Merry Christmas everyone! Although Christmas this year was a subdued affair, we celebrated by having roast chicken instead of roast turkey, coupled with delicious roast vegetables and a homely mushroom soup. All very simple, but delicious all the same. I also made a chocolate log cake, again with my 3-ingredient sponge rolled up with whipped cream and topped with chocolate ganache.

My family no longer exchange gifts, because it’s usually a waste of money if you get something just for the sake of gift giving. Christmas is not just about gift giving, but about giving, so if you’ve received many useless/unwanted gifts this year, why not ask your friends and family to use that money next year to donate it to a cause close to your heart or to help a charity?

Because of the commercialization of Christmas, it’s also easy to forget why there is Christmas in the first place – for Christians, it’s the day when Christ was born; for others, it’s perhaps a time for family and for giving thanks, and to reflect on the year gone by. That particularly applies to me – I find myself particularly reflective during Christmas, as I dwell on what has happened in the year past and what I hope for the year ahead. This Christmas is also particularly meaningful, because it’s when my blog turns one! Yes, I first started the blog exactly a year ago on Christmas Day. I didn’t exactly draft that very first post on Christmas Day itself because it being my first post, I remember spending many days on it, editing and thinking of what to write. I finally posted it on Christmas Day, because I wanted Christmas to mark the birth of my blog, and the birth of something new in my life. It was also because I got my Bombino, my workhorse the Kitchenaid for Xmas last year.

Some experimental sugar-free Christmas tree cookies for diabetics in my family

Looking back, I’m very thankful for the gift, because I can honestly say that it perhaps helped me move forward with my baking, because I could no longer hide behind the excuse of not having any mixer to bake the ‘harder’ things. To say that I’m very proud of the past year and how this little blog of mine has progressed is an understatement. I opened a document entitled “aims for my blog”, which I wrote one year ago, and one of my aims was to be more consistent in taking photographs and to settle on a structure for my blog posts. I believe I’ve settled into my own structure over the past year, and although I’m still not too consistent in taking photographs of everything I bake, I’m making an effort and I’m definitely proud of the progress I’ve made in food styling-wise and photography-wise.

The other aim was to have 2000 page views after 6 months. I’m not sure why I settled on this number, but I’m glad to say that I’ve surpassed this greatly. Today, exactly 12 months after I started my first post, this blog has garnered more than 118,000 page views! This has definitely surpassed the original aim of 2000 page views. There are still a couple more personal aims which I have yet to fulfill, but I’m taking steps towards that. With the advent of work (I officially started work 12 December), posting has been much slower, so I’ve decided to take things slower, and let this blog grow organically, and let fate surprise me instead.

Anyway, I decided that this was an apt time as any to do a little walk down memory lane now that my blog is a year old. I decided to bastardize the 7-links meme that has been going around the internet, with just 5 links of my own. You might realize that most of the links are pretty recent entries, because I think that my photography has picked up considerably recently, hence the self-confidence ;p



My Most Beautiful Post and The Post That I Am Most Proud Of 
This was hard. I equate most beautiful post with the photos that I’ve taken that I’m most pleased with. This would be a tie with my pink salted caramel macarons and my chocolate cupcakes. I believe my photograph-taking has been improving, thanks to the reading up and experimenting I’m doing.
For the salted caramel macarons, I’m proud of them because it represents how far I have gone since the first time I started baking. I always used to help my mom with baking cupcakes and muffins, and never would I imagine myself baking macarons, little things which I gobbled down when I was in Europe. I’m really proud of how much I’ve grown as a baker, but to an extent, I have been very hesitant about doing entremets and more complex stuff, hence the dearth of such things on the blog. I really hope that with the advent of the new year, I’ll gather more courage to try and post about them here! :]For the chocolate cupcakes, it’s a really simple recipe, but it shows how much I’ve improved food styling wise. A year ago, I would never have used so many textures and props in a photograph, and taking the effort to look for the best light and to find props to match the cupcakes. But hey, look at how far I’ve come :]

My Most Popular Post 
Hands down it is my list of baking places in Singapore. When I posted the list, I never knew it would be as popular as it is now. I think it ranks as one of the top 10 google result searches when you search for “baking supplies in Singapore” or something like that. Do also check out my list of price comparisons between baking ingredients in Singapore, which I myself refer to on more than one occasion. I actually have many more of such lists, like a complete list of food places/ restaurants in town – this helps me when ive no idea what to eat in Orchard, as well as to help my guests from overseas. And a complete list of pizzerias, organic food stores, etc. I hope to be able to post them soon, once I type them out and neatly arrange things.



A Post Whose Success Surprised Me 

Again, this is a tie between my fluffy pancakes and moist steamed chocolate cake. The pancakes post was literally done in half an hour. I had made the pancakes earlier in the morning, hurriedly snapped a few photos with my iphone and my camera, then uploaded it and wrote a short blog post to accompany it. I never imagined so many would think the pancakes were pretty and had it repined both on tumblr and interest!Same for the chocolate cake. I was actually too lazy to look for a proper plate for the cake, so I used the white cutting board as a base and couldn’t be bothered with the chocolate and crumbs all over. I must say it looks pretty artistic on hindsight ;p



A Post I Feel Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved 

This would have to be Pierre Herme’s ispahan cupcake. With the popularity of the ispahan flavor combination, I was expecting this recipe to make the rounds, but sadly, it didn’t. Perhaps it’s too plebian as compared to the ispahan macaron or buche de noel? Anyhow, I’m posting it again here so that those of you who are too scared to try the tough stuff (like me), can start off with this relatively simple cupcake recipe :]

Alright. I actually wanted to post a couple of my Christmas recipes (such as my new and improved Christmas log cake and various other cookies), but I actually had to work on the eve of Christmas eve, which was officially a company holiday, and work’s been a bitch the whole of last week. In fact, I’ve to go back to the office later tonight (yes, on Christmas Day) and I’ll probably have to work through to Boxing Day tomorrow as well. Sad no? Well, as my senior said, welcome to the sad life.

Anyhow, have a blessed Christmas everyone, and hopefully I’ll find time to post something new between now and the new year, before I leave for a short holiday to Taiwan :]

9 comments

  1. Ah Tze says:

    Merry Christmas and hava a blessed 2012! Enjoy your holiday!

  2. One year to get ur first 6 digit count. Very good eh!
    Took me almost 3 years, LOL!
    Embarassing, hahahaha!

    I think hosting Aspiring Bakers helps kickstart some stuff, but it’s the content that makes people stay on and on, and come back for more.

    I am very impressed with the effort you put into ur JB post and bakery shops post. Very detailed.

    Happy Blogoservary and May you have many more to come and definitely more hits

  3. Happy 1st birthday! Your blog is still so young! It seems to me that you have been blogging for a long time! Keep it up and have a wonderful year in 2012! :)

  4. sotong says:

    Happy 1st Blogiversary and Merry Christmas to you! I’ve also made a log cake for Christmas this year. My first log cake ever. A chocolate sponge roll with whipped cream filling and chocolate ganache frosting, exactly like yours! Can’t wait to see how yours looks like! Hehe

  5. Michelle says:

    ooo congrats on the first blogging year! it’s cool to do a learning journey to see how your photog has improved. i shld consider tt some day. heh. ;) really love your cake on the cutting board shot!

    i should totally consider getting myself a kitchenaid…

    happy hols and happy new year!

  6. Your photography has definitely improved ! looking at your photos , i feel the need to expand on my repertoire of styling props =) I love what you have done with the styling(s)!

  7. Wow, based on your photos, I definitely would never have guessed you’ve only been blogging a year!

    Happy belated one year blogiversary! I’m off to check out the rest of your blog!

  8. Happy one year anniversary to your blog. May this coming new year brings you joy, health and more delicious posts. :)

  9. Happy anniversary and Happy New Year!
    I’ve just nominated you for the Liebster Award – details here: http://tofoodwithluv.blogspot.com/2011/12/eggs-cooked-in-tomato-sauce.html

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