Round-ups

2017 Recipe Favorites and Year in Review

A look back on 2017 recipe favorites and an honest reflection on the last year of blogging!

Pinch Me, I'm Eating! 2017 best recipes. Most popular recipes of the year on the blog!

And so we come to the end of another year!

This is more than just the most popular recipes from 2017. It’s time for the obligatory reflection on the last 12 months, yes? Let’s jump right in.

If you’re just here for the 2017 recipe favorites, scroll on down until you see the next photo!

If you’re interested, here are 2016’s top recipes and year in review.

2017: The good

2017 has been an amazing year for Pinch Me, I’m Eating in many ways. I’ve:

  • Almost quadrupled my blog traffic from about 76,000 sessions (site visits) in 2016 to over 303,000 in 2017
  • Got accepted to Mediavine, pretty much the most amazing ad network known to mankind
  • Found my own previously-elusive community of kindred-spirited fellow bloggers everyone talks about making “amazing connections” with. I really have found my people, and it is amazing. If you are a new food blogger, finding fellow bloggers you connect with really does make all the difference in the world. If you’re reading this, you know who you are, and thank you.

2017: The bad

It hasn’t been all sunshine and buttercups either, though. I’m going to get soul-baringly real with you for a minute here.

I’ve been THE WORST about posting regularly in the last 6 months, and it’s not because I don’t care! There are a couple reasons for the inconsistent posting. 

Travel

First, I’ve been on several amazing trips this year. This was great (and exhausting) for me, but not the best for my blog schedule.

I visited Quebec City over the summer for a work conference and got to spend a long weekend there afterwards with my husband for our anniversary. We went to Denver for a quick weekend trip for a good friend’s wedding, and — the big ‘un — we finally made our first trip to Europe, spending two incredible weeks in Italy.

I learned a lot, saw a ton of art as well as historical and religious sites, ate more pizza and gelato and paninis than you could shake a stick at, and even got to take a cooking class in Rome. I hope to share that influence with you in the coming year. 

But I have a lot of anxiety surrounding travel, so my mental energy was consumed for a large portion of the year in preparing for two international trips. I know plenty of people who can fly to other countries without giving it a second thought, and I am not that person. The travel was mentally and emotionally taxing, but totally worth it!

Self-reflection

The other reason I’ve been terrible about blog consistency is just that I am really trying to figure out what my blog is all about, who I’m writing it for, and why.

I started this blog in 2015 because I love to cook. In 2016 my blog grew a lot and I was able to start thinking of it as a potential business.

I tried to be a bit more strategic with my content in 2017 so I could hone in on a niche and hopefully be more consistently valuable to people who share my cooking philosophy, instead of sporadically valuable to people who randomly find my recipes through Pinterest or Google.

But I’ve “tried on” several food niches, and each one has felt inauthentic in a short amount of time.

I love serving and enjoying afternoon tea, but I am not an expert in the subject. I live in Charleston, SC and love Lowcountry and Southern food, but I am not the quintessential Southern girl. I go to farmers markets frequently and attempt my own garden every year, but I am by no stretch of the imagination a homesteader or even a decent gardener. And I know many of you enjoy my easy weeknight meals, but I don’t feel like the Queen of Convenience — I quite enjoy spending time in the kitchen when I do have the energy. 

It’s been very frustrating. And because I can’t figure out what my mission is and who I’m writing for, it’s been hard to know what direction I’m going and feel confident in the types of recipes I’m developing and posting. Thus, fewer posts.

2018: Looking forward

All that said, I am extremely optimistic for 2018 and I think this will be the best year yet.

Joining Mediavine has significantly increased my blog’s ad income to where, instead of breaking even on web hosting and maintenance costs, I now feel like I have actual blog income I can reinvest into my business, hopefully making my site even more beneficial to you.

My first order of business is to invest in some professional brand consulting so I can hopefully define my philosophy, find my people, and feel confident in the content I share with you both on the blog and on my social media channels like Facebook and Instagram

With a strong mission statement, I hope to be able to confidently reach out for potential sponsorships from brands that embody the philosophy of my blog and my readers.

After that, I plan to have an audit done of the SEO (search engine optimization) on my blog so more people can find the content I’ve worked hard to create. I know many people have had much success after completing an SEO audit, and it’s a LOT of homework with a tremendous reward.

I want to hear from you!

Apart from a few real-life friends, I don’t know many people who follow my blog and make multiple recipes from my site. Not to say that you’re not out there! I myself am a frequent neither-seen-nor-heard follower of blogs.

If you regularly enjoy my recipes, I’d love to know what you like about them, why you follow my blog, and anything you’d like to see in the future. Feel free to leave a comment here or send me an email.

Without feedback from readers, blogging can feel like shouting in the middle of the woods. Your thoughts are incredibly important to me, and I want to take your input into account as I move forward in defining my blog’s focus. I want to continue delivering what you already enjoy and provide resources that will be valuable for your life in the future. 

Okay, enough with the heavy stuff! Onto the 2017 recipe favorites.

Pinch Me, I'm Eating! 2017 best recipes. Most popular recipes of the year on the blog!

2017 Recipe Favorites

These are a few of the most-visited recipes on my site that were published in 2017! There are others that are more popular but were posted in 2016 or earlier.

Here are Pinch Me, I’m Eating’s top nine 2017 recipe favorites.

1. Southern Pimento Cheese  |  PIN IT

(technically posted at the very end of 2016, but has been one of my top posts of 2017!)

With ample seasonings and just a little kick, creamy Southern pimento cheese is great with everything from crackers or burgers to crab cakes or grits! This cheddar cheese spread also makes a great cold party appetizer dip that doesn't require the oven.

2. Deviled Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches  |  PIN IT

Deviled Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches

3. Best Ever Refrigerator Dill Pickles   |  PIN IT

Bright, fresh, garlicky, tangy, and full of that classic dill pickle flavor, these refrigerator dill pickles won't disappoint! You'll never go back to store-bought again!

4. Pineapple Teriyaki Marinade  |  PIN IT

This pineapple teriyaki marinade is my absolute favorite way to prepare tuna steaks, but you can also use it on salmon or chicken, or even as a salad dressing!

5. Mini Lemon Meringue Pies  |  PIN IT

These bite-sized mini lemon meringue pies are a charming and adorable dessert for a springtime or Mother's Day tea party! You can use homemade or store-bought lemon curd. How to use lemon curd | Mother's Day desserts

6. Small Batch Meyer Lemon Curd  |  PIN IT

7. Mustard-Based South Carolina Barbecue Sauce  |  PIN IT

8. Wine and Cheese Date Night at Home  |  PIN IT

Learn how to plan a low-stress wine and cheese date night at home with these guidelines for putting together charcuterie and cheese boards and tips for setting the mood!

9. Italian Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce  |  PIN IT

Italian sausage pasta with tomato cream sauce is an easy, cozy weeknight dinner the whole family will love! I like to make a batch of this flavorful comfort food and enjoy the leftovers all week!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    David
    January 3, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Of your favorites, I only made the mustard BBQ sauce (OMG! OMG!) – so I need to try others! Oh wait – made the pimiento cheese, too. Forgot that! (Getting old!) You are so good to work as hard as you do to make this happen – I just plod along… xoxox

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      January 5, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks so much, David! You say you “plod along” but you are remarkably consistent (have you noticed how awful I’ve been the second half of this year??) and all your recipes are beautiful, mouth-watering and have amazing stories! I really admire your blog and your dedication! Happy new year, and here’s to a great year for both of us!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    January 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    We’re so glad that you’re with us and we’re looking forward to an amazing 2018!
    ~Jenny, Mediavine Marketing Associate

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