2012 – The way it was on Hotly Spiced

As the year comes to a close I thought it would be interesting to look back on the posts I’ve written over the year and discover the stories that generated the most comments.  It’s a list I found quite surprising and I thought you might like to see the Top 10 Most Commented on posts for 2012.  Many of you would appreciate that as a writer of a blog you just never know what will be popular or what will generate large volumes of discussion and if anything, this list only served to confuse me more.  But I thought I’d share the list with you and do let me know if you concur with this list or if you are just as surprised or as confused as I am.

Number 10:

Knock Yourself Out – Where Archie comes to church on Easter Sunday clearly hungover, falls asleep and even the emergency evacuation alarm can’t wake him.

Archie asleep in church on Easter Sunday

Archie asleep in church on Easter Sunday

Number 9:

Dealing With PR Companies – Where I talk about my experience with one particular PR company and many of you share your experiences.

Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken Liver Pate

Number 8:

A Brief Career – Where I share about my brief and regrettable foray into the catering industry.

Angel's Hair Pasta

Angel’s Hair Pasta

Number 7:

Stranger Than Fiction– Where I explain how I came to be named, ‘Charlie Louie’.

Breakfast Basil Eggs

Breakfast Basil Eggs

Number 6:

Happy Anniversary – Hotly Spiced turns 1!

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashews

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashews

Number 5:

One Hundred and Two Hours – The drama of Arabella learning to drive.

Spaghetti with Puttanesca Sauce

Spaghetti with Puttanesca Sauce

Number 4:

Maeva! – A look at an escape to Tahiti brought on by a drunken bid at a live auction.

Sunset in Tahiti

Sunset in Tahiti

Number 3:

Sprung! – That moment when you bump into an ex-boyfriend while dressed in grunge and smiling with lipstick on your teeth.

Lamb Shanks with Potato and Carrot Mash

Lamb Shanks with Potato and Carrot Mash

Number 2:

Chilled to the Bone – Swimming lessons in the freezing cold weather and pool at Waiwhetu Public School.

Rich Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Rich Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

And the number one most commented on post for 2012 was….

Number 1:

Rainbow Cake – Arabella’s 18th birthday cake.

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow Cake

If I hadn’t have done this little exercise I would never have known.  Thank you all so very much for your support and the time you take to write thoughtful, caring, uplifting and encouraging comments – they mean more than you can imagine.

Happy New Year and may in every possible way, 2013 be your best year ever.




  1. Happy New Year to you Charlie – and I did like seeing which were the most popular posts. I love them all, truth be told, and I am grateful for the humour you inject into my days!

  2. A lot of great posts there Charlie. How funny to learn how you were named “Charlie Louie!” Hope you have a very Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year, Charlie!!! Can’t wait to read about you and your family’s adventures in 2013 😉

  4. Happy New Year Charlie! Thank you for bringing so much warmth, laughter, and “the real” into the world with your blog. xo

  5. How cool is that, and what a nice trip down memory lane for me too! Happy New Year to you and your lovely family Charlie, I hope that 2013 brings you much happiness, health and prosperity. XO

  6. —-dear Hot,
    Beautiful Post.
    I wish I could come to your house for dinner! WOW. And the Rainbow Cake is exquisite.

    LoOooooove the photo of Archie. Is that your hubs?

    Happy 2013! Xx

  7. Hi,
    Great memories and wonderful reciepies for 2012, looking forward to more in 2013.
    Happy New Year to you and your family. 🙂

  8. What a fun exercise to do! Happy New Year my friend! Looking forward to reading more of you in 2013. XO

  9. This float down memory lane makes me smile as I remember various posts, my favorite of which is how you got your name. You are a fantastic teller of tales, and that is a rare gift. We, your readers, are so happy that you share. Wishing you and your family the best of 2013.

  10. I, too, am always amazed at what posts draw the most interested, typically the ones you would not even think would.

    Thank you for bringing us your entertaining stories. I am learning so much about your country, and your family, and you, and it’s been a fun ride thus far.

    Happy 2013!

  11. What a wonderful retrospective of the top stories and recipes of 2012. Looking forward to more fun and frolics with your family for 2013. 🙂 Happy New Year.

  12. I’m so glad you did this…so many great posts! I have to go back and reread some of these, you always bring a smile to my day!! And also, lots of great recipes too! Hope you have a fabulous New Year and I’m looking forward to many new posts!!

  13. What a fun way to look back on the year, Charlie! I remember most of the posts very well, but there are a couple that must have been before I started really getting to know you! I want to go back and read them…I DON’T know how you got your name! I will find out! 🙂 And the photo of Archie “hungover” in church is hilarious. I don’t think I read that either. So funny…and now that I feel like I know your children, it makes me smile even more!

    It is already the New Year in your world, my dear friend, and I wish you and your precious family only the best of the best in the coming year. I can’t wait to see what you have for us. I feel like we are next door neighbors, and that really brings a smile to my face. oxo

  14. Happy New Year!

  15. I remember every one of those posts and laughing along with you. You are such a good friend and I’m looking forward to every post you write in 2013. Maybe this is the year you’ll get that elusive book deal. I have my fingers crossed.

    Happy New Year!

  16. Happy New Year Charlie! I look forward to all your new (and old) adventures! 🙂

  17. WOW.. I missed the cake!!! weird.. and how did you find this all out.. where are the stats? anyway have a Happy New Day beginning the whole year.. see you soon.. c

  18. Thank you for this, Charlie. A few of these posts are from before out introduction, so, I now have some reading to do. Your photography has always been beautiful but that shot of the Tahitian sunset is visually stunning. Well done!
    Wishing you and your family a most rewarding and happy 2013!

  19. It is always interesting to analyse what has been popular and I am not surprised at any of these and that number one cake was a stunner!

  20. It is surprising isn’t it! I can never tell what people will like. Of course, you might have an inkling but then something left of field comes along. But one thing’s for sure: rainbow cakes in all of their forms are to be commended! 😀 Happy New Year!

  21. Great post and Happy New Year!

  22. A great year Charlie. Ive enjoyed all your stories and enjoyed meeting you . I can always get a laugh from you Charlie, and I love that

  23. Happy New Year Charlie and to your family 🙂 What a fantastic year! I am so happy to have known you through the blogging world and also had the chance to meet you!

    I have read all of your top ten posts and simply can’t wait for the upcoming posts this year 🙂

    Keep doing what you do cuz it’s FANTASTIC!

  24. Happy New Year to you and to your family. Gotta love the the pics that trigger “I remember that” Meanwhile, I look forward to your 2013 … but for now, soon I’ll be off to a brunch party.

  25. Your posts always put a BIG smile on my face, the frist photo of Archie is still one of my favorite. Looking forward to many more in 2013.

  26. Happy New Year Charlie!
    This is a wonderful selection of posts, no wonder they were the most popular… Thanks for sharing 🙂

  27. It is funny that when we write a post that we never know what the reader will think about it. I enjoyed the story of Archie sleeping in church…I think kids can sleep through anything.

  28. Happy new year! It was fun to read this list – I saw a few favourites of my own on it. And I have to concur that Arabella’s birthday cake (not to mention the rest if the party) was certainly one of the more heroic feats of the year.

  29. Sonia Life Love Hiccups says:

    Your posts always make me laugh, smile, nod along in agreement and sometimes weep. You are a beautiful writer Hun and a great storyteller. I hope 2013 brings you more love, more adventures and more stories to share with us. Xx

  30. Happy New Year Charlie. Your 2012 recap was great, and have loved your memorable moments. Wishing that 2013 is even better for you and the family! Love that rainbow cake – definitely the icing on the cake for 2012. xx

  31. Ah, yes.. Archie sleeping in the church would have to be the most commented on:D Are all teenaged boys alike? It certainly seem so.. and I remember your rainbow cake so well, in fact, I remember the food so well, I guess that makes sense:) What a wonderful year of Hotly Spiced.. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2013!! All the best to you and your loved ones!!! xx

  32. A well deserved cake win! So gorgeous! Happy New Year Charlie 🙂

  33. Happy New Year dear Charlie, love, nia

  34. I missed some of these, so now I’m going to go back and take a look. Happy new year!

  35. Happy New Year! you’ve definitely sparked my interest in your posts, hehe sleeping in church (and photographed!)

  36. I’ve loved every post of yours, kep them coming. Happy new year xxx

  37. It’s given me quite a few laughs going back through these. Thanks for all of your fabulous stories and food this past year and here’s to more in 2013!

  38. Archie made an effort, LOL. You’ve had a most eclectic and interesting past, my friend…cheers to an even greater adventure in 2013!

  39. It’s been a great year, and I hope the next is even better and more fun for you. Thanks for your efforts – wonderful blog.

  40. I loved all those and more…..you are such a fab writer!!! Happy New Year Charlie!!

  41. Love the flashbacks Charlie! What an interesting mix indeed, it’s always fascinating too see what takes peoples fancy.
    A very Happy New Year to you and yours Sweetie, I hope it’s full of more lovely adventures 🙂

  42. That rainbow cake is beautiful. I need to make that for a birthday party, it’ll be a hit for sure!

  43. Congratulations Charlie! There are some great stories there. It reminds me I still have to try your self saucing pudding recipe… although I may wait until winter.

    Happy New Year!

  44. I love how your stories and food come together! Happy New Year Charlie!!!

  45. always enjoy your blog and your humor and stella recipes, happy new year

  46. What a line up – some of my favourites in there too. Thanks for a very entertaining blog looking forward to reading more this year.

  47. Charlie, I wish you a happy and healthy New Year. I always enjoy your delightfully written posts.

  48. Happy new years to you!!
    I always enjoy reading your blog, I’ll be looking forward to posts full of laughters and real life 🙂

  49. happy new year hun! it was nice seeing your round up from 2012. andyour rainbow cake is FABULOUS! i can sure do with a slice of that right now 😉

    i am looking forward to seeing more of your amazing posts in 2013!

  50. I’m not at all surprised that cake was the most commented upon – it is a real stunner, Charlie!

  51. You’ve had a great year– and that rainbow cake tops it! 🙂

  52. Dear Charlie,

    Happy new year to you and family. I think the number of comments is no real indication of the blogpost in itself as they are so many factors influencing the volume of comments. Happy blogiversarry too!

  53. Happy New year. Brilliant round up on posts. Your writing style draws people to your blog and your wonderful sense of humour too. Wishing you and your beautiful family a great year ahead.

  54. happy new year charlie! here’s to an even more delicious 2013!

  55. Happy 2013, my dear & good friend! I wished you lived close rto me that we could go out into the night to go for an Australian pinbt or 3! 🙂 I would so love that!

    Maybe, one day we could meet! 🙂

  56. Congratulations on another year of blogging! Happy 2013! Lovee the Rainbow cake! Looks soooooo delicious! Rainbow cakes are super popular here in Indonesia! Every single bakery has it! haha..

  57. Thanks so much for the annual recap! I had forgotten about some of those (my personal favorite – the basil eggs).

  58. I’m always surprised by which posts get the most visits on my site, but I haven’t looked to see which were the top ones last year. Maybe I should. Your lists shows some great stories and great food. Hope your 2013 is off to a wonderful start!

  59. I love how each gorgeous food feature has an engrossing story! I need to go back and read the ones I missed…you’re blog is a gem!!!!

  60. How did I miss your layer cake?! You have had an amazing year. Happy New year!!

  61. I loved all of these posts, and I loved getting to know you over this past year, albeit only through your blog. My favorite, however, (and it apparently did not make the list) was the one that featured some of Archie’s escapades at school, including being caught drying his wedding tackle (best line ever) by an angry Headmaster. Can’t wait to hear about your family’s escapades throughout the coming year!

  62. Since we only just “met” in 2012, I missed a number of these posts and bookmarked your recap for late night entertainment, Charlie! (Had to take a peek at the origin of your name, though — too funny!) Your writing and recipes are a constant delight. Happy 2013!

  63. I missed this post earlier and glad I noticed. I’m going to pin your BEAUTIFUL rainbow cake picture again!

  64. What an amazing little collection of posts! All that food looks magnificent.

    I’m particularly impressed by the breakfast eggs and that amazingly vivid rainbow cake.

    Happy new year!

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