The Recipe Exchange - My Favorite Hangout On The 'Net! - A Glimpse of Me Blog at - 181483

A Glimpse of Me

The Recipe Exchange - My Favorite Hangout on the 'Net! 
Jun. 19, 2010 7:50 am 
Updated: Jul. 28, 2010 7:26 am
Hello! Thanks for stopping to read my blog!!
About two years ago I found an incredibly valuable resource here at AllRecipes and I wanted to share it with some of you who may not know about it, or maybe you don’t know what it’s for. It’s called the Recipe Exchange. You may have noticed those words before. They’re right up there ↑ on one of those tabs. But, if you’re anything like me, you probably have the wrong idea about what the Recipe Exchange is. I know I did for a long time. That’s why I’m writing this blog…so others don’t have to miss out on the awesome Exchange like I did for so long.
I became addicted to cooking at a very young age. I have my mother to thank for that. She was a stay-at-home-mom for most of my childhood, only going back to work out of financial necessity when my youngest sibling started all-day school (I think I was 14 or 15 by that time). My mom wasn’t the most gourmet of cooks, but that was mostly because we didn’t have enough money for much more than ground beef, pasta, processed cheese, a few canned items, and basic spices like salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. The thing is, my mother was able to do some pretty incredible things with the few ingredients she had available to her! The great food that came out of her kitchen made me want to learn everything I could about cooking.
As part of my kitchen education, I eventually learned to use the internet to search for recipes. One day, when I used Google to search for a dish I wanted to make, the first suggestion that came up was a recipe here at AllRecipes. After looking at the recipe page, I started exploring and realized that it was possible to search for recipes right here on the site and that I could search for random ingredients rather than exact recipe names! This site quickly became my favorite place to look for yummy things to cook. But…I didn’t register to become a member. I didn’t feel like I needed to. I was able to find the recipes I wanted, so what was the purpose of registering? Eventually I noticed that tab up there ↑ that said “Recipe Exchange”. I ignored it for awhile, figuring it was just a place where people could exchange recipes of their own. I really didn’t have any recipes that I had created and figured I didn’t need to worry about that little tab, so I went on my merry way. 
One day about two years ago, though, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see what that tab was all about. WOW! The Recipe Exchange was a message board! I started lurking, reading through some of the posts, and saw that there was a really awesome bunch of people who hung out there. They answered questions, gave advice, and sometimes just offered each other virtual “high fives” when something turned out great or words of reassurance when something didn’t go quite the way the cook/baker wanted it to. I decided I HAD to be a part of such a wonderful community, so I registered as a member of AllRecipes in early July 2008. 
Then the shyness hit! How should I introduce myself to people who were obviously familiar with one another? Was it okay for me to respond to questions if I knew the answer? What if I asked a stupid question?? I lurked some more, reading posts, almost responding to a few but changing my mind at the last second. Then my aunt reminded me of a dessert she had made when I was a kid and asked if I knew where to find the recipe. On July 11, 2008, I finally shoved my shyness into the closet and posted my first request on the Recipe Exchange. Everyone was amazing, welcoming me to the forum, and giving their suggestions on what they thought the dessert I was describing sounded like. And you know what? They got it right! I passed the recipe on to my aunt, who was thrilled that I found it so quickly, and I have made it several times myself since then.
My shyness quickly evaporated in the warmth and kindness I received from all of the “regulars” on the Recipe Exchange and I quickly became a regular myself. I learned that the only stupid questions are the ones we never ask, because then we never get to know the answer. I started posting more and more frequently and answered questions whenever I felt like I knew a little bit about what they were asking for. To date, I have posted 1,194 of my own requests and/or comments there! 
I love the Recipe Exchange and want to share it with everyone I can! So, here’s my invitation to you: Come check out the Recipe Exchange!  You’ll find a really great bunch of people who are willing to help out in almost any situation. We have conversations about food, life, gardens, family, and sometimes death. I have found some of my most favorite recipes through suggestions I got at the Exchange. Better yet, the people there have helped me through some tough situations with my kids…situations that have had absolutely nothing to do with food, and they celebrated with me when I finally got a job on the Air Force Base near my home…after trying for over 10 years to get hired there! That’s what I love best about the Exchange. A person can ask for help with their zucchini bread or finding a recipe for BLSL (boneless, skinless) chicken breasts, they can ask advice on what to do when their teenager is being defiant, or they can ask for prayers/good thoughts for a sick or seriously injured loved one. Oh sure, occasionally someone pops in who would rather that the conversations stay on the subject of food, but for the most part everyone is very kind and compassionate and willing to help. So…if you’ve always wondered what the heck fennel is or what leeks taste like (like I did!), or if you can’t for the life of you figure out what that mystery ingredient in a recipe is, come on over to the Recipe Exchange. Chances are pretty good that SOMEONE there will have the answer for you. And if nobody knows the answer, usually someone is able to help you find it somewhere out there in cyberspace. I have found my internet “home” at the Recipe Exchange. I hope you will, too.
Jun. 19, 2010 8:25 am
Great blog post, Keri! I have to say it was almost exactly the same way for me with AR and the exchange. And I didn't really start using AR to the extent I do now, until I discovered the exchange. I agree that is a very welcoming, and fun place to hang out. Extremely sociable people there who are more than willing to share everything! I love, love it. I can't even recount how much I have learned on there and I have discovered I love cooking now, whereas I used to do it just to feed my family. It's fun now, because I learn something new every day from my friends on the 'RE', whether it's a tip or a recipe or what have you. Thanks, 'recipeeps'!!
Jun. 19, 2010 8:26 am
What a great idea for a blog! Good job, Keri!!
Jun. 19, 2010 8:42 am
Great blog, Keri!
Jun. 19, 2010 9:06 am
Love this blog, Keri. My story is so much the same. I love it here on RE. I still am pretty quiet most of the time but love the interaction between all the wonderful people and feel like I have many friends here.
Jun. 19, 2010 11:36 am
Thanks ladies! I'm hoping it'll reach some people who read blogs but don't know how great the RE is. Maybe we'll see some new faces over there soon! :-)
Jun. 19, 2010 11:50 am
Great Blog Keri :) I thought the same thing about the RE at first, until I accidentally clicked on it one day! Surprise surprise. I don't get over there as much as I would like anymore :( And have been hitting the blogs when I get a chance to come to AR. Since I know I won't have the time to do much on the RE. Sure do miss it. Maybe once school starts again I'll be able to get back on the RE more. Sure do miss everyone!
Jun. 19, 2010 12:37 pm
Very well written Keri! I hope it helps people to discover the Exchange! I, too, found the exchange by accident and my life has never been the same! LOL
Jun. 19, 2010 1:15 pm
Awesome blog Keri!!
Jun. 19, 2010 1:47 pm
Hip, hip, hooray for the RE!
Jun. 19, 2010 1:59 pm
Exactly!!!! Great blog! I'm still finding things around this website. I've find some great friends, good recipes and yes, when my requests for help have been posted someone always tries to! From homemade sausages and stuffed grape leaves to growing fennel with issues and what to do with a baby with Mommy separation anxiety. :)
Jun. 19, 2010 4:33 pm
Great idea! It took me years of using AR to find out about the exchange too. Now it such a fun part of my days :)
Jun. 19, 2010 7:14 pm
Terrific blog, Keri! I thought the exact same thing as you- that it was a place to trade recipes. I used the site for probably two years (on a very regular basis!) before I figured it out. Also like you, I lurked because I was too shy to introduce myself. I think I lurked for six months. Jeez Louise, all that nervousness for nothing! :) Oh, one last thing- I think this blog is so great because the whole reason I ever DID finally find the RE was because of a blog I read!
Jun. 19, 2010 8:02 pm
A++! Good job... Found RE by accident and was fascinated. Great cooking tips, personal stories, high fives, personal recipes, needed prayers, lots of laughs, and so much more.
Jun. 19, 2010 8:30 pm
Very warm and welcoming, Keri. This should be a "Welcome Letter" everyone receives!
Jun. 19, 2010 9:08 pm
Thanks for blogging about this, Keri. Such a great topic, and very applicable to me at the moment. I just recently (like in the last week) started really reading it, and after a couple of days since I had a question about something, I decided to go ahead and ask. I received such great responses - both helpful and welcoming - that I feel like I've found a "home" on the internet.
Jun. 20, 2010 5:48 am
Great job Keri. I'm so happy someone finally thought of this. Mag
Jun. 20, 2010 9:13 am
Thanks again, everyone! Kristen B. - I'm so glad you found the Exchange and are enjoying it as much as I have!! I hope others see this blog and decide to pay the Exchange a visit, too :-)
Jun. 20, 2010 11:44 am
Applause from over here! Even as a most of the time lurky loo, I've learned so much from visiting the RE. I've found other websites, for instance; stuff I never knew was out there until it came up in a conversation.
Jun. 22, 2010 1:56 pm
Great blog, Keri, my story is quite similar to yours. Love all the recipe/food help there, but even better is the way so many jump right in when there is a big life/problem/question. Looking forward to more blogs.
Jun. 22, 2010 6:54 pm
Nice work Keri! You said it all.
Jun. 23, 2010 10:47 am
i concur, Keri. great blog. in the beginning there was no RE so i just used the search feature and recipe box and if i had a question i used another site. then i saw the tab and was hooked. i can't participate as much as i would like to but i read it every day.
Jun. 23, 2010 8:32 pm
Well said Keri, well said :D
Jun. 25, 2010 5:08 am
I had no clue it was a message board. Glad you blogged about.
Jun. 25, 2010 6:47 am
Great blog Keri. My story is much like yours. I really enjoy the exchange. Well done.
Jun. 25, 2010 7:32 am
I have been using All Recipes for more than 10 years, and today was the first time I ever went to the Recipe Exchange. Glad I did! I don't have much time to get on-line, except at work. At home my life is totally consumed by the 35 dogs! Not to mention the cooking, cleaning and laundry! Yes, I really do have 35 dogs. Four are six-week old pups, the oldest is a 19 year old Siberian Husky, and the rest range in age from 11 years to three months. We have three Great Pyrenees which we will be breeding in the next year - they are huge dogs who have very large litters. So glad I found this site. You all sound like such a great group.
Jun. 25, 2010 10:22 am
I had to chuckle when I read your blog...'cause I did the exct same thing...until one day I just clicked it to see what recipes people were exchanging and to my pleasant surprise I found all of you...I love AR RE too!! Thanks Keri!
Jun. 25, 2010 10:29 am
You told my story Keri!! I accidentally clicked the RE tab, and what a wonderful world I found!! All my favorite topics up for discussion. I soon became addicted, and have since gotten my sister addicted too!! Rarely does a day go by when I don't pop in and see what's up! My husband couldn't get over how much I was on the computer all of the sudden! I LOVE AR and RE!! Great Blog!!
Jun. 25, 2010 12:22 pm
Neat, I've never checked out the recipe exchange, maybe I will/should. Thanks!
Jun. 25, 2010 12:52 pm
well said Keri, the RE is truly a caring community
Jun. 25, 2010 1:32 pm
Thanks for all the great comments, everyone! I'm so glad to see that some of the comments are from people who aren't familiar with the Exchange yet!! That was my reach people who don't know about it. I hope you all will stop on by and join the group :-)
Jun. 25, 2010 2:53 pm
Well done Keri!! I hope more and more people start coming to the exchange because of your blog. :)
Jun. 25, 2010 3:28 pm
What a beautiful blog Keri! I love the Recipe Exchange, there are so many great tips and ideas that pass through there!
Jun. 25, 2010 3:47 pm
Here, here!
Jun. 25, 2010 4:28 pm
Great job, Keri! Samestory here -- usedthe site for recipe searches butdidn't foray into the RE for ages, and when I did -- OMG! I didn't read the blogs until about that same time either.I'vealready noticed some new faces in the RE sinceyou posted this -- congratsfor making our special community a bit bigger!
Jun. 25, 2010 5:16 pm
First place I come to in the morning! Sometimes before my Mt Dew!
Jun. 25, 2010 7:55 pm
Loved your blog, Keri, and hope it sparks a lot of new interest. It was just this past December that I found the RE and I have been a member since 2001! In fact, you answered quite a few questions for me and helped me through my first attempts at bread making.
Jun. 25, 2010 8:04 pm
Absolutely the truth! Such a sweet ode to the Recipe Exchange...we love you, Keri! Come on over and introduce yourself...everyone is so welcomed! Thanks, Keri for doing this...I have made lifelong friends on AR.....Unbelievable, you say? Stop by!
Jun. 25, 2010 9:54 pm
Thanks, Keri, for a great blog. I try to read a few posts from time to time but do feel like an outsider and have felt like people must wonder, "who the heck is this?" when I post something. Thanks for the invitation!
Jun. 26, 2010 3:29 am
Hi Keri. Thank you for putting out the "welcome Mat"! That was a very thoughtful gesture.
Jun. 26, 2010 11:24 am
Great blog and so true! I love exchange. It is because of it that I have ventured deeper into cooking, having a back up available when I needed help or encouragement to try something new. AR is one of my favorite pass times. I am on it EVERY DAY. Sometimes I join in, other times I just look around. I love "Voting for photos"! I vote every day. Love certain cooks, seeking out their recipes. Love this place!
Jun. 26, 2010 12:52 pm
Wonderful story of your beginning. We truly are a family on RE and have been throught birth and deaths and most everything in between. If you haven't started reading yet, please do so soon.
Jun. 26, 2010 5:09 pm
Excellent blog! I found the recipe exchange by accident, too. I have to say that I used to cook just to get the family fed, but now that Allrecipes is part of my life, as well as all of the great people on the recipe exchange, I now really enjoy cooking. I mean, I really enjoy it!
Jun. 26, 2010 5:52 pm
I just want to give you a hug Keri for such a wonderful blog! You Rock! I too enjoyed it.
Jul. 28, 2010 7:26 am
Slow day at work. Went to blog about 7 day diet, which led me to this introduction to the Recipe Exchange and all the encouraging notes that follow. I haven't checked it out as yet - wanted to write this first. My usage of AR has been to find the recipes, put in my recipe box, look it up when desired, print it, and add notes in the margins of suggestions from those who have used the recipe. Works for me. Now I'm looking forward to this whole new world RE will bring. Goiong there now!!!
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About Me
I have loved cooking since I was a young girl helping my mother make dinner or bake cookies during school vacations. My favorite class in elementary school was "Nutrition", because we cooked almost every day. I have two daughters who love cooking and baking as much as I do and my husband is even getting interested. He recently started making bread from scratch and he's doing an awesome job of it! We share our home with pets of all different kinds, including birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, a rat, snakes, frogs, a tarantula, and a turtle. We also provide foster care for a local dog rescue, taking in abused, neglected, abandoned dogs and giving them a safe, loving environment to live in until they find their "fur-ever" homes.
My favorite things to cook
Rosemary garlic roasted chicken with roasted garlic gravy; Skillet cabbage; Almost any baked goods; Anything I can make in my slow cooker! Somewhere around September 2008 I decided I was going to start baking all the bread my children and I eat. I'm COMPLETELy loving it and my kids like to brag that "my mommy MADE this bread!" Their favorite is when I make bread items that aren't your traditional loaf of bread, like hamburger buns, bagels, and soft pretzels.
My favorite family cooking traditions
For several generations, my father's family has made a "family tradition" dessert item at each major holiday. At Easter, it's Italian Cheesecake, made with ricotta cheese and anise flavoring (published as "Italian Cheesecake II", if you'd like to check it out). At Thanksgiving, it's "Roly Polies", which were invented by my great grandmother when she had leftover pie crust dough she needed to use up. My absolute favorite, though, is Christmas, when we make Birds Nests. These are made out of walnut-sized balls of a sweet pie crust type dough rolled out very thin. Then we cut slits in the dough without cutting through the edge, gather every other strip, twist them up into a jumble, and then deep fry the pastries. When they are cooled, we sprinkle them with powdered sugar. It doesn't matter how many we make, they all get eaten!
My cooking triumphs
I managed to make decorated sugar cookies for Christmas 2008 that turned out awesome!! I've NEVER gotten sugar cookies to turn out good looking enough to warrant decorating them. They always turn into shapeless blobs. This particular time I reduced the amount of butter in the recipe by 25% and chilled the cut-outs for 15 minutes immediately before baking them. They turned out beautiful!
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at making Fairy Food candy (also called seafoam candy) was a disaster! I tried cooking it too quickly over too high of heat, so it burned, smelling up the entire house for DAYS. Thank goodness I still had enough ingredients (and courage!) to try again, and everyone at my family's Christmas gathering was impressed with my second attempt. I conveniently "forgot" to tell them about the first batch :-)
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