I have had the Tony Toni Tone song Anniversary in my head for about two weeks now...because today is my Blogiversary. Just one year ago, I had no idea how much opening up my kitchen to the whole world would change my life. As a tribute to an entire year of sweating, cooking, laughing, crying and eating in the kitchen, I have compiled a list of the top most important lessons I have learned along the way.
This feels very similar to those episodes on The Cosby Show or Friends where they are all sitting on a couch speaking of memorable scenes on the show, and then they flash back. I have learned so much about myself, about life, about friends and family and strangers alike. In some of the lessons, you will notice that a word is this color. If it is, you can click on it, and it will send you to the post or website that I am referring. Some of the lessons are food related, some life related, some both. Some are funny...others are thought provoking. They are listed in no particular order.
So I thank you dear readers and all of you who have encouraged me, tried my recipes, have given feedback or simply read my blog. You have made the ride so much greater. Here's to many more years of blogging.
The Top 34 Lessons Learned in A Year of Food Blogging
1. Coconut crosses over into every meal...always have it on hand.
2. Sometimes you have to throw the whisk in the air, take a swig of wine from the bottle and walk away.
3. SEO, Tweeting, 'Like' buttons, widgets and bounce rate are all important words to keep in the vocabulary.
4. Different uses for Verjus is not an interesting topic to everyone in the bar.
5. When making doughnuts, your hair, clothes and house will smell of sugary oil for days. Plan accordingly.
6. Simplicity can make a meal.
7. If you are nervous and scared to do something that you know will make you a better person...Do it anyway.
8. Chocolate and wine make everything better.
9. Be patient when cooking onions. No one likes to be rushed while sweating in the fire.
10. Be proud of small accomplishments, even if they pale in comparison to something bigger someone else did.
11. Have your good friends over for a gnocchi making party. Everyone adds a different shape to the dish.
12. Evolving is a process...enjoy every successful and painful step of the way.
13. Do what you truly enjoy for you, and just you...and the rest of your life will follow.
14. Re-creating that dish from your favorite restaurant may take at least twenty times to even get close. Ask the bartender, the chef, a chef who used to work there and the hostess. You will get a new piece of the puzzle every time.
15. Cook, even when you are sad...it helps to heal the heart and your tears will flavor the soup.
16. Buy good quality for the things that matter...like coffee cups.
17. Don't pretend to know something because you think you are supposed to. Authenticity is much more attractive.
18. Sometimes the bread doesn't rise the way you planned.
19. Asparagus ribbon nicely...but go forth with caution or wear thimbles.
20. Happiness comes from being completely honest with yourself and then doing whatever it takes to follow your heart...It may be the hardest thing you ever do.
21. Rearrange your furniture and stand in an area you've never stood before, even if it is on top of the counter. Seeing life from a new angle gives perspective.
22. Get dressed up and take yourself out for a nice meal every once in awhile.
23. Distract yourself while you are waiting for the bread to cool.
24. If you are at a restaurant and ask the chef the ingredients of the chickpea burger and your dad happens to mention you are a food blogger...you may get special treatment.
25. Ad-libbing often works.
26. Matching dishes are overrated.
27. Cinnamon sticks make great skewers...(thanks Mom!)
28. You can taste the TLC when using seasonal and locally grown fruits and vegetables.
29. You can pretty much freeze anything.
30. Stuffed grape leaves are really satisfying to make and to eat afterwards, but give yourself the entire morning to make them so you don't arrive to the party two hours late.
31. Recipes work the best when you read them all the way through before starting.
32. You don't have to like every recipe.
33. Some of the best conversations can happen while cooking together.
34. We are capable of making our wildest dreams come true. Make big goals with small ones to pave the way.