I joined Recipezaar to learn and expand my culinary skills. A group of non-judgmental people gave me some wonderful recipes to try and through the discussions I gradually participated in I learned so much. The first recipe I posted was a super simple recipe for Vegetable Soup on The Double. The recipe was a collection of leftover items plus a bag of boil in bag brown rice. A friend on mine on the site made the recipe look so inviting. Thank you Annacia.
I haven’t bought boil in bag rice in years and it is truly amazing how much my pantry changed and my spice cabinet bulged. As you can tell by the photo, we not only had some amazing home cooks, but we also had some amazing home cooks that are fabulous photographers.
Then there were the games. The first game I checked into was Newest Zaar Tag. The game was designed to get recipes without reviews a review. This game also encouraged us to continue to post new recipes. I remember how nervous I was stepping into the game and making my first tag. I also remember well receiving my first review as a result of the game. It was so exciting.
Of course once you have a review on the recipe what comes next. 1-2-3 Hit Wonders. That game was followed up with Give Me Five and then Zaar Starz where recipes with more than 5 stars could be tagged. Over the last 10 years I posted over 700 recipes, reviewed and photographed over 3,000. My first food photos were a little pathetic but just like everything else I got encouragement from people on the site and in the Photo Forum. Leslie gave me a real boost when she thought one of my photos looked like a “Rita” photo.
The first cooking competition I entered was Ready Set Cook aka RSC. I think that was around RSC number 5 in June of 2004. I developed several recipes for that contest as we didn’t have a limit on the number that could be entered. Wonders of wonders, I didn’t win that contest that honor went to Susie D and Tejas Chipotle Pizza. I did get an Honorable Mention for Summer Squash Slaw. I entered RSC up until number 18 when Food.com claimed the contest. I never won but I did have loads of fun and September of 2005 I developed the winning Best Vegetarian Recipe, Mediterranean Pizza with Caramelized Onions.
There were many more contests and events over the years. Pick a Chef fondly known as PAC. My 3 Chefs and of course Zaar World Tour (ZWT). Zaar World Tour was the brain child of NcMysteryShopper and Leslie with help from lots and lots of people. I participated in ZWT from the first year through last year when I was a second year Tour Guide. The most memorable year for ZWT was the second year when I was on The Pantry Raiding Divas. We were a wonderful group of women that bonded. We didn’t win the contest but we had so much fun.
As it turns out yesterday Liza Schattenkek, Director of Digital Programming, Food.com sent out an email.
To all my loyal hosts past and present,
I have some news I need to share with you before it gets out to the rest of the world: The Food.com Forums are not coming back. As we’ve all known for a long time, the Forums software was outdated and simply too old and they finally, completely and utterly broke down. The team tried to resuscitate them, but they were too far gone. Right now the curtain page (with an updated message soon) will be up for 3 more weeks and then the Forums will be back, but as a read-only version. We want you guys to be able to get all your stuff, copy and paste what you want, etc…before they are gone for good so we are going to put them back up, but we don’t have the ability to make them interactive anymore.
I know this is beyond frustrating for all of you who have given so much time, love, care, energy and cooking smarts to the site and also made so many great friends. We do plan to bring you a new community experience, but it’s not ready yet and the timing is unfortunate that there has to be a gap between the two things.
I’m sending this to all of you from my email account because I felt you deserved a personal explanation and definitely needed to know before word is communicated out to the masses. You are all really special, hilarious, hard-working amazing people and cooks and I feel lucky to have worked alongside you for so many years.
For some of you, I’m sure this will be the straw that broke the camel’s back and if that is the case, I get it, and I hope to see you on Facebook or some other external site. If you do decide to stick around for the recipes, reviews and other exciting things to come (and I hope you do!), then I’ll enjoy seeing you here too.
THANK YOU for always, always, always making Recipezaar and then Food.com a better place.
Yes, the forums are broken. They will not be returning as the interactive forums that I will always remember. I made wonderful friends along the way and I am so looking forward to the next chapter in Food Friends and Fun. Susie D will be doing some Beta testing starting this coming week. If you are interested let her know. She is looking for a good mix of people from various places.