Good things to eat

Posts tagged ‘food blogging’

Five Years Later


It’s true, this blog turns five years old today!

5 year


As ledgend has it, it all started when I took a food writing class and one of our assignments was to start a food blog……you know….just to learn how to do it, set it up and the like.

I wonder how many people from the class still have theirs?

I’ll admit I’ve been a little lax with it over the last year, maybe two years, but not because I don’t like it.  It’s more a case of just running out of food to write about……or is it?

The real truth?  My computer is really really old and slow and drives me crazy, because believe it or not, writing a blog is kind of involved.  Adding pictures and formating and all that stuff.  So when your computer it crap, it is very discouraging and a great deterrent.

I know, just get a new damn computer!  I really suck at that.  I have tried so many times and just always chicken out, so worried I will get the wrong thing.  This one may be really slow, but at least I know how to use it!




The very first blog was called ” Can you really make pasta with a Juicer” and was featured right here on February 19th, 2011.

So I thought how better to commemorate the occasion than by seeing if I can “Make nut butter in a juicer”?

Natural nut butters are very expensive in the store.   Admittedly, so are nuts, but not as expensive as the pre-squished ones!  So why not make your own?

Well, sometimes because it is easier said than done.

I’ve tried making it a few times in Vitamix, the Cadillac of blenders.  I think on the right setting Vitamix might even be able to do your taxes!  But for nut butter, it grinds it well enough but because of the shape you really lose a lot of product that gets gummed up down in the blade area.

So then I tried the plain old food processor.  This seems to work well on most occasions, but on this one, something went wrong.  Perhaps it was because I was using frozen nuts?  Not sure what the problem was, but it just simply didn’t want to stick together and become creamy.




So after grinding away at it for way too long, I looked up and spied the juicer sitting there.  I know that the juicer comes with a “blank” attachement, the same one I used to make the pasta.

I scooped the nuts out of the food processor and stuffed it down the feeder chute of the juicer……..

What came out……was even more dry and unpleasant than what had been at the bottom of the processor.





But that’s the thing about food blogs, they don’t always have to be about the successes.  Sometimes it is good to share one’s failures as well.  You know, to spare the reader the same misfortune.

I tried to eat it anyway……but it really wasn’t very good.



The point of all this?

Blogging is fun.  Who ever would have thought that any ol body, any ol where, can write about whatever nonsense is going on with them, and someone, some where WILL read it!!


Happy Blogaversary to me!













This Blog Turns Four!

Wow how time flies.

I always tell this story on the anniversary of the blog.  It was only supposed to be an exercise for a food writing class I was taking.  The assignment was to “set up a blog” and of course until anyone can actually FIND the blog, it sort of doesn’t exist.

But when I asked a couple of friends to check it out and comment to impress the teacher I got hooked.

I could write stuff and people could read it.  And some even said they liked it.

The first ever blog post was this one:  Can you really make pasta with a juicer? 

It was quite an involved project because again, I wanted to impress the teacher and wanted the inaugural attempt to be about something interesting.

I’ll admit I have been slacking on my posts in the last while.  Mostly because my computer is SO slow that I spend most of the blogging time yelling at it and threatening to toss it out the window.  But I promise, I’m going to do something about that very soon.

That and of course life getting in the way.  It’s also hard to keep coming up with interesting things to say.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still love to know about, read about, grow, cook and eat food and then talk about all those same aspects of food.  So hopefully I will get back to the writing about it part, real soon.

The other fun thing about blogs is that they are like having money in a good investment.  Even if I don’t post very often anymore, the old posts somehow still find their way to people to read.   In the four years since the blog started I have nearly 50000 hits!!

What’s really cool and completely by accident, is that is post will be the 400th post I have made, on the 4th anniversary.


Happy 4th Anniversary!

Happy 4th Anniversary!

This Blog is Three!

My how time flies!  I can’t believe that I have already had this blog for three years now!!

As those of you who have been following from the beginning know, it started only as an assignment for a food writing class I was taking, but I got so hooked that I never gave it up!

As of today I have reached just under 40,000 hits!  Yes that is 40 thousand!  And I am always amazed at how far it reaches.  Because as the owner of the blog, you can see the statistics where it tells you how many hits you’ve had and what people are looking at and where they are looking from.

I am always astounded at how far and wide the audience reaches.

And having a blog is sort of like putting money in a very good investment and watching it grow just on interest!  Because in this last year I haven’t been writing as much as I would like, yet people still seem to keep finding the blog.  I have no idea how that even happens!

One of the top posts that keeps getting looked at is the very first one:

“Can you really make pasta with a juicer

Another popular one that gets the most hit – yet I find a bit troubling because I fear this isn’t what they had in mind when they were doing their online search is:

Forbidden muffin balls

But my all time number one favorite that gets the most hits and even comes up as number one on Google – which means on the WHOLE interweb is:

Kale Pancakes

So thanks so much for all of the comments, love and support over these past three years!  Hopefully I can keep coming up with things to tell you about for at least another three!

3rd birthday

Why read food blogs anyway?

Let’s face it, there are thousands of blogs out there now, pretty much about anything anyone can come up with.


I am always seeing ads or getting emails about ways to “get more traffic to your blog” and some of them have some good ideas but at the end of the day, I just like writing them and sharing stuff I like or have tried or an idea I got some where.  So when other people actually read what I have to say, I am very honoured that they have taken the time out of their day to do so.

And what’s better, is if I can give them some little bit of information that they can enjoy, or that sparks an idea for them to use in their lives, then my work is done.

That’s why I have so many blogs that I have signed up for and read on a regular basis.  Because the best part is, it gives you ideas to do your own thing.

I will see recipes and either think about how I might do it differently, or I might actually intend to follow the recipe verbatim, only to find that I am missing one or more ingredient and then have to improvise and then it can inadvertently become a whole new dish.

But especially with daily cooking and eating, which most of us have to spend a lot of time doing, it is hard to come up with new things.  Or worse, even remember stuff that you like to make!

Sometimes I will look back over the archives of my blog and honestly be surprised by dishes I have made but forgot about and so am happy to make again.



So the other day I was reading a few blogs and got a hankering for something I wanted to make.

First,I got this idea from my blog friend at EMILY BITES.   I didn’t have all the ingredients that she called for so I had to wing it from what I did have.  But that’s part of the fun, putting your own twist on new ideas.

Click HERE for the original recipe.  She called it “Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken”

I still have the same “slow cooker” that I grew up with that my mother gave me one day years ago because they didn’t use it anymore.   Still works just fine and will probably work for years to come, cause it only gets used a few times a year, so why shouldn’t it.

Chicken & patties004

So into the slow cooker went:

  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 inch chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup, maple syrup or brown sugar ( whatever sweetener works for you)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy or Bragg sauce
  • 2 heaping tbsps of peanut butter ( I use natural, the other ones will make the dish sweeter and saltier)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice ( vegetable stock would work too)

Stir all that up at the bottom of the cooker till it is nice and saucy.

Then add boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I used four, so if making more than that, just up all of the other ingredients. Basically the rule of thumb is to have enough sauce to cover the chicken, however much it is.

Turn the cooker on high and leave it for a few hours!   Nice!

After a few hours of cooking, poke one of the chicken breasts with a fork, if it falls apart easily, it’s ready!

So then get in there with two forks and pull them all apart till everything is shredded and then stir back into the sauce.  It is actually easier to pull out each breast onto a cutting board and shred it up and then add it back in,, but I was too lazy so I just fought with it still in the cooker!

Chicken & patties003


But then, what to serve it with?

Well, I saw another blog with an idea for some kind of pancake or patty type thing that I thought might work.   When I went back to see where I had found the idea, I couldn’t find it again, a hazard of reading too many blogs.

So as usual I just “winged it” with what I had.  The one I read had grated zucchini and corn, both things I didn’t happen to have, but no fear, I found other stuff.

In a large mixing bowl, mix:

  • 1 grated carrot or small zucchini
  • half a large red or yellow bell pepper in small cubes
  • 1 cup chopped cooked potato ( left over mash would do too)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smokie paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

Mix all that together then add:

  • 1 cup milk ( of your choice)
  • 1 cup flour ( also of your choice)

Stir in to the vegetables to make a nice gloopy batter.  You might have to add a little more or less of the milk and flour till you get the right consistency.  It shouldn’t be too runny.

Chicken & patties002

Then when you are ready, heat a skillet to fairly hot, and add a little oil of your choice then ladle out about a 1/2 cup worth of batter into the pan, until you can get as many as fits.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.   Repeat.

Chicken & patties001

Chicken & patties006

Keep the cooked cakes warm in the oven until you are ready to eat them.


Lay a cake or two on the plate and then top with your pulled spicy chicken. There you have a delicious super easy meal!!

And if the truth be known, I had it again for lunch the next day and it tasted even BETTER after having sat together awhile!  Yum-eee.

Chicken & patties008


Vegan note:

You could easily substitute the chicken for tofu in that recipe.  Only I would cook only the sauce for a while till it was all cooked down and THEN add cubes of tofu only about a half hour before eating so it doesn’t get all mushed.

And then for the patties, just omit the egg and use a non dairy milk and you are still in business!

Thank you

It never ceases to amaze me that people actually read this blog.

What started out as a class project has turned into such a fulfilling hobby.

Sure it is fun to share the recipes and nutrition tips or stuff about something I ate somewhere, but the absolute BEST thing about it is all the wonderful “blog friends” I have made a long the way!

For those of you who aren’t completely familiar with the behind the scenes of programs like WordPress, there is a whole administrative area that gives me “Stats”.

It tells me how many people looked at the blog each day.  And it tells me what post/topic etc that they looked at and even if they looked closer at a particular picture and whether or not they followed a link that I suggested.  All very interesting, but the MOST amazing part is that it will tell me WHERE you are looking from!!

NO….I don’t mean like where your house is, or what coffee shop you are surfing in or even your name or anything…..but it tells me the country you are in while reading the blog.

Sometimes I can’t even BELIEVE the places, far off lands.  In truth, there have been times when I haven’t even HEARD of the country!!

And I just always wonder just HOW you found little ol me!!

And then those of you who sign up to follow me and actually want to read my stuff on purpose, not just because you fell on it accidentally!

I am just amazed.

And I am SO grateful and appreciative of each and every one of you!

Thank you so much.

Thank you I

Can you believe it is two??

I can’t believe that my little ol blog has turned two!

We have over 500 regular subscribers and to date just over 30,000 hits!

That’s just crazy!  And it all started as a little assignment for food writing class I was taking for fun.

I know I haven’t been quite as dilegnet lately, but you know how it is, life gets in the way.  Not to mention, I ‘ve already shared most of my favorite stuff with you!!

But that’s the beauty of food, it is always changing!   So hopefully I will be back at it regularly soon!

Thank you all for all the comments and support and for just taking the time to stop by!

Happy Birthday “What have we got here”!


2012 in review

Wow, how exciting.

WordPress has compiled a nice little statistics chart about

What Have We Got Here”  and I am very pleased with the results!

And a bit THANK YOU to Jennifer, Sophie, Roxanne and Jacquie for being my top  commentors!  I really do appreciate you taking the time to do so.

Happy New Year Everyone!!  May 2013 be the best year EVER!!!

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Liebster Awards

You can only IMAGINE my surprise when I learned that my little blog had been nominated for a Liebster  Blog Award!!

Here I was, minding my own business, as I often do, when I was THRILLED to find out that someone liked my blog enough to nominate me!

So as far as I can understand the “rules of engagement”  when being nominated for the Liebster Blog Award, the nominee is then to go on and perform the following tasks in order to quality:

First is to THANK those who nominated you.

So my sincere thanks goes out to Tiny Kitchen Stories for taking the time to bestow me with this honour!  She has a delightful blog full of recipes and funny stories that revolve around the trials and tribulations of a “tiny kitchen”.  Lots of fun!

The second rule, is to tell people seven things about me!   This one could be hard, but I want to play by the rules!!

Here goes:

  1. I LOVE peanut butter!  I would main line it right into my veins if there were a way!  Ever since I was a kid I have loved and lived on PB!  Once while in nutrition school we learned that peanuts often have a low-grade mould in them that can often give people health issues that they would never suspect came from the peanuts.  So for one year I ate NO peanut!!  One of the hardest things I have ever done!  But I am happy to report… made absolutely NO difference at all!!
  2. I don’t like and won’t eat cooked carrots!!  Sure I’m fine hiding them in a soup or sauce or whatever and am happy to eat them raw, but cooked carrots on the plate beside your roast chicken or whatever…..will NEVER happen.  I would rather eat the dirt they came from!!  I was tortured with them as a child and would do anything to get out of eating them.  Including hiding them under the plate or in my pocket, or stuffing my mouth with them and asking to be excused where I would go spit them out!   Those were some tough times!
  3. As I have mentioned many a time in my blog, I am allergic to shellfish.  It makes me very sad because I wasn’t always allergic, it just came on during my 20’s  so my years of lobster and scampi loving were over.  And it makes me particularly sad because I have to avoid most Asian style restaurants because of all the use of shrimp and fish sauce!
  4. I have never been camping!  I know, I know!  Seems so un-Canadian!  I think that it could be for one of two reasons.  a) the fact that I already grew up in the country beside a river with plenty of space and trees and could pitch a tent in the back yard any old time.  b) They sent me away to Girl Guide camp when I was ten and it was more like wilderness survival training than nice summer camp so I think I’d had my fill by then!  HOWEVER I am very intrigued by camping FOOD!  The best salmon I ever had was one done in tin foil tossed in the smoldering embers of a charcoal bar b que.  And I’ve always loved a marshmallow on a stick!!
  5. I really really love road trips.  But I’ll admit, I enjoy the beautiful scenery as much as the next guy, but truly, it’s all about the food!  I could give Guy Fieri a run for his money as to who has been to more “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”  ( emphasis on the Dives).
  6. I really miss living in Montreal because of the food.  It seems that even the fast food there was top-notch!
  7. I am married to an Executive Chef.  Imagine, if you will a “mixed” marriage where we are constantly working on a delicate balance between “What tastes good” and “What’s good for you“!


And then the final task, which I admit is the hardest, because it is impossible to narrow it down!  I am to nominate MY seven favorite blogs for the Liebster Blog Award.

The only way I could come up with a solution was to put all my favorite blogs in a hat and share with you the first seven that I pulled!  It truly is so hard to decide.  But here goes, in no particular order:

  1. Movita Beaucoup
  2. Frugal Feeding
  3. Sods Law
  4. Cheap Ethnic Eatz
  5. The Southern Vegan
  6. Ground to Ground
  7. The Soulsby Farm

I strongly suggest that you check out each of these fine fine blogs and continue to support the efforts of all the little bloggers all over the world just trying to share a little something with you!

Happy blogging to you all!!


Today marks the ONE year anniversary of the “What have we got here” blog!!

My how time flies!

It started as an assignment for a writing class I was taking.  The object was just to show the teacher you could manage to set up a blog.

And now here we are one year later!

Click  HERE  to check out what my very first blog topic was!



Picture courtesy of Stock Illustration Source

“Simpsons” food blog

I just HAVE to tell you about this!

I don’t know if any of you caught the popular cartoon family show “The Simpsons” this last Sunday night where Marge and the kids become “Food Bloggers”?

( click here ) for a sneak preview.

I highly suggest you try to see this if you are a foodie of any kind.

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