A Tour of Some Blogs I Love

 

key lime watermelon sorbet

What’s this? This is just a teaser for a post that’s coming later in the week. Feel free to meditate on it…

It’s early Sunday morning, the cats have succeeded in their demands for breakfast, I have my coffee cup, and it’s still quiet and peaceful here. So far. This is the perfect opportunity to share with you a little bit more about me, and to introduce you to several food blogs that I love to visit, by friends of mine who inspire me. Go get your cup and settle in for a few minutes. I’ll wait right here…. (humming Final Jeopardy music)….

First, a big Thank You shoutout to Sherri Jo of The Adventures of Kitchen Girl for featuring Flamingo Musings in her blog tour, last week. I’ve kind of lost track of how long we’ve known each other, but it definitely goes back to long before I was ever on Facebook! Sherri Jo is honest and earthy, and her blog focuses on the actual food she feeds her kids – it’s all real, wholesome, and creative. I mean, who wouldn’t love a big, heaping forkful of this Quick Asian Style Beef?

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I had to love her when she put my Spicy Tomato Jam on grilled cheese!

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She’s been focusing on a lot of fresh veg recipes, lately, and hosts a lot of fun giveaways, so you should check her out. And go ahead and follow her on Facebook, too – Sherri Jo loves company!

What am I working on?

Besides making some fun, seasonal jams for my business Freakin’ Flamingo, I’m currently working on a sponsored post for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, that will be posted on Wednesday. You’re going to really enjoy this one – I know I am! Hey, there’s booze involved! ;-)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think that the main way my work is different from a lot of other food blogs, is that, while it’s not immediately obvious, everything I make is Kosher. You won’t find any recipes for pork or seafood, or anything that mixes dairy and meat. I was raised that way, and that’s how I cook. As a result of my having a kosher kitchen, you’ll find a lot of “work-arounds” and vegetarian and vegan (dairy-free or meat-free) substitutions and options. And, since I’ve lived in South Florida since 1970, you’ll frequently find quite a lot of Latin and Caribbean influences in many of my dishes. I love those flavors and I refuse to deprive myself of them! You’ll also find my family’s traditional Jewish-influenced favorites. Sometimes, as-is, and sometimes with delicious and healthier twists.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I can’t keep it all to myself! Even though I’m Jewish and keep kosher in my home, I come up with loads of recipes and ideas that are suitable for anyone and everyone and any occasion. I don’t like being pigeon-holed. When people ask me how I come up with some of my off-the-wall jam, barbecue sauce, or pickle concoctions, I tell them: This is my creative outlet. Some people paint and some people sculpt, and I play with my food!

How does my writing process work?

Well, first I stare in my fridge. Then I stare in my pantry. Then I stare at my spice and condiment shelves. Sometimes, I’ll spot something that captures my imagination at the grocery store or farmers market. Then I ask myself: “What if I … ”  I don’t like recipes that are too fussy or take ridiculous amounts of time to prepare. I’m a home cook, just like most of you, and I don’t have a team of sous chefs and underlings to do all the chopping, etc. So, if I can’t cook or bake something and get it on the table in a reasonable amount of time, I won’t do it and I won’t expect you to make it. I’ll cook it, I’ll write it down, and I’ll do it again to make sure it can be reproduced.  A lot of times, I’ll have something at a restaurant, or I’ll get an inspiration, and no matter what else I’m doing at the time, my brain won’t shut up until I produce it at home. I try not to bore you, but I’ll have to tell you the “Why” behind much of the process. So you’ll get it. Then I take all of that mishmash, edit it down, and rearrange it so it’ll make sense.  I hope.

So, that’s enough about me. Let me introduce you to a couple of my long-time friends with unique points of view, that you should know:

First up is my good friend Jenny, who writes The Mad Rantings of Andrew’s Mom – “The joys and struggles of autism with recipes, cooking and baking thrown in for good measure.”  Parents of autistic children will find an empathetic ear here, and the rest of us will gain a small measure of understanding for the challenges and cheer for the victories. But, mostly what you’ll find on Jenny’s blog is the love of food. And cookbooks. Lots and lots of cookbooks. And even more cookbooks. Jenny loves cookbooks so much, that she began and is the admin for The Cookbook Junkies, a Facebook group of over 7,000 like-minded cookbook addicts! If you were wondering whether or not to buy the latest book written by the latest star-chef, or an entry in the latest hip cuisine, odds are you’ll find a review of the cookbook on Jenny’s blog, or consensus about it over at The Cookbook Junkies. You’ll also find some of Jenny’s great twists and delicious original recipes, like these Citrus Ricotta Zepole! Mmm….

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Next on our mini-tour, is one of my earliest blogging friends from back when Twitter was actually social, rather than a series of links to other people’s blog posts, Heather and her now-husband, Jeff of He Cooks She Cooks. Heather and Jeff have found their mutual voice in the love of all things beer and meat – mainly charcuterie. That beer love is immediately apparent in this recipe for Farmhouse Ale Cheese Fondue

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You’ll also find all sorts of recipes incorporating beer into breads and other main dishes, and let’s face it – their love for bacon will not be denied! So much so, that they just started selling some of their unique bacons and jerkys (jerkies?) under their “Smoke & Honey” label at the farmers market in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You will have to seek them out. The reviews of their products are over the moon. Seriously. But in the meantime, check out some of their mouthwatering recipes on their blog!

Please visit Jenny’s and Heather’s blogs and next week they’ll be featuring several of their own personal favorites for you to discover.

Thanks for visiting Flamingo Musings and my friends. Feel free to stop by any time to see what’s fresh!

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By RJ Flamingo

6 Comments

  1. 1
    July 27, 2014

    Loved getting a little glimpse inside your kitchen, and your process. I can definitely relate to the part about staring into the fridge and pantry. That made me LOL. And no, I didn’t realize that everything you make is kosher. I find that fascinating and knowing that going forward will open my eyes and teach me brand new things. I’m glad you picked Jenny and Heather to continue the blog tour. Can’t wait to read their stories as well. Well done, Renee!

  2. 2
    July 27, 2014

    I loved reading this and I knew you did a lot kosher but I didn’t realize you completely lived kosher! That rocks my socks! Thank you for going on the tour with me <3

  3. 3
    July 27, 2014

    I love you.

  4. 4
    July 27, 2014

    I did learn more about you….. I will check out the blogs, but don’t ask me to cook…. Lol… Hug… Michelle

  5. 5
    July 28, 2014

    What a fun post. I think you and Sherri Jo are pretty darn awesome. And Jenny, and everyone! ;)

    • 5.1
      RJ Flamingo
      July 28, 2014

      Thanks, Katrina! So glad you stopped by. I love your blog, too! :-)

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