Archives for category: Great blogs

Hi all:

As you know I’ve started NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I promised you I’d be taking blogging easy and reblogging or reposting some old posts, but before that, I had some things pending that I tried to fit in (yes, I pre-program some posts).

As people seemed quite keen on the recipe I shared for Créme Catalane, I decided to leave you another one of the recipes I share in my book I Love Your Cupcakes, this time a good old-fashioned cake. This one I’ve actually baked myself, although some time ago, and the recipe I used is slightly different to this one, but I must say this one looks awesome:

Still from the film Julie & Julia that I recommend, especially if you're a foodie and a blogger

Still from the film Julie & Julia that I recommend, especially if you’re a foodie and a blogger

Reine de Saba

(Chocolate and Almond Cake)

Yield: One 8-inch cake

Recipe by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking

For the Cake:

4 ounces or squares semi-sweet Chocolate

2 tablespoons of Rum

4 ounces softened butter

⅔ cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

⅔ cup pulverized almonds or 1 cup of almonds to pulverize

¼ tsp almond extract

For the Glaçae au Chocolat (Chocolate-Butter Icing):

2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 tablespoons of Rum

5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup cake flour (scooped and leveled) turned into a sifter

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour the cake pan.
  2. Set the chocolate and rum in a small pan with a tight cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pulverize your almonds in your food processor, about a cup. Add a tablespoon of sugar to avoid the almond oils to lump up.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
  5. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt  until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  7. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds, and almond extract.
  8. Immediately stir one-fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter.
  9. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one-third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
  10. Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
  11. Cake is done when it has puffed, and  2½ to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
  12. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack.
  13. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.
  14. For the Icing, place the chocolate and rum in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water.
  15. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth.
  16. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time with the help of a rubber spatula. If the mixture starts to cool off too fast, place the chocolate pan again in hot water and beat in the butter until it fully incorporates.
  17. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. This will take about 3 minutes.
  18. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife, and press a design of almonds over the icing.

Notes:

  • You can replace the rum for coffee: 1 tablespoon of instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water.

http://www.thefoodieskitchen.com/en/2013/02/reine-de-saba-chocolate-and-almond-cake/ (downloaded in June 2014)

Here I leave you a link of Julia Child baking the Queen of Sheba Cake. I must admit the version I have baked myself had neither coffee nor rum and it did not add any frosting, although her version looks Amazing! (And if you’ve never watched the movie Julie & Julia I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially if you’re interested in cooking and blogging.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8clrnFM3Ys (it was working at the time of publishing my book in September 2014)

This one from wildcranberryhookedrugs-wordpress-com looks much more like mine

This one from wildcranberryhookedrugs.wordpress.com looks much more like mine

As you can see from my blog (and thanks to Sarah Vernon from whom I “borrowed” the icon for award free blog. Don’t miss the chance to check her fabulous blog First Night Design) I’m an award free blog. For a variety of reasons. A bit over a year ago there were so many awards making the rounds that I could no longer find people who had the time to keep the chain going or to comply with some of the requirements, and I felt I was spending more time doing that than actually blogging. I wanted to focus more on may writing so I decided (after seeing what great friend and blogger Teagan Geneviene did), to do regular posts sharing some of the blogs I’d come across that I thought might be of interest to some of my readers.

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Net World Network Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So far I had only done a couple of these posts and kept a list going. The list is getting quite long now, and in the last few weeks I’ve been nominated for a number of awards. Although I’m not going to follow the rules (sorry, I’m award free), I wanted to thank Jo Robinson (who was on my next list and you must visit as she’s extremely entertaining in showing us life on the wild side, and she’s tremendously generous with her advise on writing, interviews and has joined a team doing great job to promote other writers, that now I’m a part of too, although not very active until after November), Lord David Prosser (a gentleman who shares his life, writings, reblogs and interviews his fellow authors, actually, me just last week) and Elaine Canham (who makes me laugh often when she shares funny stuff, and can write about the trade, about a bus trip, or reflect incisively on everyday life, and who was also in my list of new blogs to recommend) for their nominations. Do check them out, they’re amazing.

And here I leave you some other blogs I’ve discovered recently and I hope you enjoy too (if you haven’t met them yet):

Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life (Sally Cronin’s blog: great blog full of information on health related topics, personal experiences, special features like the Sunday interviews, where Sally interviews writers, artists, musicians, and she’s also fabulous at discovering and sharing other people’s blogs. She reblogs fabulous content too and I rely on her to keep me up to date with great content I might not have come across. Unmissable!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Cyndy Noke (pictures, books… Cyndy keeps making me add to my long list of places to visit. She has a wandering heart and itchy feet!)

http://cindyknoke.com/

Inesemj Photography (photography with a wonderful eye for spots and places you would not have thought about, Irish themes, and wonderful and interesting information, including tips on photography)

http://inesemjphotography.com/

Janet Weight Reed (artist who shares her work and experiences related to art. I love her love of colour and her hummingbirds! And don’t miss her posts on her process of creation and her videos. And she’s even gone where no other people do, and read my cupcake book and left me a wonderful review. Thank you Janet!)

http://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/

Confessions of a writer (James Naith. Just go on and check)

http://jamessnaith.wordpress.com/

Ronovan Writes (Ronovan not only interviews other authors, and thanks for the wonderful interview, Ronovan!, but also offers his advice and experience in promoting others. He has teamed up with our friend Jo Robinson and keeps building up a group of people invested in promoting writers. Yes, he’s also decided I might be able to help with reviews and other content.He bogs his own content but shares most advice for writers in this great resource. Do not miss!)

http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons (Kim Goselin. I met Kim through Sally Cronin and she’s one of a group of bloggers who regularly meet in Twitter and we keep each other going. I hope we can all make it in person one day.)

http://kimgosselinblog.com/

Cate Russell-Cole (I’ve know Cate for quite a while now but she had to take a bit of a break from blogging. Now she’s back offering comprehensive advice on writing, sharing any useful information she comes across and also taking part in NaNoWriMo. We’re writing buddies, so she’s having a bit of a breather in November, but go and check all of her advice. Go Cate!):

http://cateartios.wordpress.com/

 

Billy Ray Chitwood (he has quite a few blogs going, but he’s a prolific writer and juggles them very well. I appreciate his reflections on life, love his very short fiction, and recommend that you check the comments too, as recently he even offered us a masterful rendition of a song in the best crooner style):

http://www.thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com

http://www.billyraychitwood.weebly.com

 

C-Dog and Company (Because dogs and cats are family…) by Debra Levy. (I started reading her posts about her pets but it didn’t take me long to realise the whole universe meets there):

http://cdogco.com/

Aquileana (I reccomend this blog especially if you enjoy Mythology, Philosophy and the Classics. Exquisite taste in choosing classics and gorgeous images and art works to illustrate the stories). The blogs are in Spanish and English so if you want to practice…

https://aquileana.wordpress.com/

I’ll keep noting down blogs, because there are so many great bloggers around I think this will go on, and on…

Ah, I did promise I’d do the workplace/writing place blog (thanks Jo) but due to my current circumstances it might be a while, but if anybody wants to take it up and show us (pictures are more than welcome) their writing place, consider yourself nominated!

And just in case you didn’t come across my two previous post about blogs to check, here are the links:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/blogs-i-follow-come-and-have-a-look-today-blogs-on-writing-and-personal-blogs/

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/and-more-great-blogs-10-best-insight-technology-photography/

As an aside, I Love Your Cupcakes is now available in paper. Anybody needs any presents?

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

 

Thanks to all of you for reading, to the fantastic bloggers for visiting, to my friends and fellow bloggers for the nominations, and you know, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

 

Hi all:

I hope you’ll remember last week I brought you a selection of blogs I regularly follow, just in case you might find them of interest. As I said there are many I follow, and this is only a small sample, but I thought I’d bring you a few more in different subjects, to see what  you think.

Lens aperture Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lens aperture Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The very best top 10

http://theverybesttop10.com/

I’ve been following this blog for a long time (I think nearly as long as I’ve been blogging) and never ceases to amuse me. The most amazing thing about it is not only the fact that it is well-thought, it usually provides links (if it’s recipes, to how to make the dish, or to the website), and it has an incredibly wide variety of topics, but also that this blog posts daily, and it never runs out of ideas (well, on Sundays it’s a guest post, but then, even God took a day off). I’ve seen things I never thought I’d see in my life, discovered animals I didn’t know existed, and come to realise that people are far more inventive than anybody gives them credit for. Long live The very best top 10!

A Glimpse of Heaven. The Philosophy of True Health (Dr Glenn Hepker)

http://aglimpseofheaventhephilosophyoftruehealth.wordpress.com/

Dr Glenn Hepker is one of the authors in one of the groups I belong to (ASMSG) and he blogs (and also posts in Wattpad) regularly about his book ‘The Philosophy of True Health’. He replies to readers’ questions and his thoughtful and enlightened replies never fail to bring focus and inspiration to my day. If you haven’t met him yet, don’t miss the chance.

I love art (and admire people who are good at it. If I have any skill on this area it is only the capacity to appreciate it) and although I will normally read around and look for images on the internet, there are two blogs I always keep going back to.

Leanne Cole Photography:

http://leannecolephotography.com/

Leanne shares her images, techniques and experiences with other photographers and the public in general. Although I must confess I’m rubbish at taking pictures and therefore the technical points go well over my head, I never miss the opportunity of checking her offerings, her experiments and her discussions. And the conversations and comments are worth their weight in gold. The only problem is her images of Australia are quite difficult to resist… (Oh, and she recently shared some of her paintings… gorgeous).

First Night Design (Sarah Vernon):

http://firstnightdesign.wordpress.com/

Sarah has an incredible (as I’ve said many times my ability to do anything involving images is not zero, is in the negative numbers) ability to find vintage and classical images, add textures, and create fabulous visual treats, that become everyday objects (cards, cushions, mugs…). She is happy to share her process, her successes and failures (as she sees them), and she also posts about family history (amazing connections), interesting quotes… Have a look and see what you think! (She has been having some technical problems of recent but as the very generous blogger she is, she has been sharing some great content from other blogs).

Mashable

http://mashable.com/

I can’t say I’m particularly up-to-date in technology, but I like to try and keep informed (there are many sources of information but things change at speed of light, so not an easy task). I discovered Mashable a while back and I’d be surprised if anybody out there hasn’t come across them, but just in case… I’ve got used to the music in their videos (you have to watch one to know what I’m talking about), they post regularly throughout the day on a variety of subjects, so I never quite catch everything, but if you pick the most popular posts, you’re bound to be pretty ‘on the know’.

I’ll leave it there for now. Thanks to the blogs for being there, thanks to you all for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and most of all CLICK and FOLLOW! (Ah, and share other great blogs for everyone’s benefit).

Hi all:

I decided I should share some of the blogs I follow and read regularly (as much as I can) for a couple of reasons. One is because I’m a bit in flux at the moment and as I wasn’t sure how much new content I could provide, I thought it was only fair to share the content of some of the blogs I come back to regularly so you would have  a chance to go exploring. Another reason is that every now and then I get offered some award for blogging, and as I decided some time ago to concentrate on the writing, I don’t follow through. A fellow blogger (more about her later) when she gets offered and award, she shares some of the blogs she follows and finds inspiring, and I thought that was a very good idea. So, thank you Teagan!

I follow many more blogs and I read as many as I can, but I thought I’d leave you a selection of a few (more next week) by topic. I hope this would become a feature and I’ll bring you updates regularly.

Image courtesy of Dominic Harness / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Dominic Harness / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I thought I’d share some of the blogs that offer good information on all aspects of writing, and some that are by writers who talk about their trade, but also about their lives and other equally (or to my mind sometimes much more) fascinating themes.

Seumas Gallacher:

http://seumasgallacher.com/

This Scotsman now living in warmer and drier climates, has a unique style of interaction and loves social networking (you have to read him to know what I mean. I won’t try and imitate his style). He is amusing, provides useful information, and his approach proves that being unique and genial are strong assets in this world of blandness and copycats. Go on and check him out!

Daily Writing Tips (Maeve Maddox):

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/

Not being a native English speaker, I’m always trying to check my language and looking for tips, suggestions and good explanations. Maeve’s post never fail to teach me something new, and they’re always well thought and researched. A great resource!

Communicate Resources for Writers (Cate Artios)

http://cateartios.wordpress.com/

I know Cate through one of the writers’ groups I belong too, and we belong to the same Tribe in Triberr, so we share each other posts regularly. I enjoy the posts of all of my colleagues, but I’ve found Cate’s posts again a great resource and a mine of information. Cate creates her own posts and she’s always prompt to reblog and share posts she thinks will help others. Thanks Cate!

Sandy Appleyard (Author of hopeful memoirs and fiction)

http://www.sandyappleyard.com/

I’ve been following Sandy’s post for a while. She always manages to discover a new way to promote your books and increase visibility, and she’s always generous in passing the information on and offering help if you have difficulties. Now I’ve joined a group she’s created in Facebook and I’m sure there’s plenty more learning to come!

The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn):

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

Joanna Penn and ‘The Creative Penn’ are well-known for their efforts in informing writers about resources, technology, programmes, training opportunities, and bringing innovators to her blog. I can’t imagine there are many people who haven’t come across her yet, but just in case somebody has been asleep for a while, I thought I’d mention her.

Teagan’s Books (Teagan Geneviene):

http://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/

Teagan’s blog, like many blogs of writers (I guess including mine) are a bit of a mix. Sometimes we all like to feel that it is our blog and therefore we’ll write about what we like, and if somebody likes it, all the better. But what I love about Teagan’s Books is the writing. Teagan is committed to writing a new piece (instalment) every week, and she takes to writing challenges like duck to water. I only discovered Teagan recently (although it feels as if we were close friends already) but I’m glued to her series of the three ingredients, where she’s writing a story set in the 1920s incorporating 3 food ingredients every week (these are provided by friends and other bloggers). She’s done other writing assignments before and I hope to be able to catch up with them soon. And don’t miss the care she takes in finding great period images for her posts (and of course, the recipes)! Go Teagan!

The next three blogs are by writers about writing also, but to me they have a bit of a more personal style.

Laurie Smith’s blog:

http://laurie27wsmith.wordpress.com/

Laurie Smith is a man who seems to have lived many lives in one. I love his Army series, that includes pictures of the period (oh, the pink tank!), his Wednesday offerings (usually great pictures and kangaroos and wallabies for good measure), and recently he’s talking about his experiences as a medium. If you want variety, Laurie is your man!

Barsetshire Diaries (David Prosser):

http://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/

Lord David Prosser (as his close friends call him), follows a diary style for his blogs. He writes his daily happenings and posts on a Sunday. Over time I’ve become fond of Reuben (grandchildren always a plus, and he’s gorgeous), his fishes, his brother (what time will he get up today?), the people at the eateries he visits, and the never ending stream of e-mails and posts that keep him glued to his computer (unfortunately my posts are part of the problem). He’s recently published a children’s book with illustrations and he’s a generous and thoughtful blogger, who will add mid-week posts if some good cause comes his way. He’s also become part of my family of bloggers.

Ailsa Abraham:

http://ailsaabraham.com/

I’d love to remember who alerted me to Ailsa’s posts (I think it might have been Seumas, who’s always prompt at reblogging posts he enjoys) but I read one where she was talking about trying to cope with her stroke in such a humorous way that I kept telling everybody I met about it. Ailsa is a writer, now living in France, and she has a fantastic sense of humour. She’s trying her hand at poetry and I cannot recommend her blog enough. Go and visit! You’ll feel better for it!

Thanks to all the bloggers for participating (without their knowledge but I hope they won’t mind), thank you for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and if you have, please like, share, comment, and especially CLICK and FOLLOW!

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