AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Introducing Katie from Eat this. DATE: 4/30/2009 04:54:00 PM ----- BODY:
I’ve officially crossed over from novice blogger to experienced blogger. This comes thanks to Kristen’s (of Dine and Dish) great program, “Adopt-a-Blogger”. Kristen founded this program to pair experienced bloggers with novice bloggers in a sort of mentoring program. I missed being a novice (though I had some wonderful mentoring from Lydia -- THANK YOU LYDIA!). And now I’m *experienced*.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my adoptee: Katie from Eat This. She hails from a small town outside of East Lansing. She’s cooking up a storm of whole grain and natural foods while finishing up her PhD in neuroscience. I’m psyched to try some of her recipes because she’s cooking with interesting yet common ingredients, inspiring me to get out of my usual ruts. You know, things like venison, jicama and bulgur. Also, very cool -- she has a "cookbook of the month." Each month she cooks several recipes out of one cookbook... it's a great way to really delve into one particular style or theme. So check out her blog and say hello!

Honestly, I still feel like a novice blogger... just this week I'll celebrate my one year blogiversary. As I peruse Katie’s site, it looks like she’s figured out a lot of the technical things of blogging that I’m still working on (like widgets). Since I know that so many of you are more experienced blogging than me, I ask:

What advice would you offer the novice?
I never posted these Vietnamese Spring Rolls that I made during my cooking class in Hanoi.

¼ pound ground pork
¼ pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1 small bundle of glass noodles
2 eggs
5 scallions
1 handful wood ear mushrooms
1 handful dried shiitake
½ carrot
½ kohlrabi
½ small onion
4 small shallots
4 garlic cloves
Handful cilantro
1 tsp fish sauce3
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tbs. oil
1 pack rice paper
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Soak Mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes
2. Soften glass noodles in a bowl of hot water. When soft, drain and set aside
3. Remove woody stems from mushrooms, and slice thinly.
4. Chop onions, shallots, garlic, cilantro and scallions. Combine in a bowl with the mushrooms.
5. Chop shrimp finely, and add along with pork to above mix.
6. Cut glass noodles into short lengths and add to the mix along with bean sprouts and remaining ingredients (except rice paper and vegetable oil for frying).
7. Mix well and let rest for 10 minutes.
8. Dip each sheet of rice paper in hot water for 30 seconds. Place a spoonful of the mixture onto the paper. Tuck in the ends and roll into a tight cylinder. Continue until all the mix is used up.
9. To fry: heat about 2 cups of oil in a frying pan. When it’s hot, a chopstick will sizzle when placed in oil. Put spring rolls into the oil, seam side down. Fry until golden brown, turning continually with a low fire.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Reeni♥ DATE:4/30/2009 08:19:00 PM Those spring rolls are loaded with goodies! They look crispy and delicious. I don't know if I have any good advice. I've been blogging for under a year. It's been learn as I go. I will definitely check her out. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Katie DATE:4/30/2009 09:30:00 PM Thanks for the wonderful intro!! I didn't realize that Lydia adopted you - I love her blog. Also, those spring rolls look amazing! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:OpenID burpandslurp DATE:5/01/2009 06:28:00 AM I'm also part of the adopt a blogger! I'm a newbie :-) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:5/01/2009 07:35:00 AM Julia, I'm really proud of you for adopting Katie. I've adopted three bloggers in the past couple of years, and tried to give advice to many others, and I know you will enjoy the experience of mentoring as much as I have. My first piece of advice? Be yourself. Then, be a generous member of the blogging community. Everything else is a technicality. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:5/01/2009 05:50:00 PM Reeni and burpandslurp -- I had no idea you were also novices. You seem quite experienced. :)

Katie -- Lydia has just been a wonderful mentor, not an official "adopted."

Lydia -- Great advice as always. Thanks! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Claudia DATE:5/01/2009 06:55:00 PM Congrats on being an experienced blogger! I just finished one year and am learning every minute I spend on the computer. Lovely spring rolls - my hsband adores them and I've never made them. It may be time to try! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:5/02/2009 05:13:00 PM Wow..Vincent is bumping into a lot of blogs lately. (Can you tell I'm in a bad mood? Revising thesis...rather - avoiding revisions by commenting on blogs)

The whole idea of being an experienced blogger is awkward for me too. But, I'm sure you've gather some useful experience over the past year to share with a new bloggers.

Vietnamese spring rolls are weakness of mine. Growing up, one of my best friends was Vietnamese and all of her family events would include spring rolls. I miss those spring rolls. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:5/03/2009 07:56:00 AM Claudia -- What are some of the highlights of the things you've learned?

Psychgrad -- I can imagine revising a document over 100 pages long is quite a challenge! This recipe tastes like the real thing (unfortunately, not all recipes I've received abroad do), so definitely worth a try if you're feeling nostalgic. ----- --------