One Year! The Baking Challenge Recap

Wow, wow, wow.  I can’t believe a whole year has already gone by.  On one hand, it definitely feels like a year’s worth of baking has taken place, but on the other hand I feel like I just started blogging!  Thank you all for the support and love over that past year as I learned about blogging, photography, and most importantly – baking.  You have made many a day sweeter with your kind words of encouragement.

The Little Blue Mixer

If you are new to the blog, I’ll give you a quick recap of what’s been going on for the past year.  I received the cookbook “Baking” by Better Homes and Gardens for Christmas 2013 and began to formulate an idea for baking my way through the book on a sort of challenge.  I have always loved baking, but I never really devoted much time to it other than baking cakes for friend’s and family’s birthdays.  If I created a baking challenge for myself, though, that would be a great way to learn and improve my baking with a bit of accountability.  Then, the idea of starting a blog to share my adventures in the kitchen seemed like an even better idea.  So, The Baking Challenge and The Little Blue Mixer were created.  My task – bake at least one recipe a week for an entire year and share it with all of you.

And….. drumroll, please…….

The Little Blue Mixer

I’ve made it through a whole year!  A year of making a mess in the kitchen, taking way too many photos of food, and waiting until the last possible minute to whip it all together in a post that you all hopefully enjoy.  A wonderful, hectic, sweet, (sometimes stressful), sugar-filled year.  It’s been fantastic.

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So, just for fun, I made a big ole list of accomplishments, things learned, and things that I am thankful for from this year.  Everyone loves lists.  You know, just title it the top 10 fill in the blank and you’ve already got everyone’s attention.  Anyways, enjoy. 🙂

The Little Blue Mixer

  1. Buttercream is the best.
  2. There are more cake plates in my kitchen now than there were this time last year.  (WIN! 😀 )
  3. I got out of my comfort zone in the kitchen and baked a lot of “firsts” this year!  Example 1 – Raspberry Eclairs
  4. I’m thankful for an encouraging husband who keeps me on task and makes sure I always have a post ready for you on Friday.
  5. Never be afraid to add a little flourish on top of anything you bake. (Or a lot – Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter CookiesWhite Chocolate Birthday Cake)
  6. I have such great followers and friends who always give fantastic tips and encouragement.
  7. Chocolate + Caramel + Sea Salt = WIN.  These Salted Chocolate Caramel Rounds are proof.
  8. I sold my first cake!!!!
  9. I’m thankful for great co-workers who willingly make sure none of these tasty treats are wasted.
  10. Whoopie Pies are addicting.
  11. Cheesecake is more addicting.
  12. I’m thankful for fun get togethers like Fiesta Friday to virtually share, learn, and be inspired about all things food and baking!
  13. I didn’t quit!  Please see exhibit A) Red Velvet Cupcakes and exhibit B) Devil’s Food Cake
  14. Carrot Cake = such a wonderful thing. I never would have guessed I would like it so much.
  15. Chocolate Cookies. Chocolate Cake. Chocolate Pie. Chocolate Muffins. Yep, anything with chocolate.
  16. I’m thankful for the fun people at Better Homes and Gardens who created all of these fantastic recipes!
  17. Royal icing is tricky.  But, once you get the hang of it, it’s quite beautiful.
  18. Again, I’m thankful for my wonderful husband who always reminds me this is a learning process.  Everything won’t always come out perfect the first time.
  19. I have been able to use lots of my baking pans for the first time!
  20. You can win people over with food.  I still hear comments about this Almond Brickle Ring Cake today!
  21. I’m thankful for a good pair of running shoes.
  22. Decorating cakes like this Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream takes patience, but it is so worth it.
  23. I have such fantastic family and friends who always support and encourage.  Thank you!
  24. I baked and blogged for 52 straight weeks!
  25. Baking is great.  Brightening someone’s day with those baked goods is even better. 🙂

The Little Blue Mixer

I’ve had several people ask whether or not I plan to continue blogging since I have completed The Baking Challenge.  Well, the answer is YES!  I will still be baking away and blogging away!  The format may change a little bit, but The Little Blue Mixer will go on.  I’m thinking about branching out and creating some of my own recipes, sharing some of my personal favorites with you, and trying out some things that have been on my list for quite a while now.  If you have something you want me to try out, please send it my way.  I also want to concentrate on cakes, cookies, and brownies and really find some perfect base recipes that I can develop later.  I’m excited about the next year, and I look forward to sharing with you along the way.  I’ll be back in two weeks with something new for you!

The Little Blue Mixer

One more big bit of news for you… I randomly selected a winner for my giveaway of a copy of “Baking” by Better Homes and Gardens!  And the winner is… Mrs. Candy!  Woohoo!  I’m so excited to share this wonderful book with you, and I truly hope that you enjoy it.  It’s hard to go wrong with any of the recipes.  They are all so good!  Congratulations, Mrs. Candy, enjoy!

The Little Blue Mixer

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thank you for coming by the blog today!  It’s been a great year; here’s to many more!

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24 thoughts on “One Year! The Baking Challenge Recap

  1. I am so excited. Your mom called all excited and told me to read your blog. I saw my name. Thank you so much. You are so generous to do this. I look forward to making many of the recipes. I plan to make the caramel dish you and your mom made. Again, thank you so much, Anna.

  2. Wow! I had no idea that you were doing this challenge! I totally admire your dedication and talent! Your have created some divine treats and should be so proud of yourself! 😀

  3. This only proves that you have been torturing us with all your bakes for a year, Anna! 😀 Wow! It’s been a year already? Congrats on that and thanks for being us a part of that. I hope you are enjoying the party and happy FF! 🙂 xx

  4. Huge congrats, some amazing dishes there, some are just pure art and just wonderful to look at. I bet you feel fabulous working your way through. What will you make again or have made again? Thank you for joining in FF #68, Justine x

    • Oh, thank you so much!! It has been such a great experience! Hmmm, lets see..
      I will definitely be making the chocolate cake from week 28 again – SO good. The white chocolate cake from week 25 was also a huge hit, although very rich. Carrot Cake! I loved all of the cheesecakes! And I’ve already made the classic sugar cookies and whoopie pies again 🙂 I know there are more but those are the first that come to mind!

  5. Wow that is a lot of baking! I should have tried a challenge like that when I first started baking, it probably would have helped a lot. It seems you’ve gotten so much better too! Loving all your bakes 🙂

  6. Been quite the year, sometimes you can judge a book by it’s cover! You’ve done a great job with your blog and expressed your artistic talents in baking, art and writing as well as your thoughtful consideration of others (who have been able to sample your baking and writing). You are a great book yourself, ha. Love you, looking for you another book. Dad

  7. This is AWESOME! Congrats on making it a year too. That is such a big accomplishment, and must have been an amazing experience. All your dishes look delectable too. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and happy FF! 😀

  8. Happy blogiversary! I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog and I’m so glad you’re still going to continue, looking forward to the wonderful things you have in store!

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