Happy ‘blogiversary’ to me!

Well, I have made it through a WHOLE YEAR of blogging! And whatever anyone else thinks of my efforts, I feel quite proud of myself 🙂

Quite a bit has changed since I started a year ago. The frequency of posts has declined, but I think the quality has improved. And the introduction of ‘recipe cards’ makes it easier to save and print the recipes. My photography has improved A LOT! Still some way to go with that though. It’s an ongoing project…

So, in the spirit of self-congratulation, here are my highlights of the last year, month-by month.

In just 31 days, I posted a whopping 29 recipes! Included in that total are some of my all-time favourites, including the potato and carrot layer bake, which graces our table at least once a month, and shakshuka (below, left), which is like eating a plateful of Mediterranean sunshine. YUM.

Shakshuka - eggs poached in pepper and tomato sauce  ginger cookies cooling on a wire rack

My ginger spice cookies (above, right) were included in this spicy recipe roundup on Foodies100. I still remember how thrilled I was when this happened!
February was also the month I posted my recipe for Nutella cupcakes (including a gluten-free version) which is still the most popular recipe on family-friends-food.

nutella cupcakes

In March I achieved my EdX Certificate in Science and Cooking. This was a really fun and very interesting course, and I recommend the EdX courses (on all subjects, not just cooking!) to everyone.
We also celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim, and I made these delicious brown sugar hamantaschen (below, left). I will DEFINITELY be making these again this year!

Brown sugar hamentaschen  chocolate mousse

This was the month I posted 1-ingredient chocolate mousse (above, right) – just in time for Pesach (Passover). I had more visitors to the blog that day than any other day last year!
April was also when I attended a photography workshop run by Ozzy, who blogs at Light/Bites. Have a look around and see if you can see the difference in the photos from before and after!

A link to my recipe for Asparagus and oyster mushrooms with lemon-pinenut-pesto spaghetti appeared in the Asparafest 2014 programme. Woo-hoo! Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to Asparafest though. Boo hiss.
I think it was more or less May when I met some other actual in-the-flesh bloggers (who will probably correct me and tell me it was April/June) for the first time. And they were lovely 🙂 We had a lovely cuppa in John Lewis and I absorbed as many useful hints and tips about blogging as I could. Thanks Michelle at Bod For Tea, Karen at The Rubbish Diet, Helen at KiddyCharts, Laura at Rocket and Bee and all the others who I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember. Sorry.

cheesecake cookies butternut squash & halloumi fajitas lemon & lavender cake

June kicked off with this recipe for inside-out cheesecake cookies (above, left). There were so delicious I ended up making batch after batch of them, and one taster wished we could have Shavuot more often 🙂

I was super-chuffed when my spice-roasted butternut squash and halloumi fajitas recipe (above, middle) won the Spice Trail cumin challenge. 

And even more chuffed when one month later my deliciously gluten-free lemon, lavender and almond cake (above, right) was runner up in the Spice Trail summer spice challenge.

Autumn brought Rosh Hashanah, and I admit I may have gotten a little carried away with the festive cooking. Although these apple and honey cookies (below, left) will be making a return in future years, I’m sure. More than one person thought they could taste white chocolate in them, although there isn’t any. Hooray for successful baking experiments!
My recipe for Moroccan carrot salad also appeared in the Rosh Hashanah edition of the CTJC bulletin.

apple and honey cookies garlic & parmesan roasted beans & carrots

At the end of October I discovered that anything roasted with garlic and parmesan (above, right) tastes AMAZING. I shouldn’t have been so surprised! Try it. You’ll thank me.
We also had a lovely family holiday to Israel, where I ate lots and lots of delicious food. Some of it inspired me once we got home, too – I made these holiday-inspired quesadillas. Yum.

In November I was invited to visit Cofco – The Cambridge Organic Food Co. – which was a fun and very enlightening morning. Although I didn’t manage to write about it until December. Oops.

Olive oil cupcake menorah Easy festive chocolate Christmas trees

The last month in a wonderful, busy, and delicious year. I got carried away with Chanukah recipes (e.g. olive oil cupcakes, above, left), not to mention all the festive food for the other festival that happens at the end of the year (e.g. festive chocolate trees, above, right).
I was really touched this month when Ness at JibberJabber themed the Love Cake challenge as “December Delights” rather than a Christmas theme – hoping that I’d join in 🙂 So lovely to feel part of a blogging community. 

Looking forward to everything that 2015 has in store 🙂

Helen x.


  1. Well done on your first blog birthday, I like the look of your lemon and lavender cake!

  2. Happy Bloggy Birthday Helen.
    I hope 2015 is a good blogging year for you too. And look forward to seeing your lovely recipes,

  3. Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)

    Happy Blogiversary! It was a pleasure meeting you last year and I hope we can get together again this year. Love this post too by the way – not just a round up but a calendar of recipes! X

  4. Happy Blogiversary! Thanks for the mention and here’s to another year of delicious food! Hope to see you joining in with Love Cake again this year.

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