Monday Morning Links

I know it’s Monday, but these stories should help you through…





Recipe Planning, DJ Style

  • How many afternoons about 3:00 are you sitting at your desk at work, scrambling for ideas for dinner?
  • How many Sundays do you promise yourself that you’ll make out a weekly menu and actually plan ahead?
  • How many of us simply are too busy to plan, even though it would save time in the long run?

While struggling with these dilemmas, I came across

It’s a pretty cool site.  After signing up for free, a monthly calendar of recipes is generated for you, based on some key food terms/items you select during the sign-up process.  You give the recipes a thumbs up or thumbs down.  If you give it a thumbs down, it’s replaced with another recipe.

Once you’ve found a recipe you like, simply click on it, and it opens in a pop-up window.

Once you’ve picked your recipes for the month, you can then have it create a shopping list for you based on date range for your calendar:

You can then edit and/or delete items.  Pretty cool!

It also lets you add your own recipes to share with others on the site.

I plan on using it to help me in building my weekly menus…or find recipes last minute when said menu doesn’t get made. :)

Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta

Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta.

  1. The word ‘Pasta’ came from the word paste which means a combination of wheat and flour.
  2. The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
  3. Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States; he fell in love with a dish he sampled in Naples.
  4. Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means “to the tooth,” which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.
  5. There are over 600 varieties of Pasta in Italy; each designed for a specific kind of sauce.
  6. Sophia Loren once said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti”.
  7. A 230g serving of spaghetti is 345 calories, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil adds another 200 calories to it.
  8. The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.
  9. In Italian vermicelli and linguine translates to “Little worms” and “little tongues” respectively.
  10. Pasta contains six of major eight amino acids required by our body to make a healthy diet.
  11. Colored pasta: (Pastas are coloured using tomatoes and red beet for red; spinach and basil for green; brown mushrooms for brown; saffron for yellow; squid ink for black.
  12. Flat pastas are for cream sauces, whereas tomato based sauces cling better to round pastas.
  13. The first documented recipe for pasta is from around the year 1000, in the book “De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e macaroni siciliani”, (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli) written by Martino Corno, chef to the powerful Patriarch of Aquileia.
  14. It is believed that the Sicilian word “maccaruni” which translates as “made into a dough by force” is the origin of the word macaroni. In the ancient methods of making pasta, force meant kneading the dough with the feet – a process which could take up to a day.
  15. In 1740, the city of Venice issued Paolo Adami a license to open the first pasta factory. The machinery was simple enough. It consisted of an iron press, powered by several young boys.

Recipes Collected from #FCDish

We just finished up another fun #FCDish tweet-up by Fine Cooking Magazine (@FineCooking).  Here are some of the recipes that caught my eye.  Hope you guys can use them, too!

Pine Nut and Chocolate Caramel Bars


Four Cheese and Tomato Lasagne


Radicchio and Cauliflower Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs


Brandied Mustard


Pear Ginger Cake with Whipped Cream and Rum-Caramel Glaze


Egg Nog Tres Leches Cake

Carmelized Onion & Gruyere Bread Pudding

Shrimp Bisque

Tasteful Selections™ Simply Amazing Flavors Recipe Contest

This October, consumers will have a chance to win free Tasteful Selections™ specialty potatoes for a year. RPE is running the Tasteful Selections™ Simply Amazing Flavors recipe contest through the end of the month on the brand’s Facebook page at

Consumers are invited to showcase their culinary skills through this contest. All it takes is uploading an original recipe and a photo on the Recipe Contest tab of the Facebook page. Not only is RPE giving away free potatoes for a year as a first prize, they are giving away $100 and $50 gift cards to runners-up. Contestants will have an opportunity to share their love of Tasteful Selections™ along with their one-of-a-kind recipes, and have their recipes featured on, among other places.


I am in the process of preparing my submission for the contest.  I tried to think of potato recipes I had recently created, and I think I have the perfect one in mind.  I’ve selected one that only has 4 ingredients (6 if you count the salt & pepper), and can be made as quickly as you can boil the potatoes and mash them!  Pictures and more information in the coming weeks!

Sparkly Baking

Even though I’m not a baker, I might become one for one of these pretty pretties:


I’ve used in the past and have liked it, but after playing on it this morning, I’m in *love* with it.  It’s much better at sorting your grocery list in several ways (including by recipe), and the ZipList Recipe Clipper Bookmark is much better at reading recipes and ingredients from a majority of major cooking websites.

However, the coolest new thing is the ZipThis functionality.  It lets you take a recipe on and quickly link to it by:

ZipThis Link:

Embedded Link: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

SMS Text Message: Text ZT7CMC to RECIPE (732473)

or – get this…

QR Code!

Always on the go?

Then take Sarafina’s Kitchen with you on your Kindle!

You know you want yummy recipes with you at all times! :)

Don’t forget that you can also shop the Sarafina’s Kitchen Amazon store for my picks on cookbooks, cookware, gourmet goodies, and cooking for kids.

Social SEO for Blogs: A Recipe for Success

Until my TECHmunch blog post is complete, here’s the presentation from Lee Odden with TopRank Marketing.  Enjoy!

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