A Year in Review – Top Posts of 2012

yellow flowers by she cooks, she gardens

As many of us make our way back to work for another year I felt it timely to go over my previous years work and take a look at what has been popular, ‘gone viral’, caused controversy and not done as well as it should have. It has been a busy year, filled with highs and lows. This was the year that ‘she cooks, she gardens’ became a self-hosted site and started really ramping up content wise. I must say I’m overwhelmed at just how quickly things have taken off and each person who visits this site, leaves a comment, sends me an email or sends me a message inspires me to do more, try more and create more. For me the highlight of 2012 was Eat.Drink.Blog. both the conference itself and the friendships I have made coming out of that conference. Other highlights have been the growing confidence I have in using my camera and building an inspiring community of people over on Facebook.


zucchini pizza

The #1 post for 2012 (ie. the one with the most hits):

Grilled Zucchini Pizza

This post was an absolute viral sensation. It has (and continues to) had more hits on this site than any other post in 2012. It makes sense really, it is a quick and easy dish to prepare that is healthy and delicious.


bliss balls

The ‘Facebook viral sensation’:

White Choc Macadamia Bliss Balls

I was absolutely blown away with the popularity of this post, so much so that I have to wonder if the stats counter is correct over on Facebook. This post was seen more than 40,000 times on Facebook. 40,000! What the hey? How is that even possible?

Spicy Black Bean Soup by she cooks, she gardens

The ‘game-changer’:

Spicy Black Bean Soup

This is up there as one of my most favourite recipes, it tastes brilliant and is so filling and healthy that a batch will see you out for lunches for the rest of the week. This post is ‘the game-changer’ because it is one of the first posts that was accepted on both foodgawker and tastespotting which, if you’re a food blogger, is a pretty big achievement. Both sites have very strict requirements with regards to photos and this one checked all the boxes. It’s funny because this final snap was actually one I took after packing up my usual set-up, it wasn’t even styled! I had poured out the soup into one of my regular serving bowls and rested it on the runner I had just used in the ‘posed’ shot. I decided that I really liked the look of it sitting there the way it was (with the spilled black beans behind it) and snapped a quick photo. Later when processing this was the obvious favourite and up it went. It was this shot that really helped me understand what I needed to do to ‘get good photos’ and it has been upwards and onwards from there.


The most controversial post:

Food Ethics: A conversation with Vegetaraian

This post had more comments on it than any of my other posts combined, it is also the one that caused me to lose the most sleep. It was a post about a touchy subject – eating meat, and was the first time I’d ever had to ‘moderate’ comments. While it was great to have such vibrant discussion and activity on my page, I was quietly relieved when things returned to ‘normal programming’.

Orange Almond Cake by she cooks, she gardens

The sentimental favourite:

Orange Almond Cake

I made this cake shortly after my grandfather passed away and dedicated it to him. I know he would have loved this cake both for its simplicity and its sweetness. 2012 marked the end of an incredibly difficult period of loss for my family and was an intense moment of mixed emotion. I still think about both of my grandparents often and miss them terribly.


The WTF post:

Mushroom Cake

I’m still not sure about this one! I made it as part of a blog hop after sitting on the recipe for some time. If you’re not familiar with it then yes, it is a sweet cake, filled with mushrooms. I know, WTF?! I recall that a few of you were keen to give it a shot – have any of you tried it yet? If so, what did you think?


Roast Veg & Freekeh Salad

The most popular printed post:

Roast Vegetable Freekeh Salad

This year I started submitting recipes to publications such as GRAM and InDaily. Of all the posts submitted this one has been the standout favourite for readers. Complete strangers and old friends alike have contacted me to say they’ve seen it, tried and love it. Such a buzz.


The most successful garden project:

The raised wicking bed

This has been the absolute stand-out for me and probably the best thing I’ve done in my garden to date. A raised wicking bed is the best way to drought proof your garden and will get you through even the most trying temperatures (I’m writing this in the middle of a heatwave and my tomatoes are thriving). Definitely worth a shot.



The most underrated:

Pomegranate, Haloumi & Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are one of the most misunderstood vegies and yet, when done properly, can taste amazing. I know a lot of readers wrote this one off because of the inclusion of sprouts but seriously, give it a go!


Happy New Year!

Onwards to 2013:

So there you have it, the top post of 2012. It is an absolute pleasure to share my ideas and photos with you on a regular basis. Thank you so much for coming back each week, reading my work, sharing your thoughts and ideas and just generally making this a positive space.

In 2013 I look forward to bringing you more recipes and stories from the kitchen as well as further adventures in the garden. I hope to bring you more about things that are important to me and I look forward to sharing more about my attempt to go booze-free in February. If you’ve got an idea about a story or recipe you’d like to see on here, or maybe you’d like to join me on my journey in February feel free to drop me a line, I love hearing from you guys and will always try to get back to you as soon as possible. You can email me at erin (at) shecooksshegardens (dot) com or leave a comment below.

I hope you enjoy this list and I’d love to hear which post was your favourite in the comments below.


  • I’m a lover of sprouts, so I’ll be trying that salad asap. As kids we used to beg my mum to cook them, because she absolutely hated them and we couldn’t get enough.

    I also like that you dedicated the orange cake recipe to your granddad. My granddad passed away in the early hours of Christmas Eve, and that day I had to start preparing my Eton Mess for Christmas. Desserts were always his favourite, so now every time I make it I know I’ll be reminded of him.

    Lovely list all round. I’m really glad to have gotten to know you in 2012. I think you were one of the first food bloggers I met (along with Christina at Devour), and it’s been great! 🙂


    • Erin B says:

      Thanks Tash, it was great to meet you too and, likewise, you were one of the first bloggers I met as well.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your granddad, that is really sad news. Sending lots of warm and fuzzies your way, take care.xx

  • Great look back at the year that was Erin. Oh how I remember my first photo being accepted to Tastespotting. It’s so exciting! I still don’t think I’ve cracked the code on what they will and won’t accept but I like to think I’m getting better.

    That’s quite an achievement having 40,000 views! I might just have to try them myself.

  • These post all look fabulous! I love zucchini on pizza and those Choc macadamia balls sound delicious! I can’t wait to check out some of the others!

  • Judy says:

    Happy New Year, Erin! I hope 2013 is a fantastic year for you.
    I loved all your gardening posts, especially the ones about your wicking beds. And the in-bed worm tower post. I have put together a couple of above-ground wicking beds, now I’m just waiting for the weather forecast to not have any 40+ days for a while so my seedlings can have a chance to establish without getting fried.

    • Erin B says:

      Hi Judy, I’m thrilled to hear you’re giving the wicking beds a go, I hope they bring you lots of joy. I’m glad to hear you like the gardening posts too, you’ve reminded me I need to do more of them, it is so easy to get lost in the garden and not keep track of things but just looking back at my pics from a few months ago I can’t believe how much everything has grown.

  • Grant Nowell says:

    Erin, what a list…a wonderful eclectic mix of great photography, food, fun and ideas for our kitchens and gardens. I’m relately new to your blog and I enjoy your easy going writing style and fresh and sometimes thought provoking ideas. And yes….my partner and I are going to do some of your raised wicking beds and I definitely won’t be cooking a mushroom cake!

    • Erin B says:

      Hey Grant, it has been an absolute pleasure having you around, I get a real thrill out of hearing from you, especially when it’s to say that you like my photos as I so admire you work. Good luck with the wicking beds, please let me know if I can be of assistance.

  • Happy New Year Erin! One of the highlights of my year was attending Eat Drink Blog and you and the other organisers did such an amazing job. I am so glad to have discovered your blog and look forward to many wonderful posts from you this year!

  • Can’t believe I haven’t read this before now! Great way to do a wrap up, must remember this for 2013 ;D

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