My first post was published to Bear & Bug Eats on March 16, 2016, and my dear friends and family, that makes this my One Year Blogaversary!
One year. So much can happen in one year! The world goes all the way around the sun. Babies are marinated and born. A person eats 1,095 meals (if they don’t skip breakfast). So what happened here?
A Brief History
- March 2016: I hold my breath, screw my courage to the sticking place, and hit Publish on a recipe filled with love and bad photos. (Two months later my friend tries to convince me to cook these at his house “For the blog.” I correctly understand this to mean that they are delicious.)
- April 2016: I shock myself by posting not one, but two salads in one month. Robby teaches me a couple of things about his DSLR, including the fact that the different camera lenses all do different things. That explains a lot.
- May 2016: I spend ten minutes cooking and talking myself down after accidentally numbing my face.
- June 2016: Someone who has bought into hate devastates my city. We start walking the long path of healing. To date, this remains my day of single highest readership.
- July 2016: My recently-retired aunt starts sending me pictures and compliments on my mojo pork, which is when I discover that she’s methodically cooking her way through Bear & Bug. I love her.
- August 2016: I surprise myself by pulling off a beloved Chinese food for my brother’s birthday. This goes much better than the sweater I promised, which as of that post was 1/4 too-large sweater, 3/4 sad piles of yarn. (Don’t ask me about how it looks now.)
- September 2016: Six months in, I finally find my tagline. Naturally, it’s inspired by bacon.
- October 2016: I get audacious and do a whole month of Halloween (drinks, appetizer, dessert, and a guest post from Robby). We buy a house!
- November 2016: I celebrate living with chocolate creme brulee. We paint and move into our house; I learn to walk around the cabinet in the living room.
- December 2016: I undertake a rite of passage and make my grandmother’s potato rolls and my mom’s chocolate crinkle cookies. I invest the vast amount of $7 to advertise the latter on Facebook; it nets over 800 views.
- January 2017: I experiment with healthy cooking and start the final semester of my MBA.
- February 2017: We spend a long weekend in Arizona, on what I realize is my second “last trip” to see my maternal grandfather. I don’t know how to prepare for goodbye, but I do knit him a scarf and bake Valentine’s-Super Bowl-comfort food cookies.
That brings us to now, March 2017. So far this month, I’ve added an index page and an email list signup to the blog (I’m trying to ignore the fact that the Index looks odd and the signup works funny). I still haven’t figured out how to light photos or use Photoshop properly, and I haven’t become a code wizard in my sleep. I spent my birthday weekend swing dancing and say goodbye to an event that’s been part of my life for almost a decade. I still haven’t made any money from the blog.
When I started this blog, I gave myself a year to work hard and see what happened. I haven’t worked as hard as I could have, but I haven’t missed a week, even when we moved. My photography is improving by inches. I’m learning more about the business of blogging.
I don’t know if this corner of the internet will be forever, but it’ll at least be around for another year. Before we celebrate with seasonally appropriate bread, want to give me a birthday/blogaversary gift? Leave me a comment, share your favorite post on social media, or subscribe to the email list (signup is in the sidebar)! Or both. Or not. Either way, thanks for sticking around.
Chocolate Chip Soda Bread with Salted Honey Butter
This is how the Irish eat it, right? This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is. I left the recipe pretty much as written, except that I used semi-sweet chocolate chips. Partially because I only had semi-sweet on hand and partially because dark chocolate is always better.
My dough was super sticky; I think I added a good half cup of flour trying to get the right consistency. You may be better off holding back some of the buttermilk.
I will also admit that my photos are slightly misleading in that there is no honey in this butter–I did the unthinkable and ran out. Don’t be like me–keep extra honey on hand!
Recipe from one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is.
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (I used milk with vinegar)
2/3 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more, or less!)
Preheat the oven the 375F.
Whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing as you go, until the dough comes together. You may need more flour; it should be just kneadable.
Toss the chocolate chips with a little extra flour and stir them into the dough.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the dough into a rough round and slice an X on top (about an inch and a half deep).
Bake until set and golden on top, 45-55 minutes. Serve warm!
Combine ingredients. Slather on warm bread!