Saturday, January 29, 2011

These are a few of my favorite.....


I want to share with you the links and my thoughts about some of my favorite bloggers. Some have become friends, we exchange emails when we want to share private stuff about our lives or just gossip in general. They to me are real people with personality and have things worthy to read about or great recipes to try.

Mommy I'm Hungry

Blogger: Rachelle. Mom/wife with 3 kids. Hugely busy blogger. Tons of giveaway, always sampling products, wide range of recipes. She gets top billing for she was the first to comment on my blog and welcome me into the food blog world. How she balances the products, the cooking, the support of two eldest kids in the racing world. She was smart and got away from playing Cafe World on FB. She and I comment freely on our FB or blog. I admire her yet hate how she throws in my face how beautiful the weather is in sunny Cali. LOL I consider her a friend. You rock Rachelle, not Rachel. giggle.

The Life and Loves of HoneyB
Blogger: Shelby aka HoneyB. Mom of two adult kids. Wife of Grumpy (husband). She was one of the first blogs I started following. I love the range of her blog. She is very connected to many other bloggers. She is open about her husbands likes and dislikes about what she cooks. In my opinion, he is just too picky. She grew up a vegetarian yet eats some meat nowadays. But she always gets back to her veggie roots and makes dishes with Tofu. She is health conscious for the is always seeming to post about a recipe from Cooking Light. I envision a huge bookshelf full of her past issues. She participates in many group cooking blogs, guest blogs, cooks for family occasions and her workplace. She is so very sweet and puts a personal touch in everything. Her food pix are to DIE for perfect!

Once Upon a Gourmet Gin
Blogger: Ginger aka Gin. Mom of a High-schooler and one in college. She is not one I consider a 'rabid' blogger. She too took a leave of absence from blogging as well. She is getting back into the groove of blogging again. Her recipes are wide in variety from ethnic from just plain fun home cooking. We've exchanged emails on the side talking outside the blogs about our family life. We had a cake mix cookie friendly competition frenzy awhile back. I enjoy her blog and friendship.

The Hungry Housewife
Blogger: Leslie. At home Mom of a little girl and boy. Love, love, LOVE her. She does enough videos on her site that I feel kinship to her personality. I feel like if we met we would just talk for hours and laugh our butts off. I hate when she takes the video out to her Tampa Bay backyard and shows us the fabu pool and falls set up. It's nice to have a husband with his own pool/spa business, yes? Leslie is hilarious to hear her tell stories. She is self-deprecating and doesn't care if you judge when she tells how she ate fudge out of the trash. She is skinny and gorgeous with a killer laugh and personality. If I weren't an only child and could have picked a would be Leslie and we'd be in so much trouble together. She had a brush with the Food Network and came close to being a celebrity but after the visit with Gordon Elliot, and a cooking video...Food Network said essentially they "already had someone like her....called Melissa D'arabian. Ugh. No comparison. Leslie is the shizz! Just you wait. Someone will pick her up and put her on TV....then I can say "hey I used to email her" LOL.

My Tasty Treasures
Blogger: Donna aka FFW (firefighter's wife). This woman is a HOOT. If you looked in the dictionary under the word WILD the definition would be simply: Donna. Her recipes are hearty, easy, kid friendly, appropriate for parties. She often posts a dinner and the dessert/cookie she did with it. Although Donna can be deemed as controversial for people either love her or hate her. Yes, she does get some hate mail on occasion for Donna likes to make her do I explain this....A sexy food blog. LOL. She does put up some crazy pictures and when people comment loudly how inappropriate that is; (blah, blah, blah) Donna tells them "to get over themselves and don't read her blog if it bothers you." You tell 'em GIRL! I could learn alot from Donna about doing what makes you happy and not to care what others think.

She's Becoming DoughMessTic
Blogger: Susan. Mom of Seven. Not seven children. Her miracle child, Seven. LOL. Susan has been through the wringer in her personal life yet still manages to blog wonderful things. She also caters, and does some amazing cake decorating. SOMEONE HIRE THIS CHICK IN THEIR BAKERY! (however she probably thinks she is busy enough). Kid friendly, baking, meats, salads, candies, cookout fun, all the range is there. Yet she's been around in the blogging world....gone to Martha Stewarts Show a few times (don't ask, lol), gone to conferences, does a kick-A "pantry raid" experience how to budget food and money and keep everyone fed and happy. I think she's amazing despite some marital woes yet I see her as up and coming bigger blogger... Look out for her in bigger places too.

Noble Pig
Blogger: Cathy. Mom/wife/awesome food blogger/new vineyard business owner. I loved reading all the developing stories about Cathy's life upheaval. Her life alone with the boys while her husband was looking for home with appropriate land to start a new life as vineyard-ers. The recipes of yummy, fun or fancy recipes. Sometimes many to choose from for special occasions....the move, the step by step pictures of her land being treed for planting forward to placing orders for wine online now. WOW. She still blogs recipes that I adore yet takes the time to thank new customers for their wine order on FB. Adore her.


The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
I think I see more of Lisa from Facebook than her blog. lol I enjoy her recipes and crafty ideas. How she posts, her lovely pictures, the recipes; to me, are just warm and fuzzy like a comfy well worn sweatshirt. Her recipes aren't from a box or hoity-toity over the top. They are twisted in just ways that I find fun to read and prepare in my own kitchen.

My cousin sent me the link to her favorite webpage. I had no idea food blogs existed. It started with Molly from Orangette. I checked out some of the links to her favorite food blogs and my gmail reader EXPLODED from there and a year later I started my own blog.

The Pioneer Woman:
The Goddess of food blog world. Her pictorial step by step recipes are INSANE. I have her book. I stood in line and met her at a book signing. She's been on the Food Network on Bobby's Thanksgiving Throwdown. She won. She been all over on local TV new cooking segments. Her food is wonderful. Microsoft contacted her and gave her a separate site just for recipes (Tasty Every she touches is so down home- friendly yet she is so grounded almost perfect it seems. She homeschools her 4 kids (only because the school is like close to two hours by bus in the AM and PM-their cattle ranch is remote). Women wish she was your mom, sister, next door neighbor, best friend- yes, she is THAT nice. I love her corny, naughty yet self-deprecating ways.

How to Eat a Cupcake
aka Flour Child Bakery
Sadly this young 24 y.o blogger is too busy to post anymore. She's moved on from yummy postings and funny videos to opening a new bakery with her mom. I am excited that she is located in Virginia Beach. K-man and I have a time share down there and we can't wait for this summer to make a special trip down there to meet Cassie and eats her wonderful goodies. Once she gets settled after a year she will post recipes again.

I just love Heather's site. She is all over the place, a smorgasbord of food varieties, an ethnic buffet, a bookstore, a book critic, a cheesemaker.....and the list goes on. She's got over 10 sections to her website and I like to use her recipes and she's part of the reason for my cookbook addiction! Very cool'll love her too!

Cake Wrecks
Just a fun site from Jen who wanted to post about her irritation for the awful cakes she's seen over her lifetime. It exploded with followers started sending more and more pictures. She's been around so long now the site is almost too big to view in one day and she has her own book now. You will just keep shaking your head over and over with these awful cakes that bakeries are producing. She does NOT make fun of personal cakes people make but the cakes that BAKERS/BAKERIES get paid good money to produce a professional cake. Or NOT. lol

I have tons of blogs on my reader. Of course, I could not post about them all. I have LOTS of favorites but these are my BESTEST faves. Partly because I have some type of connection. We either email and talk personally, have their book, met them....I feel connected to them in some way. I hope I introduced you to a new place for more cooking adventures!

Eat 'em up-

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A slow return to normalcy....

I am attempting to return to blogging in way that works for me. Why did JennyMac disappear into the blogosphere?

1. People send you suggestions saying you should do this or that...the occasional rude anonymous commenter who feels the need to put you in your place...makes you say to yourself at times..."who's page is this?"

2. Taking pictures is NOT the easiest thing to do at times and sometimes you end up eating the evidence. I am not one of those who snap a gazillion pix (how does Pioneer Woman do it?). One before, a few after....served with garnish maybe....OK, now let's eat. Either the recipe is NOT to my liking to post about or something isn't right with the pictures. NOW, the food is gone so retaking pix are impossible.

3. Sometimes lighting is not your friend. Let's be for real. Many of my meals are dinner and it's NIGHT. Natural sunlight is ideal, if my pic doesn't look appealing enough to eat....I don't wanna post something that looks like the cat coughed it up!

4. Then I got into Facebook, I was learning how to use it....finding old friends....getting addicted to some stupid games (first Cafe World then Frontierville....sigh).

5. Being timely....many blogs post about upcoming holidays/events BEFORE it happens. Halloween foods during the first week of October. Thanksgiving dishes two weeks before T-day. Christmas-y cookies and treats after T-day and two weeks after. Let's be for real here. I want my food and gifts to be fresh. I don't make Halloween treats in my classes Oct 1, the kids want it on Oct 31. I give out my holiday food treats a few days before the 25th not Dec 1. I am not into 'trial runs', practice, saving pix to post early for next year, etc.

6. The intimidation of the wonderfully popular and successful blogs out there. The more and more blogs I read or subscribed to, the more and more I felt unworthy. Also, I so envied my fellow bloggers successes. I see all these giveaways they have from companies contacting them, how lucky of them....I don't get that....I had a few here and there....but nothing like those popular bloggers. Bloggers talking about being invited to conferences, meeting up with other bloggers, guest blogging....posts about appearances on TV, etc. It's all so great for them, sucks for me.

After not posting for a bit, no one said anything. No emails, no one seemed to notice I was not posting. I said to myself "well no one saying anything or asking where I went, so don't bother posting anything because no one is reading my blog obviously...." What a vicious cycle I created for myself in my own little blogging world.

Then something snaps you out of it(hopefully?). You FINALLY get one email from a person who says they appreciate and miss your posts. A co-worker tells you they enjoy your blog and suggests a neat tool I should check out and share with my followers.

Bottom Line: I must do my blog because I enjoy it. I am who I am, I do what I do because it's me. No one else matters and I shouldn't set myself up for failure by comparing my blog to others. How many times did we get that lecture about "being yourself" growing up? Clearly I needed a booster shot. So I am going to share what I share only because it's something that works for me, not something that I think would impress the 'public'. BAH!

I made this and it's absolutely easy and so yummy. WHIR in the processor. I was apprehensive to try this for I am not a huge fan of cilantro but the combo intrigued me and POOF! I think perhaps I've turned a corner.....

Jalapeno Pesto1

Jalapeno Pesto
by JennyMac Lipsmack

1 cup fresh Cilantro
3 Jalapeno Peppers
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Shredded
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup Olive Oil

1. Chop and toast walnuts for a few minutes in 350 oven until kitchen is fragrant (about 5-7 minutes). Set aside to cool.
2. In a food processor put a cup of washed cilantro.
3. Using gloves to cover your hands, slice in half the jalapenos, seed and devein. Remember the heat is from the veins, so do what you need to to do to make it hot or not; be careful or haphazard when removing those veins. Roughly chop and place peppers in food processor.
4. Peel garlic and add it in with the walnuts, lemon juice, Parmesan, salt, pepper in the food processor.
5. Pulse until combined and you don't see big chunks of garlic or whole cilantro leaves.
6. Slowly stream in the olive oil until incorporated.
7. Taste....add more salt, pepper or lemon if needed. Add more olive oil to make it consistency you want. Warm water can be done to keep the fat content lower and yet 'loosen' the mixture up.

THUD, this was beyond my expectations....We ate this during a football game with crackers and cheese but the tortilla chips tasted best. You can use instead of mayo on a sandwich. Top on an enchilada or taco....Add some plain rice vinegar or warm water to make it into a salad dressing. We loved this! I can't wait to try this on grilled chicken. I want to spread this on a roast beef sandwich. I am growing tons of cilantro this summer!

Jalapeno Pesto