Finally got it! The chance to blog on MariasMenu. You've probably heard about me (Jose)… well, I used my persuasion skills on Maria to share with you a simple (and healthy) bachelor's recipe! But before I divulge it, let me tell you some more stuff about MariasMenu.com and announce the results of the competition (Can't wait…? Scroll below to find the winner!)
Last week, Maria gave you the motivation for the site. Today, I'll take you behind the project.
Once I had Maria convinced that she needed a blog to share her recipes (the real reason was to keep her busy so I could have some free time!) – we searched for a name, something simple, something relevant to cooking. We weren't quite creative – so we came up with MariasMenu.com.
We needed a simple blogging solution, so we turned to WordPress. We then purchased the domain, the hosting space, installed WordPress, a free downloaded theme and Mint tracking software. The deal was to blog for 1 year no matter what. If things didn't work out, we'd only lose some time, effort and a bit of cash. No worries.
Things were slow, but Maria was learning… we changed the site design (after a lot of fighting), my carefulness managed to wipe out the entire database at one point in time, losing all recipes and pictures (I really took the heat for that!), then she figured out how to use my camera (darn!) and so we progressed slowly…
3 years on, and 150+ recipes later… things have changed (besides adding a few inches to my waist) – most of the change took place in the last year. We introduced an easier-to-use design, Twitter, Amazon books, FeedBurner mailing list, customized Google search, threaded comments, random recipes (Chef Cappy), food gallery, cooking converter and of course advertisements to support the site. Phew… that's a lot of work!
Let me just conclude by saying this… Blogging is not easy, but it certainly is a rewarding experience! Thank you for being a part of it… So that's it! I got my chance… it was a bit long, I know I won't get another chance (ok… maybe next year).
Now here's the good stuff:
And the lucky winner is….
Congratulations! You receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card. We'll be sending you the coupon by email (So check your inbox). You can use that to purchase a book or something you like on Amazon… or you can pass it on to anyone you like.
Oh, did I forget the recipe?
Here is the recipe…
- 100 gms Smoked Salmon
- 4-5 sticks Asparagus
- 1 Ripe Avocado
- 2 small Dried Dates (cut into strips)
- 2-3 leaves Fresh Lettuce (cut into strips)
- 1/2 Red or Green Apple (skinned and chopped)
- 3-4 Small pickled cucumbers
- Any Salad Dressing (Thousand Island)
- Parmesan herb seasoning
- Basil & garlic seasoning
- The first thing I like to do, is keep things ready: Chop the smoked salmon into small chunks (not too small). Slice the dates – you only need a few strips, depending on how sweet you want it. Slice the skinned apple, same here – only a few pieces to make it crunchy (you can eat the rest after your lunch!).
- Cutting an avocado requires some skill! Cut a line around the avocado, from top to bottom and back up on the other side to the top again. Then twist both sides in opposite direction. This way, you'll be left with two halves – with the seed in one. Yank out the big seed and use a spoon to scoop the flesh from both halves.
- Make sure you break the fresh asparagus sprigs properly (they'll break at the hard part). Boil the asparagus in salt water for 3 – 4 minutes (don't keep for long). Strain immediately and then transfer it to some cold water for 1 minute. Strain again. Slice the sticks into smaller pieces.
- Here's the easy part… drop the ingredients from smoked salmon to pickled cucumbers in a big bowl, add the salad dressing… mix. Use your hands to mix well for 1 minute, then serve for two. Top with seasoning – you can use your favourite ones. Voila – a healthy salad!