Butterfinger Shortbread Cookies ~ Savory Simple ~ www.savorysimple.net

For the most part, I’ve never been a huge fan of candy bars. They’re fine but I can usually think of other sweets I’d rather indulge in. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule; namely, Butterfingers. They are a major weakness of mine. [Read more...]

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Chocolate Malt Truffles ~ @SavorySimple #recipe

I was so tempted to call these chocolate malt truffles “Chocolate Malty Balls” but I wasn’t sure if everyone would get the joke. I’m referring to a South Park episode that aired around 15 years ago while I was in college. I sort of assume that’s a classic but I wonder sometimes if I’m not starting to show my age with certain references. Not that I’m old. But you know.

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Valentine's Day Recipe Roundup - @SavorySimple


I never considered Valentine’s Day to be the most romantic of holidays when I was younger.  You see, February 14th happens to be both my mother and my brother’s birthday.  Now that I’m no longer living with my parents and am, you know, married, I like to do something small to celebrate the holiday aside from calling my family.  Maybe it’s a romantic dinner for two at home, maybe we go out, maybe Jeff (cough cough) brings me some flowers.

This year we’re dining in and I’ve compiled a Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup with over 60 options for your entire meal.  Enjoy!

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Spiced Candied Orange Peel ~ Savory Simple

Can I just take a moment to tell you all how excited I am about Mixed Conference this weekend? Chung-Ah from Damn Delicious is flying into Dulles and on Friday we’re taking a (gulp) 5 hour drive along with friends Jackie and Erin to the Mountain Lake Resort in Pembroke, Va. Dirty Dancing was filmed there and I will gladly carry a watermelon to hang out with some of the amazing guest speakers and talented bloggers in attendance. One of my favorite food photographers, Helene Dujardin, will be teaching a workshop! While I’m packing for the journey, allow me to leave you with these wonderful spiced candied orange peels. They are really addicting. I gave the majority of them away so I would stop shoveling them into my pie hole. I have no control around these little delicacies. Do you see all of those tiny specks of vanilla? Those equal intense flavor. Add to that some cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and a bit of black pepper. Spicy holiday decadence to the max. I just know you will love these as much as I do.

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“That’s really interesting, but who cares?”

Out of everything I heard at Kathleen Flinn’s food writing workshop, that statement resonated with me the most.   What compels us to read food blogs?  Are you willing to stop and read everything an author has to say regardless of the topic?  I can’t say I know many people who would do that readily.  I’m not going to lie here; I’m a notorious skimmer.  I mostly visit blogs for the recipes and to support my friends and community.  But when I’m trying to catch up on 20-40 blogs a day I just don’t have the time to read every story.  If I skim your post it doesn’t mean I don’t love you.  I’d rather peek in and give a hollar of encouragement than do nothing.  But truthfully, if I’m going to slow down and read everything there needs a be a hook.  Something to catch my attention and draw me in.  A strong opening line.  Why should I care that you went to the grocery store and stumbled in the cereal isle?  That’s really interesting, but who cares?  Make me care.  Perhaps I should re-frame that so it doesn’t sound so demanding.  I want to make YOU care that I went to the grocery store and stumbled in the cereal isle.  I want compel you to read my story.

I read Kathleen’s memoir The Sharper The Knife, The Less You Cry just before making the decision to attend culinary school.  Her story was a huge inspiration to me, right up there with My Life in France by Julia Child.  When I heard she was teaching a two hour food writing boot camp in DC it was a no brainer.  I signed up immediately.  And I was astounded by how much I learned in my brief time with her.  She had me thinking about writing in a whole new way.  Did you know I have a bachelors degree in English with a focus on Creative Writing?  I don’t see why you would because I never mention it.  After so many years in IT and the kitchen I feel incredibly disconnected from my college days as a writer.  But the exercises from our workshop brought it all back.  I felt excited about writing again.

“Every food blogger writes about the farmer’s market.  Go to the grocery store instead.”

Kathleen shared a lot with us including a story from when she was a speaker at IFBC last year.  In preparation for the event she had her assistant look at the attendee blogs.  The conclusion?  45 out of 50 blogs were exactly the same.  I was kind of stunned to hear this but it also made complete sense and fascinated me.  I mean we are all kind of doing the same thing here. There’s nothing wrong with being similar to other blogs but it got me thinking about how to set myself apart in an over-saturated market.  For the past three years I’ve been constantly working to improve my photography but have given little thought to the quality of my writing.   Perhaps this is the next step?  It’s certainly something worth exploring.

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