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October is Fair Trade Month!


This October is the 9th annual Fair Trade Month.  Throughout the month, ethically-minded consumers, retailers and brands will unite to celebrate and promote Fair Trade. A variety of education events, in-store sampling programs and online initiatives have been planned to help increase awareness and sales of Fair Trade Certified products, ultimately leading to greater impact for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Kitchen Monki has is a proud supporter of Fair Trade Month.  Stay tuned as we will be giving away a variety of Fair Trade products to celebrate this important time.

Check out this great video!

For more information on how you can celebrate Fair Trade Month, check out Fair Trade USA’s website here.

 

Why “Monki” Around with Recipe Management Software?


 

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, our hectic schedules and responsibilities can reduce the amount of time we have to try out new dinner creations, make shopping lists, and plan healthy meals. Wouldn’t a tool that increases productivity, helps you eat healthier and inspires creativity, while saving valuable time, be a dream come true?
That’s why recipe management software is a fabulous innovation, and why Kitchen Monki is the best recipe and kitchen management tool for consumers to manage recipes, plan meals and streamline grocery shopping.

Using recipe management software to: Organize Recipes 

We all have our favorite recipes and “old standbys” that prevail at the dinner table, meals we know everyone will eat and enjoy. However, repetitively offering those same dinners can become a little stale. If you discover a new recipe that sounds delicious, the tedious task of copying it and writing the list of ingredients can cancel the impulse to make it!

Not so when using recipe management software.

At Kitchen Monki, you can easily add all of your old recipe favorites and new creations to your personalized queue. Using this recipe management software, you will generate a complete, categorized list of your recipes that is always at your fingertips. Retrieve it anytime and anywhere from your phone or other mobile device. The features allow you to organize, search, and print recipes instantly, as well as easily share them with friends and family on social networks with just a click.

Using recipe management software for: Meal Planning 

Kitchen Monki helps you effortlessly outline all your daily, weekly, or monthly family meals quickly and easily. Using the recipes in your queue, along with countless others available through the member network, the Kitchen Toolkit lets you simply click and drag any recipe to your calendar.

Focused searching options included in the recipe management software allow you to discover interesting new meal creations, as well as healthy alternatives to increase your culinary repertoire. This tool also includes a print feature so you can hang your organized calendar anywhere.

Using recipe management software to: Streamline Grocery Shopping 

So often, we get to the grocery store and realize our carefully constructed hand-written list has been left at home (whoops!). Or you’ve passed over a great sounding dish because of its endless list of ingredients. No problem! Kitchen Monki transforms your shopping experience by including a grocery list manager that miraculously generates a list of supplies from any recipe.

All the recipes in your queue feature an automatic list generator that includes the entire list of ingredients needed, or only the ones that you lack. The special shopping Mobile Monki further streamlines the list by coordinating items aisle by aisle according to your specific retailers, reducing the time consuming process of “back and forth” searching at the store. Print the list or simply retrieve it at the store from your mobile device.

The fantastic organizational features available at Kitchen Monki make managing your recipes a breeze. Never before has it been so easy to plan, create, and compile all of your favorite recipes in one place. The free recipe software services, supportive community, and creative ideas truly make Kitchen Monki “Your Ultimate Cooking Utensil®.”

 

Sharing the Recipe Experience: Kitchen Monki 101


Monkeys are quite intelligent creatures that thrive in social environments (just like humans!). That’s why it makes perfect sense that our Kitchen Monki is all about sharing the recipe experience and making it social!

Every day, we are seeing a growing number of recipes on Kitchen Monki from our partner sites and foodie members. Combined with our enhanced social media tools, it is now easier and better than ever to share recipes across platforms and involve users in a vibrant food community where they can interact with your food content.

Using Kitchen Monki’s tools, you can re-purpose recipe content across multiple partner websites, social media sites and mobile platforms to engage users and drive repeat visits.

Kitchen Monki Recipe Network
Every new publisher that uses Kitchen Monki is a potential new window and site for your recipes to be discovered (and shared). Our powerful recipe search function works across the entire network, showing recipe title, thumbnail and description, while also inviting the click-through to return to your site. With Kitchen Monki Private Label, your recipes can also be syndicated to content-hungry publishers where they can be shared with network partners through back-end settings you control.

Twitter Monki
Not only is Kitchen Monki active on Twitter at @KitchenMonki where we share and discuss food news, recipes and topics for bloggers and marketers, we also publish all new member recipes at @recipemonki. Every recipe on KitchenMonki.com is easily shared via Twitter for maximum exposure to all of your followers.

Facebook Monki
Like the Rose Bowl, Facebook is undeniably the granddaddy of all the social networks. Every Monki and its Mom (and Grandmom) are on there, as well as your target food community. With Facebook Integration through Kitchen Monki White Label, your food community can interact with recipes on Facebook or within your website. Your recipes are mirrored to a tab on your Facebook page, providing a simple additional content channel to broaden your food content reach and user community.

PinMonki
Is Pinterest tailor made for showing off incredible meals and foodie photography or what? Growing quickly to become the third largest site behind Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest offers amazing advantages to share your recipe content and drive traffic back to your site or food blog. Every recipe on Kitchen Monki is quickly and easily shared in seconds via the Pin It button. Use Pinterest to promote your own recipes and enjoy the maximum exposure when other members (and even the Monki!) pin it themselves. Read more of our tips for making the most of Pinterest and don’t forget to follow the Kitchen Monki boards at http://pinterest.com/kitchenmonki.

Mobile Monki
More and more people are using mobile devices to access the Internet (and social media). So we have our Monki developers hard at work on a new mobile app that will combine the best features of the current Kitchen Monki with the unique features and advantages mobile devices provide. Stay tuned for an announcement and new developments with Mobile Monki soon!

 

August Q & A: Dizzybusy Mamas Network Founder Tiffany Lampe


Have you ever felt dizzybusy? Thought you were all alone or frazzled by all the to-dos in a day? Well now you can relax with the Dizzybusy Mamas Network! This website and social network created by Tiffany Lampe (aka Mama T.) offers many resources, including recipes Powered by Kitchen Monki, to take the dizzybusy out of any Mama (or Papa) who joins.Whether it’s advertising your business, networking or learning how to save money, Dizzybusy Mamas offers something for all moms. Dizzybusy Mamas offers support for your dream and friendship in your journey. Users can create free profile pages, set privacy settings, create albums (“bragbooks”) and more.  They don’t have a “Like” button, however. It’s a “Love” button!

Our Monki chatted with Mama T. to find out more about her journey…

Tell us three things you want the world to know about Dizzybusy Mamas.
Let’s face it, life is dizzybusy! We are a social network dedicated to taking the dizzybusy out of the internet. We have many fun aspects of all the social media, BUT we are wrapped in chocolate for you! You can get support from others like you, make new friends and connect with Mamas and Papas who will totally get you!

When did Dizzybusy Mamas launch?
April 2011

What has been the most inspiring part of building Dizzybusy Mamas?
Watching my Mamas and Papas put their dreams in motion. The one thing I am most proud of is my kids seeing and talking about the Mamas. They see the businesses in motion all stemming from a vision or dream and it shows them anything is possible with hard work. I am so proud of my Mamas and Papas for that. If you are reading this….Thank you!

How do you advise other women who want to build their own business?
Many things happen for a reason, so keep that in mind. Something you may not have looked for or planned for may happen at some point. Remember to keep your heart open and really listen or look. I have truly learned the definition of a God Breeze with Dizzybusy Mamas and I would have missed it if I hadn’t taken time to listen.

Do you have a favorite social media network and why? How do you use it?
Well Dizzybusy Mamas of course because you can zap all your content to the other media from one spot. Now who doesn’t love a one-stop shop? LOL!! No really, each social network has its appeal to everyone depending on their journey. Our goal is to take the dizzybusy out of the internet and keep it full of humor for users.

What features and tools at Kitchen Monki are most useful to you and why?
Life is dizzybusy and if we can work together to promote the mealtime adventure for families across the world then WOW we are a part of something great. No more long stares into the pantry trying to decide what to fix next. Rather, we add excitement for the cook of the house to create a tabletop adventure of flavors. As a mother of four, I can vouch that trying new recipes keeps it fun in the kitchen. Well done Sam and the Team at Kitchen Monki!!

What is your most favorite or most popular recipe from Dizzybusy Mamas?
Baked Chicken Breasts – Chicken served up easy on a busy day!

How does the future look for Dizzybusy Mamas?
My vision for Dizzybusy Mamas is to keep going where the creativity leads us. Our goal is to be the hub of the aha moments for everyone who finds us. We hope to keep finding sites and offerings and bring them together in one place to keep it easy when online. To take the dizzybusy out of daily lives. We have many projects in mind so cue the mysterious music and stay tuned. :) As Mama T. , I would have to admit it would be pretty cool to be a spokesperson or something similar for brands or sites that align with our mission. Oh, but one can dream, right?

Finally, who is your favorite famous/celebrity mama and why? How does she inspire you?
Oh my, this is a good question. Honestly, I don’t think I could name just one. Famous or not, I see things I admire in many mamas. Qualities that inspire me are being family focused, authentic and intentional. I think everyone has a unique inspiration to bring to the table.

Thanks Mama T!

Read more of the Dizzybusy Mamas story and sign up to tame your dizzybusy life at http://www.dizzybusymamas.net! And of course, try all of her recipes at http://www.kitchenmonki.com/blogger/dizzybusymamas.

 

Build Your Own Powerful Recipe User Experience: Kitchen Monki 101


If you are a marketer or developer already successfully engaging website users with recipes and food, now you can give your site super recipe powers with Kitchen Monki Private Label!

Kitchen Monki Private Label is one of our recent major upgrades that unlocks powerful tools for customization with an extensive API and developer kit. Imagine your website with your own custom design and style elements that also features an entire recipe processing infrastructure and partner network seamlessly matched to your look and feel.

The powerful benefits of using Kitchen Monki recipe tools for your own custom requirements are built right in:

 

  • Avoid custom development of recipe technical infrastructure.


  • Tie together recipe content from multiple brands under one umbrella.


  • Re-use content across partner websites, Facebook and mobile.


  • Expose recipes for discovery through partner search.


  • Make money through paid placements by syndicating your recipe content to content-hungry publishers.


Think of Kitchen Monki as your Recipe Content Management System, acting as a central repository that can be accessed through web-service calls. Content re-use is effortless compared to burying recipes in your general purpose CMS.

Using Kitchen Monki’s tools, you can re-purpose recipe content across multiple partner websites, social media sites (including Facebook) and mobile platforms. Each new publisher that uses Kitchen Monki is a potential new window for your content to be discovered. Our recipe search features show recipe title, thumbnail, and description to the whole network, while inviting users to click back to your site – the recipe’s home placement.

Kitchen Monki Private Label uses a hybrid deployment model to give you most control over the recipe user experience without having to re-create the user’s personal content experience.

Private Label sites also have the option to accept recipes from the feed, filtered by category or keyword such as “Gluten Free,” “Vegetarian” or hand-picked recipe sources. You can push your own recipes up to the feed to promote your brand. And there’s never a “walled garden” environment.

The Developer SDK and API access key and documentation are available through Basic Kitchen Monki Private Label, while our Enhanced Private Label adds branded images and ingredients in all sponsored recipes. Subscription costs are based on the scope of your site.

Isn’t it time you got cookin’ with Kitchen Monki Private Label? Explore all the benefits today or contact us at http://www.kitchenmonki.com/contact/private if you’d like to learn more.

 

Let the Games (and Eating) begin!


It seems like it was only yesterday that we celebrated with Londoners as they were awarded the 2012 Olympics. And now the Games are here!

As with Super bowl Sunday and college tailgating throughout the fall, you can’t celebrate the Olympics without delicious eating.

The Monki collected his favorite british recipes to help you get into the spirit of our hosts in jolly old England. Of course, he is also cheering for Team USA, so he has rounded up plenty of truly American specialties as well.

Let us know your best british and absolutely American recipes in the comments. Or better yet, add them to Kitchen Monki or tweet to us at @KitchenMonki!

Good news this time around for Olympic coverage too. NBC is providing live streams of all events. No more waiting around for the prime time packages or ruining the results with Twitter spoilers.

If you’re a cable or satellite subscriber with CNBC and MSNBC in your TV lineup, log in at NBCOlympics.com/LiveExtra to watch coverage of every event live online AND on mobile devices.

Thanks to The Sunbreak for that tip! Reporter Seth Kolloen also created a website that tells you when–in Pacific time–all the most important Olympic events are happening.

Now…on to the recipes. Let the games (and eating) begin!

Best british

Jamie Oliver’s british bangers
British Beef Pasties
English Pub Scotch Eggs
Classic Shepherd’s Pie
Tyler Florence’s Yorkshire Pudding
Strawberries and Cream
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce
James Bond’s Martini

Absolutely American

Good Ol’ Southern Fried Chicken
“Kicked-Up” Hot Dogs from Master Chef’s Sharone Hakman
Juicy Burgers with Habanero Jam and Grilled Pineapple Salsa from 8oz. Burger Bar
Red, White And Black Baked Beans
California Potato Salad
Red, White And Blue Banana Split
Red, White And Blue Jello Salad
The Apple Pie Cocktail

Also, check out our Patriotic Pinnings Pinterest board for more red, white and blue ways to pull for Team USA!

 

Engage Your Food Community and Entice Advertisers: Kitchen Monki 101


Recipe content on the Internet is a valuable commodity. Google receives more than 10 million searches for recipes every day! And 70 percent of people going to food brand sites say “finding recipes” is a primary reason for their visit.

Incredibly, most blogs and recipe sites are missing a golden opportunity to engage these recipe searchers and take advantage of the advertising revenue potential because:

  • They have no recipe-specific search capabilities on their sites.
  • Recipes fade away into archives of chronological CMS.
  • Most sites don’t have tools to engage users and drive repeat visits.

In early July, we launched the new beta version of Kitchen Monki. It provides powerful tools that an increasing number of partners are using to enhance recipe community functionality on their sites.

Online publishers and food bloggers such as America Now with Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic, KING 5 Seattle’s New Day Northwest, CW Jacksonville and Dizzy Busy Mamas are just a few of the sites with recipes Powered by Kitchen Monki White Label.

Kitchen Monki White what?

The Kitchen Monki White Label partner program, that’s what! This means you can take all the amazing features and functionality of Kitchen Monki’s consumer suite and rebrand them on your site: recipe search, recipe tools, meal planning, mobile grocery lists, calendar and more!

Kitchen Monki White Label helps you make money and engage your users by embedding our powerful recipe planning tools and content management system into your site for a complete recipe experience. In addition to longer visits and more pageviews, the Kitchen Monki API lets you reuse your web content for mobile and Facebook apps.

Sounds great! How much?

Ad-supported Kitchen Monki White Label provides all the functionality of Kitchen Monki’s cooking suite and recipe network, plus the ability to build a food community, at no cost to you by running Kitchen Monki’s ads. You can embed the proven Kitchen Monki experience into your site immediately.

The Food Community includes:

  • New & Featured member listings
  • Featured recipe rotation
  • Admin tools panel
  • Pageview and advertising analytics

Take Kitchen Monki White Label a step further and you can run your own ads for only $2 per CPM with a $20/mo (10k pageview) minimum. The cooking suite, recipe network and food community are still yours. Plus, we add in Facebook tab integration so that you can leverage recipe content on your fanpage and broaden your food content reach and user community.

Getting Started

You can see that it is quick and easy to start publishing with Kitchen Monki now to engage your food community and entice advertisers. Adding the web’s most powerful recipe management platform and tools to your site couldn’t be simpler. We even provide detailed how-to videos for help setting up Kitchen Monki White Label on Tumblr, WordPress and Blogger.

For more details, you can learn about our pricing and features and see how Kitchen Monki White Label works. Questions or comments? Connect with the Monki, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or post them below!

Tune in next Tuesday and we’ll talk more about how to give your site super powers with Kitchen Monki Private Label.


 

10 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Food Blog Using Pinterest


Follow Me on Pinterest

With more than 10 million unique visitors per month (or 20 million or even 30 million depending on your source), Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site in history. It has quickly captured our social attention spans to become the third largest site behind Facebook and Twitter.

If you haven’t used or experienced Pinterest yourself, you are likely to have overhead someone professing their Pinterest love or lamenting their addiction. And a lovely addiction it is!

Pinterest is a website that allows users to “pin” content to their “pinboard” and share with other members. It’s the digital equivalent of the corkboard we’ve all used to organize and display photos, magazine clips, to-do lists, souvenirs and other materials that inspire us.

Typically, Pinterest users pin home, health, beauty or food-related content to their pinboard, organizing their contributions by category and theme. It is most commonly used by individuals, but it can also help drive traffic to your food blog if you follow these 10 important pointers:

  1. Set up your account with a username that relates to the name of your blog, but is simple enough for people to remember. If other Pinterest users can’t recall your user name, they’re likely to forget the name of your blog as well.
  2. Take exceptional pictures of your prepared food. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, and the majority of Pinterest users are attracted to clear, high-quality photography. Without enticing pictures, users may not give your pinboard a second look or click through to your food blog.
  3. Browse other users’ pinboards to see what kind of recipes or food-related posts they are pinning. If you know your key demographic or you want to sell a service to users in a certain area, limit your search accordingly.
  4. Add a watermark to your images to protect them from being re-pinned in a way that won’t lead users back to your food blog. Re-pins are a great thing, but without a watermark other users may simply see your image, get an idea and move on without actually visiting your blog. Use your website name as your watermark and it will help drive traffic.
  5. Organize your pins by type. Create different categories for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks if you’re trying to drive traffic to a recipe blog. If you have a restaurant review site, categorize pins by type of restaurant, location or price. If your pins aren’t clearly organized, users may get frustrated trying to find posts that interest them and simply leave your page. Don’t be afraid to get creative with pinboard names either!
  6. Follow as many users as possible who might be interested in your food blog. Follow businesses that sell food-related products, restaurants, other food bloggers and individual users with an interest in food. Just like with Twitter and Facebook, the more people you follow, the more people will generally follow you back.
  7. Comment on pins posted by people you are following. But don’t leave generic comments for the sake of commenting. Make them count. Keep your comments short and to the point (think Twitter-length) and put your blog address in your signature line of each comment. As long as your comments are genuine and relevant, other pinners won’t feel like you’re just trying to sell them something.
  8. Add a link to your food blog in your pin description to immediately capture a user’s attention. If you don’t give them the chance to quickly click on a link to your blog, they may simply enjoy the photo and move on.
  9. Space your pins throughout the day. Instead of posting them all at once, you give more users the chance to see your pins frequently.
  10. Add a Pin It button to your blog to encourage readers to share your recipes. You can also use the Pin It button on Kitchen Monki to easily pin and share favorite recipes from throughout the Kitchen Monki network.

If you follow these 10 simple guidelines, Pinterest can be a boon to your blog readership. Above all, have fun exploring and discovering new ideas and images that other members are sharing with you. It’s a social network after all.
Do you have any ideas about how to use Pinterest that we didn’t cover here? Leave your thoughts in the comments below along with a link to your Pinterest. We’d love to check out your boards and follow you.
Pssst….you can find us at http://pinterest.com/kitchenmonki.

 

How to Build a better Food Community: Kitchen Monki 101


During the past three years of serious primate productivity, we’ve built Kitchen Monki into a hard-core recipe management system. Thousands of cooks and food lovers have organized, shared and shopped for mouthwatering meals. Media entities such as “New Day Northwest” on NBC affiliate KING-5 in Seattle have made their own unique food communities to highlight recipes from show guests.

But this is no time to monkey around!

So this week we are thoroughly excited to debut Kitchen Monki’s newly enhanced online recipe software to the world! The new Kitchen Monki features powerful tools that an increasing number of partners and members are using to create and manage popular food communities.

We’ve taken the best of the Kitchen Monki platform and tailored it specifically for three groups:

  • Online publishers who are interested in incorporating recipe community functionality on their sites with our white label partner program;
  • Marketers and developers who want to customize our powerful API to power up their sites and applications;
  • And, of course, our growing and loyal community of cooks and foodies who love to plan, shop and share recipes with Kitchen Monki!

Every Tuesday for the next four weeks, you can explore all of our new features in-depth here on our Monki Bread Blog. We’ll lay out your options for creating, managing and making the most of your food community, no matter who you are or what your goals may be.

So circle your calendars with a big red reminder to join us back here on Tuesdays, or simply follow us on Twitter and Facebook where we’ll make sure you get the scoop.

And in the meantime, if you haven’t already signed up, we definitely think you should give Kitchen Monki a try. It’s FREE to get cookin’ with Kitchen Monki’s consumer suite.

 

Welcome to the New and Improved Kitchen Monki!


Larger Website Network = Even Better User Experience

Returning visitors to Kitchen Monki will notice a major change to our home page. Don’t worry—everything you’ve been using is still here.

If you’ve been coming here for recipe management and sharing, you already know that Kitchen Monki has created one of the Web’s best experiences for organizing your recipe content. Some time ago, other websites began to ask whether we could help their sites do the same thing. Beginning with a plugin for WordPress bloggers, we’ve evolved a whole toolset for other sites to use our powerful and popular recipe management tools within their site.

The good news for users: all of your recipes, tools, and sharing operates the same across every partner website. When you visit a Kitchen Monki partner site, you’ll find that your recipes, bookmarks, meal calendar, and shopping list have all followed you there. You can easily bookmark a recipe on one site, add a recipe to your calendar on a second site, and prepare a grocery list on a third site. We think this is the beginning of a powerful future.

We haven’t left out our new and potential partners with good news! The new home page communicates our message and value more clearly to other publishers. The more partner sites we have, the more valuable will be your user experience. We hope you’ll welcome the change, and look for continued new functionality from us at Kitchen Monki.

A Brief History

Kitchen Monki traces its origins to the founders’ beliefs that recipe content could be automated in ways that make life simpler. Top Banana Sam Kinney was determined to never-again write a grocery list by hand, referring to recipes in books, on cards, in emails, or on web pages. By organizing his cooking around a set of powerful recipe management tools, he’d become a better cook, enjoying the fun parts (cooking and eating) while simplifying the less-fun parts (searching for recipes, writing lists).

While the early tools proved as useful as envisioned, it soon became apparent that the Web is a disorganized jungle when it comes to recipe content. Thousands of sites publish recipes, but they are rendered hard to find and use because they use incompatible data formats. And while some websites offer a way to save recipes to “My Recipe File”, those various file folders aren’t compatible across websites. It’s as if every musician used a different file format for his or her music, and you needed different playback software for each artist – not a consumer-friendly situation.

Because so many websites publish recipes (but only a few are large enough to really invest heavily in recipe management technology), we expanded our offering to include partner sites into our network. Visitors to partner sites will find what they need – a universal set of personal recipe content that is compatible with the recipe content on the partner site.