Welcome back, gentle reader.
It seems like forever and a day since I have posted anything to the blog. And, in fact, I didn't realize how much time and effort I had been spending posting to the blog until I went cold turkey for two weeks. Looking back now, it should be fairly obvious that experiencing, writing, and editing posts about food five to six times a week would've been a time-consuming task. And frankly, during that time period, it was okay because I have been out of work since mid-December and looking for a new job. Frankly, having my time pre-occupied with such a wonderful job as writing on this blog has been a life saver. I can understand how easy it is to fall into a funk when you fail time and again to find steady employment. Writing and pursuing this blog kept me thinking and focused on other topics. Sure, I occasionally felt depressed and despondent about not being able to do work which is something that I had never ever experienced in my life before, but writing and posting so consistently gave me little time to dwell over the bad things.
Fortunately, the last two weeks have given me the opportunity to pursue and accept a new job that will start on Monday, April 19th. After months of absolutely zilch, I was presented over the break with three opportunities from which I had to choose one. Had any one of them come along on their own, they would've been welcomed and appreciated. How odd that when things finally started to gain momentum that I was presented with three great jobs and had to agonize over which one to take. I suppose that is a great problem to have though and I certainly don't want to complain too loudly.
Just as a balanced work/life relationship is important to have with your job, I feel the same is also true with the blog. Don't expect the crazy posting schedule I attempted in February and March. My plan is to return to the Monday - Wednesday - Friday posting routine with an ever-so-occasional "Extra Helpings" thrown in just for good measure. Now that Lent, the Christian season of Friday fish fries and pierogi dinners, is behind me, there won't be the need to post so often.
A few other blog-related items to mention. First, I wanted to remind you, gentle reader, that I will be a guest judge for the sixth annual Cleveland chili cook-off benefit for autism that will be held next Wednesday, April 21st from 6 - 9 PM at the Terrace Club at Jacob's Field. The suggested donation is $20. There are going to be many fine chefs and home cooks representing the best chili that Cleveland has to offer and even better, the cause is outstanding. Read a more thorough discussion on my friend Nancy's blog (Nancy will also be one of the guest judges, too).
The following Wednesday, April 28th from 6 - 8 PM, another event is being held at Musketeers Bar in Richfield, Ohio to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For a $20 donation, you get all you can eat bar foods such as salad, pizza, and chicken wings as well as beer and well drinks. While I am not a judge for that event, I definitely plan on attending the event and showing my support. More information about both events can be found on the right hand side of the blog on the Exploring Food My Way community calendar.
Speaking of Exploring Food My Way, I have set up an official Facebook fan page for the blog so that you will be notified whenever I post a new blog entry (assuming that you have a Facebook account). Click on the link to be taken directly to the page where you can "fan" the blog. The link has been placed in the "Five Ways To Follow My Blog" section on the right hand side of the screen along with my personal Twitter account. I often tweet on topics other than my blog, but I always post links on both Facebook and Twitter.
Finally, I have an upcoming article about a mushroom dinner I recently had at AMP 150 and tying into that blog post I have graciously received three $25 gift certificates that I intend to give away to some very lucky readers. I will post the details of the giveaway soon and you'll be able to access the blog entry during the course of the giveaway through a link at the very top right side of the blog. Chef Ellis Cooley is really doing some fantastic dishes with local farmers markets and purveyors and I am only too happy to help share the love (and the gift certificates) with those of you out there who are looking for a great place to eat.
Once again, welcome back and I look forward to continuing to take you to some fantastic new places all over the northeast Ohio area. While today's double-posting will be more the rarity than the norm, don't forget to come back in order to read the article that will post later this morning on a return trip to Louie's Bar and Grille where I apply some new perspective to one of Akron's best burgers.