In the beginning of 2010, I made a New Year’s Resolution. One that I hoped I would have better chances at keeping than previous years when I had tried to lose weight (never happened–writing a food blog doesn’t help, nor does age), tried to exercise more (does turning the pages of a book count?). This past year, I decided to focus things I could do but push myself more.
To recap, I resolved to conquer some of my fears of cooking unfamiliar foods or cooking with techniques that I don’t often use. The list included:
1. Deep frying
2. Cooking squid
3. Cooking Mexican food
4. Baking artisanal bread
5. Cooking duck
6. And finally, cooking challenging dishes
So how did I do? Um…can I say I succeeded fryingly in some and then totally ducked out of others? Let’s look at the six items one at a time and see how I did.
Another wonderful year is behind us, and so before we press onward with 2011, I’d like to take a look back at our 20 favorite posts of 2010.
We buy a lot of bananas here in Sarawak because they’re so plentiful and cheap. AND there are so many different varieties. Sometimes, though we can’t eat them fast enough and the last bananas in the bunch start to get overripe. That’s fine, though, because then they’re perfect for making banana nut bread!
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:1-2, 8-11 (New King James Version)
Christmas Display at Tang’s Dept Store, Orchard Rd, Singapore
May you have a joyous holiday season!
Merry Christmas, Selamat Hari Natal, and Mele Kalikimaka from House of Annie.
Cheers and Aloha, Annie and Nate
Here’s how I dropped virtually all of my comment spam, with no extra challenge fields to hinder human commenters.
logo by David Hegarty (License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic)
I hate spam. I don’t mean the canned Hormel pork product that is so tasty in Spam musubi or Spam fried rice. I mean all the unwanted comments and links to any manner of dubious websites invading this blog’s comments section.
House of Annie is a WordPress-powered blog that used to get a moderate amount of comment spam. Spambots – computers run by spammers to automatically leave comments on blogs – were becoming an increasing nuisance. Like most WordPress blog owners, I use the Akismet anti-spam plugin as my first line of defense against comment spam.
But sometimes Akismet either lets a spam comment through or shunts a legitimate comment over to the Spam queue (a “false positive”). That’s why I moderate comments as well, only letting previously approved commenters get automatic posting privileges. It’s a second line of defense for the ones that gets past Akismet, but doesn’t help with false positives that may be sitting in the Spam queue.
If there are a lot of comments in the spam queue, it’s not so easy to find these false positives. It’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack. As this blog has gotten more popular, that haystack has gotten bigger. I needed to find a way to reduce the comment spam, but did not want to use CAPTCHA or math challenge-response plugins that stop spambots but slow down human commenters.
I think I found my answer.