Searching all my favourite food blogs at once: I knew there must be a way to do this, and knew if I just waited the solution would come along, and it did!

And an additional paragraph on my life in the cloud…and my food blogs

I just discovered the best use for Google Reader! Searchable food blogs!

Google Reader is an RSS feed. Basically, you can read all your favourite blogs or websites in one place. You can organize them into groups. The best part is it indexes every single blog post in your feed…past and present! Over the holidays, I asked friends for their food blog recommendations, because I have also recently discovered Evernote*, and want to start clipping recipes from the web.

This morning I am working out our meal plan for the week. This has become one of my favourite Monday day off activities. It makes me feel incredibly organized and smart! It also lets me focus on two things I love, food and feeding those I love. Once the week is planned, it’s time to go shopping.

After a month of holiday eating, we have a very full fridge and freezer, as I’m sure you do. What I have always wanted to do is find a way to search for whatever ingredients are in my fridge or freezer, to find one or two recipes that would use up ingredients I already have. I can only eat so much stew, casserole and soup, my friends. My brother, Fred, is a chef and often gets phone calls from me regarding what to do with the food in my fridge, but that’s an expensive recipe search since he is in London, England. I know some websites will let you do this, but I want to search ALL my favourite websites.

So, here it is.

1. Subscribe to Google Reader.

2. Click on the Subscribe button and start entering your favourite blogs. Some blogs come with a specific link to their RSS feeds. If it doesn’t, just pop the domain name in the search box. The reader will find it.

3. Put all these blogs in a folder called “Food”.

When you want to, like me, search all your favourite sites for those pork chops that are on the edge of freezer burn, just search for pork chop in the search box, making sure the search button says “All Items”. And voila! Recipes. If you get too many, add another ingredient from your veg drawer like, say, broccoli. Then, take the ones you like and file them somewhere locally, if you like.

It always feels like a failure when I have to pitch food from my fridge. Couldn’t I have been creative enough to come up with something to do with those chunks of melon and that half finished hummus? Here’s to a more open fridge and freezer.

And here is my tangent about life in the cloud: I have become impressively cloud based. I am reaching a point where, if it can’t go on my iPad, I’m not interested in reading it or using it. That’s not a plug for iPad, but simply to say, I love having all my information with me at all times. Opening my file cabinet is a chore. Right now, my husband is putting together a file for me to take to the bank to make some changes to an account. Can’t you just scan it and email the pdf? Why haven’t we scanned all our files by now? And why wouldn’t the bank be so impressed with my cloud that they would make the changes? Shouldn’t the banking sector be the epitome of efficient organization? In fact, my life in the cloud is because I am ridiculously disorganized. The solution for a disorganized person…ultimate searchability. Who needs a filing system when I have a search box? The only thing stopping me is my lack of electronic files. Which I am fixing, one day at a time.

My food blogs

Here are the food blogs I am following so far. If you have others to share with me, please pass them along. In my new searchable universe, the more the merrier!

Feisty Chef: Renee Lavallee is a good friend of my brother and I. Feisty is the perfect moniker. Two kids, cheese fiend, lovely recipes! For when I am feeling fancy

Big Girls Small Kitchen: Thanks to my friend Cydney for introducing me to these two “quarter-life” cooks. Here is how Cydney met the big girls. A friend of a friend

Mennonite Girls can Cook: Yummy recipes with some lovely prayer and scripture

Also highly recommended: Smitten KitchenStone SoupWell PreservedZest for Life Today

*I have friends using Evernote for all kinds of things. Right now, my best use for it is food! I have over 100 recipes in Evernote right now. I have not neglected my cook books at all. When I find a recipe in a cookbook I want to prepare, I take a picture of the page with my phone and clip it to Evernote. With word recognition, Evernote makes the picture searchable.


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