Ebook Ghost Writing

I set myself a challenge.  I took a gig at oDesk to ghostwrite a cookbook.  It was to have a specific format in MS Word.  It needed to be 20 recipes and about 25 pages in length.  I completed it in roughly a week.  I didn’t do it for the money, about $22.50 after fees.  I did it to see if I could write more than a product review, and have a deadline.  The ebook also had to pass Copyscape, which it did very nicely.

My other blog at Paladin Cooks illustrates the way I think about food.  While I can’t publish any of the recipes on my own blog, it did give me some ideas about writing my own cookbook, built from recipes on my blog.  The ebook that I wrote had no pictures.  I love looking at food porn.  I’ll need a better camera and a lot of practice if I want to produce the gorgeous pictures I see on other food blogs.

An icon for food recipes on Wikibooks.

An icon for food recipes on Wikibooks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other thing I discovered in the course of this writing job is that I can create recipes very easily.  I read several published recipes, then altered some ingredients, spices, and even cooking methods to come up with a unique recipe.  I lacked the time on this project to actually test any of my recipes.  If I put together a cookbook, the recipes will be tested and fine tuned.  After all, what’s a family for?  They’re my “test subjects”!

I’ve also decided to take a short time away from freelance writing, like ebooks, product reviews and such.  I want to concentrate on my Etsy shop, gathering products to sell.  I also want to spend some time on my two blogs, and on doing some art.


Paladin Cooks


Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts...

Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Mountain Still (Photo credit: familymwr)

As part of my ongoing effort to reinvent myself, or at least the process of earning a living, I’ve started a new blog about cooking.  The first post is about pit barbecue or using smokers to produce restaurant quality barbecue.  Smoking meats is the first article.


There is a method to my madness; I need to build up a portfolio of cooking related articles and recipes.  The portfolio will help me to land some freelance gigs around cooking, like blogging, or cook books, or recipes.
Take a peek, and leave some feedback!


Food Industry Research

Market Research


3125Hort19 (Photo credit: College of Ag Communications)

As part of my ongoing effort to reinvent myself as a freelancer, I was looking at some of my other interests like opening a barbecue joint, or perhaps a bed and breakfast.  Given my nature and background I used a spreadsheet to look at the food industry in general.  What part of the food industry was profitable and growing?  What needs are not being fulfilled?  What niche can I fill?  In other words, some market research.

All interesting questions, right?  Food!  In America, at least, it’s everywhere.  We eat all the time, and a lot of it is not so good for us.

English: Frozen meat grinder GW 300.

English: Frozen meat grinder GW 300. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember very vividly getting a meat grinder attachment for our Kitchen-Aid mixer, to grind our own meat to avoid pink slime.  That’s one where the manufacturers got their hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar.  It’s also a gnat sitting on top of this huge elephant.  There’s so much we don’t know, unless we’re industry insiders or very, very vigilant.

The farm-to-table concept is catching fire; I hope to see this become a norm, not just another food trend!

I’m still researching food as a business opportunity.  If I do start a restaurant or produce a food product, I definitely want to avoid anything that smacks of “secret” ingredients, to get us to eat more, or pay more for less.

Nutraloaf, Pemmican and other complete meals in one “ideal food”

Is there such a thing as an ideal, all-in-one food?

During the last year or more, I’ve been losing weight the old fashioned way, via diet and exercise.   I’ve tried various combinations of foods, and varied my nutrient ratios for protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  I’ve taken great care to log the food I eat and the exercise I do each day.


My Fitness Pal suggests a certain ratio of these macro nutrients, which I’ve always felt were weighted a bit too high on the carb side.  Considering I’m a diabetic, I altered the ratios to add more protein, and less carbs.  Whether that’s good or bad, I’ll leave up to the nutritionists to argue.



All of this preamble leads me to the actual subject of this blog post.  I’ve read about Nutraloaf, including a few food critics trying various recipes.  Those links are at the end of the Wikipedia article linked above.  While nutritious, it isn’t appetizing, which is the whole point of feeding it to prisoners who misbehave.  On the other hand, could I take a nutraloaf recipe, modify it to be tasty?  I’d welcome comments from anyone who have tried to make it more palatable.



I’ve also read about other portable meals that have been used throughout history, like pemmican.  Most of the early recipes for this were based upon meat and fat, with maybe a few berries thrown in for a bit of flavor.  Very low in carbs, but, also very high in animal fats.  It does have good shelf life supposedly.  During my research in this area, I hit upon an modern equivalent of pemmican.  Epic Bars makes a variety of whole food nutrition bars that are sugar free.  Something most other nutrition bar manufacturers wished they could say.  I intend to give them a try, especially the Bison with uncured bacon and cranberry.  Another one that looks tasty is the Beef with cherry and habanero.


Leave a comment if you’ve run across any other type of all-in-one nutrition bar or drink that is natural and not a lot of chemicals thrown together, like protein powders.


DISCLAIMER: This blog, in general, is about freelancing, or more specifically about me learning enough about subjects areas, to get paid for doing them, or writing about them.  At this point, I haven’t decided about a specialty, so, I’m blogging about something I like, which is food.