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New Blog, New List

normaltop03I started writing about food and drink in one place on the Internet. It is a blog called Food With Legs and since early 2009 it has been the easiest place to find my geeky, curious, rant-filled thoughts about the very best things to eat and drink.

The challenge inherent to starting with the blog and then moving to freelance writing is that like dandelions in a suburban subdivision your writing can spread quickly and sometimes beyond your control. I think there are still at least a few people who share my eclectic set of interests and want to read articles that I’ve written. Posting to social media and cross posts on Food With Legs were temporary stopgap solutions, but I’ve decided that it’s time to anchor my writing with one central hub

I’ve had the domain davidort.com registered for quite a while and have finally filled it with content. A couple rooms in this new home are still without furniture and the whole thing could use a coat of paint, but I’ve decided it’s time to share the address with everyone. It has a blog section where I will continue to write about ideas as they occur to me. Content-wise not much will be different than it was at Food With Legs – and I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with the old site. In addition, I’ve created a portfolio section and plan to use it as a place to post links to stories I write for other publications, usually with a header image and lead paragraph. Finally, the new event section will act as a place for me to post workshops, demonstration classes, and speaking engagements I do related to marketing my cookbook.

To go with the new site I’m also starting a newsletter whose first issue will be published this week. I’m not set entirely set on its description yet. It will link to stories I publish, announce events, and offer some unique and useful content. Especially in the early days I’ll also probably have a contest or two open only to newsletter subscribers. The bottom line is that it will be another place for me to pose thoughtful questions and offer useful information.

If you subscribe to the Food With Legs RSS feed, you probably noticed the slow pace and then lack of new posts over the past six months or so. I’d love it if you switch over to my new feed and subscribe to the newsletter.

Design was never a huge priority for me at Food With Legs and frankly I often felt some sites spent too much time and effort on it. I guess that’s a fairly obvious set up for me to say that I’ve come around. There is something inherently motivating about a good-looking, functional site. If you’re contemplating whether or not to buy a good-quality WordPress theme or build your own, you can add me to the list who think that paying for it is probably worthwhile. (I’ll have more on this in a future post.)

As with most websites this will always be a work in progress. I hope you’ll join in the conversations shapes the route it takes. As always, feel free to comment here or reach out to me by email.

Giveaway: Mott’s Clamato Cookbook

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My history with Mott’s Clamato goes back a while. Either because of some trend forces working their unseen magic or just from the luck of the draw, the Bloody Caesar was the most popular cocktail among my university friends. Everyone had preferred variations and personalised tweaks to the recipe.

More recently, I was happy to be asked to share my recipe for deep-fried, cheese-and-bacon-stuffed dill pickles on a holiday promotional campaign that Mott’s created for YouTube. (more…)

On Beer Cocktails

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The skepticism attached to beer cocktails can be summarized with one question: Who has ever walked into a bar and in that moment when he can choose anything said, “barkeep, what beer cocktails can you make me?” Sure, okay. If that’s the situation you want to envision the outcome will almost always be a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a two-ingredient mixed drink, or maybe a selection from the menu of classic cocktails. Personally, I like beer cocktails – my cookbook has a chapter of recipes to make them – and I would like to see them made more often, but I will admit that I don’t know how popular they actually are. (more…)

Giveaway: Toronto Taste in Support of Second Harvest

Toronto Taste 2014 GiveawayNo one in Toronto eats at restaurants anymore. That’s not really true, but it can seem that way based on the unremitting social media chatter about food events from taco festivals to top-flight fundraisers-for-a-cause. (See yesterday’s post about the Earth Day gala). Well before we had seen our first banh mi off Spadina or lined up for a food truck that was selling anything other than poutine and dirty water hot dogs, Toronto Taste was there. This will be its 24th year of gathering some of Toronto’s top chefs and discerning gourmands to raise much-needed funds for Second Harvest.

The well-respected charity uses money raised from the event to support their food rescue programmes. This system picks up surplus food from supermarkets, restaurants, and food manufacturers and feeds it into a network of 200 community agencies. From this operation, the equivalent of 20,000 meals are distributed every day to those in need. (more…)

Earth Day Gala 2014

Earth Day Canada Gala 2014To be honest, I have never really been much of one for galas. But times are changing and there are two characteristics of this year’s Earth Day Canada Gala that I think you guys might find interesting.

First off, the year-old Mill Street Beer Hall is the venue again this year. It’s a huge space that is made up of smaller areas, including plenty of the requisite patio square footage, so it seems ideal for large-scale events. (more…)