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Welcome back to the Retro Re-pin Party!

Do you ever have a week where all your carefully laid plans have to be totally thrown out of the window because something unexpected happened? That’s what my week has been like. I think things are going to calm down now, but I’m super behind schedule. 

Here’s what I’ve been up to since the last party: 

 On to the party!

I’d love to see what you’re planning for the big game! Football watch parties are all about the food for me. Got any game day appetizers for me? Remember to pin your posts first and then link up that PINTEREST PIN to the party below so we can show it some extra re-pin love! (Pinterest ranks re-pins higher than pins.)

The Retro Re-pin Party - A pinterest party every Tuesday at 8pm 

My favorite posts from the last party are all about Valentine’s Day:

vegan-conversation-hearts-Mayhem-in-the-Kitchen

 

Vegan Conversation Hearts by Mayhem in the Kitchen 

 

Strawberry-Cheesecake-Bars-Recipe-Simplee Thrifty

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars by… Continue reading

A nutrient-packed, savory Indian curry Ayurvedic Red Lentil Soup from the PeaceMeals recipe box along with an interview from the PeaceMeals founder, Cath. Today’s printable meal plan is below the recipe. 

An interview with the founder of PeaceMeals and a recipe for Red Lentil Soup

I’m mixing things up a bit today and doing an interview with my friend Cath who is the Founder and Director of the PeaceMeals program. (If you’ve been reading for a while you may remember my Sweet Potato Medallions guest post with Elizabeth at Elizabeth Lives. Cath and Elizabeth are sisters. Their whole family is incredible and near and dear to my heart.)

Cath and her husband recently stayed with us for a few weeks while they were waiting for the lease to start at their new home. During one of our many shared meals, she told me about her PeaceMeals dream. It’s an amazing program, and I immediately asked her if she would let me do an interview so I could share her program with y’all. She even sent me this delicious recipe for Ayurvedic Red Lentil Soup to go along with it. (And because I know you’re all wondering the same thing I was – Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India.)

Here’s our interview:Cath PMHeadshotSide_Med_Res-9

Me: Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you enjoy? 
 
Cath: Hi! My name is Cath. I’m originally from Wisconsin, but have bounced around locations quite a bit.  In the past, I have worked and done research on conflict resolution, human rights, and recovery from trauma. However, I recently left the professional world to go back to school to pursue my true passion: gathering people into supportive communities and nourishing them around the dinner table. 
 
Me: Tell me about PeaceMeals. What’s your elevator pitch?
 
Cath: PeaceMeals is… Continue reading

Step-by-step tutorial for how and why to adjust white balance in your food photos with free Pic Monkey photo editor.

Why White Balance Is So Important For Food Photos Plus What You Can Do To Fix It

 

I’m sure you’ve all heard that we eat first with our eyes. That makes food photography super important. You can have a super amazing recipe, but if your image is a blurry brown blob, you probably won’t have people jumping up and down and drooling. I don’t want to call any other bloggers out or embarrass anyone, so I took my own blurry blob photo to demonstrate my point:

Why White Balance Is So Important For Food Photos Plus What You Can Do To Fix It

Not very appetizing right?  Can you even really tell what it is? Would you re-pin it on Pinterest? Share on Facebook? Maybe I would if it was a really great recipe, but I don’t know that I would get past the photo to try it out unless someone told me about it. 

What about this one?

A quick, healthy dinner recipe. Greek Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Feta, Olives, Artichokes and Tomatoes.

Much better right? Practically night and day. You can see what it is, and the bright, well-lit photo makes you want to dive right in. (This photo is from my Greek Zucchini Noodles recipe by the way.)

Now, I’m not here to say that you need to have cookbook-worthy food photos, but I think everyone knows that you need to grow your skills at food photography from that blurry image above if you want to grow your blog’s exposure. I decided early on in my blogging adventure to learn everything I could find about food photography, so I want to share what I’ve learned so far and make learning how to get better easier for you. Today we’re going to talk about the #1 thing that makes food photos look better: white balance

And just so you know where I’m coming from, I want to share this side by side of where I started with my food photography… Continue reading

Step-by-Step instructions (with pictures!) on how and why you should verify your blog with Pinterest (the easy way).

How (and Why) to Verify Your Blog for Pinterest (The Easy Way)

Today I want to talk to you about verifying your blog on your Pinterest account. This is an amazing way to gain traffic and brand recognition on Pinterest.

Benefits of verifying include:

Your blog name and your site’s favicon (that little image on the browser tab above) below each pin from your website. Here’s an example of one of my verified pins: 

How (and Why) to Verify Your Blog for Pinterest

Your blog’s full URL in your Pinterest profile. Here’s mine:
How (and Why) to Verify Your Blog for Pinterest (The Easy Way)

 

The ability to have Rich Pins (you’ll need to have meta tags in your theme to use this, but many plugins and themes include these already). Rich pins are amazing because people can see an excerpt of the blog post, the ingredients for a recipe, the info about a movie, prices for a product, or maps for a place. Don’t you just love it when you can preview the pin before you click through? Here’s a rich pin for one of my recipes (I did note the typo too – eek!):

How (and Why) to Verify Your Blog for Pinterest (The Easy Way)

 

Pinterest Analytics. Easily track what pins are popular and which posts are being pinned.

Better search engine results for your Pinterest profile which results in more followers and more direct traffic to your blog.

More traffic to your blog through Google search results. If you’re verified, the pins and Pinterest boards from your blog show up in Google image results and search engine results. That has been great to send traffic to my blog. My most viral pin about How to Throw a Doctor Who Party is one of the top results in Google image search for Doctor Who Party and sends at least 60 page views/day to my blog. This didn’t start until after I verified. 

 … Continue reading

How To Build A Well-Stocked Spice Cabinet. 7 great tips and a shopping list for starting your spice collection from scratch!

How To Build A Well-Stocked Spice Cabinet

I’ve had a few requests for tips on stocking a pantry, so I thought I would start with my favorite place: The spice cabinet! I keep a pretty wide selection of dried herbs and spices on hand because you never know when the mood to cook might strike you. I have a table of dried herbs and spices to share with you, but first, I want to start off with some tips.

Tips for Stocking and Storing Your Spice Cabinet

1. Start by purchasing the most commonly used herbs and spices.

You may decide to go out and stock your entire spice cabinet with all the basics at once, or you may buy these one at a time as you need them for a recipe. I get frustrated at having to buy spices for every single recipe I make, so I typically go and get them all at once when setting up a new kitchen. (This is also a fun and useful house warming/wedding gift!)

2. Wait for big cooking holidays to find a great spice sale.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter often mean that spices and baking ingredients go on sale. I saw spices at our local grocery priced at 4/$10 or buy-one-get-one just before Thanksgiving. Considering that some of them can be $6-10/each, that’s a great deal!

3. Quality Matters

You don’t necessarily have to pay more to get higher quality spices, but the herbs and spices you can find at a specialty spice shop are typically much fresher and more flavorful than your local supermarket special. Just think about how long they may have been in a jar, stored in a warehouse, and on the shelf before… Continue reading

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I'm an Austin, Texas native living in Denver, Colorado who blogs about my favorite Tex-Mex and travel-inspired recipe creations, food photography, and tech resources for bloggers. I want to make it easier for you provide sustenance to your family and show hospitality to others. Click here to learn more about me.

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