What’s in a Theme?

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | June 5th, 2017 | Tasty Thoughts

At the end of this month, Think Tasty reaches a major milestone: its 10th birthday! It’s hard to believe that I have been writing about the recipes I create for that long. With that much time and nearly 1,000 articles written by me, I still am learning. I think that’s one of the things I like most about this role. I continue to learn while I’m cooking, writing, publishing, promoting, and photographing Think Tasty.

One item that I continue to study is my editorial calendar. Initially I was learning how to blog, as it was my side gig while I was teaching, so I wrote randomly. Eventually I did craft a calendar, which has come in my flavors. I’ve planned monthly food themes based on ingredients, biweekly series that focus on a style of food, weekly assignments centered on a specific holiday, plus many other iterations.

As Think Tasty has been my sole focus for the first half of this year, I have spent much time looking at other food blogs, looking for trends or ideas I might like. One thing I have noticed is that although successful blogs publish 2-3 recipes each week like I do, their recipes don’t necessarily have much in common. I wonder, have I been trying too hard to find themes for periods of time?

Starting this week, I am going to be sharing recipes that I like simply because I find them to be delicious, not because they are made with a certain ingredient or match a certain theme. Of course, I’m not going to go off the rails and write about a hearty winter stew in August or Fourth of July treats in November, the recipes will make sense for the time that they are published. But you may find a cookie recipe on Wednesday and a cold soup recipe on Thursday, which will be just fine.

As part of this new arrangement, on Mondays I’ll be offering a glimpse into the past: what I was cooking near this date in earlier years. It’ll be a chance to reflect, remember, and possibly recreate a recipe from the archives.

This week we start with a recipe that’s relatively young, Cookie Butter Snack Mix, and a recipe that’s four years old, Watermelon & Celery Salad. These two recipes are a perfect yin and yang- an indulgent, sweet treat and a light, healthy side dish. As we welcome in the first full week of June, keep these recipes nearby. The snack mix would be perfect for an end of school party for kids and adults alike, and the salad is a delicious accompaniment to almost an dinner cooked on the barbecue.

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