What I've learned in one year of blogging

Whoa. Two years already? I guess time flies when you’re having fun. Without getting too sentimental or too contemplative, I wanted to do something a little special for my two-year blog-oversary. Or bl-irthday. In any case, I hope you will find this mildly entertaining.

Highlights From Year Two

  • The $10 Food Day Posts: Is it possible for an entire family to eat for less than $10 a day? Absolutely! I came up with three one-day menus that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. These recipes are the cheapest of the cheap.
  • Guest blog posts. I was thrilled to feature recipes from some of my favorite bloggers: Karen @ Savoury Table, Mariel @ Feast On The Cheap, and Lauren @ The Oatmeal Artist. I also participated in the Food Blogger Prop Swap.
  • Getting more personal. This has been really tough for me. I’m kind of a private person, so in the past I’ve stuck to talking mostly about the recipes. But I know that readers crave a little more personality. So I’ve tried – in my own way – to go “beyond the recipe” ever so slightly by posting about changing my diet, going on vacation, my many, many roommates, and the such. My biggest fear is coming off as self-righteous or a know-it-all when it comes to, well, pretty much anything. Another fear is that – gasp – nobody really reads this stuff anyway. I hope you’ll bear with me as I attempt to give my posts a little more flair – which may not seem like much at all. But know that I’m trying!

Odd Keyword Search Phrases

Google Analytics allows me to see what search phrases people type in to get to my site. While most of them make sense, there are a few that make me scratch my head. Here are some gems from the past year:

  • Bake
  • Average cost of wonton wrappers 2013
  • Ana garbanzo
  • How many calories in a grocery store salad bar
  • Hoe made tortilla shells
  • Happy Christmas
  • Pastel
  • Opposite ice cube
  • My favorite snack is chips
  • Super soft buns

And my favorite by far….  Stretchy walnuts

Top 5 Recipes From Year Two

Here are the top five most visited recipes from year two:

#5: Homemade tortilla shells: Although a little bit time consuming, these were extremely easy (and fun!) to make. And the best part? Each tortilla shell costs less than 5 cents. Homemade flour tortilla shells/burrito shells from Cheap Recipe Blog

#4: Wonton wrapper mozzarella sticks: I love experimenting with different wonton/egg roll wrapper fillings. This was one of my favorites!

Wonton wrapper mozzarella sticks recipe

#3: In-a-mug recipes: Technically, this isn’t one recipe but five. I love in-a-mug dessert recipes, and wanted to showcase what I believed to be the most delicious ones. The afternoon I spent in my kitchen testing these recipes was one of the best of the year!

French toast in a cup recipe

#2: Asparagus-cream cheese wonton fries – Clearly, it was the year of the wonton wrapper. I tried an appetizer similar to this at a local restaurant. I loved them so much that I immediately went home and tried making them myself. Success – at a much lower cost!

Asparagus cream cheese wonton fries

#1: Chocolate-covered strawberries made in an ice cube tray – While I certainly didn’t come up with this idea originally, people didn’t seem to care. I discovered this idea on Pinterest, and had to give it a try at home.

Chocolate covered strawberries made in an ice cube tray

My Favorite Recipe From Year Two

It’s a hard choice (mostly because I hand pick every recipe that goes on to my blog), but I would have to say that my favorite recipe from this past year is banana-Nutella egg rolls. You need to make these – yesterday!

Banana-Nutella egg rolls recipe

Coming Up In Year Three

  • More $10 Food Day posts. My goal is to have a week’s worth of recipes. Right now I have three days’ worth.
  • More healthy recipes. While I try to strike a balance between healthy recipes and ones that are more indulgent, I want to show that it is not only possible – but easy – to eat healthy and on a budget.
  • More from you. Whenever I ask for advice from you guys on Facebook, I am overwhelmed with your thoughtful responses. I would love to pick your brains and feature more of your ideas in upcoming posts. If you’re interested in collaborating in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me via Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • Writing an e-book. Maybe. Just maybe.

Thanks so much for your support over the past two years! You guys are truly awesome and I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me.

Here’s to year three!