Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Ten Tasty Food Blogs

Tuesday has rolled around again, so it must be time for another Ten on Tuesday feature. What is it? Kim from It's a Crafty Life describes it best. "Today's the day when you blog about whatever's on your mind...random info about you, events going on in your life, a top ten list, ten pictures, whatever...so long as it is 10 items!"

If you would like to play along check out It's a Crafty Life.

Today I want to share ten tasty food blogs that I am really enjoying. They each bring different things to the table, be it beautiful photography, a unique and charming voice, or the ability to make you drool all over your keyboard. Hopefully you find a new blog or two to subscribe to. Enjoy!

Ten Tasty Food Blogs You Should Be Reading

 

 



5. Delicious Discoveries. Recipes you need to see: Grandma's Stove Top Casserole, Hot Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats, Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.






All header images are property of their respective websites.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars




Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars are great for when you aren't in the mood to make pie crust from scratch. Chewy and chocolaty. It is hard to go wrong when you are dealing with pecans and chocolate.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Weekend Wrap Up - May 29th, 2011

The weekend dish is a quick recap of what happened this week at Jam Hands. Also included is site news, a thank you to referring websites and the featured commenter. Thank you for visiting and making this site a great place to be.



Recipes this week at Jam Hands
 

Thoughts and other stuff


Site news

  • There is now a link at the top of the page on the navigation bar for a Visual Recipe Index. Be sure to check this out and select the different dynamic ways to view this website. (These are found in the turquoise drop down menu on the right and are named things like Flipcard, Mosaic, Snapshot, etc.)
  • Tons of new subscribers, Google connect friends, and comments! Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts. They make me happy!

Top referring sites of the week (in no particular order)

Thank you so much for all of the visitors you sent my way!


Featured Commenter of the week

Would you like to be my featured commentor of the week? All you have to do is leave a comment sometime during the week and it could be you!

Katie at This Chick Cooks
features delicious recipes and photos at her colorful pink and green blog. Katie hosts a weekly link party to share your best recipes. Some of the recipes from her blog that I've bookmarked are her Easy Cheese Danishes, Iced Frappe Mocha, and Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites. (I think she likes sweets as much as I do) Thank you for visiting and commenting Katie!



Have a great week and thank you for visiting!
-Ali

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies


There is something about the sight of a just barely undercooked chocolate chip cookie that is drool inducing. Once the cookies cool and set up a bit, they are the perfect combination of browned and chewy on the outside, and soft and gooey on the inside. Perfection.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Herbed Garlic Bread

First off, I didn't do so well with mashing the garlic into a paste, as you can see. I think my problem was not using enough salt. Ah well, it still tasted great.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Are you unable to blog or comment? Read for more info!

There is an issue going around on blogger sites that aren't allowing comments on posts, or for blogger users to sign in.

This actually happened to me for a full day before I switched from using Firefox to Chrome. If this is happening to you, try switching to a different browser, like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome. Just try one that you normally don't use, and see if you can either comment or login to your blogger account.

Hopefully this might help.

Pepperoni Macaroni and Cheese

If you glance at the title of this recipe and assume it is a run of the mill "throw a jar of spaghetti sauce together with mozzarella cheese and bake it," casserole, you are sorely mistaken. This is, dare I say, gourmet Mac and Cheese.  A delicious white cheese sauce coats the pasta and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and cheese is used to top this glorious dish.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Food Blogging - Making a quick & easy visual recipe index.

What if I told you that setting up a visual recipe index for any blogger site was as simple as a button click? Are you skeptical? Check out the screenshots below for examples.

Notice the grey text at the end of the URL. Also take note that the 'label' tab has been selected. This will create a visual recipe index that is categorized by the labels you have assigned your posts.

Wondering how you can do it? Ali to the rescue! Note: Full Feeds must be enabled on the blog for this to work.

So if you haven't read about it, blogger has started to introduce new dynamic ways to view blogs. If you read up on current blogger news you probably already know this, but I'm gonna take a wild guess that most of you haven't.

The scoop is this, if you visit a blogger hosted website, you have five new dynamic ways to view the site (including your own blogger sites). You have two ways to easily view these new designs.

The first way, and easiest way, requires you to use Google Chrome, which is an internet browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox. So all you do if you use Chrome as your internet browser is download the blogger Chrome plugin. If you view a site that is hosted with blogger, a little blogger icon will appear in the right hand URL bar (see image directly below). Just click it and pick your view!


The second way requires you to add just a bit of text to the end of a URL. See the first screenshot and notice that the light grey text at the end of the URL is the added bit of text. Here are all the snippets you can try:

/view/flipcard
/view/sidebar
/view/mosaic
/view/snapshot
/view/timeslide


Updated: I was heaping the praise upon Chrome in this post, but after I gave it an extra few weeks, I really am not happy with how frequently Chrome has issues connecting to websites. I thought it was a fluke at first, but I'd say about 25% of the time when I type in ANY web address, Chrome says the webpage cannot be found. This is really annoying.

I am now back to using Firefox 4 for most of my browsing. It seems to be crashing a lot less than when it was first released. When I am in the mood to surf blogs, I do use Chrome so that I can easily use the dynamic features plugin mentioned and shown above.


Mosaic mode, which is viewed by adding /view/mosaic to the end of the URL or by choosing the mosaic option via the Chrome plugin which I heartily recommend.

So now you've seen the flipcard view and the mosaic view of my blog. I picked a random blogger site from my Google reader, used my chrome plugin to select Snapshot view, and viola, here is Cajun Delights:


Finally one view that I find comes in handy when you discover a blog and they have a TON of archived recipes that you want to browse through quickly, without exhausting your scroll button on your mouse, is to use the sidebar view.

Posts are listed on the left allowing you to very quickly click through and skim the posts.

Ah, I'm in love.

If you would like to add a link to your sidebar directing your readers to your new visual recipe index, just copy the URL and add your link. Ta-da! While you can't rearrange things as much as if you were to build a more complex visual index where you uploaded pics and added in all the links manually, this is a quick and dirty way to set it up with minimal fuss.

Any questions? Leave a comment below and I will do my best to help.


I'm linking up to:  


Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate-Chip Cookies




What attributes make the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Is it chewy or cakey? Loaded with chocolate or sparse? What about the important question: Do you eat them with a glass of milk?

When it comes to the flat and chewy chocolate chip cookies, these might be my favorite. They are buttery, chewy, a little salty and utterly delicious. I'm still on the hunt for my favorite cakey chocolate chip cookie. If you have a recipe to recommend be sure to leave a comment.

Be sure to check out these other food blogs that have tried the recipe: The Wednesday Chef, Laura Rebecca's Kitchen, and My Madeline.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Food Blogging - Organizing and tracking your recipe index.

If you have been food blogging for a while, the time comes where the list of things you need to blog to get caught up spirals out of control. Don't believe me? Take a look at my recipe index.

407 Recipes! -- I just updated this list and now I'm at 415+. Bleh.

Curious how many I've blogged about? About half. 'Ouch' and 'my brain hurts' is all I can say in response. If you are in need of a way to keep track of what food you have made and if you have blogged about it yet, I have a few tips for you.

The title of this spreadsheet is fitting, no?
  1. First, you need to start a spreadsheet. If you don't have an Excel sort of program, head over to Gmail, then go to the 'documents' tab to start one.
  2. Open up your recipe index on your blog. Highlight and copy the entire index. Click back over to the spreadsheet, click into the first box, and paste.
  3. If necessary, delete any rows that were your category headers, like "Desserts" or "Main Dish". All we want is the name of the recipe. That's it! If you use Google docs it should auto save, but be sure to save as you go to be safe.
  4. Next you are going to add in the recipes that you have made but not blogged about. You will want to compile the links ahead of time. Save them to a new folder to your bookmarks menu, or gather up all your print outs and you will be all set to go.
  5. Now that we have a giant list of our recipes, you want to sort the rows so they are displayed A-Z vertically.  You should be able to skim through the list quickly and see if there are any doubles and delete the extra entry.
  6. Click to the left (or you can go to the right) of your recipe column and insert one column to the left. This is where we will add in an 'X' to signify that the recipe has been blogged about.
  7. Go through your recipe index online and quickly mark each recipe with an 'X' if it has been blogged about.
  8. Be sure to save as you go along. Update this weekly or monthly and you are good to go.
Tip: When you are inserting or deleting a row, be sure that you are inserting/deleting an entire row. You do this by right clicking on the number of the row and selecting "Insert one above/below" or "remove row". The reason this is important is if you want to be sure that your two columns match up correctly and you don't accidentally mess the whole list up. That would be super sucky.

If you have any tips please leave a comment!

Party buttons can be found here. I'm linking up to:  

Deconstructed Strawberries Romanov


The other day I was over at Kalyn's Kitchen reading about Strawberries Romanov when I noticed that she had mentioned a restaurant that served strawberries alongside brown sugar and sour cream. First you dip the berry in the sour cream, then lightly coat it in the brown sugar. I was intrigued!

Today I finally got to try it out. It was delicious! You really can't taste the 'sour' part of the sour cream at all. If that seems a little too weird for you, just mix the two together and you get a brown sugar cream seen in this Blueberries and Brown Sugar Cream recipe.

It takes about 5 seconds to throw together and would be perfect on a larger scale for parties as well. I went a little too heavy on the brown sugar with mine, but it was tasty nonetheless.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies



Let me introduce you to my favorite cookie recipe ever. No exaggerations, this is the one. I am a coconut lover and this hits just the perfect balance of chewiness, sweetness and coconutiness (not a word, I know).

Try this recipe out soon, it is amazing. Many thanks to Mel's Kitchen for this recipe.



Oatmeal Coconut Chewies
Makes about 2 dozen


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup quick oats


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined (silpat or parchment) baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set but not overly browned (bake a few minutes longer for a crispier version).

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Sweet Sausage Crescent Rolls


Let me rave for a moment about this recipe. It was crazy delicious. End rave.

Really though, there was something so addicting about the salty lil' smokies, the sweetness of the brown sugar and nut glaze that melded with the crescent rolls to make them nice and chewy. I can't decide if this is a party food or a breakfast food. I think it could go either way. Add this one to your recipe box. I think you will love it.

Sweet Sausage Crescent Rolls
Makes 12-16 servings

1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
24 miniature smoked sausage links
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar

1. Unroll crescent dough and separate into triangles; cut each lengthwise into three triangles. Place a sausage on the long end and roll up tightly; set aside.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients in an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Arrange sausage rolls, seam side down, in butter mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 dozen.

Source: Taste of Home

The Weekend Wrap Up - May 21st, 2011

The weekend dish is a quick recap of what happened this week at Jam Hands. Also included is site news, a thank you to referring websites and the featured commenter. Thank you for visiting and making this site a great place to be.


Recipes this week at Jam Hands

Thoughts and other stuff 
Site news
  • The Alternative Recipe Index is now available. This index sorts recipes by what shortcut ingredients were used, such as a cake mix or puff pastry.
  • Jam Hands had a great week and was featured at quite a few websites which brought in a ton of new subscribers and comments. My Google connect followers has just about tripled in the last 2 weeks, which really motivates me to try my hardest to make this site enjoyable. (Thank you for featuring me, by the way!) 
  • I try really, really hard to respond and/or visit your blog to show my appreciation, but I know a few slipped through the cracks, especially as my blog grows and gets more visits and comments. Please know that I love that you stopped by, subscribed, and shared your thoughts. If you need me ASAP, my email info is in the "About" tab.
Top referring sites of the week
Thank you so much for all of the visitors you sent my way!
Featured Commenter of the week
Have a great week and thank you for visiting!
-Ali

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chocolate Brownie Trifle

This recipe for Chocolate Brownie Trifle is one of my go to party dishes. It is incredibly delicious, it makes a pretty presentation in a trifle dish, and it is utilizes a few short cut ingredients.

Chocolate Brownie Trifle
Makes 12 servings

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

1. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.

2. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.

3. In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Source: Allrecipes

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bourbon Mint Iced Tea

Who is ready for Summer weather? Me, kinda. Who is ready for Summer food? Me me me! So besides being a refreshing beverage, this Bourbon Mint Iced Tea has the bonus of having booze in it. Of course if you don't drink alcohol you can leave it out. 

Bourbon Mint Iced Tea
Makes 2 Quarts

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (4 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (4 ounces)
1 cup bourbon (8 ounces)
Ice cubes
1 quart plus 1 cup unsweetened iced tea (40 ounces)

In a two-quart pitcher, muddle or mash the lemon wedges, sugar and mint leaves with a large wooden spoon until a thick syrup forms. Add the orange juice, lemon juice and bourbon and stir to combine. Fill the pitcher with ice cubes and add the iced tea, then stir to combine.

Source: Rachael Ray

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chile Con Queso

Today was one of those days where melted, spicy cheese really hit the spot. I think my personal preference would be to make this without the sausage the next time around, but that is just me.

Chile Con Queso, Revved Up
Makes many servings, plus extra for freezing

2 lb package Velveeta Cheese
1 lb package Hot Breakfast Sausage (Jimmy Dean, Potter’s, etc.)
1/2 large onion
1 regular can Rotel (either Regular or Extra Hot, according to preference)
1 7-oz can diced green chilies
1 to 3 finely diced jalapeno peppers, according to preference. (If you like things more spicy,
leave the seeds and white membranes.)

1. Chop the onion and brown with the breakfast sausage. Drain excess fat so you won’t have a
coronary. Cut Velveeta into cubes and add to warm skillet. Add Rotel and green chilies, and stir
together over low heat until mixture is melted. Add finely diced jalapenos, stir together, and serve warm with tortilla chips. During serving, Queso needs to be kept warm, either in a fondue pot, chafing dish, or Crock Pot.

2. Queso can be frozen flat in Ziploc bags and reheated.

Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Linking up to: Everyday Sisters

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Amazing Citrus Wedding Cake

The top tier of the cake, which we took with
us to eat on the honeymoon.
Alternate Title: Moist Yellow Wedding Cake with Fresh Lemon Curd, Candied Orange Slices and Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting.

The Amazing Citrus Wedding Cake is a little bit easier to say though, isn't it?

My mom made this for my wedding. Being a total goober, I forgot to take a picture of the finished wedding cake. *Facepalm*

  • Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting: Recipe from Fancy Flours (Recipe below - My mom actually got the recipe directly from them from their physical store location, back when they had one, so I don't think the recipe is online at their website.)
  • Lemon Infused Simple Syrup: No recipe that I could find for this at the moment. It is brushed on top of each layer of yellow cake.

    If you look closely you can see colored straws were used as dowels to support the upper cake tier. The original plan was to pipe lines of frosting to match the clipping below, but it was too much of a hassle so we went with the rustic look.
    Closeup of the Top Tier

    Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting
    Makes 8 cups

    8 egg whites
    1 tsp. cream of tartar
    1/3 c. sugar

    1/2 c. white corn syrup
    3/4 c. sugar
    1-1/2 pounds unsalted butter
    1 Tbsp. vanilla

    1. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually and beat until a stiff meringue forms.

    2. Meanwhile, in a nonstick saucepan combine corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In a small, steady stream, pour into meringue mixture with a mixer running. Whip until room temperature, about 20 minutes. Slowly add room temperature butter about 1 tablespoon at a time. Whip until mixture comes together and forms a smooth frosting. Beat in vanilla.

    Source: Fancy Flours

    If you were wondering, these are the clip outs that I saw that inspired the cake:



    Gourmet Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

    This amazing recipe for Gourmet Cinnamon Roll Popcorn has been posted all over the internet by now, and for good reason. When I saw the recipe at Creations by Kara I finally buckled down and prepared a batch. Many thanks to her for the recipe. It lived up to all the hype I've read over the past few months.

    Gourmet Cinnamon Roll Popcorn
    Makes several servings

    12 cups popped popcorn (I used 2 bags of light microwave popcorn)
    1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
    1 cup brown sugar
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup corn syrup
    1/2 cup soft butter
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

    1. Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

    2. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large glass bowl.  Mix well.  Add butter and corn syrup.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir to combine.  Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir. Microwave for 2 more minutes. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will foam. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir till everything is well coated.

    3. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Pour popcorn onto foil.  Place in oven and bake at 250° for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

    4. Melt almond bark according to package instructions.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  When almond bark is set and popcorn is cool, break into chunks. 

    Source: Creations by Kara and many other websites

    Cheesy Funeral Potatoes


    All in the same week I came across several recipes for Cheesy Potatoes (also known as Funeral Potatoes, Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole, etc.) and I knew I'd have to make it. There are small variations between the recipes, but if you ballpark it to match your tastes you should be fine. In the photos shown I used a bag of frozen Potatoes O'Brien, which contained some pepper and onion pieces for extra flavor.


    Many thanks to The Farm Girl and Carrie's Cooking and Recipes for their recipes. It was ultra comforting and delicious.

    Cheesy Potatoes (Also known as Funeral Potatoes, Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole, etc.)
    Makes several servings

    1 28 oz. bag frozen hashbrowns
    1 small can cream of chicken soup
    1/2 c. sour cream
    4 oz. cream cheese
    1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
    (I added a little bit of melted butter, help me God. The reason being one - butter is tasty and two - one recipe had a bit of melted butter and one did not, so I chose to add just a bit as a compromise)

    1.  Preheat oven to 350-f degrees.  In medium sauce pan mix chicken soup, sour cream and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Add cheese (and butter if using) and stir until melted.  Add hashbrowns and stir well to combine. Pour hashbrowns into a deep 9"x9" casserole dish (greased). Smooth out flat and bake for 1 hour or until light brown and bubbly.


    Source: The Farm Girl and Carrie's Cooking and Recipes

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Blueberries with Brown Sugar Cream


    I'm so excited for summer desserts. Sweet treats that satisfy your craving but are light enough to not feel like a brick in your stomach on a hot day. This recipe for Blueberries with Brown Sugar Cream fits the bill, light and totally delicious.

    Note: The original directions don't call for you to mix the brown sugar and sour cream together, but I did and I think it is better my way. Ahem.

    Blueberries with Brown Sugar Cream
    Makes 4 servings

    2 cups blueberries (1 pint)
    1/3 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
    4 teaspoons brown sugar

    1. Add ½ cup blueberries to each of 4 small bowls. Set aside

    2. Mix together the sour cream and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of mixture on top of each serving of blueberries.

    Source: Adapted from Real Simple

    A million and one link parties: How to organize and track them.

    If you have participated in some of the weekly link parties held at various blogs hopefully you have seen some good traffic to your blog as a result. During the past week I had considered writing up a little post about how to organize the many parties out there, and when I received an email from a fellow blogger asking me how I handled it, I decided to write this post.

    I'm sure to some of you this may seem overly thorough but I am a little bit OCD when it comes to organizing so this works for me. Consider the following post a tutorial of sorts of how to set up and organize your link party list, track previous parties, and minimize the time you have to spend each day actually submitting your posts. If you have any feedback or tips of your own, please leave a comment.

    • Picking your parties - What I did in the beginning was to basically copy another bloggers party list as my starting point. I emailed her and asked her if this was okay. After all, she had spent the time to write up a nice page for her parties, it seemed only fair that I ask if it was all right if I swiped it. This was just the first step for me. I knew I wanted to edit out parties that didn't relate to my blog, as well as add many more that she didn't list.
    • Creating the master list page - Quite a few bloggers provide a link on their sites to their regular link parties, so I bookmarked about half a dozen, visited said parties, and added the ones that applied to my master list. You can do this easily by creating a page on your blog and listing each day of the week and the parties underneath each heading. I did this and it worked well enough, but I needed more information.
    • Tracking the parties - I realized half way through my first week that I was going back to a few blogs again and again to verify if I had participated in their party. This lead to a lot of wasted time. I pulled up Gmail and opened up a Google doc and created a spreadsheet. Look for it in the top navigation bar, sometimes listed under the "more" tab if you don't use it much.  I simply copied my master party list by highlighting the text, copying and pasting into the spreadsheet. See the screen shot below for more details.

    Organized by day of the week. Also shown is a column to mark if you've added their button to your blog (I haven't compiled this info yet so my column is blank), then following that I give each week a column and specify what post I am submitting. An "x" means I have submitted successfully to that party. Two marks is two posts submitted, etc.
    • Keeping your parties current - After several weeks of tracking parties, you should be able to see which parties have closed down or gone on hiatus. I will usually mark a party by bolding their name in black text to signify that they are no longer current, and if by a few weeks time they aren't back, I put the name in red to signify that their info needs to be removed from the spreadsheet as well as the link page on my site.

      Red crayons used to block the lapsed parties info. Poor little parties! Come back to us!

      • Prioritizing parties - Using the extremely basic traffic counter provided by blogger on the "Stats" page, I assign a few select blogs a bold color to let me know that they have provided large numbers of hits to my site. That isn't to say they are any better than other parties, but if I don't have much time to spend submitting to parties, I know to hit up these blogs first. Speaking of saving time...


      Create a second sheet within your spread sheet to remind you of what the colors mean. I haven't tracked the referrals of the week, but I added it incase I wanted that option later.


      Time Saving Tips -
      1. If you are able to, submit earlier in the day. The earlier the better. The reason being that the linking tools used by parties often get quite bogged down during the day and evening. What takes you 15 seconds to do in the morning can take 3 minutes in the afternoon.
      2. Take the time to make sure your party page list of links is identical to your spreadsheet. This means you wont be searching through your lists trying to match things up. I pull up my link party page in one tab, the spreadsheet in the next, and just go boom-boom-boom down the list. No searching necessary as it all matches up sequentially.
      3. Make sure the picture you are going to use in the party doesn't need intensive cropping. One less step in the process saves you time over the long haul.
      4. If you only have a few minutes to commit to submitting your posts to parties, keep the priority parties marked by bold text and coloring their names on your spread sheet.
      And finally, one thing that makes me go “huh??” every week. Link parties that are set for a certain day of the week, as in the day of the week in is their party name, yet they post the day before. That always bugs me. I think I am gonna be on time to link up for “Tuesday blah de dah” or “Friday doop de doo” and I visit the website the morning of the party and 300 people have already linked up the day before. Doh! :)

      I hope this tutorial helped you to achieve your party goals. If you have any questions, thoughts or tips, please share them in a comment.

      Party buttons can be found here. I'm linking up to: