Happy Holidays & 2019 in Review
Loyal readers, random browsers, friends and family, whatever brings you here… welcome! I wanted to take some time to catch up with you all, reflect on 2019 and talk about what’s next.
2019 has been an amazing year for HVK. It seems like everyone is interested in eating less meat these days, and I am so glad that you’re all finding me in your Google and Pinterest searches.
As well as all the people coming here via web searches, there are now around 15,000 of you following on social media or email. Yay for all the kindred spirits out there!
So the big news from my corner this year… there is a new member of the family here at Veggie HQ!
We welcomed our baby boy, Remy, back in May. After working super hard at the start of the year, I’ve been enjoying some time off to soak him up and enjoy him and his big sister.
You may have noticed the posting slowed down in the second half of the year… in fact, everything that’s posted since he was born was done before he was born and scheduled ahead of time.
With some extra help proofreading and scheduling from my mom, this website has been running itself! Magic.
Our most popular posts of the year:
What’s drawing in the crowds? These are the most popular new recipes of the year:
Halloumi Bake: A huge hit on Pinterest, this halloumi bake is an easy dinner win that everyone’s loving.
Best Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce : I shared my brother’s famous spaghetti sauce recipe and yes, everyone seems to agree, this is THE BEST and has propelled to high rankings on Google so that the whole internet can partake in the fun.
Air Fryer Broccoli Parmesan: Because air fryers make the best veggies you’ve ever tasted. This recipe was included in an MSN article and has since propelled itself in the Google rankings, bringing lots of air fryer fiends through the doors here. Welcome!
And my personal favourites:
Sometimes my faves don’t end up being the most popular, and that’s cool, but if you are interested in knowing… these are the ones I reeeeally loved. Give them another look won’t ya?
Pasta Burrata Bruschetta: Pasta in a raw cherry tomato sauce and creamy burrata. I am not sure I need to sell this one any more? Seriously though, cherry tomatoes might have become my new favorite food this year. While pregnant I couldn’t stomach canned tomatoes, but the cherry tomato love turned into an obsession. I have no idea why that would happen but there ya go.
BBQ Paneer tacos: This Indian cheese is one of my favorite things ever, and this year I decided to play around with some fusion recipes and let it shine outside of it’s usual home in a curry or a skewer. These crazy tacos are perfect fusion food. Indian meets Mexican meets American meets… who cares anymore, they just taste good.
Cheese & Caramelized Onion Enchiladas: I’ve never posted as much Mexican inspired / Tex Mex food as I did this year because pregnancy makes me crave it like nothing else. These enchiladas are creamy, sweet, mild and easy comfort food.
Normal Service will resume…?
Oh, I don’t know. Sigh. I have a notebook full of recipes and ideas and I’d love to get back to posting one new recipe per week in the spring.
While Odette is happily settled in her preschool part time, we aren’t sure what our childcare plan is for Remy just yet. We’ll be making it up as we go along.
For the most part, I am still just doing what I do best: easy dinners. But I will be giving some love to my more niche topics too. Like…
With another Veggie baby in the family, my somewhat neglected Happy Veggie Tots section is set to see lots of new posts in the new year. Yay!
The first round of recipes I created for my daughter have proven popular in so many places: caregivers searching recipes on Google, Pinterest users, Facebook groups… I hope this fresh batch of recipes will be just as helpful to new parents.
Little Remy is eating like a king while I try to cram in as many recipe tests as I can, and I am delighted to say that he loves his food so far.
Air Fryer Recipes
I bought my air fryer last year on an Amazon deal. I half suspected it was going to be a waste of money. Ha.
I love it and use it all the time, and it’s inspired so many recipe ideas which have proven quite popular. I’ll keep sharing, but I know it’s not for everyone so I’ll keep them sporadic.
2019 Goals : How did we do?
What can I say. 2019 has been a fantastic year, and that is despite starting the year behind after months of morning sickness and taking maternity leave for the second half of the year.
Traffic has totally skyrocketed. Recipes are showing up for a variety of search terms on Google, which means lots of people finding me and making my recipes. And with that comes the income – this site is completely funded by advertising and I am paid per page view.
So this may look like a fun hobby blog (and it did start out that way), but it’s actually an important source of earnings for our family and a way for me to keep up my skills in digital marketing and publishing without being tied to an employer while my babies are little.
So what I’m trying to say is: THANK YOU. Because by spending time on my blog, you’re actively supporting a small family business. It means everything to us.
Extra Special Thanks to
My mom, who proofreads, schedules and administrates while I’m off doing baby things.
Mr. Veggie, who taste tests, feeds back, helps me find space to work and supports this endeavour in every way he can.
All I want For Christmas…
If you’re wondering how you can further support Happy Veggie Kitchen, or other small blogs and websites, here are the things that that really truly help us grow:
Rate the recipes you enjoy: When a recipe shows up on Google with lots of positive ratings, people are more likely to consider that recipe.
Pinterest user? Pin the recipes that interest you and mark “Tried it” on the ones you’ve made: The pins that send me the most traffic are not the ones I pin, or the ones my blog friends with thousands of followers pin, it’s the ones real users pin. Pinterest knows the difference. If you’re a user, consider pinning my recipes that you are interested in to your boards. And if you try one, mark as “tried” and share a photo – this can dramatically increase the visibility of your pin in other people’s feeds.
Interact on Facebook and share in groups : If you follow me on Facebook, reacting and commenting to my posts makes sure they get seen. Furthermore, if you’re in any recipe sharing groups, sharing my recipes there can help me reach lots of new people!
So that’s that. 2019 almost done.
We are spending our first Christmas as a family of four at home and I’ll probably be making mac and cheese for Christmas dinner because it’s the only thing I know the three year old will eat, and let’s face it, no one is ever not happy with mac and cheese?!?
Whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s full of laughs and good food.
See you next year!