It's been an incredible year - blogwise speaking. 2007 was a year that I and my blog kind of grew up.
What I mean is, what started in 2006 as a way to simply record my recipes and ramble on about things in my life, basically to keep in touch with my family, has grown into an incredible platform where I really feel I am giving and sharing my experience (mostly in the kitchen) with others. It's such a rush to know that what I do on this little space actually entertains, helps or motivates others to go into directions or try things they might not have ever done before.
This blog also has a hand in developing and polishing my character and skills too. I have learned so many things, either directly or indirectly through the blog. I love every challenge it threw my way and took it head on. Each step I took learning a bit more - about myself and what I am capable of. Photography, writing, designing, baking or cooking are just simple words when written down like this, but behind each word is a multitude of processes that I have managed to teach myself and comprehend. This blog has given me the opportunity to acquire so much
knowledge and accomplish several goals.
I started this year with many ideas I wanted to realize. Looking back now, although I did not manage to fulfill each one of my ideas, I was able to create an objective for the blog. Yes, it did take all this time to find a true objective! I wanted to spend 2007 forming the blog into a place where people enjoy visiting. I wanted my readers to be captivated by the recipes, delighted with the talk, and enchanted by the pictures and so I worked hard to improve myself to make my readers feel comfortable when they came over. I wanted them to experience their senses. My banner now carries this motto - "Experience Your Senses".
2007 produced 128 posts, each one carefully put together. Taste experiments, daring baking, expressive writing and graphic pictures are all processes of how my ideas and posts come together. Some were informative, some were fun and others were moving and hit the right nerve. This blog also got a bit of attention when it was nominated for a few awards and some thought it was rather good looking!
Sometime in the last quarter of this year I also hit my 500,000 visitor mark! I am not exactly sure when it happened but the idea that in a little under 2 years I have had half a million visitors to my blog sends shivers of excitement up my spine.
So I thank you - my regular readers, loyal friends, anonymous visitors, motivating cheerleaders and loving family for making What's For Lunch, Honey? a grand place to be.
Maybe some of you have had a favorite something on this blog. A favorite picture, dessert, post or dish - whatever it is I have often gotten mails or comments left on the posts of how that particular thing touched you. I thought maybe you might be interested in my favorites for 2007.
I started the Indian cooking series Bollywood Cooking this year with the intention to show others how easy it is to make good Indian food easily at home. This has actually become my favorite series on the blog. Simply because it gives me so much pleasure of cooking the food and remembering cherished moments. My favorite memory was remembering the morning ritual I shared with my grandparents in An Indian Breakfast.
The Cooking School series is another such series in which I attempt to show how easy it is to make well known dishes from around the world. From this series I enjoyed making, photographing and writing up the recent Fruit Cake post.
In my attempt to find out more about the ingredients I cook with and to share my findings with you, I regularly do The Know Hows of Food sections in certain posts. I've covered many ingredients from fruit and vegetables like aspargus and figs to other gourmet products like manchego.
My favorite however was the complete Enspiceopedia for the Indian Spices post I worked on back in the beginning of the year. I also totally enjoyed the more recent Nutology.
Many of you know my passion for photography and over a span of one year I have taken many hundreds of photos. A few of them make their way here and complement each post. Depending on what the theme or subject of the post is there is foodagraphy or photography. I think the names of each category is clear enough.
My favorite in Foodgraphy this year was definitely a photo I took for a special dessert I created - Figs in Cherry Caramel.
In the category Photography I had a hard time deciding. In the summer I was in Prerow and we had an awesome vacation relaxing along the Prerow Strom. I took a whole lot of great photos. Then in October I visited my parents, who live in Dubai for a short break. It was relaxing and fun and although I know Dubai like the back of my hand, each time I visit, looking through my camera lens I am always breath taken by the surreal beauty one does not see at first sight. But in the end it was this trip that actually gave me my favorite Photography photo.
Dubai Nights is a photo that evokes the memory of my father and myself trying to create some contraption resembling a tripod so that I could take a steady shot of the spectacular view from the living room. My mum and Soeren were cracking up in the background and the result was a wonderful night shot, which now adorns my living room wall too.
Funnily enough my Dubai travelogue also happens to be my favorite post this year. Writing it made me look at Dubai through different eyes.
In April I joined the mighty Daring Bakers. I think Ivonne secretly came over one night and hit me on the head with a rolling pin while I was asleep - that's the only sane explanation I have of how she convinced me to join the group. Well all these months and many tedious but fun challenges later I stand here still looking for that rolling pin ;-) There were many fantastic challenges - the chocolate crepe cake my first, the chocolate caramel tart, those sticky buns - all fantastic and sweet. But my favorite was also my first - in baking bread that is. I thoroughly loved everything about the tender potato bread.
Talking about sweet, this year seemed to be very sweet on the blog. I made several desserts and cakes, even the Monthly Mingle started the year out with a lot of sweet love. I did the extravagant chocolate raspberry tiramisu, the summery grilled peach with honey yogurt, the fruity apricot clafoutis, the unconventional sweet potato flan. All simply irresistible and completely luscious but my favorite was inspired by the harvest of summer berries and it's simplicity. It was the raspberry dream cream.
Just like me to start with dessert first eh? But I did have a few savory dishes in 2007. The melt in your mouth beef ragout was simply delicious and tender.The caramelized tomatoes on gnocchi was exquisite. The honey teriyaki salmon was light and tasty. Let's not forget that wonderful pumpkin polenta gratin combining the full flavors of Autumn. Out of all the savory dishes my favorite meal and dish was apple glazed duck filets with pomegranate red cabbage. This was an outstanding feast we enjoyed one Sunday lunch. I do not cook duck often - probably twice a year - so the fact that my experiment with the flavors and ingredients turned out so extraordinary made me really happy. I also absolutely loved these photos.
Comments are always a huge part of each post. It is the foremost possibility for me to communicate with you. Your feedback, motivation and ideas are always so important to me. Some posts get a lot of comments and others less. In 2007 the most commented post wasTender Potato Focaccia and Bread Rolls with a total of 90 comments.
What do I have in store for 2008? Plenty!
I do have a few goals and a new series concentrating on healthier and nutritious food planned. I have just started to scratch the surface of vaganism and as I discover more about this way of life I hope to be able to share a few details and my thoughts here. Although I do not plan on becoming a vegan, I do find myself leaning more towards vegetarian food and am intrigued to learn more. To console the others there still will be plenty of baking and desserts and meat on this blog too.
I neglected my favorite photo workshop on Flickr this year. Still Life With gave me the opportunity to work with monthly themes, which improved my photography immensely. I hope to be a more regular part in the group in 2008. It was the photo workshop event Click that reminded me of the fun I have with such workshops. So I am looking forward to more great themes to work with for both groups.
A few might have also noticed a few changes over the last few months with the blog design. It is not entirely finished and my aim is to make it more user friendly, with a clean layout. Where it will take me I have no idea at the moment but there are ideas of my own domain and other things floating around in my head. Let's see! One thing I guarantee though - you'll be the first to know.
This retrospective was a lot of fun. Looking back on old posts and pictures reminded me of the fun and how things have developed.
Nupur had a great idea recently and encouraged us to look back at the year with the Best of 2007 she hit all the right nerves on my side.
My apple glazed duck filets with pomegranate red cabbage is also being whizzed over to Zorra ad Sandra who wanted our Best of 2007 in the form of a dish.
What remains for me to do is wish you all a funky, happy, healthy and foodie 2008. Hope you all have a great start to your new year. I'll see you all then!
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