Thursday, February 28, 2013

Green Bean Casserole

We eat green bean casserole year round, it's not just a Thanksgiving food to us.

There is something about bringing some of that down-home comfort that only holiday foods can make you feel to the rest of the year.

We tried this with the new(er) roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup and it was pretty yummy for a mix up!

Ingredients:
1 Can cream of mushroom soup
½ Cup milk
Dash of ground pepper
4 Cups french cut green beans
1 ½ Cup french fried onions

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix soup, milk, pepper, onions, and beans in 1 ½ quart casserole
3. Bake for 25 minutes until bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir.
4. Sprinkle french fried onions on top
5. Bake until onions are golden brown


Print

Adapted from Cambell's

Ingredients

Golden, crunchy, yummy!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

This was my first try at biscotti.
I can honestly say I am no longer intimidated! Why have I been avoiding this for all these years?!

Nothing went wrong, it wasn't hard...just long instructions.
Try it, you will be glad you did!



Ingredients:
2 Cups all purpose flour
½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
¾ Tsp baking soda
½ Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp salt
¾ Stick (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
2 Large eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Cup chopped almonds
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt
3. Beat butter and sugar together until pale
4. Add eggs and vanilla, beat for another 2 minutes
5. Mix dry ingredients in 3 batches, mixing only until a dough forms
6. Mix in chopped nuts and chocolate
7. Divide dough in half.
8. Roll dough into 12 inch long logs. Flatten both logs with palm of your hand so they are ½ to 1 inch and rectangular
9. Carefully lift logs onto parchment lined baking sheet
10. Sprinkle each log with sugar
11. Bake for about 25 minutes (cracking is fine)
12. Cool on a cooling rack for 20 minutes
13. Cut each log into slices between ½  and ¾ inch thick
14. Stand slices on their side and bake for another 10 minutes


Print


Pressed out and ready to bake

Doesn't this just scream for some sort of frothy, yummy drink?


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Almond Snowballs

Isn't it funny how certain things can evoke a memory...even if you don't really have a specific memory?
Did I confuse you?

I was playing around online and found this recipe. As soon as I saw the picture I remembered these cookies...from where though? I don't know anyone in my family that has made them...I don't remember ever trying them before...they just looked, familiar.

Well, we can't have that whole "confusing, maybe imagined memory" thing going on...so I made them.
Now they are more than a pretend memory, they are ingrained!

Just as a note, I did not have slivered almonds. I used whole and chopped them up tiny. Seemed to work just fine!

Ingredients:
½ Cup slivered almonds
1 Cup butter (room temperature)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 ½ Cups all purpose flour
¼ Tsp salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan for 6 minutes
3. Process almonds in a food processor for 30 seconds or until finely ground
4. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.
5. Gradually add vanilla and powdered sugar, beating well. Dough will be crumbly
6. Shape dough into ¾ inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets
7. Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
8. Cool on baking sheet
9. Roll cooled cookies in powdered sugar


Print


Ingredients

Remember the snowballs!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Tea Cookies

I love a good cup of tea. It's soooo relaxing!
What would make tea better? COOKIES!

These delicate chocolate chip cookies were made to be eaten with a dainty cup of tea.
BUT...we won't tell the men folk that. All they need to know if that you made chocolate chip cookies.

I adapted this recipe from something I found and printed offline. There is no defining information for me to be able to give them credit. Sorry!

Ingredients:
2 Cups all purpose flour
½ Lb (2 sticks) butter
½ Cup powdered sugar
1 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy
3. Add vanilla and mix well
4. Gradually add flour.
5. Stir in chocolate chips
6. Shape into 1 inch balls, and place 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet
7. Bake 10-12 minute
8. Cool on baking rack


Print


Ingredients

Remember ladies, there is nothing "dainty" about the flavor


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chili

This is my super mega easy go-to chili recipe.
It's so easy to keep everything on hand and just toss it in the crock pot before I leave in the mornings.

I do not like my chili spicy, so I don't use much chili powder. Feel free to add to taste.

Ingredients:
1 Huge can of red kidney beans (drained)
1 Large can of baked beans (remove any pork)
1 Green pepper (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
1 Lb ground beef (browned)
Chili powder
1 Can diced tomato
1 Can diced tomato with chilis


Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients in crock pot
2. Cook on low for 8 hours
3. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and serve

Print


Ingredients

Everybody in the pool, just waiting on the meat

My daughter's bowl with cheese

Hubby's bowl with no cheese. Boooring!




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beef Burgendy

I randomly found this recipe in my collection. Like so many others, I have nothing to trace back to in order to give credit.

This is such a hearty meal for a cold night. Add a chunk of crusty bread to sop up the juices and you have a meal.

Ingredients:
2 ½ Lbs stew beef
4 Minced garlic cloves
½ Cup chopped onion
2 Cup dry red wine
1 (11oz) can cream of mushroom soup
5 (5oz) jars button mushrooms
1 Cup pearl onions
3 Tbsp flour
½ Cup water
1 (12oz) Package of egg noodles

Directions:
1. Add everything but water and flour to crock pot
2. Mix water and flour until smooth, add to meat mixture
3. Cook low for 6 hours
4. Serve over prepared egg noodles


Print

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sizzling Chicken Fajitas

Random recipe card time!

Helpful hints:
1. Steak, shrimp, or scallops make wonderful fajitas
2. Chicken can be made a day ahead. Add to veggies to warm.


Ingredients:
¾ Cup lime juice
½ Cup vegetable oil
3 Cloves garlic, minced
¼ Tsp salt
¼ Tsp ground cumin
1 ½ Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 Large onion, thinly sliced
1 Large green pepper, thinly sliced
8 Large flour tortillas, warmed
1 Large tomato; seeded and chopped
¾ Cup salsa
Sour cream
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Combine lime juice, oil, garlic, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
2. Reserve ⅓ of the marinade
3. Add chicken to bowl, turn to coat.
4. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 10 minutes
5. Preheat grill or broiler; preheat a skillet over medium heat
6. Add onion and bell pepper and half of the reserved marinade to skillet
7. Stir fry for 3 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender
8. Grill or broil chicken, turning and basting with reserved marinade. About 7 minutes per side.
9. Cut chicken into thin strips.
10. Add chicken to skillet and stir with vegetables
11. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture. Top with tomato and salsa. Roll to enclose filling.
12. Arrange on plate, top with sour cream, lettuce, and cheddar.


Print

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Meatball Stew

One of the joys of having "at home" parties are the little recipe cards you get to keep.
This one came from Pampered Chef.
I have made it a couple of times, and it's quite yummy, especially on a cold night!

Ingredients:
1 Cup coarsely chopped carrots
½ Cup coarsely chopped onion
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
1 Tsp vegetable oil
2 Garlic cloves (pressed)
16 oz fully cooked meatballs
1 (12oz) jar beef gravy
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
½ Cup frozen peas
½ Tsp dried thyme
1 package refrigerated bread sticks

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Coarsely chop carrots and onion. Slice mushrooms.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
4. Add carrots, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook and stir 3 minutes.
5. Add meatballs, gravy, tomato sauce, peas, and thyme; bring to a boil
6. Reduce heat, cook 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
7. Pour mixture into casserole dish
8. Remove breadstick dough from package, do not seperate.
9. Cut dough evenly into 12 slices.
10. Places slices in a slightly overlapping circular pattern over meatball mixture, leaving center open.
11. Bake 27-30 minutes or until stew is bubbly and bread sticks are deep golden brown.


Print

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meatloaf Hamburgers

As discussed before...in quite a few posts...hubby dearest is a devoted fan of meatloaf. When I saw this recipe in a Woman's World magazine, I knew I had to try it.

Even though hubby is getting over some yucky bug, he "forced" himself to eat the whole thing.

We decided to try this before we added any condiments. None were needed. The burger stays juicy and is really flavorful.

Ingredients:
1 ½ Lbs ground beef
1 Egg
⅓ Cup plain dry breadcrumbs
¼ Cup ketchup
1 Envelope onion soup mix
1 Tsp dried Italian seasoning
½ Tsp garlic powder
6 Slices of cheddar cheese
6 Hamburger buns, split
6 Lettuce leaves
6 Slices of tomato
Red onion slices


Directions:
1. In large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, ketchup, onion soup mix, italian seasoning, and garlic powder until thoroughly blended.
2. Place patties to cook. Cook each side 6-8 minutes.
3. Top each burger with cheese and cook until melted


Print


Ingredients

Mixing, mixing, mixing

Grilling, grilling, grilling

Melting, melting, melting

Cooked and ready to serve!






Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Free meals at IHOP

I have a soft spot in my heart for IHOP.
They were always a spot to stop at when we were traveling, a place you could get just about anything you wanted. Never failed some of us wanted soup/sandwich, some wanted breakfast, and some wanted chicken.

I also have fond memories of using all the different flavors of syrup. Sometimes I would cut up my pancakes and use them separate on different "piles", other times I would mix all the flavors together.

This offer gives you a coupon for a free "Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity" meal. If that isn't good enough, they also send you a coupon for a free meal (up to a $7.99 value) on your birthday AND another free meal coupon for the year anniversary of you signing up.

While I was filling out the forms, they also asked for my family member's birthday info so they could get free meal coupons as well.

I see some IHOP trips in our near future!


Click here to sign yourself up!



Monday, February 18, 2013

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

In case you haven't noticed by now, my husband is a meatloaf junkie.
I might not have told you how much he loves caramelized onions.

So, creative me (always looking for new ways to eat meatloaf) decided that the flavors sounded good together.
What I didn't realize was HOW amazing it would be!

The natural fats from the meat turn the brown sugar into an amazing pan sauce, no gravy needed!

Ingredients:
1 ½ Lbs ground beef
1 Packet onion soup mix
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup brown sugar
1 Large onion, diced

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients (except brown sugar) reserving some onion for the top
2. Put in loaf pan
3. Coat top with brown sugar and reserved onions
4. Cook at 350 for 1 hour


Print

Ingredients: Just turn your hamburger into meatloaf mix

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Broccoli Casserole

My father worked for a large hometown computer company for a good portion of his life. One year he came home with a cookbook that the company had put together based on recipes given by employees.
(Note to self: Ask my mother if that cookbook still exists)

This came out of that book. It is so easy, and so good, my mother started making it all the time. Much unlike most foods that get made so often, this one I have never gotten tired of.

I love leftovers for lunch, it really is filing!

Ingredients:
½ Can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz Cheeze Whiz
¼ Cup uncooked Minute rice
1 Large bag frozen broccoli (defrosted)
1 Large onion (diced)
1 Sleeve Ritz crackers (crushed)
1 Stick butter

Directions:
1. Mix soup, cheese, rice, and broccoli. Pour in casserole dish.
2. Sautee onion in butter.
3. Sprinkle crushed crackers over top of casserole.
4. Pour butter and onion mixture on top of crackers
5. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes


Print



This is always the most popular side dish!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Eclair

Once upon a time, in a land far far away...I was an 8th grade Home Ec student.
I know we made a few simple items, but this is the only recipe I have kept on to. They are so simple, even (an 8th grade) child can make it.

During that class I learned how to make a pillow too. Mine was a lavender with lace eyelet around the edges. I thought I was hot stuff because my pillow was chosen to be on display in the school trophy case.
I do wonder whatever happened to that pillow. It has either been destroyed by time, or still packed away somewhere in my parents attic. We may never know!

Ingredients:
1 Cup water
1 Cup all purpose flour
½ Tsp salt
4 Eggs
½ Cup butter
1 Tsp sugar
1 Box vanilla pudding mix
½ Container whipped topping
Chocolate frosting


Directions:
1. Put water, salt, sugar, and butter into a heavy sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil.
2. Add flour all at once
3. Remove from heat and stir until the flour is completely mixed
4. Beat in eggs one at a time
5. Put mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes
6. Shape dough into small hot dog shapes and place on generously greased cookie sheet
7. Cook at 400 (20 minutes for small and 35 minutes for large)
8. Mix pudding mix and whipped topping, set aside
9. 5 minutes before they are done, poke a hole in the end of the pastry with a sharp knife
10. Use a pastry bag (or zipper bag with corner snipped off) to fill eclairs
11. Frost top


Print

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cheesy Potato Soup

This blog started as a list of all recipes I have tried and liked.
Um, hence the name "tried and true"....

But this is also my online diary of recipes. I think it would be important to remember which ones weren't quite my favorite...if nothing else, so I don't gather the same recipe again!

Hubby and the girl child ate this..they said it wasn't bad. Me, I ate two bites. Just wasn't feeling it.

I know, makes you want to run out and get the ingredients, huh?
But seriously, everyone has different tastes...you might find it fantastic!

Ingredients:
1 Bag (32oz) frozen southern style diced hash browns
½ Cup frozen chopped onion
1 Medium stalk celery (diced)
1 Carton (32oz) chicken broth
1 Cup water
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 Cup milk
1 Bag (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
4 Medium green onions (sliced)

Optional: ¼ Cup real bacon pieces

Directions:
1. In slow cooker,mix potato, onion, celery, broth and water
2. Cover, cook on low heat for 6-8 hours
3. In small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture
4. Increase heat setting to high for 30 minutes or until mixture thickens
5. Garnish with green onions and optional bacon bits


Print

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hamburger Tip

The best tip I have EVER gotten about making hamburgers...is s simple I felt silly afterwards!

You know how they get the big "bubble belly" in the middle while cooking?

How about, when you make the patties, squish a crater into the middle of them...


Perfectly flat patties all the time, with an ideal "cheese melting" surface area!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nana's Taco Dip

My Nana used to own a hotel in a touristy New England beach town. It was nothing huge, just a small place with shared bathrooms.
What brought people back year after year was the hospitality, which extended further than free coffee in the morning.

This hotel was located in a town with tons to do, fun for all ages until all hours of the night (well, maybe the all hours part was more adult than kiddie).
Every night though, anyone who was staying there would gather on the front porch. We would hang out, tell stories, sing songs, and eat this dip!

It was a good time for all, lots of incredible memories made on that front porch.



Ingredients:
1 block cream cheese (softened)
½ Cup sour cream
8 oz shredded mexican blend cheese
1 packet taco seasoning
Tomato (diced)
Lettuce (shredded)
Tortilla Chips 

* a cousin of mine makes this and adds olives.
* a layer of salsa can be added if you choose
Directions:
1. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and add taco seasoning to taste. Spread mixture on the bottom of a plate
2. Sprinkle lettuce and tomato on top of cheese base
3. Sprinkle cheese on top of vegetables
4. Serve with tortilla chips


Print





This recipe was shared with: Gooseberry Patch

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meatloaf with Ricotta Cheese

I am not a huge meatloaf fan...so over the years I have come up with some meatloaf with a twist recipes that satisfies hubby's need for MEAT and my need to break up the monotony.

This isn't his first choice (being a meat loving man and all) but darling daughter and I love it. If you want the stringy saltiness, I would add some mozzarella cheese.



Ingredients:
1 ½ Lbs ground beef
1 Packet onion soup mix
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Cup Ricotta cheese
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients
2. Put half of mixture in loaf pan, create a canyon
3. Fill canyon with ricotta cheese
4. Top with rest of meat mixture
5. Cook at 350 for 1 hour


Print

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup cures all...this has been a truth as far back as recorded time.
To this day, I still swear by it!

This is just my generic version of chicken soup, it's our go to when we don't feel well...or when it's cold...or when the day ends in "Y".

Ingredients:
6 Cups chicken broth
2 Chicken breasts (Cooked and diced)
2 Stalks celery (chopped)
3 Carrots (chopped)
1 Onion (chopped)
1-2 Bayleaf
½ Cup uncooked rice
Pepper
Italian Seasoning


Directions:
1. Add all ingredients, except rice
2. Cook just until vegetables are tender
3. Add rice and simmer for 20 minutes
4. Season to taste


Print


The pink BLOBS to the right of this picture are individual bags of frozen shredded chicken. I love having it on hand! Hubby wasn't feeling well, and I was able to whip this together in no time flat.

Chicken soup cures all!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Baked Potato Salad

One day my mother and I decided to get some potato salad at the deli counter of our local grocery. We liked it, but figured we could come up with a better version on our own.

After many failed batches, this is what we came up with.

I am incredibly picky about my potato salad, this is the only one (to date) that I have found I like.

This salad is requested at many functions. In fact, I brought it to my boss' house for a cookout one year; the next work day he asked me for the recipe. To this day, he makes it all the time. He says now it's requested of HIM everywhere they go.

Ingredients:
8-10 Potato, washed
One bunch of green onions (chopped)
1 Tbsp mayo
½ Cup sour cream
1 ½ Cup bacon bits
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

Directions:
1. Wash potatoes
2. Cut potato (with peels on) into 1 inch cubes
3. Boil until just tender, drain
4. Mix mayo and sour cream into potato
5. Add cheese, bacon, and green onion (reserving some for garnish)
6. Season to taste
7. If salad is too thick, add more sour cream
8. Garnish with left over bacon, onion, and cheese


Print


Ingredients

Hm, there are leftovers in the fridge...I think I need some now!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard Nemo 2013

Ahhhh...winter in New England.

2011 and 2012 we had freak October storms and not much of anything else.
I guess 2013 decided to make it up to us!


We are in the midst of "Blizzard Nemo".
Seriously?
Not only does it seem a little bit of a wimpy name, Facebook has been blowing up with super witty jokes like this

I giggled at the first one or two that I saw, but now it's getting old folks...really old.

The snow started at about 10 am (for us) Friday and they aren't calling for it to be done until Saturday night. The Governor has banned all travel. After 4 pm, if you are caught driving (unless you are a plow truck driver) you can be fined $500 and face up to a year in jail.
This is some serious weather! 

Holy snow totals Batman!

This, ironically, is the 35th anniversary of the blizzard of 1978. A whole week anniversary since it just shut the state completely down.



Hubby, darling daughter and I spent the day inside, warm on the couch! 
(Also taking advantage of computers, televisions, and charging phones)

Thursday night I had thrown some chicken into the crock pot for shredded chicken to keep on hand, so as a quick lunch I made Copy Cat Willow Tree chicken salad.

For dinner, I have some red beans and rice in the crock pot ready to warm our bellies!
I am also going to make up a big pot of creamy onion soup for tomorrow. There is nothing better than shoveling, freezing, and coming in to a steaming cup of soup!

To my Northern readers, I hope you are warm, safe, and have power!
Grab a cup of cocoa and relax.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Bacon Pancakes

Pancakes and Bacon are just one of those classic pairings. Romeo and Juliet (without the tragedy) if you will!

A few times, out and about on breakfast journeys, I have had pancakes with bacon bits in them. I have also had link sausage on a stick, dipped in pancake batter, and deep fried.

All so, so good...lip smacking!

With my new love of cooking bacon in the oven, I thought I would try inserting a piece of bacon into the morning pancakes.
(I am sure this would work very well with sausage too!)
I put individual pieces of bacon on the griddle and just covered it with batter. Cook, flip, done.

Next time I might have a thin layer of batter, put the bacon in, top with batter...flip, done.

Mmmmm

Two for one breakfast!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pinterest Manners

You might have noticed by now that I am a stickler for trying to give credit where it is due. I may not be willing to link to the 500 sites that share the same information, but at least one will do.

When I go play on Pinterest, I take the time to keep clicking until I am at the original page it was pinned from...maybe it is that little bit of OCD coming through, but I feel wrong until I have the right credit to give!

I came across this blog post, and thought it would be worth sharing. If nothing else, it is a reminder to use our manners while blogging! She says everything I am thinking, so, we will let her do the talking!

Check out the original article here


MISS MANNERS MEETS THE INTERNET

One of the things I take the MOST pride in is when people tell me my kids have good manners. I LOVE hearing that compliment. I just think good manners and all around kindness will take you MILES in your life.
With the addition of the internet to our everyday lives, it kind of seems like general manners don’t matter as much anymore.  Mostly because you don’t have to look people in the face.  You don’t have to talk to anyone, and you can literally hide behind your computer.
Rather than get angry about it, I choose to believe it’s just because most people don’t really KNOW how to have internet manners.  And hopefully most people never mean any harm by the things they do or don’t do.  But if you are an avid blog reader/follower…this one’s for you!
(If I felt better, I think I’d invite some friends over and make you a video. For now, you’ll just have to enjoy this awesome one from 1951 talking about table manners….LOVE IT!)



With that in mind, I thought I’d just let you in on some blogging/internet etiquette that I’ve learned.
(and for the record…I didn’t know most of these either…
someone had to teach me. And sometimes the hard way, like I got embarrassed.
)



Here’s the deal with Pinterest.
  • It’s amazing.
  • It’s changed the way all of us think and keep our ideas straight.
  • It’s super pretty
  • It’s addictive and fun
  • It’s a super fast way to find LOTS of cool stuff
Right?  We love Pinterest.

But here’s what you MUST know….

PINTEREST DOESN’T MAKE THINGS!

Every time you pin a recipe, and idea, room decor, craft, holiday idea, organization technique…..it doesn’t come FROM PINTEREST!
It’s possible that this is just a pet peeve of mine.  But really, it’s about manners.  Pinterest has changed SO MUCH about how blogging works.  I often hear “I got this idea from Pinterest,” when, in fact, some lovely person in the internet universe MADE that idea.
  • They sweat over it.
  • They took pictures of it.
  • They wrote up a post about it.
  • And they’ll never hear that you made, tried, or loved it
I’m not going to tell you not to use Pinterest.  HECK NO!  I love it.  I just want you to think about HOW you use it, and how you refer to things that might be inspired by something on the site.  Take a minute and see where that idea came from.  Who was the mastermind behind that beautiful picture/idea that inspired you?  And even better….take a second to tell them that you love it.  It’s just good manners.
And please, just for me, NEVER SAY, “I got this idea from Pinterest” again.  Deal?



Again, Pinterest has revolutionized the way we view blogging, and sharing ideas.  Particularly creative ideas such as cooking, and crafting (barf, I hate that word) and decorating, and DIY’ing.
I’ve had very deep conversations with some of my blogging friends (many who I consider to be BLOGGING SUPERSTARS!)  Who say they are just ready to quit.  Be all done with blogging.  It’s just not satisfying for them anymore.
Why?
Well, people used to come to your blog and look around.  Many would comment on the things they liked.  Many would leave messages thanking the blogger for the amazing work they were doing.  Many relationships were formed when a blogger was able to respond to a comment and form an actual friendship.
Now, those pictures are pinned.  And many, if not most, of the people don’t even stop by the blog.
Think of it like this….
  • how do you feel when you’ve put a MAJOR amount of work into a project at work?
  • how do you feel when you’ve spent the whole day cleaning the house?
  • how do you feel when you put tons of effort into looking extra cute?

AND NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING.

Boo!  It’s the worst feeling ever!  Can you kind of understand how they feel?  Making a blog post takes several hours just to write, let alone all the work that goes in to making whatever thing is being featured.
And I know you MIGHT have the impression that these bloggers are making tons of money to do what they do.  But I can tell you?  They DON’T.  Most make next to nothing.  Some make enough to cover the cost of their supplies.  And VERY few make actual money.  (and most I know put that money back into things they can blog about and show you!)
What would we do without these bloggers?  These people that STARTED the idea of sharing creative ideas.  These people who give away their genius talents?  Let’s not make it so they want to quit.
Show your favorite bloggers that you love them.  I’m not kidding.  They will keep going if they start feeling a connection with readers again.  It’s just good manners to share your appreciation.  Let’s all learn to say “thank you” more often!  Okay?


Of course you knew this one was coming.  The nastiness that flourishes because no one can see you as you type your hateful comments, opinions, or words.
Sometimes I just think, “if you were looking that girl in the face, would you say that?”  And maybe some people would.  Because mean people exist.  BUT….I think for the most part the answer is no.
Here’s one….
  • Did you know that a site owner can look on Pinterest and see the comments from items that have been pinned from their site?
Yep.  So when you make a comment…(and this is a real one that happened to a friend of mine)
“Great idea, but I’d want to make it actually cute”

Really?  How do you think she felt about that?  I mean, it’s not like super horrible.  But is it necessary?  She worked really hard on that.  If you want to make it different, just do it.  I totally tend to think people don’t realize that what they write can be seen.  Now you know.
But remember….that EVERYTHING you write on the internet….has the ability to be seen.  Be thoughtful.
Can I share with you a VERY personal story?
One time, on Facebook, I made a comment about an old High School friend’s husband.  It wasn’t nice.  But I put it on a page of a person that didn’t know her.  I didn’t use her name.  No big deal.  I am friends on FB with this high school friend….but these people don’t know each other AT ALL.
Well….the internet has a funny way of saving all your words.
Through whatever channel…whether it was “Lara made a comment on so and so’s page” or whatever…. This high school friend read EXACTLY what I wrote.
I would have had no idea, except that she decided to write me an e-mail and confront me. You guys…..I DIE!  I swear, I try to be a nice person most of the time.  I’m not perfect.  But I was caught in a big ‘ol moment of true bitchiness. (pardon)
The e-mail, however, ended with her telling me that she truly forgave me for what I said.  And she hoped that in the future, I would know that things I say, can hurt others.   I have rarely been so inspired in my lifetime.  And so completely humbled.  It takes an amazing person to offer that kind of forgiveness.  And I have never forgotten it.  I immediately responded with a sincere apology, taking full responsibility, and thanking her whole-heartedly for the forgiveness she offered.
I learned such a lesson.  There is NO REASON to be unkind.  No reason to write unkind words.  And if you decide to…..be prepared to be found out.
Just because you can leave an “anonymous” comment.  Doesn’t mean you should.
I ADORE how Ellen Degeneres ends her show every day.  It’s how I want to end this post.

BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.



Post edit: 10/3/12:  I am overwhelmed by the response to this post.  Overwhelmed.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.  And I ADORE and appreciate all the wonderful support I’ve received from many, many, comments.
However, my comment space has become a place where many people feel like they’d like to voice their negative opinions about bloggers, pinterest, and my thoughts.  And frankly, on a post that was written to promote kindness, that response has been disappointing.
If you notice, the article asks people not to say “I got this idea from Pinterest”. Which I hope we can all agree is a very different thing than saying  “I found this on Pinterest”. 
Discovering new things on Pinterest is the thing that is great about the site. And I love to find new friends and talent there, just like you. But the site, on it’s own, doesn’t come up with any ideas. And that is what I am asking people to consider. In no way do I hate Pinterest.  Which was actually mentioned several times.
That’s not in question. 
The negative comments about bloggers and their need for a pat on the back hurts my heart.  These are my friends, and some of the most humble women on earth.  They are giving this community FREE ideas, patterns, and step-by-step instructions for projects.  Saying “thank you” isn’t about an ego….it’s just good manners.
I just am baffled as to why the end of the article about “treat others kindly” doesn’t apply to them.

Because I value SO MUCH the kind-space with which I wrote and shared this article, I have decided to turn the comments section off.  I hope the article continues to help people think about Internet manners and how to be kinder to those whom you interact with words. 
But in that spirit, I just can’t foster a place for people to be unkind.  It’s the opposite of what I mean at Less Cake {more frosting}.  This website is about love, laughing, and support.  Period.
It has nothing to do with your right to express yourself.  And you’re more than welcome to express yourself on your own site.  But here…I just like to feel warm fuzzies.  That’s what my body needs to recover right now.  (did you know I’ve been sick and in bed for 6 months?) I hope you’ll understand that.  You know where to find me if you need me.  :)
And I’m still ‘lil old me…who loves frosting, and friends, and giggles.