It's been a great first year. In honor of one of my favorite movies, I'm going to celebrate year one of DadCooksDinner with a set of Top Five lists.
Yes, I'm a geek. If you haven't figured that out, you haven't been paying attention...
Top Five Moments in year one of DadCooksDinner
5. Memorial Day Weekend
When you write a blog that is grilling and rotisserie centered, the opening of grilling season gets you a lot of readers. My average daily readers doubled on Memorial Day Weekend!
4. First question from a reader
I got a question about my rotisserie baby back ribs. Holy cow - someone is actually reading!
3. Rotisserie Cornish Game Hens recipe tops google
...and is still there, if you google "rotisserie cornish game hens". You get my most popular post, though the next post is gaining fast...
2. Winning the Taste of Akron Steak Cook Off:
I think writing this blog for a year is what got me into the finals. Writing recipes for a year will teach you how to get them to make sense.
I was linked to by some of my favorite food blogs, Casual Kitchen and The Kitchn
My name was in my local paper, the Akron Beacon Journal
I won $500 worth of wine, cheese, and Prime graded beef from West Point Market
1. Email from Jane Snow telling me she loved my blog
*I've been a big fan of Jane's since I moved to Akron in 1998; she was the food writer in the local paper. She left the paper and started her own newsletter, which I can't recommend highly enough. She was the original source on a lot of the Akron ethnic markets that I write about from time to time, and I have always enjoyed her writing. In her email she encouraged me to keep writing about food! Me! I know that you couldn't stop me anymore, but it still meant a lot to hear it from her.
Top Five culinary heroes:
5. Pam Anderson
*How to Cook Without a Book - taught me that basic techniques are more important than recipes
*There's nothing wrong with being obsessed about a food culture
2. Cooks Illustrated
*There's nothing wrong with being obsessive about perfecting and understanding recipes either (as long as you understand where they're going with their basic techniques).
1. Alton Brown
*My Hero! Food as an entry to science, politics, culture, art...and he ties it all together in an entertaining package that only lasts a half an hour. And forget good eats...it all tastes great!
Top Five blogs that influenced DadCooksDinner:
All of these have influenced my writing style. I'm still trying to find my "voice", but thanks to their inspiration I'm making progress.
- Joe Posnanski at joeposnanski.com
Influenced isn't a strong enough term here. "Shamelessly stole his style of writing with footnotes in italics" is about right. When I grow up, I hope to have Joe's sense of humor and fun in my writing.
2. Carol Blymire at French Laundry at Home and Alinea at Home
I was thinking about doing something online with food, but I thought I was too late to find an uncrowded topic. What Carol's blog made me see was it wasn't if you were too late, it was if you could write with your own voice. To me, the recipes she's working on are secondary. When I'm reading her blog, it feels like I'm sitting in her kitchen, shooting the breeze while she works on the recipe.
3. Michael Ruhlman at ruhlman.com
*This is more inspirational than anything else. Michael is my favorite food writer, and Donna's pictures on his blog are awe-inspiring. I know I need to improve my writing and photography, and this is where I go to see what the best of both are like. I know this blog is just a sideline to his books, but even his throwaway writing is great.
4. David Lebovitz at davidlebovitz.com
5. Virtual Weber Bullet at virtualweberbullet.com
Thank you, everyone, for making this a fun year. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings!
*Wait...I forgot Casual Kitchen and CheapHealthyGood should be on the blog list! Oh, and Judy Rodgers and Mark Bittman in the influences. And Steven Raichlen. And the kids would rather have Tortillas. But what gets bumped off the list? Oh, bother...