Saturday, December 29, 2007

Retrospective 2007

Collage 2007 Recap


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.

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.

Fruitcake


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.

indian spices


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.

Pistachios


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.

Figs


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


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.

focaccia


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.

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.

Duck


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!



All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2007 Meeta Albrecht unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

30 comments :

  1. Meeta, your blog is truly a delight for the senses... Wish you a fun-filled 2008...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Spectacular, Meeta! Wishing you sweet success in 2008 and in all the years to come. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOL- I think you will be the only Daring Baker to say that the evil crepe cake was spectacular. :)
    What a great reviw of 2007. Wishing you nothing but the best in 2008 Meeta!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely to see your wonderful photos again! Happy new year to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, Meeta! What a year it has been. I have loved every moment of watching your blog grow and getting to see firsthand how talented and creative you are.

    Here's to an incredible 2008!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ITs truly been a great year for you dear...and the one thing that stunned me was the 1/2 million mark u reached...its nothing short of an achievement...great going

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wish you a very happy new year Meeta. Your pictures are so beautiful and the presentation is fantastic. Will look forward to more of such creations.

    Btw..I love the 2nd picture in last row. I am not sure what kind of cake(??) it is. But it looks awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Meeta... what a wonderful year it has been for you! Your blog is the creme of the crop... you should be very proud!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Meeta, you've certainly come a long way with your fabulous blog - 128 posts?!??!! impressive!!! I'm so fortunate to have stumbled upon your blog almost a year ago, and to have had the opportunity to "talk" to you :0)

    Wishing your an early Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great review of a fabulous year for you and the blog Meeta.

    Happy New Year, hope 2008 brings you all that you wish for. xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely retrospective Meeta! Have a very, very happy 2008! Hugs from Sweden!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a wonderful review! I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I'm excited to see what 2008 brings!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. We all love every one of your posts and photos. Happy New Year Meeta.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is an excellent example as to why your blog is a success - your posts are always so thorough and a fulfilling read. Congrats on all your achievements this year and may 2008 bring you all you dream of. Happy new year to you and the family, dearest Meeta.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What an excellent post! You have certainly had a busy year. I have enjoyed both your recipes and stunning photos. I look forward to many more!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy New Year Meeta, looking forward to every post in 2008!

    ReplyDelete
  17. An over the top retrospective! But really just what we've come to expect from an over the top gal like you!
    I think I also found that crepe cake wonderful for all the new things I learn and the many places it took me!
    Now about that rolling pin! I'm just sure you are right about that. I'll be helping you look for that.
    Happy New Year and here's to another wonderful year to Experience Your Senses!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very inspirational post - congratulations on all the success your blog has received!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy new year to you Meeta.
    your blog is really a treat for eyes,we are gladto have you around in th e food blogger community :) . I idea by which I started blogging abt the recipes was also the same for me :),Bingo!!! :))

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow what a yummylicious, and spectacular retrospective Meeta. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  21. u have a lovely blog meeta wonderfull collection of recipes

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy new Year and good luck for your blog!! I´ll drop in now and then to get inspirations from your photography and dishes!! :))

    ReplyDelete
  23. wish you and your beautiful blog a wonderful 2008, dear meeta.

    ReplyDelete
  24. happy new year to you and your family Meeta !

    ReplyDelete
  25. Half a million visitors? Very cool! But I'm not surprised as you are one gracious and delightful hostess--a true delight! Here's to even more food fun in 2008. Happy new year, Meeta!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Congrats on such a momentous year - roll on 2008 and even more of the same.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Meeta, it’s always a pleasure to drop by your blog, read your posts and see your awesome photos. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

    Happy 2008 - may all your wishes come true!

    ReplyDelete
  28. 2008 only promises to be better! You have a fantastic blog- I always enjoy catching up.
    I've posted your beautiful centerpieces... come vote!

    ReplyDelete
  29. My you lot always make me get so teary eyes and touchy. Thanks for all your support and I hope you will accompany me through 2008!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your blog is indeed a delight to the senses - in terms of pics, writeups & of course the food - unparalled is the word I would use.

    Keep up the work so that we could enjoy more visits here.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta