Things Look a Bit Different Around Here! (A Few Tips to Navigate the Changes)
It’s been a long time in coming (and months in the planning!) but my little home away from home website got a much needed facelift. Both inside and out!
While you may see a slightly different color scheme and some new design elements, a lot of the improvements were updates made to the bones and structure of my website so it’s optimized, fast, and purring along nicely.
I wanted to specifically point out a few new features and design changes in case you had questions or haven’t noticed them yet.
I know change can be hard, but please know I made these changes very intentionally and thoughtfully. And I promise they really are an improvement to make your life (and mine!) better.
You’ll notice on the homepage there are some new features, including a section of reader favorites (which could also be called the most popular recipes) and another section of MY favorites. Because, guess what, I have very strong opinions about which recipes fall into ones I can eat for the rest of forever. 🙂
The recipes in these sections will change every week or so to keep the ideas fresh!
And for you weekly menu fans, it’s still there at the bottom! The only change is combining Saturday and Sunday into one “weekend” day.
One of the most notable changes is that the recipe card is looking a bit different! This improvement is being rolled out one-by-one to ensure the utmost quality control in switching over all the recipes to the new format.
I have over 2,000 recipes living here, so it’s going to take a hot minute to get it done, but you’ll start seeing a new format to the recipes as they get updated.
Again, not all the recipes are in the new format yet, but they’ll be there soon(ish). All of the same features are still here PLUS a few new ones!
(If you are looking for the Save to Prepear button on the new format, it’s getting added today!)
After hundreds of you asked (begged, pleaded, threatened) for it, I finally caved and added nutrition facts to the new recipe format.
I never planned to include nutrition facts, because even the best nutrition calculator can be off a little, AND, I’m a big believer and proponent of intuitive eating vs calorie counting, so I don’t look at nutrition facts myself.
However, I know a lot of you rely on them for counting carbohydrates (shout out to all my Type 1 Diabetes families out there!) and many of you DO track nutrition facts for your meals, and I know it’s important to you!
So consider this my gift to you. 🙂
I’m not going to lie, it pains me to add nutrition facts to recipes like donuts, but I’ll just take a lot of deep breaths and hope no one writes me hate mail because they found out via my blog that donuts actually aren’t health food and they feel like their whole life is a lie.
*If you don’t see nutrition facts on a recipe yet, it’s because that recipe still needs to be converted to the new format. Working as hard as I can to get this done!
I get that, like, only 3 1/2 of us are still printing recipes in this day and age (I’m a die hard recipe printer-outer), but for our awesome print community, you can now select whether to print the recipe photo or not.
This has been a long requested feature, and I’m excited to roll it out!
I’ve included weight measures in ounces on all my baking recipes for several years, but many of the old recipes don’t have weight measures.
Using weight measures and a kitchen scale is an awesome way to level up your baking game in the kitchen! Plus, it helps recipes be even more foolproof since many of us measure flour, sugar, etc differently when using a measuring cup.
As I convert all my recipes to a new format, I will be adding weight measures to ALL my baking recipes – even the super old ones languishing in the cobwebby dungeons of the archives.
In the past, I’ve used OUNCES for all weight measures on my recipes. I did this mostly because I was highly influenced by America’s Test Kitchen when I first started blogging, and they use ounces instead of grams. However, I have gotten many, many, many confused questions over the years when readers see things like: 1 cup of flour = 5 ounces.
Many people associate 1 cup = 8 ounces, which is true if we’re talking fluid ounces. But 1 cup can equal a lot of different weight measurements depending on the ingredient.
To help clear up any confusion, I’m converting all my weight measures to grams, which is a more widely accepted and accurate method for weighing ingredients. And of course, I’ll still continue to use cup measures as well.
I know this may cause some of you consternation. Those of you, like me, who have gotten so used to setting your kitchen scale to ounces. But I promise, in the long run, this is the better way. Thanks for your patience as I roll this out!
I’ve said this before, but it bears saying again: it means SO much to me when you take the time to leave an honest, unsolicited review on any recipe on the website.
These reviews help me as I continue this endeavor of food blogging (and as I create and test many more recipes), but it also helps give reputability to my recipes, as well as helps my content show up in google searches.
So THANK YOU to all of you who leave ratings and reviews. I appreciate each and every one of them! (Yes, even the ones who constructively and nicely say why they didn’t enjoy a recipe for whatever reason.)
In the new recipe format, there are several ways to leave a rating or a review. A rating is just selecting a star amount without leaving a comment. And a review is a star rating + a comment.
1) Under the title of the recipe, you can select a number of stars to rate the recipe (without leaving a comment – although if you select three stars or lower, it will automatically ask you to leave a comment so I can learn from the valuable feedback!).
2) Down at the top of the comment thread, you can leave a comment and select a number of stars to rate the recipe there. Or you can leave a comment without selecting a star rating.
I’m still working on improving the search function to return the most relevant results, but for now the best results will pop up as you type in your search criteria and wait for the dropdown box to load.
This is enabled on mobile and desktop.
A Few Last Notes
There are a few more design changes that are kind of fun: keep your eye out for the What to Serve With This box on main dish posts as well as cute FAQ boxes to answer the most commonly asked questions (and save time reading through the comment thread).
Thank you for your patience as I continue to update recipes and roll out some of the remaining changes!
One quick note about ads: you guys, I know ads are annoying. I don’t like them much, either. But ads are kind of a necessary evil as they are the revenue source that pays my bills and allows me to continue giving you my very best tried-and-true recipes.
As my blog has grown exponentially in traffic over the last decade+, it has turned into a full-time business, and it requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work to keep it up and running.
I think long and hard about ad placement and the amount of ads that appear. There is no magic formula. And I know many of you feel like you’d make different decisions if you were in my shoes.
But please take a moment to be thoughtful as you judge or issue criticism. All of the pieces of the blogging puzzle add up to an insane amount of work and costs associated with web hosting, design, contract employees, audits, plugins and more. I’m running only about 1/2 of the ads available to me in order to keep the user experience fairly positive.
With this redesign, I’m tweaking a few things ad-wise (and trying to eliminate some problematic ads that have popped up – I apologize for those; thanks to those of you who bring them to my attention).
Ok, I think that’s it!!
I appreciate you and your kindness, loyalty, and patience! I’m excited for these website changes and hope that you are, too! Thanks for being here, you guys.