I began to find food blogs that I was impressed with, and I started to leave comments. Still, visitors to my blog were few and far between-- and I was lucky to get just one comment. It was usually from a friend I had sent the link to. One of the first food blogger friends I ever met was Stacey, of Stacey Snacks. I was so surprised when she responded to one of my comments! As the weeks rolled by, I began to chat with other food bloggers and the addiction took on a life of it's own. I was hooked on food blogging!
Here's the very first photo I ever took of a food dish-- talk about underexposed and flash photography! Yikes! It was for a shrimp fried rice recipe that remains at ZERO comments! I had a lot to learn about photography, at this time.
Someday, I'll re-do this photo, because the recipe is quite tasty. I'm smiling to myself at how much I've learned about natural lighting-- and I never, EVER, use flash photography anymore.
I think this shot of a Sugar Bar Cookie was my "Aha" moment on using the macro lens and natural light. It took almost three months for me to get the hang of photographing food.
My #1 most viewed recipe remains my "Blue plate Meatloaf Recipe". It amazes me how many people love meatloaf, because it's googled every single day!
My photography was beginning to improve, by now...
In the year that I've been blogging, I have been inspired by so many of you. I have conquered my fear of making new recipes for the very first time and it's been so much fun sharing my results.
I made my first souffle' ever, and that was a lot of fun for me to try, as part of the Barefoot Bloggers group, that I recently joined.
I made my first (and last) tomato puree, from our homegrown tomatoes. What a pain that was! But, at least I can say that I did it. The soup was great, though.
One of my greatest accomplishments was teaching myself how to do my own canning. My garage has a cache of homemade strawberry jam, olallieberry jam, fig jam, apricot-pineapple and raspberry jam. This is the one and only photo that made it to Tastespotting, by the way! I haven't had a single photo accepted by them,since!
Ah, yes! Here's the "never uploaded" photo of my Rainbow Cake at the Wilton Cake Decorating Class. I flunked. I couldn't make a Wilton rose that didn't look like a wilted cabbage. I ate most of my homework, literally. I learned to conquer the fear of a piping bag, and have an impressive assortment of decorator tips. I'll leave the artwork photos to the better bakers in blogosphere. I can bake a moist cake, but mine would probably be featured on the hilarious blog, Cake Wrecks.
My one year Blogoversary is an important milestone for me, so I've decided that I wanted to give recognition to some of the many followers and friends I've made in one year. In other words, I wanted to spotlight some of the people who have made my one year of food blogging so much fund and so rewarding--
"Food Bloggers I would love to be invited to their home for dinner".
I am mentioning these lovely people, because they consistently cook in the style and with the ingredients that I love!
Stacey, of Stacey Snacks-- thanks for all your delightful emails and for inspiring me on what to to add, and to not add, to my recipes. Thank you, too, for teaching me how to spell r-a-s-p-b-e-r-r-y, so that I could correct it when I posted about these beautiful berries. . My whole life, I always thought is was rasberries. Who knew?
Mary, of One Perfect Bite-- She's a master of recipes and photography. I would feel so honored to personally eat one of her meals-- let alone, follow her around in a kitchen. Love her blog!
George Gaston, of A nod is as good as a wink to blind horse". If I wasn't so madly in-love with my husband, and so happily married, I'd be winking at you, George! You're an equestrian, like me, and I love your recipes. One day, I'd love to know what made you choose the longest name for a food blog I've ever seen!
Phoo-D - Her photography is beautiful. She's so talented and diverse with her recipes. Her blog deserves more recognition and I hope that you will pay her a visit. I've made some of her recipes, and they're terrific.
Marie, of Proud Italian Cook - She's royalty, in my eyes, in Blogosphere. Beautiful photographs, and she's inspiring me to learn to make more Italian dishes. I feel so honored when she pops into my blog kitchen, and leaves such sweet comments.
Special acknowledgment and special hugs goes to:
Monica, of Lick the Bowl Good. This summer, when I had lots of time to blog and chat with friends, we exchanged a flurry of email. She's young enough to be my daughter, and I'm so proud of her maturity and talent. Like me, she doesn't have a fancy high-end camera. But her photos are always artistic and her desserts-- wow, she's so creative and talented! I would love to be the recipient of one of her beautiful cakes.
She is very near and dear to my heart.
Food & Baking Blog that deserves to be noticed
Frieda, of "Lovin' From the Oven" - This lovely lady can bake. She has great tutorials and I hope to have her guest blogging on "A Feast for the Eyes" in the near future. She's very talented and friendly, too.
Funny, funny, food blogger:
The Kitchen Witch - I almost spit coffee reading her Thanksgiving food rant. I warn you, though-- this is not G-Rated, but it's Erma Bombeck with some sass. I'm addicted to her style of writing-- hilarious.
There are so many people whose blogs I love visiting, and who are such loyal visitors to mine-- Many of you are on my blog roll, because I don't want to miss a single posting. I wish I could list all of you! I hope that each and every person, who takes the time to visit me and to leave a comments, realizes how appreciative I am of you. I try to visit your blogs, if you're brand new to me. It's fun to see who you are and what you're cooking, or baking.
If I didn't mention your name-- Donna of My Tasty Treasures, Kim of Stirring the Pot, Kate of A Spoonful of Thyme, Roz, Mattie, Ingrid, "Pie Oh My"...oh, I feel like I'm at the Academy Awards, and the music is starting to play! Thank you for making this year so much fun.
I want to give a present to someone, as my way of saying "thanks" for making me feel so special. I wish I could send one to each of you, but I didn't win the lottery. I wish I had the budget that Pioneer Woman does, and I could give away a fancy Kitchen Aid Stand...or a set of All-Clad pans. But, I want to share some of my favorite things. I want to giveaway something I think any "foodie" would appreciate.
I think I chose the perfect prize for a giveaway. I want to give a $40.00 gift card to shop at one of my very favorite shopping websites-- King Arthur Flour! This is a toy store for me-- I could go crazy buying so many things. I subscribe to their blog "Baker's Banter", which is very well done. They're customer service is excellent, as well as their baker's hotline. Have a question? They'll answer it, with courtesy.
I love this stoneware baking pan, that I bought from them.
I buy their parchment paper, perfect cut to fit my cookie sheets. So handy!
These white sugar sparkles make cookie and puff pastry baking so much fun.
I love their special ingredients for baking-- that really work! I can't find them in stores, and I just love them.
King Arthur Flour has generously offered to include one bag of their White Whole Wheat Flour with my giveaway. If you have never tried King Arthur Flour products, then you are missing out! Honestly, this is the only brand that I buy, now.
All you need to do to be entered to win the $40.00 King Arthur Flour Online Gift Card (pictured above) and a bag of White Whole Wheat Flour is to leave a comment and answer this one question:
Who is your favorite chef, and if they were coming to visit you-- what is the signature dish you would make for them? As many of you know, I got to meet Tyler Florence last September-- seriously, I got to really meet him, as in talk to him and he said he'd been to my blog! I even got to taste a plate of beautiful food he made, while he watched my trembling hands try to eat like a lady. My answer to my own question is-- if I was going to cook for Tyler Florence, I'd make my Austrian Goulash and all the side dishes to go with it. I think it's my comfort zone and signature dish. Sorry, Tyler, Ina Garten remains pretty high on my list of favorite chefs-- and Huber Keller, too. So, how about you?
I will announce the winner on Wednesday, December 2nd. One entry per person, please. Valid to United States only, sorry. If you TWEET my giveaway, or mention it on your blog (please email your permalink or TWITTER address; mine is @foodiewife) or to foodiewife (at) gmail.com, you'll get two entries.
Monday, November 30th, Muneeba and I will announce the two winners of a copy of "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" cookbook (even if you own a copy, this will make a great Christmas gift). So, don't forget to enter by tomorrow! See the Blog Badge on the left sidebar and click to JUMP to that new food blog. Oh, yes! Muneeba, of An Edible Symphony! Here's another delightful and funny food blogger who is co-hosting "Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman Cooks". Thanks, Muneeba, for your help.
Thanks again, for making food blogging so much fun! I still want to learn how to make German stollen, biscottti and to improve my cake decorating skills. The inspiration to keep blogging about what I'm making for my husband-- and son, who visits us-- is to share my successes and new discoveries. My pictorial format is what I enjoy most-- if I can inspire a beginner cook to break free of processed foods and to try something new-- it's all worth the time and effort of photographing, editing and writing.
I have to thank my husband-- Craig-- for his support and patience with me and my food blog. He has learned to patiently wait while I photograph his dinner. You're the best, Sweetie! XOXO