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Total amount of time spent on Bloggiesta: 20.30 hrs

Sunday Update no.2

Amount of time put in since last update: 6.30

Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while! I’ve stopped working on my blog so even though there are still about 3 hours left of this Sunday, for me the Bloggiesta has ended. Boohoo! :(

I’ll write up my finish line post tomorrow, but this morning I promised to show you my lunch of leftover sushi and I always make good on my promises.

Lunch of leftover sushi

There’s kappamaki (cucumber) on the left, daikon maki on the right and some  ‘triple whammy’ sushi rolls in the middle containing kanpyo, daikon and tofu. Rianne also made us inarizushi (tofu puffs) but we ate them all last night… There’s a picture of all yesterday’s sushi on Flickr!

Please pay attention to the beautiful blue bottle of Kizan Sanban Junmai Ginjo sake as well! I hope to find the time to do another Hello Japan! post about our sake tasting session this month…

What have I been doing since my last update?

Bigger jobs

  • work on at least 1 post about another subject (relatively urgent: Hello Japan! January mission) ✔
    Oooh Nooooos! Another Foodie Challenge… > also added to Weekend Cooking and Whip Up Something New!
  • clean up at least some of the last 11 posts in ‘Uncategorized‘ category  ✔ (8 done)

Off the grid

I think 20 (and-a-half) hours is a nice figure to round off with. I had a lot of fun and feel really accomplished — which was my main goal for this edition of the Bloggiesta! See you all next time around?!

Sunday Update no.1

Amount of time put in since last update: 2.30

Oh no, today it’s already the final day of our Bloggiesta! Yesterday I got to put in less time than I had expected because of housework and a movie night for which I had to make a special miso soup; I worked on my blog just about half of Friday’s hours…

Still, I’m not disappointed because I had a great day. I can highly recommend the fun film Chef of South Polar to all foodies, especially if you’re interested in Japanese food — or Antarctica. The white miso soup turned out amazing (if I may say so) and the best thing of all: our host had spent many hours in the kitchen to make us a selection of mouthwatering veggie sushi — ExtraVeganza avant le lettre! ;) We even got to bring a doggie bag home, so I can show off again later on ;)

The hard part is that I am now tempted to go awol again and try those Japanese rice patties I’ve been wanting to make ever since Leeswammes posted about her rice cookies… They would go marvellous with last night’s makizushi!

But for now I intend to be strong and write up blogposts. Hey ho let’s go!

What have I been doing since my last update?

Quick & Easy

  • clean up sidebar (challenge buttons)  ✔

Bigger jobs

Brain teasers & Research

  • claim graasland domain? (research)  > in progress
    I’ve been looking into costs and how to claim a domain (even made a phonecall; very 1.0! ;) but had to stop because I ran out of time. I especially appreciate the support @Petra_Utrecht is giving me! If she can’t help me no-one can ;)

Off the grid

  • commented, replied to comments and tweeted
  • added  ExtraVeganza post to this week’s Weekend Cooking post on Beth Fish Reads
  • sent English translation of Friday’s espresso chili ingredients to Mari on request and added to comment


Since last update: 0
All mini-challenges participated in: 2


Total amount of time spent on Bloggiesta: 11.30 hrs

Saturday Update no.1

Amount of time put in since last update: 2.10

Yay, it’s the 2nd day of our New Year’s Bloggiesta! This morning I started at 10:30 — much later than yesterday, but at least now I had had a good night’s rest. Unfortunately WordPress seems to have trouble dealing with all those enthusiastic Bloggiesta participants and I can hardly access my dashboard. So I have no idea when I’ll actually be able to post this update ;) I guess the WP team desperately needs to bloggiesta with us! Or is that just what they’re doing??? LOL

Tonight I’m going to have sushi at a friend’s place and watch Chef of South Polar, a movie about a chef delivering mouth-watering extravagant dishes to the crew of Dome Fuji Station, a Japanese research base on the South Pole. Sounds like fun! Of course it means I will have to leave the Bloggiesta party at 5 o’clock, but hey — I had decided not to blog anymore in the evenings, remember?

Today I’m doing it the other way around from yesterday, starting with 60 minutes of quick & easy jobs, followed by picking up Something Big. Well, as far as WP will let me that is…

What have I been doing since my last update?

Quick & Easy

Off the grid


Since last update: 0
All mini-challenges participated in: 2

Total amount of time spent on Bloggiesta: 9.20 hrs

Update no.2

Amount of time put in since last update: 3.50 hrs

It’s 7pm and I’m awfully tired so I’m updating this Bloggiesta Day 1 post before dinner ‘cause I have a feeling I might not be back after that ;)

I’m pretty content with what I’ve done today! Since my first update I finished my urgent ExtraVeganza post and did some odd jobs ‘off the grid’.

Off the grid

  • I looked into an articles template plugin in vain: plugins are only allowed on privately hosted WordPress blogs ( and not on the free
  • I got sidetracked by reading and commenting on other bloggiesta task lists…
  • I participated in 2 mini-challenges

Brain teasers & Research

  • decide on set weekly time to blog  ✔
    I’m not 100% sure yet whether it will work but I decided to block 4 hours of blogging time on Wednesdays and also 4 hours in the weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday. I’m also no longer allowed to blog at night because I have a hard time falling asleep…

Tonight I’ll be probably ‘chilling’ with The Killing but I’m looking forward to tomorrow! See you then :)


Since last update: 2
All mini-challenges participated in: 2

Update no.1

Amount of time put in since last update: 5.30 hrs

Mexican Bloggiesta Lunch

I knew you were all going to squeal with jealousy but I still wanted to show off my Mexican Bloggiesta Lunch. Sorry ;) You probably won’t believe me but it was all made with leftovers!

The chili is another recipe from the Dutch vegetarian website De Vegetariër, and you’ll never guess what’s in it… espresso!

I also had two open packages of nacho chips threatening to get stale — okay, so I should have paid more attention to the oven temperature but most of it was fine ;) Of course the beet pancake isn’t really Mexican but it fitted this meal perfectly anyway.

There’s still an open can of tomatoes in my fridge, along with a package of passato di tomato, so later on I might even make some of my super flexible salsa picante.

But first things first.

What have I been doing since my last update?

Quick & Easy

  • back-up blog  ✔
  • update ‘About’-page with pages I’m featured at  ✔ (plus updated to English text)
  • add image to blogpost Books Read in 2008
  • add tag ‘weekendcooking’ to Weekend Cooking posts  ✔

Bigger jobs

  • write at least 1 recipe or food related post (urgent: ExtraVeganza!)
    Progress: the draft of my ExtraVeganza post is finished, I just need to fine-tune a little and want to add a compilation of photo’s for which I need to get reacquainted with Qimp.

Of course I also went an did some stuff that wasn’t on my original list.

Off the grid

  • cleaned up online mailbox because of bouncing mails
  • updated contact page
  • replied on comments on Graasland and Flickr-page
  • twittered

You know what’s so special about this 4th Bloggiesta? We’ve only got wifi since this week so I can work on my blog anywhere I like! :)


Since last update: 0
All mini-challenges participated in: 0

Bloggiesta Start Line

Hooray! The first day of Bloggiesta has finally come. It’s a weekend long fiesta where people across the globe fix, tweak and pimp their weblogs. Follow us on twitter by the hashtag #bloggiesta!

I’ve cleared most of my schedule so that I can fully commit to the list of things I want to get done. I’m not that naive to think I’ll be able to cross off each and every task, but I hope to make some progress. My main goal is to feel accomplished!

There were a few things I wanted to get done before today:

  • make task list and blog  ✔
  • prepare starting line post  ✔
  • make bloggiesta template  ✔
  • decide on time frame updates  ✔
  • (template finish line post)

I plan to update at least every morning, and every night when I stop working on Graasland, but I’ll be doing that in 1 post a day. Apologies if you might feel I’m clogging up your feed-reader anyway! I’ll probably write my finish line post on Monday.

Now, I plan to start working on one of the bigger jobs first, for about 1 hour. After that I’ll pay attention to some of the easier stuff. I’ve had a bad night so I might be sneaking in a nap or two! ;)
Local take off time: 8.00 am (Utrecht, The Netherlands).

Good luck to all participants — and HAVE FUN!

PEDRO: Bloggiesta logoP.E.D.R.O.
Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organise.

From Friday to Sunday I’ll be participating in the 4th Bloggiesta Fiesta hosted by our ever faithful Natasha from Maw Books Blog. Since I joined for the 2nd edition I always look forward to this semi-yearly event.

In preparation I’ve compiled a list of things to do and grouped them into ‘quick & easy‘, ‘bigger jobs‘, ‘possible posts to write‘ and tasks to do ‘in advance‘.

No way that I’m going to manage all of these chores in just one weekend! I’ll just be picking to-dos from different categories as I please. It’s weekend and I’m meant to enjoy myself! :)

Like previous times I want to focus on the work I mean to get done, so I’ll be keeping mini-challenges and other wogging (‘werk ontwijkend gedrag’ = displaying work avoiding behaviour) to a minimum — there’s always time to check out the other sparkling new blogs when the weekend is over! Though I probably won’t be able to ignore #bloggiesta in my twitter timeline ;)

To do in advance

  • make task list and blog  ✔
  • prepare starting line post
  • make bloggiesta template
  • decide on time frame updates
  • (template finish line post)

Quick & Easy

  • back-up blog
  • update ‘About’-page with pages I’m featured at
  • clean up sidebar (challenge buttons)
  • template: ō etc.
  • edit Sakura lyrics in 2010 Hanami post
  • add image to blogpost Books Read in 2008
  • add tag ‘weekendcooking’ to Weekend Cooking posts
  • make page ‘Read in 2011‘ for progress on BOTNS +11 reading challenge

Bigger jobs

  • write at least 1 recipe or food related post (urgent: ExtraVeganza!)
  • write at least 1 book related post, preferably ‘review’ (JLit wrap-up is urgent too)
  • work on at least 1 post about another subject (relatively urgent: Hello Japan! January mission)
  • clean up challenge pages: current & finished
  • clean up at least some of the last 11 posts in ‘Uncategorized‘ category
  • clean up Graasland to-do list in Netvibes (categories: 1st thing/later/maybe; and separate list(s) for post subjects?)
  • create Netvibes tab for ExtraVeganza pilot
  • clean up/organise rss-feeds in Netvibes tabs: decide on fav blogs to follow

Possible posts to write / drafts to finish

  • wrap-up reading challenges 2010
  • movies watched in 2010
  • sambal bawang or red beet hummus recipe
  • review of Christmas Quilt/The Sea/Affinity/Golden Pavilion/Pillow Book etc.
  • Purge that Pantry! Challenge / Eating vegetarian in Funchal, Madeira / Fav Indo Restaurants etc.
  • etc. etc.

Brain teasers & Research

  • claim graasland domain? (research)
  • decide on set weekly time to blog
  • decide on finishing or discarding draft Index Page for film & book reviews

Screendump Graasland: Redux 2010

Kookgrrls’ weblog

If I feel accomplished enough about the stuff I’m getting done on my own blog, I might also put in some time for the Dutch Kookgrrls’ weblog which I’m regularly contributing to.

  • finish draft Challenge page: rules & link list of previous challenges
  • post for January challenge: ‘cooking out of the pantry’

Experience tells me I might be a little disappointed with the work I’ll get done so I’d better not get my hopes up. ;)

Do you want to get some major work done on your blog while partying with the rest of us? There’s still time to join!

Wordle: Graasland wordle

I couldn’t resist participating in the 15th hour mini-challenge of the readathon before going to sleep… A wordle made out of the words on Graasland!

Lately it seems to be dark & rainy when I need to collect our bag of local organic produce on Wednesday afternoons. I don’t mind getting (a little!) wet that much — the Amelis’Hof vegetable garden needs its fair share of water for us to get a nice loot — but I hate how gloomy my pictures turn out!

Luckily the sun broke through shortly after I had returned — just in time to make a picture! Hey, if the weather gets better once I’ve stashed everything neatly away I’m not crazy enough to unpack the fridge again for a make-over ;)

Amelis'Hof CSA vegetables week 31, 2010

  • lettuce
  • sweetheart cabbage
  • red berries
  • fennel
  • zucchinis (at this small size they’re at their best!)
  • basil
  • Tokyo turnips (or navet)

I haven’t planned my menu yet, but a dish I do want to cook is polenta ‘pizza’ with homemade pesto and courgettes. And I’ll probably make some more kinpira of the turnips because it’s a nice and easy bento stash.

Root kinpira made of carrots, French turnips and fennel

Root kinpira made of carrots, French turnips and fennel

Some good news from the Amelisbode, a leaflet accompanying the veggies: they’ve started a blog too! On preceding Mondays the contents of Wednesday’s packet will be ‘virtually’ unveiled. I admit it’ll be less fun checking out our ‘surprise package’, but it provides me with a more relaxing timespan for menu planning!

Pedro Bloggiesta logoJust came home from today’s outing and I wanted to write my final report on the Bloggiesta before I go to bed. Just briefly — I’ll elaborate on things laterrrrrr because I’m dead tired. I got up extra early this morning to finish what I was doing last night when my head crashed down on the keyboard!

I’m really pleased with all the work I got done. As always, everything took much more time than expected; I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much. But I feel very accomplished, especially because I hadn’t planned to participate in the Bloggiesta this weekend!

I tied up some loose ends (as you can read in yesterday’s post) and I got one BIG job done that had been bugging me: writing my part of the Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman buddy review with Elsje. Her side of the story had been put into words ages ago… I really like reading & collaborating with her, so in the interest of possible future projects it was important not to keep her waiting any longer! Let’s see what’s she’s got to say about it all now.

In total I invested… 21 hours! That’s almost double of what I originally aimed for when I stumbled over the starting line :) I’ll check my numbers tomorrow and let you know how many were put into the community (twitter, commenting etc.) and how much I actually spent on working on my posts and blog. I put 5:05 hours into the community (twitter, visiting participants, commenting) and actually spent 15:55 on my blog & writing posts. Olé for Bloggiesta!

Finally I’d like to say that I’ve made the right decision not to participate in any mini-challenges. It helped me stay focussed — something I found difficult last time (as well as during the read-a-thons I participated in). Something to remember for next time! Better mark my calendar for January 2011 ;)

Bloggiesta Finish Line

Pedro, the Bloggiesta logoAnother day has come (I’m always happy when it does ;) and it’s time for some more serious blogging. I won’t be able to participate in the Bloggiesta fiesta tomorrow, so today I’ll need to get my act together and work on reviews. Elsje will be happy to know I’m starting of with my thoughts on Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman so I can send them her way again :)

I’ve crossed off the following tasks in yesterday’s to-do list:

  • finished my posts about The Telepathic CSA Supervisor and Indo Bento #105 (including a recipe for Indonesian corn fritters)
  • added the last of missing annual lists of books read (in 2002) which prompted me to import old (Dutch) review material to link to (the Museum of Unconditional Surrender by Dubravka Ugrešić and Schimmenrijk by Rosita Steenbeek). On the background I’m also working on an index page for reviews…
  • I’ve made a back-up of Graasland; such an easy job in! Just go to Extra (or Tools) in your dashboard, choose Export and press the Download Export File button. I’ve never had to re-install my back-up but I hope it’s as simple as this :)
  • I also did a lot of commenting, cheering, tweeting (making even more friends!),
  • and finally gathered all my posts containing a recipe or link to a recipe on another website in the Recipe category.

I still have an important question relating to wordpress categories and trackbacks/pingbacks to my own posts. Maybe someone can help me out?

I do not want links to my own posts to show up as pingbacks. I know how to do that: by leaving out the ‘http://’ before the url i.e.
<a href=””>

.. leads to my Pepsi veggie test post without showing a trackback in the comments. BUT. When you’re in category view like Recipes, these links turn up dead (Error 404)! What to do? Of course I like other people’s pingbacks to show so no way I’ll uncheck the ‘allow’ button ;)

An option would be to use complete links but then I’d need to remove each of my own pingbacks manually… #lazygrrl :( And it would be a HUGE job to fix all the old links! I’d need a Bloggiesta month for that ;)

Well, better not worry about that right now and concentrate on the tasks still on my to-do list for Day 2 of the Bloggiesta.

    Cover Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

  • write 1 book review, preferably David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
  • spend 30 minutes on cleaning up old imported posts (tagged ‘Uncategorized’; 9 left) > actually 11 now because of the new imports relating to Books Read in 2002
  • [work on my buddy review with Elsjelas of Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman]
  • [write my guest post for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge]
  • [report about David Mitchell’s talk in Haarlem (combining it with my review of ‘The 1000 Autumns‘ will probably turn out too difficult)]
  • [review Shusaku Endo’s Silence (Japanese Literature Book Group read for June & my first book in the 4th Japanese Literature Challenge)]

Shusaku’s book group discussion is not on until the 28th of June, so no need to hurry with that. I’m tempted to start with the easy job of cleaning up uncategorized posts but I won’t procrastinate any longer and start my work on Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman!

Please cheer me on?

Bloggiesta starting line
Yay, the third Bloggiesta has started! I can’t believe I almost missed it… I guess I haven’t been paying attention to twitter nor my feed-reader. My excuse is that I have this annoying cold — which I probably got from David Mitchell when I saw him in Teylers Museum on Saturday, so who’s complaining ;) Of course I should have just marked my calendar for June’s Bloggiesta right after January’s.

Anyway, although my head feels like $%#@&*$#$ and I’ve got other plans for the weekend, I’m going to try and squeeze in some tasks from my Graasland to-do list. Can’t let a Bloggiesta party go by without participating — especially since I really need it at the moment!

Before Monday 8am (GMT+1) I hope to spend 12 hours on the following jobs:

  • backup my blog ✔
  • finish most recent backlog posts about this week’s csa vegetable bag and today’s bento (how convenient that I don’t need to take a break for preparing lunch because it’s already waiting for me!) ✔
  • write 1 book review, preferably David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
  • spend 15 minutes on putting previous posts containing recipes (or links to recipes on other websites) in the Recipe category I created a short while ago ✔
  • add archive post for books read in 2002
  • spend 30 minutes on cleaning up old imported posts (tagged ‘Uncategorized’; 9 left)

Bloggiesta logoI probably can’t do it all in the set amount of time — especially since I plan to visit, comment on, cheer & tweet other participants as well and I really need my sleep these days — but at least you know what my priorities are. I’ll probably leave the mini-challenges for what they are ;)

If possible I’d also like to work on some other posts that have been high on my priority list for quite some time (the ones that are really bugging me):

  • my buddy review with Elsjelas of Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  • my guest post for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge
  • report of David Mitchell’s talk in Haarlem (combining it with my review of ‘The 1000 Autumns‘ will probably turn out too difficult)
  • review of Shusaku Endo’s Silence (Japanese Literature Book Group read for June & my first book in the 4th Japanese Literature Challenge)

So much to do, so little time ;) How fortunate that Mr Gnoe is dining out and will be home late today! :))

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

Challenge logo

Gnoe herding...