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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some of the Best of 2010

2010 has been quite a year for learning about my blog.  When 2009 was closing, I had just reached 100 followers.  I can remember doing the happy dance as those numbers reached triple digits.  It meant that .00000000145 of the world actually found my blog interesting.  Maybe not the biggest number, but still better than plain old 0.

I learned however, that all of those followers weren't coming round for the same reason.  If I talked about having a son who is bi-polar, I might gain a follower or two.  The same went for talking about adopting my four sons, having a transracial family, having 3 sons on ADHD meds and so on.  But those aren't the reasons I blog, so some of those followers came and went.  It about sent me into paroxysms of despair when a follower left until I realized that a) some people follow indiscriminately and then realize that they cannot keep up with 500 blogs, b)some people follow you based on one post until they realize that you rarely talk about that subject, c)some people follow you just to have you follow back and d) you cannot please everyone all of the time, so you may just as well concentrate on making yourself proud.  I still hate to see the numbers fluctuate, but I have learned not to feel completely rejected when a reader leaves.

As 2010 began, my son begged me to try making homemade poptarts.  It took a little bit of research and a morning with a very late breakfast, but I did it.  Everyone who ate the brown sugar/cinnamon  Homemade Poptarts loved them.  Make Your Own Monday was born.
Which included Homemade Fig Newtons: 
This was the year that I learned not to be afraid of a deep fryer, too.  After making the corn dogs and the pizza rolls, I continued my frying frenzy with donuts like
(Princess Pat and half eaten donut)

As I had played around with creating original recipes in 2010, I came up with quite a few that will be on my rotation for a while.  (Being a food blogger, however, means the rotations can be mighty long)  Some of my family's favorites were:
My photography has improved over 2010, too.  I actually had four photos accepted at Taste Spotting and /or Food Gawker this year.  Yeah, I won't be taking the world by storm any time soon, but it's a relief to have figured out where in the house I can take good pictures.  I have no natural light in my kitchen or dining room as they are in the very literal center of the house.  There are sky lights in the family room and my sons' bedroom has a pretty good window for afternoon shots.  The boys think it's hilarious when I clear a spot on their carpet and bring in an entire place setting to photograph.  I am hoping to guarantee that there will not be any more photos like this one on my blog again.
(May very well be the all time ugliest food photo ever)
(Cheerio Jell-O bars....maybe not my finest recipe, either!)
So, now, here we are on the verge of 2011.  Who knows what culinary adventures the new year will bring.  There are so many foods I still would like to make, so many challenges to set and meet, so many new friends to make, so many new blogs to find.    I am excited to start cooking my way through all of the recipes I have found on other blogs and featuring them on Mondays with "Your Recipe, My Kitchen."  I am also toying with weekly themes, a bread feature, continuing the cookbook reviews and of course the Saturday Stories.


39 comments:

Sandra said...

I think that last photo is unique..and makes you wander! Great food all around! :)

Kori said...

Happy 2011 to you!!!! I look forward to following your blog in the new year :)

Belinda said...

I love following you because of posts like this: you're honest, authentic, and you make some kick-ass recipes. I love hearing about your kids - you're a fantastic mom and a fantastic cook! And I can't wait to keep reading you!

Island Vittles said...

That's quite a year of homemade deliciousness! Can't wait to see what you come up with next...just our of curiousity, what is that last picture of? Theresa

BakingWithoutaBox said...

I hear you on the followers, though I don't really keep up with the numbers. Still shocked when people stop by. I don't think that's the ugliest food photo ever. I've seen so much worse. In fact I've taken so much worse. That's phenom that you've got 1 photo accepted by either, let alone four. Conquered fear of frying in the same year! I'd count that as total success. Happy New Year!

~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch said...

I'm the same way with my subscribers - that list is up and down like a yo yo!

I enjoy your blog, you're always fun to read and your recipes inspire. Happy New Year and all the best in 2011!

Carolyn said...

I have blogs I follow and then there are the blogs I FOLLOW...meaning I make sure to stop in regularly to check out what's cookin'. Yours is one of those!

Shree said...

Happy New Year! love your enthusiasm and spirit

whatsfordinner-acrossstatelines said...

I like your advice, I try to not pay attention to the numbers. I didn't even turn on the stats until recently, and I have yet to really figure out what they mean. You have lots of good ideas, it keeps it fresh.
Wishing you and your family A Happy New Year.
-Gina-

katerina said...

Kristen I wish to you the coming year to be as productive for you, foodwise as the previous one. Speaking for myself I am a loyal follower and I always find somehting interesting to everything you write.

Not Quite Nigella said...

What a great year for you! And the clincher for me was the donuts with the cream cheese filling-now that is a thing of beauty! :)

Drick said...

fat camp friday? huh, wonder what that is???? so have enjoyed getting to know you and whatever you decide to write about and on whatever days is okay with me - have a wonderful weekend and a great start to 2011

Claudia said...

It's a process, isn't it? And it's fun to learn as you go. I am trying for no more flash-photos in 2011- but I cook in the eves and the light is long gone. What's a food blogger to do?

It's been fun getting to know you as ablogger. Wishing you all good things in 2011.

Lizzy said...

As a new blogger, I can SO relate to your post. One of my friends asked if I had gotten a new camera when I finally started hauling my finished dishes outside to photograph! And my kids (and hubby) think I'm still crazy dragging food to our barely heated sunroom this winter..

Looking forward to following your blog in 2011! Happy New Year!

Kim Kelly said...

I'm a follower and won't be leaving any time soon! I discovered the blog world this year and your post really hit home. I remember when my only reader was my dad and my husband was asking, why are you doing this? But I'm doing it really for me, and I love it!
I had to laugh at you setting up the whole set in their room! I've done things like that too and mine laugh as well.
Nicely done! Keep it coming!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A lovely collection of recipes! That is so true about followers...

Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Rosa

Martha said...

I whipped up a batch of your "Fruitcake That Won't Go Uneaten" for Christmas this year. Aside from the fact that my fruits varied slightly from yours, the bulk section was fairly picked over two days before Christmas, it turned out wonderful! I baked it in mini loaf pans to give away. Next time I think I will add more chopped nuts.
Thank you!

PS. Rarely do I click "follow" on any one's blog, but I do like visiting you several times a week for varying reasons. It was actually Thursday Thirteen that brought me here the first time.

Diethood.com said...

I've been reading your blog for a short period of time and I find you very very interesting! :) I like your honesty, openness! Have a healthy and a very happy new year!

Kim @ Quit Eating Out {Recipes to Make Dining Out a Choice, Not a Chore} said...

What a great review of your year in blogging! Love all your recipes here and love your perspective on blogging ~ especially being fairly new. Wishing you a wonderful start to 2011!!!

thespicegarden said...

Hahahaha! I love your attitude toward blogging! Keep at it and damn the numbers!

So true about finding a good recipe and then moving on to a kazillion others until one day you say to yourself, 'Must take a break and re-visit the good stuff!'

As for photography ... can't we all stand to improve? I am amazed at the quality of the photography on some of the blogs I 'follow' ... I doubt I will ever style our food and photograph it as well as some of the blogging pros out there, but hey ... that's not why I started this thing. I'll just be happy to build a little 'white box' that will improve the lighting (that is non-existent in my kitchen, dining room, and porch) when I shoot the finished dishes ... c'est la vie!

Love your blog ... looking forward to more of your posts!

I Like To Cook 222 said...

Glad I came across your blog today in a link-up! I love your photos and your recipes! Thanks for sharing! I like your homemade fig newtons, I made those thise year too and they were great!

Jacqueline said...

Lots of fun food posts this year. I can relate to the learning curve as I just started at the end of May and hope I am taking better photos, definitely waiting for natural light most of the time. Congrats on the Food Gawker pictures, I haven't even tried submitting. (I hate rejection!) And I know how it feels to lose followers, but then more always followed! Who knows. Hope you keep having fun blogging in 2011.

SnoWhite said...

Wow -- what a year it has been at your place! It's been exciting to watch your blog grow.

I'll be looking forward to "your recipes, my kitchen" this new year!

Thanks for linking up :)

Angie's Recipes said...

You have achieved so much in just one year!
Happy New Year!
Angie

Pattie T. said...

Lots of goodies here, but soup fan that I am, I think I'm going to try your bacon and tomato soup.

Beth said...

How nice to read your year-end summary. Being a fairly recent follower, much of what you posted about your family was new to me. It's hard to believe that you went from 100 followers to well over 400 in a year! Congratulations on a great blog, and I'm looking forward to reading into the new year.

Joanne said...

Congrats on having had such a great year Kristen! I actually didn't know ANY of those things about your family! Kudos to you for being such a strong woman. You've got a lot on your plate and yet you always seem to have it together. Here's to an equally great 2011!

Amy said...

Sounds like a successful year to me! I'm totally checking out 13 scmears...Love love love cream cheese spreads!

boulderlocavore said...

I started to read this last night in Google Reader whilst running interference in my household. I wanted to go back and read it and woke this morning thinking about it! Having just met you I really enjoyed learning more about you. Also think your assessment of followers in the blog game is spot on. Hard to not take it personally when the numbers change, but you can't esp. not knowing all the facts as you describe. So many accomplishments you've made this year while running a household! No small feat. I will conclude to say when I read this last night there were a few comments. Now it seemed I had to scroll for 10 minutes to get to the box! A clear sign of your devoted following!

es65 said...

You definitely have it figured out why some people follow, and some people leave. It took me awhile to piece that together too. It's been a great year Kristen. Wishing you a Happy 2011!

Liz said...

This is a really great post! Thanks for sharing about the followers. I can't help it ... I still get sad when I loose one. Love your recipe ideas! :)
Happy New Year!
~Liz

Sara said...

Oooh. These all look so tasty. I'll have to try your schmear very soon.

Sue said...

So many great posts and recipes, Kristen! You're amazing all the way around:) Happy New Year to you and your family!

Debra "Deb" Dresden Disney-Dior said...

My dear Kristen, "Happy New Year!" I also wish the best for you and your family, as well as your readers. Happy New Year to you! Yes, YOU! OH! UPS delivered my copy of "The Frankies Spuntino" yesterday -- making it the LAST cookbook, that I purchased, for the year --2010. Kisses to Amazon.com and UPS for a speedy delivery! It wasn't supposed to arrive until January 10th, and it arrived 3 DAYS after I placed my order. Unbelievable! I LOVE the book. You're right, Kristen, it DOES look a limited edition of a Charles Dickens novel. It FEELS like a homespun book -- full of family stories and photos. I LOVE the layout. It's original and it feels good in your hands. I PRAYED they'd have a recipe for meatballs and they DO. In fact they have TWO! One belongs to Tony, the other to the Frankies'. I am SO glad you reviewed this book, because the recipes are to "sigh for." I have only ONE complaint, I freaked out when I saw the squid on the grill! EWWW! All in all, thank you for ALL you do. The recipes, the family stories -- I've told you before I LOVE them, the reviews. I will miss "Make Your Own Monday's" -- that was FUN. My personal favorite was your "Homemade Do-Si-Do's Girl Scout cookies. You're very creative! I hope your New Year's Eve was fun. At midnight, I stood on the balcony and watched the fireworks, from the Westward Look resort, for a total of 37 seconds. It was VERY cold in Tucson (Oro Valley) -- 27 degrees. I was freezing, so I went back inside. As I snuggled under a blanket, on the sofa, I could hear the dogs and coyotes HOWLLLLLING. They don't like the thundering "POPS!" Poor kids. :(

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

You certainly had a busy and wonderful 2010 - I hope 2011 is all you want it to be.

cookingwithchrissy said...

I just found your blog today, but I love the idea of "Make Your Own Monday". Im constantly trying to reduce the amount of processed food that we eat, and make more homemade things. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Melodie said...

What a fun post and a fun year too! Your recipe look so yummy! I hope you will participate at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays again too!

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

I know what you mean about seeing follower numbers go up and down. It is hard not to take it personally! But I guess its just part of being a blogger. I'm glad to have found your blog and I've added you to my blog roll. I'm off to check out your Buttermilk Cake Donut recipe. Happy New Year!

The Mom Chef said...

Three cheers for the recipes you made that I love! There were so many good ones. Thanks for taking the time to figure out some of these amazing treats!

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