2009 was a learning year. I started off the year learning how to use my new camera and am so glad we made that investment. The learning curve was steep even though I had been using manual mode in my little point & shoot camera for two years, but I’m finally seeing results and improving my photography.
We celebrated the third anniversary of this little cooking blog in January, and as I think about it I can hardly believe it’s been almost four years. I’ve learned so much while working on this blog and have made some wonderful friends that I treasure.
In February I offered to be a recipe tester for a new cookbook from Culinary Media Network, and I’m so glad Chef Mark and Jennifer took me up on it. The recipes were delicious and it was a lot of fun to play around, give feedback, and take some photos. The big surprise came when Mark and Jennifer asked to use three of my photos in the new cookbook which was released in July (The Gilded Fork: Entertaining At Home). Mark and Jennifer, congratulations again on your new book and thank you for letting me be a part of it!
In June I accompanied Michael on one of his trips to Germany and had a fabulous time traveling around and photographing the area and sampling the food. My visit to the Stuttgart Markthalle is one of my favorite memories.
In September I traveled to San Francisco for the first annual BlogHer Food conference and it was indeed a weekend to remember. The sessions were informative and being in the company of so many fantastic food bloggers was inspirational. Getting to meet some of my favorite bloggers was quite a treat!
Autumn was a time of epiphany for me as I assessed the state of our family life, and I decided to take some time off from freelance work and went on hiatus from Grow Your Own for the winter so I could more easily devote time to helping our special needs sons with school. Work will always be there in one form or another, but I only get one chance to raise our sons.
And the year has ended on a high note with the word that I was invited to be in the audience for the upcoming Martha Stewart blogging show in January! I’m so excited! I’m making the trek to NYC for my first ever overnight stay in the big city—I’ve gone on a couple day trips for business but never had a chance to see anything—and I hope to catch up with some of my friends I met or wanted to meet but missed at BlogHer Food (Alice, Jennifer, Olga). If you are a food blogger and will be at the taping, let me know so we can hopefully arrange to meet. And of course I hope to have at least one amazing meal while there! I’m also looking for a decent affordable place to stay in the Chelsea area and would love some recommendations.
In closing, Michael and I want to share our favorites from the blog this year. Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010.