Thinking about spring during these cold times. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Longing for spring during these gray days. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Cleveland weather today is mild, uncommon for this time. We’re not in the throes of the current blizzard, but I’m still sick of this cold and gray. The kids are weary of school. I’m morose in my work, dulled by routine, longing for spring’s renewal. These carrots Donna shot long ago jumped out at me when I was going through some of her work and intensified the longing.

I’m in the final stages of finishing a draft of a new book about cooking (notice I avoid the term “cookbook”), the inevitable headache stage where I just need to get it done in order to leave it alone so that I can return to it and see it clearly.

As spring does approach and I long for maple leaves and vegetables, flowers, soft grass and humid air, I’m planning renewals of my own.

It’s time for a redesign of this site.

And I need to know what you—faithful reader and newcomer alike—find valuable here, what you like, what you’d like to see more of—Donna’s work? Opinion pieces? Recipes? Videos? Technique? What don’t you like?

And I’d love to know what kind of screen you are reading this on (I’ll bet it’s not on a phone—not that this site makes it easy for you to comment one way or another). One of the reasons for a redesign is the changing nature of media and the need to create a site that is pleasing no matter what you’re viewing it on, called a responsive site or responsive design.

But it’s also to keep things growing. Spring can’t come soon enough to Cleveland!

Check out these other links:

© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

 

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102 Wonderful responses to “Hungry for Spring (and Request to Readers)”

  • Tamidon

    I’m usually reading on a laptop. not worth trying on a smartphone screen. I’m not sure what’s my favourite part of your site, maybe thinking out loud about what you might change would help?

  • Kit Wohl

    Love more opinions/comparisons with Donna’s images. Reading on ipad or desktop monitor.

  • Georgia

    Actually, I’m reading it on an Android phone. Looks fine to me. My other option is usually a low-end laptop.

    I’d like to see more techniques, even if its just an overview. I haven’t been able to afford a copy of either Salumi or Charcuterie and with my husband in culinary school, any reliable and reputable technique I can introduce him to without having to buy a book is priceless.

  • SethH

    I’m reading almost exclusively on a laptop, and I’d love to see more videos. And Donna’s pictures are always welcome!

  • Nina

    I’m almost always reading on a full-size screen.

    I like the recipes, but I don’t think I’ve ever used one. I am not a recipe-cook pretty much 90% of the time, and when I select a recipe it’s because I have a particular ingredient I need to find a use for and I’m not sure what to do with it. Thus, most of the recipes are just kind of NA for me – they’re too labor-intensive or require too many tools or ingredients that I don’t have on hand (including the drink recipes).

    I do love the interaction -you have great, thought-provoking posters and you do respond to them and they to each other, which is enjoyable.

    I like opinion pieces and in particular, things you are fired up about that are things I also smack my forehead about, like the media trying to convince you it’s “too hard” to roast a chicken, or the STUPID FUCKING GRILLED CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD that I just want to GO AWAY and NEVER COME BACK, or the videos where you “have something to say.” To me, those parts of your blog are the most unique and drive me here over another site more than anything else.

  • Lauren

    I’d like to see recipes formatted in a way that makes it easy to import them into the awesome iPad app Paprika. http://www.paprikaapp.com/

    There are WordPress plugins that you can use to format them — EasyRecipe is one — I bet there are plugins for whatever system you may end up using for a redesign, too.

    I generally don’t like videos much, unless it’s complicated technique things that really NEED to be shown in that format. If it’s just general content, though, I vastly prefer text and photos.
    If you do use video, please take the time to transcribe and/or do whatever other things are necessary to make them accessible to non-sighted users.

  • Mantonat

    I generally read your blog on either a laptop or desktop. Love your strong opinions (especially about the food industry and how we cook and eat), Donna’s photos, and your cooking techniques, primarily the less common stuff like making bacon, preparing foie gras, and the food tips based on your travels – like that simple but wonderful zucchini soup.

    I also love the contests you’ve done in the summer – like the from-scratch BLT contest. One of these years, I’ll actually participate! This spring and summer, I’d love to see more posts about the abundance of the home garden new ideas for what to do with fresh produce. (I think I’ve exhausted my own creativity on how to serve chard).

    To freshen things up at the end of a long winter, you could also issue the challenge to home cooks to preserve, cure, or otherwise store stuff for the winter and then create new dishes during these days when we’re all sick of root vegetables but the spring greens haven’t started showing up yet.

  • Ashleigh

    I generally only use recipes for sweets, so I really like tips on technique, or just ideas on using particular ingredients that may not be on the menu at the average American home. I do love your opinion posts in regard to food, and I love that you don’t hold anything back. I would like to learn more about where to find foods that are not GMO. Thanks for the blog! I love it!

  • Dean

    Michael – I read your site using PC’s (usually with Firefox), Mac and iPad using Chrome.

    As for content, I’m pretty happy with the format and content, so if you’re going to redesign it – do it in a way that pleases you. Trying to design to respond to the input from a diverse public won’t work. Take your ideas, ones that come from your readers that appeal to your vision, and have at it. If you really screw it up, we’ll hear about it. Since your instincts have gotten you pretty far already, trust them. I’m looking forward to whatever you come up with.

    My only request is that you include more of Donna’s photos. I periodically look at her site and thinks it’s really good. She seems to capture in a picture what you try to say in words.

  • Julie

    I like the recipes because I do try to make something per that to see what it’s like before I go off on my own, and further love exposure to new products that I might have to go get… like the “original” maraschinos which leads me to my second point that I Love “Friday Cocktail Hour” (forwarded the old fashion post to my Dad who is on a renewed kick). View as RSS feed to MS Outlook, iPad, and laptop via Firefox browser. Not a fan of the “menu” on the left side when viewing a particular article on the iPad, or if you go just to ruhlman.com it also shows up in Firefox… would prefer that go away. Also enjoy the opinion pieces and videos.

  • Jana Moore

    11-inch laptop, 27-inch desktop and very occasionally an iPad.

    I like the recipes and the techniques the best, though an occasional opinion piece is refreshing.

  • Natalie B

    Videos for sure. I find it so much easier to learn by actually seeing. And some product talk. I know you’re on open sky but I wanna know what kitchen products/appliances you really use on a regular basis. Not just open sky exclusives. But things we can get elsewhere, your fave kitchen tools in general. I want more insight into your every day kitchen life!

  • Bruce

    I read your site on 21″ iMac, MacBook Air, and iPhone 5 about equally. Before I come to the site, I preview your articles via Google Reader/RSS.

  • Andrew

    Cocktail section with lists of the cocktails you’ve posted on and easily accessible recipes for them!

  • Jim Carlucci

    I view this on the laptop mostly, occasionally the desktop, never on my phone.
    Love most everythng about the content, especially techniques and the Friday cocktail pieces.
    Speaking of, THANK YOU!! for introducing me to the Boulevardier. Having only recently discovered the pleasures of Carpano Antica vermouth, I had been yearning to try it in a Negroni. For some reason, however, I think of the Negroni as a warmer weather drink (Because I first tasted it in Milano? Because of the gin? Who knows?).
    With the introduction to the Boulevardier, I was able to swap out the gin for the Maker’s Mark (a favorite in this household) and “get my fix!”

  • Adrienne

    I read on a PC desktop at work and a mac laptop or occasionally an android tablet at home, rarely on an iphone unless I’m at the grocery store trying to remember the ingredients in a recipe from this site. Some of my favorite things of this site are Cocktail Fridays and the technique articles that include recipes or the “hey here’s how I used this technique” posts like your recent tidbit about crepes.

  • William Lundy

    I like the current mix. Videos or sets of stills showing the steps of particularly intricate techniques are always welcome, if you feel the need to add something. Viewing on a Vostro laptop; alt views on a flatscreen monitor. Unless/until iOS/Android tablets come with decent-sized screens, I’ll save my visits to either of my current choices.

  • Arlene

    View on a laptop. I love your opinion pieces – we seem to have a similar mindset. Only improvement I can think of would be to have a recipe tab for easier access. I lost the print out for one of your recipes and it was a bit of a pain to go back and try to find it.

  • hng23

    Read on a laptop. I’d like to see cooking demo videos,b/c I like to see techniques in action. I’d also like to see a dedicated recipe archive.

  • Emily

    I read on my desktop at work or laptop at home. I’d love to see more opinion and more recipes, please. Donna’s pictures are a plus, of course.

  • Ed

    View mostly on a laptop and some on a desktop with a 22″ HD monitor. Use Chrome. Occasionally I’ll use the free Evernote browser extension “Clearly”, which is superb for focusing a column’s content.

    One thing I’ve used recently is recipe-printing capability on http://www.hippressurecooking.com/, it keeps pirates from easily stealing your recipes while allowing people save them. (“Clearly” provides basically the same results, but relies upon the users having a browser extension).

  • Joy Depenbrok

    I follow on my laptop. I’d love to see videos, especially with recipes from Ruhlman’s Twenty. I agree with previous comments that it is easier to see “techniques in action.” We can learn so much by watching it happen, rather than just reading it. I am sure there are small things you do when you cook that are second nature to you, but may not be to the home chef. I love watching cooking shows and seem to cook more recipes from there than from books since I saw it happen.

  • Paul Post

    I typically read your posts via RSS feed, either on a computer or iPad.

    I’m currently 2/3 of the way through Ruhlman’s Twenty and loving every chapter. It’s the “here’s a thing I learned in culinary school and why it’s important” stuff that resonates the most with me, so more of that here would be awesome.

    I also appreciate your opinions and reviews of cookbooks, books on cooking, food trends, etc.

  • john__, v_phipps

    Reading on Samsung galaxy 10.1. Looks good. Also very readable on galaxy note 2.

  • Dan

    Pretty much always viewing on my Kindle Fire, which doesn’t show the videos, alas, so then I resort to the laptop. I’m always a big fan of the opinion posts, but was also salivating over the onion soup recipe, so I’m easy to please. The introduction of old recipes or little used liqueurs is always of interest on Fridays as well, so I would stick with those for sure. As to the weather, it’s not much better in Hyde Park, but at least there are exciting things happening with Vandana Shiva on campus today…alas, my wife gets to dine with her without me, just like when you came last year. Keep up the good work.

  • Chris

    lap top. Would love more videos. I like what you currently are doing but would like to see more recipes too. I dont always follow them but it gives me ideas of what to make. Always looking for ideas as I am the cook in the house and my wife never has an answer when I ask her if there is anything she wants me to make. Hadnt made stir fry in a while and then you posted about it one day. Hey, thats a good idea, we had it the next night. Working all day doesnt give me time to think about things so I come here to get ideas.

  • Pru

    Reading on iPhone 3GS. Interested in most everything you have to say.

  • Catherine

    I always view on my laptop. Change can be exciting, but there are some things that I would like to see continued. Recipes? Videos? Techniques? Donna’s photos? Yes, yes, yes and yes! I enjoy them all. As far as photos go, I would rather see 1-4 amazing shots, (like the gorgeous carrots in this post) than dozens of recipe ‘step-by-(painful)-step’ photos, as some sites do. So please never do that.

    Food is my passion, and although I am an experienced cook, I am always interested in learning techniques (especially more advanced techniques) and am always looking for recipes (simple or more complex) that make the most of fresh ingredients and make the end result irresistible. A tab for recipes would make it much easier to find recipes from earlier posts.

    I always enjoy your straight forward candor and am becoming increasingly intrigued by the Friday cocktail posts, which I read with great interest. Even if I don’t make the drink each Friday, these posts signal the end of the week, are fun to read, and include great ideas that can be utilized at any time when the mood strikes. I have also appreciated the list of recommended books that you compiled before Christmas, and have purchased (either as gifts or for myself) at least four books from that list. That’s something that I would like to see again. Thanks for all your great posts; I look forward to your updated site.

  • ruhlman

    these are all really helpful comments and great feedback, thx all for taking the time to write!

  • Pam Seiffert

    Read you on mac desktop and iPad. I haven’t been much interested in the Friday cocktail segment, but after reading others’ posts, I may have to look more closing. I especially enjoy your opinions and Donna’s photos. I actually like most things in your blog and am always disappointed when I go to your site and there is no new post. Keep up the good work.

  • Joe Massie

    More science and deeper explanation or maybe side by side comparisions. For example how temp and bacteria strain affect taste and PH for cured sausage.

  • Jeremy

    I read on a PC at home and sometimes on my phone…Are numbered comments possible? or way to show which ones I’ve seen. Sometimes when comment threads get long I quit read b/c I cannot tell which one’s I’ve read.

    On another note..do you have a recipe for curing pork liver?

  • JC

    I read on a PC or on an IPad. One of the things I love is that you provide depth, interest and the “why” to a food-related issue. It isn’t just a recipe but it is why a recipie is important, why do so many cooks/chefs think it is important (or don’t). What makes the difference between a beautifully seared piece of meat and a something that looks and tastes horrible. What step in the process makes that difference and why choosing a local butcher over a supermarket might not get a huge taste difference but it is still a better way to go.

    I grew up in a family where most of my grandparents cooked for safety and not for flavor (i.e. – cook it until it is dead, dead, dead). I didn’t come into cooking until well into my thirties. After many years of trial and error I believe I can evaluate a recipe and figure out what is going on and why but it is often what isn’t in the recipe that makes the difference

    For example, with the French Onion soup, “…Before the onions caramelize, they’ll release copious amounts of water (be sure to taste this liquid!)… ” Tasting the liquid that came out of the onions while cooking may be something that someone more versed would have done by instinct but I might never think to do it without that comment.

    I suppose this may not have much to do with site design, but maybe it’s worth keeping it in sight during the process.

    Thanks,

  • Mage Bailey

    I read you on my PC using a 19 inch monitor. The old format…squarish. I’ve linked to you on my blog as a gift to other foodies. I like it when you talk to us. Yes, the picture is sublime. I can think of a few ways to use those carrots simply…but give us a list of suggestions. Even old folks like me need poking into new ways of thinking about food..

    I have all your books and have delighted in them…and the humanity you share with us via your words. Life now is smaller portions and more veggies. Yes, tasting the onion liquid. Bits like that. Thank you.

  • David Prybock

    Love Donna’s images. I’d also like to see more videos and instruction on technique.

  • Steve-Anna

    I read you on my laptop, but viewing with a massive 27″ LED. Viewing on an iPhone is too difficult for my eyes. Your site is on my google home page, which is my daily “newspaper”.

    The variety of content on your site is great – I never know what will pop up. A rant, a cocktail recipe, a method, a commentary…and I always love Donna’s photographs. Is it just me, or is it difficult to print recipes? I find myself copying and pasting the recipe part of the post into Word, then printing. A separate tab for recipes would be nice.

  • Mandy

    I love everything you write about … I know that sounds like smoke rings somewhere they shouldn’t be but it’s the truth.
    I always view on my desktop. LOVE, love, love the photos from Donna with your spin on what do do with them or how you used them.
    It all gives ideas even if the “recipe” is not exactly what I had in mind. It enlivens my mind and palate and even occasionally reinvents a new and incredibly good dish :) Isn’t THAT what it’s all about anyway ?
    Keep it up Michael….I will keep reading :)

  • Betty

    I have and use many devices. I read blogs at my desk, on my laptop with a 26″ external widescreen monitor (where Donna’s photos look gorgeous). I use my Android tablet to recall recipes while in the kitchen. My husband was inspired by “The Boulevardier” and picked up some Campari on the way home from work recently. Out came the tablet to lookup the recipe (it was terrific!). I also recall recipes on my Nexus 4 (phone). The phone is always with me and it is convenient for making a list for the store on my way home (OurGroceries app). I am quite technology dependent. I don’t watch videos, though. It is more time consuming than reading. I should add that I truly enjoy your writing. Each post reads like a story where the length and content is just right. Thanks!

  • Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)

    Don’t talk to me about spring! Every time we are teased with a little mild weather we are rewarded with a huge dump of more snow. I love the pics and recipes from your books. They entice me to buy the book. Actually I just won one with The Daring Cooks! Yeah! I use a Mac laptop on Firefox. No problems whatsoever. Actually I enjoy most posts. The rants are less interesting for me but I don’t mind.

  • w.

    I’d say about 80% of the time I read your site it’s on an iPad, which actually is a bit upsetting since the site gets formatted to this mobile interface (very similar to how it pops up on an iPhone, only way uglier) and it makes it rather aesthetically distressing. To me anyway, and especially in contrast with Donna’s gorgeous photos (more of these please!) and whatever no doubt interesting thing you’ve decided to talk about. The other 20% is split fairly evenly between a 40″ screen (hooked up to a computer), and my iPhone.

    As for what I’d like to see, I love your opinion pieces, and technique posts. I’ve been enjoying your Friday cocktail posts and all the recipes you post too, but those are my favourites, and it’s just the kind of writing I associate you with most, for some reason! As a couple of other people have noted, I too prefer text/photos (especially process photos) to video unless it’s something that would be much easier to understand via a moving demonstration e.g. trussing a chicken? Oh and yeah if your RSS feed published the entire post, that would be pretty awesome too. :)

  • kingofbaconandeggs

    I view the site on an old 13″ macbook, HTC Incredible mobile (3″) and a 19″ monitor, mostly with firefox. I think a photo recipe index like on punchfork or pintrest-esq would promote both Donna’s and your skills. Make the mobile site efficient regarding processing and bandwidth. Hi res photos for mobiles are processing and bandwidth killers, so be sure to scale down size and resolution for the mobile site. This applies to all the adds and hyperlinks. Mobile = bare bone on the MAIN PAGE that loads.

    Love your writing, I have read several of your books cover to cover. And I attended Pigstock 2013 because of your experience. AMAZING! Christof and Isabel are such great people!

    I do like time saving/tricks via video techniques. Despite the filming nervousness you wrote about, i though you were money in the Le cresuet series. Heck, I went out and bought a le cresuet pot.

  • Gina

    Anxiously looking forward to the next book, Mr Ruhlman. Bravissimo..

  • Farrell

    I view almost everything on an iPad. Nothing in Flash please. I don’t watch videos normally, no Flash, and I like to read about new techniques rather than watch them.

  • Danielle

    I read your blog on a Mac laptop using Firefox and almost always prefer written stuff to videos. Leave the videos to the bloggers out there who don’t write as well as you. And, as a native Clevelander living in Austin, Texas, I’d like to put in a vote for more of your Cleveland-specific posts, which are winners 100% of the time. Other than that…opinion pieces, techniques, recipes…it’s all good. I just get a particular delight from the posts that remind me of home.

  • Eric Souder

    Techniques are the best – starting to rebel against the strict recipes ever since I got “Ratio.” One of my favorites is still the torchon post from a few years back – made it for my parents and fiancee this Christmas and it worked perfectly. Also, the cocktail collaborations are fantastic as well…summers just wouldn’t be the same without the Paloma

  • Mara

    Content wise, I think the site is great, I love reading the articles. Layout wise, the site is a little cluttered for my taste – the double sidebars with all that text distract the eye, and because all that tends to bug me while I’m reading articles, I’m not very likely to click any of it once I’m done (maybe that’s spite, but more likely it’s fatigue from scrolling past lists upon lists). There’s some minor cleanup over there that would help a lot – things like grouping all the social media buttons together, as right now there’s a cluster of Twitter/Facebook/RSS and it’s not with Pinterest/OpenSky, that sort of thing would streamline things. I hesitate to tell you to remove any of the book links or lists of other blogs, I get why they’re there, but could some of that be moved to its own dedicated page – a sort of “Ruhlman suggests these other amazing blogs” page?

    • Ed

      Mara,
      Give the “Clearly” browser extension a try (a free part of Evernote). It will only show you the main column without the clutter on the side.

  • Erin

    I read on a PC, and enjoy the stories about how to incorporate real (and not so difficult) cooking into every day living. I often thing of you as a champion for the idea that cooking isn’t difficult, let me show you another way to make tasty food for your family, but not in a mommy blogger sort of way, more of the eat real food revolution way.

  • ruhlman

    I’m so glad I asked! these comments are really helpful. Again, thanks to all who took time to comment.

  • cleek

    better comment handling! (not that this one will get through, of course. they never do.)

  • Kelly Cannon

    The posts on techniques are #1 for me, followed by opinion pieces, then recipes. I don’t drink alcohol, so I tend to skip the Friday drink posts, but how about an occasional non-alcoholic drink recipe? Overall, the site feels a little busy, in part because of the 3-column style. Please keep the blogroll, though; I find myself clicking through links there several times/week, for curiosity’s sake if nothing else.

  • Chelsea

    I agree with Kelly Cannon above that the site feels a little busy with the 3 columns. Love the techniques posts and the cocktails. Would welcome more of Donna’s work – I admire the way she handles light – and maybe the occasional brief commentary on how she achieved particular shots?

  • Dave C

    I love seeing the posts on recipes and techniques. I’m constantly trying to better my skills and more than one of your posts has helped me on my way. The posts you make with that go with the mood of the season and weather are usually spot on with my own thinking, I’m just a few miles south of Akron. I usually read on either a desktop, or my Android phone.

  • Aaron

    I echo a lot of the suggestions above, especially ones focused on the day-to-day business of cooking for the family and the general clean up of all the links to the side of the page. I’d also really like to see a spot where you could collect links of places to get different or higher quality foodstuffs than most people might have access to in their local grocery store. D’artagnan and Rancho Gordo spring immediately to mind, and I’ve posted the link to McEwen and Sons, which has fantastic, stone ground organic grits/cornmeal/polenta. I’m sure there are a bunch more out there that you, or friends or colleagues, or other readers know about that would be a valuable tool.

  • Gemma

    Oh man, you have to scroll down a long way to comment — maybe you could make that more easy to get to on the new website?
    I read your blog using google reader on my laptop and using feedly on my iphone. Feedly currently redirects me to the mobile version of your site and it isn’t too terrible to read.
    Posting-wise I love information on technique and tools. I also love your rants about the US food shed and policies.

  • Froggy

    I read on a MacBook.
    I like, that you are not focussing on one special subject, consider yourself the master of your blog, tell your opinion even or especially if it is not mainstream. Reading comments is interesting too. I loved your video on baking bread in the french oven, it worked out well.
    Here we say, that a photo tells more than a thousand words, so the photos are appreciated also; they kind of underline your writing.
    I do not like so much, that your giveaways are only for the US (although I do understand why :). But you are read worldwide.
    I like the Friday cocktails, as they introduce the weekend. How about a non-alcoholic one from time to time?
    All in all I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you!

  • Earl Schiffke

    While I enjoy reading your blog, I really think you should do a instructional cooking show of some sort. Your “vignettes” for Le Creuset
    are excellent to watch. You’d be a hit right out of the blocks dude.

  • Mike

    I’ve been reading your posts for a while now and I really like your site because it’s really “clean” and simple to navigate through. I learn a lot from you and your videos are especially helpful to me. So, I would like more of those. Plus you are easily the most interactive blogger with your readers of those that I follow. Too many folks don’t do that. Thanks! :-)

  • Pat Leyland

    The only thing I would have you change is the swearing as a writer I’m sure you can express yourself without it! aside from that great blog you have taught me alot and thx for that :) Pat

  • Kim

    I usually read your blog on a Nexus 10 tablet; however, I use the desktop version–the mobile version is rather lifeless. I like the mix of blog topics that you have presented in the past. Of course, more of Donna’s wonderful pictures are always welcome. I’ve particulary enjoyed the blogs in which you asked your readers for their favorite “go-to-meals” or quick meals. I tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking and enjoyed reading about what others are making. I would love to hear more behind-the-scene stories of what goes on in the professional cooking world. You have incredible access to a world that most of us will only every experience vicariously through your blog, or books, or tv. Thank you for the blog. I am constantly amazed by the quality and quantity of material that you share with us at no charge.

  • AntoniaJames

    I find still photos more helpful, especially when the shots are up very close. I see that a lot of people like your videos, so if you are going to continue to do a lot of them, I’d really enjoy them more if you prepared the spoken text better in advance. Please, please, please stop talking once you’ve said what you need to say. The repetition at the end that sort of rattles on sadly detracts from the overal quality of the videos. (Okay, I was a trial lawyer for many years, so I maybe I’m a bit sensitive to this. A witness (not adverse) who starts to repeat him or herself can make you lose your case.) Also, about the style of the audio during the videos: watch and edit out scolding and rants. Making fun of people is not okay, and bad for your brand. (That may be more of a problem with your OpenSky videos.) As someone else has mentioned, putting your recipes into formatting for Paprika would be great, though I must say that I’ve become an avid ratio/principles cook, so having your recipes handy has become commensurately less important. And to answer your other question, I look at this site only on my laptop on a huge separate monitor on my desk in my office. I have an iPad in the kitchen (mounted at eye level on a cabinet using a Belkin fridge mount — a great, great innovation) and an iPhone, but I never come to this site via those devices. ;o)

  • allen

    My preference would be for you to add and not take away anything.
    This is a good blog, I’m not a blogger and I don’t have any computer skills but I do enjoy this site just as it is and would hate to see anything go away.

    I am not trained chef, no training, no personal web site, no real formal education. Kind of a turd in the punch bowl, as I read all the fellow bloggers, I am out of place for sure.

    But I do know what I enjoy about this web site. I use the recipe section all the time. Even for things as simple as popcorn.
    I read all of the comments, and get all kinds of good tips.
    From something so simple. Just type the word popcorn in and go to Jame’s popped pot corn. Lots of good info, and so easy to screw up something that should be delicious and simple. The little tips from all of the readers really make it an education.
    The photos that come readily to mind are the favorite recipe’s; duck confit salad with those thin sliced shallots and a few olives.
    Beef heart.
    The olive post, with that one thin orange zest in Donna’s famous photo.
    The beef short rib pastrami – friggin brilliant!!

    But the ones that really make this a special place, that makes it feel like a cherished family member are the candid shots; Portofino, the heart breaking beer vinegar post with all the bright beautiful flowers, the cool dog in a tye dyed shirt on Halloween, the cool big blue toe.
    The candid videos, like the tomato, garlic pasta, or all the ones James shot. All the cooking videos.
    And bringing much needed cheer during the Xmas season with aged egg nogg.
    Which brings to mind Friday cocktail post. More much needed cheer after a long week.
    Don’t change a goddam thing!

  • Anita Figueras

    I view your site on a 1st gen MacBook Pro. I subscribe to your blog via Google Reader. An interesting point of info for you: Until recently, I could see only the first bit of an entry in Reader, and had to click on the header to see the whole thing in a new tab. Now your entire post is coming through in Reader, and has for several weeks.

    As to what I want from this blog, I read it because of your strongly expressed point of view about, well, lots of things, but especially about food. So I would say, keep being yourself and heading to the word processor when you feel strongly about something. Also, Donna’s pics are wonderful, and add to the strong feeling of personality that emanates from the site.

  • whimsy2

    Please, do not even DREAM of deleting Donna’s delicious photography!

  • Carl Brow

    Please keep the techniques vids. I love the basic commonsense approaches that are often shown. I’ve been trussing chickens for years using a technique from a French cookbook that was fine but the one I saw on here by Palcyn was faster, easier, better, and uses a lot less twine. Love the site don’t change it too much!

  • Witloof

    Read on an Imac.

    Love: Op-ed pieces, articles about what you’re cooking or experiences you are having, stories about people who produce food or food related things, recipes that utilize classic techniques, hazing Bourdain.

    Indifferent to: recipes for alcoholic drinks, videos.

  • Kiara

    I come for the opinions, techniques, and most definitely the recipes. I really like the voice in your writing. Donna’s photos are awesome. I mostly read from my MacBook but when I load your site on my iPad, I occasionally get a really weird and very plain version of your site (happens about once a week). Reloading often fixes this. I should add I use Chrome on my iPad.

  • Kiara

    Also, your video on roast chicken with Le Creuset was amazing and I’ve watched it many times. I know it’s simple but it helped me see what that rustic sauce should look like. I also enjoyed your recent reading of your first tasting menu, but I’m a literary nerd who likes those things to begin with. I listened while cleaning my kitchen and that was nice.

  • Ryan K

    All of the above. I think I would be most excited to watch technique videos, though. Much love and respect. I’ve always been an avid home cook, but you have done more for my cooking abilities than anyone on the planet. Thank you, thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Ryan

  • Jenness

    I love your Friday cocktail segment, and enjoy recipes, and general food comment. I’ve not yet watched any video content. I access it via iPad. Thanks for the great inspirations!

  • Saads12

    I normally read your posts on a laptop. I really love Donna’s pictures; I love forward to seeing them as much as reading your work. They work hand in hand with your material. Being a teetollar, the cocktail hour posts don’t really interest me except for the pics. I am very interested in your food writing, but I would love to see more recipes for non-pork cured meats and sausages. Keep up the good work, Michael. You are doing sacred work in an industry that has all manner of quacks and weirdos.

  • Nomless in Nebraska

    Info about technique and flavor combinations that work are most interesting to me. I like how you incorporate this info into a recipe or the intro to a recipe. I come here for knowlege that will (I hope) teach me things so that I can cook without the aid of a recipe. I want to understand food and flavors well enough so that I can create a dish I’ll love without slavishly following a recipe.

    I read on full screen.

  • Mike

    I typically read your site through an RSS reader on a laptop. The posts that I want to save for future reference, either a recipe on want to try or a tip/technique I want to reference, then I’ll bookmark it and view it in Chrome. I occasionally look at these bookmarks on my Kindle Fire or Android phone.

    For types of posts, I do like all of the different things that you do. This blog is a nice combination of your personal style with a generous helping of your knowledge. I have purchased a few of your books specifically because of this blog. I don’t enjoy everything, but I also don’t expect to. I tend to prefer your tips, techniques, and recipe posts but it really depends on if you’re addressing an area that I need to learn more or a recipe that I haven’t tried before.

    As far as your design… I like your current layout on this post. I’m not a fan of the layout that has been implemented for your recipe posts that seems to be designed solely for a phone/tablet type device. I personally hate the hidden menu when viewing a website and only tolerate it on a phone app because of the size of the screen.

  • Erik

    I read this site mostly from a computer, either laptop or desktop. But I occasionally use my iphone.

    As far as content goes, I can’t complain. I think there is a nice balance of recipes, techniques, and opinions. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Donna’s photos. They’re amazing.

    The biggest improvement that I could suggest would be the search feature. I feel like the search results rarely come up with the posts I am looking for. Sometimes I remember the exact post title I want but still come up with strange results.

    MR- you do a great job of coming across sincerely through your writing. I value that more than almost anything on this site.

    Readers- your comments are a refreshing change of pace from most of what is out there on the internet. By that I mean they are on topic, insightful, and free of hate and rudeness. Thank you.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Sarah

    Reading through the comments, there is really nothing you will do to please everyone. Whatever you’re doing is working though because all of these people, whatever their ‘favorites’, keep coming back! Absolutely one of the best.

    I love the diversity you bring to your blog, the passion you bring to each topic, and the specificity and experience you impart in each entry.

  • hc

    I generally view on a 17-inch macbook. Love the gorgeous photos, the opinion pieces and the links to related topics. Use lots of the recipes and techniques that you post but wish there was a way to search for them more easily. That’s actually why I’m here this morning- I couldn’t quite remember your technique for roasting garlic using a bit of water to keep it from over-caramelizing. Thanks so much for what you and Donna do!

  • Jason DiLoreti

    I view it on Mac Air and iPad.

    I like simple and clean. Lots of white space to allow people to read easily.

    I love your content, interactions, and photos.

    My critiques would be more design and advertising…
    - the Blog Her ads next to your photo and books is too much. It takes away from Donna’s photos. Too many pictures in one place.
    - Contextually Blog Her gets a lot of ads wrong too, I’ve seen food adverts that contradict what you are writing about in the past (can’t remember what, but lets just say Kraft cheese as an example). We’re traveling around Italy now and I’m getting Italian ads. Why not pick something that you believe in through an affiliate network, or sell ad space (you can then decline whoever you want) on a monthly basis.
    Another example is this from your sidebar:
    -Monday Dose of Cute:
    Curious Little Lambs
    -The BlogHer Economy in 2013:
    $25M, 55 Million
    Women and Growing
    - You could clean up some of the links to other sites by consolidating them into a separate page of recommended reading or put them in a drop down menu.
    - put a small advert at the bottom of each article that relates to the content.
    - do rotating ads. you can then track to see which are converting better and change accordingly.
    - do a hot posts, recent posts, and recent comments into a tabbed widget (you can see what I mean on my site)
    - i know you are trying to feature your books, but the two column sidebar takes away from your main content.
    - we implemented a responsive wordpress template for our blog and it is wonderful. As I mentioned above, I think clean, white and simple is best, because when it switches from a laptop to an iPad, things condense. Having too many pictures/ads looks like a mess and your main photo will get lost. Also, with the long links of all the blogs to the right, your drop down menu on a phone will go on forever.

    that’s my two sense. If you visit our blog, it’s a work in progress, we just got to Italy and I’ve been working out the kinks and working on content from a terrible internet connection out in Sepino. But I do feel that the main template is clean and something to build upon.

    Thanks for all your great writing over the years. It has inspired us to do what we’re doing now.

  • Christine

    Glad you asked! Ever since seeing your video from Dec. 12 on “Twenty” I’ve been meaning to take a moment and suggest more videos where you talk about your books and why you wrote them or the story behind them, etc. You have a very natural and straightforward style. After watching that video I immediately put “Twenty” on my Amazon wishlist and now own it. (Love it BTW) That’s how effective the video was! The 3 statements on the book’s cover (below the title) don’t “say” enough to convey what that short little video did. So you were right in saying it was a public service announcement!

    Hadn’t thought of a redesign for your blog since I was okay with it, but since you asked, it could use a little facelift. The comments above have a number of good points. Don’t know much about HTML or CSS but was an art director for 20 years so here are a few thoughts. Possibly a different (i.e., wider column) layout so Donna’s wonderful photos could be larger. The current one is narrowish and fights with the two columns to the right of it. I know this has already been mentioned but it’s true. I don’t mind the column with your products and books but the BlogHer ad right next to that is a bit much. Possibly move that to the far left, framing the main column? These are rather knit-picky thoughts but your main column is the star here and the busy right side detracts.

    Maybe some technique videos? I really enjoyed your Le Creuset videos. As far as what I watch on, I use an iMac and Safari or Firefox. Don’t have a smart phone or pad.

    Regarding the search bar, I always get what I’m looking for, like today, entered “twenty video” and voila, just what I wanted. Good luck with the project! Look forward to the final result!

  • Sam

    I have been an avid reader for years and enjoy pretty much everything you post. More videos would always be nice. The site is very hard to view on my android phone, so a better mobile version would be good (my phone is the only internet access I have at home right now).

  • John

    The thing that drives me crazy about this site is that I always read it on a laptop (13 inch screen) and the site randomly serves pages on the ipad theme, which I can’t turn off even though there’s a button to do so. The content is great. Just keep going with whatever is interesting you that month.

  • Mike

    I read this on an iPad or a computer monitor. My favorite parts are technique explanations, which is why I have been drawn to your books. If you know the technique then you can adapt recipes or use your own ideas instead of blindly following a series of steps. I’d like to see more techniques described and accompanied by videos. Seeing someone do an action is very helpful; the text can explain the reasoning and describe the action, but I find a video helpful in really understanding what it is I’m supposed to do.

  • Jlhpisces

    most often reading on a laptop. There is so much to like about this site, especially the way you bridge the gap (for me anyway) between the techniques of professional chefs like Thomas Keller and the reader. You bring the chefs and recipes to a level that is easy to understand and also great because it’s easy to see them as people, maybe struggling in their own kitchens a time or two. I also like the opinion pieces for the same reason. And of course, Donna’s photographs are beautiful, even when you don’t give her much to work with! :) Love your work and the site, good luck with the new book about cooking!

  • joeinvegas

    Watching it on a PC with fast internet access and a big monitor. I love the photographs, but as lead ins to the recipes. I like the stories you give about how something came about, then on to how to prepare it. All very nice.

  • Breanna

    I read on a 22 inch desktop monitor. I most prefer recipes with discussion of techniques or your commentary, illustrated with photos. I never watch videos.

  • Carolyn Z

    I read your wonderful blog on a 13 inch MacBook Pro. Have you thought about consulting with a graphic/web designer? I’m sure there must be one in your stable. I just ignore what doesn’t interest me on your site. I love that people can come here and disagree with each other in the comments. More videos might be fun to watch. Maybe a link to videos, a link to other related recipes, and miscellaneous things with their own link(s). Donna’s photos are wonderful too. It’s fun to see your family participate.

  • Stephen

    Wow. Looks like you’ve garnered a ton of response thus far.

    Consider that we learn 50% of what we see and hear. Compare that to 10% of what we read. That being said, more photos and videos would be excellent.

    Keep up the great work.

  • joellaco

    I use RSS feed, I was using Google Reader, but now use FeedDemon because Google Reader is going away. So I view on netbook, full sized laptop, 23″monitor and have even just visited the site on an IPad. I don’t have any issues with any of them.

    What I love about your site is your techniques, promotion of supporting local foods, opinions on food industry, etc. (LOVE THOSE), Donna’s great stills, the additional links related to the articles, and oh yes, love the Friday cocktails, I’m not big on them but some have sounded so great I have made them instead of opening the wine bottle. I usually don’t read the comments on blogs much but find this site has very useful and interesting comments on most of the topic. I love the ‘what’s for dinner” topic. More of those would be fun. Videos of techniques that require showing rather than reading are welcome too. I’d love videos where you discuss food with other chefs, food writers, and interesting people who enjoy and love food as much as the group here does.

    I really appreciate the clean, well written style, and hope the new design doesn’t change things just to change them. Just stay around!

  • Melissa

    I read this on my iPhone. Love what you and Donna do. More pics on the blog sometimes might be fun (from your trip for example–i had this vision of all of these big sailors–but an actual visual would have been so cool–maybe Donna could give you some photog lessons. You could do some Q and A sessions on twitter or FB? The Bon Appetit guys and gals do this and it is awesome. You’re good at the demo videos too–it would be fun to see more quick demos on the blog. (Like the poached egg demo with that awesome spoon–lets just say I wont be using my egg poacher pan again…) Thanks again!

  • Rachel

    I love cooking pieces. I would say I love recipes, but I think what I love best are the ones where you are showing a technique and some great pictures with a recipe on the side, because I am always wanting to be inspired by food blogs and very rarely follow a recipe to the letter. It’s one reason I have read Twenty like a novel twice through now. It is my favorite “cookbook”.

  • Kevin

    Rachel
    I love cooking pieces. I would say I love recipes, but I think what I love best are the ones where you are showing a technique and some great pictures with a recipe on the side, because I am always wanting to be inspired by food blogs and very rarely follow a recipe to the letter. It’s one reason I have read Twenty like a novel twice through now. It is my favorite “cookbook”.

    I agree with Rachel. Technique, recipes with pictures.

  • Claudia

    When I follow a food blog, it’s because of the writing not the photos or the videos or whatever. If I’ve been grabbed by the writing, I might very well enjoy the photos (rarely the videos) but having them/not having them doesn’t make the blog for me. And please don’t animate anything. Blech.

  • Trey

    What’s up friends, how is everything, and what you want to say on the topic of this post, in my view its truly remarkable in support of me.

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    I visited various websites but the audio quality for audio songs present at this
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