This weekend marks the first birthday of my li'l baby blog...aww, they grow so fast :) I can hardly believe that it has been a full year since I started writing about food. I'm not kidding when I say that food blogging has changed my life in ways I never imagined. The most important one for me personally is that it has lowered my happiness threshold. The simplest thing is now enough to make me absolutely joyful: a food-photo that comes out well, a souffle that rises, a thoughtful comment left on a post. When you start finding happiness in small everyday things, well, what more does one need?
I celebrated today by making some cupcakes. One fun thing about food blogging is that you are right in the midst of all the foodie trends. A few months ago, the self-frosting cupcake craze swept the food blogging world but I never did get around to making them. Today, I used Nic's amazing recipe to make Nutella cupcakes. The taste was exquisite! Thanks, Nic, for sharing this recipe. It yielded 36 mini-cupcakes, rich and delicious with a dreamy hazelnut-chocolate taste. I hate the usual frosting on cupcakes (way too sugary!) so this is perfect for me. See how I am learning from my fellow bloggers? The beautiful cross-stitched towel under the cupcakes is a loving blog birthday gift from my friend SR; her mom-in-law hand-crafted it (such amazing work!). It will be used often!
Also, as part of my celebration, I ordered three One Hot Stove calendars from Shutterfly...one each for my parents, V's parents and my aunt Yoma. Each month has a picture from the blog. Ordering these calendars made me a bit sheepish when I realized that it took me a whole year to get about 12 half-decent pictures!! Nevertheless, all my favorites, such as the dal poster, apple roses etc. are there and I am really amazed and excited by the quality of the prints. This is what they look like:
I have so many people that I want to thank for this whole past year, please bear with me: The first is V, who cheers me on in whatever I undertake (and I have a new obsession every six weeks approximately). V enjoys trying new flavors and loves every single thing I make. He is my biggest PR agent and unpaid sous chef. What more can a food blogger ask for in a significant other? I should not fail to mention our puppy dog, Dale, who often makes guest appearances on this blog, and who loves to sit on the kitchen floor and supervise me as I cook. He has refined taste and loves a bit of freshly-grated parmesan on his kibbles.
Then my friends, including M, my best friend and staunchest supporter; SR, who is also my colleague and often the only entity standing between me and insanity; LO, who has the enthusiasm of a stadium-full of yankee fans; LK, who often drops in to taste and review the latest dessert being made. My friends eat my humble food and act like they are dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. They willingly sign up as guinea pigs for the latest experiment in my kitchen. They ask "Did you take a picture?" before they cut into a casserole or cake. There are some things money can't buy. My friends are my ferrari.
My family...my parents are both incredibly creative people, and tireless in taking on new projects all the time. My earliest childhood memories are of them baking and icing amazing birthday cakes (a merry-go-round, a swimming pool, a summer hat...). My aunt Yoma in India and T in upstate NY are avid readers of the blog and always encourage my fledgeling writing efforts.
My fellow food bloggers: you inspire and amaze me with your amazing writing and delicious recipes, thank you for being my teachers and friends. This close-knit community of folks all over the world, cooking and eating together, can there be anything more wonderful? If ever there was a means to world peace, this is it. It is such a welcoming and gracious community...I would never have started my blog if not for the encouragement from a certain someone...Cathy, this means you!
Finally, and most importantly, all the readers who give me a reason for blogging. To those who take the time to write thoughtful comments and e-mails with tips, feedback and plain old encouragement...thank you! I cannot believe my good luck when I get mails saying that some recipe worked and became part of someone's celebration. One Hot Stove is grateful for all that love.