Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Year in Review--the Photo Montage Palooza Edition

A mindless read for when you've got a moment to sit and visit with me
Why does everyone always end up in the kitchen?
I can't say that the year has flown by, but after hosting 4 amazing meals in 3 days for [and with help of] my extended family of 12 folks I can say that the last week has flown by. This wrap up post will be my last of 2014, and I'll be back on Monday, January 5, 2015, with Asante Sana Squash Banana Muffins. [You have to read it in the voice of Rafiki from Lion King. If you haven't seen Lion King you've got a week to bring yourself up to speed. And get an acorn squash. And a banana.]

This is my second Year in Review post, because I've completed my second full year of blogging.  I still enjoy it and have learned so many things from so many wonderful bloggers. This year I realized that I need to give myself permission to take breaks. When I do, I come back recharged and with the energy to implement changes I've envisioned. This Year In Review will be a bit different than last year's primarily because I still need to update some of my spreadsheets, but instead of trying to get the gumption to do those I figured I'd just go with what I've got ready. Let's get to the details.

First, a comparison of my statistics for the past year--first from Google Analytics (the real, accurate stuff) then from Blogger (which includes spam bots and is just not accurate, but that's what I see when I sign in so I'll throw it up here as well).

People came to my blog in 2014 looking for recipe ideas for produce--fresh tomatoes, green tomatoes, garlic scapes, kale, spinach and leeks. You also came looking for recipes for tomato soup, buttermilk pizza crust, make ahead mashed potatoes, healthy muffins, celery soup, fig pizza and leftovers. 

My top 10 search terms, according to Google Analytics, follow this trend:
But those are just the most common search terms--there are some gems if you read through all 4000 search terms that brought folks to the blog this year.  The most memorable search term for 2014 was my guinea pig ate a pepperoni. Here are the Honorable Mentions, in alphabetical order:

"Monday morning is fine with me" [yes, the quotes are included]
are turkey, ham and chicken excellent Thanksgiving items for a compost bin? [Umm, no. Not the way I make my compost, at least.]
are garlic scapes available year round? [sadly, no, but here are recipe ideas for you]
best damn vegetable tray [here are some suggestions]
chicken feets and beetroot soup [I don't have any chicken feet recipes. Yet.]
dwarf peach tree harvest [although we have a dwarf peach tree, only the certified wildlife harvest it]
fall lasagna; roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, spinach and caramelized onions layered with fontina and herbed ricotta [that sounds amazing. what time is dinner?]
food photography behind the scenes [yeah, I like to peek behind the scenes too]
forgot salt in muffin [I hear ya. Usually I forget the sugar.]
green vista farms zucchini hawaiian pizza brats casserole [what an interesting combination, do let me know how it turns out]
help I don't know how to cook with my greens from farm! [you've come to the right place.]
how to make a chocolate milkshake without ice cream [well, you could try using beets]
how to make a sweet potato casserole with white irish potatoes [I haven't tried this one before]
how to put pesto on a pizza [I use a spoon generally, and fling it carefully]
is adding cheddar shredded to my grilled cheese a good idea [Yes, yes it is]
Monday with Hatch chiles [I've read Tuesdays with Morrie]
my lou malnati's pizza arrived defrosted [you can order pizza? Cool, thanks for letting me know]
overabundance of turnips [story of my life. Here's some ideas]
play bacon and cabbage song [could you hum a few bars?]
pumpkin liver sausage dip [what an interesting combination, let me know how it turns out]
show the picture of kohlrabi [you can find one here]
turnip greens recipes that kids will eat which is not pizza or macaroni [I'm working on that one, myself. So far this is the best I've got.]
visit for sheila's snappy ginger slaw recipe [thanks for the tip]
wow me a meatloaf [Ok, here ya go.] [there's a website? Here's a pizza]

That little spike in the first graphic?  That's from the debut of my Clickable Collages of Recipe Suggestions. I posted it on G+ and folks popped over to check it out. I've got suggestions for what to do with produce, like beets, garlic scapes, or green tomatoes, as well as recipe ideas--like hummus or grilled cheese.

What am I most proud of? My newly revamped Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.  I'd had the idea of what I wanted for quite some time, but didn't have the ability to create it until September.  My son has asked me to tweak it--to add categories for, say, chicken or liver instead of just fruits and vegetables. I think his suggestion is a great one and will be working on it.  Here's what the landing page looks like now:

Clicking on, for example, Garlic & Garlic Scapes brings you to the collection of recipes using those items, as seen here:

I really like folks to be able to find my recipes, so I'm delighted with the changes I made. I'm also pleased that this recipe index is used by you folks--more than a thousand views this past year:

At the beginning of 2014 our household animal collection consisted of 3 dogs and a composting guinea pig. At the end of the year we have 3 dogs (we've substituted Robert Barker for Wee Oliver Picklepants) but no composting guinea pig. I've earned over the $100 Google Adsense payout threshold twice, so the hosting fees are covered for a while. I pushed out of my comfort zone participating in #AppetizerWeek, #IceCreamWeek, and most recently #ChristmasWeek. This fall I got interested in spiffing up my Pinterest presence, and created the Farm Fresh Feasts board where I've shared every post, in order. It's been fun to look back at the changes over the months/years (gulp).

At my 4th amazing meal in 3 days (which was Thanksgiving dinner, you can see the Make Ahead Irish Mashed Potato Casserole in the slow cooker) I got a round of applause. If you've read this far--give yourself a round of applause too! See ya in 2015!


  1. I love your recipe index. It's by far and away my favorite one out there, and I think your new header is perfect for it.
    Rock on with yo' bad self.

    1. Meghan,
      Thank you! I've already got ideas for how to improve, including my son's suggestion to add flesh categories and my own idea to have a photo of each veggie at the top of it's page. Its page. One of them.