Eight Years of Blogging and Best of 2013

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Eight years birthday imageThe boys have been home since the Friday before Christmas, almost three weeks, and we have been super busy with the release of Michael’s new book, so the significance of today almost slipped past me. Eight years ago today I found out that I was pregnant with Monkey Boy, and it’s also the day I officially started this blog. I had actually started my little private (or so I thought) recipe database a couple months before, but eight years ago today I found a comment that someone had left about my mother’s peanut butter fudge recipe. That’s when I realized I had a blog, and I almost panicked. It wasn’t fancy or pretty, I was just trying to keep a record of our favorite recipes for my sake, and later hopefully for our boys. That changed very quickly. I thought, why not write a blog? It would be fun to share my kitchen adventures and mishaps with others who were also interested in cooking. I could write about what I learned, share our garden experiments and some family heirloom recipes, and maybe make a few new friends along the way.

I had no idea that I would still be here today with almost 1,000 recipes in the database and a new career to boot.

I had no idea about a lot of things, actually. That we would have to deal with an alphabet of special needs with our boys, epilepsy, cancer, the loss of people we loved. There have been a few rough patches here and there, but there have also been some incredibly joyful times, and I love those moments when I think about all the wonderful people I have met and the friendships I have gained because of this blog. It’s amazing, really.

I had to take a few breaks here and there in 2013, but we still had a great year with our family and our garden. The tomatoes kicked in early and I was canning all the way into October. We had more rhubarb, basil, and peppers than we’ve ever had, and that’s saying something. Though a late spring freeze killed off the blueberry, plum, peach, and apple blossoms, we were blessed with our first crop of grapes, our very first pecans, and a lot of figs.

My photography business is going into its third year, and I’m very excited about what’s ahead. In addition to food and agriculture photography, I’m also photographing homes and interiors, which I really enjoy, and plan to expand into architectural photography. I was bitten by the photo bug years ago when I worked abroad, and making this my job is a dream come true.

On Friday we’ll celebrate my birthday, and I am thankful for each day, week, month, and year I get with all four of my guys. Even when life throws us a curve ball, there is always something to celebrate, and I love watching our boys grow and turn into young men. Hockey Guy is almost as tall as I am, and soon we’ll have two tweens, which just seems incomprehensible.

Thinking about it all, I feel that 2014 will be a big year for us. Many things to come and do, and much happiness to celebrate. I’m planning to go to IFBC in Seattle, and hope to see some of you there! And of course I’ll still be here, writing about food and our garden and sharing some photos. Thanks for joining me, and I wish you all the best in 2014.

And as a last farewell to 2013, here is the list of our favorite recipes from last year, a mix of savory and sweet.

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew - Andrea Meyers

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

Cinnamon Apple Cake - Andrea Meyers

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - Andrea Meyers

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Quinoa Avocado Salad with Parsley, Corn, Tomatoes, and Lemon Vinaigrette - Andrea Meyers

Quinoa Avocado Salad with Parsley, Corn, Tomatoes, and Lemon Vinaigrette

Salmon and Lentil Salad with Spinach and Lemon Dill Vinaigrette - Andrea Meyers

Salmon and Lentil Salad with Spinach and Lemon Dill Dressing

Maine Lobster Rolls - Andrea Meyers

Maine Lobster Rolls

Grilled Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers - Andrea Meyers

Vegetarian Grilled Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Mediterranean Spinach and Bean Salad (LifeCafe) - Andrea Meyers

Mediterranean Spinach and Bean Salad

Persian Jeweled Rice - Andrea Meyers

Persian Jeweled Rice, aka Wedding Rice (The Kids Cook Monday)

Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Curry with Quinoa - Andrea Meyers

Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Curry with Quinoa

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread - Andrea Meyers

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

Waldorf Brussels Sprout Salad - Andrea Meyers

Waldorf Brussels Sprout Salad

Eggnog Cheesecake with Dark Rum and Biscoff Cookie Crust - Andrea Meyers

Eggnog Cheesecake with Dark Rum and Biscoff Cookie Crust

Top image courtesy of VintageHolidayCrafts.com.

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