Friday, March 30, 2012

Finally success! Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting

I don't like failure. It took me three attempts to get here and I just about quit the second time. First of all, I have an excellent chocolate cupcake recipe. It's so good and fairly easy to make that I wouldn't know why I would even bother trying other recipes. The problem is it's not vegan. Not vegan in soooo many ways. For my vegan-wannabe husband and all the vegans out there, I thought I would give it one more try.

Okay, I know I'm going to sound like a total food snob after this post. The truth is I have been making a lot of cupcakes in the past year such as chocolate, vanilla, nutella, peanut butter, and red velvet cupcakes. Unless it's totally awesome, I just don't want to waste my time making it. To be fair, my bar was set pretty high before I tried my hands on vegan cupcakes. Since they were vegan, my expectations were pretty low but judging by how my husband reacted, my first two attempts at vegan chocolate cupcakes were failures.

In my first attempt, I browsed the Internet and found one called World's Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcake. When I made it I was hugely impressed by how light and moist it was. It wasn't very sweet though and didn't have a lot of taste. The cupcake left a funny aftertaste in my mouth. I think it was all the baking soda and baking powder in the recipe. A typical replacement for eggs in bakes is baking soda and vinegar so I could see why you would be able to taste this more. My husband's not so kind reaction to the cupcake was "No good. It's tastes like soap!" Ooookay.

For my second attempt, I thought I would try a trusted source. Sweetapolita is all about sweets and when I saw the site posted a vegan chocolate cupcake recipe, I knew I had to try it. If a professional known baker in the community can't get vegan chocolate cupcake right, then it's hopeless, right? Either that or my husband and I are the biggest cupcake snobs. Well, I made them and it was definitely an improvement. Only an improvement. It wasn't great either:( My husband said it still reminded him of soap but a bit less than the last ones. It's official, we're cupcake snobs!

I just didn't get it. From all the comments that I have read, even some non-vegans claimed that their favorite cupcakes were the vegan ones. Was I missing something? The lady behind Sweetopolita even said that she couldn't really tell the difference between the vegan and non-vegan cupcakes. I can honestly tell you that I can totally tell.

I said I was done with all this because there cannot possibly be any good vegan chocolate cupcakes out there. I was pretty convinced. Then I got a bit sad:( But really, I can only try so many different recipes, right? Like I mentioned above, I don't like failure. Today I felt a little ambitious. I browsed online for vegan chocolate cupcake recipes again and thought I would create something new from some of the so-called great ones. In particular, I thought the look of these Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting were adorable. I tried a similar frosting using the new Becel vegan margarine I recently bought. By the way, thank you Becel for making a margarine that is vegan but still the same price as the regular margarine. It was only $2.77 for the one pound tub at Walmart! Score :)

My third attempt at vegan chocolate cupcakes were (drum roll please.....) - a SUCCESS! The frosting was yummy and the cupcakes themselves were good. Together, it made a great cupcake. I am even convinced that I may be able to fool a lot of non-vegans with this one and it would be a hit. My husband's response? "OMG, these are good! They don't taste like soap at all." Lol. So there you have it, the cupcake snobs are now happy :)


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes
(Mainly adapted from Vegan Yack Attack)

Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

1 cup yellow cane sugar
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting

1 cup vegan margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups icing sugar

Mix the first 4 ingredients and set aside. In a mixer, mix the rest of the ingredients. On low, slowly add the dry ingredients from the bowl you set aside until well combined. Do not over mix. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. Cool.

For the frosting, combine everything but the icing sugar and beat well. Slowly add the icing sugar. After you add about 1 cup of icing sugar, beat at medium to high for a few minutes. If the frosting doesn't look thick enough to pipe, then add more icing sugar. Again beat high until frosting is smooth and looks thick. Pipe onto cool cupcakes and enjoy :)

We added crushed roasted almonds on top for fun :)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vegan Mee Goreng with Seitan

Vegan Mee Goreng with Seitan
My husband wants to be vegan. I do not. We had to compromise and meet somewhere in the middle. Sort of. The vegans are probably all shaking their heads and laughing. You are either vegan or you're not! My husband is not. I refer to him as a vegan-wannabe. So we're not vegan, nor are we vegetarian BUT we are cutting down on eating meat across the board and we're embracing more vegetarian and vegan dishes. Coming from an all-meat-eating family, that's huge for me!

Anything vegan can be rather intimidating at first but over the past several months, we have learned a lot and vegan food can actually be quite tasty. Like I always tell our 3 year old, you have got to try it before you reject it! :)

I am a big fan of Malaysian mee goreng. It's basically spicy stir fry noodles with meat and vegetables. I've made it before but this time I thought I would try a vegan version. Yes, it's vegan but don't let that scare you because if I were to serve you this, you would probably never guess it was vegan. You actually might be fooled thinking it has meat in it because my husband made some seitan (aka imitation meat) that looks like very convincing meat. Or maybe you don't even care because vegan mee goreng looks delicious, no? I had some for lunch today and I can tell you that I'm looking forward to more for dinner tonight :)



Very meat-like seitan

Vegan Mee Goreng with Seitan
Serves 4-6

1 lb dry spaghetti noodles (the egg-less kind)
300-400 g seitan (homemade or bought), thinly sliced
150 g firm or pressed tofu, sliced
1 small bunch of spinach
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green onion, thinly chopped (optional for garnish)

1 1/2 tbsp chili oil
1 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2-3 tsp sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp turmeric

Cook spaghetti noodles until al dente and set aside.

Fry garlic, shallot, and ginger in the oils for 3-5 mins. Add the seitan and fry for 1 min. Add the rest of the seasoning ingredients, then tofu and fry for a few more minutes. Add noodles. Fry for a few minutes at medium heat. Add spinach and fry until collapsed. Add tomatos and turn off heat. Mix well and let sit for a couple of minutes. Serve with green onion garnish.

Picture taken in natural light

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Thank goodness we are alive and well" cake

What do you write on a cake to celebrate the fact that you just escaped a possible very unfortunate event? I made a chocolate soufflé cake today and wrote "Celebrate Life" on it. That was the best I could come up with but no matter how I could have worded it, people could easily misinterpret that to mean that we were expecting. My husband was even giving me a funny look when he first read it. Then he remembered what we had spoke about during the week. Ha! First off, we are NOT expecting and probably will never ever be again. Okay, glad we got that cleared up:) So "Celebrate Life" or "We're so lucky" or "So grateful" and you get the picture.

This past weekend we went snowshoeing on one of the nearby mountains, Mt. Seymour. At one point during our walk, we put our tired 3 year old on a sleigh we borrowed and we pulled him along a narrow trail. The sleigh was new to both of us and when we took a slight turn, he fell off of it and right into a ditch. We couldn't see him because there were tree branches there. My husband jumped in right away and fished him out of the snow. We were horrified. Besides being shaken up, we were all fine in the end. We walked away like nothing ever happened.

I started telling people about it and the seriousness of the incident really hit me. A guy told me about tree wells and how skiers are all aware and scared of them. If you fall in head first, you could easily die in minutes. You never know if there is water or a creek at the bottom of a tree well and the person in the well could sink fast. I don't know if there was any water at the bottom of the ditch my 3 year old fell in but I know that if it were any deeper, we probably wouldn't have been able to pull him out on our own. I know that so many things could have gone seriously wrong. I was grateful we escaped without any physical injuries that day but after hearing about these dangerous tree wells, I feel like we were maybe all given a second chance or something. Omg.

Most of the time we celebrate something that has happened or is happening to us. This time I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate what luckily didn't happen to us. We're all here, healthy, well and I could not be more grateful for that. Thinking about the incident again just brings shivers down my back.

Celebrate life. Be grateful for your love ones. I sure am.

Chocolate soufflé cake from Tartine

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Loaded Cannelloni with Kale & Sausage

I love pasta. I may cook Asian food more than anything else but I knew how to cook good pasta first. Are you surprised? :) I especially love pasta baked with cheese. You know what else is a winning combination? Kale and sausage! So good.

My parents were in town and my brother was coming over for dinner too so I wanted something that was loaded with goodness and filling enough to feed everyone well. I pretty much wanted to send my guests into a happy food coma :) Stuffed cannelloni baby! I'm calling this a loaded pasta dish because well it's loaded with stuff, as you will see below, and on first bite you'll notice a bit of sweetness, saltiness, a little tang, and hot spice. It's just loaded with taste! It's been awhile since I have had cannelloni and it just seemed like a fun idea. I also took this opportunity to try out the new pasta maker I just bought. Homemade pasta really isn't that bad. Oh the pasta and noodle possibilities are endless! I can't wait to make more of these from scratch :)

Now onto the important stuff, the recipe! It's the recipe I painstakingly documented while I threw this dish together in the kitchen this afternoon :( Man, I feel sorry for all the food bloggers out there, me included. I normally like to cook fast but documenting along the way really slowed me down. Holy cow. After all that work I absolutely have to blog about it now!!! However once this documentation is complete, I will be able to throw this dish together quickly the next time (and the many times after that) and THAT makes me super relieved and happy :)


 






Loaded Cannelloni with Kale & Sausage
Serves 10-12

2 cups (~1 pound) of fresh lasagna pasta
3 1/2 to 4 cups homemade tomato sauce (or store bought)
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Filling

450 g ground beef
450 g Italian sausage
1 bunch kale, cut in small pieces & discard most of stem
1 red onion
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Provence herbs
1 tbsp olive oil
4 slices of sweet bread, toasted and broken into crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan

Cook the ground beef for a few minutes and pour out some of the fat part way through. Add the sausage to this and cook until just done. Pour it into a bowl and set aside.

Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until transparent. Add the kale, salt, pepper, herbs until the kale collapses. Remove from heat and transfer contents to a very large mixing bowl. Add the meat mixture to this. Toast the bread a bit longer than you normally would without burning it. Break it into small pieces and add it to the large bowl. Also add eggs and Parmesan. Mix well. This is your stuffing.

If you are using fresh pasta, there is no need to precook it. If it's dry pasta you may want to cook it a bit. Maybe 4 minutes? It will finish cooking with everything else in the oven.

Cut the lasagna sheets into the size of cannelloni you would like. I recommend narrower ones where you can't over stuff it. 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick on the shortest side would work well. This way when you cut into the cannelloni from the top, you will be able to taste all the layers in one scoop :) As for the length you can go as long as your dish will support. It might be easier to go with two medium lengths as opposed to one very long one though.

In an oven proof casserole dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce. Fill each pasta rectangle with stuffing, wrap around like a cannelloni, and place it in the dish with their seal down. Continue until the dish is filled. I have a small rectangular dish so I had to use another round dish. Spoon remaining tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle over shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 375 F for about 35 minutes. Remove the cover and broil for 4-5 minutes to burn the cheese on top. Remove from oven and garnish with a bit of parsley on top if you like.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kiwi Fruit Pizza

When I was in high school, I made a killer cheesecake and my friend made a killer fruit pizza. Since they both involved cream cheese and fruit, I often went with her fruit pizza recipe when making dessert due to its simplicity and smaller size. It's funny because my friend and I share a similar story. Her fruit pizza was her secret dessert recipe and my cheesecake was mine. We were both sort of famous among our friends and family for our dessert. Then we started to share our recipe with our close friends and they in turn shared with their close friends. Soon not only was the secret out but in some cases, we no longer received any credit for it. The recipe was only credited to the last person who gave it out. I know this because in one instance my recipe went full circle and back to me. The outrage!!! :) Haha. This totally reminds me of how pins and repins work on Pinterest right now :)

To be fully honest though, neither of us came up with the recipes ourselves. We might have tweaked it along the way but I can't remember what since it was ages ago. If believe her recipe came from a home economics course in Junior High. Mine came from a lady I used to work with who got it from a collection of recipes from a blueberry farm somewhere.

Okay you can stop right there! I'm not revealing my friend's fruit pizza recipe. Nope. At least not the original version :) The following recipe is definitely inspired by hers and I think it tastes great too. It's not as rich and it's fluffier than the original. Even my husband likes it and he is no fan of cream cheese desserts. I call that a win :) Oh yeah and do you recall the gazillion kiwis I fought for at the supermarket? We ate lots already, some went to this, and we're still eating them today! We love kiwis and they sure are very pretty, don't you think? :)



Kiwi Fruit Pizza
Serves 8-10

Crust

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup muscovado sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening

Frosting
(adapted from Not So Humble Pie )

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped

Topping

5 kiwis, sliced

For the crust, cut ingredients together into crumbs. Since the shortening is so soft, I just used a fork and kind of cut, smear, and mixed everything together. Spread into the bottom of a 9 or 9 1/2 inch pizza pan. I used four small tart tins for the fun of it :) Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool.

For the frosting, first whip the whipping cream and set aside. Mix the rest of the ingredients together well using a mixer. Whip in the whipped cream until just combined. Spread onto the crust. Lay on the kiwis. Refrigerate, cut, and enjoy!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Blogs and their Copyright, Theft, and Attribution

There are a lot of blogs on the Internet and people are sharing information they have gathered from outside sources with or without permission all the time. It's usually the new bloggers who violate copyright or break ethics because they just don't know any better. I'm pretty sure I probably did something I should not have done with my first blog. Hey, this is me learning here! This is my second attempt and I want to improve :)

Blogs may be regarded as private spaces where people are can share whatever they want freely but there are still rules and guidelines every writer online should be aware of. In particular, food blogs are known for sharing recipes that are meant to be used by others and possibly shared by others after them. Some of the recipes that people love are not their own and if they want to share it, it should be done is a proper and respectable way. As a new food blogger myself, I want to know all about this. Although I do plan to present original work on my blog often, there will be times where I would love to share a great food discovery with my readers. If I do share another author's recipe or work, I would like to do it properly because it's the right thing to do ethically and I don't want to get myself into any legal trouble. Ahem.

I have read the Food Blog Code of Ethics which pointed out how bloggers should practice more like journalists and I get that. It's better to be safe than sorry and if I had to write ethics or guidelines myself, I would probably state something similar. If we all treated content and reported everything like professional journalist, then it's likely none of us would ever get into trouble. The problem is we're not journalist. There are blogs out there that are written by professional writers and journalists and I can see how copyright should be taken seriously for them. However, I believe most of us here are doing it as a hobby and for personal reasons. That of course doesn't mean we should be allowed to post about anything, take full credit for other people's contributions, infringe on copyright, and commit theft. In the contrary, I find that most people do attribute the source and are honest about what they write. At least from what I have looked at. There are times where written consent would be required but for the most part, giving the original source credit with a link back seems to be sufficient.

In the article, How to Deal with Copyright Theft, the author pointed out the following after reviewing the US Copyright Law with regards to recipes:
"Basic recipe instructions are not covered by copyright because they are considered methods.  However, the law does protect your photographs of food, and your headnotes or accompanying stories."
So when it comes to a simple listing of ingredients, that is fine but detailed instructions can be copyrighted so it would not be okay to copy it. Similarly, I read the following on another post researching copyright in recipe:
"Of course once someone has committed the recipe for a dish to writing, then that written form is protected by copyright.  But it is still the writing that is protected, and not the dish itself. So again, you don't infringe copyright by making the dish from the recipe, nor by publishing your own description of how to make the recipe."
A food blogger who wrote the article How to Deal with Copyright Theft, stated this for herself:
"As long as a photo of mine is published with a link to the source recipe on my site, and doesn't actually include the recipe itself, I consider the photos a great way to market the content on my site, and I usually don't care if they are republished elsewhere."
So the question is how do we give other people credit when we use part of their creation? The article I read about Recipe Attribution stated the following, which is also what most cookbook authors and food writers follow and is also part of point #2 made in the Code of Ethics:
  1. If you're modifying someone else's recipe, it should be called "adapted from," then cite the source.
  2. If you change a recipe substantially, you may be able to call it your own. But if it's somewhat similar to a publisher recipe, you should say it's "inspired by," which means that you used else's recipe for inspiration, but changed it substantially.
  3. If you change three ingredients, you can in most instances call the recipe yours. But if the recipe is so unique, you may want to give credit for the inspiration.
LINKwithloveFinally, to conclude this post I would like to point out something called LINKwithlove, which I came across from reading the post link with love on local kitchen. The author talked about how she discovered a lot of her work being shared all over the Internet and how many times it was done without permission. Instead of being angry over it, she politely contacts the site's author and it's usually resolved quite pleasantly. Here is a little bit about what LINKwithlove is about, taken directly from their site:
LINKwithlove is the idea that by banding together in a "neighbourhood watch" type way - we, the internet, could teach and learn respect when dealing with intellectual property online. It is our dream that art, music, photography, words, design, ideas, etc - be shared in a way that is respectful, educated and kind.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chai Almond Latte

Every weekend, my husband, 3yo, and I head over to the big shopping center and buy groceries for the week. After a couple of hours, we're just beat. Today, I had to battle a huge crowd around the kiwi bin at the T&T supermarket. 6 kiwis for $1. It was just madness. That store is usually super busy on weekends. I had to squeeze my arm in without looking to get my kiwis. Madness, right?! The good news is that I did score 18 kiwis for just $3 :)

All the exhaustion from our grocery trip made the afternoon coffee break even more rewarding. Today, we had tea. We have so much tea in our house, you would not believe your eyes. We're probably what you would call tea hoarders. We have enough to last us years but if we saw others that we really liked, we'd probably buy more :)

One of our favorite chai teas is sold in Victoria at Silk Road in Chinatown. It's so fragrant and strong. It's perfect for making lattes with! Here is one of my favorite ways of making chai latte and it's super easy. As an added bonus, it's also vegan :)

Chai Almond Latte
Serves 2

Ingredients:

600 ml almond milk, unsweetened
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp chai tea
 2 tbsp agave syrup

Instructions:

Bring almond milk to a boil. Add loose tea and simmer 3-5 minutes. Add agave syrup.


Silk Road chai


Hot almond sweetened with agave for the little guy :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Baked Pasta


If spinach and artichoke dip had a pasta relative, it would look like the recipe I'm about to show you. If you are not a fan of spinach and artichoke dip, then feel free to navigate away now :)

A few months ago, I encountered a recipe that was circulating online. I can't quite remember but it probably came to me through Pinterest. Have any of you seen this creamy white chicken & artichoke lasagna from the Kraft foods site? Looks yummy, right?


Then I looked at the recipe and was like whooah! It's got more cheese in it than cheesecake! That's one high-calorie dish. But oh it looked so good, I made it anyway :)

Because I love tasty food and because I like eating balanced meals and healthy foods, I had to alter the recipe a bit when I made it. The recipe needed more vegetables so I added spinach and onions. I also added more artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes. Finally, I added more seasoning by adding some chicken stock. The lasagna came out delicious but I still felt like it was too rich and fattening.

I looked at other similar recipes since then and when I decided to do it a second time, I altered the ingredient list so much that it became a totally different dish altogether. I wanted to make something just as delicious but healthier. According to my husband, he cannot tell the difference and he loves this dish too. I'll call that success :)


I used 2 different types of pasta for the fun of it :)



 

Chicken Spinach Artichoke Baked Pasta
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 big pieces of chicken breast, cooked & shredded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loose basil, sliced (or 1 1/2 tbsp dry basil)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dried chicken stock
1 tsp dried red chile pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella, grated (I used skimmed pizza mozzarella)
2 tbsp fresh parsley (or 1-2 tbsp dry parsley)
600 g pasta

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cook chicken breast until soft and tender, let cool, and then shred or rip to small pieces.
Cook pasta until just under al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.
In a big pot, use the olive oil to fry the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the artichokes, spinach, sundried tomatoes, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice, chicken stock, and red chile pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the stove. Stir in about 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. Stir in the pasta and mix well. Pour pasta into a baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle on the parsley. Bake for about 30 minutes. If you like a slightly burnt top, broil for the last 3 minutes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm finally here!

People who know me are probably thinking "what took me so long?" :) I know. I know. The whole idea of sharing food secrets didn't really sit well with me for years. In real life, I would cook and from time to time people would ask me for recipes. Some of them I would give out willingly but others I wouldn't. I especially remember a case when a good friend asked me for a recipe and I said "no, sorry." I typically have a hard time saying "no" to requests and favors to anyone but to a good friend? I truly felt awful but I explained why and as any good friend would, he totally understood and was cool about it. At least I think he was.

Fast forward about eight years later and here I am! About to do the one thing I was terrified to do: share recipes, my love for food, and even food secrets. When I do share that recipe that my friend requested, I will be sure to personally email him first :) So what made me change my mind? Why am I finally starting a food blog? Well, there are several things.
  1. I am a very private person and at one point, I didn't even trust anything online. I was scared to create accounts and didn't feel comfortable shopping online and would have never dreamed of having any kind of regular online presence. For the most part, I was an invisible lurker. Slowly I warmed up to it all, especially in the past three years. The Internet has also come a long way too. So many people have joined in and sharing is what people do online now.
  2. I have over three years experience blogging. I regularly blog 2-3 times a week. To date, I have 436 posts on my blog. Wow! Really, that many?! I'm even impressed :) In that time, I have also read plenty of other blog articles and commented on other people's work.
  3. I started out as a "mommy blogger" so having survived that, I think this food blog will be no sweat :) By the way, I will still be blogging over there but will probably do a bit less now that I have this on my plate too.
  4. Around a year and a half ago, I discovered a fantastic food blog by a professional chef with a very respectable background and it totally changed my view on sharing information about food. Food is for sharing. I'm sure the pros don't give out all their secrets but if you follow them closely, you will be able to learn A LOT from them.
  5. One great food site led me to many others and I'm adding excellent food sites to my directory all the time now. It's like food blogs took over the Internet by storm! There may once have been very few great recipes online but now, there are too many great ones to choose from. There is so much to discover and I love it!
  6. I used to think no chef would share their secret recipes because they were held sacred and they didn't want people to copy them. I mean if you could make it yourself, you wouldn't want to eat it at a restaurant, right? Actually, it's not true. As an Information Architect and business professional, I can also understand why it would be in the company's best interest to share this information on their site. I have encountered countless great recipes online now, many from professionals, and my opinion of the matter has changed. Also, just because you have the recipe does not mean you will be able to execute it successfully.
  7. I've always been a self-taught foodie and didn't think I needed much help in cooking. I have a few cookbooks and thought that was plenty. Boy, was I wrong! Not only is finding recipes online faster and easier, I am now beginning to see that the Internet is just an open source everything-you-need-to-know-about-food encyclopedia! Or anything else, for that matter. Social media outlets such as Pinterest have sparked my creativity and made me think of food differently as well. I have learned a great deal from a lot of food sites in the past year or two that I feel like it's my turn to give back to the community now.
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