Sunday, December 5, 2010

Find Your New Favorite Blog

Ok, so maybe you think blogging is ridiculous and you wouldn't want to waste your time, but do you really understand what blogging really is? Do you have any interests, talents or hobbies, perhaps something you'd like to learn more about. I'll share with you some of mine.

First, the elephant in the room. If you've read any of my previous blog entries, you know that my favorite blog is The Pioneer Woman. But why? I first discovered the blog when my sister revealed several toothsome recipes (including, and this is the actual name)"the best chocolate sheet cake...ever" which had come from her site. I decided to check it out. At the time, I was a new mom, at home for long long hours wih a baby who mostly slept. All my friends were back at work, disimpacting people to their hearts content, and I was ready to go crazy from boredom and my own need to provide colon-emptying support to a mostly elderly population of sick people. I'm sure you've been in the same situation. I had never been much of a cook and definitely had never been a baker at all (due to a habit of frequently forgetting to add key ingredients to recipes such as flour, eggs, baking powder, etc...). The Pioneer Woman has people like me's back, because she takes pictures of the entire process from start to finish. You simply scroll down the page, follow the steps which are described using detailed pictures and instructions, and before you know it, you have a delicious confection sitting in front of you on the counter with no real recollection of exactly how you accomplished the task. I started with the chocolate cake, moved on to the Sleepin' In Omelet ( oh it's too delicious for words) and before I knew it I was a cook and a baker! I was making bread, cakes, cookies, dinner casseroles that didn't have a single can of Campbell's in them, and many other things that I had never even heard of. Clafouti, pots de creme, French silk pie. Domestic goddess I ain't, but The Pioneer Woman at least made me into a functional housewife. The butter and eggs budget went up but the dining out and ordering out budgets went WAY WAY down. Thank you Pioneer Woman. That's from my husband.

The next thing on my list was my unmet healthcare-providing needs. How could I, in the middle of a 4 month long maternity leave, get those needs satisfied, in some small way? Enter Code Blog. This is a blog written by a fellow ICU nurse, with gross stories, drama and ICU nurse tips and thoughts on life. Perfect! I became a follower of that blog. Recently, I even had a story posted in that blog, as a guest blogger, about the time one of my coworkers found a dead cat under her patient. Fun stuff. For anyone interested in any specific niche of the healthcare spectrum, she also has a list of quite a few other medical blogs with links to them. Although I've always been fascinated by the "At Your Cervix" blog, written by a labor and delivery nurse, Thats really more of my sister Val's interest area.

For my newly piqued interest in writing and the idea of breaking into the world of fiction, I found a blog written by a published author and mentor to new and unpublished writers, Randy Ingmerson. He has a monthly newsletter and a blog with tons of helpful advice and encouragement for aspiring writers. He recently co-wrote the "Fiction Writing for Dummies" book, released in print and electronic formats and because I was a follower of his blog, I got a free copy downloaded to my IPad! Being a bloggee pays off in interesting ways sometimes...

I was recently in search of a recipe for a food that Hugo was waxing poetic about from his halcyon childhood days in Colombia. My sister in law Maria directed me to "My Colombian Recipes" a blog written in English by a Colombian lady who married an American and now lives in New England. I surprised Hugo by going to the Latin foods market, buying the stuff, and making him a delicious Colombian meal. All the Colombian recipes I have found online are in Spanish. Not only is this a language that I'm not particularly fluent in, they use metric measurements, which is really, ummm, interesting. You want to make a recipe that calls for 100 gramos of mantequilla? Me neither. I don't even know how you would measure 100 gramos of mantequilla. Do you use a scale? So this lady, Erica, has taken all those recipes and translated them for morons like me. Wasn't that nice of her?

Now that I have shared my favorite blogs with you, won't you tell me what YOUR favorite blogs are? You never know, I might be a devoted follower of that one...

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