Ok. So I'm very ready for 2017 to be over. It was one of the best years of my life, but I am more than ready to face the next one. I always feel a little lost in this weird 'between christmas and new year' time, which could be due to the fact that it's not going to crack zero degrees all week, so we have been having some serious inside time. The last few months have been crazy for us both business wise and blog wise, so I have taken this week to not do much at all. I haven't baked, aside from the banana bread in the oven as I write this, which was necessary as I was worried the brown bananas were going to start eating the plate they were sitting on.
I thought that seeing this is the first year I have actually had the blog for the entirety of the year, I would take the chance to do a little round-up! It's been an insane year growth wise for little old me in my little corner of the internet. When I started this blog a year and a half ago as a little sanity project, I never, EVER imagined that it would grow to where it is today - just in this year alone I was nominated for a blog award (!!!), had my first magazine contribution published (and was on cover of said magazine!), gone on press trips, met so many other amazing bloggers, and worked with some amazing companies. I taught myself so many new techniques, fell in love with my sourdough starter Eunice, and collaborated with some amazing people on some amazing projects. This year has been nuts, and I can't wait to do it all again next year.
Special mention to Jill, as always, for being my home base, my stand in Mum when I need a dose of reality and my own is too far away to give me a rally rally, and for taking Rich and I into their family. At the start of this year I was hideously homesick and ready to move back to New Zealand straight away. Establishing a home base and people that feel like home over here in this crazy city have made all the difference and I couldn't be more grateful. Not to mention that collaborating with Jill always results in the most delicious creations. Now all I have to do is find a way to teleport all my NZ family to the States whenever I need them, and we will be all set to go! There are hopefully a few exciting things on the horizon - we are hoping to start looking seriously at buying a house in New Zealand so that we have something to go back to when we do move, a concept which is so exciting that sometimes I can't get to sleep at night. All I want is some grass, a couple of chickens, and a lemon tree.
This year was also amazing in terms of growth of our business. We took on 5 new staff, designed a whole lot of new things (I am particularly obsessed with the constellation range, and the new executive objects stuff), and nailed down a bunch of exciting things for next year. I am always so grateful that I get to work alongside Richard - he is so insanely talented, and I honestly would rather be nowhere else than running a crazy cloud factory.
I also became a fully fledged crazy cat woman, realising how rewarding fostering can be. We opened our home to loads of fur babies this year, and while saying goodbye is always bittersweet, I can't wait to see how many we can give the greatest little kick start next year too. If you have a spare room / space in your bathroom or home / a little extra time, please consider fostering. It helps animals that would otherwise be put down, you get all the fluffy hugs, and it's great instagram story content. Trust me. ;)
I also just wanted to take the chance to say a HUGE thank you to you guys! I honestly would be nowhere if it wasn't for all the feedback, comments, follows, votes, etc that I am somehow lucky enough to receive. It makes my day on the regular when I get feedback from somebody trying my recipes, so please keep tagging me, messaging photos and leaving comments, because it makes every little second and every giant kitchen mess worthwhile.
So here we are! These are the top five most popular recipes from this year! The usual suspects were in there (turns out you guys love s'mores themed things just as much as I do!), plus I have tacked a few of my personal faves on at the end, just for good measure. If you do have any requests, or things you would like to see more of this coming year. I have made it a little goal of mine to share more savoury recipes on here - I have been playing around with a few things lately and always forget how fun they are to make too!
Happy New Year to you and yours, I hope however you celebrated was amazing, and I wish you a safe and happy 2018!
This little number always holds a special spot in my heart - it was the top tier of our wedding cake. If you haven't had German buttercream before I highly recommend - it is custard based, not too buttery, you can infuse it with anything, and it's the best ever.
These were a fave from a baking day with Jill - we made an espresso graham cracker, and sandwiched a fluffy honey marshmallow between. Loads of you guys made this this year, and they all looked amazing!
If you can infuse it, I'm probably going to attempt to put earl grey in in. I wanted to do a slightly different twist on the cinnamon bun, so went for an infused dough, filled with an earl grey sugar, and finished with an earl grey glaze. Tastes like a cup of tea, but with carbs.
This was one of my favourite things I made this year, and also one of the tastiest. Brown butter graham cracker crust, silky dark chocolate filling and torched vanilla bean marshmallow. That is all.
This year one of my baking heroes, Stella Parks released her book, and it is AMAZING. This cake is from the book, and is also AMAZING. Make the cake. Get the book.
These guys didn't quite make the top five but I think they need a mention as they are hands down one of the most amazing things I have ever made. Lemon curd ice cream, pie crumbs, and a torched meringue situation. It's lemon meringue pie, but in a popsicle.
Thats all from me! Happy New Year! x