Posts from the ‘Award’ Category

Thanks and Giving

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
— Mark Twain

Awards are fantastic, but awards from interesting people are even better. Eileen from The Joy of Caking was swell enough to give me this award, along with 14 other lovelies.  Eileen has one of the few food blogs that is never boring. She has a great flow to her subjects. It’s not just recipe, recipe, recipe. She incorporates non-food related things into her blog with grace. She seems genuinely interested in her blog, and her readers, which you might think, well of course, but this is not always the case. Go check out her blog, I am sure you’ll see what I’m talking about. And now for my lovelies:

Sommer at A Spicy Perspective

Monet at Anecdotes and Apples

Whit at Amuse Bouche

Denise at Quickies on the Dinner Table

Angie at Angie’s Recipes

Liv at Egg Wan’s Eastern  Food Odyssey

Billie-Jean at Cook Eat Love

Don at Sortachef /Woodfired Kitchen

Violet at The Hunger

Gracie at La Mia Vita Dolce-My Sweet Life

Evelyn at Cheap Ethnic Eatz

Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food

Marija at Palachinka

Yes, you counted correctly. There are only 13 blogs above. My last two I will not be sending to the owners. Why you ask? I remember awhile back giving an award to a couple of people who never responded. They checked my site, but I guess they just weren’t interested. I then realized maybe some reach a blogging fame and feel that they are above gestures like awards.

As I was writing this, I wondered how big/successful does a blog have to be to be too big to get an award like this? When does one reach that level where participation in awards like this are no longer on their radar? I would love to know what you think.


Faux Pas: Good Name for a Cat, Bad for Blogging

I found this old post and am not sure who or when it was from, but I thought I would go ahead and post it anyway. If you are reading this give yourself an award. We all go unrecognized for something we said or did.

I am guilty of not always staying caught up on my reading and commenting, and then reading and not commenting like I want to, but I have put much effort into this lately and have been doing better. If someone takes the time to share his/her thoughts with the world, the least I can do is give props for making my day better. So, if you get a comment from me, it’s from the heart. I read your words, not just skimmed them, and appreciate the time you took.

The requirements are:

a) I must brag about it.
b) Display  the badge on my blog and link  to the one who tagged me to prove that I didn’t tag myself (how pathetic that would be!)
c) I share 10 things about myself.
d) pass the award to other fellow bloggers by visiting their site.

I am listening to Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew” for the 5th or so time, and still liking it, but don’t get the loving it. It’s a concept album with no concept. I digress. Love from food people! As usual, we are supposed to write ten things about ourselves. Instead I thought I would write a list of 10 things that put a kink in my chain.

I was a blogging virgin, and was welcomed like Lolita, but I have weird quirks about whose food writing I give my utmost attention and loving to. There are so many people cooking and sharing I needed to find a way to dwindle them down into a readable existence. Here’s my list of neuroses that I completely compromise on when you take the cake, and these things don’t even enter my mind, ’cause you are doing such a good job at being a person.

1. I hate kids. Hate is a strong word. Kids are not my favorite thing. Most of them are like parking tickets, eventually there will be one in your glove compartment, and one day you will have to deal with it. Wait, no. Well you get my point. I don’t hate kids, I just don’t want to read about them on food blogs all the time. I don’t like when people refer to themselves as “mommy” only. You are more than that. It’s okay to mention your kids, all the time in fact, but don’t forget to mention other things other than being a mom. I get the mommy food blog thing, but when you go full force with the pink and stuff, that appeals to mostly other mothers, not me, and you might have more than that to offer. I have fallen in love with mum, and pretty much instantly like someone more when they say it. See how the rules change.

2. I hate blank free. I feel for the gluten intolerant, I do, but if it is just a choice, it’s kind of a punch in the face to the person who would give their soul for a piece of bread; circumstances exist: I would just rather exist in a world of moderation, not exclusion. If you are writing about restriction it should be because of allergies or an illness, not because you weigh 100 pounds and still have a bad body image.

3. Cats! I love Peaches. See how right there you were like, Peaches who? That’s because I don’t use my cat’s face as a profile picture. I am not putting this past me, but it won’t be for more than two days. When I sober up and realize, my cat is cute, other people have cats, their cats are also cute, well, I will take it down in some kind of low-level shame fashion. Unless your cat is the one cooking, it shouldn’t have a profile picture. And please stop putting hats and other accessories on them.

4. Don’t use the word cholesterol anywhere in your blog unless you are being facetious. It’s a downer. I don’t want to live in precaution.  It takes enjoyment out of food when there is a warning about it. Jim and I made a deal to die when we are 60, so we don’t  have to deteriorate, even though my mom is a ridiculous 50, and doesn’t take a lick of care of herself. Seriously, stop watching the Today Show with such intensity. Enjoy Ann Currie with a naive heart, go get an over-priced thing to make you feel better, and pretend.

5. I take  what I consider mediocre photos, but get peeved when crap photos get play. I said it. I wish the patience to read my manual and then practice what I learned in said manual came along with the eye. Or no one could spend more than $300 on a camera.

At this point you either stopped reading, or you relate, at least a little bit.

6. I have yet to come to term with vegans. There, I said it. I don’t trust a person who can’t enjoy an English Farmhouse cheddar.

7. People who obsessively run and write a food blog. Sometimes combining running with food to make a frun blog. I don’t just mean run run, I mean marathon run. If one cares about how they look and feel enough to run, they are not going to be willy-nilly popping half a package of Chips Ahoy in their mouths. This I can relate to. I get the indulging, and then taking care of yourself argument. I am not part of this camp yet, but I get it. But seriously people, how excited am I supposed to get about your banana bread when your whole post was about your running schedule, and what gross healthy bi-color thing you ate for dinner. This being said, I got one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies from a runner. She was on hiatus I think. Maybe I just can’t relate to this because I have been blessed with a friendly metabolism. Let’s just say in high school girls would watch me eat 2 Snickers as a snack with frustrated eyes. If you are obsessed with food, there is no time for exercise.

8. Do not refer to yourself in third person.

9. Don’t say something is oven- fried.  fried: v. To cook food in hot fat over moderate to high heat. DEEP-FRIED food is submerged in hot, liquid fat. Frying (also called pan frying ) or SAUTÉING refers to cooking food in a lesser amount of fat, which doesn’t cover the food. There is little difference in these two terms, though sautéing is often thought of as using less fat and being the faster of the two methods.

Putting fish on an oiled pan in the oven does not constitute frying. It’s baking.

10. Saying a recipe is adapted when you just copied word-for-word a recipe from someone else.


adjective: changed in order to improve or made more fit for a particular purpose

For good measure, a bonus pas.

11. Changing c’s to k’s. It’s cookie, not kookie.

Cookie the Books

Boo, no round 3 for me, but I have these cookies. And they are delectable. Good luck to most of you round 3ers. You other ones I should have beat. I’m just saying. I’m kind of sad. Okay I’m fine now.

Back to writing without rules! Which is why most of us blog, isn’t it? Have a good Friday night everyone. Or as some will call it “luxury dinner night”.

Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

by Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
This variation on the classic oatmeal cookie is crisp at the edges, soft in the center, and plump with dried sour cherries. The tart cherries are the ideal contrast to the sweetly comforting dough, but you can substitute raisins, dried cranberries, or any other moist dried fruit you like.
Makes about 50 Cookies

Two or Three Baking Sheets, Stand Mixer Fitted with a Paddle Attachment or a Hand Mixer and a Medium Bowl, Silicone or Rubber Spatula, Medium Bowl, Whisk, Small Ice Cream Scoop, Parchment Paper, Cooling Rack

• 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 ounces) granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup (3¼ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
• 3/4 cup (3½ ounces) dried sour cherries

Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the bowl with the spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and blend well.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly. just until there are no more patches of flour. Scrape down the bowl.

4. Add the oats and cherries and blend on low just until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure there are no more patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.

5. Using the small ice cream scoop or a spoon, portion tablespoon-size mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet halfway through, for 13 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and still a bit pale in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely.

Storing: Keep the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

Getting Ahead: You can make the dough up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate it in an airtight container. For nearly-spur- of-the-moment cookies, portion the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, putting the scoops right next to each other to fit all of them on one sheet. Place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, until the balls of dough are frozen. Transfer the cookie dough balls to a resealable plastic freezer bag and freeze until needed, up to 3 months. To bake, take out as many cookies as you need, space them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake as directed, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time.

Cherry-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies:
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips (or your favorite eating chocolate cut into 1/4-inch chunks) to the dough with the oatmeal and dried cherries. Milk chocolate or white chocolate chips may be substituted for dark chocolate if you like, or use a combination of all three. Bake as directed above.

* I used Craisins. This is one of those cookie recipes that welcome substitutions.

I couldn't resist removing the cookies so you could get a glimpse of one of my favorite plates. Totoro!

My May Sunshine Award

Mhel at couldn’t have sent this sunshine at a better time. We are officially into the month of May, and my heat continues to be turned up to 70*.  Seattle has yet to get out of the 50’s, and if it doesn’t soon, pictures of warmth may be all that lifts me out of this cold rut. Thanks Mhel:)

My sunshine with a side of cloud awards go to:

Mo at– good sense of humor, never a bore

Liv at– happiness in a bowl, and on a plate

Rumana at– wish she had a restaurant in Seattle

Sarah at– I have wanted to do this for a while, but was discouraged by all the work involved. Thank you for doing it Sarah, now I just get to enjoy the process by reading yours:)

Anne at– describing someone as charming and French is kind of a cliche, but Anne really is. Her parents had a zeal for the U.S, which brings a mix of cultures together in a wonderful way.

Denise at– well, cuz she exists.

Pass this on to those who put a little sunshine in your day.

Here are the Rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

The Happy 101 Award take II

The Happy 101 Award

Here are the rules:

1    Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2    List who gave the award to you and use a link to their blog (or hyperlink).
3    List 10 things that make you happy.
4    Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

This award came from a chef that lives in Pennsylvania (my home state), in a place called Flourtown. It’s almost too adorable. When Dennis is not feeding or teaching our youth about food at my dream job (I have always wanted to work in some capacity in a school kitchen), he is making mine and others’ days filled with humbleness and appreciation by giving us awards. And if that wasn’t enough, he has time to let us in on what he is doing on his blog filled with yummy thoughts, and deepest recipes, and sometimes the other way around 😉

Thanks again Dennis.

Sara aka The Lonely Radish

Red liquid happiness.

10 Things that make me happy:

1. Wine with Ben and Emily.

2. Independent book and music stores.

3. Sleeping with tons of blankets and the air conditioner on. (when I had one!)

4. My mother’s sage jungle.

5. Shag: the movie.

6. Red lipstick.

7. Classic cars.

8. The way each season smells different.

9. Writing and receiving letters.

10. Farmer’s markets.

This award is meaningful because it comes from my fellow dealers in celluloid.Alfred Hitchcock

Justin and Lori from Gastronomic  Duo –

Agnieszka from Atlantic Kitchen –

A Bountiful Kitchen –

Rancho Gordo –

The Happy 101 Award, Part I

The Happy 101 Award

You get lazy, or busy, and think the world will forget you if you don’t start writing something soon, and then two of your favorites give you a happiness award, and everything is right with your procrastinating world again. I have had the honor to receive my first two awards from the-oh-so-gracious-Denise who’s  got one beauty of a site,, with which I couldn’t be happier, because she has become one of the people I keep in mind when I am writing. You can’t please everyone with your musings, but you should have a few darlings you don’t kill, but look to for motivation or ideas. Don’t worry Denise, you are in good company;)

Here are the rules:

1    Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2    List who gave the award to you and use a link to their blog (or hyperlink).
3    List 10 things that make you happy.
4    Pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

10 things that make me happy:

1. Kissing a cat’s head.

2. When strangers tell me how in love Jim and I must be just from seeing us across a room.

3. When my mom calls me Sasha.

4. People who say “thank you”, and mean it.

5. My three favorite chicas. You should know who you are.

6. Red wine, or a good Belgian beer.

7. Soft, comfy blankets.

8. Road trips.

9. Sarcasm.

10. A good cup of coffee.

Now to the happiness:

Emily aka Girl Foodie from Chasing the Dish

Cat from Neo-Homsteading

Mhe-lhanee from Pens, Pans, and Puns

Marika from She Brews Good Ale

The girls mentioned above make my day better.

It occurred after writing this, I have left out the male species. No affront. Complete throw of the dice.

Stayed tuned for Happy 101 Award part II. I may even include a few boys;)

Sunshine from my food sister in Singapore

Denise Fletcher from Quickies on the Dinner Table, was kind enough to think of me when choosing only twelve blogs with which to share this award. I have only recently delved into this world, and it is as addicting as collecting the tiny figurines from the Red Rose tea boxes (which I heard that you now have to order and pay for shipping.) No more digging your little fingers to the bottom of the box, to pull out the pink bunny of which you already have two. But I digress. It is nice to be welcomed so quickly. There is a depth to Denise, and while some may get glimpses of this through her food knowledge sharing, I think I would find myself reading, and feeling the same way, if she wrote a blog about rocks. Denise, please do not write about rocks. I like your food, and your food pictures. One can only make rocks pose for pictures for so long before they start to get ornery. Then where would we be?

These are some of my current favorites that rarely, if ever, let me down.

Denise from Quickies at the Dinner Table – Denise writes with intelligence and humor. She is interesting, humble, calming, and takes great pictures. She also lives inconveniently far from good bread. I thought good bread was like people: everywhere, not a long bus ride away.  My heart goes out to you. That alone should get her a mention:)

Kirstin from It’s Not You, It’s Brie – Yes it’s about cheese, so I could stop there. Except Kirstin keeps it interesting and informative, and doesn’t pretend to know everything in the world, although she knows a whole lot. She shares others’ knowledge, which is very noble. The pictures are also stellar.

David from Groceteria – If you love food, you get the same feeling in the grocery store that a stereotyped women is rumored to get in the shoe store.  It’s a stress  reliever, a mood lifter, a destination, and you always leave happy. David covers all areas of the map: national, regional, and  even more stores.

Steve from The Sneeze – As his site says: half zine, half blog, half not good with fractions. Check out Steve, Don’t Eat It!

Rebecca from Ezra Pound Cake – I am not sure there is a recipe I don’t like on her blog. This is rare. It’s all food people want to eat. Her blog name is great, and her last name is almost crumpet. Mmm crumpets. Rebecca’s photos rock, and she has a good sense of humor. She reminds you food should be fun.

The Urban Spork – An all-encompassing great site. Good writing, photos, and recipes.

Kristy from The Wicked Noodle – Creator of refrigerator soup, (Kristy recently handed over the reigns), her site is full of unpretentious recipes that you want to make, eat, and share.

Paul from The Basics – Food, beverage, travel, home, and my favorite – a much-needed and welcomed mention of  proper etiquette, which is rapidly disappearing in this country. I can’t tell you how many times I have dined out and seen people with their shoes off and their feet up on the seat. Shudder. Thanks Paul.

Ali from Three Baking Sheets to the Wind – Her pictures are so comforting to me. Ali shows such originality, amazing artistic ability, and care. Her passions are baking and craft beer, and she incorporates movies into her food world. A girl after my own heart.

Don from Wood-fired Kitchen – Do you know those days when it feels like a hot chocolate day? That’s what Don’s site makes me feel like. I have oven envy. One of my favorite things is when people blog for themselves and the people they connect with, not to make money or to get a book deal. That being said, I think Don should make money and get a book deal 🙂

Cristina from From Ba to Paris – I admire anyone who can appreciate her surroundings and take great joy in them, and Cristina does this in droves. It shows in her pictures, stories, and recipes. She makes exclamation points somehow charming.

Jonathan from Wasted Food – While enjoying food and the process of buying, preparing, and eating it, most importantly we should be educated on where it comes from, who produces it, the waste it produces, knowing and helping those that go without food, and being aware of our responsibilities as consumers. Jonathan is passionate about our impact and provides an array of interesting stories to help you stay informed.

Thanks to all of you, and the many others that inspire and teach me, hopefully for a very long time to come.

I forgot the best part!
To the award winners, please pass this on to your favorite bloggers! Here are the Rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.