Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top Ten of 2010

Happy New Year!

It seems to be a blog requirement to do a Top Ten list at year end! This was my second year blogging but it seems like I just started it yesterday. Blogging is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be and I have had several periods where I have questioned why I do this and if I want to continue. I have decided that I will make a decision on whether I want to continue in the next few months.

Starting out was lonely and I quickly learned a lot. The quality of my photos has improved but is still not where I want it to be. I've also changed the layout and background of my blog several times and am still not happy. I really prefer a clean design and have had a hard time achieving what I want. I have learned that it takes work to get others to visit your blog and even more work to get them to stick around and read what is there.

Online cooking groups are great and I love the two I am currently in, Sweet Melissa Sundays and French Fridays with Dorie. Participating in these groups has not only increased traffic, but has allowed me to meet some wonderfully creative and supportive people. They have also pushed me to try many new things and as a result my cooking skills have improved and my palate has expanded. I have found that lately most of my posts are for these groups, but I feel that I need to include other recipes. Making that happen has been more difficult than I would have thought.

With the grumbling out of the way, here's the good stuff! In the last few days I have received several (unsolicited) comments from friends and family telling me that they regularly read my blog and some even try the recipes I post. I have had others refer people to my blog and later tell me that they loved something they tried here. These are the moments that make this worthwhile and make me want to continue. Because we all do this as a mean to share something we love and to make connections, right?

Regardless of what I decided, I will most definately continue to cook and look forward to what 2011 has in store. Here are my Top Ten of 2010:
Dark Chocolate Chipotle Cookies - My first introduction to the sweet/spicy combo and I am hooked!

Strawberry Pavlova - Beautifully dramatic and delicious.

Roasted Pecan Cake w/Orange Curd & Orange Cream Cheese Frosting - Maybe the perfect cake.

Chicken Poppy Seed Salad - We love chicken salad around here and this variation has quickly become our fave.

Nutella Ice Cream - Nutella? Ice Cream? Needs no explanation!

Socca - Beef, Cabbage & Potato Casserole - I've never had anything like this before and loved the simplicity and homeyness of the dish. (I'm making it today!)

Honey Cream Caramels w/Fleur de Sel - Over the top good. I made them twice over the holidays and easily finished off an entire portion by myself.

Gerard's Mustard Tart - I expected to hate it, but loved it. So French!

Pine Nut Butter Cake - Another surprise. Anyone can make this and everyone will be impressed.

Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting- Ina never lets me down. This is one of the best cakes I have ever eaten, much less made.
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  1. Happy New Year! What a great round-up, I really want to try the Nutella ice cream - yum!

    I hope you'll decide to continue blogging. It can definitely be challenging at times, but those good moments make it so worth it :)

  2. You had me at Strawberry pavlova. And I'm looking forward to trying the mustard tart, too.

  3. I love sweet and spicy so I'm going to have to try those cookies for sure. And I say, keep blogging! Not for followers or comments, but just for fun. I try and think of my blog as a place to keep my favorite recipes. A place with unlimited storage, where I will never run out of room (unlike my kitchen). Then, when you get comments and followers it's just icing on the cake. I've enjoyed blogging much more since I let all that go and just post when I want to, not because I feel like I have to. Good luck!

  4. you have a delicious blog here~ happy new year!

  5. Thank you for your honesty! I'm coming up on one year of blogging. Even though I haven't been tempted to "throw in the towel," I have been stressed about not getting as much traffic as I would like. For example, I gave away a calendar I made from my photos & original recipes & only 3 people even commented. I'm trying not to take it personally, because I do get a lot of positive support. I've thought about using the Networked Blogs on FaceBook, but am not sure I want to do that much more work. I agree with Danielle! It should be fun. As long as you enjoy it, keep doing it. My photography skills have increased tremendously, too. Being perfectionists is what makes our blogs interesting. I hope you decide to continue & that it continues to be a fun experience for you!

    Happy New Year!


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