Friday, 15 May 2015

Blog first anniversary


I can hardly believe it, but today this blog officially turns one.
I say officially because the first three - four months of blogging where for me a sort of rehearsal, a way to prove to myself that I was able to do it.
And in fact, less than two months after going live, this blog went on holiday with me and only in September 2014 it really started the adventure in the blogsphere. This is why I tend to think that I started blogging after summer last year, but the very first post dates back to the 15th of May 2014, and so I have to celebrate today.
I don't want to be pathetic here but, really, during this year many things that I wouldn't have imagined before happened, and all thanks to the blog.
The most  important of them is that I am still blogging. And I think that I'm doing it better than one year ago: pictures are getting better, I always have new recipes to share (actually I'm faster at making new recipes than writing them here), I'm more confident when writing (English, as anybody can understand, is not my first language ...), all things that are giving me even more enthusiasm than one year ago. Therefore I hope there will be more blog anniversaries to celebrate.

But to be honest, if I am still here and still enjoy spending part of my time in taking pictures, writing recipes, telling stories about food or places where I like to shop and dine, and all the "back-office" work that keeping a "homemade" blog requires, is also thanks to people I met and things I had the chance to do during the last year, that gave me more self-confidence in what I am doing and reinforced my enthusiasm and will to keep on with this blog.
And I feel like I have to mention at least the most important things today.

A really important milestone in my blogging experience was to join - or better, to be accepted by - Fooderati Arabia, a community of food-bloggers, all based in the United Arab Emirates and all writing about food, whether their blogs are about recipes or restaurant reviews or anything related to food.

Fooderati Arabia website homepage

Even if this is an "informal" group, being part of it made feel not alone in the infinite Internet world. We mainly communicate virtually, through a Facebook page, but anyway I find the opportunity to learn from more experienced bloggers, to share doubts, questions, opinions with other people facing similar issues; and the fact that they all live in the same place makes everything more "real" because there may also be the chance to personally meet the other bloggers. And I think I was lucky since I already know several Fooderati members, some of which I met just once while others several times.
I found new friends too, which is always good, especially if they share the same passion for good food. I hope to meet more Fooderatis in future and find other friends among them.
Thanks Fooderati Arabia!

Another important mention is for Food e Mag dxb, the beautiful online food and travel magazine written by local bloggers that I have already told about in the blog.
I don't even remember how, but I am a loyal reader of the magazine since the first issues (Food e Mag is young as it turned one less than one month ago) and also, being a registered reader, I received a nice gift as I told in this old post.
So when I was asked to contribute to one issue with a recipe I was more than happy, and even more happy when my recipe was actually published in the February issue of the magazine.
The February issue of Food e Mag dxb

Thanks to this contribution, I was also invited to the amazing party for the first birthday of the magazine. A  lovely evening where I had the chance to meet many bloggers, including several I haven't met before!
Thank Food e Mag!
Moments from the party for Food e Mag 1st birthday
And how could I not to mention my cooking demonstration at the Farmers Market on the Terrace, about one month ago?  I wrote a dedicated post about the experience (here's the link) so I don't want to be repetitive here .
But I want to thank again Baker & Spice, the organizer of the Farmers Market on the Terrace, for the opportunity they gave me. It really was a nice experience from different points of view: from the food blogger point of view, of course, but also on a more personal one, as cooking in front of and for many people gave me great satisfaction (and fun too); from the point of view of a fan of the Farmers Market, being part of the "show" for one day was real enjoyment.
My cooking demo at The Farmers Market on the Terrace

Now that I am recalling all I did during my first year as a food blogger, I can say that's even more than I thought when I started writing this post.

I had the chance to attend a Master Class on pasta with the Italian Michelin-starred chef Claudio Sadler during the Italian Cuisine World Summit, thanks to the invitation of the fellow blogger, chef and now cookbook author Dima Sharif, whose blog was the official blog of the event. I wrote a post about this experience (follow this link) with details on the interesting lesson and the recipes presented by the talented chef, whose restaurants I loved to visit when living in Milan.
Master Class with chef Claudio Sadler 
As a blogger, but mostly as a foodie, it was great to win a competition organized by FooDiva (a blog of independent restaurant reviews edited by the food expert Samantha Wood, also eminent Fooderati member indeed) and the Entertainer (a company providing discount vouchers with the "buy one get one free" offer, very popular all across the Middle East) for the launch of the new product Entertainer Dubai Fine Dining.
And by no coincidence I wrote a post (that you can read here) about that "delicious" evening, a surprise dinner during which we visited four different restaurants on Palm Jumeirah each serving a different course and cuisine.
And apart from  the really delightful dinner, I had the chance to meet in person Samantha Wood aka Foodiva, whose reviews are always a reference for me when I try a new place in Dubai; also I received a complimentary copy of the Entertainer Dubai Fine Dining app, that I can enjoy throughout the year (and I am actually already enjoying).
Dining around Palm with FooDiva and theEntertainer
Then, the most important thing of all, I published on the blog; just to give few numbers there are 91 posts on the blog, 83 of which are recipes. If i hadn't counted I would have hardly said this numbers.
Talking about recipes, I admit I have some favorites, for different reasons; and odd to say but not all my favorites are the most viewed by readers. So I want to mention some of recipes I prefer so far (I admit that choosing was hard, as I publish on the blog only the recipes that I really like and consider worth sharing).
Some of my favorite recipes from the 1st year of the blog 

Even if I am quite happy with the number of recipes that I have been able to share so far, there are many that I love and would like to publish here but haven't yet. And also many I have in mind for the future.
Some can be seen on my Instagram account where I post much more often then I do on the blog. Posting on Instagram is quick and requires much less effort than the blog: a nice picture, a short description and it goes live. 
It would be nice if readers of the blog told me their favorite dishes from my Instagram that they would love to see here, so helping me to give priorities.
My Instagram page
I also want to mention a very new opportunity that I'm glad of too. 
My blog has recently been selected to contribute to Expatwoman Food, the section of the Expatwoman website dedicated to anything about food: there will be my recipes along with other articles, all food related, that hopefully will be usefully to other expat women all over the world.

It's time to stop now otherwise I risk to become boring; there are other things worth to be mentioned but I will do it a bit at a time in future.

But before saying bye I want to thanks all the readers of the blog, whether occasional or regular: I appreciate the time you spent reading my posts and my recipes, as well as that for writing comments; and if you tried my recipes, I hope you enjoyed (please let me know) and come to visit again in future.


  1. Many congratulations Francesca! Love reading your blog - it emits such an honest voice! Keep going strong and I'd love to see many more Italian recipes on the blog to try in my kitchen ever more often. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you very much Tasneem! I'm glad you enjoy my blog and my recipes. I promise: in future more Italian recipes...
      And I hope to meet you in person one day soon!

  2. Wow! Congratulations!!! What an amazing year :)

    1. Thank you Elaine! It's actually been a productive year for me. Thanks to this blog I met many new people with a common passion and learned a lot.

  3. Congratulations. Your blogging output is immensely impressive. It's been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and seeing your blog grow. Here's to many more anniversaries.

    1. Thank you Sally! You and your amazing blog are a model to me, so I sincerely appreciate your nice words.

  4. Congratulations Francesca... many many many more years to your blogging journey! Love the way how consistently you have been posting and at your passion in writing recipe post. And humbled that Food e Mag dxb is part of your blog's journey in the 1st year. Happy Blogging!

    1. Thank you Ishita! I really love the magazine and having a recipe of mine published in it was a great joy for me!