonade) drinking, pretzel (and felafel, humus, cheese, and pita) eating and basically a large gathering of friends.
  • Monday was a bit of a recovery day. We slept in and then I rode my bike home (through Golden Gate park) and then enjoyed the warm (almost 70!) day in the park near my house. Then, I was, surprisingly, called by a long-time friend that I haven’t connected with (but will hopefully be better connected with in the near future) in a long time! It was the highlight of my day!
  • Tuesday was also a relaxing and warm day. I spent some time catching up on podcasts and reading since the Internet in our house has been down (I am currently typing this in the library).

I have also been enjoying something new: I have been meditating on a semi-regular basis since the beginning of this month. Since it is new to me, I have not been meditating for more than 15 minutes so far, but I hope to maintain my “schedule” of increasing my sitting time (by increasing the time 1 minute per day, but repeating the time if I miss a day or two) to 20 minutes by the end of the month. Any tips & tricks are definitely welcome, please share in the comments!

Tomorrow is Pi Day (3.14 aka March 14) so we are planning on making a mushroom-onion tart. This will be the first savory tart I’ve made since the chicken pot pie I made almost a year ago. Do you have anything planned for Pi Day? What about St. Patrick’s Day? Any green in your future? Let me know what you have planned and/or what made your week “story-worthy”!

What I Am Reading Wednesday

Okay, so I’ve been away for a week. BUT, I do have a lot to share with what I’ve been reading and what I hope to share in the next few weeks!

So, what I’ve been reading:

I think this is great and that supermarkets should be allowed to do this in the U.S., too. I don’t know why farmers would want to hide what they are doing, if they are doing nothing wrong. :)

Speaking of doing nothing wrong, these Americans have been helping out their community.

And, if you are as much of a fan of This American Life & Ira Glass as I am, you would enjoy reading this.

I felt like this article was written just for me; it was just the advice I was looking for. And on a related note: this advice.

Since this is a food blog, I guess, really, I should be posting about food articles I’ve enjoyed recently. Like this one, about what the world eats.

Or, how about this one? For all of you pie-lovers out there. By the way, just a little survey: cake or pie? (Answer in the comments!)

For a more savory treat, (though you could make pie crust with lard) an article about lard making a comeback.

And, since it was recently what would have been Julia Child‘s 100th birthday, let’s all learn to eat the way that she did!

Lastly, great tips on getting your mojo back in the kitchen.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading. As I’ve said before, I have been working on some recipes I’d like to share soon, including some good ol’ American corn. I’ve also been making some things with coffee, and have another foodie pen pal box to pick up from the post office! Of course, I have some test photos I took with my new camera that I’ll share on Friday! Lots of posts coming soon(ish)!

 

Lag b’Omer and Cinco de Mayo week

This week contained La b’Omer, a Jewish holiday highlighting the 33rd day of the Omer (33 days after the second day of Passover) and Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican Celebration. I like that both holidays have numbers as part of the title. Do you celebrate either of these holidays? Are there any other holidays that happened this past week? (Post responses in the comments.)

Yummly: “Foodie Facebook” UPDATED

(This was originally posted on Apr. 21, 2010. I have updated this to reflect the changes that have been made to the site as of today, May 22, 2010.)

There is a new website that just launched today called Yummly.

It is a recipe website, which promises “The best recipes on the web in a (much) better package.”

The “FoodFinder” brings you to a recipe search page that has multiple drop down menus including selecting ingredients to be included in the recipe (or what you do not want), taste slide bars, time and price slide bars, a place for type of cuisine, nutrition, diet, and allergies information, such as calories, and fat. There is also a way to select which source your recipe comes from, including Martha Stewart and Allrecipes.

Yummly  could be compared to Blogher, a website made for women who blog, and a way to find blogs with similar interests. It could also be compared to such sites as Foodbuzz, another recipe site that also has a way to find people with similar tastes, as well as food blogs that you might want to read. These websites are great because they are easy to navigate and are easy to understand.

At first glance, Yummly looks promising, but after a while, it can get confusing and hard to use. It invites a new way to look at recipes, with the option of finding a recipe based on salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and savory. However, I am not sure who rated the recipes, but there are some “tastes” I disagree with. For example, I looked at moved the slide bar for “sour” up all the way (kept everything else in the middle) and got recipes that I think of as more “tangy” than “sour”, including recipes for potato salad and guava barbecue sauce. Maybe I am being a bit picky, but the only “taste” that they seemed to get right was “sweet” and that is only because when that slide bar is brought all the way up, I am given dessert recipes. I also did not find much difference between “sour” and “bitter”, but that could just be the lack of recipes, and will hopefully improve as more recipes get added to the website. (Though I am not sure how new recipes are added, or if you can add some of your own recipes.)

Being a baker, I am concerned with time, so I checked out that feature next. This seemed to be an accurate feature, when I slid the time bar all the way down, I got recipes that took 5 minutes at the top of the list. The price feature is a bit tricky to understand because it only shows price per serving. How many cookies is a serving? This question presented itself again, when I actually looked at the cookie recipe. The cookie recipe said serves 8. This website is great, and allows (registered) users to change the recipes as they please (removing or adding items from the ingredients list, changing quantities) but there is no indication as to how many cookies I get when the serving size is set to 8 people. I like my baking recipes to have a yield count, rather than a serving count. This might be “one 9-inch pie” or “24 cookies”.  I can then decide how many servings this gives me. This is not a problem that only applies to Yummly, I find it on the other recipe sites as well.

I am not a person generally concerned with calories or any other dietary issues (allergies, salt intake, etc.) so I did not play around with those options, but I did see one comment saying that the vegan and gluten-free recipes were not labeled properly.

You need to be a registered user to use one of the best features of the website, the way to change the recipe around to your liking (remove those nut from those cookies!) So I registered, and realized that there was a profile page. I thought “that’s right, this is supposed to be a foodie Facebook.” A place where people can share recipes and find people with similar tastes. Their “friends” are called “tastebuds”. However, as of right now, there was no way for me to find other users. There should be a way to find people that I may know that are already on Yummly, or to search for people with similar tastes and/or recipes that they have posted that I might want to try.

Yummly has a blog, that features recipes, but there was no way (except for the small print on the bottom of the screen) to get to that blog. This was also the only place where you could find more information about the Yummly team and how the website was created.

There was a place on the Yummly website (after much searching) for feedback, including adding ideas, problems, and questions, and comments. This was nice, but you needed to sign up or connect either through google (gmail), facebook, or twitter. I could not believe that a website (especially a new one) would have a feedback feature that was almost not accessible. I wanted to see exactly what the “summertime dinner” idea was, but did not seem to be able to.

Overall, I think Yummly has potential to be a great website to find recipes specific to your diet, taste, even your budget. However, there are glitches to fix, and little things to add here and there to make the site more user friendly. The “bells and whistles” are supposed to be added on May 18, so I will update this post with (hopefully) the improvements that they’ve made to make Yummly a better site.

UPDATE: I have been back on the Yummly site (as of May 22, 2010) and I have found some minor improvements.  I noticed the much needed “reset all” button for the slide bars. I also noticed a little part of the side bar that included other people that liked the recipe you clicked on and a place with similar recipes. There was also a way to share the recipe on Facebook. I also saw that there are little changes to the slide bars, under which there are words that come up as you slide them left or right. For example, in the taste section, they all start in the middle and say “no preference” but when slid all the way to the right it says “love”. Or, under the time slide bar, it says the time it takes. This helps me understand the way the recipes are rated a bit better, but I still disagree with some of that, but that is just my personal palate. I like the improvements they have made (and to see a complete list of these improvements, click here for their site update page.) I think I will try the site some time in the future when I need a savory recipe, because I do not have a lot of those. Also, I do recommend the site to people with specific diets, and/or to people that do not cook a lot and like to follow recipes. Thanks again to the Yummly team for creating such a great way to look for recipes online.

***Note: I am not getting paid by Yummly, or anyone else to post this review. ***

links about drinks

So, I said that I wanted to up the number of posts per month, and that I wanted to add links to articles that I like that I normally add to my twitter account. (As per a reader’s suggestion.) So, if you already follow me on twitter(@bakergirl87; the link is to the left), you may have already seen these links, and I am sorry for the repeats. Also, if you follow me on twitter, since I am going to add posts like this one to my blog, you will see less of those “tweets” and more of the “tweets” about my life, which might mean less “tweets” overall. (Have I used the word “tweet” enough?) I will (as always) post something to twitter about what I have just written about on this blog, so, you’ll still know about the articles I am reading and enjoying. I am going to try to have one of these posts per week, along with at least one baking post a week. Let’s see how it goes…
This week, all of the links have a theme: Drinks.

The glass is half-empty for premium-priced Cabernet – latimes.com – http://shar.es/aMYvh

You Say “Mo-Jai-Toe,” I Say Mojito: http://bit.ly/aZH6te

WSJ.com – Chefs Cook Up Cocktails http://on.wsj.com/9NzwKU

I hope you like the addition to the blog. As always, I appreciate any comments/questions/thoughts/concerns you might have. Thanks! :D

Editing…

I know I have not posted in a while, but trust me, I’ve been baking! I just want to let you know that I am working on editing the site a little bit. Right now, I am working on my “recipes” page (see top of page) where you’ll be able to find recipes that I have featured on my site. This only includes the recipes that are actually typed onto the site, and not the ones that are really pictures of recipes I scanned into my computer. (At least for right now.) I am looking into having my posts shorter, with the recipes on their own page, and you’ll be able to get to the recipes either through the post, or through the recipe page. So, I promise I will update with the new things I’ve been baking shortly. But for now, browse the rest of the site, and check out the recipe page that I am working on! I, of course, really appreciate any thoughts/comments/questions/concerns you might have about the site (and/or otherwise! :o)

welcome to WordPress.

Instead of using blogger, I am trying to create my blog on wordpress. I have imported all of the posts I had on blogger to wordpress, and right now, the links that are used throughout the posts are linked back to blogger. I am trying to figure out how to automatically direct the blogger site to this one. If anyone knows how, please comment and help me out! Also, if you notice anything that was on the blogger site that is now missing (besides the ads) and you think it should be added, let me know. I really appreciate your help and I hope this transition goes smoothly. I also appreciate any comments/questions/concerns you have about my blog at all. Thanks!
***EDIT: I have successfully made it so that you get redirected to this site from the old blogger site. However, I am still trying to change it for each blog post. So if you click on a link that is supposed to lead to another post, for example, the link to the “chocolate wafers” from the “chocolate cheesecake” does not work as of right now.
Again, thanks for your patience during this transition. Hopefully, I will have everything up and running smoothly very soon.***EDIT (AGAIN): I changed the layout back and I am not redirecting the blogger site to this one because I lose the other links. You are just going to have to bookmark this site now. If you click on a link from this site, it will direct you back to the blogger site, unless it is a new post, then it will be on this site (WordPress). Sorry for this confusion, but this is the best I can do for now. ***