Monday Archive–7 Posts

I was going to take pictures of the fun G & I had this weekend, but the fun ended up being us chilling and not doing anything. How awesome is that?! G always jokes that he doesn’t know how to chill and that it’s the thing I’m best at, but I think with everything we’ve had going on, we somehow reached a happy medium of relaxing and enjoying life. We cooked up some burgers and I put a huge pot of red sauce on the stove, made naan pizzas, watched a few movies (thumbs up to Bitiful, thumbs down to Freakonomics), went to market and chatted with friends, farmers, and the lovely (and oh-so-talented-chicken-photographer) Rebecca, and generally just lazed around and stayed out of the heat. Gotta love it!

Today, though, I’ve decided to start a new tradition on the blog, starting with Chrissy’s Seven Links post. Every Monday I’m going to drag a recipe from the archive to relive (maybe even remake and compare notes). But to start with, since I was linked, Here are my top/favorite/infamous posts!

Most Beautiful Post
Most beautiful is a hard category to think about! I have no idea what mine should be…but I’ll go with my Why I Love Virginia post from October 2009–I remember tromping around up near Floyd and thinking that I live in one of the most magical places ever. I’ve enjoyed every minute of exploring my not-so-new-anymore home and this post brings back great memories. A tie for that would be Thankful from this February. Because I’m so thankful for G–and hey, what’s more beautiful than that?

Most Popular Post
Strangely enough, according to the stats on my previous address–Cupcake Punk–and the site now, the most popular post to-date is my Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger recipe. The burger was really just a riff on all the recipes out there, but, with some casual Googling it appears that my recipe comes up at the top, or at least on the first page. Weird. Anyway, I haven’t made these in ages, but I’m dying to make a veggie burger soon, so I think I’ll have to revisit! These burgers even made it into my mom’s freezer–the only vegan recipe I think she’s ever made for herself. Rock on, mom!

Most Controversial Post
While it could have been my “coming out” post, my other most controversial post is my review of Village Whiskey in Philadelphia. I ate a burger topped with foie gras. It’s true. But the number of emails I received simply because I ate foie gras was entertaining/bordering on hateful. The ethics of foie gras can be debated at length, but I believe, based on what I’ve read, that foie gras is not unethical. Controversial, fo sho.

Most Helpful Post
This was a tough one. I don’t feel very helpful most of the time. I just post what I feel like posting, cook what I feel like cooking, and maybe someone enjoys reading it or making it. But based on the feedback from this post, I think my Komatsuna Greens in Ginger Miso Sauce is my most helpful post. When you Google “komatsuna greens,” very few recipes pop up (especially back in 2008 when I posted the recipe). While you can treat komatsuna like any bok choi or Asian green, sometimes it’s helpful to have a starting point from a recipe someone’s actually made. So I guess my recipe was helpful to people? I’ll go with that, at least 🙂

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me
My review of Blue Apron is the most popular recent Roanoke post on the site. Apparently over 1,000 people have viewed it, and I’ve gotten some interesting comments/emails from readers talking about their own experience at the restaurant. Something I’ve found frustrating here in Roanoke is that we don’t have any decent food criticism–the Roanoke Times utterly utterly fails in that regard. I’m afraid they seem to have a policy that no criticism is the best criticism, and I’ve even seen restaurant reviews where the critic never even visited the restaurant. Awful, no? So I guess my blog fills a niche–Roanoke restaurant reviews (or thoughts, at least). I did love that rigatoni and would kill for a plate right now!

A Post I Didn’t Feel Received the Attention It Deserved
Definitely the Sriracha Cheesecake post. Hey, ya’ll, I made a vegan sriracha cheesecake, how cool is that?!

The Post I’m Most Proud Of
Blogging can be hard sometimes. We build up communities as bloggers–commenting on other blogs, interacting with the comments on your own blog–so when bloggers break taboo, it can be easy to judge or to turn certain people into pariahs. The blog post I’m most proud of is my “coming out” post–the post where I explained that I’m no longer a vegan. For months I recieved threatening/degrading emails and my readership plummeted from over 500 hits a day to barely 50. The years I’d spent believing I was part of a true community seemed like a waste. But in order to stay true to myself and to enjoy my blog *for myself*, I needed to change the blog, explore new horizons. While it was tough and although a lot of people hurt me in the process, I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m glad I finally “came out” after months of mulling over the thought. I might not be a vegan, but I’m a damn cool person and a damn good blogger and I decided to represent myself truthfully. Now that’s something to be proud of!

The rule is that you tag 5 bloggers to do the post, and while I hate choosing people, here are, well, more than five bloggers whose answers I’d love to see!

Happy Monday all!
5 Responses to “Monday Archive–7 Posts”
  1. Renae says:

    Great selection of posts. As I read this eating sriracha on rice for lunch (classy, right?) I found myself wondering why it is that I haven’t made that sriracha cheesecake yet! Also while reading I couldn’t decide if I was hoping you would or hoping you would not tag me. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a particularly beautiful or controversial post so I have no idea how to answer most of the categories. However, I also haven’t had any ideas for good posts recently and I think this exercise may help me get re-inspired, or at least give me something to write about this week, so I’ll see what I can come up with…

    And a weekend lazing around sounds delightful!

    • Jes says:

      Sriracha on rice sounds awesome to me, but maybe that’s because I just have a peanut butter sandwich with me! And it’s hard to fill this puppy out–the beautiful section was the hardest, I think. It’s definitely fun though, would love to see your answers 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    Goodness…that cheesecake looks amazing!

    Jes, I admire you for staying true to yourself and to your blog. I decided a long time ago that staying true to myself was far more important than lots of commenters or impressive blog stats. I think the people who really matter will love you for who you are.

  3. Jessica says:

    I remember some of your picks – and others I’m going back and checking out. I enjoy so many of your posts because your writing and photos are great – even the foie gras. I wish I could get a good restaurant photo like that!

    I’ll also have to look into some of the others you tapped. It’s been too long since I’ve looked at a new blog, it seems like it’s all I can do to keep up with the ones I like already.

  4. rebecca says:

    Eek! I’m very flattered…and intimidated! But thank you, Jes, for tagging me. I was just noticing the other day I have almost 250 posts – which I found somewhat surprising and inspiring…it made me feel a bit recharged blog-wise. And your tag will definitely make me take on that challenge. I just wish I had the ability to make the changes I want to make to the blog right now – new banner, new everything – before I take this on. But chickens who need a home wait for no woman – or blog – so I may have to do my response before the revamp.

    I did love getting a further glimpse into you and your blogging given that I joined your blog party fairly recently. Someday you will have to fill me in on your photography techniques – your photos are so beautiful. And many, many kudos to you for staying true to who you are…

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