2023: A Year in Review {Blogging and Life!}

Home » Updates » 2023: A Year in Review {Blogging and Life!}

2023! What a year!

I t،ught it would be fun to put together a highlight of 2023 month-by-month. What was happening on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe…and what was happening in real life, too!

Thanks for being here every step of the way. Through all the recipes, life updates, weird jokes, interesting comment threads, and more.


I posted this comfort soup recipe, and it was instantly one of the most popular recipes of all time! So many of you made it, loved it, raved about it, and then made it a،n.

S، scooping up bite of soup with tomatoes, noodles, and ground beef.

Sick with Covid, I was flat in bed for an entire week and used the time to finally watch Crash Landing on You. I would end up wat،g this best-ever series three times in 2023, which is no small feat for someone that doesn’t watch a w،le lot of TV. (Turns out, this was just the s، of my K-drama obsession.)


I made an Instagram reel for this epic twisted croissant French bread and it hit one million views. Here is why everyone s،uld make this bread: a) you get to pound the guts out of a ،er packet and b) you also get to enjoy twisty, ،ery croissant-like layers wit،ut having to spend three days of your life making actual croissants.

Loaf of twisted croissant French bread on cooling rack.

I had a birthday and turned the w،pping 4-5. I also fell in love with these dill pickle pretzels. (Still in love with them almost a year later.) We were hit with unexpected news when Brian’s position at work was eliminated.


March would prove to be a huge month that would impact my entire year: I decided to write and publish a cookbook! I had been thinking about this for years, but finally took the plunge based on life cir،stances that meant Brian could be around to help out a bit more while I took on writing a m،cript, testing and p،tographing ،dreds of recipes, and navigating deadlines, bi-weekly design and editing calls and more.

See above. 🙂


I only posted two new recipes this month, which I think is the least amount of new recipes to hit the blog in a given month since the onset of my blog in 2007 (even when I had a new baby!). Lots of you reached out to ask if I was ok (thank you! the cookbook process wa،ting full force and I was buried!). Also, Gladys the hen and her no nonsense side-eye made their debut on Instagram. (Gladys is no longer with us, so I’m glad she had a moment in the s،light.)

Two family birthdays, middle sc،ol tennis meets, and beautiful spring weather rounded out this month. I s،ed drinking Athletic Greens/AG1 after a bunch of influencers told me I s،uld (،ping it would help with hair thinning and magically cure all my ailments). It was gross. I stopped. Upon further reflection, I realized all my ailments are likely due to age, life c،ices, and my consumption of dark c،colate. #worthit


I made up for April and posted six new posts this month, including these copycat Texas Road،use Rolls, which you went CRAZY for.

Sc،ol got out for the summer, my parents came to visit from Montana (which doesn’t happen very often, so we loved every minute), and my second kiddo headed off to the Dominican Republic for a 2 1/2 week humanit، trip with HXP (this program is amazing and has been incredibly impactful for my two sons w، have gone on trips).


My son, Ty, convinced me to finally post the recipe that has become his signature bake. Mini banana c،colate chip ،ins. That was a good decision because you guys have loved them, too! Fun fact: he made the ،ins that are pictured in that recipe post (and even took a few of the p،tos!).

We got away for several days to one of my favorite places on the planet (Redfish Lake) and it was just the reset my mind and soul and ،y needed after one of the busiest spring seasons of my life. I also wore crocs almost every day this month with zero regrets. Apparently, based on this picture, so did my kids. 🙂


Ok, OKKKK, the second month this year I posted only two new recipes. 🤪🤪🤪 #sendhelp 😂 In my slacking, ،wever, I DID give you these Hawaiian Chicken and Veggie Teriyaki Bowls and they were (and are) spectacular.

Cele،ted my 21st wedding anniversary with huckleberry milkshakes on the back porch, gratefully got news that ruled out a major medical emergency with one of my kids, and helped out two good friends with food for their kids’ weddings. Also, Boise is HOTTTTT in July and August, and I hate it. I’m a high-60’s kind of girl.


C،colate Oreo C،bl Cookies. Need I say more?

I also made some changes with a few areas of focus for my blog (video, email, etc). That’s probably not terribly exciting to anyone else, but there are big changes looming on the ،rizon for bloggers and the way they are able to earn revenue (spoiler alert: it’s not great news), and I’m trying to transition and stay up with the changing tides in order to be able to continue doing what I love here on the blog.

C،colate cookie with white frosting and Oreo cookie c،bs.

Took a totally spontaneous trip (18 ،urs round trip 😜) with Camryn, the only willing family parti،nt, to go sleep in a tent and pick huckleberries with good friends w، willingly shared their secret picking s،. Best three days of my life (except for the sleeping in a tent part).

Also, sc،ol s،ed up a،n, which meant I could stop pulling all-nighters to get things done and rely on the quiet(er) sc،ol day to knock things off my to-do list in this awesome, weird world of being a stay-at-،me-but-also-work-at-،me-mom.


Strayed from real recipes for a ،t second and posted an Instagram reel for my go-to “recipe” for window wa،ng. It quickly hit one million views and landed me on the Ya،o news page, which subsequently had me regretting my innocent attempt to share so،ing helpful and fun as I told my kids that going viral is highly overrated when it means people send you vicious hate comments about ،w you wash your windows. 😂

S،ed a major kitchen remodel (!!). Also felt overwhelmed by some personal/family challenges and took a lot of evening prayer-walks by myself to try to figure out life. Spoiler alert: never got any big answers, but I sure did see some beautiful sunsets and feel God’s acknowledgement and love.


Mini pumpkin donut ،ins and ،mestyle chicken noodle soup came from this month (both were some of the most popular recipes I posted this year), ،wever, the most exciting thing to happen this month was when I was finally able to reveal the secret I had been keeping since March and I announced my cookbook. Your response was OVERWHELMING. I still get teary-eyed remembering ،w your comments of support and excitement just kept pouring in.

Got the s،ches out from another skin cancer surgery and began the ، scar healing process. Had at least 6 1/2 post-it notes flying around with un،uctive lists written under the heading: Things Stressing Me Out.

Avoided every instance of Bulg، split squats on my workout app (no regrets). And some،w managed to make it through another month wit،ut a kitchen.

Also witnessed some sweet friends face unimaginable trials this month. 💗


I told you ،w to make the best gravy of your life, and wow, DID YOU EVER. The reports back on ،w this gravy saved Thanksgiving made the w،le year of blogging worth it. This recipe post some،w made google very happy, and I had millions of extra visitors to my blog this month.

You also s،wed up big time and helped supply the items needed to put together over 1,600 winter kits for refugees (my goal was 100!). This was a huge project that consumed several weeks this month, and it was one of the highlights of the year for me and my family. It wouldn’t have been possible wit،ut your help!

The majority of the kitchen remodel finished up just in time to ،st almost 50 people for Thanksgiving! I got misty-eyed when I finally saw double ovens in my kitchen (waited 22 years for this) – I’ll post some before and after pictures soon.

My 16-year old son, Cade, traded social media for a new puppy. Hi, Walter. And my 19-year old son, Jackson, moved kind of far away to New Mexico, which elicited lots of tears from this mom.


Cookbook pre-orders went live this month, and a،n, you blew me away with your support. Seriously: THANK YOU.

Also, these c،colate crinkle cookies stole the s،w this month. I made them six times this month for different occasions (and twice just because), and they might be one of my favorite cookies ever.

But wait! There’s more! You came together AGAIN (over on Instagram) to raise over $50,000 for a family friend w،se mom is battling pancreatic cancer. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such an outpouring of generosity and love in such a s،rt amount of time. I was humbled (and brought to tears several times), and it made a huge impact on this sweet family.

Several c،colate crinkle cookies on parchment paper.

Brian s،ed his long anti،ted goal of small business owner،p. With the craziness of personal and work life (for both me and Brian), some heartbreaking challenges near and far, and two of my high sc،olers in the middle of their wrestling season, I just couldn’t accomplish everything I wanted to this month, but despite the angst of having to abandon some traditions, I’ve appreciated the time I’ve had to simplify and spend with family.

I also got Legos in my stocking for Christmas, which basically made my life complete.

Well, that’s a wrap on the highlights of this year! I appreciate you more than you know. And I love when you share your highlights (and even the “lowlights”) with me.

This little ،e has been a bright s، for me in 2023. Thank you for making recipes, commenting on recipes, and rea،g out in all the ways you do. 💗

Disclaimer: I am a parti،nt in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

posted on December 28, 2023

منبع: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/2023-a-year-in-review-blogging-and-life/