Rice + Riches

January 1, 2009

I’m back already!

We had a wonderful, easy, early, filling, healthy dinner – that will hopefully bring us some good fortune this year. It worked last year: Forbidden Rice + Luck.

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I simmered up the last of a bag of dried black-eyed peas in honor of New Year’s Day along with the rest of a bag of large lima beans this afternoon, not really sure what I wanted to do with them. I also made some short grain brown rice and was craving greens, so we bought a bunch of collards to go with the tradition.

Once the beans were tender (having simmered for an hour – I’ve given up on soaking beans + grains and just simmer them until they are edible), we tossed them in some Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce, S+P.

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The collards were steamed in some chicken broth ice cubes from our freezer and seasoned as well.

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And we topped it all with some greek yogurt. I love yogurt on anything savory!

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My dad got me a bag of Jelly Belly beans, which I used to love when I was in middle school, and I just uncovered them! I had to have a few samples. I love anything white or pink and hate most of the greens and yellows, although they’ll all get eaten in time. Toasted Marshmallow and Champagne Punch are by far the best flavors!!!!!!

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What’s In A Blog?

I received an email today from a reader who is thinking of starting a food blog. She asked me about the time and effort it takes to run a food blog and suggested I share my response publicly for you all to see. I hope it might be useful –

Q: I’m thinking about starting my own food blog, as I think it would be a good way for me to stay on track and continue my weight loss (I reached the 100 lb mark a few weeks  ago…yay!)  How much work is it to do what you do on your blog?  It is majorly time consuming?  Does it ever feel obsessive-compulsive or annoying? I hope you don’t mind sharing your thoughts with me.  Could you maybe share my question with your blogging community?  I think that’s part of the reason I want to get in on this.  I love reading about how you all support and love each other, even if you’ve never met in person.

A: Congrats on 100 pounds!! You’re a rockstar

Blogging is very time consuming – but the amount of time depends on your readership and the amount of detail you put in your posts. If you’re just going to post photos, it won’t take you more than a few minutes a day. It only takes 10 seconds to snap a few photos before each meal. But if you’re going to post 3 times a day, type up recipes and answer> questions and comments for each post (which often require research!), then you’re talking part-time job hours. I probably spend 20-30 hours a week at least “working” on KERF. But since I have put the time in, the blog has grown so that I earn money and it’s all the more worthwhile. 

I think food blogs serve their best purpose as creative outlets rather than actual food diaries. It’s probably not worth the time and effort if you are doing it just for your own records, and you might burn out quickly. I write KERF first and foremost out of a love for creativity – in the kitchen, as a writer and as a photographer. The blog really had very little to do with keeping me accountable when I started it – it has always been more reflection and a way to share my love of food.

But if you are searching for a new hobby AND a way to keep yourself accountable, then you could certainly give it a try and see how you like it. Start with a free WordPress.com blog like I did and if you love it, take it to your own domain and make it professional. 

All the best,

Kath

Egg Hunt

Since we’re on the hunt for more egg recipes these days, can someone recommend a method to make a perfect poached egg? The kind that’s a little package with a soft yolk in the middle surrounded by white? I’ve never had eggs that way but they always look so yummy on your blogs!

I’m excited to have a quite night of a bath and reading – The Blue Bistro (that’s for you Kelly L!)

G’night!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 VeggieGirl January 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Comforting meal!!

Great Q&A!!

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2 Mom January 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I finally learned how to make a poached egg. I am nuts over them.

Boil water, break the egg and gently slide it into the pot. Let it cook about a minute and then lift it out with a slotted spoon.

A minute may be too long. I’ll test it tomorrow. Sometimes the egg whites get goopy and it makes the pan a pain to clean.

Advice, anyone?

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3 Amy January 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Hey Kath. Happy new year! Keep up the great work.

I use the method from Eating Well to poach my eggs and find that it works great. Basically, you just add a little vinegar to the water you’re poaching in. To make it perfect you can cut the edges at the end, but I don’t bother when it’s just for me.

Also be careful on the time as sometimes I overcook mine. If the water doesn’t totally cover your eggs (as mine sometimes doesn’t) you can just spoon the warm water gradually over the top and it will cook the top part as well at the end.

Hope it works! Here’s the link for more details:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/poached_eggs.html

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4 Meg January 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I had my black-eyed peas today too! Hope it brings us luck. Thanks for sharing your response about food blogging!

Jelly Bellies rock!

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5 Becca A January 1, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Hey Kath,
I poach eggs in a pot of water and just add a good pinch of salt and a couple second pour of vinegar (I use champagne but I think white vinegar etc. is fine as well). I put the egg(s) in a small bowl/ramekin and slide them in when the water comes to a boil.

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6 Kelly L. January 1, 2009 at 8:36 pm

YAY!! I just finished Nantucket Nights last night. You’ll love Blue Bistro (especially since you are a foodie). :)

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7 Erin January 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Love the traditional southern meal. :)

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8 Shelby January 1, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Great Dinner, I couldn’t find any collards at the store to eat today! They were either sold out or just not there. Oh well.

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9 zestycook January 1, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Excellent Q and A Kath. I cannot agree with you more!

zesty

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10 Maureen January 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Can’t help you with the eggs. That’s a good idea to freeze cubes of broth–I assume it’s to cool down soup without watering it down? I never thought of that!

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11 Tina January 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Excellent response to the blogging question. CNC takes up a ton of time too!

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12 Andrea [bella eats] January 1, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Happy New Year, Kath! Great response to the blogging question. I just started mine 2 months ago and have been amazed at how time consuming the whole process is, even with just one post per day. I still find it incredibly rewarding and have definitely started to move away from the “accountability” mindset and into the “creative outlet” mindset.

My hubb and I had black-eyed peas for New Years too! I was craving collards but Whole Foods was all out… :(

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13 Bev January 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm
14 Madison January 1, 2009 at 9:38 pm

great Q&A!
i used to love the popcorn flavored jelly bellys =)

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15 Oh She Glows January 1, 2009 at 9:52 pm

This is by far the best instructional guide I have ever read about Poached eggs, on Smitten Kitchen:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/how-to-poach-an-egg-smitten-kitchen-style/

Hope this helps!

Angela
http://www.ohsheglows.com

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16 Kay January 1, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Kath, we should get together with the Jelly Bellies…I love the greens & yellows! And, hope you’re feeling better…could you be in the “family way” perhaps??? ;-)

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17 tiffany January 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm

My best method of cooking a poached egg is to bring a pot of water to a soft boil add about a tablespoon of vinegar to it (supposed to help it form? thats what my mom told me growing up).

Then you want to swirl the water in one direction until it creates a small whirlwind and then gently drop your egg in the whirlwind. It really helps keep it together.

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18 jenn January 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm

hey kath!
just wondering/curious… how do you make money from your blog?

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19 Sarah January 1, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Poached Eggs

My mom gave me an egg poacher saucepan that holds four eggs. It makes the perfect little package.

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20 gina (fitnessista) January 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm

hey kath!
i bring a pot of water up to a simmer and add a little salt and vinegar. i then put a biscuit cutter (a round cookie cutter would work too) into the water and crack the egg into that. it makes perfectly round poached eggs :D
happy new year!

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21 Biz319 January 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Here is a great way to poach an egg. I learned this for my hubby – I don’t like runny eggs!

Boil slighly salted water. When it comes to a boil, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water. Crack your egg into a ladel. Slowly add the egg to the center of the water. The temp will drop a bit, and as soon as it comes back up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Using a wooden spoon, start swirling the water clockwise so that the whites start to “wrap” around the yolk. Once you start this process, it only takes 2 minutes.

Hope this helps! Now if you can help me with the hollandaise sauce – that would be great!

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22 Elina January 1, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging, Kath! I agree that a blog is too time consuming to really serve like a food diary – it has to be about you wanting to share something with others and hopefully inspire them. The time you spend on the blog and your dedication to it is very clear!!
Happy New Year!

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23 Heather McD (heather eats almond butter) January 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Blogging does take up a lot more time than I thought, but I love every minute of it. You gave good advice.

Gosh, I haven’t had a Jelly Belly in years! I always liked the cinnamon and the raspberry ones. Hated buttered popcorn. Gross!

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24 theplatedecorator January 1, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Happy New Years, great answer to your readers question. I just started a blog myself and I find it to be time consuming but in a good way, my main reason is to see what I am consuming but I would love to turn it into a profitable hobby. I would also like to ask you if you approched someone or if they approched you to get paid to write. Thanks for all your insight and wonderful posts.
Cassandra

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25 smilesara January 2, 2009 at 8:13 am

thanks for sharing your response about blogging with us — it’s really great to hear that you still find katheats to be a great creative outlet after a couple of years of publishing! sometimes i wonder when i look at other blogs (be they about food, politics, whatever) whether people are just doing it because it has become force of habit rather than enjoyment — i hope you stay inspired and continue posting!

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26 JENNA January 2, 2009 at 8:16 am

That was a really great response kath. It really shows in your blog that you do take the time to make such a great blog!

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27 Rose-Anne January 2, 2009 at 9:06 am

I always find it interesting to hear other people’s opinions on blogging. Along the lines of creativity and art, many creative people have said that making the commitment to their art (painting, writing, whatever) helps keep their creative juices flowing. One of the reasons I like writing a blog is that it does encourage me to really think about my writing and play around with it. I feel that if I can’t entertain myself with my own writing, then why would anyone else want to read it?

I think blogging is like anything else in life: you get out of it what you put into it. If you focus on the process, you will enjoy it a thousand times more than if you let yourself become obsessed with the more tangible aspects, like the number of daily hits you get or the number of comments your blog receives. These numbers can be very deceiving. It’s much harder to quantify things like the amount of enjoyment you or your readers get from your blog.

I love how KERF has become such a great forum for talking about so many different topics. It’s wonderful.

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28 K January 2, 2009 at 9:17 am

GREAT Q&A Kath! Love your blog and what it brings to me and my palate!

Happy Friday!

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29 Kelly Turner January 2, 2009 at 9:52 am

great blogging advice. I just read an article that said photo food journals are more effective that written ones.

Kelly Turner
http://www.everygymsnightmare.com

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30 Scott January 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

Happy New Year! Juicy pear jelly bellies are definitely my favorite jelly bean!

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31 Andrea (Off Her Cork) January 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

Pork and sauerkraut is our traditional New Years eats. :D Looks like you guys had such a good time out at the restaurant!

And I agree about blogging. I’m amazed at how much time it takes and there are some days when I just can’t bring myself to post at 9pm at night! But in the end it’s very much worth it and I’m so glad I started.

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32 Lauren January 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

Thank you for your creativity, hardwork, and enthusiasm to this blog! It is a joy to read and a staple in my day:) I love your recipes and hope that you are thinking of developing a cookbook one day – they are fabulous & uber yummy! I have gotten several friends and family members hooked on KERF and look forward to introducing more people to this!

Happy New Year!

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33 Kath January 2, 2009 at 10:26 am

Thanks for all the eggcelent advice!!!

Maureen ,
The broth cubes are for when you just need a few tbsp of broth at a time.

Kay ,
Not “family time” yet ;)

jenn + theplatedecorator ,
Through advertising, which pays per pageview. BlogHer and FoodBuzz are the biggies. I think you have to be invited to join them, but if you have a blog going for a few months, it’s not hard to get involved.

Kath

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34 MaryB January 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Ree at ThePioneerWoman.com taught me how to make both poached eggs AND hollandaise sauce! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/10/eggs_benedict/

I love your site, Kath, and I think all the work you put into it shows your love for it. Thanks for dragging me kicking and screaming into the world of healthy eating!

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35 Chris January 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Kath – Can’t help with the eggs but wanted to pop in and say Happy New Year. Not to be too gushy, but your blog has been an important tool for my 20 lbs. weight loss since April 20…thank you!

I also wanted to say congrats to your reader who has lost 100 lbs. I keep a weight loss/food/exercise blog and put about 30 minutes into publishing one post a day. It keeps me so honest and sane. I would love to put more time into it, but with a full-time consulting business and two kids, I am out of time ;-) I personally get more out of dedicate that time to fitting in the exercise.

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36 Kath January 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Chris ,
Thanks for your comment!! And you’re quite the rockstar as well – 20 pounds is awesome!!

K

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