Tag Archive for year in review

2016: Top Posts

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.

top posts 2016 cookingbylaptop

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??

Bring it!

Happy New Year, gentle reader. I wish you and yours all the happiness and good food the year can bring.

Top Posts of 2014

For the next few days, I have some year-end wrap-up posts for you. Today, we start with 2014’s most popular posts, as determined by how many views each post got.

Here’s how 2014 broke down on Cooking by Laptop:

Number of Posts: 135

Number of visitors: 24,500 (this number is significantly up from last year, by about 10,000!)

Here’s the WordPress version of my top posts.

top posts 2014

So, without further ado, here is the countdown of 2014’s top posts!

10. Chocolate Beer Cake: In March this year, I travelled to Tofino to take in all the culinary delights the city had to offer, and spend a bunch of time at the beach. One part of Tofino’s awesomeness was the Tofino Brewing Company, an awesome little craft brewery. I came home with a few bottles of their product, and one of them made its way into this dense, chocolatety cake of deliciousness.

9. Red Wine Ice Cream: the answer to the question, “what’s the perfect treat for girl’s night?” It really, really is.

8. Christmas Gifts for Foodies: this post, even though I only published it a few weeks ago, made the top ten list because it contained a giveaway for wine. Good to know for the future–wine giveaways are popular!

7. Scones a la Forage: Forage is one of my favourite local restaurants. Everything is local and sustainable. And delicious. I had a fabulous brunch there earlier this year, and fell in love with the scones served to us by Chef Chris Whittaker. He kindly shared his recipe.

6. 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Food Writer: In September, I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle, and one of the guest speakers there was Dianne Jacob, whose book Will Write for Food, I’d just been reading as part of a food writing class I took. This post was a breakdown of Dianne’s top tips for becoming a better food writer.

5. Homemade Greek Yogurt: I got a yogurt maker, and I loved (still do) it. I am still making my own homemade greek yogurt all the time. It’s so easy.

4. Gluten-free Beer Mac ‘n’ Cheese: While sampling a new kind of gluten-free beer, I thought “how would I use this in a recipe?” The answer: ooey, gooey, gluten-free mac ‘n’ cheese, made with GF noodles and Glutenberg Beer.

3. Low G.I. Brownies: These brownies were really good! Chocolatey and rich, but low GI due to new sugar substitute I was trying out.

2: Salad in a Jar: a Week’s Worth of Healthy Lunches for $20: This post has been one of my best performing posts all year. Those of you that are avid Pinteresters already probably know about salad-in-a-jar. I knew about it, bue never actually jumped on the bandwagon until recently. Now I make them all the time, in all different kinds of ways. I love how convenient, healthy, and inexpensive they are. Related to this post is this one:  Healthy Food on $4 a Day, which came in at #11. I wanted to include it in this list, though, because it was a post I put a lot of thought and care into, and I felt very proud to publish.

1. My $20 Lighting Kit for Food Photography: Over the past three years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve learned a lot about photography. My first photos were terrible cel phone snaps, but now I have a proper DSLR and I invested in a short, 50mm lens. I’m learning a lot about lighting, too. While I still prefer natural light if possible, this time of the year, that’s a challenge, so I DIY’d a home lighting kit that I set up on my dining room table. It’s cheap, and it works!

Well, folks, there you have it! The top posts of 2014! Bring on 2015!