Anniversary! This Little Piggy turns one

9 October 2011 § 12 Comments

It is a year to the day that This Little Piggy began and that got me thinking: how does one celebrate a blogiversary? The answer is simple: With cake, of course! To that end, I’m delighted to share this chocolate and beet cake with you: an easy, tasty and reasonably healthy one-bowl wonder.

How did it all start? Well, I first started thinking about writing a food blog when The Ladies™ were babies and I would visit the Hoboken Farmers’ Market for adult conversation and some healthy food. Friends would ask what I was going to make with all the fresh produce in my basket and from there it took me three years to start blogging.

Being honest, those early years of twin parenting left me beyond exhaustion. My brain just struggled to keep ticking by. You’ve probably noticed with some of my posts, it still does struggle a little, but I have more mind space now that The Ladies™ are heading towards the grand old age of five.

So why do I do this? Why do I blog? To be honest I’ve always thought the concept of blogging was a bit weird and I’ve probably proved that out over the last year. For instance, The Ladies™ now think it normal for most meals to be photographed before they can eat…

But as most anniversaries are contemplative times, I started thinking about why, when I have so little free time, do I fill it traveling, shopping, cooking, photographing and then writing about food. Here’s where I landed:

  • Firstly, I’ve always been one for keeping journals or diaries. For example, I’m one of those people who loves to have a record of what I was doing this time last year, so a food blog seemed like a natural thing to do. For the record, this time last year I was cooking up roasted butternut squash soup, if you’re interested the recipe and post is here.
  • Secondly, I love cooking. And the challenge of coming up with something that is seasonal and tasty fulfills my inner competitive spirit. As I found last year, you have to get creative in mid-winter when local produce is limited to apples, potatoes and rutabaga (favorite vegetable word ever). We have eaten really well – not necessarily fancy, but real food made with real ingredients. The seasons are also more noticeable as the produce changes from Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter.
  • Finally, I love the way food connects people. I love it when I get feedback on my recipes. I love the way people send me their recipes and the way people give me new food to try. I’m genuinely thrilled that readership of the blog has gone up hugely in the last year.

And what have been the highlights of the This Little Piggy Year One? Well, here goes:

  1. I won a Cook-Off on Park Avenue. Who’d have thought I’d be making salad for Chef Carmen Quagliata and professional food writers Ashley Koff and Chef Andrea Beaman? And winning? (Still, it was good for my inner competitive spirit to find an external release!)
  2. I’m also quite proud that some of my photographs have been picked up by Food Gawker and by Taste Spotting. I’ve really worked hard on getting that bit right and thankfully it seems to have worked!
  3. The heartening realization that the internet is not turning us all into anti-social losers but enabling interactions that otherwise may not have taken place. I have met some wonderful people, some real people through this blogging lark: those who share ideas and thoughts and who have great blogs of their own. There’s no competition in that sense, just a shared commitment to get people to eat better, healthier food. Honorable, notable mentions are due to Rebecca Rader Brown (Season With Reason) – she is passionate about food policy and one smart (home-made) cookie; Georgette Gilmore (Barista Kids) -editor extraordinaire and future novelist; Kristin Wald (This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are)  – observations on life around our town that make me smile and Winnie Abramson (Healthy Green Kitchen)  – an always inspiring food blog. Last but by no means least, a big thank you to Steven Shaw at the International Culinary Institute and founder of eGullet for his words of wisdom and guidance, if you’re thinking of starting a food blog – check out his wonderful course at the International Culinary Institute.

So here we are a year later basking in glorious fall sunshine. I’ve decided today is not a baking day—it is far too beautiful outside— so I will post the recipe for these sweet and healthy-ish chocolate and beet cupcakes tomorrow.

Finally, if I was asked to name my favorite post over the last year, it would be one that most reflected the immediate influence of the blog in delivering what it set out to do. Click here and you can read how my husband (named King Marv by The Ladies™) was inspired to cook! Trust me, that was quite an achievement.

Happy Birthday to me!

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