New Tess’s Kitchen

No, not a new kitchen. Let’s lower our expectations!

Not even new dishes—I’m thinking, regular reader, that you are wondering why I don’t get some new plates and bowls after more than a year and a half of taking pictures of my dinners!
Errrg! My kitchen is very small, and I’m not good at getting rid of things, even if I don’t use them.
Like the service for 12 (or is it only 8?) when there are only just the two of us. Or the cranberry-glass cocktail glasses, or the-too-delicate-to-use water glasses, or the food-mill that doesn’t work very well but when I want to strain or purée something it’s there (ok, once in the last year and a half. well, maybe two years.), or all those vases I used to use before my garden became an overgrown “natural feature…” Or all the cookbooks I have not used in “a while.”

My heart be still: it’s a new format for my blog.

It accounts in part for my lack of new posts! And it is yet a work in progress.
So, what do you think?

Do you like or not:
The pink background color, clickable links to recipes via the pictures in the sidebar, less cluttered sidebar ?(as in: should I get rid of Mickey the cat in the sidebar?”), …

May could be that this should be a poll, but just comment!

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As you like it: Okonomiyaki Playing with Food

25 thoughts on “New Tess’s Kitchen

  1. Hi Tess, have been thinking about you? I like the layout and the sidebar with pics, can see you have a Japanese version too. A lot of work!!!
    I do not know how to tweak in I know how much work it is to change the format.
    I have changed to self host a few months ago, a lot to do and learn. I have to subscribe to your blog so I won’t miss your posts :) Personally I like email subscription then using reader : ) Good luck and look forward to more of your recipes ! BTW, I cannot view your blog in Internet Explorer yesterday , I tried today with Firefox, then it’s OK.

    • Hi Janet,
      Glad you like the new format.

      It’s a lot of —mostly because some of the pictures have added borders and my poor tables need more padding, and I’m still tinkering with the colors.

      I’m on a Mac so I can’t see how Explorer works. I wonder why it’s not working? Which IE version are you using?
      I notice that Safari also displays some posts and pictures wrong: squeezed together.

      Firefox works best, as recommended by WordPress.

  2. Tess, I like the new format very much!

    there seems to be something wrong with the buttons on top of the email, rss etc subscription. Instead of the usual “image” there is just text and they run into each other

    no big deal, I guess it is still “clickable”

    I also prefer email subscription, which is what I have for your blog…

    great job, I have absolutely no idea how to tweak anything, my blog will be in that boring format for years to come :-)

    • Hey Sally, thank you!

      Can you let me know which browser you are using? Some of my pictures in posts did not transfer well in Safari—in tables—and those buttons are in a table. When I have some time, I’ll take a look. (Using Macs, the last version of Explorer I have is IE5, and I haven’t looked at it in years, so it would be interesting to know if it’s an IE issue as well)

      I like the email subscriptions too!

      And let me say that if you can learn Chinese, you can definitely learn blogging!

      • Hi, Tess

        I could swear I had replied to this, but somehow my reply is not here!

        oh, well…

        I am using Firefox. No problem whatsoever with your site!

        (as for the Chinese, being able to learn it is “debatable”…. I am able to try to learn… that’s as far as I go! :-)

        • Sally~

          Must be gremlins…

          I changed the buttons you couldn’t see before. And my brilliant friend figured out a different way to make the background—not exactly perfect but now people can see my site using Internet Explorer.

          So I’ll be working on getting the colors the way I want.

          I thought you are on vacation! Hope you are enjoying yourselves.

  3. Hi Tess, I love your blog and I love the new look! I’m about to make my first Japanese dish all on my own and will be using your Braised Fish post as a guide.

    • Hi Debbie,
      Yes, that recipe is versatile! It’s more about technique, than specific ingredients. Ms. Shimbo uses both the parboiling of vegetables, and boiling water on the fish in many of her recipes. I’ve used those methods for non-Japanese cooking too.

  4. Hi Tess, I like what I see on Firefox, but am not able to access the entire blog on IE where the site is bookmarked. No Mac, but a Dell, if that’s any help to you.

    You have been busy and it shows!


    • Hi Marcia,

      The picture links to the recipes (category or ingredient) took the most time, for technical reasons that I won’t go into.

      Which version of IE do you have? Apparently IE6 is old and doesn’t work very well with updated web issues. But IE8 is much improved.

      I changed themes, but this is the same theme I’m using on my other blog. That one is hidden from search engines because it is more personal, but it’s public. Maybe you could let me know if that loads in Explorer? Link is at the bottom of the sidebar, click the picture, copy and paste the http://

      If you can see that one, I would suspect that the problem is related to my header picture on top. If you can’t, then I would think it’s the background color causing the problem.

      • Tess, I’m embarrassed to tell you how very computer clueless I am, but I’m on Firefox at the moment.

        I’ll try your tip when I have more time and will let you know the results. There’s always trouble when I try to do too many things at once. :)

        Your new format is very attractive, and the work which went into changing things must have been daunting. Congratulations to you.

  5. I love it, love it, love it! So fresh and airy!

    I know what you mean about hanging on to stuff. I’m pulling small applicances for a yard sale. Anything I haven’t used in two years is out. (Does anyone on earth really need more than one pressure cooker? No!)

    • Hi ella,

      I like the lighter, brighter look myself, so thanks!

      Ugh! I have one pressure cooker, but have not used it in 10 years. I’d suspect it is not in good shape because it’s in the “dead corner” next to the fridge at the end of a perpendicular counter with no access unless you move the fridge out of the way. The fridge is maybe about 12+ years old, so it’s been abandoned for a long time. Who moves a fridge?

      So this modification of my site is viewable for you? I have many people, using IE version?? browser???, telling me it does not work. (some emails not comments here). Which browser/OS are you using? I remember you told me to go for the CSS a while ago. May now is the time?

      • I’m using Firefox 3.5.1 with XP SP3. I’ll check it with IE8. BRB.

        Okay, this is odd. With IE8, I don’t see this center column, but if I scroll down I see (in the narrow area where my nav bar would be if I were signed in) that teeny bit of what’s in the column. Odder still is the option for Legacy View doesn’t show at this url.

        So I think any thoughts about CSS right now are premature…. :(

        • Hi Ella, Thank you for checking how my site looks on IE. I changed several things, but still have no idea if it will look okay now or not. No access to IE. So if you have a minute let me know if it’s any better. I’m not doing real CSS here: the color and linked header picture are using an “absolute position” trick. That is what I’m afraid it’s not working. CSS might work better.


            • Rats! And you are looking at it after my attempt to fix it. This is not good.

              So, I tried it IE5 and it’s legible but the background is lavender, the header is off to the left and the sidebar is off to right!

                • Thanks Marcia! I think it’s good in Firefoxe, ok in Safari, but whacked in IE.

                  I think there are many people using IE, and if some of them are my readers then I might be doomed to a less pretty theme until I learn a LOT more!
                  Oh well…

  6. Tess the new format is grand! But please don’t ever get rid of Mickey’s camera shy pic! You have Japanese characters for recipes too – so smart. I’m looking at this on a Mac and have the same prob as Sally seeing the buttons under stay in touch. The rest is fantastic! Everything else you lot have talked about has gone right over my head. Just wanted to say I love it though!

    • Blorgie1,


      The Japanese characters are just from Google-translate, so I am not sure they are correct. My husband studied Japanese some years ago, and I don’t know if he would be able to tell me either.

      I changed the buttons to a different format, so they might be better. Isn’t it odd that they are fine for me but don’t work for others!!!

  7. It’s something you’ve done, I’m afraid. Re-checked with IE8 and when I first came to the page, I briefly saw the content of this column, then it vanished. When I clicked on this post in the sidebar widget I got nothing, not even comments. This theme is fine in my test blog with no changes. Sorry.

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