Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shop, Cook, Shoot, Eat, Edit, Blog, Publish, Repeat: Kalyn's Kitchen Turns Two Years Old!

Let's start out this little birthday celebration with a story about how Kalyn's Kitchen came to be. I started the South Beach Diet in July 2004, after an old boyfriend visited me and I realized how much I hated being fat. And I was fat; probably not as fat as I looked in this before photo, but fat enough. By early 2005 I had lost about 35 pounds, and everybody who'd known me as someone who loved to cook and eat wanted to know how I was doing it. I started sending out recipes on an e-mail list, which quickly became a bit of a pain. Then my brother (the fabulous Rand) suggested I start a blog as a place to store the recipes so friends could find them.


Here's the part that seems unbelievable now when I look back on it. Neither Rand nor I had ever seen a single food blog when I started Kalyn's Kitchen. He was using the internet a little at that time, but I rarely went online except for e-mail or Epicurious.com, and absolutely didn't know there was a huge web of bloggers out there. I certainly didn't imagine there were people on the internet blogging about FOOD.

I'm grateful for the many good ways my life has changed over the last two years. I've become a more proficient, more creative, and more diverse cook from the challenge of coming up with new recipes day after day. I've met talented, creative food bloggers from all over the world, some even in person, and a few who've become great friends. By accident, I started what I think is the longest running weekly food blog event, and in the process I've learned so much about unusual foods around the world from the Weekend Herb Bloggers. I've enjoyed writing about Food and Drink for Blogher and attending the Blogher Conference. Most of all the blog has been a wonderful outlet to indulge my life-long passion for creating interesting food and a way to keep my brain stimulated learning new things.

Kalyn's Kitchen has improved so much in two years, thanks to the generosity of Rand and Bradley who've provided hours of creative and technical help. Some of what you see here is also due to photo advice and template consulting from my great food blogger friends. (You know who you are!) The latest improvement was a suggestion about a better way to print recipes from the wonderful Zoe who then helped implement it! I'm grateful to everyone who's helped me along the road to this point, either through technical assistance, advice, input, or moral support.

None of this would have happened without YOU, the person who is reading this right now. It's the people who read the blog, give feedback about recipes, leave comments, subscribe, participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, and send nice e-mails who give me the energy to keep creating new dishes and posting them day after day. People are often telling me how much they appreciate my blog, and now it's my turn to tell you how much I appreciate all of you who are enriching my life and inspiring me in so many ways. Thanks to all my wonderful readers and food blogger friends, and here's to many more years of delicious food and friendship!
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38 comments:

  1. Congrats Kalyn, your blog truly is an inspiration full of creativity and a wonderful insight to healthy food. Happy 2nd b'day! :)

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  2. Congratulations on your blog birthday, dear Kalyn, from another birthday girl across the world :-) Your blog - and you - have inspired many a meals in my kitchen, and I'm looking forward to many more delicious dishes!

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  3. Kalyn: The secret to the success of this blog is *whispering* you! You always write in a way that makes me feel like you are just on the other side of the screen. I have never met you or even heard your voice but I feel like I know enough to say that you are a neat awesome person I would love to get to know better. You are always positive (I am not and I wish I was!) and there to help others.

    Happy blog-versary!

    Nika

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  4. Hooray Hooray! 2 whole years, I think it's great of you to keep it up as you do, posting more or less on a daily basis and always great dishes (except maybe the cilantro ones!!!) . It takes a lot to do that, I know how time consuming it is to food blog and I wonder if people know how much time you actually spend on thinking, cooking and shooting the food... A BIG hug from a devoted fan! You are great!

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  5. Happy second anniversary Kalyn!:))

    Wish you many more to come!

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  6. Happy Blog-versary! And thanks for doing such a great job with your blog. I read every day!! :)

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  7. Just wanted to add, I just listened to your podcast (had not been able to before) and its funny how differently you say your name to the way I was saying it in my head. I was putting the stress on the a (like "ahh" .. "kaaah-lin") whereas you say it more like "kay-lynn" with the stress on "lynn".

    Do you find that when people meet you in person that they have your name right?

    I find its about 50-50 for my name. (50% say "Ni-kah" and 50% say it like I say it - "Neeeekah") Further, my name here "Nika" is not my RL name except for a very very few people so when I meet people from the net and they call me that, its always amusing and odd all rolled up in one.

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  8. Kalyn, a HUGE congrats to you for two years of a terrific contribution to healthy cooking! Your blog has been one of my faves since I stumbled across it, not just for the terrific recipes, but for your very friendly and human writing and upbeat approach to cooking and life in general. I'm glad to know you as a blogger, and you inspire me! Here's to many more years of great blogging.

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  9. Ah, Kalyn ~ This anniversary comes at a good time, yes, for a much-appreciated lift? As one of many who's had the great fortune to meet Kalyn in real life (and yes, Nika, I also mis-pronounced her name til hearing it on the podcast!) rest assured that the food blogger Kalyn is the 'real' Kalyn. Enjoy your blog birthday!!

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  10. Cheers and congrats all around. You know, your blog is so great becuase it seems to capture your sweet personality. I love reading it and cannot wait to see what the new year brings!

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  11. Happy Happy Birthday, Kalyn! Thanks for all the inspiration. I'm trying to lose the last of the baby pounds, and with the help of your healthy recipes, I'm doing it!

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  12. Dear Kalyn,
    I think to remember that I found you by clicking my way over from one of your comments at Ilva's blog (how I got to Ilva? Good question, sheer serendipity?). It was as if it was meant to be: The Glycemic Index and South Beach Diet hat shown up on my horizon, but I didn't see any need to go on a "diet". Through you I got interested, in digging deeper, and seeing your recipes, I realized that with few changes in my everyday diet (which is of the mediterranean, Italian type), it would be even easier for me to maintain my weight (through four kids I always made sure to get back into the "before" shape, to stay fit and healthy). And then I got greedy, I decided I wanted to shed a few pounds and get into top shape. And it's working, no more cereal for breakfast, but eggs and zucchini, no bread, no rice, but I don't miss it. Ilva has even come up with a delicious dessert, that I declared suitable for my purposes (Saffron Yogurt with Ginger, Cinnamon and Cardamom spiced Honey - careful, very addictive!). I already fit into the slimmest dress I got, less than 2 weeks into this. So, thank you, for inspiring me and giving me the right hints for a healthy diet!
    I had to smile when I read about how you got into blogging. So glad, I am not the only one who two years ago had never even thought that could be something for me. Then I moved from Washington DC to Vienna a year and a half ago, promising my friends to keep them up to date about my new life. Pretty fast I got tired of mailing photos and stuffing my friends email-boxes, and thanks to my daughter, went on-line blogging. At that time I still had no inkling that anybody else beside my personal friends would come and visit, til I began getting visitors from all over the world who were interested in getting to know my new city along with me. There are so many nice people out there, and you are one outstanding member of this community. I thank you for all your time and love and effort you put into this and wish you a lot of joy far into the future. Happy birthday, Kalyn!

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  13. Happy blog birthday! Two years is a wonderful achievement. Your blog is one of the first I discovered and sets a standard to which the rest of us aspire. Looking forward to Year #3!

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  14. Wow. Two years? It feels more like 10 years! (That's a joke.) I'm inspired by you all the time and have certainly enjoyed getting my hands dirty on the back end of your kitchen from. Here's to many more years of cooking!

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  15. happy blogaversary dear kalyn! :o)

    I am happy that I found your blog and you`ve made me curious about the south beach diet - I recently read a little more about it and decided to give it a try - just looking for some literature (books)tobuy here in austria.

    hope you`ll keep on blogging ;o)uofmj

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  16. Kalyn,
    Congratulations on your 2 year blogversary. I've been reading for quite some time. And also reading all of the lovely comments you sprinkle around the blogosphere. I found you through Mimi at French Kitchen in America. Funny I'd never thought about the pronunciation of your name before, but I'm glad that I've been pronouncing it correctly in my head, otherwise I would feel strange indeed about this virtual acquaintance. It's really too bad that there's no way we could all get together to celebrate you and your two years of keeping at it. Now that would be a party.

    Mary
    www.ceresandbacchus.com

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  17. Congrats...your blog is very helpful to all of us who live this low carb lifestyle..it's great to have good recipes so easily available...good job!!

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  18. Happy blog birthday Kalyn! Your blog is always the source of inspiration for me. Keep on going! :)

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  19. Happy Two Birthday! Yours is a most marvelous blog. And all that is marvelous about it is a reflection of how marvelous you are. I'm always happy to come here!
    Many more!!!

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  20. Wow. It's nice to come home from what was a pretty awful day at school to find all these nice comments from so many great people. Thanks everyone!

    It's interesting to hear that people have been mispronouncing my name in their head. That was something that happened to me all through school too! It's actually pronounced like the double name Kay Lynn.

    And though I wish it was different, I'm laughing my head off about Nika saying "you are always positive." The only thing I'm positive about is that I always have a goal to be more positive! I'm working on it!

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  21. Dear Kalyn, I was surprised to learn that your blog is only 2 years old. It's very well organized and pleasing to the eye (and the taste buds!). I'm an assistant principal in a high school in south Alabama with tons of family in the Salt Lake area. Six of my teachers were looking to improve thier health and I suggested South Beach and your blog specifically. They LOVE it! I ate lunch outside with them today (it was a spectacular 79-degree, sunny day here on the Gulf Coast). They were comparing lunches consisting of recipes from your blog. What fun! Congratulations! Yum!

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  22. Happy Birthday! Congrats on 2 years. But, I am with Rhonda...I didn't even realize this has been going for only two years! It is amazing. Kalyn's Kitchen was one of the first blogs I came across then I began doing this, and have visited everyday since. Thanks for all you do!!!

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  23. Happy Blog Birthday Kalyn! You are an inspiration to so many, and I am constantly steering people your way who are looking for delicious and healthful recipes- both Beach friendly and otherwise.

    Best wishes for the year ahead- I can't wait to see what it brings for Kalyn's Kitchen!

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  24. Happy 2nd Bloggy B-day! Your site is always such a pleasure to visit and everyone else is right: what makes this blog special is YOU!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

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  25. happy birthday kalyn! can't wait to see all the great stuff you produce this year. :-)

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  26. Happy blog birthday Kalyn. Here's to many, many more.
    You are an inspiration to bloggers everywhere, and most especially to me!

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  27. 2 Years!
    Well done!
    Happy Blogiversary (I love your B-day cake)

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  28. Congratuations on making it to the 2 year mark and so successfully too.

    Some recipes I've found on your blog have become regular meals for me and I hope to find more great recipes in the future.

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  29. Congratulations Kalyn!!!!! Your blog has inspired me to create some wonderful healthy recipes!!! :) Will come here for the same and much more..... and also to see your lovely smiling face. :)

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  30. Hooray! Happy Blogoversary. Here's to many more.

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  31. Happy anniversary, Kalyn!!! And thanks for all the fabulous recipes and tips. Here's to another great year.

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  32. Now I think I'm blushing a bit at all these nice comments! (Ok, that's not really true. I've never blushed in my life that I know of. But still I'm really touched by all the things people have written.) Thanks again everyone.

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  33. Happy Birthday, Kalyn's Kitchen! Wishing you many many more years of good food and great times!

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  34. Congrats and Happy 2 year!! Your blog is great!! Thanks for introducing me to the blog world:)

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  35. Happy Happy BLOG Birthday Kalyn! Bit late on this hope you'll excuse me. You know that I am a huge fan of yours. You inspire with your writing and creativity.

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  36. Happy Blog Birthday! I am at the beginnig of this beautiful road that you have started 3 years ago. If you'll ever find time to stop by and have tips for me, please free to let me know. Congrats! Sidi

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible.

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