It Is Me, Claude, Your Award Show Host for Today

Bonjour! Eet eez me, Claude Mouse.

Eet eez award season très certainement! Grammys, Screen Actors Guild, zee People’s Choice, and of course zee Oscars–Academy Awards–coming up. J’adore awards ever seence I was honored weeth zee LIfetime Achievement Kitchen Inspiration Award last February. Squeek! Squeek!

Zeez eez me weeth my award!

Zeez eez me weeth my award!

And, mes amis, eet eez award season here in zee blogosphere as well eet seems. So many of our blogging friends are honored weeth so many wonderful awards! Mycookinglifebypatty aussi! Pattee shee eez also bestowed weeth such awards thees year. Eeen fact, she eez feeling un peu timide–umm–“shy” eez zee word–about all zeez attention.

But I tell her, Pattee, “Vous méritez, zeez awards!” Alors, I deecide to help her weeth thees post. I eenterview her.

Me: Pattee, what eez zee award you just receive?

Patty:  It was the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award,” Claude.

Me:  And who geeve theez award to you?

Patty:  I received this honor from Kenton Lewis, published author and writer of The Jittery Goat which is an entertaining blog that I recently discovered and have been following. Thank you, Kenton! This is what the award looks like:

Very inspiring blogger award

Claude:  Eet eez tres chic! Now, Pattee, every blogging award comes weeth zee, how you say, rules of zee game, no? What are zee rules for zeez award?

Patty:  Well Claude, there are four things. 1. Display the award logo on your blog; 2. Link back to the person who nominated you; 3. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them; and 4. State 7 things about yourself.

Claude:  Okay Pattee. You have done zee first two theengs. Let’s move on. Who are you going to nomeenate for zee Very Eeenspiring Blogger Award?

Patty: I picked the blogs that inspire me especially on the subject of cooking, Claude.

  1. Fig and Quince. This blog features Persian recipes and cooking which is something I didn’t know much about.
  2. Homemade Delish. Roberta from Philly writes this and she’s become a celebrity chef in her area. Go Roberta!
  3. Foodimentary. John-Bryant Hopkins coined this term himself. Probably lots of us know him. I’m inspired by his seemingly endless knowledge of food trivia and history.
  4. Plant Based Diet Adventures. She does a great job changing omnivore recipes into vegan.
  5. Afternoon Popcorn Snack. The name alone is inspiring. I think of Amy around 3 p.m. every afternoon–wishing I had popcorn. And a snack. Maybe one of her cookies.
  6. Sybaritica. C. John Thompson is a lawyer way up in Northern Canada who is very sybaritic when it comes to food and ambience. (I had to look it up too. It means devoted to or marked by pleasure and luxury.)
  7. Florastable. Authentic Italian meets Traditional American. Anyone who thinks giving us a great scallops recipe is a good Valentine’s Day gift is A-Okay in my book!
  8. Cook Up a Story. It’s the name of a blog and the name of a book both featuring Vinny Grette. No, not kidding you! It’s delightful.
  9. Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy. This mama is all about Indonesian cooking and showing us how easy it is to make very tasty and exotic foods from her part of the world.
  10. Chef Mimi Blog. Pumpkin Pancakes? Wild Rice Pancakes? Yes! That is definitely inspiring!
  11. 1227 Foster. Danny is a very creative and inspired chef plus he’s a designer. I read just about every post he writes.
  12. My Sister’s Pantry Healthy, vegan, easy and great advice and cooking tips. Also excellent and timely use of chocolate!
  13. The House By the Sea. Gorgeously aesthetic blog by Soffia who is an Icelandic photographer, cook and artist. The pictures alone are worth the visit!
  14. David Lebovitz Living the Sweet Life in Paris. Yes he is a professional. But why not give him the shout out he deserves? I have learned a lot from reading David’s blog. He goes into great detail and it’s always interesting!
  15. She Cooks Macro. Been lurking here and now following! Most recipes shown with a gallery of very professional-looking photos

Claude: Merci beaucoup pour toutes ces merveilleuses adresses! I can’t wait to take a look at theeze.  Now, Meez Pattee, can you tell us seven theengs about yourself?

Patty:  Hmmm.  I’ll try Claude.

  1. I prefer cooking with gas.
  2. I do not like microwave ovens at all and try to avoid them.
  3. I would like to live in Italy.
  4. I’m an east-coast girl at heart.
  5. I like to stay busy. Half a day off is about all I can take unless there is something really fascinating to do.
  6. I’m a great cook but not such a great housekeeper.
  7. I love anything pickled.

Claude: Bon. Félicitations à vous, Pattee, et à tous vos candidats!

Like Quicksand

Well now I’ve done it!

Last week I was perusing my WordPress Reader where I follow my favorite blogs and I decided on a whim to suggest a topic for the Daily Prompt. This is a WordPress feature in which an idea for a post is given and bloggers can use it as a jumping off point for a post. I suggested a topic about rules. Is it true “Rules are made to be broken?” And I prompted, “When have you broken a rule and did you get burned or did it turn out for the best?”

WordPress took me up on the idea today! Only the editor changed it to “Laws” not just “Rules.”

I would like to say here that I fully believe it is wisest and best to follow the laws of the land. Period.

If Daily Prompt uses your suggestion, you are expected to write a post on the subject. Okay then; I won’t break that rule.

English: Warning sign for quicksand in Frederi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So how does my prompt apply to the subject of food and cooking? Health and diet? The field of dietary advice shifts and changes like quicksand. There are thousands of “experts” who all claim to know the best way to eat, the best way to cook, the latest miracle foods, the hottest nutrients, the must-have dietary supplements.

Some say we should be vegan (no animal foods or animal by-products whatsoever) and some claim the Paleo diet (which includes quite a bit of animal food) is the way to go. Some people promote brown rice and other whole grains as a basis for a healthy diet while others say we should avoid carbohydrates and gluten.

Really, why does feeding our bodies seem to require so many rules in the first place? Shouldn’t it be easy and simple and . . . natural?

Yes, it should be and it can be if we are starting from a central point of balance. My first and only rule is: Eat real, whole food that has not been chemicalized, genetically engineered, formulated in a laboratory, or extracted from its natural source and greatly altered into something else.

Some of us are starting at a point of great imbalance and it will take a lot of care and perhaps following of rules in order to stabilize. Some have found their balance and know that if they venture away from their “rules” there is no harm done as long as they find their way back again.

And then there’s the subject of sugar, that I so adamantly advised against in several major blog posts throughout 2012. And I meant every single word I wrote! And I follow my own advice.

Most of the time.

So why, in 2013 am I featuring dark chocolate mousse once a month and why was my January mousse made with sugar? And how is that working out for me?

It is too early to say, except that January’s Dark Chocolate Mousse was absolutely divine, though short-lived. We each had our serving of this wonderful dessert and we are looking forward to February’s mousse.

Is breaking this rule the equivalent of “removing the tag from your pillow?” Or does this make me into a food hypocrite undeserving of your attention?

I guess you’re the judge of that depending on your own viewpoint and level of fanaticism when it comes to rules about eating. Believe me there are those who would consider my Quest for Dark Chocolate Mousse to be sheer heresy. But I do not.

One thing I have gleaned from writing this post is that I do not wish to be a “food/dietary” expert so much as I like to show people how I cook using foods that fit into my one and only rule of using organic, mostly unrefined, traditional whole foods. And that the purpose of writing this blog is to express my very personal passion for cooking as an outlet for creative expression.

Nothing more and nothing less.

~~~

So far I have read over thirty entries by other bloggers based on this prompt and found some very personal and moving pieces. I have much admiration for that.

I Love Meeting New Friends

A flower from a bouquet at the Eastern Market ...

A flower from a bouquet at the Eastern Market in DC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My love affair with blogging continues .  The other day I hit a highest ever number of viewers for my post.  I got 139 views which is nearly a 12% increase over my previous highest ever.  (Did I actually just calculate the percent of increase?  Boy!  I’d better get outside and do something not involving a computer screen.  I don’t wanna turn into a geek!)

But that wasn’t all that happened that day.  I also got my highest number of “likes” and my highest by far number of comments and I got more followers, too.  Don’t worry–I didn’t calculate any more percentages.  Yet.

And that map they give you on the stats page?  Love, love, love it! I have traveled but I’m not what you would call a “world traveler.”  I am fascinated when I see there are people from Bosnia, Japan, Serbia–really?  Serbia?–who are clicking their mouses to read my words.  That map the other day had a long list of nations colored in.  I think it’s fair to say I’ve gone International!

That is fantastic!  I love getting comments!  I love “meeting” and “talking” to new friends and I found a bunch more bloggers that I want to follow too.  In fact, I visited many of you that same day.  Thank you so very much for taking the time to stroll over to my blog and stay a while.  Thank you for taking the time to say something and help make the post much more interesting than if it was just me talking.

I love that blogging brings us together no matter where we live and what else is going on in our lives!  Blogging cuts through a lot of complications and barriers and lets us simply communicate and be heard, even around the world.

This is very encouraging!

Over 500 Served

Never thought I’d see the day when I had something in common with a fast food joint!

Being new to the blogging world, I’m fascinated by the way communication gets around on the Internet and how people manage to find each other despite the impossible enormity of choices to be made while surfing it.  Lucky for me, in addition to some family and friends who generously agree to read what I have to offer, there are people I don’t even know reading this blog.

Thank You!!!  You make my day because I believe communication is right up there with air, water, food and shelter when it comes to survival as a human being on this planet. We humans looooove to communicate!  I’m pleased to see there is someone to communicate with and I will take the responsibility of continuing to write–for me and for you–so we can have this venue to get to know each other. (And speaking of food, I do plan to get down to business with that.  After all, this is about life and cooking.)

And I can now say that I’ve served over 500!  Just like McYou-Know-Who when they were just starting out.

Much Love, Patty