Three years ago today….


It started off as just a way to be creative, for(as most of you know) my husband is a tad of a picky eater. I grew tired of making the same old things for him. So when I stumbled across The Domestic Goddess website, I knew that could be my creative outlet.
I started with no camera and very little posts. I’ll admit I did very little with this blog this first year. It was an exciting day around here when a post got more than two comments. I remember the first time one of my post got 10 comments on it and I called my husband at work all excited. He didn’t seem to share my enthusiasm. Now I tend to get more than 10 comments. (Several people leave comments saying they doubt that I have time to read all the comments. Let me assure you, I read every last one of them.)
Then I got a camera and started taking incredibly bad photos with them. Now before you give the, “I’m sure they are not that bad” speech…head over here and see for yourself.
Then I was smart and started asking other food bloggers what type of camera they used and did they have any tips. As it turned out, the Cream Puff and I had almost the same Nikon camera and so she helped me find the macro setting…and the rest was history.
Once my hubby realized that I was in this for the long haul, he was a sweetheart and bought me a SLR. Then food photography became all sorts of fun. I never would have expected that photography of all things would be my favorite aspect of the blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love the baking and the eating portion too. I just was never really into photography much. I’m still not…unless it is food! Heck, I even started another food blog just so I could take more pictures of different food(other than baking).
This blog has allowed me to “meet” some truly wonderful people out there in the blog world. I figure if I could meet my husband over the Internet, I could certainly make friends over it. :) And I have.
It’s led to professional opportunities that I would have never anticipated. Who knew someone would want to pay me for my pictures or for me to write about food???

(This is one of several of my photos in Washington Travel and Life Magazine)

So here it is, three years after the fact. I am a better person for starting my blog. I thank all of you who have been there for the long haul and all of you who are just starting to become a reader. I’m hoping for at least another 3 years….

As luck would have it, I got to spend a whole day at one of my favorite restaurants, The Herbfarm. I have mentioned it several times on this blog. For an article I am writing I got to do their 24 hour experience, which involves you spending the morning on the actual farm picking veggies and herbs. Then you get to eat what you picked later on that night at dinner. It was pretty much heaven to me. One of the herbs I fell in love with was Lemon Verbena. I have seen it before but never used it before. My friend E’s wife has it in her garden. So I went and took some(with permission of course :P ).
Like it’s name implies, it gives off a lemon flavor. I used it to flavor the milk I used in the cupcakes just to give a nice subtle hint of lemon. I like it because it adds just enough lemon flavor without it becoming too overpowering.
And since this is MY blog birthday and all, I decided my cupcakes needed cream cheese frosting, since as everyone knows, everything taste better with cream cheese frosting on it.


 Lemon Verbena Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
¼ cup roughly chopped lemon verbena(if can’t find use the zest of one large lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place milk and lemon verbena in a small sauce pan. Bring milk to a boil and immediately take off of heat source. Place milk and lemon verbena into a bowl and place in fridge for one hour.
Remove milk from fridge and strain out the verbena.
Set milk aside.
In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20¢â¬â€œ25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool for15 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. Frost with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting(recipe follows).

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

2(8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
zest of one lemon
6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
approximately 5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and zest, about two minutes. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Source:  Adapted from More from Magnolia by Allysa Torey


  1. Happy bloggerversary!

    Since you mentioned it… What kind of camera *do* you use?

    The cupcakes look divine =)

  2. PS- my fi (soon to be dh!) is a picky eater too. He has spent the greater part of 25 years of his life thinking that the only 3 components of the food pyramid are meat, cheese, and potatoes. In that order. :)

  3. courtney says:

    Oh my goodness, these sound good, and yes everything is better with cream cheese icing I might consider eating licorice if it had cream cheese icing on top. And I must say I am in love with your festive cake stand. If you want to share where you got it (hopefully a national chain as I am as far as I can be from you while still being in the states, Fl) I wouldn’t be mad.

  4. courtney says:

    PS. That picture might not look good, but those tarts sound darn good.

  5. Congrats on 3 years, and discovering a new herb!

  6. Happy bloggerversary and many, many more! I’m a very satisfied reader and commenter. Cheers!

  7. Way to go, Peabody!! I’m hoping for at least 10 more years :) Maybe by then I’ll have a live feed of your blog plugged straight into my head! Yip!

  8. Congratulations, Peabody! Yours was one of the first food blogs I ever found. I was a lurker here for many months before I started blogging myself. You were and continue to be a source of inspiration for me. Here’s to many more years of great blogging from you!

  9. Happy Anniversary & Congrats! I have loved your blog since I found it a year ago – inspiration! Keep up the great work.

    I love this recipe – I have verbana growing like a mad weed, I will have to give this a whirl!

  10. beautiful cup cakes

    plz visit my new blog and leave your valuable openion on it

  11. happy blog-iversary! i am just sad that i did not discover your blog sooner! it is still to this day one of my very favorite blogs that i always take the time to visit, no matter how busy i get.

    the herbfarm sounds like a wonderful experience, and those cupcakes look delightful!

  12. jaishree says:

    I tried the cupcakes out and they are heavenly-melt in your mouth and so much taste??? Amazing! Thought I will let you know you are a huge inspiraton.

  13. You had me laughing when I read about when you started. I am just starting to set up a blog and have to literally be shown step by step how to put pics on the site and everything else. I am looking forward to getting it started but I’m sure it will look “rough” for a while…..but it will be fun!!! Please stop by and check it out when you can. It should get going sometime next week……

  14. I’m late but happy blogday.

  15. Happy blogday! That is a fantastic accomplishment you should be proud of. Congrats on the published photos!!!!

  16. Oh Peabody! Happy Anniversary! Did you know that you are one of the people and blogs that inspired me to start time… which is now cool sex months in the making! Thank you! I always love stopping by to check out your creative creations, great writing and awesome pictures. You’re an inspiration every time. And all the professional stuff you’ve gotten from your blog! The 24 hour experience sounds AWESOME! You’re rockin. Just wanted to say “Go You!”

  17. Congrats on your third blog day, Peabody. Let the bad juju never touch you again, ever.

  18. Congratulations on 3 years! Still my very favorite blog.

  19. Happy blogiversary! Thanks for doing what you so and making laugh, cry, and read more, and more – and feeling like I am missing out when I can’t stop by everyday! You’re fabulous, daaaling!

  20. Happy blog birthday!! :) And I agree, everything is better with cream cheese frosting.

  21. yay for 3 years!!! i had to laugh when i saw this post had 70 comments…WAY more than 10. lemon verbena is genius…i absolutely adore this herb because of it’s amazing scent. i am definitely bookmarking this one.

  22. I love this post! So inspirational! I love knowing that other people’s blogs started out slowly and with some “interesting” photos :) Keep up the GREAT work!

  23. And we are so glad that you started this adventure three years ago!

  24. I have just reached my 6 month mark, and find your blog so inspiring. It’s so nice to think that even the super popular, beautiful and creative blogs were once brand new. I laughed at your reference to the 10 comment mark, I would react the exact same way… such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing your lovely blog and thoughts. pea & pear

  25. Happy three-year blogiversary! I’m a year behind you (almost to the day), and I’m in awe of how your blog just keeps getting better and better. Here’s to another three years (and I’m loving the Northwest Noshings blog, too)!

  26. Ok, for some reason your feed wasn’t updating on my feed reader until today, so I’m late wishing you congrats! I’ve learned much from reading you and am always entertained:)

  27. Wow, happy blogabirthday! You have been a great inspiration to me over the years and I look forward to many more years with you.
    PS Yes, everything does taste better with cream cheese icing, doesn’t it?

  28. Happy birthday! The world is definitely a better place with your lovely blog in it!

  29. Looks awesome. I used to work at a French hotel and we made Lemon Verbena ice cream, which was fantastic. Just bought myself some LV at the farmers’ market so I could make some, so maybe I’ll try you recipe here too.

  30. I just stumbled upon your blog a couple of days ago and am working my way backwards in your posts. I’m truly entertained, and have logged a few of your recipes to try at some point. I’ll let you know how they work out. Most important question at the moment – where did you get that fabulous striped cake plate?? I was looking for a fun one and had to resort to making my own at a pottery painting place.

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