For probably about the last two weeks or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about 2016. The general consensus out there is that 2016 sucked. Hard. And if you look at the state of the world (the giant Cheeto who is about to take over the leadership of our neighbor to the north, all those celebrity deaths), you kinda gotta agree.
On a “world” level, I’m still pretty gutted by the loss of Leonard Cohen, one of my favorite singer/songwriters. And Carrie Fisher! She was one of my first feminist role models.
But on a personal level, you’d be hard pressed to find a better year than 2016. Financially, I probably had my best year of business yet. Plus, there was this little thing called a cookbook deal.
You guys! I wrote a cookbook!
Okay, let’s have a look at the year that was here on the blog. In 2016, Cooking by Laptop got:
- nearly 50,000 page views (up 34% from 2015)
- nearly 30,000 visitors (up 33% from 2015)
- and I wrote 75 blog posts
This year I also traveled lots, and ate some fabulous meals in places like Summerland, Chicago, Portland, and all the way down to California when Michael and I took that epic road trip. Oh–and donuts. I ate lots and lots of donuts, so all is right with the world.
As for the blog, there is a very clear trend in this year’s top posts: Aquafaba!
Back to School Breakfast Cookies: I liked this recipe so much, it made it into the cookbook! These are tasty, healthy, vegan. I make big batches and freeze them for those crazy mornings.
Vegan Challah: as Chanukah approached, I was curious to see if I could do a vegan challah made with aquafaba. So, to sum up; there’s basically nothing magical bean water can’t do!
Vegan Bourbon Sour: basically my all-time favorite cocktail is a Bourbon Sour, but you need to make them with egg whites. I wondered if aquafaba could stand in for the egg whites, and, turns out, it really, really can.
Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream: I started using aquafaba in ice cream last year, and was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. You can make a completely dairy-free ice cream that is fluffy and creamy, meaning, I challenge you to even know that there’s no dairy. One of my favorite times of the year is when the rhubarb lands in the Farmer’s Markets; it’s like the official beginning of summer. I made a vegan ice cream with aquafaba, and that classic sweet-tart strawberry-rhubarb combo.
Vegan S’mores: I was so excited to work with aquafaba, and to really see what it can do. This was early in the process, but it makes a really decent s’more. If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, this isn’t a big deal to you, but if you are, it’s kinda huge. Yeah, you can buy vegan marshmallows, but they cost–I kid you not–$8 a bag, whereas aquafaba? Cheap AF.
Portobello Wellington: an elegant recipe that you could serve for a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, this bad boy is all vegan and super meaty (without the meat, natch).
So, out of those top 6 posts, 100% of them are vegan recipes, and 5 out of the 6 feature Aquafaba. I feel I may be on to something here.
And 2017–what can I say about a year where I know I’m going to have a book published? With my name on the cover??
Happy New Year, gentle reader. I wish you and yours all the happiness and good food the year can bring.