2010 – The year in review

As 2010 has comes to a close we are preparing to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. On January 8th TJCC was officially started amid contract disputes between Cablevision and Scripps Networks but to be fair this wasn’t the real catalyst as to what really happened. In reality, there were a bunch of synergistic circumstances that all came together. For the first time, here’s the real deal:

Nicole and I decided to host a New Year’s Eve dinner party because neither of us are big on going out for New Year’s Eve. “The Eve” feels too much like when the amateurs are let into a bar for the first time. Too crowded, too drunk, too expensive, and too difficult to get home safely especially since I hereby nominate myself as a Designated Drinker.

Our plan was to cook a few courses and get hammered in the comfort of our house along with some friends a hot tub and Rock Band. While Nicole was working and I was planning dinner, I remembered that my 2009 Christmas present (to myself) was capable of recording HD video. How cool would it be to create a mock cooking show, which I could show and/or give my guests if they liked dinner.

Those of you who have had the gumption to watch Episode 1, will remember “the incident”. No one would have believed the mess if I didn’t capture it all in glorious HD video. We ate and drank, and when I showed it to the crowd we all laughed our asses off, and thus TJCC was born.

Well, 10 episodes later, here we are. I haven’t done a video in a while, they have been fun and all but nothing topped the butternut squash. Instead, I have been focusing on improving my photography while learning or inventing new dishes.  This should hopefully lead to me being taken more seriously by the wide world of cyberfoodies.

Here are some fun stats (and a bit of link soup):

  • We made 75 posts, 31 of which contain recipes, 10 episodes, 17 were wordless images, 4 were on wine and a few with other random stuff.
  • We’ve had over 12,000 unique visitors (that’s over 1,000 a month boys and girls), and over 40,000 page views, from 103 countries
  • There were about 130 non-Andy comments posted, and over 500 spam attempts. My readers are shy, bored or trying to sell stuff.
  • Our most popular day was September 15th with over 300 unique visitors.  Wow.
  • The most popular countries our visitors are from are the US, Canada (thanks Valerie!), the UK and Australia.
  • We have been featured on TasteSpotting 3 times (beets, korean spicy chicken, greek beans), and FoodGawker 6 times (add beef wontons, sous vide pork, and cauliflower soup). Clearly Tastespotting is more particular on what they host.
  • Given our publishing stats it’s no surprise that our most popular posts are Beets with Feta and Korean spicy chicken with over 3,000 hits each.
  • Our most popular video continues to be Butternut Squash Soup, with Jewish Wedding Soup trailing closely behind. Spilling soup all over oneself has serious repeat viewing appeal!
  • Our most popular Wordless Wednesday post is the one entitled Texture (lychees). This surprises me, and it is not my favorite. My favorite is Embraced, which feels dirty.
  • We’ve posted recipes inspired by 7 ethnic regions/cultures: Italian (too many to list), Greek (yigante beans, spinach pie, tzaziki), Middle Eastern (street meat, hummus), Korean (spicy chicken), Vietnamese (banh mi), South American (ceviche), and oh yeah, Jewish (matzoh ball soup). Everything else I couldn’t identify where it came from.
  • We’ve made close to 60 gallons of wine. Cough, research. Hic.
  • We’ve hosted 1 guest article and posted 1 elsewhere too (Thanks Velva!).
  • We’ve gotten one request to post advertising, and one request for a product review. I declined both.
  • I’ve met 3 or 4 people around the globe I would consider as friends, and are always welcome at Chez Jew if they happen to be in my neck of the woods!
  • We’ve avoided all urges to deep fry something. Even though my shoe would taste pretty good battered and fried.

So what’s in store for 2011? I want to focus more effort on improving my photography and to expand my cooking across additional cultures.
I have a few other tricks up my sleeve, but mostly I want to serve good virtual food, wine and imagery to all of my new friends out there.

L’Chaim!