‘C’ is for celebration with cupcakes frosted with marshmallow icing and a cup of coconut creme brulee
“What’s a blog?” I remember asking my friend, Mari, who had been prodding me to start a food blog. I had never heard of it, and such a short word ending in a hard ”˜g’ made it sound like some kind of disease. She was right though ”“ once I started, I just kept on going, and I haven’t stopped since. Now Dessert Comes First is 1 year old, and I’m amazed at how everything’s changed since then!
THANKS SO MUCH to all of you who read my blog, and take the time to email and/or comment. I’m truly so grateful.
I originally named my blog Dessert First, but most people thought that it was called Dessert Comes First because of the URL. The name ”˜Dessert First’ had already been claimed on Blogspot, so I had to insert an extra word. Several months later, I decided to change it to Dessert Comes First (DCF) once and for all.
As most of my regular readers know by now, I’m a food writer/baker and DCF is my playground where I let my passion for food run free. Before beginning the website, I had no interest in food photography or styling, but those two activities are a natural progression from the work that I do on the website. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I reasoned that if I had good pictures, then I’d be able to fully capture the essence of whatever food I was describing ”“ words with pictures ”“ a powerful combination.
Here’s a 10-post look back at the first year of Dessert Comes First:
1. The post that started it all was my Restaurant Hot List for April ’05. Around this time last year, some good friends were asking me what restaurants were worth going to. I wrote up a short list and decided to use it as my first post on DCF, no pictures. The other posts that you see dated before April 2005 are old food articles that I wrote when I was the food editor for a now-defunct website.
2. The very first photo I ever shot and posted for the blog…
… was a photo for a flourless chocolate cake. It was a damn good cake with an unspeakably lousy photo. I didn’t even know how to use the camera we had in the house, nor did I have a decent plate to put the cake on. It’s such a bad photo that my best friend Bal, who’s also an excellent graphic artist told me, “It’s beyond repair, Lor.” Even I don’t even have a copy of it anymore. Click here to see this now landmark photo. I think my shots have come a long way since then, wouldn’t you say?
3. The 1st restaurant review on DCF was for Hossein’s Persian Kebab.
”I think your shots are too close,” I remember my dad telling me when I first took my camera out to dinner. Back then, my family thought it was strange to be told that no one could eat until after I’d taken a shot of their food, but now everyone’s so used to it that when the food is served, my mom and dad automatically ask, “Picture?” My dad doesn’t think that my shots are too close anymore, but he hasn’t seen how I’ve contorted my body just to get that perfect shot. I’ve had to wipe frosting off of my camera and I even got too close to a plate of pasta once. Gee, my camera has as big an appetite as I do.
4. The most asked-about post and requested recipe is for my cheesecake. Several people have emailed me to say that this cheesecake is the best they’ve tried. I’m glad because it makes people swoon whenever I serve it. You can view my past recipes here. From now on however, I’ll be including the recipe with its corresponding post.
5. The most forwarded and some say ‘notorious’ post:
The 10 best desserts in Manila and the vultures who eat them. I’d been told that people were receiving this post via email from as many as 10 different senders. What made it so popular I don’t know. I was told that I shouldn’t have written so bluntly, but I said it on national TV and I’ll say it again: my food blog is anchored on honesty. I’m committed to telling the truth about my food experiences. If something’s not good, I’ll be the first to let you know, and I won’t mince words about it.
6. The 1st home baker I featured was Kristine Guerrero of KG’s Kitchen. She emailed me to offer some of her pastries, and was I ever glad that she did. Because of that first meeting, I’ve become a huge fan of home bakers. These are the people whose desserts are underrated, and sometimes even kept secret. I say bring them out and let me tell everyone about it!
7. Favorite photos:
These are the photos that everyone seems to love as much as I do. People can’t get enough of them. I even raffled off some of these at the tea party I threw last March.
egg love – I love to document my love for eggs.
choco orange slice — Even Yahoo! liked this photo so much that they used it for the cover of their website for one day last December.
tomatoes and sea salt — My ongoing obsession with salt.
panna cotta — This is the photo that accompanies what has got to be my porniest post. Ever.
8. Most commented on post:
You’re Fat. As of this writing, this post leads the pack with 46 comments. Looks like I hit a nerve, as that server at McCafé hit mine. Let’s do away with this nasty Filipino habit of greeting people with an appraisal of their weight gain (or loss), shall we?
9. Best-loved post:
5 of the best chocolate cakes in Manila Chocolate cake. Enough said. Oh, and I’ve noticed that readers of my blog like “Top 5” lists and “Best of” lists. More to come, then!
10. The question I get asked/emailed/texted most often:
What camera do you use?
While I’ve said this many times, this is the first time that I’m posting a photo of what camera I use. (photos courtesy of Amazon and Canon-Asia). It’s a Canon Powershot G2, which debuted on the market way back in 2001. Why do I use this camera, specifically? Simple: it’s the only camera we have in the house. Compared to other cameras nowadays, my trusty little Canon is a basic point and shoot. I also don’t digitally enhance my photos because I don’t know how. Photoshop is too difficult to learn. I have a tripod that I hardly ever use, as well as a super-macro lens which I use sometimes. I don’t have fancy lights or umbrellas. I just use natural light and that’s it. What you see is what I’ve got. I’m terribly low-tech.