A Year Ago…

What makes one start a blog? There are so many answers to that question that it boggles the mind.

For some, it’s a way to express their passion about what they enjoy doing most. For others, it’s a means to an end in pursuit of a writing career. And maybe for all of us, it’s a way to reach out of the loneliness that our human existence can sometimes have, and share common interests and conversation, while learning a thing or two in the process. Whatever one’s reason may be for starting a blog, the end result is exposing yourself to a whole new world. And that’s actually what I like about it the most!

A year ago June 15, I started Bits and Breadcrumbs as a fluke. Oh yes, I’d toyed with the idea of starting a food blog…but only in my head. My friends had encouraged me to write about food, but I’d never seriously considered it.

This blog came about because I wanted to see if I could use a WordPress template for a business web site. And what better way to test this than to make a food blog and see how it worked. I hadn’t collected any stories, hadn’t really made any plans of how this would unfold, and to this day it is still a work in progress. My first post was just after we’d returned from a camping trip in North Georgia and had stumbled upon an old working grist mill, and you can see that post here in an Ode to Red Speckled Grits.

From there things just kind of took off. Naturally, being from the deep south in the United States, my blog had, and still has, a bit of a southern slant to it. Soon, I had readers from different parts of the country subscribing and making comments…very cool. Next, I had friends and family telling me that they had no idea I could write, and well…neither did I, but it sure is fun! Next thing I knew, I was having the best time posting about cooking new things and experimenting, sharing little road trips and adventures that informed or inspired my cooking, and best of all, I was “meeting” people from all over the world via comments on the blog. Honestly, it’s kind of a miraculous thing, this blogging! And now one year later, I can’t imagine NOT having this blog, and I’ll bet that’s how my fellow bloggers feel about their blogs, too.

And because of that feeling, and to honor this 1 year anniversary of starting my blog, I’d like to take a moment to encourage anyone reading this who has ever toyed with an idea to write a blog, or do anything creative whatsoever in fact, to go for it! I can’t tell you how often someone says to me “I’ve been thinking about starting a blog, but am (pick one): afraid, too busy, too lazy, too late, etc.” I know exactly what you mean. But one thing I have learned in this life is that it’s too short to have regrets, and especially those that you could so easily change today by your own action. I am living proof that all you have to do is go to WordPress or another free blogging site and start playing with a template, and the next thing you know, you’re blogging. Like the famous Nike commercials said: “Just Do It.”

So off the soapbox I step, and on to a little (smiling, not so little) retrospective of my first year. Once again, I’d like to thank all of you for joining me in this wonderful adventure, and for hanging with me. I love your comments and it makes my day, especially at the end of a long work day, to see what folks have said about my posts or if they liked a recipe or dish—or on those rare occasions that I review places, to hear if someone found it helpful and agrees/disagrees, so please don’t stop reading and commenting! As a self-employed entrepreneur who is essentially the product as well as the company, it may sometimes take me a bit longer to get back to you than I’d like, but I will respond to every comment I see. And the same is true in terms of my reading and commenting on others’ posts as well…I’m coming, I’m just running a little behind sometimes…you know how life is!

So here is a big cheers to all of you as I start getting busy on another year. Enjoy the ride!

And now, a few of my most popular posts from my first year, just in case you missed some breadcrumbs along the trail:

In June the Kri-Kri (goats) abound on the island of Crete, as does the yogurt based Tzatziki, from the post: Glorious Greece: Part 1: Tzatziki.

My take on a tomato caprese pie in July prompted the comment from a friend of mine in Italy that “all of Tuscany was making this pie!” I can’t wait until the tomatoes come this summer to start making more.

This Postcard from Florence, my hometown in Alabama, is still prompting folks to share memories of our beloved Trowbridges, and I was just there last weekend as a matter of fact!

My half of the finished product.

My first attempt at making jam in “We’re jammin!” was fun and a revelation on how easy it is to can things. Now if I can just find the time to make more this year.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad finished with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.

This Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a sure fire hit on a hot summer day.

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou…plus Humbolt Fog goat cheese, and some drunken fig jam.

My homemade drunken fig jam, Humboldt Fog cheese and a homemade pan bagnat were the main food attractions Of Mountains, Waterfalls and Picnics in the North Georgia Mountains. And the celebratory photo of the chocolate pie at the beginning of this post was from another lovely birthday mountain trip to Highlands, NC, a must-visit place!

A small glimpse of my cookbook addiction prompted lots of wonderful discussion about favorite cookbooks and reads, and I started my bookshelf page on this blog as a result…which I need to update of course.

First three shots are of Blenheim–outdoors, tasting room and barrel checking/sampling–last shot is the grounds of Veritas. I’d had a litle too much wine and it was too dark for a good shot of Afton Cellars…sorry dudes.

A trip to visit friends living in Afton, Virginia was the subject of this post on why I now think Virginia really is for lovers...of beautiful scenery, great wine, food and fun.

The before and after pizza…yummy!

What is it about pizza? These two quick and delicious “cheater pizzas”, one featuring prosciutto, tomato, basil and arugula and the other a roasted chicken with thyme shallot white sauce were two big hits with readers.

A jellyfish stranded on the beach after the storm.

Not an eating fish for sure, but many people seemed to enjoy seeing a jellyfish up close and personal, as well as some really beautiful images from our trip to the coast, that most lovely and pristine of beaches, Cape San Blas, Florida. The oysters in the area (Apalachicola) are outstanding and worth the trip alone!

Dinner is served.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the single most popular pasta dish I’ve shown so far: Penne with Fresh Broccoli and Garlic, reposted far and wide on Pinterest.

The holidays were full of fun foods to eat and gifts to make, and you can see a recap of most of them on my final approach weekend to Christmas including this cranberry liqueur and it’s variations, a ham, spinach and fontina bread pudding, some chocolate, hazelnut and ginger biscotti, those wicked fennel and red pepper glazed almonds, a clafouti and oh, so much more.

Texas Sheet Cake….you know you want it, you know you’re gonna make it!

This lighter version of a Texas Sheet Cake didn’t last long at our house, along with an orange curd cake, and a peach cake…all easy to make and delicious to eat.

Finished Pot Pies, ready to plate.

The story of the Little Chicken that Could about a roast chicken stretched to the max, was a fun ride over 3 chapters and 4 recipes including these Individual Chicken Pot Pies with Lemon Thyme Sweet Potato Biscuit.

Salad Days,” with my recipe for Warm Asparagus and Potato Salad with Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette, tops the most read post thanks to some very kind person posting it on Stumbled Upon (thank you whoever you are), with over 1000 views in about 2 days.

These cookies have Easter written all over them, and are very festive and rather stunning looking cookies, if I do say so myself!

Ma’amool, a middle eastern celebration cookie, are not only super fun to make, but of interest all over the world. The moulds are works of art!

Luscious homemade peach ice cream. I mean really, can there be anything better than this? (A daylight picture perhaps?)

And I’ll end with this recent, but most timely post on Peach Ice Cream because it really is the best ever, as folks who’ve tried it will attest…and peaches are in season here, people!

🙂

73 thoughts on “A Year Ago…

  1. Peach ice cream! great retrospective of your breadcrumb trail and what a feat getting to a year, i am still a bit behind you .. it is hard work but fun work and I have been thrilled at the people we are meeting.. so glad you are out here on the airwaves with us! c

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  2. Kudos, Betsy, on your first anniversary! Here’s hoping for many more. Loved your 100th blog. We were introduced to quinoa while in Peru (a magical trip) and think it’s an amazing grain. It’s always a delight to enjoy!

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  3. What a fantastic first year. And what a milestone. Congratulations Betsy. And what a funny way to start a blog – amazing how things can evolve! Love all the images of your first year and great to see we have some of the same cookbooks! Looking forward to journeying with you in your second year xx

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    • Thank you Charlie Louie, and I can’t believe it’s been a year. I only realized it really and truly was when I looked back at a year’s worth of my posts! Thanks for journeying with me so far, and I’m looking forward to the next year, too!

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  4. Congratulations, Betsy! You’ve posted quite a nice round-up here and it should come as no surprise that your pastas and pizzas grabbed my attention. Last year was my first year canning, too, and I just finished a batch for next week’s post. Do thank your friends for convincing you to start Bits & Breadcrumbs for it’s been a real pleasure meeting and getting to know you, Betsy. May you have many happy blogging years ahead of you.

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    • John, you are so kind and thank you for the good wishes and great compliments. Likewise, it’s been a real pleasure meeting and getting to know you, too. I look forward to your canning post and must catch up on everyone’s posts from this week…behind again! 🙂

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  5. Happy First Blog Anniversary, Betsy! You’re just as good a writer and photographer as you are a designer…and that’s saying a lot! *Hugs*
    — Nancy

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    • Thank you Sawsan, and you know, I was thinking when I was doing this post how nice it would be if everyone would do a little retrospective for the same reason…so I could see some great posts I’ve missed! 🙂

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  6. Happy Birthday!! I must admit, I haven’t read many of your earlier posts, so this is great! That penne with broccoli and garlic looks delicious…as does the asparagus and potato salad… 1000 views in two days….wow!!! Good luck with the next year of blogging 🙂

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  7. Congratulations on your anniversary with your blog:) I just started my own in the last 2 or so months, purely for fun, to post kid friendly recipes, and learn from all the other great bloggers out there. Your site is great!

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    • Why thank you so much, Tara, for your great compliments and for visiting me! Blogging is such fun, especially if you keep it in perspective when life gets in the way! 😉 And now I shall come and check out your blog, too. Cheers!

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  8. Happy, Happy first Blogging Anniversary!!!!! I have enjoy following your posts especially the story of the Little Chicken that Could. Looking forward to many more anniversaries.

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  9. Congrats on coming all this way. I really love your recipes, I think I last commented on the ma’moul, but I’ve been popping in from time to time. I can’t believe I haven’t yet subscribed to your blog… 🙂 My holidays are nearing (end of this week) so I can return to full blogging mode.. that’s not to say I’m not subscribing now though 😉
    I absolutely loved this post, it’s such a charm. Congrats again! :mrgreen:

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  10. Happy Anniversary … You have been nominated for my NEW Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. You can check out the details at my site … http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/ … Have a great foodie day!

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    • Thank you so much, Food Stories, for the good wishes and for the nomination. I am so honored that you would consider me! Due to some continuing health issues within my immediate family which are posing time constraints on posting at all, I’m no longer accepting these type of awards and I hope you’ll understand. My time has been so very limited lately, that I decided my blog was best served by focusing entirely on my own ideas and stories when I post, and allowing other deserving up and coming blogs to reap the awards and share about themselves, as I have done already. Please know that this in no way diminishes my appreciation of your nomination, and also the opportunity to get to know you and your judges. I’ll be visiting! 🙂

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  11. Happy Anniversary! What a well written post. I have been following your breadcrumb trail this last year and I am delighted to here that despite the fact it just started out as a platform to learn wordpress for your other career that you are still here today making delicious recipes for us all to enjoy. I just bookmarked that tomato tart- looks like a winner! Take care, BAM

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    • Hi Bam, and thank you so much for your wonderful compliments, and for following the breadcrumb trail! I do so enjoy reading your blog as well. When I started this blog, I did deep down want to do something with food but wasn’t sure that a blog was it, and I’d love if something food related turned into a career…though what that would be I have no idea at this juncture. 🙂 Playing with the WordPress template turned out to be such a happy event for me. I’ve loved writing this blog and all that goes with it from my very first post, and I really look forward to this next year and beyond!

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    • Tanya, thank you so much for stopping by, for your encouragement and your kind words and compliments! I am so pleased I got to “know” you too through blogging. Hope you’re having a great vacation this week! 🙂

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  12. Congratulations Betsy, such an amazing milestone. I enjoyed some of your earlier posts which I have not had a chance to review (so many blogs, so little time). I remember the jelly fish posts…what an ugly beast. And the Ma’amool, Barb (profiteroles and ponytails) just gave a lovely cookie press that I am just dying to try.

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    • Thanks so much, Eva, and oooooh, what fun…is it a Ma’amool press? Barb told me she’d found one (or 2?) and was going to make some with the ponytails after their birthdays. Yes, jellyfish are kind of (really) alien-looking. Whenever I see one I keep expecting the mother ship to come down and scoop it up! 🙂

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  13. Firstly congratulations on your 1st birthday! And what a wonderful way to celebrate – to encourage others. Blogging has certainly re-opend my world and my eyes into the world. and all these lovely treats! May there be many more 🙂

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    • Thank you, Jed, I just can’t believe it’s been a year now and I’m on to the second one. We have one jar left of last year’s drunken fig jam to get us through until the figs are ripe this year…now I just need to find more Humboldt fog. Do try, it’s wonderful!

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    • Hi Charles, and you’re so right, it is fun to see what happens in a year’s time! It just flew by, but was filled with so man good times and “meeting” so many great blogging friends, like you! Thanks so much for your good wishes, and cheers to you and many more wonderful years, too. 🙂

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    • Geni thank you so much for your good wishes and so kind words! I’m thrilled to be blogging and so happy to have “met” you out here in the blogosphere. I’m so pleased that you enjoy that potato salad. We have it pretty regularly around here, too! You have a wonderful week as well.

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