Blog Check-Up


I’ve often wondered how many of you, dear readers, are also bloggers or vegetarians or sent from links looking for a specific recipe and never to return. Unfortunately, WordPress stats don’t tell me those things. What they do tell me is that October is my best traffic month ever and well, that makes sense, because getting better is what blog traffic tends to do — well, at least when you’re posting!

When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m a digital marketing and sales consultant who is a total website analytic junkie. I believe in open stats and information sharing. I believe in measuring a site’s relevance by more than just page views. How long did someone stay? How many users came in from an e-mail a friend sent them? Who links here? It’s more complicated than just unique users and page views. It’s about happiness, relevance and building a community.

I’m going to assume that many of you are bloggers too and that maybe, like me, you’re operating in a bit of a vacuum on how exactly food based blogs grow. If not, no worries, tomorrow’s post is in the oven.

The fun facts:

Whisk Flip Stir is 4 months old.

I’ve posted 33 recipes in that time.

Month by month page views:

  • July: 737
  • August: 3,064
  • September: 5,588
  • October: 9,300  (estimate since it’s only 1pm!)

WordPress stats don’t count unique users. Weird, huh?

I’ve had 252 total comments on the blog, with 126 probably coming from me since I try to answer each and every comment.

According to Google, there are 264 incoming links to different recipes across the site.

– My search driven traffic is all over the place, most popular is “Whisk Flip Stir”, no surprise there really. Weirdest is “Recipe for once stuffed potatoes.” Isn’t that just a potato?

I’ve made TasteSpotting 17 times.

Tastespotting drives about 90% of all my traffic. I don’t post to other photo sites, mainly because I find the duplication amongst them to be kind of annoying and don’t want to make it worse!

Biggest traffic day was October 4 — I made Tastespotting twice that day (General Tso Tofu and Black Bean Bowl)– total views were 925.


I’m really happy with everything so far. I started this as a creative outlet; one that I thought would help me pay better attention to what I was cooking and encourage me to eat more intuitively and mindfully. I think it is paying off in all those areas.

The comments are my most meaningful stat. It is validating to be reminded that I am not writing into a void but instead there are real people reading my posts and in many cases making the same recipes I tested in my kitchen. I love that. It feels very small world to me.

The only ads that appear here are WordPress related. You have to pay to have them shut off and I didn’t think they were distracting enough to warrant the $13. I don’t plan on adding ads to my blog because it’s not about that, really. I have other things I do to make money and not everything I do needs to. Such as this. Or holding hands. Or going for walks. It’s nice to just do stuff for fun.

I hope this was insightful — I’d love to hear your experiences with traffic and blogs. Why do you do it? Are you happy with how it’s going?

Oh! Tomorrow’s post needs to be taken out of the oven. Perfect timing!


Brown Rice and Kale Gratin

OMG this is so good. Yes, I did just start this post as though it were a text message, but hear me out: this is absolutely delicious. I’ll even bet good money that it will become an immediate staple in your recipe repertoire.

Seattle is culinaryly lucky in many areas like donuts, coffee and woodfired pizza. We are also lucky in cheese. Who knew, right? This recipe is take on Beecher’s Brown Rice and Kale Gratin. Beecher’s is a handmade, artisan cheese shop in Pike Place Market. They have world’s best mac and cheese, squeaky cheese curds, amazing sandwiches and a handful of other creations made with their signature Flagship cheese, which is a sharp, white cheddar. There is plenty of that in this gratin meaning you can’t really go wrong no matter how much kale you add.

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Amelie’s Famous Plum Cake (Kouign Amann)

I have wanted to make this cake for years and years but I didn’t know which cake was Amelie’s. The only thing I was certain of were two ingredients: yeast and plums. I fooled myself by baking a dimply plum cake from time to time. Ignoring there was no yeast in it, figuring the plums were close enough. A cake of lies it was, delicious lies, but lies nonetheless.

Then I thought maybe it’s a kuchen. I know, I know, that’s a German cake. But they have Chinese restaurants in France so maybe they bake German cakes, too. It could happen and as it were, plum is a popular type of kuchen. That just had to be it. I was going to bake it.

One last Google search, I thought.

Lo and behold, on a post for a dimply plum cake where the misguided blogger said it was Amelie’s Famous Plum Cake was a note in the comments. “It’s not that cake, it’s this one.” The “one” being a link to a tiny Wikipedia page about a French cake called kouign amann, pronounced queen ah-mah. Translated to butter cake.

Listen very closely at 0:29. You’ll hear prune queen ahmah. He says it very quickly!

Mystery solved.

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Maple-Thyme Glazed Tempeh and Vegetables

I accidentally whipped up Thanksgiving and then topped it with more Thanksgiving and then was disappointed because I was just trying to make something autumnal. But these are the sorts of ups and downs one must endure when one has elected to have a cooking blog and such, therefore and without further ado. SO I WILL ENDURE THEM.

If we lived in a better world, this glaze would be legally required to cover everything, including ourselves and our pets. You have not smelled good until you have smelled maple syrup and thyme together. Did you know this? I did not know this. I have wasted many years not putting thyme in maple syrup. Those were dark dark years.

Onward to the recipe, shall we?

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Spaghetti Squash with Lemon, Butter and Sage

Can we all take a moment to applaud the spaghetti squash? Or maybe it’s Mother Nature that deserves our thanks? Either way, it’s a vegetable that cooks up like a noodle. It becomes noodles. And it’s a vegetable. That is pure delight. I love spaghetti squash and I don’t care who knows it. I’d shout it from my rooftop if it wasn’t both very cold and very high up.

What you see above is my favorite way to consume spaghetti squash. It’s easy, compliments the squash’s subtle sweetness and uses a classic flavor combination: browned butter, sage and lemon. You really can’t go wrong.

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