Two days ago, Manu’s Menu turned 7! Can you believe it’s been that long? And what an incredible journey it has been! I have learnt so much along the way (have a look at one of my first posts’ pictures!) and I have met, although mainly virtually, many amazing people throughout the years.
Looking back, I can easily say that this was yet another great year for Manu’s Menu! Probably the best so far.
Obviously, my greatest achievement up to date was writing my first published book: Homemade Pasta Made Simple.
The book is your complete guide to creating the pasta you love any night of the week and having fun while doing it! The book covers everything you need to know: from essential equipment and ingredients to fundamental skills and techniques; how to make perfect pasta dough with easy know-by-heart recipes; tutorials and recipes on how to shape (and stuff) pasta; and over 30 effortless yet delectable sauce recipes to mix-and-match. Read more about it HERE.
You can also check out my Cicatelli all’Arrabbiata recipe which will give you a good idea of what you can make from the book (click on the picture for the recipe):
I am so proud of this project, especially since the book is doing really well and it has consistently been on Amazon’s top 10 in Italian Cooking, Pasta and Noodles, and Sauces & Toppings Cooking. I am sharing the honour with the likes of Lidia Bastianich, Marcella Hazan, Giada De Laurentiis, and Mario Batali… to name a few!!
The book, edited by Rockridge Press, is available on Amazon for purchase in both paperback and digital formats! And for a limited time only, the paperback format is on sale for only $13 instead of the usual $17.99! Click here to buy a copy.
Thanks to the Homemade Pasta Made Simple, I also shot my very first recipe video. You can see how to make Orecchiette with Crudaiola Sauce and hear and see me here:
I have learnt how to use my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens. It lets me take very detailed pictures of food that looks better up close, like this Ham and Cheese Frittata Roll (click on the picture for the recipe):
I still use my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM too, as not all pictures can be taken with a Macro lens – a full cake or bigger skillet, for instance, would not fit in the frame. 😉
If you are curious to see my photography improvements for yourselves, just check out my Foodgawker gallery.
These are my favourite pictures of the past year (click on the picture for the recipe):
Matcha White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Walnut Semifreddo with Walnut Cherry Brownies and Cherry Compote
Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs
Lamb and Artichoke Stew
Sakura Panna Cotta
Nutella Cheesecake with Nutella Ganache
Ziti with Neapolitan Meat Ragout
I am very grateful for all the people I have “met” during these years. I want you to know that even though I do not always reply to every single comment, I read them ALL and they mean the world to me! Every comment is special… so keep them coming! I also know I have many “silent” readers out there and I am very grateful to you too, but don’t be shy, stop by and say “hello”, I’d love to get to know you! Thank you for all your love and support for the past 7 years!
The summary of this 7th year of blogging would not be complete if I did not share some statistical data with you’ll:
As you can see from the screenshot, since its creation, Manu’s Menu has been visited by almost 3.5 million different people and it has a pageview count of over 8.5 million! I had never even dreamt that my blog would be read and followed by so many people all over the world!
I am also quite happy with the results in the Social Media area… Manu’s Menu has more than 7,650 followers on Facebook, more than 2,500 on Twitter and more than 5,550 on Pinterest. I have about 10,150 followers on Google+. Even though there’s always room for improvement, these achievements go well beyond my expectations! So, THANK YOU EVERYONE!!
This past year, I have also had the honour of being featured in a variety of online publications and other websites.
I am also still collaborating with 2 online publications: Parade and Great Italian Chefs. Make sure to check out my articles and recipes!
Manu’s Menu has also constantly been one of the TOP Australian food blogs!! And I am very proud of such an achievement. That’s huge for me!
I also thought it would be nice to share Manu’s Menu 10 most visited posts of this 7th year… here they go in descending order! – Click on the picture for the recipe.
1. HOME-MADE CREMA DI LIMONCELLO
2. HOME-MADE CONDENSED MILK
3. HONEY HARD CANDY
4. STICKY DATE PUDDING WITH BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE
5. CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
6. BAKED GOATS CHEESE ROLLS WITH HONEY AND THYME
7. CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA
8. CHICKEN SPRING ROLLS
9. LAMB KOFTA CURRY
10. HOME-MADE SICILIAN PORK SAUSAGE WITH FENNEL
For the complete list of the recipes I have published, go to my Visual Archive.
These instead are my personal favourite recipes of 2017 (click on the image for the recipe):
Vegan Wholemeal Banana Bread
Apple Skillet Cookie with Maple Butterscotch Sauce
Italian Rice Salad
Pork Patties with Apples
This has been quite an interesting year on Social Media. Facebook has been making it harder and harder for pages to reach their audience. Basically, the more you like/share/comment etc., the more likely you are to get my updates on your feed. Apparently, things work differently for Groups, so I created Manu’s Menu Discussion Group. It is a place for all fans of Manu’s Menu to discuss the blog and Italian cooking in general! Make sure to join it!
By the way… this is my Most Pinned recipe EVER… it’s been pinned over 2.3 million times!
The best way to receive all my recipe updates though is to subscribe to my free weekly Newsletter. Just fill out the form on the sidebar of the blog to start receiving my weekly email with all the latest recipes, featured posts, news, discounts and sneak peeks. Also, remember that when you subscribe, you will also receive my free e-book on pasta with lots of yummy recipes. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now!
So, which was your MsM’s favourite recipe this year?
Once more I want to thank all of you for your love and support during these last 7 years!! Here is to many more!!!
*In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains some affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon.com. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.