Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kicking Off The Weekend Gourmet's Two-Year Blog Anniversary Celebration!!

It’s August, which means that it’s time to celebrate The Weekend Gourmet’s second blog anniversary! Like last year, I’ve planned an entire month’s worth of fun to celebrate. It’s so hard to comprehend how the little blog that I started as a place to share my favorite recipes with friends and family has grown into so much more. Over the past two years, I’ve learned a lot about finding my own “voice” in the kitchen and in my writing. I’ve tried new foods and new cooking techniques...some that were definitely outside my comfort zone. But, that’s how we grow! I’ve made so many wonderful food-loving friends as well. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of you in person, including: Steph @The Chickpea Chickadee, Monet @Anecdotes and Apple Cores, Georgia @The Comfort of Cooking, Lizzy @That Skinny Chick Can Bake, Kathy @Dutch Baker Girl, and Lisa @Jersey Girl Cooks. This weekend, I finally get to add my friend Jenn @Juanita’s Cocina to that list!

My very first post was on August 14, 2010. Michael had given me two new cookbooks for my birthday a few weeks earlier, and he suggested I start a food blog to share what I was cooking. I was looking for a creative outlet, so I jumped on the idea. I love to write, cook, and a food blog made perfect sense. I immediately joined Foodbuzz and shared my first post: an introduction and a recipe for Grand Marnier-Infused Strawberries. I taught myself enough basic html to create my initial blog design, but I knew this Spring that it was time to buy my own domain and upgrade things around here to make The Weekend Gourmet both more user-friendly and visually appealing. I think that I succeeded on both least, I hope so! 

This blog has brought me so many opportunities that I never even knew were possible, especially during this past year. I was selected by Red Gold Tomatoes as one of six bloggers around the country to visit their headquarters in Indianapolis and attend the Taste of the NFL fundraiser over Super Bowl weekend. That amazing opportunity led directly to my first live cooking appearance on Great Day SA to cook my Kitchen Sink Jambalaya for Mardi Gras. These are experiences that I will never forget...and I’m so appreciative for the opportunities I’ve been given. What’s next? Who knows! I take each new adventure as it comes and try to make the most out of it. I’m just having fun and waiting to see what might be waiting around the corner!

If you had told me a year ago that I'd be invited to cook on Great Day SA not only one -- but TWICE?
I would have told you that you were nuts. Here I am prepping to make my Pollo Confetti Chicken Salad.

You may be wondering how I’m going to celebrate my blog anniversary this month. Here’s the scoop! I’m partnering with several companies for some recipe features and fun giveaways. I also plan to step up my game and share some amazing big-flavor recipes to really up the Wow Factor in here! I’m also going to take part in some of my favorite recurring blog events, including: #SundaySupper, Secret Recipe Club, Daring Cooks, and The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out.

Toward the end of the month, I’ll be featuring a very special edition of The Weekend Gourmet Hits the Road. The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has graciously offered to host Michael and I for a three-day weekend in New Orleans to visit some amazing restaurants and gourmet food shops...and to take part in COOLinary New Orleans restaurant month! I’m going to enjoy a weekend sampling some of the best food that one of my favorite cities has to offer. Then, I'm going to come back and share a multi-part feature focusing on a Food Lover’s Weekend in New Orleans. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to branch out into more food and wine-related travelogues, so this is my first official foray into that.

Here’s the bottom line: this month is one big thank you to my readers. I couldn’t do any of this without the most important ingredient: YOU! Whether you just stumbled across this blog today, or you’ve been reading since the very early days...I want to express my profound appreciation. To know that something that I cook in my little kitchen for Michael and I inspires others to share it with the ones they love is quite humbling. I’m a self-taught home cook and food lover who shares my passion for food and cooking. I hope it comes across in my posts that if I can make a particular recipe that I’m featuring, then you can too. Nobody’s perfect in the kitchen...least of all me! I’ve ended up with batter in my hair many times, and my rice didn't cook right last night. When it happens, I laugh, chalk it up to experience, and move forward. It’s not worth stressing and baking should be FUN!!

With that, here are links to my five favorite recipes from the past year of The Weekend case you missed them the first time. What is your favorite recipe that I've featured in here during the past year?

Lickety Split Blueberry-Lemon Coffee Cake

No-Stress Lemon Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Berries


  1. Wow, amazing all that's happened and the opportunities you've had. Congrats!

  2. Congratulations! Your blog is such an inspiration to me. I love reading your post and finding out what fabulous dish you cooked up. Wishing you continued success as your blog and followers continue to grow. Have fun in New Orleans. Have to say the Lemon Panna Cotta is a favorite of mine, along with many more recipes:)

  3. Yay for two years! It's been great getting to know you through your blog. =) And my favorite recipe? it's too hard to choose - there are too many fab recipes!! xo Amy

  4. Congratulations on two years, sweet friend! I can't wait to meet you!!

  5. Happy, happy day! I can attest to the deliciousness of the chicken schwarma! (: Now I can't wait to sink my teeth into a piece of that cake! Holy cow that looks incredible. Not sure how I missed that one!

  6. How EXCITING! I'm so happy for you, the fact that you have followed your heart and succeeded in doing what you love! What an inspiration! Im a new regular reader of your blog, and enjoy your recipes! (as does my family!). It's a small world, finding you thru my brother in law! Enjoy your month!

  7. Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary Wendy! You've certainly come a long way, and are heading to a great successful career, just from your blog. It's been such a pleasure to have been friend with you through our blogs, and hope to meet you in person one day...soon!
    You are truly an inspiration to all, and your hubby is a wonderful source of support for you, as we all are, as well!
    Have a wonderful celebration for all your success, and anniversary!

  8. Happy blogaversary! And that panna cotta looks soooo tasty. And I'm all about the no-stress :)

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