101 Cooking For Two - Everyday Recipes for Two: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grilled Potato Kabobs

An easy side for grilling season. You can fix this after your meat goes on the grill. About 20 minutes total time. The concept is easy. Cut the potatoes into quarters. Microwave enough to mostly cook the potatoes on wooded skewers. Oil with spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then finish cooking on the grill.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Basic Meatloaf a la Paula Deen

My heart can't take reading most Paula Deen recipes. The doctor in my just can't take it. But I enjoy watching her cook and her personality. So last week I wanted meatloaf and a Food Network email arrive and there was Paula Deen and her basic meatloaf and it looked like I would live through it.

The original recipe was for 1 pound. Never will I make a 1 pound meatloaf. Meatloaf is for leftovers. So first I double it. Then I "rounded" the ingredients a little. 1 cup of onion is one medium onion and so on. Also I decreased the salt a little and decreased to topping since doubling does not double surface area. 
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Google Recipe Search, Rich Snippets, Microformats, etc...

Food blogs are a changin'. If you didn't know, the new Google recipe search promises to change a lot in food blogging. With about 1% of all searches being for recipes, it's a big market out there. The "big boys" have full time IT departments and programmers. They have also had many months head start converting their vast recipe library. The home food bloggers not so much.

Most of us have just heard of this in the last month or so. No IT or on staff programmers here. Just little old me. I may be a little more able than some bloggers due to a lot of computer experience (BS Iowa State 1972 with a minor in computer science which is worth zero now) and a lot of programming years ago, but really neither I nor other food bloggers are able to easily convert to this new format.

We have all developed our individual "styles" of posting. Really the exact format didn't really matter to anybody much. It's the recipe and the story not the format.

Food bloggers on Wordpress have several options with plugins but none for Blogger. But really those plugins will help with new posts but won't convert old post to the new format. New post will be only minimal more work and since I'm using a technique that includes a print option I will no longer need to "double post". I have really two sites, this one and a site on GoogleSites that serves as a file server for printable versions of my recipes. By not doing the second post I may actually save time.

But what to do with the old posts??????????? There will be no "automatic" method. You can hope but it would take a lot of AI (artificial intelligence) to correctly interpret your old posts. Not going to happen. So your only answer will be to manually convert. But it does not mean you need to do hand entered HTML.

UPDATE Aug 20 2011: There is a print button issue with this method at least on blogger. See my post dated Aug 20 2011.

Helpful Links:
RecipeSEO - has a Wordpress plugin and an online application. I had not too much luck with the online converter and had to manually edit some of the HTML to get what I wanted. See more discussion here.

AmazingRibs.com has an excellent post with lots of detail that is a ton more readable than the Google help pages. Give Meathead a try.

The Google Help Site - Tells you what you need to know but maybe so you really can't understand it.

The Rich Snippet testing tool - A MUST USE to tell you if you did it right.

The "Interested in Rich Snippets" page. It appears just using Rich Snippets is not enough but you need to tell Google you are doing it. Apparently takes a while if at all.

Recipe Wiz - I  love you... really this is making my live easier. See my method below.

My Method
What I wanted.
1) I type OK but not really fast so I needed to "drag and drop" parts of recipes.
2) I wanted a print function. This would save the double post I have been doing.
3) It had to pass the Google test tool.
4) It had to be quick. At 30 minutes per post over about 160 posts that is OH MY GOD... It needs to be faster.
What I got.
1) I can do the Snippet in about 10 minutes give or take some depending on the number of ingredients and instructions.
2) I will need to manually add code lines if I want nutrition info.
3) A zero cook time (like a rub) requires manually editing but only a little.
4) Changing the font size etc is ok.

1) Open two browsers side by side. Your blog on the left and Recipe Wiz in the right window.
2) Fill in the date of your post in Wiz and then start highlighting things in your post and drag and drop them in the Wiz fields. If your ingredients have sections like mine they can go in as a ingredient. For example, if my ingredients have a section that is a "Rub" I enter "Rub" as an ingredient but no amount. I will later after I paste the code into my post make Rub bold and in the editor.
3) When done. Get the code and go to your posting editor. Pick Edit HTML and go to the bottom of the HTML code and past your Snippet to your post.
4) While your are there, you should also tell your readers and Google you update your post so enter something like this (with the correct date) at the very end.
5) Now flip back to your Compose tab (in blogger) and check it out. This is where I would change the formatting on the "Rub" subingredient header. I also enlarge the Instruction and Ingredient headers.

6) You can now publish or edit your post otherwise. It takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to do this additional editing on top of the snippet and I may not do them all. I have done most of my most popular posts but just starting to working my way back though the recipes. 
7) Test your post with The Rich Snippet testing tool  .
8) Don't forget to tell Google what you're are doing.

At this point I'm working my way though my recipes and have snippets on maybe 20% and post edits on about half of them. 

BLOGGER ALERT:If you are a Blogger user, you need to disable the pictures on comments or you get errors. I don't know how important this is because even though I have asked on their help board. No answer was posted. Go to the Settings tab, the comments and go down to "Show profile images on comments?" and click "no".

Post what you're doing about this.

UPDATE: Jan 2 2012 After resubmitting the site to Google about 6 times my snippets are just now appearing on the Google general search. Nothing on the recipe search yet... Maybe tomorrow...


January 2 2012


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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Memphis Grilled Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs

Add the words "Memphis" and "pork" to "grilled" and "ribs". It spells a classic with some tasty heat.

Last year I seemed to be on a "tour" of the south in my cooking. Well it worked well then so I'm going from KC (see my beef brisket post) to Memphis. Actually  a drive I have done several times. But this time just for some great taste.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easiest Oven Baked Kansas City BBQ Beef Brisket

Oven Baked Kansas City BBQ Beef Brisket from 101 Cooking For Two
A double decker KC BBQ Brisket sandwich
Power to the people... BBQ for everyman. Melt in your mouth tender with a wonderful smoky taste and only about 5 minutes total work time. A never failed recipe we have used for 35 years. The ultimate KISS recipe. What could be better?

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pan Seared Oven Roasted Pork Chops from Loin

Pan Seared Oven Roasted Pork Chops from Loin from 101 Cooking For Two
Simple, moist, and tasty are all good words. In cooking I love these words and here they are all in one place.

This is what I now call a "pork chop" which is probably not quite technically correct. Its a slice of a boneless pork loin. I think others may call it a "pork loin chop" but use the cut you want. I like this for several reasons. First it is very lean (read healthy) if trimmed. Second I buy a whole pork loin and cut it as thick as I want easily, freezes great and great for other things like my Mexican shredded pork. I like to cut mine about 1 inch thick to cook well but still be moist.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spicy Garlic Grilled Bone-in Skin-on (Split) Chicken Breast

5 minute prep and 30 minute grilling time equals a great tasting lunch. I always try to cook without going shopping for "special" ingredients.

Unlike my previous post, I added a little spice.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bacon Coated Chicken Kabobs

Bacon Coated Chicken Kabobs with Alabama White BBQ Sauce
The good: extremely moist and very tasty. The bad: I thought I would get more bacon taste. It's little too fussy for my routine use. And lastly, adding bacon fat just rubs the doctor in my wrong.

Sometime a recipe comes along just when you need it. I had two huge chicken breasts that need to go and bacon. I stopped my paper copy of CI  but still have my online subscription. And suddenly it was there. The results excellent but I little too much fuss for me. 

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