I have taken part in the A to Z challenge several times now. This year I found a couple of constant problems:
People who had written books instead of short blogs, there was no way I, or most people I imagine, would have time to read them during the challenge even if they were the most interesting blog around. We are encouraged by the A to Z team to write short posts but some people were just not taking any notice. The reason for short blogs is to allow everyone time to visit as many other bloggers as possible.
Secondly was those who left comments but to whom I couldn't return the favour because they hadn't left a working link. Every year the A to Z team publish instructions on how to use a hyperlink. It makes it so much easier for everyone concerned. With those I did reach, I found a number of times that there were no links to enable me to follow the blogger on a regular basis.
Many people were kind enough to congratulate me on completing the Challenge but in my case I am kind of cheating because I write a blog every day but Sunday anyway. Thanks to all of you just the same. I admire those of you who did finish the challenge but don't normally post so often. Funnily enough I found it hard getting back into the rhythm of writing a blog every day again because mine mostly were pre-written. On the first Sunday/Monday I forgot to post what I had written anyway.
As I said, I got some asparagus on Friday so I made a dish of salmon and asparagus baked in foil. We enjoyed it. I will certainly be doing this one again. I am trying to ensure we get more fish in our diet. Not so easy in Ontario being so far from the sea. A very expensive commodity.
Baked Salmon and Asparagus in Foil
Classy Cooking with a Sprinkle of Fancy
Yield: 4 servings
4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets
1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed (unless they are fresh picked)
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon thinly sliced
Fresh dill sprigs, or chopped fresh thyme, rosemary or parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut four sheets of aluminum foil about 14-inch long. Divide asparagus into 4 equal portions (about 8 spears per foil packet) and layer in center of each length of foil. In a small bowl stir together oil with garlic. Drizzle 1 tsp of the oil over portion of asparagus then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rinse salmon and allow excess water to run off, then season bottom of each fillet with salt and pepper. Layer fillets over asparagus. Drizzle top of each salmon fillet with 1 tsp of the olive oil mixture and season top with salt and pepper to taste. Top each with about 2 sprigs dill and 2 lemon slices (if using fresh thyme or rosemary use about 3/4 tsp per each if using parsley use 1 1/2 tsp). Wrap sides of foil inward over salmon then fold in top and bottom of foil to enclose.
Place foil pouches in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until salmon is cooked through, about 25 - 30 minutes. Unwrap and serve warm.
Have a great day
Yum on the recipe! I SOOO agree with you about the people who wrote long posts for the challenge and sometimes so out of my normal thing I would read. When I saw that, I sadly moved to the next blog on the lists. Short and simple really is key to a successful challenge and although I am verbose 11 months out of the year, during the challenge I really try to keep things short and simple. My biggest frustration was trying to figure out how to leave comments on some blogs or I thought I left a comment, but then I didn't see it. Those were mainly Word Press blogs.ReplyDelete
Basically I did the same thing Betty. I sometimes left a comment explaining why I didn't read the post. Your posts were certainly good and short.Delete
Hi Jo - well done on completing the A-Z ... we each do what we want to do in the A-Z ... and I don't comply re length .. but hopefully post on a subject people want to read about.ReplyDelete
Good for you - most of us love our food and your recipes are always interesting to see ... the salmon and asparagus - 'tis definitely the season ...
The two platforms - blogger and WP .. don't tie in - but we can have an account with both - free - which makes it easier ... and if people don't come by - then that's easy ... and saves me a bit of time ...
It's a great Challenge though ... cheers Hilary
Your posts are somewhat different Hilary. They are not sonking great lumps of prose like those I am talking about. Plus the pictures make it interesting too. However, some blogs just went on and on, like a novella almost.Delete
Thanks - the salmon and asparagus was good. I joined WordPress once, but forgot how to sign in.
I know what you mean about long posts with the A-Z Challenge. It does get frustrating as does not being able to leave a comment which is a pity because then people don't know you've visited.ReplyDelete
You are right Helen. Very frustrating.Delete
So agree with your comments about the A to Z Challenge. I just want to click a link and be taken right there. Some of the time I felt like Sherlock Holmes - trying to track down a blog via Google+ or by a name!ReplyDelete
Your recipe sounds great, as always. I'm very lucky because I have a nephew who goes sea fishing and brings me back lots of fish including mackerel, pollock and the occasional bass.
Around My Kitchen Table
I didn't work at it that hard Patricia. Not enough time.Delete
Lucky you, fresh fish is so easy to get in England and having your nephew bringing it back for you is an added bonus.
You made many of the points I wanted to make about long posts but decided, 'Who cares?'. And blogs that had no email option for following or could only use Disqus for comments is nuts, IMO. I have a Keurig for coffee which works great for one person. It makes 6, 8, and 10 ounce cups so I am not sure what a 12-cup machine is supposed to make.ReplyDelete
Well I guess some of us do Denise. It got so frustrating.Delete
Well, they are advertised as 12 cup. So it seems to me that it should provide 12 cups - mind you I have never actually measured it out but from the markings on the carafe one doesn't get 12 cups. As for Keurig, I drink far too much coffee to fiddle around every time I need to be able to pour straight away. Decaf by the way.
Measure the amount of water, divide by 12 and then you will know what size of a 'cup' they are talking about. My old china cups are only 6 ounces.Delete
Yes, I might do that for interest's sake Denise. Mind you the coffee pot would have to be empty long enough for me to do so. We don't/didn't use cups as a measure in England so it's not something I grew up with. Got used to it; only thing now - everything is metric.Delete
I saw some really long posts as well. One blogger must've put up two thousand words every day. I wouldn't even have time to write that much.ReplyDelete
I might actually eat that salmon dish.
Yes, I think I saw that blog. I skimmed blogs like that but didn't really read them. Such a pity. So much effort for so little reward.Delete
Only might eat it Alex?
Mmmm. Baked Salmon. There were some blogs that had long posts. Too long. Ones with long music tracks on slowed me down too. I didn't have time to listen to a five minute song.ReplyDelete
Didn't come across long music tracks Susan, but I have trouble with sound bites of any kind 'cos hubby frequently has the TV on at the same time and it really isn't worth putting the earphones on for a couple of minutes.Delete
Can't go without coffee. I have a regular coffee pot (and a back up pot since I tend to break things) plus my Keurig, which is what I use most of the time anyway.ReplyDelete
Me neither Diane. I also have a back up pot which is what I am using now with another one on the way.Delete
My 12 cup coffee maker can make 12 cups.ReplyDelete
...Don't ask how I know that, since I'm the only person that drinks coffee in this house.
Also, that baked salmon and asparagus is exactly how I make mine, down to the dill sprigs on top. Love that recipe. Great taste and so easy to make.
I'm the same Bryan, Matt hasn't drunk coffee in years except when we were in Portugal where it is really strong stuff. Gave me a migraine, not used to so much strong caffeine.Delete
Interesting you make your salmon the same. We enjoyed it.
I have a hard time with long blog posts too unless they are broken up with pictures. I end up skimming!ReplyDelete
Me too JoJo. If I want to read a book I will choose one from the library thanks.Delete
Exactly. Some blogs do write longer posts. I try to use a really BIG font and lots of pics or white space when possible. I have a tendency to write longer posts so guilty as charged! Visit and let me know. Feel free to SKIM! Also, I do use Disqus and FB comments. One of my groups told me they couldn't comment because on my blogger format because they had wordpress blogs, so I switched to Disqus and then added Facebook. Hopefully that works for most people. You really shouldn't need to log in to use Disqus but if it gives you trouble, LMK by hmmm.... I guess you could email me at mauijungalow (at) gmail (dot) com if it won't let you comment. Maui JungalowReplyDelete
Thanks for all the comments Courtney. I will check out your blog tomorrow. I will also let you know if I can comment or what. Longer posts aren't too bad except during A to Z when the idea is to do a lot of visiting and there is no time to read long posts.Delete
I love reading everyone's reflections posts as you get some great food for thought and different perspectives on what people like/didn't like about the challenge.ReplyDelete
My blog would have been one that you wouldn't have liked given my long posts and approach that I took :-) Although it's recommended that you write shorter posts, I opted to do something different this year knowing that it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. I think that's what's great about the challenge - there are so many styles, approaches, themes etc. that you can always find something that you like.
You salmon recipe looks delicious. I really should try to work more fish into my diet. This looks like a great way to do it.
Only trouble is Sailor, however, interesting your post, the object is to read as many new posts as possible so people do not have time to read long posts.Delete
I'm one of the guilty parties writing overlong posts. It's one of the takeaways of the challenge, to impose a word count on myself for most posts, similar to a newspaper column rather than indulging myself and rambling on for days. However I have to add I was a little turned off by the blogs that clearly gave little effort to their daily posts. There's middle ground in there somewhere.ReplyDelete
YES to the headaches trying to leave comments. I've seen so much Blogger bashing in the challenge recaps, I feel I must mention leaving a comment on a WP blog is no walk in the park, either. And Disqus? Fugghedaboutit. Thank goodness that of the literally hundreds of comments I've left this month, I never once ran across one of the old Captchas with the stupid little pictures or words no one can read easily. I did see several times a request to click a box to prove I'm not a robot. Much better!
Yes I agree, there is certainly a middle ground Lissa. It's all a question of time for visitors reading.Delete
Have only just come across Disquis, didn't seem to be a problem.
I have encountered people who I have tried to respond and couldn't get to their site at all. I felt bad because I wanted to visit more but just couldn't keep up. I found it tough this year but I still will do my best to go back and look for some I would have like to have visited while the A to Z was on.ReplyDelete
I know exactly what you mean Birgit. But not your fault if it is impossible to leave a comment or even get into their site.Delete
I blog daily too and I really missed it through April where all my posts were already written. I don't leave links in comments because it damages SEO (Google sees it as spammy) for the person leaving the comment and the person who's blog it appears onReplyDelete
Not sure what SEO is Debbie, but it is much easier to return visits if people do leave links.Delete
Agree with your comments having suffered all of the same things you mentioned when out blog hopping. Seems a shame after all the work it takes to sabotage the results with these problems. Congrats on finishing.ReplyDelete
It seems a bit like not everyone really understands the concept of the whole challenge. It does take a lot of work. I have been a minion twice and that is hard work on it's own.Delete
The salmon dish sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing. (Had not thought to bake asparagus with salmon). Congrats on finishing.ReplyDelete
Nor me Sharon. It was very good though.Delete