Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Three-eee Blog Tour ... The webby started getting rough, the mighty net was lost ...

A little something I'm working on. You'll read about it later.
If not for the courage of our fearless blogs, the food world would be lost.

So ... if you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry about it. Stop thinking that I'm drinking while blogging. Because I'm not. Really.

If you do know what I'm referring to, Professor, read on as I offer a tour of a few blogs I think you might like.

This whole adventure started when my friend Linda asked me to join a blog tour.

The concept is simple. First, she writes about me and two other blogs. Then, we three pick three more blogs. And they pick three blogs.

And pretty soon everyone knows everyone else, and world peace is achieved.

Linda blogs at Seasons to Seasonings, and she wrote nice stuff about me here. I first met her at ... uh ... uh ... hmmm ... somewhere online. There wasn't an actual AHA moment where we were introduced, or not that I can recall. We just sort of moved in the same currents and bumped into each other now and then, like icebergs in the night.

Or something nautical like that. And then, like strangers at a cocktail party, we started chatting. One of the really fun Facebook groups that Linda and I belong to is 37 Cooks. I'll bet you'll never guess how many people are in the group.

It's really hard, right?

So, Linda and I and the other 35 people have a group blog called ... you'll never guess! It's called 37 Cooks! Wow, it's like ... numbers. Math. Scary stuff.


So, now I'm supposed to answer questions about myself. Let's see how this goes...

What am I working on?

Well, I'm done writing my book, and I'm gearing up for promoting it, beginning in October and November. I'm thinking about a new book. Seriously thinking. It will not, however, be a sequel called Bake a Head Bread: 100 recipes for breads that look like famous beheaded people.

In my spare time, I started a new blog that focuses on cooking tools, gadgets, cookware, small appliances, and all sorts of whatnot that isn't recipes. And I'm doing giveaways. Lots and lots of giveaways. So if you want free stuff, you might want to subscribe over there, to make sure you get notified when something new goes up for grabs.

The impetus for starting the new blog was that my Gadgets blog over on Serious Eats got morphed into something different, but I decided I loved the gadget reviews too much to stop doing them.

Seriously, some people think these reviews are great because I get a lot of stuff I can use. Which is sometimes true. But really, I just like playing with new stuff. It's fun to see if it works, how it works, and if I can break it.

So I decided that the gadget reviews had to LIVE. So I started a blog to hold all of them.

What's one more blog to write? Easy peasy. Crazy daisy. Whatever.

How does my work differ than others of its genre?

It's a food gadget. Really.
Um ... I don't really study other blogs or writers. I read them randomly and sporadically, but I tend not to read a lot of one all at once, or I tend to become a sponge and pick up other people's styles. So it's much better for me to leap about like a drop of water on a hot cast iron pan. Ouch!

So I guess I really don't know why I'm different, except that I'm me. I write what I want to write because it interests me, or it amuses me, or it's fun, or I'm hungry and this is what I had for lunch.

And ... the gadget thing is just ... me playing with toys. Pure, unadulterated fun.

So, I like bread baking a lot, and I like baking sweets a lot more than I like eating sweet baked goods. I love salads but don't write about them as much as I eat them. I make a lot of ice cream in the summer and a lot of soup in the winter. And I'm really bad at taking photos of meat loaf.

That's really all you need to know about me, right? Oh. Wait. There are more questions. Sigh.

Why do I write what I do?

Did I mention fun? Yeah, that's pretty much it.

How does my writing process work?

Never store the predator cookies with the prey cookies.
I don't know if it actually does work. Some days are all about cooking, and making a huge mess in the kitchen.

Other days are all about writing. I get started and I don't stop and suddenly it's 2 a.m.

Some days it's cook-and-write.

Some days the light is just right and I take photos of everything. Other days, I wait for the light to get perfect, and I barely have time to snap a few shots I absolutely need.

Most mornings are email and a lot of evenings are spent looking at photos, cropping and adjusting.

Mostly, it's chaos.

I managed to write a cookbook while mostly keeping up with my blog, and being the editor of a monthly newspaper, and writing a couple columns for other people. So apparently things get done. Somehow.

Fairy dust and magic wands may or may not be involved.

I can guarantee that sometimes lack of sleep is very much involved.

Drumroll, please!

Thankfully, this is not all about me, so it's about to get less boring.

The three bloggers (and their blogs) I chose to tell you about are about as different from each other as you can imagine: Dana from The Kitchen Witch, Janet from From Cupcakes to Caviar and Ramona from Curry and Comfort.

The Kitchen Witch
Oddball Tomato Salad from The Kitchen Witch
I knew Dana on Facebook before I knew she lived in my neighborhood. And I know this is going to sound daft, but it took me a while to connect her Facebook self with her blog self. I knew both of them, but I just didn't tie the knot for the longest time. Just call me dafty duck.

Honestly, I don't even have a clue how I first met Dana on Facebook; she probably said some smart-aleck thing in response to something I posted, and the next thing you know, she's on my friends list. And then when my husband was in the hospital and she invited me out to lunch, I was like, uh ... you live near me? Why have we never met?

And then later, she invited poor, sad, lonely me to her house for Thanksgiving dinner, where I suddenly became some kind of sixteenth-cousin, twice removed. It was like I belonged there. Or at least I didn't smell funny and they let me stay and have some food.

Dana's blog is funny as heck, peppered with crazy stuff about her family, recipes, kids, funny recipe titles, the swear jar, tidbits of this and that. And she's a damned good writer who has absolutely no problem making fun of herself, in so many different ways. I think that's what I like best about her.

And, although she's not a baker, she's got a recipe for a stunning chocolate cake on her site. Okay, she stole it from an exchange student who came to visit. But it's French cake, people. It's got to be good!

It's worth a read. Go, see.

From Cupcakes to Caviar

Lemon/Lime Pudding Cake from From Cupcakes to Caviar
Janet ... ah, Janet. She's another one that crept up on me stealthily. I knew her through mutual friends, but it took a while before we got around to talking about food blogs. It was like ... we liked the same stuff, she has a wicked sense of humor, and she kept showing up in different groups I'm in.

Just popping in here and there. Whack-a-Janet. Whoops, she's over there now!

After chatting on Facebook for nearly forever, I found out that Janet was a blogger. I mean, there are some people (like me) who are all over the place with their blog, talking about what they made, the photos they took, they food they ate, the things the blew up in the kitchen.

Janet is a lot more ... normal ... on Facebook. I mean, she talks about stuff like her kids.

But eventually, I found out she was a blogger. Then I found out she was a food blogger ... which sort of explained why she kept showing up in food blogger groups. And, she has a non-food blog, too, called You Have How Many Kids? (Wow, a non-food blog ... what other incredible things could there be on the Internet? The mind boggles.)

Janet's food blog is called From Cupcakes to Caviar. Which is a totally cool name, despite the fact that there don't seem to be any caviar cupcakes at all. But she does have Salted Caramel Cheesecake Brownies, so I guess that makes up for ... well, just about everything.

Curry and Comfort

Mini cheesecakes with strawberries from Curry and Comfort
I can tell you exactly where I "met" Ramona. Maybe not when, but I met her in one singular place - a Facebook group for people who are in the blogger program for Good Cook. Although we're both food bloggers, we never really bumped into each other except in that one group.

Which seems crazy. Although there are bazillions of people on Facebook, it seems like people flow in tides (ooh, more nautical references!) and swim together in flocks. (Flocks?! Herds...? Gaggles .... Googles ...? Whatever...)

But the thing is that I tend to see the same people I know show up here and there in different places. In a food blog group, or a cookbook group, or a random food-related group, or a photography group, or a vaguely food-oriented group. If I know someone in one group, chances are that they'll show up in at least one other group.

But thus far, either Ramona's been very quiet online, or we've only docked together in that one single Facebook group. But every time I see her, I think, "Wow, that's a really nice blog you have there!"

And just for the record, I didn't choose Ramona for this because her blog name (sort of) has my last name in it. I chose her because her photos are always pretty and her recipes are interesting. Based on her blog's name, you might think she writes a lot about curries (the food, not my family) but she doesn't.

Instead, Ramona's blog is pretty eclectic, and you won't find things that are on everyone else's blog. That's probably what I like best - it's unique, and interesting, and ... off the beaten path (outside the usual river road? ... nah, too much of a stretch) and always something I'd want to eat.

I really liked the idea of the lasagna-stuffed bell peppers that Ramona made recently. You can't tell me that's something you've seen on 1001 blog this week, right? And they look really good!

So that wraps it up. Check out these blogs, and see who they choose to feature. I'm sure you'll find someone new and interesting!