Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Anniversary Edition

Happy Anniversary! Julie Jams is officially one year old!

And what a year it's been. My baby went from zero to walking, my eldest completed kindergarten. I cooked so many new things, both successfully and of course, dismal failures. I thought a little recap might be in order.

It all started with a Julie Jams video where I demonstrated making strawberry jam. Little did y'all know, but that was my first time. And there was a screaming newborn in the background...hence the music dubbed over everything.

Julie Jams Making Strawberry Jam from Arnan Films on Vimeo.


I moved on to some of my summer favorites...Quinoa Salad, Jicama Salad. Orange Olive Salad was amazing!



There were attempts to be part of Tuesdays with Dorie. Those recipes usually went horribly wrong, except maybe for the Tarte Tatin. That was tasty. But come to find out I was doing the whole Dorie thing incorrectly anyways. Our friendship suffered because of it!



The lamb chops are one of our favorites now. Hmmm...note to self...put those on the menu soon.



Julie Jams was chosen for FoodBuzz's November 24, 24, 24 showcasing not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners prepared in my "Local & Homemade vs. Store Bought & Prepared" post. Wow, that was a ton of work, wasn't it sis?



One of the highlights for me was the Christmas Eve Beef Wellington. I wrapped my beef tenderloin in homemade brioche, copying an episode of Rick Steves' Christmas in Europe (France for this one). The meat turned out so great (praise the Lord, considering it was like an $80 piece of meat!). The N-O-E-L on top was my favorite part. This one is a tradition starter...only, I may try it with puff pastry this year.



I made biscuits and scones by the truckload.



And muffins, cookies, and cakes (Lazy Daisy Cake and Vanilla Cake came up a lot).



Bread pudding, pizza, pasta parties. Wait a minute...now I know why my jeans are still feeling tight. These recipes represent a whole lotta baking (bread and butter...those are the names of each thigh, respectively).



Oh, and a couple of Julie Jams Cooking Classes..."The Magic Chicken" showcasing the versatility of a whole chicken and "Wild and Crazy Salads".

Hunger Action Week had several local bloggers using the food stamps budget to feed our families for the week. It was an interesting exercise in planning and organization and also revealed a well of self-righteousness in my heart.

The most popular posts really surprised me....Homemade donuts tops the list. I slapped a less than stellar photo up thinking everyone would ignore it, but instead it made the FoodBuzz Top 9 for the day and has over 400 views now. It seems the simplest sweets are everyone's favorite because my Double Chocolate Cookies soared up the charts as well. What about the fancy stuff? Hmmm...I guess I should stick with the favorites to achieve popularity.



But I've never been good with popularity, hence my angsty fame-crushing post on why I don't like the label "Foodie". Oh well, at least it generated some conversation.

I love hearing back from the readers, especially those who actually made one of my recipes. And I apologize profusely if they don't turn out perfectly (I still don't know what went wrong with that Easter ham, W!). Until recently, we didn't have a commenting system allowing me to reply to commenters...at least in a way where it would get sent to them. But we've updated the site, so hopefully I'll get into the rhythm of responding to everyone. Sorry if you felt snubbed in the past!



Speaking of faithful readers, or in particular commenters, I'd like to give a loud shout out to Jenn, Alice, and Gretchen for being my most vocal readers. Thanks for your feedback!

And thanks to FoodBuzz for sending me to two super cool events...Seattle Food and Wine Experience and Taste Washington! The whole VIP pass was a very rockstar moment for me!



And of course, I was super excited to be picked for June's 24, 24, 24, celebrating my 30th birthday at Dog Mountain Farm. A fabulous night.



So, it seemed fitting to celebrate my first anniversary by making a little jam. With the 1 1/2 flats of berries provided by my mom, I mashed, stirred, and boiled the night away making 14 pints...9 raspberry and 5 strawberry. I felt lucky to get those strawberries yesterday at Kirkland's Wednesday Market (there was only one vendor with strawberries). And thanks to Sidhu farms for the flat of raspberries...if you buy in bulk you may just get a little discount!



Finally, thank you to my husband for all those long hours of putting this blog together. For figuring out html code, networking tirelessly, liking all my jokes (good or bad), and dealing with "the talent" (ha!).

Who knows what this year will hold? I am going to be teaching some art classes in the fall, but no doubt I'll still be cooking. I've got the bug now...can't...stop...

Thanks for Jamming with Julie. It's been fun!



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