Fake News in Recipes

fullsizeoutput_52bcFood for thought or a rant? In the spirit of William I do this. William could recognize a fake, a fraud and a phony from a mile away and he always had the courage to call someone out on it. In fact, he did it without hesitation. Not a great way to make friends, but if you were to run your life being fake he wanted nothing to do with you.

So this is a cautionary tale about food blogging and how to avoid the fake, fraud and failure recipes on the web.

For those who make a living at it, the food blog world is a numbers game. When a blogger has a high number (in the thousands) of followers throughout the social media channels that attracts advertisers and sponsors. It makes sense. The higher your numbers the more opportunities to make money. Most of the excellent blogs have built their businesses on good practice of tested recipes and great writing. Their numbers have grown in a most organic and appropriate way. A reward for honest, hard work is always a good thing and to be admired. A job well done pays off.

Sadly, there are many other ways to build your social media numbers that has nothing to do with creating and sharing good recipes and writing. It’s all about networking and if you can imagine “buying” followers. I can’t tell you how many times I have been offered “hundreds of new followers” for a price or how many people have offered to “follow me” if I simply follow them back. Thousands!

Now here is the thing. While I am 100% opposed to purchasing followers, I am not opposed to following others as long as we share a common interest. However, when I do follow and then shortly thereafter that person unfollows me that just screams fake. That blogger is simply trying to increase numbers in a phony way. Do you know there is an APP for exposing fakers? Right now that App shows about 69 food bloggers who pulled that stunt on me with Instagram in the last month.

Luckily, my blog is not a business, so worrying about numbers is not an issue, but worrying about great content in my blog and others is. So, recently when a non-blogger friend who happens to be an excellent baker posted a failure of a lemon loaf on FB this rant kind of came out of me. The recipe came from a popular blog site and had made its way around the Internet in full beautiful photos. My friend wondered what she had done wrong in spite of following the recipe exactly as written. Well, she did nothing wrong. It was the recipe that was flawed. It was probably never tested. It was clear that the leavening and oil content were way off base and explained why the center of the loaf collapsed into a deep crater. A sad waste of expensive ingredients and time and a sad commentary on that food blog.

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So beware Internet recipes. Know your sources and if on a blog read the comments. If all the comments are like “Oh that looks yummy” you might want to skip it. If the comments give critiques or advice as if real people have tried the recipe it is a much safer bet. If you ever try one of my recipes and there is a problem or success please come back and let me know. It is such a compliment to have you even try the recipe that the last thing I want is for you to be unhappy about it.

Food for thought or a rant? Either way I followed in his light and that is all that matters. Next week I hope to post this lemon loaf recipe without the rant. While I fixed the structure of the cake it still lacks the lemon punch in the face that I love. I think it needs one of those lemon glazes poured over it while it sits in the pan still warm.

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Udon Mushroom Wedding Soup

This is the Fortune Asian Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. I had delicious fun creating my signature soup inspired by my Italian roots and my home-town. I hope you will give it a try on one of these chilly winter days. It’s NOODLEISIOUS!

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Last week I was rushing through an airport when I came upon an Asian noodle bar beckoning me in to build my own soup bowl. Oh, what I would have given to have been able to have the time to sit and enjoy my own personalized noodle soup, but airplanes do not wait. I snapped a couple of pictures and off to Gate 28 I went.

 

Back home to chilly Pennsylvania I can’t stop thinking how great it would be to have that noodle bar right in my own kitchen. Picture steaming hot, flavorful broth, fresh noodles and an array of toppings to satisfy everyone’s tastes served up in minutes. It’s like the perfect restaurant meal only it’s in my house.

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Hello Fortune Udon Noodles. Like the finest fresh restaurant noodles Fortune makes it easy to enjoy a personalized bowl of nutritious and comforting noodle soup at home. Quick soups in five flavors only require your favorite fresh vegetables and/or proteins to top it off. Find them in your grocer’s refrigerated produce section and you will never do restaurant take-out again.

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Being from Kennett Square (aka the mushroom capital of the world) there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to try Fortune’s Udon Mushroom Flavor. It’s earthy rich broth and fresh udon noodles make the perfect base for my blended mini mushroom meatballs. Add a few fresh vegetables to brighten it all up and talk about delicious Udon soup in minutes.

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Udon Mushroom Wedding Soup

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 ounces shitake mushrooms, very finely chopped

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 ounces lean ground beef

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 package (7.27 oz) Fortune Udon Mushroom Flavor

Garnishes: fresh cilantro, sliced mushrooms, bell pepper strips, sesame seeds

In non-stick skillet, over medium heat, cook mushrooms and garlic in sesame oil for 3 to 4 minutes or until just golden brown and mushrooms have released their liquid. In medium bowl, combine mushroom mixture, ground beef, panko, green onion, egg and salt until well blended. Using a small cookie scoop shape mixture into 12 meatballs. Brown meatballs on all sides in same skillet and continue cooking until fully cooked through. Meanwhile, cook Udon noodles according to package directions for stove top. Ladle noodles and soup into 2 serving bowls. Top with meatballs, cilantro, fresh mushrooms, pepper strips and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. 

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For more information and delicious recipes check these out.

Website: http://www.jslfoods.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JSLFoods/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JSL_Foods

You can purchase JSL Foods products at: Shop Rite, Von’s, Pavilions, Safeway

 

A Journey within The Journey

Good day my readers. I could not help but want to reblog this post from an old and dear friend who is an incredibly talented and gifted cook. In fact, Steven is cooking his way across America hosting a dinner party in every state of the union. His blog post was the first thing I saw when I opened my computer this morning. Naturally, I reached for the box of kleenex and immediately went into an unplanned baking frenzy. Here is what Steven shared. ❤

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A heart-warming small-world moment: In December I posted the story about the Keys family. Bill and Lisa Keys hosted me in Pennsylvania, but our friendship extended a decade back to when we were living in Connecticut. The journey to their home in Eastern PA involved many stops along the way and people who’ve shared in the grieving of William, their son. While staying in DC a couple of days ago, my hosts returned from a party and gave me this bracelet that they had received from someone who was close to William. That person probably had read the story about William’s family, found out I was staying with my hosts, and wanted to pass it along, this reminder of someone who still means a lot to many of us. He had been wearing it for a long time. If you read the story, the person who gave me the bracelet is Elinore’s brother.

Le Mobile Feast

Twenty-seven states into the LMF route I finally arrived at Bill and Lisa’s house in Kennett Square, PA. And it was my second time driving into the state. The first time through Pennsylvania, I was heading north from Maryland and bad timing prevented Lisa and Bill from hosting a dinner party at their home. I chose to proceed onto New York without visiting my old friends, promising them and myself that I would do so on the return leg. More than any other hosts thus far, Lisa and Bill had been with me in spirit throughout this journey. As a competitive cook and blogger, she was encouraging me from the beginning and frequently commented on and shared my blog posts with others.

Lisa and I met when I was teaching at The Taft School, in Watertown, Connecticut. I had just left active duty in the Navy to take an English teaching job…

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