Rhiannon’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

This week’s blog search has brought me to Unique Culinary Adventures, by Baltimore native, Jake Segel, a writer at the Baltimore Chronicle. He began writing the blog a few years back after making numerous accomplishments about unusual Baltimore foods, that have even landed him in the Baltimore Magazine. In addition, Segel developed and launched a line of his own unusual canned foods called Denzer’s Food Products. 

Today Segel’s interests have landed him publishing his own online blog with various stories of unusual places he’s been along with the unusual foods he’s seen and tasted.  His blog consists of various personal stories and recipes he’s also found along the way. His most recent post, Mrs. Yi’s Fried Green Tomatoes, a lady whom has  been perfecting her recipe for years, and was ready to share it. Once again, I prefer blogs like these compared to the ‘corporate’ blogs because I am able to relate to write  more efficiently. Not only do they refer to places that I actually know of, their writing is more intimate and conversational. It makes everything feel more close to home, rather than feeling like I am reading a generic post. Overall, the blog is effective and  enjoyable.

My weekly search for Baltimore-based bakeries has landed me with Sweet Mary, a blog by Mary Lynn Ellen, a former business woman and teacher. In her late 30’s she decided to give up her 20-year career to enroll as a freshman at Johnson and Wales culinary school, where she graduated at age 38. Ever since she’s been teaching private and group cooking classes, blogging about her favorite recipe treats, and reporting on local food-related activities for her audience. For instance, in one of her recent posts she talks about her Autumn Pie Class at Kaleidoscope in Roland Park, and events at Baltimore’s local Center Stage that center around cooking.

With her Local Flavor section and Interview section, she helps bring the readers closer to her by providing a more personal flare with her writing. She interviews some of her fellow local bloggers like Rachel, author of Food Maven and Coconut and Lime, for their opinions on cooking and to share a few stories. As I’ve mentioned before, what I’ve liked the most about these local blogs is they give me so many ideas for module stories. Not only am I introduced to more local places of interest, but also festivals and gatherings that focus specifically on my semester topic.

This week I found the  blog, ‘What’s to Eat Baltimore’. It’s ran by a husband and wife who basically love food, finding new places to eat, new recipes and quirky food ideas. Once again there is a personal element to the blog because  they are from the area and most of their posts pertain to local stories. A post that initally caught my eye was from right around  Halloween. Many of their readers emailed them pictures of crazy cakes  that they designed for Halloween. Some were gruesome and some were cutesy, but each was unique.

What I like about the blogs that I find is how true they are to the area and that makes it easier for me to find new story ideas. For instance, one of her posts from last January is about the 18th Annual Chocolate Cake Fair at  M&T stadium.  I never would  have known that there was a specific fair for chocolate cake  in Baltimore and that all of the proceeds go to charity. I kind of wish that I could cover  it for a module because it’s such a neat story. With music, demonstrations and celebrity guests, I would have some great angles to cover for a module.

I have to say I’m really loving my semester project this time around. I’m actually interested in the places that I’m finding and the blogs that I’ve read over.  This time I checked out “Black Coffee and a Donut” blog, written by sisters ‘Xani’ and ‘Erin’. The blog boasts a warm and cute layout which reflects its title. It chronicles the girls’ adventures through the area at different restaurants, while making time to extend neat recipes to their readers. Their most recent posts were about the Mobbies, The Baltimore Sun’s award for most outstanding area blogs, and some cool ideas for Halloween.

Once again I prefer these types of blogs because of their more personal feel. I feel like I’m actually having a conversation with the girls even though I am simply reading their blog. Their personalities also shine through their writing which is good for relatability. The blog is efficiently organized and easy to navigate with each topic archived. I also loved their use of pictures and video for various topics as well.  Finally, the girls manage to visit some of the newer restaurants that have opened around town and take time to tell us about it. Overall, a great blog.

Self proclaimed “foodie”, Jill, of Falston, MD’s blog Baltimore Bites chronicles her experiences traveling through Harford County and Baltimore’s surrounding areas, attempting to find new places to get her grub on. What I enjoyed about her blog is how personal it is. Almost all of her posts are written from her point of view, which is very appealing to the reader who wants good, detailed information on cool places to eat.

Jill shares everything from where to get the creamiest, all natural, ‘home grown’ ice cream, to her favorite homemade pizza recipes.  Often she does a ‘freebie’ post which alerts her readers of cool deals at restaurants in the area. Since 2008 she’s had over 2000 hits and has become a featured blog under national food blog, Urbanspoon.

I also appreciate that her blog has links to dozens of  other regular food and specialty blogs, all at my disposal. In addition, the blog offers recipes and videos on multiple food subjects. Overall I feel the blog is effective and well put together. While managing to “avoid the macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets” of her children, Jill effectively gives us a bite of Baltimore and reminds the audience to “let her know where you eat”.

After putting some thought into my semester project I decided that whatever I chose had to be something that I actually like and am truly interested in. What does every girl love? Diamonds, chocolates, candies, etc. Well, I don’t really see a connection with Baltimore and diamonds, so I’ve decided to focus on the sweetest places in Baltimore. Whether it be a cute hole-in-the-wall bakery,  local candy store/factory, or just a small, independent business designed to feed our sweetest desires, I want to cover it. I want to show a sweeter side of Baltimore.

I found a blog called The Baltimore Snacker that focuses on local food places in Baltimore and also gives recipes, snack ideas, mixed drink ideas and more. I originally came up on it while searching for ‘sweet’ places in Baltimore, but as I went on I found a few really cool sections. For example, the blog has a ‘Snackin Around the Beltway’ section that shows you cool spots for snacks based on which exits you use off of the highway.

In addition, to keep up with the times, the creator has a twitter account so that her readers can up-to-date information on their favorite snack blog.

Baltimore Fashion – ending in Baltimore Fashion week – talk to various independent designers **Favorite**

Haunted Baltimore – there a few places in the city that boast ghosts

Baltimore independent filming….from casting calls to various studios in Baltimore.

These ideas are extremely pending 🙂