By Sandy Hu
Cue the music! Toss the confetti! Release the balloons!
Special Fork bloggers reached a milestone recently, having each written 100 blog posts. We launched our Special Fork blog on June 1, 2010, and we have blogged nonstop, every weekday, ever since.
If you’re new to our site, you may not know that “Special Fork” is the name of the one mismatched fork in my family’s utensil drawer. My son Chris, a child of few words, would quietly bring it to the table, swapping out his dinner fork for this Special Fork, as an indication that dinner that night was a winner. He kept up this ritual until he went to college.
Special Fork is all about solving the daily dinnertime dilemma, what to cook now, at 4 p.m. Dave (my son and partner) and I picked a mobile website as the way to communicate answers to reach people in transit. You whip out your smartphone and go to www.specialfork.com (this is a website, not an app) to make your dinner selection from our database of recipes. Create a digital shopping list to buy the ingredients on the way home from work. Email the recipe to your home computer to print out when you return and you’re ready to cook! All our recipes take no more than 30 minutes of prep time; cooking time may be extra.
We wanted Special Fork to be more than a database so we decided to add a blog that would be updated every weekday, featuring delicious ideas and recipes to help specific audiences meet their what-to-cook challenges. While I kick off each Monday blogging to the whole Special Fork community and occasionally sharing new updates from Special Fork, each of our other bloggers were recruited for their ability to reach out to one of our three communities with special needs: cooking newbies, singles and couples, and busy families.
Tuesdays with Katie: Teaching the Cooking Newbie
Every Tuesday, Katie Barreira, Senior Test Kitchen Associate at Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine in New York City, blogs to help cooking newbies. In Katie’s day job, she develops recipes and writes the “Get Fresh” column, a monthly spotlight on seasonal produce for the popular cooking magazine. Katie is a professionally trained chef but she easily identifies with her young friends who have never learned the basics of cooking. Each week, Katie introduces newbies to ingredients outside their daily purview, like squash blossoms and teaches cooking techniques including how to stretch pizza dough, how to grill corn and how to make an omelet. Here’s Katie’s first blog post.
Wednesdays with Lori: Cooking for One or Two
Lori, a chef, food editor and food stylist who lives in a small town in Pennsylvania, is the Food Director of Prevention magazine. She has been Food Director at Real Simple, Food and Entertaining Director at Ladies’ Home Journal, and Deputy Editor of Food and Entertaining at Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, as well as.a food editor and stylist at Gourmet magazine. Lori is the perfect role model for singles – cooking for one is never a bother to her. If you think it’s a chore, you need to read Lori’s thoughts on this singularly rejuvenating, therapeutic activity. Lori loves visiting the farmers’ markets in New York City, Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, and brings the best of seasonal ingredients to her recipes each Wednesday. Here’s Lori’s first blog.
Thursdays with Andrew and Marilyn: Cooking for Families
We’ve watched Andrew and Marilyn’s two boys, Ben and Nick, grow in the two years of Special Fork blog posts. The Hunters, who live in Los Angeles, are doing their best to raise young men who appreciate food and where it comes from. They expose their kids to the cuisines of the world –Mexican, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, French, Spanish, Persian – at the family table. While Chef Andrew is the founder and owner of Culinary Craft where he develops new products for top brands, and was a Vice President of Culinary Development for Wolfgang Puck, he knows how to put himself into the shoes of everyday busy moms and dads. You can expect anything from the recipe for the house dressing from Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant, to one for Sloppy Joes. Meanwhile, Marilyn, a stay-at-home mom who helps with the family business, shares recipes and tips from a busy mom’s perspective and from her Southern roots with recipes like Southern Fried Chicken. Here’s the Hunters’ first post.
Friday is Video Friday, where Dave and I and our friends demonstrate simple cooking techniques or recipes. Started later than the Special Fork blogs, we are still closing in our 100th video blog, so that’s another story for later.
Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.