July 25, 2012

My 1st Blogiversary (and a Single-Serving Blueberry Cupcake)!


Today is a special day here at Vanilla & Spice - the one-year anniversary of my blog!

It's hard to believe that a whole year has already gone by since I published my very first post, and at the same time I can't believe how much this blog has grown over the past year! What started as a hobby has truly grown into a passion for me, and I've loved every step - including interacting with other bloggers through various social networks, doing my first guest post, and participating in my first virtual potluck!

I also owe a huge thank you to everyone who has visited my blog, read my posts, left me a comment, followed me on Twitter or Facebook, or tried any of my recipes. I've loved getting to know you all, and it honestly makes me so happy when I hear from someone who tells me that they like my blog or enjoyed one of my recipes, and I appreciate every comment, pin, tweet, and share!  

To celebrate my first blogiversary, I thought it would be fitting to make a single cupcake.  Not just any cupcake of course, but a healthier and seasonal vegan cupcake! Before I get to the recipe though, I wanted to share some of my reflections from my first year of blogging...


I think one of the best parts about starting this blog has been the ways in which it has challenged me to improve my cooking, expand my horizons and try new things. A year ago, I had never tried ingredients like millet, spelt flour and cacao nibs, and now they've become part of my pantry essentials!  I've also ventured into cuisines of various countries and made my own versions of Indian, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese dishes. 

In the past year, I've followed along with some of the popular blog trends and tried my hand at overnight oats, kale chips, roasted grapes, and single-ingredient banana ice cream.  But I've also experimented with some of my own creations (although some have been more successful than others!).

Some of my baking and cooking experiments that I'm most proud of from the past year include my mini raw beet cheesecake, my first sweet potato pie, a raw zucchini lasagna that was inspired by a restaurant dish, my cauliflower-stuffed artichoke (the first time I've cooked a whole artichoke!), and my birthday cake this year, which was a pina colada cake that I veganized.

Of course, I've had a lot of failures in the kitchen which haven't made it onto my blog. These include a strawberry mousse that I attempted to make with tofu (which sadly tasted exactly like tofu no matter how much I tweaked it), some beet cupcakes with a cashew frosting that were barely edible, and gluten-free coconut flour scones that crumbled to pieces. So it's safe to say that I still have plenty of room for improvement in the next year!


Now, back to the cupcake, since the food is what this blog is really about after all!

When I was deciding what to make for this occasion, I went to a reliable source for vegan single-serving dessert recipes, Chocolate Covered Katie, and used her Single-Lady Strawberries-n-Cream Cupcake as the basis for my own creation.

Instead of making a strawberry cupcake, I used blueberries because they're currently in season.  I used spelt flour and only a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar in the cupcake itself.  Then I added a lemon glaze to the top for extra sweetness, which I made by mixing icing sugar with fresh lemon juice and a bit of lemon zest. Finally, I topped it off with a handful of sprinkles for more of a birthday theme!

I had to bake mine a bit longer than the recipe stated, but it turned out amazing! The cake was soft and moist and I loved the burst of berries. The glaze also added a nice sweetness and lemony flavour that paired well with the blueberries.  It was the perfect single serving treat to celebrate my blog's first anniversary!


 Thanks again for following along with me, and here's to another great year :)







23 comments:

  1. Wow an entire year- it has been so amazing getting to know you and following Vanilla & Spice, here's to another great & successful year :)

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    1. Thanks so much - people like you are the reason I'm still going after a year :)

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  2. Congrats on your first blogiversary! Love your blog and thought you were doing this for much longer than a year!

    Great idea of a single serving cupcake. A lot of time I avoid making cupcakes b/c the recipe makes so many and I know I can't stop myself from eating them all!

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    1. Thanks! I thought of doing a batch of cupcakes but I didn't want to have to eat them all myself either, so the single serving recipe is perfect for me!

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  3. Congrats on your first year! I'm always amazed when I looked at your Recipe Index at how many different meals you've made over the last year! I wish you'd made more than one cupcake to celebrate so I could have tried one, but yours looks great! :)

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    1. I'm surprised myself at how long my index is getting...I hope it keeps growing! And sorry you missed the cupcake!

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  4. Congrats! I totally thought you'd been blogging for way longer than that- your blog seems so well put together and professional.

    Good luck with the next year :)

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    1. What a nice compliment to hear! Thanks for the support :)

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  5. Congratulations, Gen! I have truly enjoyed reading your blog this past year and I'm always amazed at how innovative your recipes are. I don't think you'll ever turn me into a beet lover, but I've really liked all of the healthy treats that have come our way. Keep up the great work! Love, Mom

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    1. Aw thanks...I won't give up on the beets (I still don't know why they're growing in your garden haha) but I'm glad that you've enjoyed some of the stranger healthy treats I bring you! And I'm happy to get my first ever comment from you after one year!

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  6. Happy Blogiversary!!! We know how hard it can be for a blog to survive its first year, and we are really glad you had no problems making it all the way to here!! We hope to keep being amazed by your recipes for a really long time.

    Cheers!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, and thanks for the support you've given Vanilla & Spice along the way. I'm looking forward to continuing too!

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  7. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY, GIRL!! i adore you and your blog ;)

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    1. Thanks Caitlin! I'm glad that starting this blog connected me to such a great community of vegetarian and vegan foodies like you :)

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  8. Congratulations! That is exciting. Many more years.

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  9. Congratulations on making it to 1 year! You have achieved a lot in this one year of blogging...here's to many more and I can't wait to see what else you have coming up!

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    1. Thanks so much Shelby! Hopefully this little space will keep growing :)

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  10. Congrats on a year of blogging! SO excited to see what you blog about in your second year. Love all of your content and photos. It's been lovely getting to know you through your blog. :)

    Isn't it great how food blogs can push you to try new things and do things you might have otherwise been too nervous to try? And it's so great meeting other food bloggers through one's blog. You've achieved so much in year one! Keep up the awesome work. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks Courtney, I totally agree with everything you said about having a food blog. I've loved following your blog and getting to know you too! Thanks for all your comments and support in the past year :)

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  11. I am convinced that tofu mousse does not work unless you make a chocolate one! Chocolate is the only flavor that will overpower the tofu. I've tried doing a raspberry and a lemon one and neither worked out.

    Anyway! Congratulations on your blogiversary! You've done so much in one year, I can't wait to see what year 2 will bring!

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    1. Even though I prefer fruity flavours myself, you must be right about the chocolate! Oh well, it's those experiments and failures that help you learn! Thanks for the congrats :)

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  12. Happy Blogoversary! you have been posting some amazing dishes all this year. Heres to another delicious year!

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