New years eve always makes me reflect. However, my time to reflect came a couple months early this year when I tackled a very big project: The redesign of Up Close & Tasty. After going through three years of posts and images and realizing I wasn’t very good at spelling the word “Fahrenheit,” I’m ready to say farewell to this project and move forward. The timing is rather fitting because the new design will be launching right after the new year!
So, as I say goodbye to the old design and to 2016, I thought I would share a few of my favorite moments from the year and sprinkle in some exciting plans for 2017.
See you next year with a new design, new content and new inspiration.
Oysters with a Sparkling Rosé Mignonette
It was one of my favorite days of the year. It was National Oyster Day. In shell-ebration, I was originally on the prowl for Kumomotos. After three unsuccessful trips to the market, I decided to get Deer Creek instead. There was a good amount of oyster meat that tasted slightly briny with a mineral finish. I loved them and wrote about three favorite memories that included Mike, travel and oysters. This year, I plan to bring more travel stories to my blog. This will include visiting an oyster farm so I can dig further behind the scenes of these delicious bivalves.
Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes
For some of us, it’s “fourth times a charm.” After three failed attempts to get these cute little cakes out of the pan, I realized I had learned two secrets to baking success: patience and lots of butter. This year, I’m going to make my first Pavlova.
Cilantro-Basil Pesto + SAVEUR Finalist for Best Photography
I’m still pinching myself over this one. After learning I was a finalist for Saveur’s Best Photography category this year, I had trouble focusing in the kitchen due to being so happy and giddy. I decided to share a super easy recipe while I announced the news on my blog, because quite honestly, it’s hard to cook when you can’t stop happy-dancing. Mike and I flew to New York, stayed in the William Vale Hotel and also found time to celebrate our 6-year anniversary. And, although I didn’t officially win, the real win for me was just being there and meeting some incredibly talented and sweet bloggers who I now call my friends. This recognition also inspired me to look at my blog a little differently. The new blog design launches early 2017!
Food52 challenged me to a BLT-Off this summer where five unique BLT recipes competed live on Facebook. It was so much fun to participate in it! I didn’t win, but I have a feeling people loved the pizza anyway. It’s so damn good. This year, I plan to participate in more Food52 contests.
A dream come true! My photography with Standard Market’s newest cheese cave was published in Edible Chicago. I want to connect with more publications this year because there’s something pretty amazing when you get to see your work out in the wild, especially printed in a magazine that you love.
Pink Lady Food Photographer Awards
My Octopus in a Bowl image took 2nd place in the Pink Lady Food Photographer Awards this year and was displayed in the Mall Galleries in London. Having my work recognized as art at an international level still gives me the happiest chills.
Raspberry & Pear Mini Tarts
When EyeSwoon contacted me for an interview to be featured on their blog, I was thrilled! Athena’s beautiful and inspiring blog so deservingly won the Saveur Best Design category and it was an honor to get featured. Get the recipe here. Read the interview here.
Broiled Salmon with Scallions and Sesame
I always try to share approachable recipes to inspire the home cook and beautiful photography to inspire a connection between food and art. I’m definitely going to continue on this path in 2017. This was one of my favorite shoots because I felt like it showcased how beautiful this recipe is and it’s so easy to throw together, it has become a regular go-to in our house.
Blood Orange Salad with Mixed Beans
With the new year approaching, and all of us planning to “eat healthier,” I figured I should give a shout out to this super healthy and refreshing salad. Blood oranges are in season now, so give it a try. If you’re going to eat healthy, it may as well taste delicious.
What were some of your favorite moments from 2016?
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.