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.

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Kitchen Experiments: Making Vanilla Extract

A couple of weekends ago, my partner and I finally put an idea of ours into action. We would try our hand at making our own vanilla extract. This is something both of us wanted to do for a while, but life always caused delays to it actually happening.

We were first inspired to do this separately, getting the idea from different chefs. He is a fan of Claire Saffitz’s YouTube channel and I became obsessed with a TV chef on Discovery+ who also uses her own vanilla extract. Additionally, I first stumbled on this idea from one of Ina Garten cookbooks where she details the steps to making one’s own bottle of vanilla.

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A Plan for the Future

This month has been a weird one for me, blogging-wise. Shortly after beginning my foray into cooking all Ree Drummond’s recipes, I started to lose interest for some reason. I can’t really put my finger on why it happened. But, I just accepted it and kind of went with the feeling, hoping for the interest to return one day.

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Weekend Recipes 7/16/2021

After a much longer than anticipated hiatus from baking and cooking for the blog, I am excited that this weekend I am planning to make no less than 5 (yes, 5!!) recipes. All of which are Barefoot Contessa recipes.

Today I am going to make one of the two cookie recipes that I’ve been eyeing for sometime. I plan to use the duck eggs that I talked about in an earlier post. I’m really excited to work with them!

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Friday Cooking 4/16/21

I know this post is a little earlier than usual. But I’ve been having some busy days and I have to write when I have the time to write. So here it is!

This Friday, even though Spring has been here for almost a month, the meteorologists are predicting a chance of snow for my area. Yes, you heard me correctly. Snow!

To be fair, it is not entirely unheard of for Connecticut to see snow in April. It just hasn’t happened recently. Plus, we’ve gone WEEKS without true “winter weather.” So snow in the forecast has most people feeling a little bummed.

In an attempt to perk myself and my family up a little with the possibility of snow, I decided to make dinner for us and maybe even dessert. I’m not quite sure what I will be making, but it will be a main dish and at least one side dish. I will also try to whip something up quickly for dessert.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

Come back next week to see I ended up making.


For those of you who are long-time readers of this blog, you may have noticed that the posts have been fewer and far between more recently. For that, I apologize. I hope that soon I can get back to my regularly scheduled program, meaning a more consistent, albeit not as often posting schedule.

Posting every day started to feel like “work” to me. I don’t want this blog to feel like work. In fact, one of the reasons why I started this blog was to have an outlet and something to look forward to when I wasn’t working.

That said, April will be a transition month for me and the blog. I’ll be cooking a bit less often and the blog will only get two to three posts per week. It will mainly be the recipes I made earlier or the week prior. An occasional herbal update will be included as well.

Busy Few Days in the Kitchen…

Aside from the usual Friday night dinner recipe (which I made on Saturday this week), I made two additional recipes that I didn’t really plan on making. Luckily, I was able to make them all Ina recipes, so they all count towards the blog! Stay tuned this week as I review and post about each one!

Of course, I’ll have an herbal related post, even though they are less popular than some others. And I’ll be posting my February wrap-up post as well!

The Woes of a Cook-Through Blog Part 1

It’s been about a month since I started this project. So far, I am enjoying it. I have learned some things about cooking and purchasing ingredients. I also got to add a few tools to the kitchen during the process.

However, there have been some downsides.

This is starting to get really expensive! I spend anywhere from $30 to $75 a week on the groceries needed to make the recipes. Yes, sometimes that means more than one recipe, but still.

Also, I am coming to the realization that I am “neglecting” certain categories. Mainly the cocktails and the appetizers. The cocktails always posed a challenge since I am not one who consumes alcohol for pleasure. The appetizers are difficult to make for a meal since they weren’t intended to be a meal. I suppose I could plan a meal of just appetizers, but I feel like that would be more costly than it’s worth.

I feel like if I was having parties or family gatherings, then I could easily mix in some of these recipes, but with the COVID pandemic, that won’t be happening anytime soon.

Eventually, I will have to make both cocktails and appetizers. But for now, I’ll stick to the desserts, dinner, and lunch categories. Luckily, there are hundreds of recipes between those three groups to choose from.

Time for a New Category!

After some thinking, I’ve decided to expand the blog a bit.

This blog will always be about Ina and cooking my way through her cookbooks and recipes, but I’ve decided that there may be a time when I want to share something more personal.

So, I’ve added a new category!

It’s called “Life” and it’s where all the posts pertaining to my life will go. Now, this doesn’t mean “lifestyle.” So, no lame, overused photos of PSLs and winter fires during a snow storm. But it will be the more personal posts, not necessarily Ina related.

Cheers!