2021 Year in Review and 2022 Plans

2021 was a great year for me — and for the blog! This year, the blog reached over 230 posts and it received over 5000 views! I can’t thank my readers enough for supporting me and stopping by. When I started blogging I heard that it does take time for you to gain your footing and find your place online. It wasn’t until recently that I started feeling like my blog was starting to take off.

As the first full year of my blogging journey comes to a close, I thought we could look back on things over the last twelve months.

This blog was started in September of 2020. (It seems like another life!) Back then the blog focused primarily on my journey cooking all of Ina Garten’s cookbook recipes. Eventually I decided to make the Barefoot Contessa recipes a back-burner feature and focused my efforts on cooking my way through another cookbook. You can read more about the change here. Even though I didn’t really stick with the Ree Drummond idea, I did enjoy making a few of her recipes. I will probably make some more in the future.

The focus of this blog over 2021, in my eyes at least, has been on making the recipes out of the Magnolia Bakery Handbook. As of this writing I have made over 15 recipes. But with over 100 total in the book, I’m still a long way off from finishing.

Before we recap the Top 5 Posts of 2021, I want to take a moment to talk about my plans for 2022.

Plans for 2022

As I alluded to in my most recent post, I plan to focus on the recipes from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I still haven’t touched the Pie chapter at all and I barely scratched the surface on the Muffins chapter. Between those two chapters, there’s like almost two dozen recipes. If I don’t start the Pie chapter soon, I will have a hard time ever starting it.

I have also decided to bring Ina Garten back into the rotation on a regular basis. Mainly I will be making her dessert/baking recipes. But every once in a while, I’ll throw in a dinner recipe (Chicken Marbella, anyone??).

Another goal I have for 2022 is to post more original recipes. I really enjoy working out and sharing my own recipes. These original recipes won’t be limited to just baked goods. So keep an eye for some savory things, too!

My personal, outside-of-blogging-life has some goals as well. I am hoping to focus more energy and time to my herbal studies. I hope to start actually working with herbs, too. I can’t wait to start putting what I’ve been learning into practice.

Overall, I can definitely see 2022 being a year where this blog really grows and morphs into something more than just a recipe review space. I intend for it to become more like a journal, featuring stories about my life experiences and things I do every day, both in and out of the kitchen.

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at my most popular posts from this year.

Top 5 Posts of 2021

It really wasn’t too surprising to me that two of these posts are Ina Garten-related. She has many, many fans. I’m sure some people were hoping the recipe would be posted here, or the pictures would be more appealing. Sorry, one-shot readers. I’ve failed you on both those fronts! Buy her books if you want the recipe, or better yet, most are available for free on Food Network’s website.

5th Most Popular Post

These Cracked Sugar Cookies from the Magnolia Bakery Handbook were so yummy. They also came out looking great! I couldn’t believe the resemblance to the recipe photo in the cookbook. You do get quite a bit out of these cookies, but I’m sure they won’t be around for too long. These cookies are sure to satisfy anyone’s need for a sweet treat. What’s even better? The dough doesn’t have to chill, so that means you can have cookies in no time!

4th Most Popular Post

My fifth most popular post was actually the 5th Magnolia Bakery recipe I made for the MB challenge. It was a dessert that I made for a family party we had in the spring of this year. I remember the party being enjoyed by all since we had recently emerged from the Covid winter. While personally, these Peanut Butter Icebox Bars weren’t my favorite dessert from the year, many people enjoyed them.

Third Most Popular Post

The Brown Sugar Cookies from the Magnolia Bakery book weren’t my favorite, to be honest. Though super simple to make these cookies tasted like something was missing. Perhaps rolling them in sugar before baking would help. But doing so may constituent Snickerdoodle cookies. So I’m not sure what to make of these. Despite the lack of taste, the end product was successful in appearance.

2nd Most Popular Post

Up until December, this was the most popular post on the site. Ina Garten’s Banana Rum Trifle was one of the first banana puddings I made. After trying this dessert, I was hooked! It’s no surprise I made quite a few variations throughout the year. Of course, these variations were based on the Magnolia Bakery book. In an interesting turn of events, Ina’s recipe for her Banana Rum Trifle is actually based on the Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding.

After making five different banana puddings this year, I can say it is easily one of the quickest and best desserts to make for serving a crowd.

The Most Popular Post

This one was surprising. Up until recently, number 2 was actually number 1. But then December happened and people probably wanted to make cookies for the holidays. This is another Barefoot Contessa post. It’s for her Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies. Which were super tasty and super easy to make. I’m sorry the pictures were so underwhelming. But, if you made these, I hope you liked them!

Well there you have it! The Top 5 Posts on the blog this year. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us! Thanks for reading.


2 thoughts on “2021 Year in Review and 2022 Plans

  1. I enjoy reading your post Ryan. I also am interested in using more herbs in my cooking. I grow rosemary, tarragon, italian parsley, greek oregano, and sage. I plan on expanding my herb garden-do you know what herbs help with arthritis? I just discovered cooking with fresh tarragon this year- what a difference. I also smoked a chicken on a bed of all the herbs listed- it was very flavorful- will be doing that again soon as the herbs are right out of my kitchen door, and still green! I look forward to trying your original recipes, I’m not a baker, but if you do create a dessert I will try baking the recipes if you think they are really good. Happy New Year!


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