Ask a Blogger and Menu Plan Monday (Recipe: Special Spinach Salad)

I’m starting a new weekly feature at Dine & Dish to go along with Adopt a Blogger. I always feel so bad when I can’t get everyone adopted out that wants to be. It is typically because they have signed up too late and matches for adopt-a-blogger had already been made. For those people, waiting for the next round to come a long can mean losing out on critical mentoring they want during the first few months of blogging. Every day, I get questions from new bloggers wanting advice about this or that in regards to blogging, so I decided to start a feature here to help answer some of those pressing questions. I am in no way a blogging expert… which is why I am turning to those of you who have also been blogging for awhile to help answer the questions here in the comments section of the post. Hopefully, between us, we can help to mentor the newer bloggers who are in between rounds of Adopt-a-Blogger!

Each week I will feature questions from bloggers. If you have a question you would like answered, please email it to me at kristen <at> dineanddish <dot> net. I will post your question during one of the Ask a Blogger segments and will link back to your blog. Hopefully, we’ll get enough answers for you to help you out some!

The first question is one I get all the time…

“Posting every day on my blog is so hard to keep up with. Is it necessary to post every day? How many times is the right time to post during a week?”

My answer to this one is simple… you have to figure out a rhythm that works well for you. When I first started blogging 3 1/2 years ago, I wrote a new post every day. I soon found out that between cooking, photographing and writing a post each day, I was quickly getting burnt out. I eventually went to 3 times a week and felt like that fit what I was able to do much better and I enjoyed blogging a whole lot more. When I was posting so often blogging became more like a chore than something enjoyable. I think the key with blogging is to be consistent. If you post once a week, make it on the same day so that your readers know when they can expect to get new content from you (I know I need to practice what I preach, don’t I? :) ).  Do what works for you and your readers. Is there a right or wrong answer to this question? Experienced bloggers…what do you think? I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Now, at 11:58pm, here is my Menu Plan Monday menu for the week:

Special Spinach Salad (from my Sister-in-Law)

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 bunch of romaine, torn
1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
3 cups shredded swiss cheese
1 med. red onion, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 can 15 oz mandarin oranges, drained

Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp. poppy seeds

1. In a small heavy skillet, melt sugar low heat add almonds and stir to coat. Spread onto a greased sheet of foil; break apart if necessary.
2. In a large bowl combine romaine, spinach, mushrooms, cheese, red onion bacon and oranges.
3. For dressing, in a blender, combine the vinegar, sugar , onion, mustard and salt cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream, stir in poppy seeds.
4. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sugared almonds.

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  1. says

    That dressing sounds great – I am always looks for new dressings as I usually just use vinegar. And you are so right about posting – I still post about 5 days a week, but used to post 7!

  2. says

    I can do about 2-3 posts a week, and try to be consistent on when they go up… but of course, you caught me on a week of total inconsistency!

    That salad sounds so awesome! I’m thinking about doing a no-bake, no-cook feature on my blog — I might have to include a salad like this (does sugaring the almonds count as cooking?) 😀
    .-= Bethany´s last blog ..Curried Lentil Burgers with Sweet Potato Oven Fries =-.

  3. says

    Finding what works for you will keep your food blogging fun. I post three times a week, with a fourth post on Saturdays that is participatory (Other People’s Pantries). When I first started food blogging, I was writing 4-5 posts a week, but quickly found out two things: (1) I couldn’t keep up; (2) with each new post up for only one day, people didn’t have much time to find it before the next new post went up. Leaving your posts up for at least a couple of days will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and your readers from feeling overwhelmed, too.

  4. says

    Great advice about posting frequency! It’s funny how intuitively we know how often our favorite bloggers post, and how we miss them if we don’t see an update.

    And what time’s dinner?? Your menu this week looks great!
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Super Fresh =-.

  5. says

    I tend to agree with you… find a routine that works for you. I have tried posting daily, and unless I am extremely inspired and have extra time I find it becomes a chore. I’ve gotten to where I try to post 2-3 times a week and that works much better for me these days.

    Love the spinach salad… one of my favorites this time of year!
    .-= patsyk´s last blog ..Foodbuzz Family Bites: Sockarooni Bites =-.

  6. says

    We had those chicken legs last night! I increased the oven temp in the recipe this morning. When I originally got the recipe, and when I made them, it was supposed to be 400, but they just weren’t as good as when my neighbor makes them. So he made them for us last night as I noticed he set the oven to 475! They were perfect, the meat just falls off the bone!
    .-= katie´s last blog ..Corn Casserole =-.

  7. says

    Great idea! I have a ton of questions–most of which I’m a little too embarrassed to ask.

    I haven’t settled into a routine just yet. I’m around 3-4 post/wk and that is a struggle at times to publish good content, and keep my house somewhat in order. But I agree with Kristin, 5 days a week for one may be pushing it for another. I think the best thing to remember is make sure your content is good content. Posting every single day may look good in numbers, but if the content is weak, in the long run it may hurt.

  8. says

    Lydia of The Perfect Pantry makes a really good point. I too have noticed that if I post too frequently, some posts get overlooked because readers who aren’t bloggers tend to not scroll down past the top article. I use so I can see who checks my blog when (it takes some time establish who is who) and once most of the regulars have stopped by, I post again. This is usually every other day or every three days. Of course, this changes if my personal schedule is busy or I have nothing to blog about.
    .-= sarah´s last blog & fitness part 3: future =-.

  9. says

    Ask a Blogger is such a great idea, Kristen. Thanks for facilitating this exchange. Like some others, when I first began blogging, I tried to post every day but found that with a full-time job posting daily was unrealistic. Over the past 8 or 9 months I’ve settled into a routine of posting twice a week that does works well for me. I don’t feel overwhelmed and have enough time to do what I consider to be more well thought out posts. I think we all have to balance posting with our “real” lives and do what’s best for our individual situation. I’d also like to recommend a Yahoo email group that I belong to called “foodblogs.” The group members share ideas and offer solutions to blogging questions. We also “stumble” each other’s posts twice weekly. If you’re interested, send an email to the group moderator, Amanda, at and she’ll happily explain how to join!
    .-= Lana @ Never Enough Thyme´s last blog ..Chicken Jallop =-.

  10. says

    I love that there’s a recipe for copycat Panda Express orange chicken–I’m going to *have* to try it because I love that stuff. (As far as Americanized Chinese food goes, it’s GOOD.)

    I’ve found that, since I have a non-blogging full time job and all, two posts a week seems to be the limit to what I can do sanely. Sometimes, for a treat, I’ll throw in a third extra post a week, but since there’s no precedence for it, I don’t feel pressured. I always do make sure to bake/cook and photograph things a few weeks ahead of time and keep a small back-log of posts so that I can still remain on schedule when things get really busy for me, or for when I need to go on vacation. :-)

  11. says

    I could post every day but choose not to for the reasons Lydia mentioned. I think it can overwhelm readers and as someone else mentioned if you don’t give a post a couple of days to be found and read, it can get overlooked by the next one down the pike. Plus, we are food bloggers. Not news agencies with breaking news. And there are plenty of us. Readers need time to keep current and leave comments.
    .-= Joan Nova´s last blog ..I ATE Puerto Rico, Part 3 • Fajardo + The El San Juan =-.

  12. says

    Excellent tips! Like you, when I started blogging five (!!!) years ago, I did it daily. I managed to keep that up for two years or so, then needed to cut back. I wanted to make sure I was doing it because I enjoyed it, not because of some self-imposed obligation. About a year ago, I fell into a routine that is five days a week, giving readers a post Monday through Friday, since most people seem to read while at work. It works for me, and give me Friday/Saturday night off. Still here five years later, so I must be doing something right. 😉 Congrats on the fun new feature!
    .-= Cate O’Malley´s last blog ..Sleepover Food: Rainbow Pancakes =-.

  13. says

    I love this new question feature. I have a ton of questions and I am still trying to figure out a lot. I’ve asked some regulars to my blog some questions and they have helped a LOT for which I am really grateful but it would be nice to have someone in particular who would be willing to answer questions. I hate to be a pest, you know. :-) My adopt a blogger mentor hasn’t contacted me even though I’ve tried several times so I will be checking your site for answers to questions! Thank you, I appreciate your hard work and help!!
    .-= Debbi´s last blog ..Garlic Ranch Bacon Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie =-.


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