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The 2013 Top Five

WordPress has very kindly sent me a kind of ‘Year in Review’.  It’s a summary of how things went down over at Hotly Spiced Headquarters during 2013.

It let me know my five most popular posts.  I’ve seen these lists before and every year the list never fails to surprise.  I thought I’d share these surprises with you.

In Fifth Position…

Chocolate Marshmallow Slice.  My friend in Auckland, New Zealand, Suzanne, released an e-book this year on making sweet treats suitable for those following the paleo diet.  She asked me if I would like to share one of her recipes on my blog.  I made her chocolate marshmallow slice which was sensational.  The height of the sugar-free marshmallow was amazing.

Chocolate Marshmallow Slice

Chocolate Marshmallow Slice

In Fourth Position…

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Hummingbird Cake.  I was getting together with Lorraine, Celia, Brydie and Rebecca for a high tea.  It happened to fall on Rebecca’s birthday.  Lorraine asked me if I would mind making Rebecca a birthday cake.  ‘Absolutely’, is what I said.  Rebecca is gluten-free and dairy-free so obviously, I made a cake she could enjoy.  It was covered in a meringue frosting with toasted shredded coconut and totally free of wheat, butter and cream.

Gluten-free, dairy-free hummingbird cake

Gluten-free, dairy-free hummingbird cake

In Third Position…

Pinata Birthday Cake.  I made this for Alfie’s 8th birthday party.  It was a ‘smashing’ success.  A definite highlight for me was seeing the cake being destroyed with a few swift blows from a hammer.

Pinata birthday cake

Pinata birthday cake

In Second Position…

Raw, Vegan Protein Balls.  I made these when the uni students were going through their no-carb phase.  They loved them and these have been made repeatedly.

Raw, vegan protein balls

In First Position…

Slow-Cooked Beef Cheeks.  I saw a recipe for beef cheeks on my beautiful friend, Rebecca’s blog and became all inspired.  I didn’t use her recipe but did, for the first time ever, cook beef cheeks.  For some unknown reason a lot of people are googling ‘slow-cooked beef cheeks’ and a lot of them are coming to Hotly Spiced and then hopping over to Rebecca’s blog to see her recipe.

Slow-cooked beef cheeks in red wine and mushrooms

So that’s the round-up.  A paleo recipe, a vegan recipe, a couple of birthday cakes and a meat meal.  Who knew!  If any of these were your favourite or if you had another favourite, do let me know.

I would also like to thank all those readers who have regularly and often posted comments.  Your comments mean more to me than you can imagine and a definitely highlight for me as a blogger, has been developing friendships with readers and bloggers from near and far.  This has led to some wonderful new friendships where I now meet with those I formerly only had a cyber relationship with.  It is my hope to be able to meet with more of you in the days ahead.

So thank you so much for taking the time to comment however at this point I would like to let you know who my top five commenters were for 2013…

In Fifth Position…

My beautiful friend, Maureen, who has been a tower of strength to me during the year and done so much for Hotly Spiced with her and her husband’s wealth of knowledge in all things concerning IT.

In Fourth Position…

My Canadian friend, A_Boleyn who shares her daily food and cooking diary.  It’s always a joy to visit Marie’s blog and see what’s going on in her kitchen.

In Third Position…

My beautiful friend, Rebecca, who writes the most witty and funny comments and with every comment she brings me great joy and makes me feel like I’m sitting at her kitchen table sharing the day’s events.

There’s no Second Position because there are two Equal First Positions…

My lovely friend, Kari from Bite Sized Thoughts who lives in Perth.  We haven’t met yet but we both enjoy catching up with each other’s blogs.  Kari is recently married, is doing her pHD, runs marathons and lives a vegan lifestyle.  You would think we have little in comment but bloggers do!  There’s always a common thread and hopping on to Kari’s blog to find out what she’s up to is a great joy.

And lastly, there is my good friend Lorraine.  Lorraine the trail-blazer who went on ahead of us all, forging a path in an unknown and undiscovered industry.  Lorraine has been an immense blessing to me as I have tried to wrap my head around what on earth it is I’m doing and for her support and encouragement, I’m truly grateful.

And of course, there are so many more of you who very nearly made this list and I’m very grateful to all of you.  I look forward to building and developing a friendship with you in the year ahead.

I hope the new year has lots of goodness in store for you and is a ‘smashing’ success.

A 'smashing' party!

A ‘smashing’ party!

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  1. Aww Charlie! What a fun post and thank you for the absolutely lovely shout-out! That hummingbird cake was divine and I have to say that your Christmas cake this year was amazing! So full of fruit and delicious 😀
    P.S. To quote you my dear friend, is there a prize? 😉 I’m joking! 😛

  2. From another bloggers perspective Charlie, such a great post. It was a bit nerdy of me, but I was actually looking forward to my wordpress wrap up, I do like a bundle of stats 😉

    That pinata cake is a cracker. Making my own eight year olds cake tomorrow, not a pinata but I think really must book mark yours for next year.

    Happy 2014 lovely!

  3. I love these kinds of lists, so interesting and thanks for sharing. I’m not surprised to see some of your wonderful cakes make it into the Top 5 posts!

  4. Your cakes never cease to amaze me!! Somehow I had forgotten that pinata cake, but you did such a great job with it!

  5. that pinata cake looks like such fun – end of year stats are fun too and always surprising – I enjoyed the blogger comments top 5 as much as the popular posts – though not quite as surprising because they are all generous souls (well the ones I know anyway)

  6. Interesting to see the stats …

  7. What a great post Charlie, WordPress sent me a year in review but I just haven’t had a chance to look at it. It always makes me smile when I see a fellow Canadian get a shout out! The top posts are definitely worthy of the fame! I remembered all of them except the marshmallow slice, which looks imcredible! I bookmarked the hummingbird cake but haven’t made it just yet, my GF BBF is going to have surgery in February, so I think I’ll make it for her!
    Happy New Year to you too, may 2014 be everything you hope for and more!
    PS I have my fingers crossed that our paths will cross this year too,

  8. I’m always surprised by the top posts, too.

    I look forward to reading your posts. They are always entertaining and informative and fun.

    Here’s to another great year of blogging.

  9. Wow – that pinata cake is such a brilliant idea! And the gluten free dairy free hummingbird cake sounds incredible!

    Happy New Year Charlie!

  10. Wow, what incredible dishes on your most popular list. I remember that gorgeous pinata cake…and now I’m dying to find those elusive beef cheeks! Hoping your new year is off to a spectacular beginning!!! xo

  11. What a great round-up post of the last year! I’m afraid I haven’t spent as much time visiting as I would like and I’ve commented even less frequently, but I do enjoy the time I spend on your blog. That piñata birthday cake looks amazing — I’m already thinking about it for Little Miss’s birthday this year. Happy New Year!

  12. Happy new year Charlie… and such a great round up of recipes! The hummingbird sounds like a beauty! : )

  13. Fun round up of favorites–but I really liked what you had to say after that as well. It’s lovely to pay tribute to those who inspire and aid you I wish I got a Year End Summary of stats…;-( Should have gone with Word Press!

  14. Beautiful, tasty and fun round up! Happy New Year, can’t wait for more yummy treats!

  15. Isn’t it funny what the most popular are? Would you believe my second most popular was how to make soy candles!

  16. Lovely round up Charlie! Your posts are such a treat…keep them coming! Have a great 2014!

  17. Kari, you, and Lorraine were three of my top commenters this year 🙂 Love love xoxo

  18. G’day! Happy New year Charlie!
    May it be the best one ever for all!
    Great Top Five!
    Cheers! Joanne

  19. I love that pinata birthday cake 🙂 Happy New Year Charlie!!

  20. Fab round up 🙂 Happy New Year Charlie!!!

  21. The rhubarb orange cheesecake recipe remains a favourite, and one I repeat quite often. I’m surprised WordPress didn’t catch the constant back and forth on that page. I wonder if it doesn’t count if it’s the same computer? Hmmm.

  22. Must try that marshmallow slice thingee…. in fact all those recipes look lovely. Very nice wrap up of 2013 🙂

  23. How interesting to get this feedback. Obviously your food posts are very popular, and with good reason.

  24. Great year and great recipes Charlie! Looking forward to seeing more wonderful recipes and hearing more about your entertaining family 🙂

  25. What lovely things you’ve said of me indeed Charlie, now I’d better live up to them. 🙂
    Your hummingbird cake certainly deserves high billing as it was amazing and is on my baking rotation- yummo!
    I love sharing my morning cuppa with my bloggy buddies and your family always starts my day off with a smile or a shake of my head, thanks for letting me share your ups and downs and life with you sweetie xox

  26. All are great posts! The pinata cake amazed me then and amazes me now. So very clever! Thank YOU for all of your support as and comments as well Charlie! I look forward to reading more about your family’s escapades and your recipes in 2014!

  27. Aww I love your blog – your cooking and your stories keep me coming back. I hope 2014 is a fantastic year for all of us.

  28. A great round up Charlie! Can’t wait to see what comes out of your kitchen in 2014! xx

  29. Goodness me, what a surprise that I am equal first as a comment-er!! I almost wonder if I should pare back my comments so as not to overload your blog 😉 Thanks for your kind words Charlie, they mean a lot and are very generous. I like the variety in your top 5 posts and in your top 5 commenters! Like you say, the blog world is a varied one and that is a lovely thing.

  30. I love that marshmallow slice cake!

  31. Fabulous post and how good was the piñata cake? Love the way wordpress sends you a best of list and commenters too. What a great concept.

  32. Great recipes! We look forward to seeing more in 2014!

  33. Wow, thanks so much for fifth position. I’ll take that, especially with so much competition. LOL.

  34. Great round up of goodies Charlie! I’m going to try those vegan protein balls ASAP! Thank you for the reminder about them. Happy New Year!

  35. What a great year you’ve had Charlie 🙂 I’m not surprised the Pinata Birthday Cake made it to top 5 because I’ve saved that recipe and have been meaning to make it for the longest time hehe ~ Lorraine is also the top commenter on my blog she’s amazing and readers so many of our blogs 🙂 So are you Charlie you’re the second top commenter on mine too! Thanks so much for your support! x

  36. I am so pleased to tell you that I well remember each of the posts that made your top list! I love to see that piñata cake. I thought it was so much fun! I’m looking forward to all that you’ll be sharing in the new year, Charlie. And as much as I love the recipes, even more, I think, I love to hear all about your wonderful family. 🙂

  37. I was certain your piñata birthday cake would be in your top 5 list! So creative and fun! Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings for us all! Cheers xo

  38. I missed those raw, vegan protein balls before and am going to have to try them!

  39. I must say the beef cheeks was a fav and that marshmallow slice looked wonderful too.

  40. How cool is that Pinata Birthday Cake? I bet he loved smashing into it! Pinned! 🙂

  41. That is really nice that you included a top five commenters list and a thank you for all you readers/commenters: I agree, comments is what really keeps a blogger going. I mean, we all do it out of passion and love of writing. But if we thought those words were just aimlessly floating around in the blogosphere, would we do it with the same enthusiasm? We need to feel we are writing, cooking, photographing and sharing with like-minded people out there.

  42. What an excellent round up of recipes! I’ve missed a few, so it’s nice to be able to go back and take a peek. I’ve never heard of beef cheeks.. nor searched them up but I will now! I hope you had a lovely Christmas, Charlie.. and I wish you all the best in the New Year!! xx

  43. I still remember the pinata birthday cake! That’s a really fun idea and I had never seen anything like it until you shared the post. So fun to see your top 5 from last year. Looking forward to this year’s posts! 😉

  44. Lovely round-up, and reminds me that I still want to make that delicious slow cooked beef cheeks recipe!!! I love seeing what our top recipes are from our readers. I hope you are having a lovely trip! Happy New Year! Hugs, Terra

  45. Decadent, mouth watering !!

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