Goodbye 2019!

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Happy New Year! Another year of blogging down! As I always say this time of year, I’m proud of us for keeping up with Bon Appetit Baby! for another year. With pregnancy and new parenthood, we’re still not blogging quite as much as we used to, but we’re still here! This was a big year for us, clearly. We welcomed our daughter to the world in July. We’ve learned (and are still learning) how to be parents to her. The rest of the events of the year pale in comparison to her, but we definitely ate some good food!

Speaking of, for New Year’s Eve this year, we didn’t blog our meal, but it was amazing! Selim made a stock from all manner of bones that we’ve been saving (chicken, turkey, pork ribs), cooking them down for hours with alliums, herbs, a few Asian touches (miso, fish sauce), and a couple surprise twists (loomi, cinnamon sticks). It sounds weird maybe, but the man is a genius when it comes to make unique sauces and soups. The result was the most delicious broth I think I’ve ever had! We used it as the base for a ramen that we shared with my parents and siblings for a fun New Year’s Eve dinner. I attempted ramen noodles from scratch, but didn’t quite get it right. They were fine, but I didn’t get that super chewy texture and yellowish color. They were certainly edible, but not exactly what I hoped for…

As we’ve done in previous years, we’re going to share some favorites, fun facts, and statistics from the past year of the blog. We obviously don’t write this blog for money or anything, so to be quite honest, we rarely look at our statistics except for when writing the year end review. It’s fun to see! So without further ado…

2019 Year in Review

Favorite Dishes of the Year:

♥ Ally: Pasta with Clams & SausageMaple & Mustard Pork with Shallots, & Sausages & Roasted Veggies in Agrodolce

♥ Selim: Rainbow Rice Krispie TreatsPumpkin Chip Bread, & Herby Stuffed Dates

Visitors: 

♥ 6,628 visits to the site, from 4,363 unique visitors! We’re always shocked to see this!

Nationalities of Visitors:

♥ US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Italy, Chile, Singapore, Japan, Turkey, Algeria, Switzerland, Philippines, Poland, Spain, Mexico, Israel, Nepal, Bermuda, UAE, Austria, Sweden, Hong Kong, Finland, Denmark, China, Romania, Brazil, Faroe Islands, Russia, Cyprus, Thailand, Serbia, Greece, Norway, Bahrain, Belgium, Portugal, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Latvia, Hungary, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guatemala, Qatar, Colombia, Kenya, Ghana, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Guam, Ecuador, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Jordan, Vietnam, Lebanon, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Namibia, Argentina, Morocco, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Luxembourg, Croatia, Macedonia, Czech Republic, and Costa Rica!

Most Viewed Post & Most Pinned Post: 

♥ Another year, another win for Bay Scallop Risotto

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Accomplishments This Year: 

♥ A Brand New Kitchen! (Our second-most viewed post this year)

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♥ Had a baby. She’s the best!

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♥ Joined The Kitchn’s Cookbook Club

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Here’s to 2020! Hopefully it’s another year full of delicious food!

Recap of 2018

Our yearly recap has become my favorite blog post to write each year! I’m still proud of us for keeping up with our blog for all this time. Now some of you may interject here… ‘What about the fact that this is the first Bon Appetit Baby! post since mid-November? Where have you guys been? We thought this blog was going to fall off the face of the planet, like so many others.’ True, true… but I promise we had a good reason for our absence! We’ll elaborate later. But meanwhile, let’s celebrate 2018 and look forward to 2019!

2018 has been a big year for us! Some of the biggest accomplishments of our lives happened this year. We completed our graduate degrees, graduated from the University of South Carolina, passed our boards, moved from South Carolina to Virginia, started new jobs, and are under contract for our first house! We had so many great times with our friends and family too! So many exciting things happened in 2018… we can only imagine what 2019 has in store for us!

But despite our absence in the past few weeks, we’ve still made a lot of delicious food this past year! Take a look back with us!

Favorite Dishes of the Year:

♥ Ally: Tangy Moroccan Meatballs, French Onion Meatballs, & Southern Pimento Cheese

♥ Selim: Cheese & Herb Monkey Bread, White Wine Poached Shrimp, & Sultan Selim Kofte

Dish I Want to Improve:

♥ Ally: Shrimp Beignets – I think our dough to shrimp ratio isn’t quite perfect

♥ Selim: Southern Fried Chicken – we need to work on maintaining the proper oil temp for each batch

Best Surprise:

♥ Ally: Sabse Borani

♥ Selim: Fig Chutney

If We Had a Restaurant, This Would Be the First Thing on the Menu:

♥ Ally: Prosciutto & Basil Topped Lemon Ricotta Pappardelle or Roasted Patatas Bravas with Super Garlic Aioli

♥ Selim: White Wine Poached Shrimp or Bahraini Chicken Machboos

Most Viewed Post:

Bay Scallop Risotto retains the top spot for another year!

Runner-Up (2nd most viewed post):

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Number of Unique Visitors: 3,223

Number of Followers: 51

Number of Bucket List Items Checked Off: only 3 which is disappointing, but we did add to 12 more

Cuisines Sampled: Spanish, Cape Verdean, Cajun, Afghani, Southern, Bahraini, Cuban, Irish

Nationality of Blog Visitors: US, Canada, UK, Australia, Romania, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, China, France, Turkey, Denmark, India, UAE, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Barbados, Russia, Ireland, Chile, Philippines, Mexico, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Bangladesh, Japan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Malta, Bahrain, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary, Antigua & Barbuda, Israel, Laos, Armenia, Tanzania, Kuwait, Qatar, Portugal, Egypt, Macau, Honduras, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Norway, Algeria, Nepal, Croatia, EU, Trinidad & Tobago, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, & Guam! (This is perennially my favorite statistic! Hi everyone!👋🏼👋🏼)

2019 Goals:

  • Celebrate more food and worldwide holidays
  • Finally share Selim’s perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe 🍪🍪 (we’ve been saying this for 2 years)
  • Have more guest posts from our talented friends and family 👨‍🍳👩‍🍳
  • Keep working on the Culinary Bucket List
  • Explore more new-to-us ingredients and world cuisines 🌍🌎🌏
  • Move into our new house AND remodel the kitchen into our dream kitchen! (We’re finally going to have a gas range and windows!!!!)

Happy New Year and Welcome 2019!!! 🍾

Looking Back on 2017

I’m not going to lie… 2017 wasn’t exactly my favorite year of all time. It was an exhausting year of school/clinical work. The news cycle was like 99.9993457245999% negative. And don’t even get me started on our “president.” We try to keep it positive around here – so we’ll move away from all of that. After all, this blog is our creative outlet and happy diversion!

So let’s focus on all the wonderful things that happened this year! For starters, we’ve successfully completed another year of school! (We graduate in 🎉 🎉 129 days, in case you want to count along with us… We’re not excited at all 😉) Ally’s sister, the last of the kids, graduated from UVA in May. We had great, albeit far too short, visits to Washington DC, Cleveland, Virginia, and a few spots around the state of South Carolina. (Selim also visited Seattle… Ally’s still a little bitter about being left behind.) We watched the total solar eclipse down here in Columbia, which was pretty awesome. We were happily able to attend quite a few weddings of friends and family. Selim grew his hair out, which was a big change for us all. And we had some great times with our friends down here in SC.


You know what else we did this past year…? We made a lot of delicious food! This past summer, on our one year blogiversary, we shared some statistics and favorites from the first year of the blog. We’re going to shift that round-up to the end of the calendar year from now on (long live the blog!), because of the way that WordPress keeps track of statistics – it makes way more sense this way!

Top Three Dishes of the Year: 

♥ Ally – Roasted Grape & Prosciutto FlatbreadRosemary Risotto with Asparagus, & Spinach & Feta Gözleme

♥ Selim – BaklavaSpicy Korean BBQ Tacos with Tangy Slaw, & Pumpkin Roll

Biggest (Good) Surprise: 

♥ Ally – Syrian Mini Meatballs (Dawood Basha)

♥ Selim – Kimchi Braised Chicken with Noodles & Spicy Feta Dip

Most Difficult Dish: 

♥ Ally – Pumpkin Roll

♥ Selim – Baklava

Dish I Want to Improve: 

♥ Ally – Pumpkin Roll

♥ Selim – Cacio e Pepe

Most Viewed Post: Bay Scallop Risotto

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Number of Culinary Bucket List Items Checked Off: 5, with additions to a few more

Cuisines Sampled: Turkish, Syrian, Mexican, Southern, Jewish, Bangladeshi, Italian, & French

Number of Followers: 30

Number of Unique Blog Visitors: 2,154

Location of Blog Visitors: US, UK, Canada, Australia, Romania, France, Namibia, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Netherlands, India, South Korea, Germany, Philippines, Ghana, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Spain, Vietnam, Hungary, Antigua & Barbuda, Greece, Singapore, Poland, Egypt, Ukraine, Bulgaria, South Africa, Morocco, Ireland, Belgium, Estonia, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Bahrain, Indonesia, and Qatar!!

2018 Blog Goals: 

  • Celebrate random food holidays
  • Make more Turkish recipes
  • Finally share Selim’s perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe 🍪🍪
  • Continue to work on our Culinary Bucket List
  • Improve our photography skills
  • Relatedly ⤴️, move into a place with a larger, more well-lit kitchen & a gas stove
  • Share more about our favorite wines
  • Use our blog Instagram more frequently (follow us @bonappetitbabyblog & #bonappetitbabyblog if you want to see incredibly infrequent Instagram posts)
  • Finish graduate school! 🥂🖤👩‍🎓👨‍🎓🎉🍾