You have spoken volumes with your clicks. Following are the most visited PIE recipes for 2012. Click the title of the recipe to go to the post. Some are old, some are new, but they are all favorites of mine, too. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you. I am grateful for your time. Under the list of recipes and links I also have written a bit about social media and my new year’s resolutions. For those of you who have joined me through the portal of Facebook through the years, I want to explain some changes to my…PIE…plan.
This simple dip is a hit. If you love goat cheese and you love artichokes and you love easy appetizers, you need this one.
Clearly you are not opposed to cheese. I think I could have called this website The Meaning of Cheese and been OK. This recipe is very special as it was given to me by a friend for whom it is a very meaningful dish. I encourage you to read this post about Donna and her mom and to make the potatoes. Sentiment aside, these potatoes are amazing. The next time you grill a big steak…remember this one.
This was another gift from a friend. The mom of my dear friend Karen Wayman gave me this one, and it has won kale many converts. It is so simple and so delicious that you will forget that it is really an incredibly healthy meal. I love this one.
Do you love cauliflower? I love it. But I have always just slathered it with butter or melted cheddar cheese on top. This recipe, which brings a handful of fresh herbs and lemons to the table is sure to be a hit. And I’m crazy about being able to roast the whole head. I think it is lovely browned like that. It gives the cauliflower a deeper flavor than steaming, which can sometimes yield a rather soggy dish.
This is another gift from a dear friend. It seems the best ones always are. My friend, Tina Stansbury gave me this recipe and it is a hit. It is simple to make and it tastes much richer and deeper than the ingredients would suggest. How can you argue with that color? This is a keeper. It is also a great dish to deliver to a friend with a bum ankle, or so I’ve been told.
This is chicken spaghetti minus the “cream of” soups. My aunt Shelley has suggested that I add them back in for the normal people or at least have a note on substituting them back into the recipe. She gave me a great laugh this December as we discussed whether or not I was doing anybody any favors by taking them out of my recipes. I get it. I truly do. But if you were ever going to kick the can, so to speak, this is a great recipe. Throw in a ton of chopped veggies and you can almost convince yourself that it is truly healthful. But it is delicious, even if it is not particularly good for you. This is the epitome of comfort food.
I’m still waiting for Warren Buffet to give me a hard time for using the name, but this is a popsicle modeled after the ubiquitous orange julius drink. You are one blender and 6 hours away from a major treat. My kids LOVE this one. Obviously, this post is a bigger draw during the summer, but it was visited enough in August to hold its position in the top 10 for the year.
I love this cake. My kids love this cake. My dog, Poppy has eaten almost an entire pan and approves strongly of this cake. It is the ultimate in a simple, humble sheet cake. And it is one of my favorite cake recipes.
Heart attack in a dish, I know. But man is it good.
Those are the top 10 of 2012! Hopefully, you have already made all of them. But this gives you a chance to go back and visit the great ones you may have missed.
Thank you for being here. I’m looking forward to another great year with you. If you reach me through Facebook, consider reading the following explanation about PIE’s (and my) departure from the website. And please consider signing up for email notifications from The Meaning of Pie if you have not already done so. It is the one, sure-fire, way to make sure you don’t miss out on any recipes.
New Year’s Resolutions: (look, it only took 2-1/2 years, but I just figured out I can type in colors…I’ll try to use moderation.)
I have decided on my New Year’s Resolution.
I’ve pulled the plug on Facebook for PIE. After 2-1/2 years of assuming that it is integral to promoting this website, I finally figured out that if you really like what I write, then you are probably already here. Now, I can spend more of my time engaging in my writing and cooking, instead of constantly “promoting” my writing and cooking, but not actually getting any writing or cooking done. I’m going to miss it. There are a number of great people who consistently engage and make The Meaning of PIE’s Facebook page a ton of fun. And, as for my personal page (yes, that’s going too), there is nothing better than your birthday on Facebook when people come out of the woodwork to wish you a happy birthday. But, it is time for PIE and me to say goodbye to Facebook. If you are using Facebook to notify you of new posts, I humbly ask you to sign up for email updates because I will not be posting new recipes on PIE’s Facebook page, though you are still welcome (and happily encouraged) to share recipes through Facebook. That is a little conflicted, I know. Just enter your email under my photo up on the left where it says “subscribe” and then confirm the email that you receive from Feedburner. You will never miss another post.
Nickels and Dimes
One of reasons I am dropping Facebook is that they have switched to a fee based “promotion” system. After 2-1/2 years, I managed to gain about 1600 “likes” and I am grateful for each and every one of those. I’m not opposed to Facebook making money. I am a capitalist and a realist. But, to “promote posts” I now have to pay $5 every time I post a status update to have Facebook show the update to even half of these people. I would have to pay $10 to $15 for each post to reach all of the people who have “liked” PIE. I am chatty. This doesn’t work. It is probably a great deal for a big profitable firm, but I make beans, literally and figuratively, doing this. I don’t want to cram any more ads on my site and I don’t want to pitch products, so the income potential of my blog is self limited. I make up some ground selling cards and t-shirts, but this blog is not about making a bunch of money, it is about sharing recipes with friends. I’m certainly not interested in paying Facebook to show my posts when we can do the same thing for free if you sign up for PIE email updates. And I’m not interested in losing money on PIE, and paying to promote on Facebook will wipe out any money I make since I like to post status updates often to keep in touch, twice a day sometimes. I have experimented with their promotions, but they simply give me less than I was getting for free 6 months ago. That is not a product I want to buy. I don’t begrudge Facebook not eternally allowing me to promote myself for free. I get it.
Life and Time
Of course, all of this has me questioning the very nature of all of my online obsessions. I find myself more involved in my cyber existence than my real existence. Instead of talking to the people in front of me, I check my Twitter feed. Instead of jumping in the pool with my kids, I take a photo of them with my phone and post it to Instagram and wait for affirmation from the familiar handles who I have come to regard as friends, though I haven’t met most of them personally. I tend to document the moment instead of living in it.
I fret horribly when an anonymous commenter says something hateful or rude, though these moments are admittedly outweighed by the loving and fun comments that most of you leave.
My main problem is that I find all of this social media/networking/blogging/cyber world endlessly fascinating. I want to try every app and gadget. I like to assume that all of them are harmless. And, as a stay at home mom with a limited appetite for real social life, the online substitutes have been very nice. I have met, and re-connected with, so many lovely people. But the fact is we are all giving away our time, passion, and privacy by the bucket…voluntarily and for free. We are allowing our every word and photo to be analyzed and turned into digital gold to be used by marketers (and God knows who else). I don’t think we are getting enough in return for all that we are giving away. And we may be giving up the farm. This is part of the reason that I am unwilling to pay Facebook on top of the data farming from which they have been profiting for years. And, if I don’t pay them, you will not be getting the majority of my posts. That is the catch.
Positivity and Sensitivity
I’m sensitive. I can freely admit that. I love PIE because it is my happy place where I can share and chat about my favorite things. The overwhelming majority of my interactions on PIE have been positive and downright gleeful. The PIE Facebook page has been a ball. But, social media as a concept is a rough world. I’m also constantly saddened by the coarseness of the dialogue online. It takes guts to say something nasty to someone’s face. You have to weigh your need to vent with a very real physical consequences of doing so. When I read some of the comments to news articles or things that people post on Facebook and elsewhere, I am shocked. I’m not shocked by the content necessarily. I don’t find mere profanity or obscene language to be very mobilizing. But I am surprised by how angry and uncaring of other’s feelings people can be online. It can be a big, fat bummer, to put it simply. Facebook once held my interest because people actually talked. Now it is more of a forum for finding coupon codes and posting links to articles (my posts included admittedly). Because I fall in the middle of almost every political and social spectrum, being the very face of the “gray area” in the middle of all the black and white opinions out there, Facebook makes me sad more often than it makes me happy, these days.
And, the REAL problem is that I have an almost unlimited capacity to soak all of it in. I am that person who will sit in front of the computer and visit Facebook 5 times a day. I LIKE seeing what people are up to and wishing friends Happy Birthday and I love seeing pictures of everyone’s kiddos. I waste more time on Facebook than I care to admit. I need to spend that time playing with my kids, cooking, and reading…the very things that birthed this website. It is telling that my children are actually thrilled that I am quitting Facebook. I certainly don’t want to give up PIE, but I do need to prioritize my time so I can keep writing it. I am a bit sad about this because I really do love my community on Facebook. I apologize for pulling the plug like this.
So, I may be shooting myself in the foot, here. But I’m done with Facebook for the time being. I’m retrenching. I’m concentrating on PIE, not social media. I hear this is nuts. Fortunately, I like nuts.
Please sign up for PIE email updates so you don’t miss any posts. I’ll still be Twitter and Pinterest and Instagram. And, please feel free to leave comments on the posts here. I love hearing from you. And, above all, THANK YOU. Have a wonderful 2013!