Update: Why I Blog the Way I Blog: The Method to My Madness

This is a blogger I follow, Dream Big Dream Often whose message touches many people in a positive way. He shares others blogs about the subjects listed below.

Have a peaceful day. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen. Here’s the link:


Update: Why I Blog the Way I Blog: The Method to My Madness

I thought it would be nice to provide a little updated information for those that are new to DBDO as we have added a few new followers and readers to the blog in the last couple of weeks AND my page strategy has changed a little.

What is Dream Big, Dream Often All About?

I focus our conversations around 4 basic topics, all of which have to do with personal development: living a healthy lifestyle, living an organized/goal oriented life, living debt-free and living a life of charity.  I call these the 4 Pillars of Successful Living.  I not only espouse these, I live them.

I focused on these 4 because my research revealed that these are the 4 basic areas that were common among people who considered themselves unsuccessful or under-achieving.

What Is the Posting Schedule on Dream Big?

Along with these 4 topics I believe in and use a 6-step formula for helping me to achieve any goal:

  1. determine what it is that you want and state it
  2. determine what you are willing to sacrifice to get what you want,
  3. develop a persistent attitude,
  4. have faith,
  5. develop organized planning and
  6. execute.

Because of this formula I will often discuss desire, developing persistence, having faith developing a plan, executing the plan and successful habits.

My posting schedule works as follows: I post A Few of My Random Thoughts each Monday followed up with a Healthy Living Updateon Tuesday mornings.  On Wednesday I post a Dream Big Original and follow that with Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategy on Thursdays.  Friday-Sunday  I will post on topics within the niche of personal development.  Along with these posts I use memes, quotes, reblogs and articles shares to provide complimentary information for the days “theme.”

Each night at 6 pm est, I publish my Featured Blogger segment in which I feature 10 bloggers that have left a link to their page or post on my Let Me Share Your Page post.  I share as a way to give back to the blogging community.  This segment replaces my previous practice of reblogging.  I found that the reblogging had 2 negative impacts on my page: 1. it distracted from my overall message, and 2. it cluttered up people’s inboxes.

Lastly, on the 2nd and 4th weekend of every month I conduct a Meet and Greet which allows all bloggers the opportunity to leave a link on my page and meet and find new followers.  This is a great way for others to gain exposure for their page.

I don’t stray from this much so you can expect a post each morning at 6am est.

I hope this helps some of the new folks to understand my blogging strategy.  I believe every blogger needs to have some type of formula that works for them other than “build it and they will come.”

Source: Update: Why I Blog the Way I Blog: The Method to My Madness

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A bright Idea Gone Wrong = what in the wordpress happened?



A Bright idea, hey? CKatt 2016

“Okay okay okay.” [Joe Pesci quote.] What’s it to you that I thought cleaning up my images in wordpress was a good idea? The big idea: I deleted a bunch of photos ’cause I thought it was unwieldy to have so many images stored on wordpress. [GRoaN]! “What the Heck was I thinking?” It ripped the corresponding images off my posts.

Also I was fooling around with wordpress widgets and now the community link and blog roll link…well lets just say, I don’t know how to make them appear again. **sigh.**.

It’s hard enough adjusting to how to do things every time wordpress changes the formatting. It seems this new abbreviated formatting is for people who post by smart phone or something? Geez, man. What the flock is this blog tech coming to?

Anyone reading this Please Help! Send me a note on how to restore the widgets.

Your blog friend from the kitchen wishes you a pleasant evening.


Now to restore some photos.

UPDATE Sunday: Glad to report I figured out my tech problem RE: widgets/community/blogroll. Photos restored for all practical purposes.

Have a good evening where ever you are.

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Authentic Red Beans and Rice Recipe Two Ways for 25 Below Zero Weather



Red Beans and Rice with Spinach side dish 2015 CKatt

Feeling tired from the last few days of brutal cold weather in the upper Midwest? Well, I am. My food muse was also tired of the steady diet of the same old thing. Standing in front of the fridge door open with a finger to my lips thinking, “Nope, nothing there to inspire dinner.”

Moving to the cupboard to find a can of premium kidney beans made a light bulb go on in my head. There is jasmine rice! There’s that spinach that needs to be eaten back in the fridge. Hmmm. Let’s find a recipe for red beans and rice.

The Maryland’s Flavors cookbook maybe has something? Taking a look-see, disappointment then amusement chases across my face because so many of the recipes called for can cream-of-something soup. (Nertz.) However no bean recipes turned up. Flipped to the end and there were some very interesting recipes:

What’s Up Doc Rabbit Casserole, Curried Pheasant Casserole, Canadian Goose, and Fred’s Fricasseed Muskrat. (Yup, you read it here. Only the pheasant and muskrat recipes did not call for some creamed canned soup.)

Moving on to the Internet, here’s a recipe I found and adapted from Allrecipes for Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice for a vegetarian version.

Here’s the meat version:


1 pound of dried kidney beans

¼ cup of olive oil

1 large onion chopped

1 green bell pepper chopped

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 stalks of celery chopped

6 cups of water

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (?)*

1 pound of Andouille sausage sliced

4 cups of water

2 cups of long grain rice

Original Method – Let’s call this Version 1 – the long method for preparing red beans is described:

(Uh-oh.) Rinse the beans and then soak in a large pot overnight. Mmmm maybe I’ll use the can of premium kidney beans! (Smart.) Dear reader, when or if you have the time, please do this step for the authentic flavor. Suffice to say: “hunger is the best cook still”.

Heat olive oil in a skillet, on medium heat cook onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery for 3-4 minutes.

Rinse the soaked beans and put in a pot with 6 cups of water. Stir cooked vegetables into beans. Then season with bay leaves, thyme, sage, parsley, cayenne pepper and Cajun seasoning*.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 -1/2 hours.

After 2 hours stir in the sausage and cook for 30 minutes. (Can’t wait that long, folks.)

In the meantime prepare the rice: 2 cups of rice in the 4 cups of water. Bring water and rice to a boil and reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes. (Jasmine rice takes less time) this is probably enough rice for 4 people. (I’m guessing.)

Okay, is anyone as hungry as a bear? It’s cold and I am craving carbs.

Version 2

Here’s a quick recipe:

Start the rice as recommended in the recipe.

Open a can or two, if serving four, of kidney beans. Set aside. Assemble your herbs.*

Cut up a large onion in half. Thin slice the first half and put it in a large skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil. This is for the spinach recipe.

Do the same with the other half of onion in a 2nd smaller skillet with olive oil and add a clove or two of chopped garlic.

Add the herbs to the smaller skillet with the onions.* Cook on low heat until onions soften. Then add celery, garlic, pepper and beans. (I left out the green pepper.) Cook on medium low heat and taste test as you go – 10-12 minutes approximately of cooking.

Meanwhile, Wash the spinach and throw it in the large skillet with the onion; cover and let steam on very low heat. When steamed, in 5 minutes, throw a couple of teaspoons of sliced almonds on top, turn off the fire, keep covered and dish up when beans are ready – this doesn’t take long. Serve with the rice.

* Cajun seasoning = to make a batch to work from:

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano

1-1/4 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

Notes: I used real garlic and onions in the beans. Substituted basil for oregano (Out of stock!) Into the beans – added the paprika and chili powder with a small knifepoint to control the heat. (Did not make up the spice batch, but added the additional herbs and spices by taste testing while the beans cooked.)

It was delicious and easy. Just what a hungry person needed to stave off the frigid weather woes was an authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice Recipe.

Thanks for stopping by the kitchen! Smile and stay warm.

Please join the cooks and chefs at Fiesta Friday with Angie and co-hosts of this week# 103 are Sonal @ simplyvegetarian777 and Petra @ Food Eat Love




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Sandpiper Haiku – Shore bird looking for a meal


Have a peaceful moment.

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Views of San Francisco & Berkeley CA + Restaurant tour = Friends Food and Fun

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Slide show photos were taken on a windy day walk, from the Berkeley side of San Francisco Bay, in the space of twenty minutes. Photos to the west are of San Fran’s skyline and the Marin Mountains. Shooting towards the North the photos have more color…it’s the magic of the bay.

It was my present to myself to catch a bargain airfare rate to San Francisco to visit friends in Berkeley – my old stomping grounds.  SF is my favorite city and Berkeley is unique. Here’s a list of restaurants that I was fortunate enough to visit any enjoy the fabulous food. ♥

Bacco ♥♥♥♥♥

San Francisco, CA


La Mediterranee ♥♥♥♥

Berkeley CA


Oyster Bar San Francisco ♥♥♥♥♥


Trattoria La Siciliana ♥♥♥♥♥

Berkeley CA


At Home Christmas Eve Grilled Salmon, salad, jasmine rice ♥♥♥♥♥

Saul’s Deli

This is the place to go on Christmas Day in Berkeley CA. ♥♥♥


Pictures: saul’s deli berkeley

A good time was had by all! Multo Bene!

Gracious host(s) and touristic whirlwind- Thank you! ♥

♥A very happy and healthy year ahead to all and thanks for stopping by the kitchen!♥

It’s time to share this with all the people at Fiesta Friday.net #102. Co-hosts, Elaine @ foodbod and Julie @ Hostess at Heart join Angie to spread the cheer and good food.

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