September 5, 2011
Welcome to 'SmartCooks', a home cooking weblog from my kitchen in Ottawa, that's Ottawa, Ontario, or the capital of Canada! (And, yes, I've been asked over the years).
This is my first posting in blogosphere. This first entry is a trial run to experiment with linking, inserting pictures and posting content. As I become comfortable with this medium, I will increase the graphic content and structure but for now this is it.
I'm calling this weblog 'SmartCooks' as a way of chronicling my attempts at finding and cooking healthy, organic food. Sometimes I will post once a week, sometimes more often. I tend to focus on dinner menus or weekend brunches. I cook various types of meat but I also cook a lot of vegetarian and side dishes. Our household is not particularly fond of any fish beyond salmon so there won't be many entries in the seafood category. Desserts are also hit and miss.
In reality I see the blog is a way of recording the research I do for meals, the recipes I try, my tweaks to them and their successes or failures. I strive for simplicity; however, I know that I can go overboard on both the number and complexity of dishes. I will faithfully record what I intend to do, what I actually make, and note any problems.
Let's get to the basics of why I decided to start 'SmartCooks' ... .
I got into trying this blog having discovered a series of facts about myself and my life:
-------- I love to browse recipes in my spare time. A while back, I discovered the food writers in the various newspapers (Lucy Waverman in the Globe and Mail and Bonnie Stern in the National Post) and I carefully follow their recipes;
--------- I track weblogs (like Smitten Kitchen) and have learned so much from reading Deb Perelman's food tips, techniques and tempting treats. I especially like foodblogs that centre on local produce from local farmers' markets (like Rural Rainbow Ramblings in the Ottawa area is amazing);
---------- I use whatever spare time I have to cook, especially on cold, rainy or snowy weekends, of which there are more than a few here in Ottawa;
---------- 'SmartCooks' is a good, accessible 'log' for me to keep track of the recipes and menus I really like. I threw out nearly all my cookbooks several years ago, and now rely mostly on ipad recipe 'apps' (e.g., Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart, to name but a few). Up until now, I I've been searching and finding a recipe on an app, printing it, keeping a running list and paper clipping together a bundle of my favourites. Recently, I started moving my bundle onto a new app, 'My Recipe Book', that manages my recipes and lists. 'SmartCooks' will complement that app by providing notes and details that go beyond the app.
------------ And, finally, truthfully, I like to write and haven't been able to do much of it for years due to the various pressures of work and life. So a blog seems like the perfect combination of two 'likes' -- recipes and writing. So I'll try it until I get bored with it all and then move on to other pursuits.
Enough of the basics for now.
On with the trial now that I seem to have mastered linking. So ... now I will experiment with inserting a picture. I used my ever-trustworthy blackberry to snap a picture of last Friday's dinner offering ... Basic (or Naked, according to Deb Perelman) Tomato Sauce (Note that the picture is from the Smitten Kitchen site as this is a test).
Btw, I made the tomato sauce last Friday night, followed the recipe carefully except, despite Deb's admonitions to the contrary, liberally added freshly grated Grana Padona parmesan cheese. Yummm.... It was a divine late summer evening dinner of fresh short-simmered, garlic-basil-olive oil infused Roma tomatoes, udon noodles and parmesan.
Next posting, I go through a Labour Day dinner menu of:
------------- Grilled lemon/dill fresh organic Atlantic salmon
------------- Roasted beets with vidalia onions and almonds
------------- Grilled Stir-fry vegetables with garlic scapes
------------- Ontario beefsteak tomatoes, mozzarella and basil with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, coarse mustard.
'SmartCooks' for now.