Posts Tagged ‘good ideas’

The Dish/First Look, First Taste for Bloggers

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012


I’m not a food blogger, but I play one on the internet. I love reading blogs about food, pinning recipes on Pinterest (my Food and Drink and Dessert boards are my fullest by far), reading articles about food photography and – every once in a while – try my own hand at creating recipes.

I’m not an expert by any means, but when BlogHer told me about two new programs from ConAgra I knew they could feed my love of food blogging.

Before I tell you about ConAgra’s site, I wanted to say when I first read the email I was a little doubtful about working with them. But once I realized how many of their brands I had in my kitchen right at this exact moment (Alexia fries, Gulden’s mustard, Egg Beaters, Hebrew National hot dogs, Hunt’s tomato sauce, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, and Reddi-wip) it seemed silly to pass it up. If this isn’t your thing, that’s totally cool too and feel free to skip it.

The Dish is an online resource center for all bloggers who post food content or who WANT to post food content.

In their Seasonal Spotlight section you can find tips for keeping your blog content fresh and seasonally relevant.

Under Ask Our Team, they have put together an expert panel that includes Phil Lempert, savings expert; Dan Skinner, editor-in-chief; Abby Penich, ReadySetEat Community Manager; and several bloggers.

The Recipe Resources section is just what it sounds like – a round up of some of the best recipes from ConAgra’s recipe site ReadySetEat. Free tip: do NOT go look at the recipes when it’s 5:43 pm and you’re starving. Seriously, how much do I want this corn on the cob now? SO MUCH.

But in my opinion, the best part of their site is First Look, First Taste. Through the site you can sign up to receive coupons, samples and other exclusive content – and all you need is a blog URL. It would a great way for someone looking to expand into food blogging to find new ingredients to include and for seasoned food bloggers to get expert advice and tips to share with their readers.

There’s some great content on The Dish already, but I’m hoping they plan to expand in the coming months. I’d love to see even more focus on fresh, local ingredients that can be used in conjunction with their products to make easy family meals.

ReadySetEat has tons of great, fast, easy recipes that can be sorted by very useful categories (vegetarian, healthy, etc) but I’d like to see The Dish feature more of them, especially grouped by type – for example, Mexican recipes featuring a veggie option, a beef option and a chicken option.

Or even one recipe that can be used all three ways. Hey, that’s actually a great idea for a recipe series – see, The Dish has already started inspiring me to blog better!

Does The Dish/First Look, First Taste sound like something you’d be interested in? You can visit The Dish here, sign up for First Look, First Taste here and follow them on Twitter at @ConAgraDish.

Want to be entered for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card from BlogHer and ConAgra Foods? Just leave a comment below telling me which section of The Dish sounds the most interesting to you!

Rules:

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post b) Tweet about this promotion with hash tag #sweepstakes and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 8/22/2012-9/8/2012.

Be sure to visit ConAgra Foods’ brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Six Kitchen Timesavers

Friday, June 29th, 2012

My first tip for saving time in the kitchen is really easy…if you have a huge kitchen and a pile of money: two dishwashers. It’s amazing. You always have one to put dishes in so you don’t end up with a pile in your sink or doing a load half-full just because you don’t want them to sit in the dishwasher getting crusty. Of course, that’s not exactly the most practical kitchen tip for everyone (including me) so here are a few that might be more helpful: (more…)

Drink More Water

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

In college I drank so much water I used to plan my classes around bathroom locations. I carried an ugly reusable water bottle I got for free from a credit card company and I had to remind myself CONSTANTLY to keep drinking. It was never easy, never automatic and I never learned to like water. But I was also really thin and my skin looked really good.

Since then I’ve gone from drinking at least 100 oz a day to drinking almost none. It’s terrible, and not just in a “oh yeah, I should probably remember to drink more water” way, but in a “sick in the hospital for days plus two surgical procedures to deal with kidney stones which MIGHT have been prevented if I just drank more water” sort of way.

But I have FINALLY found the key to drinking water: STRAW CUP.

drink more water reusable straw cup

There is just something about drinking from a straw that makes water more appealing. It’s easy to throw in some lemon or cucumber slices. I can sip it while keeping an eye on whatever is going on around me – the kid, the road, the TV, the Twitters – and it’s sort of a mindless action. It’s why I drink a can of soda happily with lunch, but if I get a fountain drink I need the super hugemongeous size or it’s gone in 90 seconds. Even though I STILL don’t really like water, I’m drinking at least 5 of these cups a day.

That pink one above is from Target’s seasonal section, $5.99. It’s got some sort of freezable insulated layer in it, so you can keep your water cold while carrying it around all day. I’ve also seen them in dishes section at Target for $9.99 (still cheaper than only drinking bottled water) but the best deal I’ve found is this one:

orange straw cup drink more water

True fact: I actually had four Creamcicle Oreos but I hid 2 for the picture because it seemed like too many.

That cup is BPA-free and dishwasher safe. I got it at JoAnn’s Fabric, where it was priced at $5.99 but I used a 50% off coupon (They have a free coupon app for iPhone, you can sign up online for the mailers or just walk into the store – usually there is a rack in the front with the circular which has the coupons on the back) so it ended up being $2.99. I needed the second one because someone had commandeered my pink cup.

Turns out EVERYONE drinks more water from a straw.

I made myself a rule that ONLY water goes in the cups – because otherwise I’m sucking down 60 oz of sweet tea without even noticing – but I can still drink Diet Coke or lemonade or whatever from cans or regular cups. But really, I’m so full of water I’m barely drinking anything else.

It’s a really simple idea but one I wish someone had suggested to me ages ago. But now YOU know! So go! Find a straw cup! Be healthy!

Elmer’s #GlueNGlitter Project: Menu Board

Friday, January 6th, 2012

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias #CBias but I came up with the idea and did all the work, so you can direct all your adoration to me in the comments.

One of my absolute least favorite questions in the entire world is “What’s for dinner?” For the first 5 years of my marriage the answer was almost always “I don’t know, what do you WANT for dinner?” – and then we spent 30 minutes saying “No, YOU pick” and “No it’s YOUR turn”. Honestly, sometimes we still play that game all night. Most of the time we end up having popcorn and throwing Goldfish at the kids. (more…)