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August 15, 2011

Although I have been blogging for the past three years, my blog changed web-locales and message this day last year. Although I oscillated between being vegetarian and pescetarian my entire life, I made the serious plunge back to vegetarianism when we started to feed our daughter. I just couldn’t knowingly raise her eating meat when I had so much knowledge about our problematic food system. Wanting to raise my daughter to value life and live the healthiest that she could, it just felt hypocritical. So, I moved over to WordPress and started the Vegetarian Salmon. Once I transitioned to vegetarian, I felt more comfortable with the writing, cooking, and learning. Because I was more inspired to cook interesting and healthful foods, I posted more. Not to mention, we started to eat healthier, feel better, and lose weight without dieting. Serafina has taken to her vegetarian lifestyle very well. A healthy eater, she is in the 90th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. Her latest doctor appointment showed that she is extremely healthy, and after taking a look at stats and blood work, her doctor complemented us for maintaining a balanced vegetarian diet. All in all, any of my anxieties about the transition have been calmed by a healthy family, supportive friends, and the fun of discovering new foods and recipes.

In a little less than a year, this new blog received 20,000 hits and a few dozen subscribers from around the world. Several close friends have told me they meet people from DC to Tennessee ,who don’t know me, but read the blog. People also have been sharing the blog with their friends. I have a mixed reaction when people talk about the fact that “I blog” (yes, imagine annoying finger quotes).  I get slightly embarrassed, which I am not sure why, but I do enjoy the process of recording our eating adventures.   Just when I feel like maybe I shouldn’t blog anymore or I have no inspiration to cook something new, I get an email from a reader discussing a recipe they cooked or how they enjoyed an entry. And that, is a very cool feeling. So, thanks everyone!

Although I have been slow to post this summer for obvious reasons, I am doing some research on new foods and recipes. Because of the stressful Spring, I am not putting pressure on myself to cook too much, but after two months of routine eating, I am now inspired to diversify our diet.

Recently, I was tagged in a blog activity by Lisa at The Splattered Apron, which is perfectly timed for the blog-versary. This is sort of a year-in-the-blog superlative exercise.  So, here we go:

Most Beautiful Post: Serafina the Great

This is the post I wrote in remembrance of my Grandmother almost a year after she died. I wouldn’t say that the post is beautifully written, but it really stirred up emotions with myself and family. I printed my grandfather a copy, which he loved. I still re-read it when I want to remember her.

Most Popular Post: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This is a really good recipe, one that continues to be a hit when I have friends over. I really recommend putting the Shepherd’s Pie in your routine, especially if you want to feed carnivores vegetarian food. Another vegetarian blog recommended my recipe, and it seems I get a continual stream of visitors, and return visitors for that one, which makes it the most popular

Most Controversial Post:  (Tied) Switching from Pescetarian to Vegetarian and Fragmentation and Facebook

Especially after all the slack I experienced in giving Serafina formula, I expected the post, on raising Serafina vegetarian to be controversial. Some said that she wouldn’t appreciate food and others argued everybody needs meat. The great thing is that the people who have babies and children, who understand their dietary needs, were very supportive. Most of the people in Serafina’s life really encourage our vegetarian lifestyle, and love to try new recipes on us. Additionally, because I have to vary her diet so much, she really has developed an adventurous love of food.

The post on leaving Facebook generated the highest number of personal emails, Facebook posts, voting, and blog posts. People had strong opinions on my participation on Facebook. I found this to be really funny, because my reason for leaving had to do with my own personal experience with Facebook. I felt that I was on the internet too much, that I was compelled to check when I was bored, and I lost the freedom to think about the world without the context of the social medium.  I will say a few weeks later, I am really happy I left. I enjoy the quiet.

Most Helpful Post: baby food recipes

The baby food tab is really popular, and I know several friends who have used or re-posted my advice. I am really proud of all the work I put into making Serafina’s baby food, and I am glad for people to use the information I found.  Please pass the information on; I am big into sharing cool discoveries and borrowing information from my friends. No need to re-invent the wheel. De-mystifying baby food is an important way for parents to feel empowered in helping their child grow.

A Post Whose Success Surprised You: Minimalism and a new kitchen tool: Yunnan Steamer

My mother-in-law gave me a really cool Yunnan Steamer for Christmas. It is a fantastic kitchen tool, that I use often. Each day, at least one person reads my blog entry describing it. I imagine other people around the world getting Yunnan steamers. Not quite sure what to do, they go to the web, and they find my blog entry on not knowing what to do. I am not sure why I find this funny, but I do.

A Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved: Steamed Bok Choy with Almond Veggie Rice

There are a few recipes that are really good that don’t get many clicks, and this is one of them. It is light, tasty, and healthy. I highly recommend adding some bok choy into your life.

Post You’re Most Proud Of: The Blog

I think I am just generally proud of the blog. I sway from being embarrassed that (imagine annoying quotation fingers) “I Blog,” to thinking it is really nice that people are interested in learning how to incorporate more vegetarian meals into their family’s diet. For those who want a definitive answer, fine! Some of the particular recipes that I have written that I have personally gone back to again and again are:

Lovely Arancini

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

Swiss Chard, Portabella Mushroom, and Squash Tacos with Corn Esquites

Mo’s Sloppy Joe’s and Rosemary Pearl Potatoes (Vegan)

Spicy Kale and White Bean Penne Pasta

Pasta in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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