It was certainly an unsettled year. It started with a car crash that resulted in us buying a new car. Then someone ran into our parked car, we got a nail in one tyre and someone even left their foot off the brake and rolled into the car at a red light. I left a long term contract job and did some consultancy work and some volunteer work. It meant more time with Sylvia in her last year of kindergarten before starting school. E had a stressful restructure at work. Our verandah flew off along the back lane in strong winds.
Unsettled isn't all bad. I had a work trip to Auckland and we holidayed at Port Fairy. I bought my first smart phone. Sylvia and I did lots of craft and decorated a dolls house. I had time to bake sourdough bread and create a gingerbread house. E and I were winners. I won a book (Ottolenghi's Plenty) in Louise's birthday bash, Dreena Burton's e-book from Janet and a Kez's Kitchen snack pack from Cass. E won a JB Hi Fi gift voucher this week after doing a survey some time ago.
- Made more effort with my photos. I was very pleased to have my first photo accepted by food gawker in July. I now have a grand total of 5 picture in my johannaggg foodgawker gallery.
- My French lavender salt recipe was included on a Disney Spoonful blog.
- Also featured was Cranachan on First We Feast (British Classic Recipes); review on Laurent website; my cauliflower polenta was featured in a South American (Argentinian?) online newspaper (still searching for the link); listed in the Top 50 Vegetarian Blogs 2012; and The Guardian featured my pea and garlic soup on a piece on Garlic. Tinned Tomatoes featured me on Jac's National Vegetarian Week post and Jac also included my fudge on her Last Minute Christmas Treats on BabyCentre. I even had an independent UK magazine ask to use a photo but then decided not to.
- Took part in Vegan MoFo in September for the third year in a row. This year I chose a theme of TV Dinners and have made a few more posts related to television shows since.
- Hosted the Pasta Please blog event in September with the theme of Long Pasta.
- Participated in Ricki Heller's Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free virtual book tour with an interview and giveaway.
Best film: Philomena
Best DVD film: Blessed (starring James Nesbitt)
Best DVD series: Borgen (Danish political drama)
Best overseas TV show: Endeavour (The young Inspector Morse)
Best Aussie TV show: The Time of our Lives
Best overseas book: The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffen
Best Aussie book: The Daughters of Mars by Tom Keneally
Best kids DVD: Brave
Best kids book: The Magic Faraway Tree - Enid Blyton
Best cafe: East Elevation (will blog some day)
Best out of town cafe: Clonmara Tearoom
*Best that I have seen or read this year rather than best of the year's releases.
The most popular of the 2013 posts (according to Google Analytics):
- Plane food: a tale of two vegetarian meals
- Vegan sushi stacks
- Vegan Victoria sponge birthday cake
- French lavender salt recipe
- Pirate treasure chest birthday cake
- Animal cupcakes: chicks, pigs, frogs and mice
- Chocolates with a peppermint filling
- In My Kitchen - April 2013
- Drop down menus and blog changes
- Baked porridge
- The interesting: Watermelon curry, Sushi with sticky walnuts and edamame, Leek, walnut and blue cheese scones, Tomato pomegranate vinaigrette, Lentil ragu with chocolate chilli fettuccine, Corn chowder with edamame and tofu bacon, Tamale burgers
- The most regular: Tofu bacon, Porridge, Chickpea pilaf, Sourdough bread, Mexican rice, Lemonade
- Learning - Stargazy Pie, Kale chips, Vegan cheese sauce, Doughnuts, Filled chocolates, Ice cream, Arepas and masa lista
- Aussie food - Cheeseymite scones, Lamingtons, Pikelets, Golden syrup dumplings
- Celebrations: Baked brie with cranberry sauce and walnuts, Cranachan, The Getting of Wisdom Birthday Cake, Chocolate mince tarts
- Healthy: Leon Superfood Salad, Tomato salad, Kitchari, Smoky apple baked beans
- Most visited markets - Coburg Farmers Market and Fitzroy Market
- Novelty food - Easter egg pizza , Halloween treats, Fun Christmas food
- Bakes to make again - Banana cake, Apple cake, Vegan Victoria sponge cake, Porridgies, Vegan chocolate cake, Apple and white chocolate blondies
- My biggest technical achievement this year was to install drop down menus. It was challenging but worth it - even if it muddies the stats slightly. Sadly, the way I installed it makes navigation harder on a mobile.
- I updated my Recipe Index in line with the drop down menus.
- Google reader closed and with it went my oodles of bookmarked blogs. I now just look at the blogroll on the sidebar of the blog. It is more relaxing as I just look at the most recent blog posts (apologies if I miss yours, especially as the blogroll sometimes ignore some blogs).
- I quite enjoyed using a Recipe Planning page to remind me of bookmarked recipes at the top of my to do list. It is quite helpful when I am lacking ideas but less helpful when too full of ideas.
- I changed my Search This Blog field at the top of my sidebar. It hasn't been working very well lately. Any advice on a better one to install?
We are living in interesting times. Sylvia will start school this year and our work situations are still unsettled so I expect there will be big changes this year. How this will affect blogging, time is yet to tell. Hopefully I will continue to find time.
I have gained a lot from blogging. I love the constant inspiration I find in the blogosphere, the connections I have formed and being part of such amazing change in how we share information. I enjoyed meeting up with some bloggers offline and was touched by kindness in comments and emails. Thank you whether you have been reading my blog, giving me feedback and/or extending your friendship.
As always, many thanks to E who shares my food, does the dishes, and supports me in many ways. A big hug for my little Sylvia who loves the sweet stuff and is starting to taste more of the savoury. My mum, family and friends also have been great in discussing recipes and tasting food with me.
I am not one for resolutions. I do want to make an effort to use my cookbooks more and spend a little more time offline. I have plans to write more posts about festive food and healthy food. (That is balance, isn't it!) I also have a few catch up posts to share about cafes and recipes I haven't had time to share over the past year. I am looking forward to clearing up my blog backlog to make room to share all the good food I hope will come my way.
Finally I wish you a very happy new year. I hope you ended last year well and will find 2014 full of good food, good company and good fun.