First off, thanks for all the terrific compliments on the new site design — I’m glad you all are as excited as I was! I’ve been seeing it unfold over the past few months and have been dying, simply dying, to have it unveiled so I could show it all to you. Now you see why.
It was definitely a team effort. Maddie has the amazing, unique ability to take the visions dancing in my mind and translate them into beautiful design. Her partner, Phaedra, did behind-the-scenes stuff for the site as well, and together, we make a great team. If you ever need website design help, Maddie is your girl, no doubt about it.
Funnily enough, the redesign happened very soon after the LAST redesign! I needed an ad for my website, and asked Maddie to put something together. She came up with this:
As soon as I saw it, I sent her an e-mail and said, “Don’t kill me, but can you redesign my site AGAIN in keeping with the new ads’ theme?” I mean, how could you not? It conveyed everything I wanted … girly without being too girly, bright and cheery, definitely food-related; it just puts a smile on my face every time I see it. Luckily, she was already thinking ahead, having had the same thoughts as well … now you see why we work so well together!
Most of the major work on the site is done, just a little tweaking here and there. The search box up at the top isn’t linked up yet. One of the features that I really like, and will help you out if you use some of the recipes that I make and talk about, is that now when you go to the recipes, you’ll have the ability to print out just the recipe you want. The old design was kind of wonky in the cut-and-paste aspect, so this makes it a lot easier for you AND me, since I’m forever running here to print out a recipe instead of looking in my burgeoning tried-and-true file.
All the recipes I’ve made and talked about through February 2006 have been added, and now that the site design is done, I’ll start loading the rest of them. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a particular recipe, feel free to drop me a line.
OK, now for some more news. A couple of months ago, I decided to leave my full-time job. I’ve been there 20 years (!!), and I’m only 35! I love working there, and what I do, but I just decided that it was time for a change. You know the saying, “Do what you love, and the money will follow?” Well, that’s the plan. I’ve been doing some food journalism here and there on the side, and now I’m going to concentrate on that more fully. And to that end … I was lucky enough to land a freelance writing job at Cooking Light magazine, which I am on seventh heaven about. To have a crazy notion that I should leave my job to follow a dream, and then get something like that to come along…? Just wonderfully validating. I’ll be doing bi-weekly articles for their website, starting in August, and I hope you will all follow me along for the journey.
And lastly, I am the new owner of Well-Fed. When the current owners mentioned that they were looking for someone to take over, I jumped at the chance. Well-Fed is a network of blogs covering all sorts of food-related topics, from cookbooks to wine and everything in between. The Paper Palate site that I am Editor of, is part of the Well-Fed Network.
So like I said, bigness. Bigness all around. Seeing all these developments come to fruition over the past few months has been really exciting (at least for me!), and I hope you will all join me for the ride. The fun has just begun!
Now, back to the food. The Neighbors came over for dinner tonight and we made a few new recipes that I can see will quickly become permanent fixtures. Taking advantage of a rain-free day and warm temperatures, we fired up the grill. I made Lemon-Garlic Grilled Chicken and it was a snap to pull together. I seasoned chicken legs and thighs with salt and black pepper. Then I added chopped garlic, assorted herbs (dill and rosemary), and lemon juice and grilled until done. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, folks.
For our alcoholic beverage, The Neighbor, our resident bartender, went with our official Summer Drink 2006, Frozen Lemonade. So cool, slushy and refreshing, what’s not to love? New recipes included a yummy, light Lemony Orzo Salad, Caribbean Salsa Bites and the stand-out for me, Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps. The wraps were definitely an OMG for me. Fast, fast, fast to make and SO flavorful, it’s a perfect dish for this time of year since it doesn’t heat up your kitchen in the least. Do try it! With the fresh cilantro making many appearances tonight, as well as fresh dill, basil, and rosemary, tonight’s post is a perfect contribution to Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging.
Alright folks, enough excitement for one day! Tune in tomorrow for our I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours Round-Up #2. If you haven’t sent in your entry, you still have time. Until tomorrow…
A year ago today… a dairy kind of day … eggs, goat cheese and more.
Caribbean Salsa Bites
Recipe courtesy of Eating Light (Woman’s Day Special)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 teaspoon dry jerk seasoning
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
24 lime-flavored tortilla chips or regular tortilla chips
1 can (9 oz) black bean dip (we used the homemade version I made a few weeks ago)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup sour cream
fresh cilantro, chopped, if desired
Mix salsa, jerk seasoning, lime juice and honey. Top each chip with about 1/2 teaspoon of black bean dip, 1 teaspoon salsa mixture, a few raisins and 1/2 teaspoon sour cream. Garnish with a little bit of cilantro. Serve immediately.
Sweetnicks’ Notes: Loved, loved, loved these. Don’t do more than you need ahead of tip, otherwise the chips will get soggy fast. Making again, I would skip the raisins, although The Neighbor liked them.
Lemony Orzo Salad
Online recipe, modified by Cate
1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cucumber, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh or dried parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup (1.5 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped, pitted kalamata olives
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain. Combine orzo, cucumber, and onion in a large bowl, toss well. Combine next six ingredients and stir well into orzo mixture. Add tomatoes, cheese and olives, tossing gently to coat.
Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light, March 2005
2-1/2 oz bean threads (cellophane noodles)
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili garlic paste
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 cups, chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken
12 large Boston lettuce leaves
Cover bean threads with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes, until softened. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine cilantro,soy sauce, chili paste and oil, stirring with a whisk. Add noodles and chicken and toss well to coat. Spoon 1/3 cup down center of each lettuce leaf. Roll up.