I loved blogging for you in 2012

Picture this: coffee brewing, baby sleeping, fingers typing, preschooler coloring, cookies baking. On any given morning, that about sums up my work-at-home status update.

This little food blog has blessed me with a part-time job that is incredibly rewarding, ever challenging, and always exciting. I adore what I do and all of you who help make it possible. Without you, the reader, my craft would have little value. I so appreciate the community here, as I do on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Although I hope not, there may come a day when I take it all for granted – the flexible hours, the instant feedback, the creative outlet – but for now I am grateful for this position that I have and hold it in high esteem.

The past year has been such fun. Can I just say, I loved blogging for you in 2012.

Why? Well read on, and I’ll share some highlights.

In January, I began my Bite this Book series, and had the pleasure of interviewing an amazing group of authors – and then giving away their new cookbooks! I’ll be continuing the series in 2013, you’ll be happy to hear.

I truly embraced the slow-cooker for the first time and created two new family favorite dishes with Coconut Ginger Chicken & Vegetables and Overnight Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oats. The slow-cooker even got a summer work out with a batch of homemade ketchup.

In the early spring, Baby Clara arrived, and a stellar line-up of guest posters filled in for me for a few week. By far, the most popular of those posts was Andrew’s best party trick ever where he made 30-minute mozzarella. It’s a genius little step-by-step tutorial, perfect for the novice cheesemaker, and which, incidentally, has been pinned nearly 50K times.

Things got personal this year, but you didn’t mind when I wrote about my postpartum diet, shared my Mother’s Day musings (and Clara’s newborn photos), or waxed romantic on our 10th wedding anniversary.

Many of you chimed in when I shared A Day in the Life, with family at the center, work fit in here and there, and plenty of good food to go around. I’ll write a winter/school version soon.

In June we fired up the grill, but not just for traditional eats. Grilled fruit salad with lime? Sublime. Grilled pizza? Revolutionary.

Some of the best forkfuls of food I put into my mouth in 2012 included my Warm Potato Salad with Grainy Mustard, Bacon & Ramps (from my backyard), my simplified Coq au Vin over egg noodles, and the summery Vanilla-Biscuit Peach & Plum Cobbler. I can only hope 2013 is just as tasty.

With the Homefries girls, Joy the Baker and Tracy!

Some of my favorite blogging perks from the year were meeting and hanging out with blogging friends, old and new. I took a workshop with Aran, attended Big Summer Potluck and Allume, and connected with some great girls in my own food blogging community.

I’ve said it before: these forged friendships are one of the greatest rewards of blogging. Girls like Shaina, Amber and Megan make me laugh daily as we commiserate together over life’s everyday ups and downs. Others such as Kristen, Alice and Tsh inspire me to do more with my platform to help touch others.

Countless others encourage me and motivate me to reach further and higher. And I can’t say enough good about the team behind Food Bloggers of Canada. (Psst! I’m speaking at their upcoming conference!)

Danny rocked as the resident urban homesteading expert, writing about our raised garden beds, our rain barrel installation, and backyard chickens. Any ideas for new projects for him in 2013?

Speaking of chickens, I mustered up the courage to write about how we harvested our brood in the fall (real life farm-to-table images and all) and your response was incredible! Thank you for that.

I put so many delicious fruits  and vegetables in jars in 2012, I don’t know how I can possibly top them next summer. Slow-Cooker Blueberry Butter (pictured above), Zucchini-Pepper Sweet Relish and Cranberry-Pear Conserve with Ginger were just a few of my favorites.

Each new canning recipe was so well received and I loved reading your feedback and seeing your own canning projects on Instagram (hashtag #SBCanIt). Keep it up!

What else?

We hosted an epic harvest dinner, an event I am hoping to make an annual one, kids snacking station and all.

We embraced Baby-Led Weaning and a hearty conversation ensued in the comments of my first post. (Expect a follow-up soon!)

We rocked another month of October Unprocessed and we still ate chocolate cake. I’d call that a success.

And so much more. I really mean it when I say, I loved blogging for you in 2012.

One last thing that needs to be addressed.

I’ve barely cracked my laptop in the last week and a half, but when I did log on, I was surprised to see the year ending with some mudslinging by and at food bloggers. Many negative posts posted out trends to hate, reasons never to write a food blog, and calculate why no one reads your food blog.

Really?

For me, there are so many positives to food blogging, the negatives fade into the background, or perhaps they are blurry because I choose not to focus on them. I blog for you, the reader, not to fit into my community. I’m so not on trend. Any ‘props’ I own, I also use frequently for our day-to-day. I don’t waste food. None. I believe in re-heats, leftovers, but I don’t throw food away after I photograph it.

I adore the food blogging community. I have so much respect for anyone who holds down a food blog, because it is work to maintain. There should be NO taking sides, no dividing according to niches and genres.

In the New Year, how about we (I’m talkin’ to the food bloggers now!) move toward building each other up and judging a lot less? Amen.

As for my dear readers, I loved blogging for you in 2012. Let’s do it all over again (but better) in 2013, okay?

What was a favorite post from 2012? What would you like to see covered here on Simple Bites in the New Year?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. My sentiments exactly at the end there. Let’s focus on the positive and ignore the negativity. Having fun w/ our readers is what’s it’s all about, right?! I look forward to loving your blog for yet another year!
    Lori @ RecipeGirl’s last post: Top Recipes 2012

  2. And I loved reading you in 2012!

  3. Aimee, some of the best parts of my day are when we’re able to connect over skype and have a laugh. I am so grateful for the friendships we’ve all formed, because they truly saved me in the last couple of years.
    For 2013, I want to see Danny take on building you an outdoor smoker or pizza oven. (Don’t kill me, Danny!)
    Also for 2013, I want peace in the food blogging community. Who cares if you’re passionate about cupcakes made with cake mix, or vegan gluten free ones? What’s important is that we’re all writing about what we love, and can commiserate together. I am grateful for that.
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies’s last post: British Bacon Rolls

  4. I love your blog, Amie! And, I’m with you — I don’t waste food and have no “props” that don’t really get used! There are so many blessings and positives – those do most certainly outshine the negatives. Blessings to you in 2013 — can’t wait to see more glimpses into your kitchen and yummy recipes too!
    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s last post: Countdown to 2013: Reader Favorites from 2012

  5. Loved reading your blog in 2012! I am SO not a foodie (my DH holds down that role in the family!) but your blog inspires me to move out of my comfort zone with food and also to be aware of the food&hospitality and food&memories and food&?? connections in my life and in my family. Love that you’re keeping it real :)
    Also, go Canadian girls!!
    :) ErinH, mama to 2 in Manitoba

  6. I only found your blog late this year and can I just say how glad I am that I did discover it! Great post, love your thoughts at the end, well said! Wishing you a very happy new year!

  7. We are a generation apart and yet I identify with so much of what you have written and love so many of the things you do…they take me back many years to raising my own family and having a steadfast determination to do much of what I did with a very ‘homegrown’ longing. Canning, sewing, keeping the home fires burning; funny, I was called affectionately ‘The Pioneer Woman’ long before the internet became a part of our every day lives and I wore that badge with honor.
    I did not see the post about harvesting your chickens and not sure I could do that but I so wish I could keep some for eggs; my HOA feels otherwise. What I loved best about this post beyond all the wonderful things you do? That photo of the long table, filled with friends, food and conversation; it is a perfect representation of why I cook and feed others. It is truly soul satisfying and that image says all that and more.
    Here’s to another great year for you Aimee…Happy New Year!
    Barbara | Creative Culinary’s last post: Heath Bar Slice ‘n Bake Shortbread Cookies for #Baketogether

  8. Amen.
    Amy’s last post: Setting Goals for a New Year

  9. Aimee – thanks for being YOU! You inspire so many of us! Looking forward to seeing what you share in the coming year :) Have a happy, healthy and safe new year with your beautiful family.
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel’s last post: Top 10 Recipes of 2012

  10. This is beyond beautifully written. Cheers to 2013!
    Cassie | Bake Your Day’s last post: Last-Minute Party Dips

  11. Amen!! And congrats to an awesome year!! Here’s to an even better year in 2013!!! :)
    JulieD’s last post: Grilled Caesar Salad

  12. Aimee,
    I do not read you regularly, so this was a great little recap of your style and your heart. How I wish technology was so advanced when I was a young mother. You are truly building an online journal in real time for your family to cherish forever. And making money, too! Who can beat that! Love whenever I stop by!
    Happy, Happy 2013!
    BIG SMILES and HUGS!
    Valerie
    A Canadian Foodie’s last post: Bacon Potato Cheddar Tart

  13. I’m really glad I was naive to the negative articles! :) I’m glad the majority of us bloggers are upbeat, positive and supportive of one another. Yay to a great 2012 and looking forward to 2013!! Happy new year, Aimee!
    Nikki @Pennies on a Platter’s last post: Your Top 12 Favorites of 2012

  14. I’ve enjoyed your posts and ideas here this year. Luckily I have missed the negativity elsewhere. I am looking forward to more inspiration shared in the year ahead.
    Julia’s last post: Top 8 Craft and Recipe Posts of 2012

  15. What a lovely post! And oh what a great year for yummy recipes! Happy New Year!
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama’s last post: Top Ten Recipes of 2012

  16. What a wonderful post! Looking forward to 2013…Happy New Year!

  17. Love to you, Aimee and wishing you and yours a very blessed New Year! Enjoyed reading your posts as always.
    Melissa @ Baking For The Boys’s last post: Top Ten Viewed in 2012

  18. Thank YOU for all your posts in 2012. It is the highlight of my email inbox and Instagram stream – I especially loved your Harvest dinner and all the pics you shared.
    All the best for 2013. Looking forward to it : )

    @kellyannmorris

  19. Just wanted to let you know that I was new to Simplebites this year (although I can’t remember how I got here) and I have enjoyed all your postings. Thank you!

  20. I loved all the blogging you did too! All the best in 2013. xo
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar’s last post: Top 25 Recipes From 2012

  21. What a lovely post, Aimee – and we share many favorites!
    I’ve had a post in the works about those food blog posts as well, just waiting to hit publish. We absolutely need to better support each other. This is a great community and I’m so thankful and blessed to be part of it.
    Cheers to 2013!!
    Gina Rau’s last post: Countdown to the New Year: Top Recipes of 2012

  22. Tracy Alsterlund says:

    I am glad to not read enough to hear all the negative sludge. I am grateful that you share your experiences about your families food culture and I love the ability to learn baby steps toward our family’s food goals. Most of all I love the recipes and just got done eating a Quebec Pork Pie. So good. Thank you.

  23. And we have loved reading your work, Aimee! I also agree bout ignoring the negativity- the most important thing is the authenticity and fun of what you do! Happy new year to your family! Xoxo

  24. I loved reading you in 2012, you are definitely my go-to blog for recipes. I’d love to hear more about garden planning this year I can never seem to get things going and in the ground on time!
    Christine’s last post: Off the List

  25. Aimee,
    Thank you so much for your blog. I think you’re doing a great job. I started following your blog in 2012, and already have a folder of your recipes that became regulars on my family menu.
    Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family! Looking forward to reading more of your posts this year…

  26. I loved you blogging for us! I so enjoy your recipes and often recommend your site to friends who are looking to do more in the kitchen. Clearly I’m in the right place when your two favorite slow cookers recipes are now some of my new slow cooker recipes! Happy New Year!

  27. I love your blog, and hope to see some more canning inspiration in the new year. I began canning in 2011, but didn’t can anything in 2012 since I didn’t feel inspired, and felt I needed to cut something from the schedule. I’d like to get back into it this year. Happy new year!

  28. I have loved reading all year. You (and a few other food bloggers) are referred to by name at my house (“Aimee, one of my favorite food bloggers”), like old friends when I trot out one of your recipes. For that, I thank you.

  29. And I loved hearing about it all, here’s to another great year!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen’s last post: 2012 A Year in Food | A Year of Seasonal Gluten Free Recipes

  30. Thank you for a fun and informative year. I really enjoy reading you with my coffee in the morning and trying out the different recipes. My favourite was the pumpkin french toast with the molasses. hmmm always a hit with my family. This year I purchased a pressure cooker and was hoping to see what some nice wholesome recipes I can jar for my big teenagers to snack on. They always go for fast and easy and instead of having processed foods for them, I would love to stock my pantry with some healthy choices they can just pop in the microwave. Best wishes to you and yours. Looking forward to 2013

  31. Late to the party, but I wanted to share my appreciation for your hard work – it’s fun, but it IS work and I love watching it pay off so spectacularly for you! I count myself incredibly lucky to know you and your family. Happy 2013!
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories.’s last post: Thai Curry Meatballs: The Perfect Party Snack

  32. Thank you for the hard work you put into this site. It’s a true pleasure to read, cook from & share with friends.

  33. I just discovered your blog recently and loved this post! I am due to have my second baby in the next couple days and am so happy to have stumbled upon you! I love the blog and know how much work it is and greatly appreciate it.

  34. I’ve loved following your blog as much as you’ve loved blogging, and I’m so glad we’re friends. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring! Happy New Year, Aimee! :-)
    Tracy’s last post: Cardamom Snickerdoodles and Food-Related Goals for 2013

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