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September 2010

September 30, 2010

Does Skyy Vodka Really Suck or Something?

Vodkax-largeDear Skyy Vodka,

Is your stuff really dreadful? I can't imagine why else none of your company's ads would actually be about your product. Also, originality is good, look into it.

Yeah, T&A is standard in advertising, especially alcohol, which kills brain cells in ad execs faster than in the people drinking the stuff. But this? Seriously?

What in the hell is she doing with that bottle? Also, doesn't the latex make it difficult? Oh wait, we are GLAD you are using never know where your vodka bottle has been. Or in this case you do...

Ewwww, just ewwww.

No love, kitchenMage

September 20, 2010

Venn Diagram of kitchenMage ~ now with Badges!

Venn diagram of kitchenMage

Someone said to me recently, "I don't read, can't trust, sites without an 'About' page." (paraphrased and in quotes to annoy the editors) Once I got over sputtering to myself about having a very public real name, not to mention a link to my cookbook right there at the top of every page, I decided I'd use it as a nudge to actually write one.

Then I ran headlong into my inability to write about myself. Painfully. Repeatedly. Ouch!

At one point, I turned to my writer buds on twitter for consolation and discovered that logobiophobia (my new word for fear of writing about your own life) is as common as drinking. (There is a business there, but I am guessing few writers would want to do it.)

Failing to come up with words, well coherent ones anyway, I turned to avoidance doodling  illustrations as a way to simplify my explanation of what this site is about.

Good idea. Being a geek, I lean towards the scientific/mathematical representations so I not have a folder full of pie charts, graphs and this: my Venn diagram of kitchenMage.

I found the exercise of making a graphical presentation of the site - not to mention paring it down to three words - helped me sort out some of the noise in my brain about my current/future direction here. Starting with the new design which will be out by next week. The rest? Stay tuned. I'll let you know as I figure it out.

The one thing I know: there will be a real About page. Not because I agree that you can't trust sites without one, but because now I think I can write one that might even be worth reading.

Edited to add: The most common response to this post is a tweet saying, "You stole my Venn!" After a few such, @jeters and I decided that a badge was in order and here it is.

If it fits you, please feel free to snag a copy and post on your site. I'd appreciate if you linked the image back to this post so your readers can get the context. I'll add a list to this post of everyone who lets me now they have joined the Snarky Geeky Foodie cabal.

Download 450px wide image
Download 160px wide image

What would a Venn diagram of your site look like? I would love for you to make one and you might find it interesting. If you do, please come back and share the link with me.

BlogHer Food '10 Pity Party: I'm Going, Are You?

BlogHer Food '10 Pity Party is my kind of party conference. It takes place entirely online, mostly on twitter, and scheduled sessions are conspicuously missing from the agenda. The agenda which, come to think of it, is also nowhere in evidence. You don't have to buy tickets or fly anywhere, nor pay for hotels, food, or cute new shoes. Sure, you also miss out on all the fun stuff that happens at conferences that happen in  a single physical locale: parties and noshes and swag, oh my!

That, my friends, is where the pity comes in. pity us

What does it have? The best thing ever: a rule saying snark is okay. Oh yeah., this is gonna be fun...

Continue reading "BlogHer Food '10 Pity Party: I'm Going, Are You?" »

September 13, 2010

Feta Chive Cornbread Recipe

I am moving posts over from my Herb Garden site, which will be going away once I complete the task. This cornbread recipe is from a few years back. but it is one I regularly return to. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

kitchenMage's Feta Chive Cornbread

As the days shorten and temperatures take a nightly dive, my food cravings begin to turn towards fall's hearty soup and stew offerings. It's not that I am done with summer – there are still lots of tomatoes on the counter and the herb garden is bursting with late summer goodness – it's more that I feel the need to diversify a bit. Hedge my bets against the day the sun doesn't shine so brightly.

Maybe it goes with the simmering pot of blueberry habenero chutney, another sure sign of fall, or perhaps it's just absence making the heart grow fonder, but the other night I found myself pulling a container of someoneElse's chili out of the freezer.

A brief digression may be called for here. Around our place, there are several levels of heat in food: warm, hot, hot+, hot++, and georgeHot. The latter refers not to George Clooney but rather is named for a friend who likes really hot stuff – a high point of one of George's recent vacations was discovering a tourist shop in a small Washington town with a shelf full of one of his favorite hot sauces from New Zealand...on sale. someoneElse has been working on making something so hot that George is satisfied. Said satisfaction may involve post-tasting skin grafts on his tongue. I, unfortunately, get sideswiped by incorrectly labeled things on occasion. This chili said hot+, I swear.

Where was I? Oh yes, chili...freezer.

The plan was simple: chili, salad, bread. A quick and easy dinner that could expand to include the friend who called from the road and was invited to join us. I was a happy mage.

Except that the month of the broken oven (now over, thank the flying spaghetti monster!) left me with darned little in the way of bread in the house. Nothing, actually.

Checking the clock, I realized that all I had time for was some sort of quick bread. Chili...quick must be cornbread! As the only part of the meal I could claim to have worked on, though, the cornbread had to be special. A peek in the refrigerator uncovered feta cheese. I can work with that.

Google "quick bread" + feta and I see this sentence: "Cornbread is a quick bread." Thinking, "Ah, cornbread, with a reference to feta somewhere - that must be a sign" I clicked on the link.

Kevin's Cheese Bread. Um, err, is that my site?

Is that a sign?

Continue reading "Feta Chive Cornbread Recipe" »

September 08, 2010

Go Ahead, Make My Blogroll

The eternal/infernal site redesign is almost done but it is currently lacking a list of sites I love. I'm not calling it a blogroll for real - only in my SEO-friendly title - because I respect you all more than that. I'd like my list to include something other than the typical ten sites that everyone lists in hopes of some Google juice so I am turning to you to help me make my list interesting and fun.

Do you have a site you think might fit in a list of places I should be reading? Tell me why in a comment and I'll take a look. (I am planning on rotating the sites on my list so comments on this article will stay open forever.)

Here are my basic requirements:

  • Focus on food, culture, science or some other broad interest topic. (Narrowly-focused niche sites aren't really a good fit for here)
  • Humor is a plus. Huge plus.
  • Comments must be uncensored. You can moderate for spam, but if you delete comments that you don't like, please don't put your site into the hopper.

Think your site fits? Please leave a comment with a link and one paragraph (max) telling me why I'd like it. I especially encourage people with new/small sites to jump in.

September 07, 2010

How to Deep Fry Bagels and Bagel Holes

Deep-fried Bagel

Late summer is fair time round these parts. Our tiny county fair has the essential treats: corn dogs, cotton candy, elephant ears...but the whole fried-thing-on-a-stick phenomenon has passed us by.

Whether this is good or bad is debatable - fewer calories v. no deep-fried snickers, you make the call - but it leaves a gaping hole in my excuses to eat deep-fried food. Were it not for the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Rings that Burgerville tempts me with each summer, I might go a year without anything cooked in boiling fat.

While shaping bagels today, I was struck with a thought I am blaming on my proximity to the local fair: deep-fried bagels. Yeah, I said it. Deep-fried bagels. 

We will now pause for a moment as our various bubbes plotz about this meshuggah idea. 

Continue reading "How to Deep Fry Bagels and Bagel Holes" »

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