Weekend Bites

by Matt on March 16, 2007


Why I Love Blogging: Thanks to a very special angel named Ellie I am now snacking (ok, inhaling really) Tim Tams from the land down under. Expect a special jar very soon, my friend!

Speaking of Jars: There are jellies waiting for me at home from one of the nicest bloggers I have ever met over at Chicken Fried Gourmet. His special family recipe will be meeting a batch of Adam’s homemade biscuits and I’ll end up with a messy face and full belly for sure. And I couldn’t be happier.

Ford’s Unfulfilling Station: Last night we headed out to dinner with friend and food stylist extraordinaire Will Smith (check out this month’s Bon Appetit magazine for an adorable photo of Will in the opening pages). We headed to Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City–the spot owned by Harrison Ford’s son Benjamin–and damn it, I really wanted it to be better! It’s a cute comfortable space, but my fish and chips were soggy, Adam’s beef cheeks were lackluster and the fried clams were so-so. I hate wanting to like something so much only to have it fall short. Maybe it was an off night.

In The Pink / No Self Control: Ok, I’m a little late to the Pinkberry craze that is sweeping the southland, but there is a new location opening in Long Beach so I’ll see first-hand what all the fuss is about. But then again maybe not. Thanks to David’s recommendation our Cuisinart ICE-50 arrived and now there’s no need to head out for ice cream when a batch can be made so easily. Thanks a whole lot, DAVID (can you hear the sarcasm here as I eat another pint?)

Congratulations to Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen!, the winner of the 2007 Bloggies, Best Food Category. And thank you to everyone who voted for Mattbites, too. I’m still thrilled that I was one of the other 4 blogs nominated! Can you believe it?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

A.J. March 16, 2007 at 12:34 pm

If you develop a Tim Tams addiction, you can also get them at Cost Plus World Market here in the States. I believe there are 10 in the Los Angeles area.

The Guilty Carnivore March 16, 2007 at 12:34 pm

You were robbed. I’m sure the winning site has quite a share of fine recipes, but god forbid I try to navigate that minefield to try to find them. I would preface what I’m about to say with “no disrespect, but…” — then again I guess this does imply a bit of disrespect.

Hard rules, random ads, font soup, and a half dozen navigation patterns. It’s like giving The Drudge Report best online news site over NYTimes.com – and that’s not even taking into account your fresh perspective and self-depreacting humor, much less the superb photography.

nika March 16, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Matt: Thanks for that link to Smith’s portfolio.. his work sings to me. What a breath of fresh air.

nika March 16, 2007 at 1:42 pm

Oh, and, yeah, I TOTALLY agree with Guilty. I do not understand how that blog won. The winning blog should be exemplary in all aspects of blog-ation. The winner is several orders of magnitude from close. Maybe I am missing something here.

Ted Gross March 16, 2007 at 2:38 pm

First I want to thank Matt for the congrats. And there is no doubt, and I say this freely that in terms of pictures etc. all the four blogs that were finalists are really incredible.

As to the complaints about how to get around in the blog. I will take that seriously and see if there is something that can be done.

I would like to point out one small salient point though if I may. Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen was not meant for the “gourmet” cook or those who know how to cook well and want great recipes and ideas. I constantly repeat this fact. Indeed as one called it – it is for the “cooking challenged and recipe impaired”.

It was started for those who do not know a thing about the kitchen or cooking. And there are a great many people out there like this. (Like me, and I am not embarrassed to admit it.)

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen was and is an effort to explain what may seem to many as simple, the mysteries of making food and cooking. I really never set out to be in competition with such wonderful food blogs as this, which I visit from time to time, cause I think it is great.

That is why it is laid out with recipes in a specific manner and each one is graded on difficulty.

I don’t expect Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen to ever be able to be on the level of such beautifully laid out blogs with such incredible recipes and information.

Each person has his own visualization of what the best type of Blog should be in each category. That is a given. Each Blog has its own plus and minus. Each with its own way of looking at things.

Whatever the case, I appreciate the congrats and I happen to love this blog.

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

nika March 17, 2007 at 6:57 am


It was wrong of me to have anything negative to say about the winner (of any contest) and you in particular. It is obvious that a tremendous amount of work goes into your blog and for most of us, me included, its our tenacity that keeps us posting but not always recognized. I am glad that you have been recognized. Its a hopeful thing for the food blogger who works on content but doesnt have the resources, skills, or perhaps awareness (many of us at the beginning) to have a more slick site.

Matt could easily have a much more tricked out site but I appreciate that his stays simple and about the one thing we come here for, more of Him :-).

My comments should not color how you would feel about his blog, even though I made the comment on his site.


Ted Gross March 17, 2007 at 9:24 am


Never. I did not think you were wrong in what you posted. And I certainly would never hold it against anyone. Actually I understand the comments made.

All that I was trying to point out, is that there is also a huge audience of many who are really, truly (excuse overuse of adjectives) terrifyingly scared of the Kitchen!!!!

Each Blog as I said in my first comment, has its own real great points, me thinks. Each Blog appeals to different people and audience. Makes the world go around. :)

No worries Nika. Your comments were accepted in the nature they were made, and understood without any rancor. And hopefully next year we will all see Nika’s Culinaria up there with the finalists!!!

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

nika March 17, 2007 at 10:29 am

Teddy: you are too generous :-) Actually, I think I do not want to be in the running.. I have a hard enough time getting over not winning the lottery!

Chicken Fried Gourmet March 17, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Thanks so much Matt. I have gotten so many great ideas from your site it was the least I could do.

Congratulations Ted :)

Ellie March 18, 2007 at 2:42 am

Congrats on the nomination for the award :) And glad you like the bikkies, can’t wait till my dulce de leche arrives, I’m trying to shortlist recipes to try :P

david March 18, 2007 at 1:49 pm

There are awards for this?

I hope for all the time we put into this, there’s cash involved. And lots of it.

cindy March 18, 2007 at 7:55 pm

absolutely! i totally believe it! and i believe you deserve to win!

terence photo March 22, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Ford’s Filling Station is mediocre at best. Our server got two orders wrong and the food was barely warm. The fried clams I had were also soggy. The flatbread the server was raving about was undercooked and doughy.

I don’t think you were there on an off-night, you were just there.

Randi March 24, 2007 at 7:47 am

Dang, I want to try pinkberry. I left Long Beach way too soon. I’ll have to send my ex over to report back.

Deborah Dowd March 29, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I stop in regularly on all the nominated blogs and have to say, that no matter what your tastes or preferences, there is something for everyone. In truth it is the readers of these blogs who are the real winners- they get to share the stories, the recipes and the passion each one brings to cyberspace!

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