Monday, December 14, 2009

Anyone Heard of CookEatShare?

Hi all,

I was recently contacted by someone at CookEatShare and just wanted to see if anyone here had any experience with the or any opinions. They seem like a decent enough site, but I'm not sure how I feel about having my site stuck in a frame.


This Post was written by Dawn from Dawn's Recipes

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Recommend a small camera, please!

Hi all. I've got a Canon PowerShot A640 and frankly, I'm a little tired of it. It's bulky (annoying to carry around) and the flash, no matter how I adjust it, is much too harsh. Can't use the flash for food shots at all, which makes after-dark photography a challenge. Soooo, I'm looking for something new. Small, hopefully small enough for a pocket. Good for food. Useful flash. Not terribly expensive (would under $150 be too much to hope for?)

Suggest away, please!

This Post was written by Debbie from Words to Eat By

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Comment Moderation Acting Up

Hi folks, till today, I was having trouble publishing/rejecting one particular comment. I get a message saying "Error performing your request" - bx-405yxs. That was spam. It's still in my comments folder.

Now I'm having trouble publishing a friendly comment. The screen just goes back to comment moderation, I don't get any error message.

How do I set this right?

This Post was written by Sra from When My Soup Came Alive

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Luddite Question


I'm having trouble attaching a video to a blogger post. It just says "uploading video for hours," but nothing happens. Any suggestions? Thanks!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another type of comment spam

I'm glad I chose to put my blog on comment moderation - now it appears that companies are paying people to pretend to be bloggers. The post read something like "That recipe looks really good, I'm in a rut as to types of pasta dishes to fix in addition to my go to pasta recipes." The italicized words "go to pasta recipes" was a link - to a Disney Family recipe page. The name of the person leaving the comment was also a link, but to a person who doesn't even have a blog but registered with Blogger so she could post as if she did. If I hadn't clicked on her name, I wouldn't have seen that. My guess is that she is paid by Disney to put their links on people's blogs.

This Post was written by Cyndi from Cookin' With Cyndi

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

upgrading wordpress to latest version - a cautionary tale

Having put it off long enough, I have just upgraded my wordpress installation from the legacy 2.0.11 (which was stable and officially supported until very recently) to 2.8.4. What prompted this? The following on the wordpress website:

Right now there is a worm making its way around old, unpatched versions of WordPress. This particular worm [...] makes itself an admin, then uses JavaScript to hide itself when you look at users page, attempts to clean up after itself, then goes quiet so you never notice while it inserts hidden spam and malware into your old posts. [...] Upgrading is a known quantity of work [...] Fixing a hacked blog, on the other hand, is quite hard. Upgrading is taking your vitamins; fixing a hack is open heart surgery. (This is true of cost, as well.)

2.8.4, the current version of WordPress, is immune to this worm. (So was the release before this one.) If you've been thinking about upgrading but haven't gotten around to it yet, now would be a really good time.

- excerpt from

I did the upgrade to 2.8.4 in one fell swoop by following the steps in the wordpress codex. There appeared to be only a few glitches that were relatively quickly ironed out and everything seemed to be running fine.

Until I noticed several stray Âs in some of the older posts. And ûs instead of üs, és instead of és, âs instead of âs, etc. etc. It turns out that I SHOULD have disregarded the detailed instructions and googled to find others' recommendations about upgrading the Legacy Wordpress. Thank goodness for backups!! (Please read more about my wordpress upgrade woes. )

When you are upgrading your older version of wordpress (don't put it off!!), take a look Pixelita Designs; they put together a handy (if only I'd seen it!!) step by step guide:

  1. Backup your database! If you have the WP Backup plugin, just use that to capture the latest MySQL dump. Otherwise, go through your web host's control panel and PHPAdmin to export the *.sql file to your hard drive.
  1. Chart your upgrade path. Since you are upgrading from 2.0.11, you should upgrade incrementally, like this: 2.0.11 > 2.1 > 2.2 > 2.3 > 2.5 > 2.6 > 2.7 > [2.8.4]
  2. Make sure you have downloaded and unzipped to folders all of the WP versions you'll need to complete your upgrade. You can find them in the download archive.
  3. Using your favorite FTP program, upload WordPress, starting with 2.1, from the folder you downloaded and unzipped. DO NOT UPLOAD any .htaccess or wp-config.php files from any of the distros! You will want to retain your own versions of .htaccess and wp-config.php already on your server.
  4. Once the first new version is uploaded, point your browser to the /wp-admin folder and upgrade.php. For example, if your WordPress install is at, you would go to:
  5. Proceed to upgrade the database when prompted.
  6. Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 above (uploading the incremental versions, invoking upgrade.php and updating the database) until you've upgraded all the way to [the most recent] WordPress

- excerpt from

Obviously, if you are upgrading from Wordpress 2.2, you would upgrade 2.2 > 2.3 > 2.5 > 2.6 > 2.7 > 2.8.4 And please remember to start with making a full backup of your wordpress!!

Also, while you are doing the upgrade, you can upload a temporary index file to your wordpress folder. Make a page that looks like your site and put something like "server currently undergoing maintenance - please come back later" on the page. Save it as index.html and upload it to your wordpress folder. Once the upgrade is done, you can remove that temporary index file and get back to blogging.

All wordpress releases are here:

Hope this helps.

This post was written by Elizabeth from blog from OUR kitchen

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Screen Capture

Can someone explain to me in words of not many syllables how to take a screen capture of a web page and reproduce it in Blogger?

Thanks and pardon my ignorance please!

This Post was written by Ian from The Yorkshire Foodie (formerly Yorkshire Deli)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Trouble with Sidebars

I desperately need help. I seem to be having certain issues with my blog design. My homepage seems to be displaying everything as it should - sidebars are there, post footers with labels social bookmarking icon etc. all there. Now if one clicks through into any of the posts or into "recipes", "about" etc. you will see that the sidebars and the post footers have disappeared. I have no idea why? Yesterday everything was fine and I have not been fiddling around with the template/code. Today it seems to have gone crazy on me.

Can any tech savvy person help me resolve this issue if they can find the glitch? Please.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Calendar Widget

I got rid of a lot of junk in my side bar with my most recent redesign. But I'm thinking one thing I'd like to add would be a calendar widget so I could post local food events. It would NOT be a calendar of blog posts.

I've tried playing with the Google calendar but when I attempt to embed it, it doesn't work very well when it's in a very small format (less than 300 pixels wide).

Can anyone recommend a better calendar widget to use in a sidebar on a Blogger blog?

This Post was written by Amy from Cooking with Amy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Photo "Borrower"

Hi all,

I just wanted to make you all aware of another photo "borrower" out there. Her blog is at keepcalmandcarryonblog_dot_com. The owner used a photo from my blog in a recent post called "Pet Project". It was a photo of mac & cheese. She did not ask permission, of course, or I wouldn't be posting this. No, instead, she just cropped off the copyright info on my photo.

I asked her to remove it, and I pointed out that she should know to ask first since she also has an "all rights reserved" copyright on her blog. She didn't respond, but she did replace my photo with one from someone else's blog.

There's at least one other photo in that post alone where she cropped off copyright data so she could use it. That's the part that irritates me the most. If she'd left it on, at least viewers would know whose work it was!

So, maybe take a look and see if any of your photos are on her site.

This Post was written by Dawn from Dawn's Recipes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amazing--NY Mag Online wanted Free Photos

I was contacted by someone from NY Magazine online because they're featuring a Keralan restaurant in London I'd written about for a travel piece. They wanted to know if they could use my food photos "with credit, of course." I replied that I'd be happy for them to use the photos for whatever token fee is standard but that I couldn't give permission without at least an honorarium. I got a reply that they don't do payment for such things. Does everybody think everything is free?

This Post was written by Peter Cherches from Word of Mouth

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Adding a small google map to a post?

Hi all, I've started another blog that I really enjoy covering places to eat in my town (Chengdu, Sichuan). At the end of each post I give the adresses in Chinese but am getting feedback from readers, especially those who don't read Chinese or those unfamiliar with the city, who are having a hard time figuring out where places are. So I am trying to figure out how to add a link to a google map on the post instead.

I can copy the link from the google map and insert it in the post, but the map is really big (almost another picture) and it makes the post look strange. Does anyone know how I could make the map smaller, or an obvious link to a map?

This Post was written by Pepper from Frugal Cuisine.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Love Her or Hate Her: Julie Powell

Hi Everyone,

I'm writing a piece for ABC News on the blogging community's split of Julie Powell lovers and haters. Do you feel strongly one way or another? Please respond in the comments or if you wish you can email me at or Thanks ahead of time for your help. I will hyperlink directly back to your blog if I use your quote and this story is sure to be a clicker today. The more the merrier. Don't be shy!

Thanks ahead of time for any and all input you may have,

Mona of Mona's Apple

Monday, June 22, 2009

Support a fellow food-blogger

Hey all. I'm sure you know Sarah, of the Delicious Life. Well...she is in a contest to be the spokeswoman for a wine company and she needs your vote (and about 4,000 additional votes.)

Let's rally behind our girl and get her this gig! Vote at

(It's a super cute video from a super cool girl. Now just go vote. xoxo)

This Post was written by Rechael from Fresh Approach Cooking

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Has anyone heard of MegaNom? (

One of my recipe photos appeared on their site. It does link back to the recipe on my blog, so I guess it's not a bad thing. I'm just always leery about sites like that. I can't decide if I want them to take down my photo or not.

This Post was written by Dawn from Dawn's Recipes

Friday, May 29, 2009

Has anyone heard of them?

That got in touch with me saying that they'd like to feature my blog and we'd mutually discuss what would go up. I asked them to let me know what they'd like to cover to which they didn't reply in detail but only said that they appreciate my responding. Just today I found that they've copied the content of all my posts and posted it verbatim as a sub domain (

Really wanted to know if any of you have been contacted by them and what has your response been like. For now I've sent them a mail asking them to pull down the content. I'm getting anxious about having my content there. I should have been more careful. :(

This Post was written by Shaheen from The Purple Foodie

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Header-Image problem

I have finally got round to changing my blog to the (no longer new) 'elements' template/layout version of Blogger and it's causing me a bit of a headache regarding my header.

I am using an image which incorporates my blog name as my header, and have selected the elements option 'have instead of title & description' as otherwise they appear in stark black font over the top of my image - regardless of what font colour I select for them! I don't want them to show at all, but this option I have taken at the moment means there is no text for search engines to utilise, so my ranking is lousy and if you search for my site the description text is a rather useless "skip to main | skip to sidebar. Souperior" etc, rather than my own description.

Can anyone tell me how I can keep my title & description visible to search engines but not have it showing up through my lovely header image?

This Post was written by Fahara from Souperior

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Split Posts - Why?

I've seen more and more blogs lately with split posts - the kind where you have to click on a link to read the rest of the post. I guess I'm in a minority here, but this really bugs me. I want to sit and relax and read the posts, and to have to navigate to and from the main page is a pain. Can someone please tell my why this is considered a good thing to do? I've seen it encouraged - so I'm just wondering why.


This Post was written by Cyndi from Cookin' with Cyndi

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recipe Search Engine

Hi all,

I read about a new recipe search engine on today. It's called It's still in beta, but it looks pretty good. Search results show an image thumbnail ( if available), ingredients, ratings, etc., but still require the viewer to click through to the original site for the full recipe. Seems like a decent site to me, and I've requested they index my blog. Thought I'd pass on the info.

This Post was written by Dawn from Dawn's Recipes

Monday, April 13, 2009

Help! Stats on subscribers?

Hi all. I know, it's been a (long) while...

Words to Eat By went a little dormant once my son, Harry, came along, but now that he's practically in college I'm ready to revitalize it and make a new push. Someone asked me the other day how many subscribers I have--I'm working on a book proposal and it could be a valuable thing to cite--but I have no idea. I've done a little investigating, but with the myriad ways readers can find our content it seems almost impossible to aggregate a total number. Bloglines, Feedburner, Google Reader, etc... Does anyone have any suggestions?

This Post was written by Debbie from Words to Eat By.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blogger 'Layouts' - help!

I have just (and very belatedly) switched to the 'new' Layouts version of blogger, which replaced the old format aaaages ago. So far I have yet to find a useful function of it in all honesty, and am having to replace lots of old coding done by a friend of mine who is no longer around to help. I have two problems:

1) On my sidebar, any content which comes from blogger itself refuses to be centralised, unlike the rest of the sidebar content. Examples are the links to subscribe and my archive list - does anyone have an idea how to solve this?

2) I no longer have the function of expandable post summaries - the links I put on longer posts so I didn't take up a full front page with long posts. The blogger helpdesk says to add this coding:

< b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == " item" '>
span.fullpost {display:inline;}
< b:else / >
span.fullpost {display:none;}
< /b:if >

But it is very unclear as to where, and I have tried multiple options, all of which fail miserably and do very odd things to my site overall. Where do I put this code?!

Any help much appreciated! :)

This Post was written by Fahara from Souperior

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Moving on

Some of you will remember me from when I was an active food blogger - about two years ago on back for another at least three years. And I still keep up with my food blog reading. But anyone visiting Tomatilla! in the past two years will have been disappointed since I haven't been keeping up with it since I started working as editorial director for a startup. Well, I got laid off a couple of months ago and will be revitalizing Tomatilla! soon. But I also have to pay the bills, so I launched a coffee site that is somewhere between a blog, and a news magazine. It is very early days yet, but I would LOVE if you came and looked and gave me some feedback. By the way, for Wordpress users, the theme I used for the coffee site is atahualpa and it is the most customizable theme I have ever seeen and totally free.

This Post was written by Owen from Tomatilla

Monday, February 23, 2009

Google Followers

In case anyone using Google Blogger was wondering why their followers total has fallen today...'s probably not because your readers are deserting you. There's been a change as a result of something to do with Google, Twitter and information disclosure that has caused Google to set the status of all followed blogs to "Anonymous". Once everyone has changed their followed blog status entries back to "Public", the links will be restored and follower numbers will rise back to previous levels. Well, that's the theory.

This Post was written by Trig from Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A really good conclusion to a plagiarism case

My last couple of posts here were about someone who seems to have no sense of wrong about copying recipes and so on, even after receiving complaints. That person is still posting copied recipes, though greatly stripped down now, and still getting tons of Twitter followers thanking her for her great recipes and so on. Really a downer. But today I had a very positive experience with another person, so I thought I'd relate it to show that sometimes these exchanges can end on a positive note.

So, someone had copied 4 of my posts and a couple of the photos that accompanied them, back in October or so. I didn't realize it because the person who copied them was smart enough to not link to me directly, but a reader alerted me to the copies yesterday. Not the first time this has happened by any means. Last night I pulled out the standard 'please stop that, copyright, etc.' email and sent it off, not expecting a response anytime soon.

This morning, I got a contrite message from that person, who apologized and said he had taken down the offending posts. But he also said this (edited a bit to protect his identity)

Your message has given me a new perspective [on my blog]. You see, I copied [the articles] back when I was in my gangster stage of life; I was lazy and if i could trick the people around me it was all fine, but now I'm different. I found [programming], which allows me to make things without copying from others. What I did before was bad, but now I'm different, and your message has given me the idea to completely redesign my site! All the suspect articles have been removed and I am in the process of rebuilding [my site].

I am guessing that he's pretty young...and if this incident has really helped to change his thinking, it's a really great! (And yes his site is indeed down at the moment.)

Anyway, his response really made my day, and it made up for all the other, less positive similar situations.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Email subscription service/plugin for a Wordpress blog?

Hi everyone. I've been trying to find an email subscription plugin or service for a site I launched in December - The Gastronomer's Bookshelf. As the site is for culinary book reviews, I know that many readers will want to subscribe to updates, but might not be used to RSS.

I've been testing the Subscribe2 plugin, behind the scenes, but I feel its interface could be quite daunting for new users (it lets you choose which categories you subscribe to by email, and as the site has a very large number of book categories to choose from, the list is daunting!).

I know I could just direct the RSS feed to Feedburner and let people do a Feedburner email subscription, but I was wondering if people know of anything else that might offer a little more flexibility (eg, I'd love a subscribe field on the front page where people could just enter their address and click "subscribe").

Any suggestions appreciated.

This Post was written by Duncan from Syrup & Tang

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Michelin Break Their Own Embargo

It's not exactly something you'd normally expect, but the Michelin awards for Great Britain & Ireland 2009 - due for announcement next Wednesday - have been published this weekend... on the Michelin news website. Still, as almost every change was trailed in advance on several food blog sites, I suppose there's not much point keeping it secret.

Alain Ducasse being tipped for 3* status and Nathan Outlaw getting a tip this year instead of his second star were the major surprises, although we appear to have been awarded more new first stars than for many years. I'm personally delighted to see Fergus Henderson of St. John amongst this list - about time too for someone ranked (albeit a bit excessively to put it mildly) above Alinea, Troisgros and Martin Berasategui in the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants 2008.

This Post was written by Trig from Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This Post was written by Joanna from Joanna's Food

Can anyone tell me how to disable comments in an individual post in blogger? I don't want to disable all comments, just on one or two archive posts that attract staggering amounts of inappropriate diet-related advertising type comments ....


Monday, January 12, 2009

Tracking amyrecipes

Following up to the previous post, I've compared her most recent few recipes and the source where she copied them from. (No live linkage to her site for obvious reasons)
I found the sources within the first 1-2 results. Just to show how busy this person is. (Oh, and she also stole her Twitter avatar pic from leahdemilio, though she's since replaced it with another photo, which I wouldn't be surprised is also nicked from someplace.)

BTW this output is just from the last 2 days. I didn't have the time or will to go back further.

'Grilled Chicken Recipe with Sage, Rosemary, and Garlic Dried Herb Rub' - original - on Kalyn's Kitchen (heavily edited but the same recipe)

'Zucchini and Tomato Gratin' - original -
on Pinch My Salt

'Baked Eggplant with Tomato Mushroom Sauce' - original: on Cheap Healthy Good

'Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Shrimp' - - original: on Rasa Malaysia

'Great Vegetarian Dish - Rajma with Green Peppers' - - original: on Ahaar (even copying the rather unique way of writing 'tspoon')

'South Beach Diet Sausage and Pepper Skewers' - - original: on Green Lite Bites

'Lemon Chicken' - - original: on Kalyn's Kitchen (she has altered this more than the others)

'Beef or Chicken Fajitas' - - original: on Low Carb Diets

'Oven-Baked Salmon With Herbs' - - original: on Low Carb Diets (they both 'happen to have lemon thyme in my garden')

'Cabbage and Blue Cheese Salad With Sunflower Seeds' - original - on Kalyn's Kitchen (also altered a lot)

'Chicken Soup with Roasted Asparagus, Mushrooms and Shallots' - original - on French Kitchen in America

'Breakfast Quiches' - this was the only one I couldn't find the source of easily, though there are lots of Breakfast Quiche recipes out there

'Beef or Chicken Fajitas' - original - on Low Carb Diets

'Stuffed Green Peppers' - original - on Group Recipes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A blatant rip-off artist

If you are on Twitter and follow some other food bloggers, you may have heard about this already, but in case you haven't: There is a blatant rip-off artist in operation who seems to have no idea that copying other people's recipes, altering them a tiny bit (but not nearly enough to easily discover the source) and then posting them as her own without any acknowledgement of the source is a problem. The site in question is called When Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, who as you might guess was ripped off a lot by this persion since she has one of the top South Beach Diet related sites on the web, complained to her about it apparently she was not at all responsive. All she did was to take down her site for a bit, alter the recipes slightly e.g. taking out some text and removing photos, then - back to the same old thing.

Anyway, you should check her posts to see if you too have been copied by this person. She is posting recipes at a rate of 1 every couple of hours, following tons of people on Twitter and being followed back. Her Twitter username is @amyrecipes. If you see this page, you can see what she is up to without having to follow her.

There are several things that could be attempted to stop this person with DCMA and so on, but one thing you can do as a food blogger is to block her on Twitter so she cannot follow you, especially if you post your blog updates there, and you have a lot of low-carb recipes I guess! I don't know if this will stop her (I noticed several recipes she's almost copied verbatim from for example) but at least you can put up one barrier against her.

This just shows that trying to stop people with technology like putting copyright notices on RSS feeds or actual posts, or only serving excerpts in your RSS feeds, won't stop those with no conscience. I have not been ripped off myself (I guess onigiri has too many carbs :P) But as someone who takes time to actually cook and test and photograph the recipes I publish online, as I'm sure you all do too, seeing people thanking her for her 'terrific recipes' on Twitter as she copy-pastes and pumps them out like poop is really galling.

One more thought: It might be useful to occasionally check who is following you on Twitter, and what they might be doing, so to speak, if you are concerned about similar things occuring from elsewhere.

This Post was written by Maki from Just Hungry and Just Bento, and @bentotips on Twitter.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Adobe Lightroom Tutorial for Food Photography

For those of you thinking about switching to RAW images for your food photos, I thought you all might be interested in a tutorial I recently wrote on shooting in RAW and processing using Adobe Lightroom.

If you find it useful or have other questions leave a comment and I'll try to answer your question or write another tutorial about it.

Adobe Lightroom Tutorial for Food Photography

This Post was written by Marc from

Making a full feed a half feed

I have a question that I think is impossible to solve but it is worth asking in case someone knows a solution. I use the short rss feed on my Blogger blog because of constant content theft but I would like be able to make a longer rss feed that is not a full feed. So now I wonder if there is some kind of html code I could put in the text that would cut a full feed into a half? Or some other way maybe?

This Post was written by Ilva from Lucullian Delights

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Libel Law? in a Comment?

I don't fully understand libel law. Say someone, with a handle/user_name that wasn't their real name, but otherwise anonymous, at least to readers, left a comment about me on a website somewhere. Let's pretend I am called Mr Smith for this example. So the comment says "Mr Smith is a dumb idiot", (it doesn't actually say that but something similar.) I have asked the website to remove the comment several times but they will not. They refuse. They say their policy is not to remove comments, except in extreme circumstances. Do I have anything legal I can throw at them? Or do I just have to suck it up? Personally I find it a little extreme to have my reputation sullied publicly by someone lacking in so little backbone, that they say these kinds of things undercover of a false name.

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh who would like to reiterate that this example is fictional and that any resemblance to any real Mr Smith, living or dead is not the intention.

Food Blog Awards - Nominations Open

The nomination period for the annual Food Blog Awards opened up this week ... tomorrow is the last day to nominate your favorite food or drink blog to get them in the running. Would appreciate your help in spreading the word.

This post was written by Cate from Sweetnicks.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

SF Fancy Food Show -

The Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco begins in two weeks!

I just booked my hotel (and got an awesome deal - SF must be having trouble with folks staying in hotels right now, everything is on sale). I'll be there for all three days, probably just cruising the floor. I don't think I'm going to go to any sessions.

I was wondering if other food bloggers would like to get together, meet up and maybe dish on the show together.

This Post was written by Cybele from Candy Blog