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April 16, 2014

Michael Simon vs KFC: Let's Make This Happen!

Stipulated: I spend too much time on twitter. Blame it on illness and related short-attention span but 140 characters often suits me these days. Besides, stuff happens there. Stuff like this.


As regular readers know, I have little no tolerance for badly done PR stunts. And by "little no tolerance" I mean, they amuse me and provide me with snark fodder. It's one of those love/hate/laugh things. But I digress...

This challenge that @KFC's social media team tossed out to Michael Symon. That's not a badly done PR stunt. It could be, but it doesn't have to be.

It could, in fact, be an extremely well-done PR stunt. One done as a benefit for No Kid Hungry. Kids like KFC. KFC likes kids. Michael Symon likes kids. Kids probably like Michael Symon, he seems pretty kid-friendly.It could be entertaining, educational, and profitable on several fronts.

It's a match made in madMenHeaven!

Michael Symon/KFC Fried Chicken Challenge to Feed Hungry Kids

aka: The Cluck-off

I'd back that.

Greg (@nomnerd) would back that.

Would you back that?

What do you say, KFC, would you back that? Or are you...chicken?

April 01, 2011

Typepad Does Not Support Google Recipe View on Blogs (Updated - It Kinda Does)


There is a not-very-elegant workaround but my position on the problem stands. I'm talking to Typepad in tickets about the simple changes they would have to make to more fully support Recipe View. In the meantime, my transformation spell will include instructions on how to make it work on Typepad. See this for more.

Let me just start with a giant WTF.


Ah! I feel better and I'll get to why in just a moment...

If you hang around food sites much, you may have heard about Google Recipe View. It's a highly selective search method that Google conjured up recently. When you click on it, you are presented with a tiny subset of recipes that are available on big corporate sites like Epicurious. There are a handful of big blogs included at the moment (literally under a dozen) which is pretty pathetic when you consider the tens of thousands of unique and interesting food sites that exist.

I expect that as Google begins to let blogs in - there is some mystical, black box method of selection - and sites provide useful data for the search refinements (it's largely useless now) it will be a worthwhile thing. For now, I am eschewing Recipe View for my personal use in favor of the broader and more interesting searches available with all of the web or even just blogs. Give it a while to mature.

In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done by bloggers who want to have their recipes show up. Things like recoding every single recipe post with a seriously painstaking mass of code. This is an awful lot of work and many people are opting to wait until there are tools available that make it simple to meet Google's requirements.

So I made one.

Continue reading "Typepad Does Not Support Google Recipe View on Blogs (Updated - It Kinda Does)" »

March 31, 2011

Thoughts on Making the Hunger Challenge a Bit More Challenging

The Hunger Challenge is an annual event put on by United Way of King County (WA) in which people volunteer to live on a limited food budget of about $7 a person/day for several days in order to gain empathy with people who are living on SNAP (food stamps). Some people wrote, made videos, etc. about their experiences.

As you might imagine, this was executed with varying degrees of success. Some people wrote excellent posts with recipes, resources, strategies and tips for eating on the cheap. Others shared just how difficult the entire thing was for them, some of them before the challenge even started. Yes, really. The response also swung widely with accolades being heaped upon a few bloggers for making it through a single day to, perhaps my favorite, "Poverty isn't a f*cking writing prompt." (Thank you, Miss Britt.)

I did my share of snarky tweeting about stunts and playing at poverty while the challenge was going on and while I do regret that a few friends thought I might be talking about them (I wasn't), I stand by it. I find it offensive to have people pretend to a life that you know is extremely difficult and come away after 72 hours (or less) saying "it's easy." Whatever the intent, it seems dismissive and diminishes the experiences of people who lived it to the benefit of those who write about one small, and highly mitigated, aspect of it on the Interwebs.

However, amd importantly, I also understand that this was not the intent of the individuals who participated in, and wrote about, the Hunger Challenge. Yes, many of the issues people had with the Hunger Challenge came down to what individual bloggers wrote, but I am not calling them out. (Look ma, no links!)

 Instead, in the spirit of fighting the real enemy, and recognizing that while United Way is considering changes they are plannng on doing this again next year, I offer suggestions for structural changes in the Hunger Challenge in order to make it just a wee bit more realistic.

Continue reading "Thoughts on Making the Hunger Challenge a Bit More Challenging" »

December 31, 2010

Food Blogger's Best of 2010: Recipes and Reflections

01.01.10: skeletal magnolia leaf

Farewell, 2010.

As years go, you were...well, let's just say that all years are not created equal. Also, were it not for the bad, we would have a hard time appreciating the good. That which does not kill me makes me...blah, blah, blah... yeah, whatever...

On the other hand - and what is with the contrary other hand anyway? Can't it just get along for once? - many would insist that food on the Internet must be completely upbeat and happy. While I don't buy this, I can leverage it; if I am not feeling it, I can borrow it.

Continue reading "Food Blogger's Best of 2010: Recipes and Reflections" »

November 10, 2010

Cooks Source Statement: Slightly Corrected


To Unknown Cooks Source Source,

After waiting days for you to emerge and say something, I read your statement. I am really disappointed in you. In addition to some glaring errors, it has quite a few problems with style and substance. I have taken it upon myself to make some edits, gratis. Corrections are inline below, deletions are strikethrough and additions are red. Notes to consider when rewriting are red and parenthetical. (In case you haven't read it, the black text is the actual original.)


We are sorry. So sorry.

We do not know how the hell that happened. I mean, we thought we hired a professional editor and we got...well, you know what we got.

We have cancelled lost control of our Facebook page on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 at 6:00PM. It has since been since been hacked by unknown parties and now someone else (I think this is a known unknown, not an unknown unknown.) unknown to us has control of it. Their inclusion of Cooks Source issues and photos is used without our knowledge or consent. (Really? You're going with they used your content without your consent? Really? Might I suggest you STFU instead.) Please know that none of the statements made by attributed to either Cooks Source or Judith Griggs were made by either our staff or her. On the other hand, that arrogant and ignorant email she sent to Monica Gaudio? All Griggs. Yeah, I know. We don't get it either. What do we get? That we are sorry. Very sorry.

Continue reading "Cooks Source Statement: Slightly Corrected" »

November 04, 2010

Cooks Source: Now For Something Completely Different

Update: Cooks Source issued a statement. It needed a little cleaning up, so I did: Cooks Source Statement: Slightly Corrected (10.9.10)

If you care about food, writing, law, scandal, chicanery, hypocrisy and/or Internet drama — which may define my readers, by the way — you have no doubt heard about Cooks Source, but just in case you are none of the above, welcome and a summation:

The tl;dr version of this post: My 2005 Ice Dragon entry, called "A Tale of Two Tarts" was apparently printed without my knowledge or permission in a magazine and I am apparently the victim of copyright infringement.
             from Illadore's House o Crack - Copyright Infringement and Me

There is, of course, more.

It is the kind of 'more' from which grand Internet dramas are made: Clueless editor, arrogant responses, google reveals the magazine seems to be built on lifted content, class action suits are suggested (after someone finds Martha Stewart, NPR, and Disney amongst the victims; it's corporate money they want to use for lawyers)...and the pile-on begins.

We are now at less than 20 hours and there are dozens of posts, a Facebook pileon, thousands of tweets, fake twitter and Facebook accounts, the Cooks Source site has been up and down and there's just a whole lot of poo being flung around by the flying monkeys. It's only going to get messier - there's apparently a Travel Source magazine which seems to also be full of infringing material (check for your stuff here).

Illadore's article has the full story, which has now been rehashed all over the Internet, it is well worth the read it if you are interested in what is going on.

I want to talk about what is not...

Continue reading "Cooks Source: Now For Something Completely Different" »

March 26, 2010

Help Me Help Hyperlocavore

Wow! She did it! The fundraising goal was just reached, although you can still donate if you would like to. Huge thanks to everyone who donated or helped spread the word.

You probably now what a locavore is, heck the term is years old, almost forever in Internet years. But do you know what a Hyperlocavore is?

The brainchild of Liz McLellan, Hyperlocavore has at its heart a simple idea: Some people have yards they aren't using to grow food, while others want to grow food but have no space. Liz calls it yard-sharing. I call it genius!

Liz has big plans for her site, and the yard-sharing movement as a whole. The first thing she needs is, of course, money. She has set a goal of raising $6200 to fund the next stage of Hyperlocavore development, details of which can be found here: We need your help! Hyperlocavore

She's using Kickstarter, which lets you set funding goals for a project and only charges people if the project is fully funded by the deadline. This 'all or nothing' approach avoids those partially funded things, where you give money but the organization doesn't get enough to complete a project. It also means deadlines matter: no goal, no money.

So how's she doing?

Continue reading "Help Me Help Hyperlocavore " »

February 04, 2010

Alternet Has a New Food Section

Among my regular web haunts, Alternet is pretty high on the list. Visiting today, I noticed they have a new food section: Alternet: Special Coverage: Food

A sampling of current articles:
If you, like me, are fascinated by the intersection of food, politics and culture, you might want to pop over and take a look at Alternet: Special Coverage: Food.

What's your favorite food news site? Please share with us in the comments.

January 20, 2009

2008 Food Blog Awards

If it's January, it must be time for the annual Food Blog Awards. Cate at Well Fed has this year's finalists up and the polls are open. Sadly, there is no award for "Blog that seldom got posts because the writer was busy writing a cookbook" - I would have been a shoe-in! - but my foodie BFF Farmgirl is a finalist in the rural category so go show her some love.

While you are there, check out the rest of the categories, there are some great new blogs this year. Voting is open until Saturday, January 24th at 8 pm EST.

June 23, 2008

Tools: Seasonal Produce Map

Epicurious has a sweet little applet that you just might find useful: an interactive Peak Season Map. It's simple to use, just select a state and a month to display a list of produce that is likely to be available at farmer's markets. (I'm going to check when I go to the market this weekend and see how the list matches up to reality. It says there should still be rhubarb and I haven't seen any in weeks. Then again, maybe it is still growing on the other side of the mountains.)

Each type of produce has links to a description of the ingredient and recipes, some also have preparation and shopping tips. It looks like it could be a handy thing to have bookmarked, particularly when planning for the future or sharing recipes with friends in other places, or to reassure yourself that berry season starts next month and that's really not so long to wait.

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