Happy New Year – and Ten Year Anniversary of Cooking with Michele!
It’s 2016! A new year! But for me, it’s not just any new year, because 2016 actually marks the 10th anniversary of my business, Cooking with Michele®. It seems only yesterday I was setting out to launch my business, and yet here I am, ten years later, slightly astounded with all that’s happened in this time. One of those milestones has to do with my website, which just had its 2 millionth page view – yes 2,000,000 page views. I’m tickled pink and in a celebratory spirit, so I’m bringing you several things today:
A newly designed website – thanks to my designer Emily Carlin at Swank Web Design, for helping me update the look and feel of the site. It will be launching very soon, and although we’ve tested things out, we’re only human! So please let me know if you find any glitches.In honor of my 10th anniversary, I’m offering several 10% off specials:
- Be first to sign up a group of 10 kids for a private cooking class and receive 10% off.
- Be the first person to sign up yourself and a friend for my cooking trip to Italy this fall and receive 10% off of one person (or you may each receive a 5% discount)
- Be the first to book a cooking dinner party for 10 people for a 10% discount.
Finally, honoring 10 years of my business, I’m sharing today the 10 most popular blog posts on my site so far, counting down from number 10. You’ll notice some similarities: ways to make vegetables more interesting, ways to use up large harvests of things like zucchini and green tomatoes, and simple cooking techniques. Number 8 is kind of a surprise to me – would love to hear from any of you about why this soup made the top 10 list! Without further ado, here you go:
10. Beet Chips – simple, taste like candy, but good for you. Parents have written to tell me this is the first time they’ve been able to get their child to eat beets, something I also refused as a child.9. Stuffed Cannelloni – I make food like this for my husband, who would always pick classic pasta dishes like this over anything fancy, and it seems many of you out there are looking for the same thing. BTW these freeze great if you just stick the stuffed cannelloni back in the tray from the package and wrap in plastic wrap.8. Sweet Potato Hummus – a simple twist on a classic dish, and this seemed to resonate with many of you.7. Callaloo Soup – I fell in love with this soup on a sailing trip in the Caribbean and had to recreate it when I returned – perhaps many of you had that same experience?6. Pan Fried Polenta with Chives – I think this is on the list because polenta is such a comfort food, and this simple fan fried technique makes for a pretty presentation.5. Homemade Italian Sausage – in a time when it’s hard to trust the suppliers of meat in our world, more people are looking to grind their own meat, make their own sausage and more. This recipe speaks to that trend.4. Green Tomato Bread – when life gives you…an early frost and you have to pick all of your tomatoes before losing them, this is the single best thing I’ve found to do with green tomatoes. You can also save the puree for chile and use in place of tomatillos.3. Oven Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze – it’s all about the glaze here, as many have written to tell me over the years. The simple technique of roasting asparagus brings out an earthy flavor and the glaze complements that perfectly. Plus the leftover glaze is good on everything from chicken to pork to salads to ice cream.2. Baked Zucchini Chips – I think this is the same as beet chips – a more fun way to eat vegetables, and something to do make when your co-worker brings in that large basket overflowing with zucchini from that week’s harvest.1. Perfectly Pan Seared Pork Chops – it always blows me away that this is the most popular blog post on my site. I’ve been making pork chops since I was a child, so I guess I just figured everyone knew how to do this. Turns out this has been a challenge for many for a long time, and readers out there are thrilled to find a way to consistently put a juicy pork chop on the table. This is also the most commented on post for me – everything from “thank you!” to questions about thickness of chops, types of cookware used, and more. If you haven’t tried this technique yet, I hope you will, as it seems to be working for a whole lot of people!
Wondering what the next 20 most visited blog posts are? Here’s the list!
11 20 Ways to Use Roasted Peppers
12 Lazy Way to Make a Potato Gratin or Scalloped Potatoes
13 Rehydrating Dried Figs to Use in Place of Fresh
14 Baked Huevos Rancheros Casserole (picture above)
15 Caramelized Mushrooms
16 Banana Quinoa Oatmeal Muffins
17 Spaghetti Squash Casserole
18 Easy Butternut Squash Ravioli
19 Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas
20 Peach Sangria
Here’s to a great 2016 – Happy New Year!
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