Green Appletinis for a Holiday Blogiversary Celebration!

Green Appletinis for a Holiday Blogiversary Celebration!

Today is my blogiversary!  Bunkycooks has made it one year and what a year it has been!

If you write a blog, you might remember how bizarre that first post is when you write something for possibly no one!  You keep writing and hope that somehow…someway…someone will find you and read what you have to say!

But, before long, many of you came calling and kept coming back for more!  I want to thank everyone that reads Bunkycooks.  If it weren’t for all of you, I might have gotten pretty frustrated talking to myself for this amount of time, so thank you for reading, preparing my recipes and commenting.

For me, the highlights of this year have included hosting Food Blog Forum Atlanta in September.  Food Blog Forum was the first ever food blogger’s conference in the Southeast and I am excited that I was able to bring that to Atlanta with the help of Jaden Hair (Steamy Kitchen), Diane Cu and Todd Porter (White on Rice Couple).  I also met so many wonderful bloggers that came from all over the U.S. to attend!  Thank you to everyone and to all of the great sponsors for your incredible support that made the event such a huge success!

Mr. Bunkycooks and I also attended Camp Blogaway in Southern California this past May.  Other than a little altitude sickness (at 7,000 feet!), we had a really great camper experience and enjoyed meeting so many bloggers, mostly from the West Coast.  Several of them have become close friends and I look forward to staying in touch on a regular basis.

The Bunkycooks have really enjoyed our On the Road with Bunkycooks trips to farms and local businesses and the interviews with Great American Chefs series.  We have met some delightful people along the way and have become friends with many of them, too.  These are some of my favorite posts to write as there is always a story behind the food and I love to share the personal side of the people we have met.

The more challenging part of being a food blogger (as I have learned over the past year) is how to balance your real life and manage your blog.  I have spoken to several bloggers about this topic in depth and this is obviously a challenge for many people.

I have been through periods where I spent most of my days and nights on the computer between Twitter, Facebook, Foodbuzz and other social networking sites.  I have spent countless hours reading other blogs and leaving comments.  When you add that time to the amount of hours I spend with recipe development, cooking, traveling, researching, writing posts and managing pictures, I have little time left for myself!

Can I interest you in one of these...perhaps two? ;)

I realized at one point at the end of the Summer, that I had literally missed much of the Spring and Summer and gorgeous outdoor weather.  I had been on the computer so much between projects (like Food Blog Forum Atlanta), Bunkycooks site development, general blogging related activities and networking that I had essentially missed a few seasons of my life!  That time is too precious to me at this point in my life, so it’s time to be more thoughtful about how the time is spent!

I have also gained some weight and have been far less active. Of course, sometimes the housework has suffered and even cooking dinners is a challenge (hard to believe that from a food blogger, huh?).  We have eaten way too late and have too many cold dinners due to picture taking.  Mr. B deserves better care than that, doesn’t he?

So, in going forward in the next year, I have made some decisions.  I am going to go back to the reasons that I started the blog in the first place – my love for food, travel, writing, wine, cooking and entertaining!

I want to enjoy doing what I love to do, but I want to have a life away from the computer, too.  When I spend days out of the house and see friends or shop or just do other things…I remember how much I have missed of “real life”.  I do adore all of my “Tweeps” and online friends!  I have found a community of people who are as passionate about food as I am and it has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to our continued friendship.  I do hope I get to meet many more of you in person.

I think I will have a few of these to celebrate!

However, as much as I love my fellow foodie bloggers, I sometimes feel like we live in an insular environment.  We write and comment for each other.  So much time is spent supporting each other that it makes me wonder how many non-bloggers are out there reading our blogs.

The key for me is reaching beyond the blogging community.  That is where the greatest satisfaction lies in knowing that everyday people are actually reading my articles, preparing my recipes and truly enjoying Bunkycooks.

One of the other “interesting” aspects of food blogging is getting your photographs on some of the food photography sites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker.  It is always a great day when your photos are accepted, however, the frustration comes when you know you have a great photograph and yet, it is rejected for some reason that seems wrong (Dull/Unsharp, Lighting, Composition)…we have all heard this before (if you are a food blogger). A picture that is tack sharp with perfect white balance is rejected…huh? Then, when you see some of the photos that have been accepted, it doesn’t make any sense! I have learned over the past year to not let it ruin my day, but it certainly can be a frustrating experience.

I think that there has to be more balance in the blogging world.  It can easily take over your life and at what cost?

Could this be a Tastespotting moment?

I am going into the second year with a renewed sense of purpose for the blog!  I am planning a few projects on the side that I look forward to working on.  I am especially excited to get back to cooking again as I begin the recovery from my surgery.  There will also be more exciting road trips (in that darn RV!), interviews and recipes that I look forward to sharing with you.

If you don’t see me on the computer as much (Facebook, Twitter, comments, etc.), it is because I am in the kitchen cooking up something wonderful, shopping (hopefully for shoes soon after my surgery!), taking a road trip or just outside enjoying the day!  I hope you will take time to do the same!

So in honor of today’s anniversary, here is one of the classic holiday cocktails…a Green Appletini!  I made these instead of a cake.  I had enough of the cake baking stuff when I made my Cat in the Hat Cake for my birthday!

With the holiday season upon us, these will be perfect to share with friends or just shake one up for yourself if you are in the mood for a nice, bright green cocktail!

Boozy drinks always liven up a party or celebration.  That is definitely one thing you can count on…Bunkycooks will never change that philosophy!!

These are perfect to serve during the holidays!

Green Appletinis

Makes 2

Ingredients:

4 ounces good Vodka (I use Ketel One)
2 ounces Sour Apple Pucker
2 ounces Midori liqueur
Maraschino cherries or green apple slices, for garnish

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small glass pitcher and chill until very cold. Shake in a cocktail shaker partially filled with ice for just a few seconds.

Pour into chilled cocktail or martini glasses and serve garnished with either a maraschino cherry or a green apple slice.

50 Responses to “Green Appletinis for a Holiday Blogiversary Celebration!”

  1. 1

    The Teacher Cooks — November 23, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

    What a great post! I agree with you totally. Lovely picture of the cherry!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

      Thank you for the comment, Wanda. I have been thinking about writing this for some time now and how to say everything I was feeling after a year of blogging. It is difficult to phrase some things without sounding too harsh. I am hopeful that I did that.

  2. 2

    ronnie campbell — November 23, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Bunkycooks on their one year blogiversary! May you continue to share and grow (in experience, not girth!), and keep us entertained as well as educated. Wishing you a speedy recovery Gwen. Have a festive Thanksgiving – Cheers! R

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

      Hi Ronnie,

      Thank you so much for your comment and for your generous support throughout my first year! You are also one of the delightful people that I would not have met if I didn’t start Bunkycooks a year ago today!

      I always look forward to hearing from you and hope that we get to meet in person some day. Have a delightful holiday and thank you for the well wishes!

      Gwen

  3. 3

    Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup! — November 23, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

    Congratulations and Happy Blogiversary! You’ve come a long way Baby, and have done an excellent job in the process. This post is extremely well-written and expresses my feelings exactly, and I’m sure the feelings of many bloggers. Blogging is a tremendous amount of work, but is only rewarding when you are doing it because you love it. You need to come first! I am blessed to have met you this past year and look forward to our growing friendship.

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

      Thank you, Denise!

      As you well know, you and John are some of our favorite foodie friends that we have met along the way! I also feel very lucky to have met you, too and can’t wait until we can get together IRL again! :)

      It is friends like you that are one of the reasons that I continue the blog. You never know what you might miss if you weren’t doing this gig! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

      Gwen

  4. 4

    Kristina @ spabettie — November 23, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

    congrats on your year!! I love your blog and was nervously reading, thinking you were going to stop. Re- evaluating and stepping back is great… it will keep you happy with your blog much longer, while enjoying life! :D ENJOY and CHEERS – these appletinis look beautiful (and totally tastespotting!) ;)

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 23rd, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

      Hi Kristina,

      I have actually considered stepping back from the blog, but then I know I would miss it and all of my foodie friends way too much! My neighbors wouldn’t be too happy either. ;) I think there just needs to be some balance in how much time is devoted to the whole blogging package, so that is what I will be working on in year two! Have a great Thanksgiving!

      Gwen

  5. 5

    Trish — November 23, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I can totally sympathize with much of what you say here. I completely understand how you feel about reaching out to the non-blogging world. I started my blog with the intention of targeting people that wanted and needed to make healthy lifestyle changes. I wanted to address a broader audience, not just foodies. I have since gone astray, but it’s in the back of my mind. Anyway, you have a fabulous blog. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and your appletinis!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

      Hi Trish,

      Thank you for the comment. I think it is easy for all of us to forget why we started our blogs. It is fun to get involved with all of our foodie friends. I think we need to find the happy medium between the two in order to find the balance. Hope your holiday was a happy one!

      Gwen

  6. 6

    Ken - hungry rabbit — November 23, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    Congratulation your first year, I totally missed mine. You have accomplished so much in a year that no doubt you will have many more successful and rewarding ventures. Cheers!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

      Hi Ken,

      Thank you for the comment and for your friendship! You are definitely a totally awesome Tweep! :)

      Gwen

  7. 7

    Annapet — November 23, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    Happy Anniversary! If not for Ken {HungryRabbitNYC}, I would not have discovered your beautiful site!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

      Hi there and thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope you will continue to do so. :)

  8. 8

    JulieD — November 23, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

    Happy Blogiversay to you Gwen. Congratulations! It was great meeting you at FBF and your post resonates with me. You’re so right in so many ways. Glad you’re recovering from surgery and I hope you have fun and enjoy the new year with your new purpose. Hope you and Mr. Bunkycooks have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

      Hi Julie,

      It was great meeting you, too at FBF! It was so nice to connect faces with names after months of planning. I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

      Gwen

  9. 9

    CBR — November 23, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    Thanks so much for the honesty in your post. After only a bit more than three months of blogging, I’ve encountered the same issues, with hardly any time left these days for exercise, house cleaning, cooking (!), and a “life.” I plan to use you as an inspiration for staying to my original course and looking for balance. Cheers!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

      Hello and thank you for the comment. It is definitely easy to get caught up in all of the blogging and social networking sites early on. the good news is that you are aware of it and get begin to make adjustments. Good luck!

  10. 10

    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors — November 23, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    Congratulations and Happy Blogiversary GWEN! You’ve done an excellent job tackling all the pressures of blogging and travelling and ervything else. I am so pleased we met – one of the most satisfying perks of being a food blogga this past year.

    You are a genius with the vodka and these tinis prove it. I can’t wait for more of your delightful posts in the coming year :)

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU & MR. BUNKY!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

      Hi Devaki,

      Getting to “know you” has been my pleasure! I always love seeing your incredible dishes.

      I am sure there will be lots more vodka in the coming year. Can’t go wrong with booze!

      I hope your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      Gwen

  11. 11

    Barbara — November 23, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

    Congratulations on one year of Bunkycooks Gwen! I can assure you that plenty of people (not just fellow bloggers) read your posts. Your writing style is so clever and your recipes are delicious. It is the highlight of my day to see what you have up your sleeve (or under your cast). Thanks for all your efforts – they have not gone unnoticed. Happy Turkey Day!!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

      Barb,

      Thanks! I love the comment about the cast…maybe you could do a guest post sometime soon! ;) I will try to keep up the excitement in year two. Just no more injuries…

      Gwen

  12. 12

    Jane Nellums — November 23, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    Congratulations Gwen! I have enjoyed so much your food blog all year! Thank You
    for all the delightful recipes and interesting food blogs. You both are very talented
    and I wish you well during this holiday season!
    Blessings,
    Jane

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

      Hi Jane,

      Thank you for the comment. I am glad that you have been enjoying the blog so far. We will try to keep it just s crazy in the coming year!

      Happy holidays to you!

      Gwen

  13. 13

    SMITH BITES — November 23, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

    CONGRATS GWEN!! A huge milestone in which you’ve had much success! It’s always good to take a step back and evaluate where we’ve been and where we want to go next and hooray for you that you’re able to see what means the most to you. I look forward to visiting you here often and connecting with you on Twitter and Facebook whenever you’re around! HUGS!!!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

      Hi Debra,

      It has been a real joy getting to know you over the past months. These friendships are what really makes blogging worthwhile! I look forward to seeing you “around” as well and hopefully in person at some point soon!

      Gwen

  14. 14

    Janet — November 23, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

    Well Happy Blogiversary! Fabulously stated… so many lose site of why they came to the table to begin with. I’m happy to be “tini” twin with you today- they look so inviting!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

      Thanks for the well wishes. Yes, it is easy to forget why we started the blog, so it is good to refocus at some point in the journey. I hope we all find our happy medium in this crazy place! Loved your “tinis”, too! :)

  15. 15

    Kim — November 23, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

    Congrats on one year!

    I’ve only been reading for the past few months and I admit I am not entirely consistent with reading or commenting on yours and others’ blogs. I love the food blogger network but I am still very much invisible by many of the well established bloggers such as yourself. I don’t cook often nor do I bake much so you’ll find me spending more time writing about new experiences with life and food as well as my weight struggle. Regardless, I enjoy it and will keep writing even if I have a very small audience.

    I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors for the second year and look forward to seeing more. Thank you for sharing such wonderful insight and experiences.

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

      Hi Kim,

      I don’t think it is easy to be consistent with the reading and the commenting on so many great sites. That is one of the things I find overwhelming. I try to make it to several sites that I subscribe to or know people personally. Even that can be a daunting task! I will often go to a site and read, but not feel compelled to leave a comment because it is time consuming.

      Keep on writing and posting if you love what you do and it’s way to journal your experiences with life or weight. Readers will come if they find a connection with you and sometimes that takes time.

      Good luck!

      Gwen

  16. 16

    sippitysup — November 23, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

    Okay, first I am going to cry– and I am going to cry hard. You write from MY own personal heart.
    So I have to ask. If you have been bloggong with the huge success you have had, then it’s obvious the blog is in your soul.

    So I wonder. Where is the balance? Can you do it only on a part time basis? Can I ?

    It’s way more than a journal. We all have high hopes. And you have talent far beyond most of us.

    What does the new year hold? GREG

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

      Hi Greg,

      Your comment really hit home. I think we are all struggling with this, however, most of us don’t want to bring it up.

      You are incredibly talented (as shown in particular with the PFB challenge) and I know you must be putting in incredibly long hours. Unfortunately, this is what takes the toll on our “real” lives.

      I’m not sure if this can be a part-time gig, but I am certainly going to try to give the rest of my life more time going forward.

      I think a vacation would fix much of this! What do you think? ;) A break and a renewed vision going forward…let’s do it!

      Gwen

  17. 17

    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — November 23, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    Happy Blogiversary and Congrats on one year, Gwen! I am with you on so many levels – must be the 1st anniversary reevaluate your goals/come to your senses thing ;) Wish I could share an appletini with you – Ketel One is my vodka of choice, too. My anniversary of food blogging was in October and I also plan to pull myself away from the computer (but here I am), get back to exercising to lose the 10 lbs. I’ve gained and start reading books again. Hope you buy lots of pretty shoes and that you and Mr. Bunkycooks have a wonderful holiday!

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

      Hi Priscilla,

      Belated Happy Blogiversary! I do think that a year comes around and you need to ask yourself some tough questions about your blogging goals. If it’s strictly a hobby and you don’t devote much time to it, then keep it up. However, most of us get way more involved (and it sounds like we have much in common in that area).

      I hope you lose your weight (me too!) and get back to reading your books! We just need to back away from the computer and turn it off. It will be there when you come back to it!

      Gwen

  18. 18

    Pacheco Patty — November 23, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Congrats on your Blogiversary!

    The colors in the appletini photos are stunning:).

    • bunkycooks replied: — November 26th, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

      Thank you, Patty! :)

  19. 19

    Cristina @ TeenieCakes — November 23, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

    OMG Gwen! I just purchased some apple pucker this afternoon with the intent of doing an appletini post this weekend (it’s so festive with the cherry…it’s like an upside Christmas tree). Hmmm, may have to do something else now. Great post and luv the images! I feel much the same as you’ve expressed and have caught myself questioning “what am I really doing” with regards to my site/blog. It takes an incredible amount of time – that I luv doing but my priorities are suffering.

    You’ve had a fantastic and very successful year, involved in many events. I’ve enjoyed watching your blog evolve. Happy Blogversary to you and Mr. Bunkycooks.

    Please stay on track for a speedy recovery and let’s talk about those events we chatted about for next year. :) A happy and safe Thanksgiving to you and yours.
    ~Cristina

  20. 20

    Angie's Recipes — November 24, 2010 @ 1:37 am

    A beautiful and creative appletinis! Excellent photography.

  21. 21

    Kelly — November 24, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    Great drink! We used to get these all the time at the Cheese Cake Factory.

    Happy anniversary!

  22. 22

    Cleo Coyle — November 24, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    Happy Blogiversary, Bunnycooks!! Righteous photos. It IS a tastespotting moment if ever there was one. Green and red and Vodka, oh my! Have a great holiday weekend. Cheers! ~ Cleo

  23. 23

    Chef Dennis — November 24, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

    Congratulations on your first blogoversary!! You have really done well in just one year…I am so happy to be able to call you friend.
    May you have many many more to come! And I agree definitely a taste spotting moment, what glorious images!!
    Drink a toast for me!
    Cheers
    Dennis

  24. 24

    Monet — November 25, 2010 @ 1:40 am

    First, let me offer my warmest congratulations! I can’t believe you’ve only been doing this for a year…your blog is so beautiful! And I loved what you wrote about the importance of finding balance between this insular blogging world (which is wondering in its own right) and our other communities. Such an eloquently written post! These appletinis look and sound delicious. They should be on Tastespotting for sure!

  25. 25

    Joyce @friendsdriftinn — November 25, 2010 @ 6:18 am

    Chickee, congratulations on first year. You inspire me. Have a great Thanksgiving and mend up fast. Best wishes from Kentucky!

  26. 26

    Magic of Spice — November 25, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

    Happy 1yr and congratulations…This is a truly great post!
    Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  27. 27

    Nam @ The Culinary Chronicles — November 26, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    HAPPY BLOG-AVERSARY! I recently celebrated mine too–my how time flies by! Cheers to you!

  28. 28

    Conor @ HoldtheBeef — November 26, 2010 @ 9:04 am

    Gwen this is a really inspirational read. I think so many of us struggle to keep our lives (and scales) balanced and ultimately it needs us to address our priorities. I think it seems like you have your head screwed on quite well.. no surgery required there ;)

    Jokes aside, I hope the recovery is going well and I wish you a SUPER HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY and I have to say.. I’m pretty happy to have stumbled across this time-hog of yours :)

  29. 29

    Becky — November 27, 2010 @ 9:03 am

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Your blog is wonderful and your pictures are so professional. I haven’t been blogging that long, so I to struggle with the balance issue. Hope that you get to buy shoes soon:)

  30. 30

    pavithra — November 27, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    OMg i cannot say how much I love this pictures.. Beautiful colors and vibrant green wow…

  31. 31

    Kim — November 29, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    Happy One Year!!! And thanks for sharing with us how you feel about how the first year has been. As you know, a lot of us feel the exact same way.

    I think the one-year mark is an excellent time for a “check-in” to see where you’ve been, how you’ve done, and where you want to go next. Kudos to you for figuring that out.

    As we turn into the holiday season, don’t forget to step away, have a glass of wine, and enjoy your family, the mountains, the season and your healing ankle!

    Cheers to a progressive and fulfilling second year!

    [K]

  32. 32

    Lucy — December 28, 2010 @ 10:03 am

    Very nice post, and beautiful pictures, as always. I’m coming up on the first “serious” anniversary of my blog this week. In 2010, I posted at least one story a week, and many times more than that. I’m proud of my accomplishments, but feel the same way you do about time in front of the computer. I’m not sure who’s reading food blogs, but every time I start to doubt, my mom will tell me that someone told her how much they liked my blog. Happy anniversary!

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