It isn’t intentional, but I realize as I write this post that I also made cupcakes for my website’s first birthday. Now on its second year, Dessert Comes First (DCF) celebrates with yet another cupcake, this time an ice cream cone cupcake. Very different from cupcake batter baked in real ice cream cones, these ice cream cone cupcakes are baked in a special pan with waffle-cone shapes and detail. The buttercream icing is then piped on with a large star tip to mimic soft serve ice cream. Each “ice cream cone” is 3-inches high and depending on how stacked the frosting is, this is one mighty cupcake good enough to share ”“ although in my opinion, a cupcake is not meant to be shared because it’s a cake for you and you alone. (wink)
On that note, THANK YOU. Thank you for the emails telling me how you make it a point to visit Dessert Comes First everyday and how you fit my restaurant and dessert recommendations into your busy schedules. I’m most honored. Thank you also to those of you who let me know about the special eating places and sweet things that you want to see on this site. This website is driven by suggestions such as those and I strive to make DCF better because of it.
Looking back, here’s a not-in-chronological-order look at the highlights of Dessert Comes First’s 2nd year:
1. I bit the bullet and moved DCF to its own domain. Goodbye free blog, hello yearly payments for hosting and domain registrations. I’m glad that the grunt work of moving is now behind me. Moving 350+ posts, re-designing the website, and learning how to operate a new web publishing system was an exercise in frustration and patience (in that order). I’m still working on correcting all the posts’ links, which is why there’s a “Site still under construction” announcement in the right hand margin. Do I regret moving? Not at all, since nothing compares to the pleasure of having my own dotcom. No more squatting on Blogspot for this website!
2. Dessert Comes First wins the Deliblog Award at this year’s Philippine Blog Awards. Admittedly, it had a bit of that “pastrami on rye” ring to it, but most people got it right ”“ the Deliblog award bestowed on DCF is for the Most Delicious Blog, with the text on the award reading, “To Honor Mouthwatering Blogging.” My gratitude goes to the good people at Globe Broadband for this award and of course, YOU.
3. My photos are featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
It was surreal to open the paper one August morning to see photos (seen above) that I had taken staring up at me in full-on color and larger than usual sizes. Culinary professional Reggie Aspiras devoted an entire column to me after seeing some of the photos that I had shot of Roshan’s cupcakes (which had been featured in the same column a week before).
4. I got a new camera
And speaking of photos, I wrote about my trusty Canon Powershot G2 in last year’s anniversary post. It has served me well and still continues to, to this very day. But last December, I got my hands on a Canon EOS 350D and a Canon EOS 400D. On loan, I clicked and shot and stumbled and tried again with these two product-behemoths of photo technology. Armed with various lenses, I familiarized myself with the intricacies of a D-SLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) and spent loads of time picking the brain of my professional photographer-friend.
Then early this year after much thought and the desire to take even better, more drool-inducing food photos, I made the financial and emotional investment to upgrade to the Canon EOS 400D which you see above. I still don’t use lights or reflectors or Photoshop (still don’t know how), but now I use two lenses: a 17-85 mm for all-around shooting, and a 60 mm macro lens that I couldn’t live without, quite frankly. Since this new camera of mine weighs a ton, I only use it when out on shoots and at home. If you bump into me at a restaurant, you’ll still spot me toting my Canon Powershot G2, most of whose photos you still see on this website.
Below, three of my favorite photos taken with my SLR.
5. Most commented-on post this year was How I Review Restaurants (Addressing That Myron’s Post). Turns out people had lots to say about this then-new restaurant at the Power Plant Mall. So varied were the reactions from that post of mine that I felt compelled to answer the furor. I even had to meet with Myron’s owner, Mon Eugenio, who wanted to know what in blazes was going on. The “issue” ”“ whatever it was ”“ died a natural death and Myron’s is thriving. I haven’t been back since that fateful lunch last April 2006, but I have been in touch with Mon and I must say that I really like their blue cheese panna cotta. Mon’s wife, Monique, is the pastry chef of the restaurant and she always has plenty of great desserts to satisfy those with “sweet-teeth” like me.
6. My one big event this year was the baking demo that I held at Nestlé’s Julius Maggi Kitchen. There was a little dessert party afterwards, and I had fun meeting readers of this website. One reason for holding the demo was my wanting to show people how to make their own scones. I’m amazed at how popular my scone posts have been, whether they be plain, plied with chocolate chips, or leavened with yeast. Maybe one day I should throw a scone party although it would definitely have to be on a small, manageable scale.
Where to now, Dessert Comes First?
I’m pensive as I write this 2nd anniversary post. My first year was a “honeymoon”, dizzy in the joy of a new toy (my website), it was a rollercoaster of thrills, always on the up-and-up. With accolades, an award, and features in magazines, it’s easy to just coast along and keep on doing the same thing. But the honeymoon does end and reality sets in. While reality isn’t always stark, it also doesn’t have to mean getting stuck in the same-old/same-old. I, for one, am always thriving to do more and be more. I have a long list of “wants” for Dessert Comes First: continuing to write stirring posts that will get people to get out and eat, a photo gallery, and a sleeker look to name just a few. It will evolve as I do.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the ultimate question: Can I really keep on doing this forever? Will I be a blogger for life? Marketman and I actually discussed this briefly when we last met up and I found some insight in this article. While there are no answers yet, what burns brightly in me is a deep sense of gratitude for this website and for the people who read it. For as long as my passion for food goes on, so does this blog.