The first year of StrawmarySmith has been amazing, thanks to all of you wonderful readers and supporters! Now it’s time to take a look back at the good, the bad, and what lies ahead!
This blog launched in January earlier this year, and I waited with bated breath as my first review came in for one of my first recipes, Herbed Potato Leek Soup. And they loved it! Since then, my favorite part of blogging has been seeing others trying my recipes and hearing their reviews. I’ve cherished every single response, comment, like, pin, retweet, share, stumble, and yum. And although I love each and every one of my recipes with a burning passion, you all definitely had your favorites.
MOST POPULAR IN 2015:
Pinned over 10,000 times and reviewed by many on my blog, through Instagram, and in person, this brunch dessert was definitely my most popular recipe of 2015! Guess the tang of lemon and the pop of blueberry gushing over warm bread pudding is just too tempting to resist.
On April 24th, the 100 year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, I decided to share my Grandma’s traditional Armenian hummus. It went viral on StumbleUpon the same day, and became my most commented post ever. It’s also been pinned nearly 4,000 times! And I’m afraid I’ve now started a tradition… you can expect an Armenian recipe on this blog on April 24th of every year.
This one was my mom’s recipe and I wanted other family members to be able to recreate it at home. Little did I know you readers would love how colorful it was – and that it was paleo! It’s now been pinned over 4,000 times and been on several sites as a great paleo dish. (Who knew?)
This 4-ingredient side dish isn’t much to look at. I hadn’t honestly developed any photography tricks or skills when I took this picture, even though the crostini tastes amazing. But everyone on Pinterest loved it, and it’s now been pinned over 8,000 times. No one can tun down parmesan!
Over the summer, I began doing sponsored posts for brands that make my (and your) life easier. My first one was for this salad, and it ended up being shared over 14,000 times on various social media! Awesome!!
Although I just posted this recipe less than 2 weeks ago, it was put in a Buzzfeed roundup and everyone went crazy for it! In less than two weeks, it’s been viewed more than most of the recipes on this blog.
Last but not least, these tartlets were in my latest sponsored post for Kraft. I posted them exactly 2 weeks ago, and they are BY FAR the most viewed recipe on this blog. Second place is my Lemon Blueberry Bread Pudding, which has about half the views. Guess everyone wanted a bite-sized holiday appetizer!
Not every recipe can be a winner, though. After all, I’m a home cook without any professional training, and I like trying something new now and then – which has led to a few mishaps and messes in the kitchen…
THE ONES THAT DIDN’T MAKE IT
Strawberry Mascarpone Bread – Early in the year, I was obsessed with mascarpone cheese, and I included it in my Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Rosemary Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes recipes. Mascarpone is typically a cheese that is served in cold desserts, but I somehow thought it might be a good idea to bake it in a quick bread. It wasn’t. My bread sunk in the middle, was very dense, and overall just very droopy and sad. No more baking mascarpone for me.
Chocolate Pizza Cookie for Two – I wanted to make a chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips in a tiny pan, top it with ice cream, and serve it for two. Turns out… I’m not very good at the science of baking. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: Baking is a science. You have to have the portions of flour to baking soda to baking powder to butter just right, otherwise it just ain’t good. My first batch tasted alright but a little bland and dry. My second batch had the butter oozing out of it. My third batch looked like mud and I somehow still felt the need to taste it just to make sure that it did – indeed – taste like mud. Oh, pizza cookie. You forever elude me.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE…
One Week of Twosdays, our eCookbook, launched last month. It was on my to-do list since I created this blog, and I finally got it done. You can get this eCookbook for FREE when you sign up for our e-mail newsletter. The e-book includes 7 recipes from this blog all in a convenient format, plus a shopping list so you can do your grocery shopping for all of the meals at once.
We’ve also given away several items to many of you! Two lucky winners received free boxes of avocados and another winner received a free copy of the eCookbook Perfectly Packable Lunches (no longer available). On Instagram, I ran an exclusive giveaway for free Udi’s Gluten Free products and sent them to two lucky followers. I can’t wait to bring you all more giveaways next year!
So what’s next?
NEXT YEAR ON STRAWMARYSMITH:
A 5-minute, 3-ingredient healthy snack
A warm shrimp soup for you and your love
A dairy-free energy-boosting green smoothie
Giveaways, cooking tips, and so much more.
Plus, I’ve joined a group of food bloggers that’ll be coming together every month to give you recipes centered around specific themes in season. We’ll be putting our recipes together in an eCookbook available for purchase each month. Stay tuned to hear more about this project very soon!
IN OTHER NEWS
Greyson and I are very excited to announce that we’re moving back to Los Angeles this January! Colorado Springs has been beautiful, and fun, and snowy, and spectacular. It’s a very bittersweet goodbye, but it’s time to go back to sunny California. New posts on this blog might be a little slow while we pack up and drive the 1000 miles to get to California, but I’ll make it worth your while by bringing you the best of the best recipes I have up my sleeve. And from now on, I have more taste testers (a.k.a. mom, dad, sisters, and grandma) so every recipe will be extra tested for yumminess.
That’s a wrap for my first year of blogging! This blog would be nothing without you. Yes, YOU. Reading this. Right now.
Thank you for being part of my world and for reading this year in review!
I’ll see you next year, and Happy Cooking!