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July 2019 marks FIVE YEARS of blogging here at The Crumby Kitchen – and I want to share my excitement with you by giving away all kinds of fun kitchen goodies!
Five years ago, after being inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction to start my own blog.
Five years ago, while I browsed the internet for the perfect layout (which you’ll see – and laugh at – below).
Sixty months ago, when I hit “Publish” for the first time.
Eighteen-hundred days ago, as I thought ahead to what my life would be like today.
I could never have imagined that carving out a corner of the internet kitchen would have changed my life in such drastic ways, but here we are.
FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING.
I sure have come a long way from there.
That’s right! If you haven’t been along for this whole ride, you wouldn’t know that this blog used to be called The Crumby Cupcake.
Where did you get the name? To be honest, I’m not even sure. Researching domain names had me frustrated for quite a while, because every one I wanted was already being used. I think it had something to do with a thesaurus, a desire to include the word cupcake, and pulling a fake, often-misspelled word (crumby) out of thin air.
What made you rebrand to The Crumby Kitchen? Too much confusion! I can’t begin to tell you how many people on social media thought I was a local bakery. I would get order requests on a monthly basis. Plus, readers often assumed I was a dessert blog – and while that’s my specialty, I wanted to appeal to a wider audience.
Since the first post (an intro) went live on July 9, 2014, the blog has:
- Gone through 3 redesigns (with a fourth coming in 2020!)
- Published close to 500 recipes
- Gotten 4000+ comments
- ~1.7 million visitors
- ~3.4 million pageviews
- Been featured on Buzzfeed, Delish, MSN, Southern Living, Elle France, and The Chew (RIP)…to name a few
As you can see, I’ve never had a hugely successful blog. I’m not one of those overnight sensations that popped up out of nowhere, but it’s been good enough to me that I was able to quit my 15+ year retail management job in May of 2017 to do it full-time.
Today, I’m making more income off of the blog and my photography business than I was working 55+ hours a week in customer service.
I’m also much happier. I enjoy my job, especially when I get positive feedback from readers. I’m able to travel like I’ve always wanted to, and work while doing so.
That just goes to show you that even a tiny corner of the internet can provide a pretty damn good living.
TOP 5 READER FAVES
Over the span of 5 years, some bloggers might see their top recipes shift a lot. Apparently, that’s not so when you’re me.
Healthier Baked Eggplant Parmesan – my all-time number one perennial reader favorite. Posted way back in 2015, this was my first foray into eggplant anything (at the request of Abe), and I caught the fever. Apparently, so did the rest of the internet. The cheese pull really grabs people on Pinterest, I guess, and even though my photography has come a long way, nothing has been able to eclipse this cheesy goodness in popularity.
Homemade Cannolis – one of these days, I should really do a video for these easy, delish Italian treats. Originally posted on Sugar & Soul, I syndicated these in 2018 and have enjoyed all kinds of Google love for them.
Pina Colada Rum Cake – fair warning, the blog post for this recipe is extremely long-winded and full of mush. I make this cake for me and Abe’s anniversary every year, and you get to read all about it and even see wedding photos! Ewwww! Even in this age of people too lazy to scroll to get a free recipe, plenty of Pinterest folks have loved this cake since 2016 – so much that I just had to share their efforts on the post!
Maui Moscow Mule – I feel like this recipe from 2017 speaks for itself. Who doesn’t love a summery, tropical rainbow cocktail?? I’ll tell you who DOES – Pinterest.
Irish Cream Coffee Mud Pie – this one is just embarrassing. I did say my photography improved a lot, but to me in 2016, this was top notch work. The green is a dead giveaway that there was a holiday involved. I knew nothing about tricks to make the cake look perfect (to be fair, I still don’t know much). The angles were all wrong. Pinterest – again – didn’t care. Chocolate is as chocolate does, and this cake is nothing short of delicious (albeit controversial – just read the comments!)
ERICA’S TOP 5 FAVES
My all-time favorite recipes DO fluctuate quite a bit – but it’s usually my newer stuff that I’m in love with. I’m constantly learning new tips and tricks about photography and styling, and it’s only taken this long for me to finally see a style emerging in my shots.
Best-Ever Buttermilk Carrot Cake – after years of being very “meh” about carrot cakes, this particular one is my new favorite. I made this for the first time as a very last-minute birthday cake for a visiting cousin, and it was devoured in less than 24 hours. It’s rummy and moist in all the right ways (thanks to a boozy buttermilk glaze that gets poured over the warm cakes), and I’m obsessed with the way I used the carrot peels and tops as decoration.
The Bettah Feta Burger – I have yet to shoot another burger as pretty as this one – the ingredients just made this one so easy to stack! It’s so eye-catching, it’s been on the cover of a magazine! Nevermind that it’s a local magazine, it still counts.
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake – for all of the chocolate cakes I’ve published on the blog, this one is my current favorite. Moist cake and 2 types of mousse and a thick layer of ganache, all made pretty for the holidays. This one did super well on Instagram, and I’ve seen multiple people remake it perfectly, right down to the decorations.
Instant Pot Shrimp & Grits – so this one is in my cookbook, and it’s now my favorite shrimp recipe ever. Neither Abe or I had ever had grits prior, despite my Southern-ness, and it’s now on a monthly breakfast rotation. The Instant Pot prep makes it quick and easy, just don’t forget the crispy fried eggs on top!
Pumpkin Layer Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese – considering just how many pumpkin recipes I’ve shared over the years, I had a really hard time deciding which one was my favorite. I think the brown butter cream cheese sends this one just slightly up at the top. I’m a sucker for both elements of that frosting. PLUS six perfect layers of cake, OMG.
I’m so excited and happy and humbled and grateful, that I’m celebrating FIVE YEARS with FIVE WEEKS of giveaways!
Five lucky readers will win a fun themed prize pack every week – scroll down to the bottom to enter this week’s giveaway!
Be sure to refer back to this post all month to see what you can win!
WEEK 1, July 1: Grilling!
CONGRATULATIONS to NIURKA G!
WEEK 2, July 8: Pressure Cooking!
CONGRATULATIONS to DONNA PORTER!
WEEK 3, July 15: Baking!
CONGRATULATIONS to JOSHUA JENKINS!
WEEK 4, July 22: Cocktails!
One (1) $75 JoyJolt Gift Card
Courtesy of JoyJolt. So many of the moments you enjoy most include raising a glass. From the jolt you get from that first sip of coffee in the morning to toasting a milestone with close friends. Spoil yourself with some quality glassware from one of my favorite brands!
One (1) Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender ($29.99 value)
You don’t have to have an expensive blender to make great frozen drinks! The 40 ounce glass jar is perfect for parties or making a pitcher of pina coladas or frozen margs for everyone at your next get-together. And with 14 blending functions, you can mix, puree, crush and more – plus, the easy-pour spout eliminates drips so there’s no mess to clean up!
Typical of the kind of set you’d see professional mixologists using, this stainless steel shaker in a copper finish is the ultimate party piece for your next get-together. Includes (1) cocktail shaker, (1) muddler, (1) double-ended bar spoon/fork, (1) Hawthorne strainer, (1) julep strainer, (2) bottle top pourers, and (1) double-sided jigger.
If you’re anything like me, your bartending skills started at a bare minimum. You can make delicious drinks by blindly throwing things into a glass – but you’ll be better off if you have a basic grasp on mixology, and this book covers the bases for you.
Every bar needs a good set of ice cube trays for those comically oversized whiskey balls. These come in handy for all sorts of drinks, and you can even use them to make popsicles with.
WEEK 5, July 29: Slow Cooking!
ENTER THIS WEEK’S COCKTAILS GIVEAWAY BELOW!
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TERMS & CONDITIONS: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering, you give us the right to use your name, but your information and email address will never be shared or sold. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning, and the winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam.io program. The winner will receive their prizes directly from Amazon, Strauss Direct, Thermoworks, and The Crumby Kitchen, LLC. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, or any other social channel mentioned in any posts on thecrumbykitchen.com.