“One day you will look back and see all along you were blooming.”
Morgan Harper Nichols
This week, I am celebrating the second anniversary of my blog Maison McCauley. Writing this blog began as a way for me to find meaning and joy in the sea of change that followed my family’s unexpected move to Chicago. Even good changes can have hard moments because in order to move on you have to say goodbye to the way things were. I had to leave my job of nearly nine years as an assistant district attorney. Most days I loved my job, but years of long hours and tough cases began to take their toll on my family, so deep down I knew this move meant I needed to step back and slow down.
When I was a new attorney working hard to make my way up in the felony courts I had an older attorney friend pull me aside one day. She said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you know if you left your job tomorrow the office would still run and there would be a new person to take your place. So don’t forget to take care of yourself.” I understood what she meant because in those words was an even more important and nagging question: what were the things that really mattered? Was I sharing the best of my talents and what I had to give or was I somehow just settling? Could I be brave and do something different?
When we moved I talked about finding good in this change by spending more time with my daughters and doing what I loved most: writing, cooking and creating. So I decided I would start writing to share with others. Starting something new and sharing my work on a blog felt a little scary at first. Doubt would creep in and keep me from starting with questions like: What would other people think? Would they even like it? My husband was the one who finally challenged me to sit down and just write. The words began to come and a small seed was planted. Good things take time to grow and I had to begin somewhere.
Now two years into this adventure I am grateful for this opportunity to see life differently. Who knew how much joy there could be getting a great photograph of a cupcake or a bowl of Texas chili? So thank you my dear readers for following along with me. Thank you for your encouraging words, your comments and text messages and for allowing me to share what I truly love with you.
So in looking back and celebrating the past year I am sharing the top recipes from the blog this year:
The all time top recipe on my site are these Carrot Cake Cupcakes. They have a little more spice than your traditional carrot cake but it makes all the difference. Top them off with cream cheese icing and some candied carrot curls and you have one amazing cupcake.
The second most popular recipe this years was for Jo Jo’s biscuits. They have been a favorite recipe on the blog this year bring new readers to Maison McCauley.
The third most popular recipe is a crockpot recipe I created for a Rosemary Braised Beef With Parmesan Polenta. It’s easy to assemble but the depth of flavor makes it a standout dish.
My personal favorite from this year was this Heavenly Angel Food Cake. It’s light sweet and absolutely delicious.
And because a girl cannot survive on cake alone my favorite savory dish is for this Herbed Goat Cheese Chicken. It’s one of my all time most loved recipes for entertaining because you can have it all assembled ahead of time and pop it in the oven just before your guests arrive.
Thanks for helping me bloom and for being a part of the growth of my blog this past year. I am looking forward to the coming year and all the creative possibilities it holds.