Hot days call for no bake recipes, refreshing drinks and cold ices so on this weeks #CookBlogShare round-up I have chosen 5 summer sizzlers. Recipes which I think are just perfect to make during a heatwave.
Guild of Food Writers Awards
Gosh, four weeks have passed in a flash since I lasted hosted #CookBlogShare and a lot has happened it that time. Three weeks ago the Guild of Food Writers of which I have been a member for many years had its annual awards party. Its the biggest event of the year and I always look forward to it. This year especially so, as I was honoured to be asked to co-ordinate and be one of the judges for the British Food Category. All the GFW awards are judged by other members of the Guild. It was a tough but rewarding gig as we had to choose from reference books, cookery books, magazine articles and radio programmes, all of which were of a high standard. In the end though we all agreed on a winner; Sue Quinn for her writing in the Dorset Magazine, we thought her articles well written and they really championed small producers in her local area.
The British Food Award was one of several awards, including Cookery Book of the year, which went to The Modern Cooks Year by Anna Jones. (I haven't read it but it's on my wish list.) The Food Blog of the year was won by Grand Dishes a blog featuring recipes from grandmothers from around the world. Well worth checking out. I was pleased when my local Borough Market won the Magazine of the year with Market Life and Joanna Blythman, whose writing on food ethics I find informative and well balanced, won the Food Writing Award. The full list of winners can be found on the guild website.
Finding my site was being cloned
As usual, the party was a grand affair with lots of delicious food and drink, as well as a chance to meet up with new old friends and make new ones. But my enjoyment was slightly tempered by the discovery on the same day that my entire Recipes Made Easy blog was being cloned. At first I feared that my site had been hacked, but a friend of mine who helps me with the technical side assured me this was not the case. She was able to pinpoint that they were getting the site from my RSS feed, an automatically updating feed, from which they copied my site and were publishing it as their own. So each time I published something new there it was in a matter of seconds on the other domain. To say I was shocked was a bit of an understatement. There was every word I had ever written on the blog on another domain with my name being replaced with another (still my mug shot though) and anywhere I had written Recipes Made Easy it had changed to their blog name, yet my logo remained at the top of the page. I'm not revealing their name or the name of the site as I don't want to give them any legitimacy or traffic!
Having got over the shock and knowing the security of my own site and its data was not compromised, I was less worried. But lets face it, this was a very clear-cut case of copyright theft. I was initially a bit concerned about duplicate content affecting my site ranking on google, as it has been known for copycat sites to rank higher than the original in the past! But further research and it would seem that Google are now better at identifying the original source, so that put my mind to rest on that count.
So given that this was copyright theft and there are laws governing copyright theft even on the net, it would surely be fairly simple to get this site taken down. Right! Well maybe not! First you have to try identify exactly who is stealing your content easier said than done. Then try to get them to take it down. Some three weeks on and many wasted hours later the site is still there. I looked up the domain and sent a DMCA ( a legal document that states copyrighted material is being used without permission and the content should be taken down) to where the domain was registered. They got back to me to say they are just the registrar so it was nothing to do with them but they have passed on the DMCA to their client - Needless to say nothing happened. I then had to find the hosting company, but they are hidden behind Cloudflare. I filled an abuse complaint through Cloudflare but for some reason, it wouldn't go through. A second attempt and they have come back with a hosting company. Next I contacted them also issuing another DMCA. To cut a long story short they have all been giving me the runaround, no one is interested in taking responsibility saying they can't do anything without an IP address. I tell them to get in touch with Cloudflare who won't give me the IP address but will pass it on to them. They don't I ask again, and so it goes on.
Meanwhile, the site is still up, but my techy friend is on the case trying work out what exactly is happening and to try it more difficult to copy. She has helped me to add watermarks to all the main images. As they are just copying my feed these now appear on their site too and for the time being, she has managed stopped the automatic transfer of data to the rogue server. Reporting to Google, while it doesn't get the site taken down has helped, as this means that now they have recognised that it is copyright abuse, most of the pages I have reported are not being indexed by them so have become harder to find. All these are small victories for which I am grateful. Meanwhile, I am still trying to get the site taken down permanently.
What I hate most about this is that it is eating into my time which could be much better spent, but I can't just let this go. I have less time to create new content or make improvements to my site. Social media has to take a back seat and I have less time to visit other blogs and generally reach out to my readers and fellow bloggers and I really resent that. For that I am so sorry please bear with me hopefully this will soon be sorted. I'll keep you posted.
Update 12th July 2018. After my techy friend managed tgo identify the IP address and reporting to the company whose servers they were using. They have now locked her out and the site is off line. Hopefully for good.
#CookBlogShare Summer Sizzlers
So back to the job in hand. As usual, there were some fabulous recipes linked last week. Given that here in the UK we are in the middle of a much longer than usual Heatwave it seemed only too right to pick recipes that are just right when you want to take the heat out of the kitchen.
Raspberry and White Chocolate Ice cream
Who doesn't like ice cream when the heat is up. To be honest I could eat ice cream any day of the year and this fabulous Raspberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream from Searching for Spice certainly ticks all the boxes for me a great flavour combination. I will be making it with some of my home grown raspberries as soon as I can find time.
Fresh and Zingy Lemon Sorbet
This Fresh and Zingy Ice Cream from Apply to Face blog will do the trick on a hot day. While you are there have a giggle at Jenny's witty writing which always brings a smile to my face and any lady of a certain age will so identify with.
Water Melon Punch Keg
If you don't have the energy to make ice cream or sorbet then a nice refreshing drink is the next best thing. Water Melon Punch Keg from Pointsettia Drive is perfect for parties and has the added kick of Vodka and is served straight from the watermelon itself.
No Bake Pineapple Tartlets with Passion Fruit
It may be winter down under but that hasn't stopped The Food Journey publishing a recipe for these No Bake Pineapple Tartlets with Passion Fruit. OK so I know the Australians may have a different idea of what a heat wave is to us but this recipe is very timely. Who wants to put the oven on just now.
No Bake Healthy Cereal Bars
These Healthy Cereal Bars from Sneaky Veg are packed full of great ingredients, such as dates, seeds, oats and berries. And are another great no bake treat perfect for lunchboxes, snacks or a healthy sweet treat.