Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shaking things up!

Ladies, I'm afraid we've been thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know.) Participation is slow, and Jillian and I both find ourselves a little bogged down at the idea that we have to make something new for each challenge we do. I know I've cheated a few times and made repeats. So we thought "maybe we shouldn't require that all the recipes be new-to-us." But then we also remembered that one purpose of this blog was to help us get new things to work into our dinner rotations, so that we don't get tired of the same ol' same ol' all the time.

So we compromised!

There are four (sometimes five) challenges each month. Of those, we ask that at least one recipe be a brand-new-to-you recipe. You're never made it before. The rest of the weeks can be recipes that you've made maybe once or twice, but you're trying again; or they can be favorite staples that you just can't wait to share. Either way, you don't have to do something new each week. Just be sure that what you do make includes the challenge ingredient somehow.

Another dilemma: sometimes we have really busy weeks, and there's no time to prepare something new or otherwise time-consuming. Sometimes we don't get around to posting until after the end of the week, even if we had time to cook during the challenge week.

So we compromised again!

As always, we have a running list of challenge ingredients on the sidebar. Jillian and I pledge to keep that updated at least four weeks out at any given time (until the end of this year), so that you can forecast and plan ahead. Knowing what's coming up, you can make your challenge dish during the week prior to the challenge, the week of the challenge, or the week after the challenge. One caveat: if you make it during the week prior to the challenge, please don't post it until after the challenge has gone up on the blog. If you want to pre-post it, that's fine. Just be sure to set the date/time to sometime after Monday night. See here to learn how to do this, if you're not familiar with it (it's super-easy...don't worry).

We do have challenge ingredients planned out through the end of this year, and we've got some good ones. Jillian and I are excited to see some good recipes. If you have any ideas for challenge ingredients, let us know, and we can incorporate them in at the beginning of the year (unless they're seasonal, in which case we can try to work them in and shuffle some things around in the the next few months).

We also thought we'd start a new "thing" here on the blog. We've already spotlighted pretty much everyone who participates, so we're done with that feature until we get new people (hint, hint...recruit!!). We didn't have great responses to the Question of the Week (anybody got questions they want to ask?), so for now we decided to spotlight some of our favorite foodies. We're going to call it the Friday Favorite Foodie Feature. Jillian and I will start with some of our favorites, but if you've got any you want to highlight, by all means drop us a line and we'll give you a FFFF week!

So, to review:
  • Only one of your recipes each month has to be brand-new-to-you. The rest can be ones that you just want to share with us, as long as they use the challenge ingredient.
  • You now have a three week window in which to make your dish: up to one week prior to the challenge, the week of the challenge, or the week after the challenge. We only ask that you post it on the blog during the challenge week or the week after. Please don't post early.
  • Keep an eye out for our Friday Favorite Foodie Features (FFFF).
Questions? Thoughts? Complaints? Leave 'em in the comments!


MamaBear said...

do you want to hear about the TWO recipes i've made in the last few days, new to me, that aren't challenge ingredients? b/c i'm dying to post them and they're fab!

MamaBear said...

ps - i love the Beauty and the Beast/Gaston reference/quote at the beginning!

Janelle said...

Thanks for catching the reference! Go ahead and post your recipes, if you're that excited about them! Instead of a challenge ingredient, just tag them as "miscellaneous."

Angie said...

Sounds like a good plan.

stewbert said...

Thanks for making some changes ... our family had life happen and i just haven't been cooking as much or anything new really, so i haven't participated at all in quite a while. this should help.