Friday, November 07, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions About the Blog

How can I find recipes using a certain ingredient?
Finding recipes to use an ingredient you have on hand is super easy. Just use the search bar (upper right hand side) and type in the ingredient you have, then hit search.  Google will search my blog and find recipes with that ingredient.  The more ingredients you list, the more specific the search results will be.

How can I find recipes on the blog that will freeze well?
Whenever I'm writing up a recipe that I think will freeze well, I always say "this freezes well" at the end of the recipe instructions.  To find all the recipes that I think will freeze well, just use the search bar (upper right hand side) and type "this freezes well." Another way to find recipes like this is to use the label Can Freeze.  Using the label will show the most current recipe first; entering "this freezes well" will show the most trafficked recipes first.

Where do you get the recipes featured on Kalyn's Kitchen?
Kalyn's Kitchen features recipes I've created myself or found and adapted to my low-glycemic, South Beach Diet friendly way of eating. There are recipes from cookbooks, food magazines, and other food blogs as well as recipes I've come up with on my own. For recipes that are not my own, I always credit the original source of the recipe if I know it.

Why do you talk about the South Beach Diet on your blog?
In 2004 I got sick of being overweight and went on the South Beach Diet, losing 42 pounds before I reached my goal weight. I actually started the blog when friends kept asking me for recipes for the kind of dishes that helped me lose weight. Of course many people enjoy my recipes who aren't following the diet, but I am happy that these recipes can be a resource for people who are using South Beach to help them lose weight.

What are the buttons for at the top of each post?
Buttons at the top of the posts are for people who want to share recipes to the social media sites Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or E-mail a recipe.  There is also a green button you can click for more sharing options.  Below that is a button that says Save Recipe for people who want to save a recipe to their own recipe box.  You can read more about these buttons in a post I wrote about New Features on Kalyn's Kitchen (although the button style and order has changed slightly since then.

Why don't you provide nutritional information for the recipes?
One reason I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight was because I didn't want to have to count the calories, carbs, or points for everything I ate. Since I already spend 4-5 hours on every recipe and I'm not calculating that information for my own use, I'm not able to include it for recipes on the blog.  If you want to figure out the nutritional information yourself, a site that's very easy to use is Calorie Count.  Just copy the recipe and enter the number of servings and it will calculate everything for you.  (You may have to edit to remove some extra descriptive words in the recipe or change things like 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. to say 3 tsp., but it's really very easy to use.)

Why are there recipes that seem high in carbs if you're following the South Beach Diet?
Actually the South Beach Diet is not a low-carb diet plan, although carbohydrates are limited in phase one of the diet. South Beach is based on the Glycemic Index (a measure of how quickly foods affect blood glucose levels.) The South Beach diet encourages a diet of what are called "Good Carbs," or those which don't raise blood glucose very much. This includes things like dried beans, lentils, whole grains, and some complex-carb vegetables like sweet potatoes and winter squash.

Why do you sometimes use brown sugar or sugar in recipes if you're following the South Beach Diet?
I've discovered that using a small amount of brown sugar or sugar combined with Splenda in baked goods gives much better flavor than using Splenda alone, and since I don't eat a lot of sweet treats and am on the maintenance phase of the diet I feel comfortable using sugar and brown sugar in small amounts this way. If you're actively trying to lose weight or if you need to limit sugar for medical reasons, you may want to make my low-sugar desserts and baked goods with all Splenda.

Why do you avoid the use of butter in your recipes?
The South Beach Diet recommends restricting saturated fat and trans fats, but does allow reasonable consumption of "Good Fats" such as olive oil and other types of vegetables oils. Occasionally I use a tiny amount of butter in a recipe for added flavor, but for the most part I use oils such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil for cooking.

Why do you use Agave Nectar in recipes?
I'm aware that some sources have expressed concerns about agave nectar related to the way it's produced and questions about overconsumption of fructose. I believe that the brand of agave nectar I use is safe when used in moderate amounts, or obviously I would not continue to use it. You can read more about this at Agave Myth Buster and Is Agave Nectar Safe.

Where Can I Get This Ingredient?
I do have a post about Online Sources for Frequently Used Ingredients, although I'm not always that great about updating the list!   If there's an ingredient you can't find, leave a comment there and I will try to help you find a place to order it.

What camera do you use for photos?
Unless the photo is credited to another source, all photos featured on Kalyn's Kitchen are taken by me. Learning about photography has been one of the most fun parts of blogging, although I still have a lot to learn! When I started my blog I hadn't entered the digital camera age, but right away I got a little Panasonic point and shoot camera. There are still a few early photos on the blog taken with that camera, although I've slowly been replacing those photos with better ones!

In 2006, I got a Canon Rebel XT, a camera I still use sometimes for shooting in restaurants or when I'm out walking around. (The current model of that camera is the Canon Rebel T2i , which is a great camera for beginning food bloggers.) In 2009 I bought a Canon EOS 40D, which I used until 2012 when I upgraded just a little to the Canon EOS 60d.  I still use the 60D for process shots and now I use a Canon EOS 70D for final shots. I also have a number of good lenses which help me make the food look as appetizing as possible. My current favorite lens is the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens, which is a great lens for food photography. Two other lenses I have and also love for food photos are the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 and the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro. (And if you're just starting out in dSLR photography, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens is almost as good as the 50mm 1.4 lens. That's the lens I started with.)

Can I post one of your recipes on my own blog?

I love having other bloggers try my recipes and share the results on their own blog. If you're featuring one of my recipes, I do request that you re-write the recipe in your own words and link back to the original recipe on my site.

Can I use one of the photos from your blog?
All photos on Kalyn's Kitchen are copyrighted, as is the text that accompanies the recipes. I generally don't mind having thumbnails of my photos republished on other sites as long as there is a link back to the recipe on my blog. However, I never give permission for any photo from my blog and the recipe that goes with that photo to be republished together elsewhere on the web. I maintain the right to ask for removal of my photos and/or recipes at any time for any reason. (Please contact me if you'd like to ask about using a full-size photo.)

Who designed your blog?
Template customizations and other techie web stuff for the new design was done by Jennette from Make My Blog Pretty. She did a great job, and was endlessly patient with all my requests for "just one more little change." The blog header and other graphics are done by my brother Rand who's uber-talented in everything he does. Thanks to Jennette and Rand for creating a new blog design that I love!

If you have another question that's not covered here, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.
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15 comments:

  1. First, let me share my condolences on the death of your father. I have followed your blog for some time now and I love your recipes. I use Blogger for my blogs (knitting, cooking, photograph and non-profit); you'd think I'd know all I need to know about using Blogger, but I don't. Today I noticed that I was able to choice "printable version" of your shrimp/bean recipe. I would like to offer that on my blog. How were you able to set that feature?

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  2. Rose the method I use for printer friendly recipes works well, but it's labor intensive to get it going. I set up a separate blog that has all the template stripped out except a title (and the column where the ads are, if you want ads.)

    I set that blog so it's not public and so it only displays one post at a time; then copied and pasted each recipe into the new "blog" making a link to that printable recipe on the main recipe post. I had help with a lot of this so I don't know everything about how to do it, but that's the basic method.

    I had over 700 recipes when I set it up and it took me months to get them all copied over, but now it's easy to create a printer friendly version for each recipe as I'm posting it.

    Good luck!

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  3. I just came across your site and really like your low sugar recipes. However,I was dissapointed to see that you use Slenda.Are you aware of how harmful that product and others like it are? I am trying to modify your recipes that use splenda with Stevia and a little bit of natural sugar.

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  4. Rita, you're welcome to modify the recipes in any way you wish; however don't come to my blog and scold me about my eating choices. I personally don't believe Splenda is harmful (especially in the small amounts I use) or obviously I would not use it. Here is a summary of two research studies confirming that it's safe. I'm sure you can find sites on the web that claim otherwise, and I respect your right to have a different opinion, so please allow me to do the same. (BTW, I am not going to debate this in the comments on my blog, so if it turns into a debate I will delete the comments.)

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  5. I'd love to see your recipes in print. Have you considered publishing a book? Let me know if do, I'll buy a dozen or so.

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  6. Leah, that is nice of you to say that, but truly I have no aspirations to write a cookbook. A lot of my recipes are adapted from other sources, and creating new recipes for a cookbook is A LOT of work. I can barely keep up with the blog!

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  7. Congratulations on possessing actually one of one of the most refined blogs Ive arrive throughout in a while! Its simply amazing how much you’ll be capable to take into account away from a thing basically merely due to how visually stunning it is. Youve place collectively an ideal blog web site area –nice graphics, films, layout. This is actually a must-see web site!

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  8. Anonymous, thanks for that nice feedback.

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  9. I look over www.kalynskitchen.com via google translate - provision up with the updates !


    משחקים

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  10. Kalyn, just wanted to let you know that reading through the recipes you have posted has inspired me to get back on the straight and narrow with South Beach. I was doing well until Easter and I have just not been able to get going again until now. Many thanks for all the hours you have put into making and adapting recipes, and getting such a user-friendly website and blog up and running. Debbie

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  11. Debbie, that's great. I'm always happy to hear that my blog is helpful for someone.

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  12. Kalyn...I love, love, love your recipes. I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and my doc recommended atkins or south beach. I started with Atkins mixed with a little South Beach. Down 31 lbs. and your recipes have kept me interested in staying the line...thanks. In the oven now is spaghetti squash with spinach instead of chard. Can't wait to taste it. Colleen

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  13. Colleen, so glad the recipes are helpful for you!

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  14. Hello Kalyn:

    I am going to cook my zucchini harvest into your Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme. What I see nowhere is what your abbreviations mean.

    Example:
    2 T grated parmesan cheese

    Large T seems to imply tablespoon. Still poking around to find the answer. If only something in this recipe used a teaspoon (for comparison and confirmation).

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  15. I use these abbreviations:
    T = tablespoon
    tsp. = teaspoon

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible.

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it! Feel free make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

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