One Hundred Posts – I Did It!

Photo by Leo Reynolds. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/

I’ve actually written 100 posts! When I started this blog back in August of 2008, I had no idea how long (or even if) I’d stick with it. It started out as a wine review blog but I found it boring to write only about wine. Once I gave myself permission to write about whatever I wanted, I started to post more regularly.  I started including more photographs that I took as part of my challenge to refine my skills.

Blogging consistently is hard work. It’s not that I don’t have dozens of ideas floating around that I might like to blog about; rather, it’s deciding how much research (if any) I want to do for a given post, where and whether I can find photos or illustrations that fit the topic, and if anyone else on the planet might find what I’m writing about interesting. And writing isn’t particularly easy for me though I know practice will make it better.

I’ve been reading lots of other blogs for inspiration and ideas, and realized that there are whole communities of bloggers: mommy bloggers, foodie bloggers, black-helicopter-conspiracy theorist bloggers, women-of-a-certain age bloggers, and TMI drama queen bloggers, among many others.

Blogger Mila, at Here Under the Rainbow, has a fun idea for encouraging other bloggers and appreciating one’s own work. She asks you to step back and appreciate the hard work that goes into writing your blog. She has an exercise in which you write  about your own blog:

Write a post base on three categories (best humor post, best how-to post, and best Charlie Brown post) with links to the posts you select. To encourage other bloggers, challenge three fellow bloggers to do the same.

My friend Catherine, of Inside Out, challenged me to write about my blog, so as my 100th post, I’m taking on the challenge!

My best humor post
This was difficult because I don’t purposely write humorous posts, though my sense of humor often shows up. I decided the post Prints? Charming! has the most humorous title. It’s got some funny bits in the post, too.

My Best How-To Post 
Though I didn’t post the actual recipe (copyright!), in my post Wonderful Pasta Recipe I wrote about about slowly cooking pasta in red wine instead of water, and adding Asiago cheese to it. It turned out really well; I think it’s time to make it again. See Brian St. Pierre’s book The Wine Lover Cooks Italian: Pairing Great Recipes with the Perfect Glass of Wine for this recipe and many others. He also has a website with a few recipes here.

My Best Charlie Brown Post
According to Mila, “This post may be one that you worked very hard on, but it was overlooked. Yet, you love it like Charlie Brown loved that scrawny Christmas tree.” My Charlie Brown post was “Can A Feminist Wear Lipstick?” I was surprised no one commented on it – I thought the question was interesting, and found photos of famous feminists wearing lipstick. Maybe these days it’s not even an issue – of course a feminist can wear lipstick and a little boy can wear nail polish!

And…here are three bloggers I admire and who I challenge to write their own “best of” post:

Pearl: The Adventures of an American Academic
A Femme Du Certain Age
Passage de Perles

In the coming week, look for a post or two on fall 2011 fashion – colors, favorites and dislikes, and trends to look for. A fellow blogger and I will do a Siskel and Ebert type review- it’s already been fun to do the research!

Wonderful pasta recipe

I recently purchased Brian St. Pierre’s book The Wine Lover Cooks Italian: Pairing Great Recipes with the Perfect Glass of Wine. I read an interesting recipe in which the pasta is cooked in red wine instead of water, and decided to test it out. The recipe calls for cooking penne in wine, which ended up being about two bottles!! The result was a lovely, deep maroon pasta with a rich, almost overwhelming wine flavor. I melted Asiago cheese in it – very decadent. I would serve this as a first course for company but a whole bowl of it was almost too rich. There was surprisingly little wine sauce left over – maybe 1/2 a cup. I used it as a sauce on chicken the next day.

Inpspiration: The Wine Lover Cooks Italian and a large bottle (750 ml) of Vendage Merlot.