happy blogoversary t(w)o me

by Stacy

Back in April 2009 in a fit of boredom and naive optimism I started this blog. Here we are two years, 480 posts, and 46,000 visitors later.

While the focus of the blog has changed (like I actually decided on one), I’m happy with how far it has come. I’ve made some wonderful blogging and Twitter friends, started on a new career path, and eaten a lot of food.

The occasion seems like a good time to set some blogging goals for myself.

  • Post regularly again. While I needed to cut myself a lot of slack in the last few months, I miss having more content and interaction. That starts this week!
  • Focus on vegetarianism. I try not to be a preachy vegetarian, but I get a lot of questions about eating less meat, vegetarian nutrition, and budget cooking. I’m working on some “vegetarian basics” posts that I hope you’ll find helpful.
  • Feature some basics. While I know some of the recipes here are more complex than others, I’ve had some readers say that they’re not confident about some of the steps that I consider staple techniques in my kitchen. I’ll try to change that.

I also want your suggestions and requests. But first, a quick look back.

By popularity, here are the top 5 posts in the last year:

5.) Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

caramel pecan sticky buns

4.) Julia Child’s Apple Tart

apple tart

3.) Peter Reinhart’s 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

whole wheat sandwich bread

2.) Lovely Lemon Bundt Cake

lemon bundt cake

1.) Spicy Jalapeno Black Bean Burgers

spicy jalapeno black bean burgers

If you haven’t tried the black bean burgers yet, you’re missing out. I make them all the time and they’re fantastic. Just saying. The rest of them are good, too.

The next year’s recipes I hope will inspire you to try something new, whether that’s a new food, a new technique, or a new commitment to healthy home cooking. My favorite part of writing this blog is hearing from you, your comments and emails, telling me that you tried something you saw here and loved it.

My second favorite part of this blog is how it pushes me to try new things so I can post them for you. Look for some new dishes coming up by request — my first foray into Korean food.

To help motivate you — and me — I also wanted to kick off my third year of blogging with a little giveaway. After my recent post from the sneak peek version, I decided to start by offering up a copy of Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen.

No freebies in sight, I just want to show my appreciation for your readership by buying you a shiny new cookbook paid out of my own pocket and the goodness of my heart. I might even order myself a copy at the same time.

THE RULES

  • U.S. residents only, please (sorry, I have to pay shipping!)
  • Entry period ends Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 11:59pm PST — GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
  • Winner will be announced Sunday, May 1

THREE WAYS TO WIN

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what you want to see on Little Blue Hen this year
  • Tweet about the giveaway using: Win a copy of Super Natural Cooking Every Day from @stacyblue http://ow.ly/4G53i #giveaway
  • “Like” Little Blue Hen on Facebook, then leave a comment here telling me you did. Sorry, early-adopters, new likes only.

Thank you again for visiting me here! I’m looking forward to your feedback, and to the next year of this blog.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate April 25, 2011 at 5:43 am

Congrats on two great years! I love that you’re going to have some Korean food talk soon, and I would LOVE to see more asian / indian recipes. Also, one of my food goals this year is to cook more seasonally. I know you live in CA where everything seems to be in season all year long (jealous here), but I’m always looking for recipes that will encourage us to cook what is in harvest.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:15 am

Thank you, Kate! I can’t believe you’ve been along the whole time — but I appreciate it so much.

I hope to have some fun developments in the Indian recipe front, and you know I love my seasonal produce. How’s your new CSA going?

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Emily April 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

Hi Stacy! I first found your blog through the post about banh mi. I actually live about 3 blocks from Jasmine Deli, but my kitchen was full of carrots and daikon so I was looking for a way to make those at home one day. Delicious! What I love about this blog is how you seem to stay connected to the midwest even while you explore your new region. I have just accepted a new job and will be leaving my beloved Minneapolis for the east coast, so I’d love to see more about keeping yourself in touch with an old home while you develop a new one!

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:17 am

If you weren’t about to move away from Jasmine Deli I would say you’re just taunting me. And now I want a banh mi.

Good luck with your move and thank you for stopping by and leaving feedback!

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Lindsay April 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

I love your CSA posts – I would love to see more!
Lindsay recently posted..Recipe of The Week- Sweet &amp Spicy Kale ChipsMy Profile

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:17 am

Thank you, Lindsay!

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Lindsay April 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

I tweeted! @cookveganlover
Lindsay recently posted..Recipe of The Week- Sweet &amp Spicy Kale ChipsMy Profile

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Lindsay April 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

And I liked you on facebook!

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Sara P. April 25, 2011 at 7:30 am

Congrats!! I really enjoy your blog! I would love to see more recipes for tempeh and seitan.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:18 am

Thank you! That’s really good to know. Tempeh is delicious, but I often get too lazy to style it and it’s not a naturally attractive food. It will be a good challenge for me.

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Erin T. April 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

I would like to learn how to fry tofu, but you’ve already told me how you do it and I still fail… I’m not sure there’s hope for me on the tofu-frying-front. :(

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Angela April 25, 2011 at 8:24 am

Congrats to you, friend!

I would definitely love to see more techniques demonstrated, so I can stop pretending I know what I’m doing and actually know what I’m doing. :)

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Nicole April 25, 2011 at 11:16 am

I would love to see more recipes for tempeh.

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Nicole April 25, 2011 at 11:17 am

I tweeted the giveaway.

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Jackie V April 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

Congrats on two years, wow!!! I would love to see more ethnic recipes! And, I need to make that black bean burger…yum!!
Jackie V recently posted..Spring Time Swiss Chard with MushroomsMy Profile

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:19 am

Thanks, Jackie! Ethnic recipes are a popular request, it looks like, and I will do what I can. Do make the burgers, they’re awesome.

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Chrissy (The New Me) April 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Stacy! Great giveaway. I’d like to see you post more consistently. I like everything about your blog, but I would love to see more of it!

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:20 am

Thanks, Chrissy! I don’t have your writing chops, but I’m trying to produce both quantity and quality. =)

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Bridget April 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Ha, I think it’s funny that 3 of the 5 most popular posts from last year are sugar-laden goodness – but you’re trying to give up sugar!

I’m not good at suggesting stuff for next year; I like the content on your blog! That’s why I read it. ;)
Bridget recently posted..semolina breadMy Profile

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:21 am

Mm, sugar-laden goodness.

Thanks so much, Bridget. That really means a lot coming from you. =)

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Kristi April 26, 2011 at 9:53 am

Congrats! I love that your blogoversary and my blog launch are so close! I love your thoughts on cooking for a busy lifestyle, I think the idea of long hours in the kitchen scares people off sometimes, so hearing about delightful things you can make in a jiffy are always welcome. :)

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:27 am

Starting your blog on Earth Day was lovely, I thought, and I can’t wait to see how it continues to develop and grow! Quick meals can be challenging for me to blog even though I eat that way a lot, but maybe I just need to figure out a better process for myself.

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zahllina April 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I liked you on facebook! Not sure how I missed that before, but kinda glad that I did (because I want a free cookbook?) ;) Miss you, and so happy for all that you have done since you left us in ‘Sota.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:27 am

Thanks, lovely! I miss you too!

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Alys April 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm

congrats! We are excited to try some of the recipes now that we are back in the US!

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:30 am

You could have tried them before, but now you can see what they’re supposed to look like!
If I may, I suggest starting with popovers which are not only easy, but most of your relatives have tested the recipe already.

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Kimberly April 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Can’t wait to see the Korean recipes – I’m really curious! You’ve already encouraged me to try many new things through your posts, but most of all I just like that we can still be connected despite living on opposite coasts now :) AWWWWW. Anyway, I got Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Foods a few years ago. I love the recipes in it, but sadly my food budget doesn’t allow many opportunities to pull it out.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:32 am

You always make my heart smile, Kimberly.
I also have her first cookbook, and while I don’t cook out of it (or many cookbooks) often, I think it definitely gave me a lot of ideas that I never would have considered before.

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katya April 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm

hi Stacy
I would love to see more of your blog posts on quick throw together meals, as well as your longer desert projects…. I am most inclined towards those… but I also just like to see your awesome pictures and read about your life.

Hope you are healthy and living well in CA.
K

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:32 am

Thank you, Katya. It looked like your hubby was baking up a storm! Hope you’re settling into your new city.

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Angie April 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

2 years! Congrats! I also vote for more technique posts. I like to pretend that I’m a good cook, maybe you can help me actually be a good cook.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:34 am

You’re a good friend and a good person.* I think that qualifies for Wu Chen’s 2-out-of-3 rule even if you don’t think you’re a good cook — yet.

*good = awesome

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jennifer April 27, 2011 at 9:46 am

Keep the CSA posts coming! I love hearing about what dishes you incorporate each veggie into! It inspires me to try new things with my own CSA share.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:34 am

So glad to know you find it helpful, Jennifer!

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Erika April 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

Yay for 2 years!! Congratulations!! Um, I would like to see…..I don’t know, I love everything. But more vegetarian recipes would be great, we’re going for the Meatless Mondays goal this summer. :)

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

I’m so excited for you guys to do Meatless Mondays! I’ve also been trying to rotate more dairy-free recipes in, so I hope that helps.

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Lindsey April 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Congrats on two years! Your blog is fab. I think more of the same! Oh, and I LOVE the CSA shares. Especially because I’m also in LA and what’s in season in your shares is precisely what’s in season for me as well. Ha.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:36 am

Thank you so much, Lindsey! I’m glad someone else has the same seasons as me. =)

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Cathy April 28, 2011 at 6:41 am

You have been ‘liked’ on FB!

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:37 am

Thank you, Cathy!

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Colleen April 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

Mmmmm. I would like to see lots of yummy things that can be made in large-ish quantites and tossed in the freezer! Because I am lazy.

Or, perhaps we can start a series of posts tagged “Matrimonial Cupcake Test Kitchen.” Because wedding cake is the only cake I don’t like.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:37 am

Lady, start sending me ideas. Project: MCTK is go.

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Kathie April 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Congrats! You know I just love reading & knowing you and your work.

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:38 am

And I hope you know how much I appreciate your support!

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Katherine April 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Happy annual! so exciting! I would love to see more reader interaction on your blog

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Stacy May 2, 2011 at 12:38 am

Thanks, Katherine, I appreciate the feedback.

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Bridget May 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Congrats Stacy! I’ve been using your recipes a lot lately, and enjoying it. As a vegan, it’s nice to see people incorporating dairy/egg free options and if you could put up more vegan recipes, I would love it!

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