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.
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.
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
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’.
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:
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?
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!
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.