Sunday, 21 September 2008

Feeling Blue...

I make it a point to make a loaf of bread every week.


For this past week, I made a loaf of bread using this mashed purple sweet potatoes. There are two types of purple sweet potatoes available at the market...although both have got purple skins, but for one of them, the inside is orange and not purple. I searched around the internet and followed a suitable bread machine recipe here.

It was the first time I have tried boiling these purple sweet potatoes in water as I prefer to eat steamed ones. After leaving the sweet potatoes to boil for about 10mins, I returned to the kitchen and was shock to be greeted with a pot of water which had turned 'blue-black'. I was hesitating whether to use plain water instead of the dark purplish cooking liquid to make the dough. I wouldn't want to churn out another 'black beauty' (I have tried using oreo crumbs to make bread, and the loaf turned out charcoal black!). In the end, I still stick to the recipe, and used the cooking liquid as I believed the amount used was too little to cause any serious 'damage' to the finished loaf.


Indeed, the dough didn't turned dark purple...it was in a nice pastel purple hue. Although this bread can be made fully by the bread machine, I only used the kneading function(I let the dough knead for about 30mins)...it has long been a habit of mine to shape the dough and bake it with my oven. This way I get to play around with the shape of the loaf and control the browning of the crust.


When freshly baked, the crumbs was pinkish purple in colour. However, when left over night, the colour turned into a deeper tone. The texture was very soft and light on the day it was baked. The bread tasted sweet, just like a sweet bread and was good eaten plain. Unfortunately, this bread didn't seem to keep well. Left over night, the bread turned moist and was dense and heavy. On the second day, it tasted quite 'doughy'...the crumbs tend to stick to the roof of my mouth :(

I guess I won't be going back to this recipe again, as such I won't be translating the recipe and post it here.

On a side note, I have been quite bothered lately, with the downside of blogging. To me, the whole idea of blogging is about sharing and learning with one another who share the same common interest and passion. As much as I can, I will post the recipe for each single blog posting. For me, it does take up a fair bit of my time and some effort is required to put up each post...from baking, taking photos, typing out the recipes, writing up the post and providing relevant links as appropriate. I find it very disturbing whenever I encounter cases where my recipes were copied word for word and posted by others without any acknowledgement. This is especially so when the original recipe is in Chinese as I have taken the time to translate and type out the instructions. Even for recipes which are written in English, I do make it a point to type out the recipes from cookbooks and re-phrase the instructions to make the steps much clearer (or more long-winded, lolz!), which I thot would be good for beginners.

I thot it's time I put a stop to this. I looked up the internet and was happy to be able to find a 'solution' to prevent others from copying my text without my knowledge. I installed some codes into my blogger template to disable the 'right-click, copy & paste' function. It was quite easily done, but, it was not a happy ending after all.

It bothers me when readers commented that they find it troublesome to hand-copy or type out my recipes, especially when the instructions are pretty long (lesson learned...don't be so long-winded ;p). I don't mean to create the inconvenience since it defeats the whole purpose of sharing if I make it difficult for others to access the recipes. I tried to look up for ways to install codes so that with a click, one is able to convert the recipes to printer-friendly documents. However, I almost 'see stars' just reading through the instructions! I am simply too lazy and won't want to mess around with the html codes.

I have now removed the script that disabled the right-click function. I guess I have to come to terms that there is not much I can do to prevent others from lifting my text, and accept the fact that it's part and parcel of the blogging world. I would probably blog less in the future, as I think I should be spending more time coaching my kids with their studies! Maybe I should just stick to flickr....which requires less writing (something which I am really very weak at) and focus more on photography. All my photos posted here are simply 'point & shoot', without any techniques or skills. I would love to spend some time to acquire knowledge in this field...at least for once, I must get down to figure out how to use the various functions in my camera ;)

46 comments:

  1. Hey just wanted to encourage you to keep on writing. I know it's a pain and quite sad when other people copy your recipes but that's the sad truth of posting stuff on the net. On the other hand one could say there's no such thing as bad publicity.

    I've only just discovered your blog but I really enjoy reading it and can't believe your pictures are just point-and-shoot.

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  2. Hi!
    Your mashed sweet potatoes look really lovely and so beautiful! :)

    Quite a number of popular taiwanese blogs lock readers from copying/printing their recipes too!

    No need to hand copy lah, just go to "print preview" and select the pages you want to print.

    Pls don't stop blogging! I like to read your blog (you're not long-winded!) :)

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  3. Hey HHB

    Am a fan of your blog for a while now and always look forward to your posts! Do keep it up, your photos are great and inspire inexperienced cooks/bakers like me to follow your lead!

    Christine

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  4. I'm sorry to hear that there are some people who don't know how to cherish your goodwill and are not aware what "copyright" means. I'm an avid fan of your blog, though i dont comment much. You have been a great inspiration,and i often visit every 1-2days to check out your new products. I'm currently a student at SHATEC, but i have tried and never bake breads as well as you.I will continue to read your blog even though no recipes are posted.I hope to be a happy home baker mum like you in the future. =)

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  5. it would be really really a shame if you stopped blogging ;((
    I'm kinda addicted to your blog and your inspiring food and I hope you'll post more ;)). Actually I have no idea about photograping, but I think your photos are just adorable ;)

    PS. Sorry for my english, I'm trying to improve it ;))

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  6. HHB,
    you have such a lovely sense of humor and I am so sorry about your recipes being lifted without bloggers getting your consent. Maybe you could ask other dedicated baking bloggers how they handle the same situation. Anyway, I must say for the first time I hand made the milk loaf following your instructions and it turned out just perfect.
    Amateur baker Ashanti

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  7. Don't give up. I am a vivid follower and I love reading your blog. Thanks for all your sharing.

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  8. HHB, please please please don't stop blogging. I will miss your blog very very much. :(

    Just my personal opinion, I suggest you lock the function again to prevent others from copying. And those who want to print the recipe, can follow MH's suggestion, go to "print preview" to print.

    Faithful readers of HHB's blog, please be more understanding if you want this blog to continue. :(

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  9. phew! i thought i won't be able to "copy" your recipes anymore...i have to admit i am one of those who right clicked, copied and paste but i don't have a blog so no worries about me putting your recipes up without acknowledgement. I found your recipes easy to follow and i have tried some with success so hope you don't stop sharing and btw, your pics and presentation of your finished pdts are always so professional, like pages from some cookbooks..keep it up!
    regards
    octopusmum

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  10. Hi! Omg, Im a 17 year old teen who really enjoy baking, and thank goodness for people like you that have these online blogs for me to learn how to bake! I adore your blog, cheer up, sometimes life's like that, just take it as it is, please don't close your blog!

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  11. Hi HHB,
    I love your blog. Don't let some selfish bloggers stop you from doing what you like. That is the "cruelty" of the open internet world. I hope to continue to see your posts and your sharings.
    Thank you really, for trying. :)

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  12. HHB,

    I had an unpleasant experince recently with the blogging world too. I refused to let "it" affect me, and continued blogging cos it makes me happy. My point is, share or blog the amount that makes you happy, don't do it to please others.

    Frankly, I like your style of writing, and your genuine desire in sharing (could tell from your writing). The detailed steps and pointers that you provide gave me the confidence to start my own little breadmaking adventure, and I am proud to tell you I am churning out soft and fluffy bread...... all because of YOU!

    Even though I will miss you terribly if you ever decide to stop blogging, I will respect your wishes.

    Take care!

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  13. Please do not be discouraged. It is part & parcel of life, when you had something good copy cats will follow.

    Can you enlighten how you put words on your photos? Tks

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  14. Hi HHB,

    I hope you will continue to share your wonderful recipes with us here. I've only discovered your blog a few months back and I've tried a few of your recipes, in particular those that have Oreos.

    I would like to encourage you to go on but the decision, of course, is entirely up to you.

    Plagiarism is something beyond our control especially if it's on the internet.

    Cheers,
    nich

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  15. Hey.. don't feel discouraged alright? a little effort from your readers to copy down the recipes is expected after all that work you put in. I appreciate you sharing all the recipes and those lovely goodies with us. Hence i'm passing you an award over at my blog. Do check it out. and cheer up too!

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  16. HHB, I'm really saddened by the news that you would blog less frequently. Your blog has become one my my to-read blogs whenever I'm on the net. Your style of writing is so always so full of humbleness though you bake so well and you've really guided me alot through my baking journey. I really appreciate your effort to be 'long-winded' cos you took the trouble to explain it clearly in the recipe.

    I'm sure not only I, but many will certainly miss your blogging. Probably you can still enable the code to prevent others from copying or you may still blog, but you can choose not to post the recipe. For those who wish to have the recipe, we can request from you. I'd really love to continue seeing your postings! :)

    Nonetheless I still respect your decision. Don't be discouraged. Anyway I will continue to go into flickr to view your lovely and delicious treats ;)

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  17. dear all, thanks so much for your kind words and encouragements! Thanks for taking time to leave your comments. I truely enjoy reading every single comment from everyone of you.

    No, I will not stop blogging, in fact I have still got several posts that are still sitting in my draft box ;) Just that, I will probably slow down a little and concentrate on other stuff. I am not upset with those who have used my recipes, I am certain they didn't do it on purpose.

    Jian, I am not kidding, my pictures are all point-and-shoot. I just set my camera to auto-mode, turn on the macro function and click away!

    MH, I know, you won't find me long-winded ;p

    Hi CY, my only concern is, I hope I am not the blind leading the blind!!! I have not attended a single baking course or workshop, so I am just as inexperience as you :)

    Joanna, I am sure you will be a great happy home baker mummy! I had chance to visit SHATEC many years back for business, I was very impressed with the course available and the facilities at the school.

    Thanks Szkrabeka, your English is perfect!

    Ashanti, glad to hear that your bread turned out well :)

    Precious Moments, yes, I won't give up so easily!

    dear SSB, don't worry, remember our deal: "U Bake I Bake" mooncake next year?!

    hi octopusmum, sorry for the trouble! You will find the recipes I have tried are very simple to follow, as I wont venture to anything that's beyond my limited baking skills ;)

    dear 17-yr-old girl, it's great to know that you have such a positive thinking. Thanks so much for cheering up an Ah Soh like me,lolz!

    Thanks Passionate about Baking, it's the encouragments from bloggers like you that really keeps me going.

    Skinnymum, now that you can make your own bread, you can eat healthily :)

    Hi SOoooooUP, I used the editor within Flickr to add in the text. You can also use the lastest version Picasa 3 (free download) to add the text. hope this helps :)

    Hi Nich, thanks for finding me...if not I won't be able to find you :)

    SiHaN, thanks for your award!!

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  18. I admit, I love your blog and I read it nearly every day! However, I understand your frustration with blogging as I have the same problem, often. With our kids and families we have other responsibilities that don't let us sit at the computer for hours every day. So I totally understand if you want to switch to Flickr or even just cut down on your blogging. We would miss you, but you ought to do whats best for you no matter what :)

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  19. Hi HHB. It's sad to hear this.. But Ive been an ardent fan and follower of your blog. I often view your blog for new updates and past recipes which look interesting for me to bake. I do share your recipes which Ive tried and tested with others on my blog but I always accredit my source of recipe and rephrase the terms used. I have also added a hyperlink that links back to your original blog for readers. I hope that's fine with you. Your pics look very lovely here and in Flickr where we have both left each other comments :) Keep it up!

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  20. I have been reading your blog only a shirt time and I just want to say it is really nice. I live in the northern part of Sweden and it is far away but very fascinating to be able to get to know your recipes. It´s a different baking tradition. Still it is the same trying to make your own bread for your children. I think your pictures are especially good. Hope you will continue.

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  21. Dear HHB,

    Hi there! Please don't stop blogging, you're an inspiration to new bakers like me, and your photos are really great!! Sometimes, I hand-copy a few of your precious recipes cos I think its really worth the time and effort, hehee... plus I understand it better when I hand-copy it cos I get to read it thoroughly, so pls don't stop blogging!

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  22. I am another linked fan of yours. Well, yes, cyberworld is cruel but thats about it. Dont let it destroy your passion.

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  23. hi HHB

    to tell you the truth, if you pop up at my blog now, you will see your winnie the pooh cookie recipe up there coz i tried it (n it was indeed foolproof!) i didnt give loads of credits but just mention it was taken from your blog.

    recently another baker Elyn posted something related too. after reading felt a bit guilty and sheepish *opps* coz i always try out the recipe posted, then post up in my blog and mention where i got the recipe but in the end didnt post up the recipe. hee. but it was already very kind of you to share the recipe with us. dont stop the baking k? promise wont 'take n go' anymore =X

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  24. OramgeJuice23/9/08 10:26 am

    Dear HHB,

    Like many others who have posted their comments, I am one who is grateful for your generiosity in sharing with us your experience and recipes. Just wanted to send you a word of encouragement, just ignore those who copied your work and focus on the joy and satisfaction that you brought to the rest of us who sincerely wanted to learn from you. Perhaps this thought may make you feel that your effort is worth it :) Take care, stay cheerful !

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  25. I can relate to how you feel. I've had such similar experiences both my recipes and photos are plagiarized.One even made money out of my blogging. It was also one of the main reason why I lost the drive to blog. But lets face it, theres really not much we can do about it. So I really don't spend too much time on blogging as I used to... my time with the kids always comes first.

    You must know by now that I am an avid follower of your blog. Whenever I need a bread recipe I always turn to your blog since your recipes are very reliable. You are my bread guru :)

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  26. Happyhomebaker,

    Don't give up ok....I am your supporter, please keep your good job!!

    I think it's inevitable to what you have encoutered in this cyber world, be it on intention or not. Anyway, I think it's time to reinforce/ educate everyone to give credit or cite the source of info in their own blog. This is what I am always doing. :)

    Cheers.

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  27. Kind of sad when I first read your blog, then as I read on, I feel happier, cos you are not quitting after all. It will be a disaster for me if you quit blogging.

    I hope I am not one of those that copy your recipe without acknowledgement (cos usually I only use a link to your recipe). So if you going to down your blog, then I must start saving those precious recipes in hardcopy form kekekeke.

    I really appreciate those specific instructions and the translations that you have done, cos I can understand the pain of just typing out the recipes word by word from cookbooks (even without "touch ups").

    Can understand the other commitments you have to your family, cos those are just what I have got too (and in time to come). I wouldnt want my hubby complaining that I spent too much time on the PC while my kids school work go unattended, thus I usually only use PC at night and occasionally when they nap. With or without kids, the housework is more then enough to keep the SAHM busy so you are doing such a great job, having such a fantastic blog and still managing your family and household so well.

    No matter what, I encourage you to continue blogging (but can be a slower pace, keke). It will be a pity stop since you have put up so much hardwork already.

    p/s : cant believe those fotos are point and shoot. You are really good in photo composition. And sorry ah, so longwinded.

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  28. HHB, oh... please don't stop all creative posts and blogging.... we readers, really enjoy every one of your creation and we know you really take time and effort to come out with each post.

    Your provide us with some many nice and easy recipes for the whole family and a lot of us really appreciate your effort... so please do not give up on this. Just ignore those "PESTS", you will always have our support.... Keep up all the good posts... :)

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  29. HHB, I will be very sad if you do ever stop blogging/posting your recipes on the net. My husband now thinks I am a great cook all because of you!!!! But seriously, I think all your fans enjoy your blogs because we can feel you put in a lot of love into it, be it in the cooking or writing the blog. It is especially heart-warming when you write about "your little pair of hands" helping you. I can't believe you are just an "ah soh" staying at home!!!!!

    BTW what brand of camera are you using? Your pics look so professional.

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  30. Hi,

    I chanced upon ur blog not long and was very very impressed with yr photograpy skills (Cannot believe it's point and shoot/ snap type), cooking and baking skills... esp yr BREADS. I am soooo inspired that I went to get the SAME bread maker u have recently, yet to try, but sooooon... I guess many many out there will be very very sad if U decide not to blog. Plsss dun let those inconsiderate souls affect u, ok?
    Cheersssss

    Cheyenne

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  31. Hihi...

    Me again, Forget to tell u something! I like yr pixs so much that I used them as wall paper....very very nice..Hee hee... All my collegues all start asking me... hahaha:) ur kids are so fortunate to have u home , cooking baking, coaching them.... how nice!

    Cheers

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  32. hi HHB,
    pls don't be discouraged by those nasty people out there! (did you ever write to them and ask them to stop doing that?)

    i'm one of those addicted to your blog too - it's the only blog that gives consistently reliable recipes that won't fail.

    Just wanted you to know that actually, you can go ahead and continue to block people from copying from your website - because even during the period when you locked and prevented copying, i don't have problems printing your recipes in hard copy - and i believe that's what most of your "fans" like me require right? just to be able to print so that we can refer to it in the kitchen (and don't have to bring the whole laptop to the kitchen).

    and also,please continue to be long winded because that's where i learn the most from you!

    jia1 you2!!

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  33. Kitty, thanks for being so understanding :)

    No worries Missy, like you, I will add a link back to the original source, to give credit to the author.

    dear Lotta, that's the great thing about blogging, it brings people closer even though we may be living thousands of miles away. I'll love to visit Sweden!

    Hi Aspiring Baker, like you, I also handcopy recipes from bloggers and I understand it better, I guess this is one great way to learn!

    Thanks Family First!

    Katherine, as long as you state the source, it should be fine.

    OramgeJuice, thanks for the encouragement!

    dear Anne, so sorry to hear about your bad experience. Yes, for us, family always come first.

    Let's masak, thanks for your support :)

    Sherlyn, we are members of the prestigious SAHM club ;) and thanks for being so understanding. Don't worry, I'm even more longwinded than you!

    Hi Ellena, you are always with me :D

    Pui Teng, I will have to tell my husband. He hardly gives any comments about my cooking! I am using Canon Powdershot G3, it's coming to 5 yrs old already...very old model :(

    Hi Cheyenne, I am sure you will have fun baking with your breadmachine. Do read the instructions carefully before you start using it. Really, I have not tried using my food photos as wallpapers, I usually use my kids photos :)

    Canton Pixie, I am actually not very upset with those who copied my recipes...I didn't even bothers to write to them. I thought by locking the text, it would make it more difficult for people to copy. I didn't know that by doing so, it is causing inconvenience to other readers...this is the bothering part! Anyway, I will come to term with this, and I won't stop blogging, but will probably spend less time on it.

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  34. I am a very new blogger and baker. I was inspired by you and your blog that I took up baking. I enjoy reading your blog too. I hope that those copy cats out there will be more civic minded and stop plagiarizing your hard work. I sincerely hope that you will continue to blog about your baking experience.

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  35. Dear HHB, I haven't made anything so far from your wonderful blog but am a huge fan so please don't let a few bad elements ever deter you - your recipes rock!!

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  36. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog! I've tried several of your recipes, and all my co-workers are hooked on the lavender lemon cookies!

    Thank you so much for sharing with all of us!

    -Nicole
    Portland Oregon

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  37. Hi HHB,

    I ve been hand copying ur recipe before i bake everytime, and I never find it a hassle :) in fact i'm really very grateful tt someone like you have such a big heart to share your recipes, experiences and being so helpful in answering our numerous questions. It will really be a great pity if you ve decided to blog less, as I read ur blog 'everyday', yes, really everyday :p always looking forward to new postings. Always very curious what u've baked/cooked over the week. Hope you know that you have not in any way inconvenience any one of us, but have been such a great help and source of inspiration and encouragement to many of us out there, who also have a passion for baking but dunno where to start. On top of your baking, I also enjoy reading ur life at home with your 2 boys. I have a little boy and really looking forward to a day when he will help me in my baking like yours :)

    Cindy

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  38. hi happyhomebaker,
    I'm just back from my 2 weeks trips and 'shocked" & 'disappointed' to find out that you will be blogging less, as you are one of the blogs which really inspire me to the blogging & baking world! Hope you will still share your baking experiences with us, and of course the ever so tempting pictures!
    *ps. i still haven't got the sponge cake right ;-(
    Cheers

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  39. I'm relieved that you will still be posting. Although i've worked on the sweet buns 6x and it's still not quite there - making bread is alot harder than cakes, ur pics inspire me and give me that push to try again.

    Thank you for blogging and sharing. I've come across lots of bloggers who post beautiful pictures but turn off their comments box or refuse to share recipes. Even if the recipe is from a book.

    If I get the sweet buns right, you'll be the first to know. I do like it the way the original person did it - cut up into small pieces. The bread was softer that way for me.. oh dear, i'm rambling...

    In short, please don't stop!

    Pansy

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  40. Hi Quizzine, I hope you can get the sponge cake right on your next attempt :)

    Pansy, yes, bread making is not as easy as baking a cake, however, once you get the hang of it, it will become easy. I am too lazy to shape the doughs into so many small pieces ;) I'm looking forward to hearing good news from you!

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  41. Hi there, I just came across your blog today via the tatespotting website. It was your lavender tea cake that brought me here. I want to first say that I don't have a food blog. I don't have the dedication it takes to cook, take photos of food, and re-type recipes for sharing. I greatly admire people such as yourself who take the time out of their day to share a little of themselves. While I may consider myself a food blog addict, I would never do something so deplorable as to copy someone's hard work and post it elsewhere as my own. I do copy and print recipes for my own personal use a home, but when the printer version does not include a link to the site I've gotten the recipe from, I write the address at the bottom of the page so that for one, I'll know where I got the recipe from and I can go back and thank the person for sharing such a great recipe; and for two...well it's just the right thing to do. Anyone with moral values would never do something so low. I don't need to preach about how stealing is wrong...we're all adults and know better. I believe in karma, and when you are scandalous and do scandalous things..it will come back to bite you in the behind. This is my first time on your site and I think your blog is lovely. I wish I could provide a solution that would satisfy both you and your avid readers. someone was nice enough to suggest using the print preview function and just printing the pages you wanted. Maybe disabling right click and allowing your readers to print using that function is worth another try...even asking for some feedback as to how it worked out for them. I don't know if this will help but it may scare someone away from taking what isn't theirs. copyscape.com is a website that allows people to put free plagiarism warning banners on their site. you'll want to click on the link about halfway down the page that says 'protect your site...blah blah blah' or you can just click on the banner right above it. They even offer an array of colors and sizes which I think is amazing.

    I look forward to trying some of your recipes in the near future, starting with the tea cake I saw on tastespotting. Thank you for sharing!

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  42. Hi HHB,
    I am also an ardent fan of yours. I started baking bread after coming across your blog. I was in Holland visiting my friends and was recommending them to read your blog. I used your Banana Chiffon Cake recipe and was praised by one of my dutch friends that this is the most delicious and soft cake he ever ate. Because of your blog I started to be adventurous with bread making and chiffon cakes. So, please, please do not stop blogging. You truly inspired me with baking and not to forget photographing. I always told my friends how professional you are.

    Regards

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  43. I think those purple potatoes are actually taros.

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  44. Well, you can buy this kinda product (made from sweet potato, so it looks purple) in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. From ice cream, bakpau (I don't know what the English name for it, some kinda Chinese's bread), burger's bun and many more. I always drop by when I hit the city :]

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  45. Hi HHB,

    You know I did not know you actually made this purple sweet potato bread before! Silly me still asking you to try, haha! I guess it has to do with the timing, I only started blogging in Oct last year and this post was in Sept. ;)
    So glad u have forgive and forget all those "copycats" and be yourself again. Don't let anything trivial push u down, life is too short for that! Stay strong, like the Koreans saying "Fighting, fighting, fighting!" heehee

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  46. Hi HBS, I will love to give your recipe a try as this one didn't keep well :( Thanks for the encouragement :D

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