A Nifty New Interactive Banner

You didn’t think I’d let my tenth anniversary pass without updating the blog’s banner, did you? Well this new one’s a doozy. It’s a totally interactive, deliciously clickable banner–featuring my most popular/significant posts from the past ten years–created (and coded) by the remarkable Lindy Groening. And this is as good a time as any to salute her work, which has given this blog its identity for almost a decade: check out her previous banners here. And thanks for all your kind anniversary wishes, yesterday! You guys are the best.

Ten Years A Food Blogger

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Dear Me of Ten Years Ago,

Let’s see if I can remember the moment. You’re in your room of the apartment you share in Atlanta, Georgia with your friend Lauren, avoiding the stack of law school homework on your desk, and trying out potential blog names on Typepad. A week earlier, you posted a question on Ask Metafilter: “How do I become an internet phenomenon?” You asked that question in a manner that was both tongue-in-cheek and sincere. In a few months you’ll graduate law school, and then what? A career as a lawyer? Litigating toxic torts for the law firm where you spent your previous summer in L.A.? The folks on Ask Metafilter offer advice, but this nugget from Aaorn stands out: “Having a single, narrowly-focused topic (assuming it’s an interesting single topic) will draw people more consistantly than a hodgepodge of random things that interest you.” Until you read that, you considered just doing an Adam Roberts blog with bits about musicals and books and the occasional recipe; but, really thinking it over, you realize that food–a subject that’s fascinated you ever since, two years earlier, you started watching Sara Moulton and Mario Batali on the Food Network–is something you’d enjoy blogging about on a regular basis. You type the words “amateur gourmet” into the HTML box and hit publish. A few minutes later, you write your first post–“The Birth of An Amateur Icon”–and send it out into the ether. You then frantically wait for your first comment. It comes from your friend Josh who, along with his wife Katy, urged you start the blog in the first place. Katy, I’d soon learn, would be my first troll, with comments like: “OMG!!!! You are HILARIOUZZZ!!! Are you singel seriously because I LOVE GUYZ WHO ARE FUNNY AND ALOS I LOVE FOOD!!!!”

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Cookbook Giveaway

Sometime in the next two hours, I’m going to give away five signed copies of SECRETS OF THE BEST CHEFS on Twitter. All you have to do is follow me over there, and you may win the perfect holiday gift for friends or loved ones or frenemies who are tired of drab, boring, repetitive recipes and want to step up their kitchen game. 150 exciting dishes! Gorgeous full-color photography! Sidebars full of helpful information! Just think of how happy they’ll be to find this under the tree this year. Or screw those loved ones and win a copy for yourself. Or just buy one by clicking right here. I mean, you deserve it, right? [UPDATE: Contest is now closed!]

Winter Banner 2013

Hey, Thanksgiving’s over…which means it’s time to shed the autumnal theme and to face winter head-on. Thanks to Lindy Groening for another brilliant banner and to Raphael Brion for finally teaching me how to upload the image myself. To see an archive of all our previous banners, click here.

Eat Pie, Say Hi

Hey New York, guess what? On December 5th at 7 PM, I’m hosting an event at The Strand bookstore with Emily and Melissa Elsen for the launch of their new cookbook The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. Click here to buy tickets (only $15 or a copy of the book); rumor has it, there’ll be pie. Also: we’ll all sign our books at the end.

It’s Autumn After All

At least my new banner thinks so! After my last post where I made a summery dish in October, it’s time for a seasonal intervention and what better way to do that than with an autumnal banner image by the brilliant Lindy Groening. It’s been a while since we rotated the banner–over a year, in fact–but the time has come to shake things up again. Thanks, Lindy, for doing such an awesome job. If any of you don’t see it yet, try clearing your cookies or opening the site in a different browser; don’t worry, it’ll kick in eventually. [See Lindy’s previous work here.]

November Down Under

It’s time to spill the Marmite: in November, I’m headed Down Under to Perth, Australia to be a featured speaker at the Eat, Drink, Blog conference. Then, for three nights, I’m skipping over to Sydney (I just booked my hotel) because I figured I should see it before heading back across the ocean. Am I excited? Oh yes, very much so. At some point, I’ll pick your collective brains for restaurant/sightseeing suggestions, but as for right now, just wanted to share this exciting news. G’day!