Six years ago, on my birthday, Charles and a couple friends handed me a piece of paper with the login for this website and it changed my life! I still can’t believe that this is my job. Today I am celebrating my birthday and the 6th anniversary of this website! Let’s take a look back at the past year:
I always dreamed of traveling the world and in the past year, I have made it to 12 countries plus 14 cities in the United States. I traveled abroad to Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Portugal, Spain (twice!), Morocco, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Ireland, and England. And back home in the US, I visited Boston, Washington D.C., Milwaukee, Charleston, Indianapolis, Madison, Kohler, New Orleans, Lake Geneva, San Francisco/Napa, and Kansas City. Plus I have traveled home to Maine three times, and I went to NYC to see my sister three times. Yes, if you add it all up that is 26 places in a year.
Over the past year I have slowly shifted away from covering Chicago restaurants and shifted towards writing more about travel and creating more travel inspired recipes. Here are some of my favorite travel inspired recipes: Watermelon Cooler Cocktail (inspired by New Orleans), Shopska Salad (inspired by Serbia), Goat Cheese, Rosemary, Honey, and Prosciutto Toasts (inspired by Lisbon), Irish Mashed Potatoes, and Indiana Sugar Cream Pie. I have also written about cooking classes in Morocco and England.
Here are some fun facts about thekittchen.com (and me):
- My most popular recipes for for Roasted Tomato, Mozzarella, and Spinach Quiche and Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Chicken.
- My favorite recent recipe is my Beef Pasta Skillet.
- I have published over 1,150 posts in the past 6 years.
- Most blog posts take 5-7 hours of work. Grocery shopping, cooking, photographing, writing, photo editing, SEO optimization and social media promotion takes a lot of time.
- The site gets the most traffic between 4pm and 6pm (central time).
- I am super picky when it comes to brand partnerships, and I say no a lot.
- I use Instagram, but I really don’t like it. I think it full of people who buy followers and act like they have won a popularity contest.
- I plan out content way in advance. I usually have 20-30 posts written and scheduled.
- Everyone always asks who eats all the food I cook. Charles and I eat a lot of it, and I give some to friends and neighbors too. Sometimes I drop off baked goods at my friend’s office because having a large batch of sweets at home is dangerous.
- The second most common question I am asked is how Charles and I aren’t overweight. I cook at home a lot, which means we go to restaurants less, and I think that a home cooked meal is almost always healthier than a meal at a restaurant. We also workout several times a week. Recently I have been running about 20 miles a week.
- It can be hard to come up with new ideas. This is one of the reasons why I like to have posts scheduled in advance, it puts less pressure on me and gives me time to get over writers block.
- I have met some of my best friends through blogging.
- I absolutely love it when people send me photos of my recipes that they have made at home!
I am so lucky that I have a job that I love so much, and I owe it all to my readers, so thank you.