April/May 2011 Challenge: Smitten Kitchen
  • By popular demand, we're running a food blog challenge this month, focusing on Smitten Kitchen. We invite reviews of any recipe on the site, and for prizes we'll be sending out 3 of the great cake/cookbook prints from artist Summer Pierre (see here for her gallery on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/summerpierre?section_id=7949150).

    Get cooking!
  • Hi! I'm quite new to this site (and I'm totally in love!) after seeing it mentioned on Library Thing. I like the idea of taking part in the challenges as a way of expanding your repertoire. I was just wondering, obviously there is nothing to stop me from taking part, but not living in the USA (though I'm from there originally but now living in the UK) would I still be eligible for winning prizes? Either way I'd like to take part, I was just curious.
  • I am so pleased to see this challenge as it brings my two favorite food websites together -- I have so many SK recipes printed off and sitting in a basket in my kitchen just waiting to be tried.
  • Hi @redjanet: you are eligible. I checked the Etsy shipping for the prints and they do ship anywhere in the world.
  • I'm very pleased about this new challenge, too. And Andrew, very creative on the prizes! I'm pretty much in love with the SK site, and finding Deb's hidden link to pictures of her adorable son even turns it into a treasure hunt. Thanks in advance - for the fun and its accompanying need for additional exercise.
  • Cool! Thanks, I'll be looking forward to taking part in the challenge.
  • Andrew, I posted a note to Deb at Smitten Kitchen about the challenge here and she responded -- so she knows what we are up to over here. I saw the thread about increasing traffic here-- when I first discovered Cookbooker I thought -- he has built it ... they will come. And I still think the functionalty of the site is so good, they will come...and stick around. I hope some of the Smitten Kitchen regulars will wander over this way.

    I can't even tell you how easy this site has made it for me to do menu planning when I am having guests.
  • Thanks aj! I'm also going to ask her if she has time for a short email interview for the challenge. And I'm so glad the site continues to be helpful for you. I am (slowly) working some new features, which I hope to launch this spring.
  • I goofed! I was having trouble with my internet connection, and thought I had lost my review for arroz con leche, so I re-entered it. Andrew, can you please delete the review that does not have the picture? Am I capable of doing that? Thanks, QS/LL
  • I only see one review - I presume you were able to delete it okay?
  • Yes, I did find I could delete my review. But that one I deleted - I had put the URL where the name goes, and the name where the URL goes, and its listed still as an indexed recipe. Sorry!
  • Don't worry - I've deleted it now! These things happen... We've made it so you can't delete a recipe itself because if there were any other reviews attached to it, they'd be 'orphaned'. If it happens again, just let me know and I'll take care of it.
  • Is it a problem if a recipe has the wrong name? I just reviewed the orangette recipe. The first reviewer used the title "chocolate orange peel" (which describes the result), but at SK, Deb called these "orangette". I do not seem to be able to change the recipe's title. Andrew, do you want us to tell you about these details??
  • Yes, please tell me - this is a duplicate as Friederike already entered orangette last year and reviewed it. I'll consolidate the two recipes into one under the existing orangette. Thanks!
  • Andrew -- so glad you were able to line up an interview with Deb from Smitten Kitchen! I am finding this a really fun challenge.

    Also, for those who are interested, here is a link to a Serious Eats posting on how to get the best results in food photography -- I found some things in the post that I hope will help me take better pictures to post with my reviews.

  • Great idea, aj, to post the photo link. I also found Heidi's tips from 101 Cookbooks to be useful: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001451.html

    For my photographs, I use a Canon Digital Rebel with a 50 mm 1.8 lens, which allows for great low-light shots and a very nice depth of field (blur in the background) effect. But any camera can take good photos under the right conditions.

    For uploading to Cookbooker, note that the website crops any photo you upload into a square, so make sure that the centre of your image has the shot you want before doing so.
  • The challenge is now complete - we've got 212 reviews. I'll sort through them and post the winners tonight or tomorrow, depending on how long it takes to sort everything and run the random number generator.
  • This was a lot of fun (and calories...). Thanks - I tried a lot of things that I would not have otherwise. Of course, I'm already itching to know what will be next!
  • And, picked by the random fluctuations of the Earth's atmosphere (yes, this is how the random number generator I used gets random numbers from) the winners are...


    I'll be contacting the winners about their lovely prizes today. In addition I'd like to congratulate our top reviewers Queezle_Sister (AKA LazyLurker), Peckish_Sister and kfranzetta. The three of them cooked more than half of the recipes reviewed for this challenge, an impressive achievement indeed!
  • I was so happy to see some user names that were unfamiliar - and hopefully are new cookbookers! So great to read the interesting reviews, and I'm pleased that some of them won!

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