Friday, January 27, 2012

My Seven Links and First Year Blogiversary!

One year ago today I put forth into the world my very first post on my brand shiny new food blog.  It was all about gingerbread waffles and caramelized pears and I was pleased as punch.  One year.  Time has flown, friends.  Almost 100 (!!) posts later, and I'm still over the moon that I've created a little world here for you to stop by, stay awhile and hear what I have to say about food and cooking.  Given the healthy measures of gardening, cat talk, single-girl bitching whining, lots of lovely photos and perhaps an over-active imagination when it comes to my boyfriend Don Draper, I hope you've enjoyed letting me share little pieces of my world with you.

Jess, at the most lovely blog, La Domestique, nominated me for Seven Links a little while back. (Do stop by and check out her beautiful and super informative food blog.  One ingredient is highlighted every week, and Jess puts forth recipes and ideas on how to cook with it.  Right now coffee (my life blood in the morning, folks) is being featured and you should see all of the great ideas she came up with!)  For the last couple of months this project has been in the way back of the brain, but every so often I'm like, how am I going to choose my most beautiful post?  It's gotta be like picking a favourite kid (though my brother is convinced my Mom once said it was him.  I think he's making it up.) I kind of cheated and gave runner-up posts in a couple of categories because it was Sophie's Choice.  Truly. So here goes with My Seven Links!

 Most Beautiful Post

You probably know by now that I love to garden and have a pretty decent sized plot out back.  In the Summer, that was where I could be found, when I wasn't sleeping or working.  I adore growing my own food from tiny seeds.  The watching and waiting and watering and weeding is all worth it in the end.  Because you get to do this - pick a squash blossom in the late morning; stuff it with fresh lemon and the most wonderful mozzarella.  Do a little pan frying and with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt, it's one of the best things I ever ate.  On dark Winter nights like tonight, I think of that Monday in early August, eating this lovely morsel of stuffed squash blossom heaven on my patio, with a distant thunderstorm on the horizon and spirits so high I felt like the luckiest girl alive.  Runner Up:  Red Curry Shrimp Dumplings.  Some of my favourite photos - love how they all turned out - those chilies were a good call!  

Most Popular Post

If we are going by pure stats, this post takes the cake, errrrr, cookie.  It's been stumbledupon a whole bunch of times, so much so that it kind of blows my mind.  Darn good cookie though.  It  might even show up on next year's Christmas card :)

Most Helpful Post

If you are ever looking for how to make your own Sauerkraut, I've got you covered!  This was a fun post to write - the ones about family usually are.  My Sister told me she loved how her hands looked.  I agree.  Can't wait for the next batch of kraut. Runner Up:  Sausage and Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze.  The pure notion of roasting the mushrooms in balsamic vinegar and olive oil before they are stuffed is revolutionary.  Never a soggy stuffed mushroom again!

Post with Surprising Success

Maybe it's because there is 'beer" in the title, or maybe people just love potato soup, but the success of this post is quite surprising - it's been viewed every single day since I wrote it way back when.  Maybe it's the story of the small kitchen fire incident that draws people in.  (Good) soup for you!  Runner Up:  Grilled Italian Bread Salad with Basil and Feta.  I didn't notice until I was editing my photos that there was a smear of salad goo on the inside of one of the salad bowls.  It bugged me to no end that I didn't wipe it off before I snapped the shot. I'm uptight.  I know.  But no one else seemed to care as this photo went berzerk on both TasteSpotting and Foodgawker.  It's a lovely post though - smear and all. 

Post That Didn't Get Enough Attention

Aw.  The poor-me category.  I thought the beet risotto would have gone over better with readers and TasteSpotting folk alike, but whatev. Can't win em all!  I still really like the recipe and the photos, though. That colour is extraordinary. Go beets go!

Most Controversial Post


No huge controversies were ever swirling around the blog this year.  The only thing I feel weird about is this review I did for a now-defunct Korean place in Saskatoon.  Me and some friends went there for my birthday, shortly after they had opened, and had a fantastic meal.  Things must have gone down hill afterwards because someone left a comment on the blog telling me just how god awful their meal was.  I felt badly for them, that they went there on my recommendation, perhaps.  The place shut its doors shortly after, so some controversy may have been swirling around there. Who knows.  I kind of don't like to write long posts about restaurant reviews anymore.  I keep it short and sweet on Facebook and Twitter.  

Post I'm Most Proud Of

A story about turning points in my culinary career and life in general; a bit of an ode to a favourite teacher too. Never underestimate the power your words have on people.  Also a turning point in how I started photographing food - I've been learning as I go along y'all!  My photos just seemed to get better and better after this post.  I fell in love with the cast iron pan that my Auntie gave me - and it was featured in other fun posts.  Give it up for cast iron! 

There you have it!  If you've been a loyal reader since the early days, some of this is familiar territory.  But if you've only recently stumbled upon my blog - welcome!  Hope I've encouraged you to go trolling through the archives for other treasures.  Many more dreamy food photos, recipes and stories from my little green kitchen will be appearing in this space for many years to come. This is only the beginning. Thank you so much for coming along for the ride. 

I'd like to nominate Shelley, over at the most gorgeous Franish Nonspeaker, to put forth her own Seven Links.  If you've never seen Shelley's site, do check it out, too.  Her pastries and other baked goods have made me swoon many a time, plus she has a friendly and warm writing style which has kept me going back to her blog.  Okay that, and photos of macarons.  I have no doubt that if I lived in Austin, we'd be good friends who'd get together over coffee and talk about boys and shoes and food and Downton Abbey.  Go give Shelley some love now!


  1. Congrats Renee! Your blog always makes me happy. Can't wait to see what you do this next year!

  2. Wonderful Post!! Congrats on your First Year Blogiversary. Your food looks stunning and delicious. Thanks for the foodie inspiration. Looking forward to following along with you on many more foodie adventures.

  3. Fantastic round-up, Renee! It's great to see your year in review, and the Red Curry Shrimp Dumplings will always be my favorite!

  4. Thanks you so much, Sara, Steph and Jess! It was lots of fun going through the archives and seeing the blog's progression through the seasons.

  5. Congratulations, I really enjoy your blog. Hope you will continue.

  6. Congratulations on being in the blogging world for 1 year! We have enjoyed even moment.

  7. yay! things just keep getting better & better! still have funny memories of trying to help you figure out blogger when you had begun! glad i could help and can't wait to see what the future holds!

  8. Congrats Renee!! You deserve all the accolades and success. i've truly enjoyed every single post!! keep up the good work. your friend and now a fan too, Candus

  9. Thanks for the nomination- I hope I'm up to the challenge! It's a neat idea- makes you look back at what really works on your blog. I do wish you lived in Austin- we'd so have fun! And you're right- it's a total shame that gorgeous beet barley risotto didn't get more attention.


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