Archive | October, 2011

Stealing Creative

My morning today started off the same: breakfast with the kids and getting them off to school, morning coffee and morning emails.  What made this morning different was an email tipping me off to my first “highjacked” blog post (you know who you are, tipper,- thank you!).

Last November I wrote a blog post sharing a family recipe for Sparkling Cranberry Punch that family and friends have enjoyed in my home at Thanksgiving for almost a decade, with photos I shot myself.  Hours of my time, if not an entire day, went into the photo shoot and writing for this blog post.  Sparkling Cranberry Punch

Who Is Toni Spilbsbury?

And in one mouse-click it was copied by another blogger, photos and all.  With the addition of a short intro (a sentence or two) from this blogger, their post was an exact carbon copy of mine (say copy-and-paste everyone).

To be honest, I don’t even have a problem with this.  In fact, I’m overjoyed and honored that someone found my recipes and photos interesting enough to post on their blog.

The problem I had is there were no links whatsoever to my website.  And the one mention of me as the creator mispelled my name!

Twitter Etiquette

To make this matter worse, I checked out this blogger on Twitter- 165,000 followers.  Good for her… seriously.  So, when she tweeted about “her” blog post for Sparkling Cranberry Punch, is it just me, or would proper etiquette be to mention me in the tweet?  A small token for using my hard work?  The fact is that I’m still building my Twitter following.  So, I’m thinking that an entire day of my work is worth at least a @mention in return, right?

If I’m not right please feel free to comment below because I’m not an expert on Twitter etiquette, but like to think I know something about common sense.

What Is Blogging?

For me, blogging is creating.  I’m creating menus, creating recipes, creating photo shoots and writing which is the essence of creating.  When I look at my photos from Sparkling Cranberry Punch I think of the fact that was my first photo shoot with my first professional camera and how difficult it was for me to shoot while my daughter was pouring.  I think of how many friends and family have enjoyed this punch in my home and how much work went into it for me.

So what is blogging really?  I hear this morning that this type of “blogging” (highjacking) is common and that many bloggers simply copy and paste content from other websites as part of their blog.

I think this is entirely different than doing a “review”.  A review, from my brief experience, is the bloggers “take” on a product, or work.  In fact, here is a brilliant and well-written review of The Organized Cook from titled “Leftovers Are Not The Enemy“.  What’s so authentic about her post- other than the fact that it’s indeed… authentic- is that I couldn’t have titled it better myself.  She used graphics she created herself and her review was from such a personal perspective.  She even used her own food photos when she could have very appropriately used mine.

So how does the “blogosphere” world feel about this type of blogging?  Am I being whiney? I honestly don’t mean to be.  Like I said before, I’m working to build a following, so copy away!… I think?  The only payment need be are some links and mentions.

All Is Good In The Neighborhood- or is it?

Instead of firing off a cease and desist letter or something of that nature, I simply emailed the blogger.  I’m happy to report they responded back and have since created appropriate links to my website and are sending out a token “tweet” today stating,

We received your message this morning, and apologize for any confusion.   We’ve updated the link to your site, and added more references to you.  Please take a look and let us know if this looks good. We are more than happy to edit the post in any way you’d like, or add more info about your amazing blog. We are huge fans of your site and thought that……readers would love your recipe!

I offered in the future to simply email me and I would be happy to explore even providing a guest post for them in the future.

Am I being a pushover? Am I basically saying, “for more photos, content and recipes for your blog, visit”.  At least my name is spelled correctly… and the link works.









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Herb Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving Recipes

Herb Roasted Turkey


  1. Turkey, 1 10-20 pound frozen turkey,  read below about selecting the right turkey for you, and defrosting the turkey
  2. butter- 1/2 cup (1 stick), softened
  3. dried thyme, rosemary and sage- 1 tbspn each
  4. Onion- 1 large, quartered
  5. celery- 3 leafy stalks
  6. fresh rosemary sprigs
  7. roasting bag- 1 large
  8. roasting pan- 1 large


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix together softened butter, thyme, rosemary and sage.
  3. Wash turkey, and pat dry.
  4. Rub outside of turkey with butter mixture; use hands to massage all over.
  5. Place onion slices, celery stalks, and fresh rosemary sprigs inside of turkey.
  6. I prefer to use a turkey roasting bag and disposable roasting pan.  Place turkey breast side up inside of roasting bag then place in roasting pan (don’t tie bag, simply fold ends over).
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound and until thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees F (for a 12 pound turkey this would be 3 hours.
  8. Baste turkey with pan drippings every 30 minutes.
  9. For the last thirty minutes of cooking remove turkey from bag by cutting bag open and pulling out so that turkey can get crispy brown on the outside

Let’s Talk Turkey

Stuffed Turkey vs. Un-Stuffed Turkey

I’ve never been a stuffing-in-the-turkey person; so instead, I take fresh herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary with leafy stalks of celery and onion halves to stuff in my turkey before baking.

Fresh Turkey vs. Frozen Turkey

According to a frozen turkey may be fresher than a fresh turkey.  Frozen turkeys have been flash frozen immediately after being butchered while the “fresh” turkeys can sit in stores for days.




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Sauteed Spinach with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Thanksgiving Recipes

This easy Thanksgiving recipe is part of my Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving, and is so simple makes up for the fact that it cannot be prepared ahead of time.

Sauteed Spinach with Cranberries and Pine Nuts


  1. fresh baby spinach lettuce- 2 16oz. pre-cut ready-to-eat bags
  2. dried cranberries like Ocean Spray Craisins- 1 5oz. bag or 1 cup
  3. pine nuts- 1 2-4oz. bag
  4. olive oil
  5. salt & pepper


  1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add spinach, cranberries and pine nuts and saute until spinach is completely reduced, approximately 4 minutes
  3. season with salt & pepper to taste
  4. Make this recipe right before serving.


Watch The Video Here:


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Steamed Green Beans with Mushroom White-Wine Shallot Sauce (wine optional)

Thanksgiving Recipes

My recipe for Mushroom White-Wine Shallot Sauce is part of my Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving.  It can be made well in advance before Thanksgiving and stored in the freezer.

Thanksgiving green bean recipe by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

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Mushroom White-Wine Shallot Sauce Recipe (wine is optional)

 Ingredients for Mushroom White Wine Sauce: (double this recipe for a large group)

  • Butter-1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tbspns)
  • Sliced mushrooms- 1 bag
  • Shallots- 2, peeled and minced
  • Flour- 3 tbspns
  • White wine, like cooking wine or a Chardonnay like Mirassou Chardonnay
  • Chicken broth- 1 cup
  • Heavy cream- 1 cup


  1. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add shallots and mushrooms; saute until tender, approximately 3 minutes
  3. Add flour and saute for 1 more minute
  4. Add wine and stir until flour is dissolved (or skip if not using wine)
  5. Add broth and cream; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes

Store in airtight container until Thanksgiving Day to pour over steamed fresh green beans.

Thanksgiving Day

For fresh steamed green beans, they’re making it really easy for us these days.  I use fresh ready-to-steam green beans that are found in the produce section that are washed and ready to steam in the bag in the microwave.  Also, Bird’s Eye Steamfresh frozen green beans are easy to pull out of the freezer and cook in the microwave.

Or you can buy fresh green beans in bulk from the produce section to wash and trim yourself.

Warm the Mushroom White-Wine Shallot Sauce in the microwave or a slow-cooker to keep warm for serving.

Green Bean Thanksgiving recipe

Steamed Green Beans with Mushroom White Wine Shallot Sauce


Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole: Classic or Contemporary?

Many people prefer the classic Green Bean Casserole.  Here is a post I wrote last year about classic versus contemporary green bean recipes for Thanksgiving.

Green Bean Casserole Thanksgiving recipe

Classic Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving


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