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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 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.

My Work with Qualifirst Foods

Qualifirst Roka Cheese Puffs

The waters where day job meets personal blog are often swimming with sharks. Problems arise when the two parties – employer and blogging employee – have different ideas about who’s the appropriate audience for what information and how time should be spent. I’m lucky to have found a way to make the blog work and regular work connected and supportive of each other and I’d like to share great news today about a new project I’m starting. Over the last week I’ve joined the social media team at Qualifirst Foods and will be helping them with their community building efforts on Twitter and elsewhere. (more…)

2010 Photographed

As part of the always excellent series of 86′d Mondays at the Drake, Ivy Knight has organised a photo contest for next Monday.  Photographers, amateur and professional, were invited to enter their photos in five categories (Food, Places, Things, Drinks, and People) to be judged by an esteemed panel.  The deadline for submissions has passed but I understand the event on the 17th will feature the winners and delicious popcorn from Toronto chefs so all are encouraged to attend.

Some fellow bloggers were cagey enough to ask for crowd-sourced help to pick their submissions.  I went the more traditional route and threw darts–a process I can’t recommend less where a computer screen is involved.  I don’t take nearly enough pictures of people so I didn’t enter that category.  I’m going to play coy with you and only share the off-cuts that I didn’t enter.

Let’s all revel in my ability to choose corny or painfully obvious photo titles.


Barrel Cellar


Amazon Store Updates

As some readers will know I have an Amazon Store through which I’m able to suggest some of my favourite books about food and wine and then get paid a small commission on the purchases that you make.  You can find my store by clicking on the “Store” tab at the top of the page, the banner near the bottom of every page’s right column, or right here.  I have just added an search box (in the right column beside the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher badge) that will allow readers to search their entire catalog of products and have also just added some books to the store that I’d like to bring to your attention.

I’m shamefully late in getting on the Momofuku cookbook bandwagon.  It’s heavy on the how-the-empire-came-to-be story and the last time I got a cookbook with as many pictures of the chef-author it was Tony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook but it’s one of my favourites.  From bacon dashi to the steamed buns that I couldn’t even wait to get the cookbook before making there are also a lot of really good recipes under the lucky peach.  It’s not Asian cuisine in a strict or traditional sense but many of the ingredients and most of the inspirations are Korean, Japanese, or Chinese so I’ve put it into the Asian category with David Thompson’s classic Thai Street Food.

The other book about which I’m really excited–my copy just arrived today–is Ideas in Food from Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot.  There is a strong echo of Harold McGee in their writing that is both curious and scientific.  Ideas, techniques, and recipes sing in harmony for three hundred picture-free pages that I’m sure I’ll have to read in the next forty-eight hours or so. (more…)

Most Popular Posts of 2010

I try to stay away from the self-indulgent posts and too many year-end round-ups but like last year I’ve created a list of the most popular Food With Legs posts from the past year.  I found it interesting and I hope you do too.  Oh and despite captivating photos like the one above none of the wood oven posts made the list.

Going in I had it in my mind that I would divide the list between those posts which went up in 2009 and those that were new in 2010.  On one hand the older ones have the advantage of a whole year’s worth of Google searches, on the other the new post’s got the initial promotion I give stuff that has just gone up.  Conveniently and to my slight surprise, the list of the ten most popular posts in 2010 divides evenly between the two categories.

Here they are with my comments.

Posted in 2010

1. Great popcorn experiment: I compared two methods for making popcorn on the stove top.  This post’s popularity was driven by a tweet from Michael Ruhlman and a link from the great site for thinking cooks called Ideas in Food. (more…)