Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Welcome! (Temporarily, that is...)


So I find it a little ironic that my last post on the old school PGEW here on Blogger was teasing you about the "whole pile of awesome" that was set to make its debut four years ago. I can't believe it's been that long since I moved "homes" and I must say, it was an adjustment coming back to this platform. But I feel a lot more comfortable using Blogger over WordPress (though I'm still determined to learn), so for now, it's nice to have one less thing to worry about when it comes to putting my baby back together.

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook (and you really should, even if their algorithm doesn't like to show anyone anything anymore, lol), is stuck on hiatus. Earlier this month, after prepping my usual #PGEWrecipeoftheday post for Instagram, I noticed something was seriously, seriously awry with my site. Not only were there fatal errors all over the place, but I couldn't even access the back end of my site. I couldn't post. I couldn't get to my files. I was *insert string of expletives that start with F here*.

Turns out the guy who screwed up my Kickstarter project - who is also the guy who had his team do the redesign of PGEW four years ago - was also the reason for this problem. I won't go on for too long about the problem, as I have plenty of update videos on Facebook, and I'd rather focus more on the solution and what's to come in the future, but here's all I know up to this point.

Since he's the one who moved my site to a different server and turned it into a WordPress situation after having been on Blogger, he always had control of that part of PGEW after the redesign. I asked repeatedly for information about my new server, my files' location, etc., but for whatever reason, he never wanted to give that to me. There was a lot I wanted to know about my new home on the web (like how to to more than just post things), but again, I was never allowed to know anything. Hindsight being what it is, I now know that the gut feeling I had about relinquishing control of my baby blog to anyone was totally spot on. I should have heeded it, but I've learned my lesson.

Anyway, upon discovering the problem I spent about three hours just trying to figure out whose server PGEW was hosted on. Once that mystery was solved and I got in contact with a human there, I learned that there was nothing I could do even to find out if my files had been deleted. Since Joe's name was on the account, he was the only one they could speak with about the site that is basically my life's story in food. It was like dealing with HIPPA or something.

I reached out to a mutual friend (since Joe hasn't talked to me since 2012) and let him know what was going on and that it needed to be addressed ASAP, as well as giving back the control of my site. The message was relayed to Joe, and I was eventually given access to the back end of my site, so I can at the very least have all my posts. But my photos? All the photos I've taken for the past 7 years: gone. The basic template to my site that allows it to be viewed by the world: gone. My domain name: still not pointing where it needs to point. There are other files that are supposed to be returned to me at some point, but without being able to contact him directly, and our mutual friend no longer wanting to be in the middle of everything, I don't know if that will ever happen.

So, I had my freakout. And it was big. And that is totally understandable, considering we're talking about 7 years worth of work being completely turned upside down. While I'm still unemployed and dealing with my subpar health. Definitely not what I needed right before the holidays (big traffic for us in food blogger land).

But like so many of you fine folks tell me all the time on Facebook and other social media outlets, I always seem to land on my feet. Like a cat (because, duh... Patron Saint of Cats here, lol). That's partly because I refuse to let anything keep me down. I may get knocked down, and I may stay there for a while, but I never live there. And that's exactly what I'm doing here.

Since I want to focus on my plans for the blog for the next several weeks, I won't make this update too long. I do urge you to watch the update videos I've posted to Facebook so you can get the other details I'm missing here, and a better idea of what's been going on. Right now, we're switching into logistical mode.

As you can see, this isn't all 7 years of Poor Girl Eats Well. This covers the first 3 years in all their dark blue themed, staggered photo glory, and while the template isn't the same as I'd left it back in November 2011 (because that is now out of date too), you can see a lot of the "classic" PGEW site and the other things I was involved in.

The other 4 years are stuck in WordPress limbo, and I'm still working on how to get everything consolidated either here or under a new server to get things going properly again. In the meantime, however, I'm still essentially an internet drifter with no real home in which to place all my little recipes and tips. So, that's where the "classic" PGEW comes in... to rescue me, so to speak.

Here's the plan for the whole of the PGEW empire the next few weeks:

  • Alert you fine folks that is ready to visit and let you have at all the old school recipes on the site.
  • Slowly add "old newer content" from the WP site to this site in batches
  • Continue social media and Etsy work (if you haven't checked out the holiday menu yet, head to and get your shop on. I'm offering FREE shipping all week on orders over $40 until 11/29/15!)
  • Add new content 
  • Work on finding a new server/home for PGEW
  • Somehow find a way to point my proper domain address to whichever permanent home PGEW will live on
There's obviously a lot more I have to do to make my baby work properly again, but at least this is a start. As much as I love social media, I still need to have a proper landing spot outside of that, especially since sites like Facebook won't allow everything business pages post to show up in people's news feeds. I have a lot to say, a lot of recipes to share, and it just doesn't feel the same without a true internet home. This will be that landing spot for now, and while there may be some awkward phases during this transition, I think this will be fun. Why?

Because I'm in control of my baby now. As it always should be. :)

That's it for tonight, folks. Of course I have a ton of other updates, tips, recipes and whatnot to share, but I have a lot to do behind the scenes, as well as being in survival mode til I can get out of the danger zone with rent again. But I'm not going to worry about that right now. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, Mom and I were somehow able to make it work so we could be together, and despite the yuck the Universe likes to throw at you, I still have hope that things will be better next year.

So, for all of you PGEW fans, whether a longtime fan or eager newbie, please enjoy PGEW Classic for a while. Check out some of the old school recipes that made PGEW somewhat of a household name, study those tips (which will help you afford all the tasty recipes), and hang out for a while. This may not be the snazzy, glossy PGEW - it's clunky, awkward, but functional. And it's still PGEW: all heart, 100% me. And that's how we're going to have fun and make this place more awesome than ever.

Lastly... thank you for being the best fans in the food blogosphere! No, really. Your unfailing loyalty, support and encouragement have helped me keep pushing and fighting. I truly appreciate that and can't tell you enough how much it means to me.

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get ready...

Remember that whole pile of awesome I was telling you about last week?  Well, the time has come.  Check in tomorrow, 11/11/11, for the beginning of some truly amazing things to come...
Stay tuned!
:) Kimberly

Recipe: Garlic & Cheese Quinoa Patties

As most of you know, I'm heading down south to lovely Santa Monica this weekend for my second International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC).  If it's even just half as awesome as last year's event in Seattle, this weekend is going to rock big time.

One thing that makes this year a bit different is that I'll be attending as a speaker for the very first time.  And I have to admit that I'm a wee bit nervous!  I'm not sure why, since I used to hold workshops & seminars for large groups many years ago, and I've been on plenty of blogging panels since I started writing PGEW.  Maybe it's because I'll be speaking in front of my peers for the very first time, and potentially some bigwigs of the food writing world, like Dianne Jacob and Kathleen Flinn.

Regardless of any silly nervousness, I'm excited to be going to Santa Monica and enjoy the food & good company, and share my knowledge with my fellow food bloggers.  It's been a good twenty years since I've had a good food-related visit to Southern California, so it'll be nice to taste what the other half of my beloved state has going on.

Tonight is Last Minute Details Before Trip night, so I'm running around doing some last minute packing, getting kitty provisions for the friend who's taking care of them, and generally running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  Part of this evening of glee includes making snacks for my trip to SoCal.  Granted, it's not some 14-hour transatlantic flight; but I just paid my rent and can't really pay airport food prices that cost almost as much as said rent.

I have a tendency to pack only sweet nibblies when I fly, only to find myself craving something savory instead.  Fortunately, my favorite food blogger, Heidi of 101 Cookbooks, had recently posted a recipe for some baked quinoa patties she'd made for a trip she'd just taken, so I quickly bookmarked in my mind to make for this weekend's trip.  They're easy to prepare, easy to pack, and make for a deliciously nutritious snack, which is way better than indulging in a giant Cinnabon or something (though I will admit, that scent is straight from heaven at 6am!).

Like a lot of cooks, I couldn't help but experiment a bit with the given recipe, especially since I was missing some of the listed ingredients.  Rather than herbs, I pumped up the flavor of these little protein patties with plenty of fresh garlic and some grated cheese.  Along with the zip of the scallions and the smokiness of the cumin, these are incredibly flavorful for such a healthy little treat.

Because I made these early this morning so I could take some to work for lunch, I didn't have time to bake them.  Instead, I ended up pan-frying them, which was something Heidi suggests as an option in her recipe.  They taste fantastic this way, but I'm sure they're even better baked.  Feel free to experiment with whatever ingredients you have in your pantry when it comes to making these little guys.  I used low-fat monterey jack because that's all I had, but I'm sure this would be wonderful with other cheeses too.

Did I mention how affordable these are?  When you round up the cost of all the ingredients, the entire recipe is less than $5 - a wee little price to pay for a nutritious, filling snack.  Take that, airport food!

Garlic & Cheese Quinoa Patties (makes about 12 patties; total cost of recipe: ~$4.75)
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Baked Quinoa Patties on 101 Cookbooks

2 c cooked quinoa
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 c chopped scallions
1/3 c chopped red onion
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
1 c panko crumbs
1/2 c shredded monterey jack cheese (or cheese of your choice)
2 T olive oil (for pan-fried method)

1.  In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and eggs.  Add the scallions, red onion, garlic and spices and stir until well combined.  Next, add the panko crumbs, followed by the cheese, and mix well.

2.  Take a small ball of the mixture and gently form it into a 1" ball, then flatten into a patty.  Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have about a dozen patties.  If the mixture is too moist, add a bit more bread crumbs or a small amount of flour.  If it's too dry, add a little water, one teaspoonful at a time.

3.  Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and add the olive oil.  When oil is hot, carefully place patties into the skillet and cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side, or until a deep golden brown.  Remove from skillet and cool on a wire rack over a plate lined with paper towels to allow the remaining oil to drain.  Repeat with the rest of the patties.

4.  Serve warm or cool with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves.  Enjoy!

* If using the baking method, bake the patties for about 20 minutes at 400°.  Flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack, then serve.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recipe: Creamy Brown Rice, Broccoli & Apple Salad

As I've mentioned in the past, I like to keep a canvas tote of lunchtime staples in our breakroom fridge here at work.  It helps to keep lunch costs down by not wasting my hard earned dough on some overpriced salad, and eliminates the need to lug around yet another heavy parcel while I'm on light rail.  From baby spinach to cooked quinoa or rice, having basic lunch items readily available makes work lunches super simple.

Sometimes, however, I get a random craving for something or forget exactly what's in my bag, so I end up bringing a new random ingredient to add to it.  A few days of that kind of behavior and I end up with a veritable cornucopia of ingredients, most of which make no sense whatsoever. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tip #15: Be kind to your produce & it will be kind to you

Some of the most common questions I get from readers are produce-related: where to find affordable produce, how to use certain vegetables that may be new to that particular cook, what fruits & veggies are kid-friendly and so on. 

The most common one, however, is one that I'm sure almost all of us have asked ourselves before: How do you make your produce last longer?

It's a valid question, especially the way food prices are skyrocketing these days.  Sometimes when I'm in my local Safeway, or even my beloved Trader Joe's, I'm absolutely horrified by some of the prices I'm seeing.  $2.19 for a head of green lettuce; $0.99 for one cucumber; $4.99 for a pound of tomatoes... how is anyone supposed to eat well when all the good stuff - fruits and vegetables - is priced so ridiculously?


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