New Submission Form

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Highlights:

  • Live preview - see the image, title, description and tags the second you select or type.
  • Zoom - zoom in by moving the slider bar up.
  • Reposition - move the image around the photo card by dragging it.
  • Sharper images - see sharper photos on your Retina iPad, iPhone, MacBooks or HiDPI Android devices.

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Details:

Our goal was to make the submission process easier for the fantastic bloggers who contribute to the sites. We wanted to eliminate the need to re-size/crop in an image editor prior to submitting. Hopefully, bloggers can use the same photo that appears in their posts, as long as the image size is at least 550x550 pixels.

  • Live preview - the minute you upload an image it appears in the photo card and the second you type in a title, description or tag it appears in the preview. You’ll need to hover over the image to see the title of the post.
  • Zoom - by dragging the slider bar up, you can zoom in 25% max. We’ve limited it to 25% to prevent pixelation if you zoom in too much. This also helps limit the dreaded “composition - too tight” feedback reason!
  • Reposition - now you can control the composition of the photo by dragging the image in the photo card and compose it nicely in our square format. We hope this eliminates a lot of composition issues (cut off focus) with the old submission form.
  • Sharper images - the reason we increased the minimum image size 2X to 550x550 pixels is to display sharper images on Retina/HiDPI displays (Retina iPads, iPhones, MacBooks and HiDPI Android devices). If you look at old submissions on an retina iPad or HiDPI Android tablet, you’ll see blurry, sometimes grainy, images as the old 275x275 px photo is upscaled to fit the higher pixel density of these HiDPI displays.
  • Tags - we reduced the number of tags allowed from 15 to 10. We’ve seen some abuse in tagging non-relevant terms and we want people to be more judicious in their tagging. Tags are primarily used for search results. If you don’t have a keyword in your description or title, i.e. vegan or chocolate, then tag your post appropriately. Our search function returns matching results from the post title, description and tag fields.

Let us know if you have any questions or issues with the new form. We hope it makes submitting to the site easier now!

Easy translation and issue reporting

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Some site visitors have asked, “why do you accept submissions from blogs that are not written in English?” If you have ever traveled abroad, then you know food is truly a universal language. A good, warm bowl of comfort food will break down any language barrier between people. There are so many wonderful and creative bloggers around the world, it would be a shame if we limited submissions to only English language blogs.

To help break down the language barrier, we have added a translation feature via Google Translate in the bottom hover bar on desktop and in the share menu on mobile. We are defaulting the translation language to English right now, but you can easily change the translation language.

We have also added our “report an issue” function to the bottom hover bar. If you find a problem with a post (broken link, spelling mistake, bad tag, etc.), just click on the “report an issue” icon and let us know about the problem.

These features were already available in the iPad app. We will be adding the functions to version 2.0 of the iPhone app, which is currently in development.

Los Cabos Taco Contest

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Do you have the ultimate taco recipe? It’s time to share it! To celebrate National Taco Day, foodgawker has teamed up with the Los Cabos Tourism Board to offer one lucky submitter an amazing trip for two to Los Cabos, Mexico. Submit your favorite taco recipe for a chance to win! Details below.

No recipe to submit? Don’t worry! We have something for you too. Enter the Los Cabos National Taco Day sweepstakes for a chance to win a Cabo Cookbook, a Le Creuset Braiser and selection of Penzeys spices.

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Grand prize

A vacation for two to Los Cabos, including airfare (not to exceed a total of $2,000), a 4-day/3-night stay at Hacienda Beach Club & Residences in Cabo San Lucas and a $100 USD gift certificate to Hacienda Cocina y Cantina.

Deadlines

Submission deadline: October 6th, 2013 at 11:59pm PST

Voting deadline: October 18, 2013 at 11:59pm PST

How to enter

To enter:

  1. Submit your taco recipe and photo to foodgawker during the contest period,
  2. Add the tag LosCabosTaco.
  3. Entries are subject to the normal foodgawker submission process and quality standards (see the FAQs for more information). Multiple entries are allowed.

How to win

After the voting period ends at midnight PST on October 18th, the post with the most favorites, in the LosCabosTaco tag gallery, will be declared the winner of the contest.

Other information

Only US & Canada (excluding Quebec) residents are eligible, please see the terms & conditions.

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Whimseybox Contest and Giveaway!

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Guess what? craftgawker is holding a contest with Whimseybox! Submit your best DIY by July 31st to win! The top 10 posts with the most favorited DIYs during this period have a chance for their project to be turned into a Whimseybox kit, receive $250 and a DIY x Whimseybox Designer contract!

Please remember that craftgawker’s normal submission rules still apply during the contest period. Please add the tag “whimseybox1” to your submission to be eligible for the contest.

See the following post for more information on the contest and prizes!
http://blog.whimseybox.com/craftgawker-x-whimseybox-challenge

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Don’t have a DIY to share with us? Well Whimseybox is offering a $50 gift card to the Whimseybox shop! They offer everything from DIY kits to crafting supplies. Please enter below to win!

One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected at random and announced August 1st as an update to this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Site Redesign - June 2013

We spent over 6 months working on the latest redesign of the sites. There have been a lot of changes and iterations during the design and development process. Our primary goal was to make the site easier to use while providing you more control in fine tuning page results. We’ll spare you the gory details behind each design and implementation decision and just give you the highlights and benefits of the new design.

 

Infinite scrolling, pagination and sticky navigation bar

  • Introduced endless scrolling (down and up) on most devices and hybrid infinite scroll on some browsers (Safari)
  • Created a page counter so you know how many pages deep you’ve gone
  • Kept the ability to jump to any page in pagination
  • Implemented a sticky nav bar so there’s constant access to navigation, search, filters and pagination

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Sort and filter any page

  • Added the ability to sort and filter every page of the site (homepage, search results, category, submitter galleries, etc.)
  • Allows the ability to search/exclude by keyword, filter by category or submitter separately or together in any combination
  • Searching and filtering is performed on the current results you are on, e.g. filtering the vegan category gallery
  • Changed the default sort order on your favorites page to “date added”

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Borderless Cards

  • Transitioned to a borderless photo card with a larger 275x275 pixel image
  • Increased the size of the mobile photo card

 

Miscellaneous

  • Focused on making navigation, dropdown menus and buttons very touch friendly for mobile and tablet devices
  • Reduced page weight for faster page load by decreasing posts per page from 46 to 22

 

To our fantastic bloggers who submit, the larger, borderless cards requires a minimum image size of 275 x 275 pixels now in order to submit.

We spent a few hundred hours testing the new design on a few dozen devices. We believe we have caught and fixed most of the bugs, but with so many mobile devices in the wild and browsers used, we’re sure there’s an issue or two that we missed. If you see anything strange or broken, please let us know by dropping us a note via the contact form.

We’d like to thank our designer, Maria, and our development firm, Crowd Favorite, for their hard work in making the redesign possible. We hope you enjoy the new features of the site!

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Update - Saturday, June 8th

If you are having issues using the site with older browsers, like Safari 5.x, we have a fix for these browsers that will be released on Monday, June 10th. Let us know if you are having issues on other browsers or devices.

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Update - Monday, June 10th

We released a fix for Safari 5.x browsers this afternoon. If you are using an older versions of Safari (less than 6.0), there is no longer a persistent navigation bar and there is a “load more photos” button after 2 pages. If you want the full benefits of the redesign (infinite scroll, sticky nav bar), we recommend updating your browser to a newer version of Safari, Firefox or Chrome.

Upcoming projects

  • Launch redesign on other sites (craftgawker, stylegawker, dwellinggawker, weddinggawker)
  • Revise and improve the submission form
  • Release the iPad app
  • Update the iPhone app to reflect new design
  • Develop an Android app

 

Posted by: Chuck Lai

Blogger Spotlight - Dainty Chef

We want to start off by saying how fun it has been getting to know the food bloggers who submit! You may not realize it at first glance, but each image on foodgawker has a story behind it. Doing these interviews has been a great way to discover more about the images and the people behind them.

This week we had the pleasure of getting to know Krissy Roszell, the creator of Dainty Chef. Krissy began blogging as she started learning how to cook, and both have evolved together. Most of the dishes featured in her foodgawker gallery have a homestyle feel. Her blog is a great inspiration source for those craving some good ol’ fashioned home cooking!

Posted by: Angie Rizzo

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Where is Dainty Chef located?

I am located in a small town in NJ right outside of Philadelphia


What inspired you to start blogging and how long have been doing it? 

I started the blog in the summer of 2010. I was a newlywed who was just learning how to cook. I would stumble upon great recipes and then not be able to locate them again. It was incredibly frustrating. I decided to start the blog as a way to archive the recipes that my husband and I really enjoyed. Turns out other people wanted to know what I was cooking and the process behind the recipe, so I kept on going!


What have been some of your favorite recipes?

Some of my favorites include the chicken fajitas, chicken gyros, rotisserie chicken in the crockpot for chicken salad and other recipes, and chocolate chip cookies. I also love the Brussels sprout and goat cheese pizza recipe on the blog.

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Are there any recipes that you have made your own?

I don’t have many recipes on the blog that I have made my own, but I do have many family recipes that have been passed down from my Granny.


What are your “go-to” ingredients?

If I could find a way to put avocado in a recipe, I would make it happen. My pantry is always well stocked with beans, diced tomatoes, pasta, and herbs. I can usually make a meal out of those if I haven’t planned anything.

About how often do you post to your blog?

I  try to follow a schedule for posting which is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so 3x’s a week


Do you have a unique style in terms of your blogging and/or cooking?

I don’t think I do anything that makes me unique, I try to focus on where our food comes from and that involves making many things from scratch.


What are you doing when you are not food blogging?

You can find me being super corny with my second graders on a daily basis. I like to think that we have a lot of fun in my classroom. When I am not working, you can find me on the beach, shopping at the mall, DIYing projects for our new home, or curled up with a good book!


You mentioned 2nd graders, are you a teacher?

I am a teacher. I have been in the teaching profession for 7 years, most of my time has been spent in 4th grade, but this year I made the switch to 2nd and I absolutely love it! I am now looking forward to summer vacation!


What kind of food did you grow up eating and how did it influence your taste preference today?

I feel incredibly blessed to have grown up in a home that stressed homemade cooking. My Dad is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of man, so we ate staple meals that everyone loved. There was also an importance of having dinner as a family and sitting around the table talking about our day. Sure, there were days when someone was at football or swim practice, but my Mom always made it a priority to have a home-cooked meal on the table and some type of gathering each night whether all five kids were there or not. I have continued this tradition in my own home as well. Blair comes home to a home-cooked meal (most nights) and we sit and talk about our day. As I grow older, I tend to focus more on where I food is coming from. I try to do my best to make as much as I can from scratch.  Since my Dad was somewhat picky, and my husband is not, I can be a bit more adventurous with my cooking.


Based purely on cuisine, which country do you most want to visit?

Hands down, Italy. I have already been, but the food was so fresh and absolutely divine. When I studied abroad in college there, I gained about 10 pounds. Thinking about the homemade pasta and gelato makes my mouth water.


What are your least favorite foods?

Unfortunately, I have a hatred for all seafood except for crab. I am slowly trying to be better about trying it, but it is mainly a texture thing.


How do you decide which dishes to blog about? Do you follow a theme or overarching concept in your blogging?

Like I said, I try to stress the importance of a family dinner time at home. Being a teacher, it’s sad that kids don’t have that experience like I did growing up. I try to have a good balance of quick & easy meals, but also ones that are more labor intensive. It has been a goal of mine to focus more on side dishes. You can always find a dessert post on most Fridays!


How would you describe your culinary style? Adventurous, homestyle? 

I would say that my culinary style is more homestyle, I am not that adventurous of an eater. I tend to stick to recipes that have ingredients that I know and love. I am trying to come out of my shell a little bit more and try new things, one of those this past year was quinoa.

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Gooey or crunchy?  

Crunchy, a bag of chips is my ultimate weakness.


If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?

Grilled cheese and tomato soup with a hot fudge sundae for dessert


What part do you find the most challenging about blogging?

Honestly, it depends on the day. I go through waves when I like one part of it better than the other. I probably struggle with writing the most just because I am always trying to find some type of story to connect with my readers, but sometimes I just want to say “This was amazing, make it.”


Do you have any photography tips for all the budding food-bloggers out there?

One thing that has helped me greatly is to shoot tethered (connected to the computer with your camera). I am able to do this through Lightroom. One of the most frustrating things early on in my photography was taking a shot, loading it on to the computer, and realizing it was blurry or too dark. Shooting this way has helped me look at the photograph instantly and be able to adjust as needed. I also always use a cheap white poster board to reflect light and fill in the shadows. One of my favorite things to do is spend the weekends browsing different thrift shops looking for cheap props I can use in my photos.


What blogs do you follow?

I follow way too many blogs (you can find a list on my blog), but the updates I look forward to the most are from Annie’s Eats, Pink Parsley, and Confections of a Foodie Bride.

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All images courtesy of Krissy Roszell.

Blogger Spotlight - TasteFood

This week we are featuring Lynda Balslev, the author of TasteFood. Lynda has lived, worked, and cooked throughout Europe, which has in turn influenced her culinary style and inspired her to start her food blog. Her gallery on foodgawker is full of beautiful, colorful images that will make your mouth water and inspire you to get to work in the kitchen!

Posted by: Angie Rizzo

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Where are you located?

San Francisco bay area

 

What inspired you to start blogging and how long have been doing it?

Upon moving back to the US after living in Europe for 17 years. It was a creative outlet that allowed me to chronicle my food memories, our family food traditions, and favorite cuisines with recipes. TasteFood is 4 years old.

 

Where were you in Europe?  Were you there for a particular reason (job, school, etc)?

I moved to Europe to study cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I planned to stay on in Paris and look for work after I finished, but along the way I met my Danish husband who was living and working in Geneva, Switzerland. So, after my cooking program finished I moved to Geneva. We were married there, our kids were born there, and we lived there for 9 years, while I worked as a caterer, cooking instructor and designer. We then moved to England, due to my husband’s job, where we lived for 2 years, and then to Denmark where we lived for 6 years before a corporate move brought us to San Francisco. With each move I continued to cook, cater and teach. It was portable, and allowed me to be at home with our kids as we set up a new life. Cooking was a great window into each new culture we moved to, embracing the customs, preparing dishes from homes we had left and missed, and a wonderful way to entertain while we met new friends. I also worked as a food editor of a Danish magazine while we lived in Copenhagen.

 

Do you have any specific or influential food memories from your time abroad? 

Living and studying cooking in Paris was an eye opener. I moved there as a low-fat, caffeine-free, low alcohol, red meat-free American in the ’90s and quickly corrected my path, embracing the French bistro style of cuisine, including butter, espressos, red wine, runny cheese and all sorts of meat. I lost weight. The secret is Balance. It tastes better. 

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About how often do you post to your blog?

2-3 times per week


Do you have a unique style in terms of your blogging and/or cooking?

I prefer rustic Mediterranean food with bold and spicy flavors, influenced by the cuisines of France, Italy, North Africa and the Middle East.


What are you doing when you are not food blogging?

I freelance write, develop recipes, cater and teach cooking.


What kind of food did you grow up eating and how did it influence your taste preference today?

I grew up in New England where we had lots of fresh fish and seafood. My parents enjoyed international cuisines such as Japanese, Chinese and French, so at an early age I was eating food from around the world. We also ate out in restaurants at least once a week - it was a way to celebrate the weekend. As a result, I’ve always been interested in restaurant food.


Based purely on cuisine, which country do you most want to visit?

Japan


What are your least favorite foods?

I confess that I don’t love a lot of Mexican food. I find the combination of tortillas, cheese, beans and meat too dense.


How do you decide which dishes to blog about? Do you follow a theme or overarching concept in your blogging?

I blog as I go - in other words what you see is what we eat.


Gooey or crunchy?

Crunchy


If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?

Sushi


What part do you find the most challenging about blogging? e.g. Finding content, photography, writing?

Keeping the writing fresh. Blogging is done in a vacuum to some extent, at home alone at the computer. It’s important to connect with other bloggers, writers, cooks and readers, which requires an effort and doesn’t happen often enough.


What blogs do you follow?

Many: either friends and colleagues’ blogs or blogs I admire for their aesthetics, style & sensibilities, or regional blogs that remind me of places I’ve lived, including Danish, British, French or Swiss blogs. 

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All images via: Lynda Balslev