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10 things learned from 5 years of food blogging

February 3, 2015

Sourdough with butter on mycustardpie.comAs I swing my bag onto the table, sit down and lean to pat the dog who is scurrying around my feet, my eyes fall upon an envelope covered in exotic stamps. The long drive is forgotten in my excitement to open this slim parcel which has reached my home in Dubai from Australia. A thin plastic bag is inscribed with a name – Priscilla’s offspring has arrived.

Next morning, I’m waiting at the supermarket door as it opens and head directly to the organic, strong, white bread flour. Back home I measure and weigh flour and water into a bowl, stir in the pale yellow granules and I wait. A mysterious gift which has been plucked from the atmosphere that surrounds Celia and combined with some flour and water will be resurrected in my own Dubai kitchen.

My Custard Pie started five years today; half a decade, one-third of the time we’ve lived in the UAE. I can’t remember life without blogging. It’s part of my daily routine, in my blood, and now I’m rising to a new challenge with this sourdough progeny of Priscilla and hope that Prudence will become as central to that same calendar. Alive, exciting and unpredictable… yep that’s a metaphor…

5 years ago

Homemade bread and digestive biscuits

Looking back, cringing, on those first few posts I’m glad to see some constants from the start – bread, cheese, shopping local and, er, Jack Daniels. My head has been turned by some amazing food experiences over the years – truffles, oysters, champagne, gold cocktails and all that malarkey but good bread and cheese is my lunch almost every single day.

Bread baked in 2010 included my first ‘baking day‘ post, Kringel (which was pretty stodgy in retrospect!), Turkish pide, walnut bread, polenta bread, pretzels and kiflice.

4 years ago

This is when my world really started to expand and I started forging friendships online and off that are still lasting today and enrich my life. Sorry if this is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech. The Fresh from the Oven baking challenge was something to look forward – I really miss that event. Recklessly, I joined Joan’s culinary tour round the world on Foodalogue. A bunch of us went to the fish market – little did I know how this group including Sarah and Arva and the rest of Fooderati Arabia would become so dear to me and central to staying sane in this mad city. Maybe the seeds were sown then for Come Dine with Me? Was life less hectic? How did we fit it all in?

Bread baked in 2011 – cheat’s sourdough, Khrushchev dough, challah, a quick white loaf, hot cross buns and hot choc buns, tomato and basil focaccia, a white sandwich loaf, courgette cluster bread, Roquefort and pear fougasse, panettone, and a garlic, herb and parmesan festive wreath.

3 years ago

Diving into the back streets of Dubai with Arva was the start of my serial food tourism in her footsteps. I collaborated with Meeta on a food photography course… twice, went to my third Food Blogger Connect in London and had tea with Diana Henry (plus met Antonia Carluccio and cooked with Georgio Locatelli). After passing my WSET Advanced exam, wine started to creep into my posts a bit more regularly.

Bread baked in 2012 – Tangzhong rye bread, walnut and multigrain breads, a breakfast loaf, pita bread, and blueberry and apple salted caramel focaccia.

2 years ago

Life seems to have got a bit crazy and while there was a lot of eating and drinking, there wasn’t as much cooking going on over on My Custard Pie (although I cook from scratch nearly every night). I published a quick post with dodgy pics which has turned out to be my most popular ever (there’s a lesson!). Books have always provided an escapism for me, so maybe no coincidence that my cookbook review section swelled. Veggie teen wrote a guest post about being a vegetarian visiting Mongolia (proud parent). It was an amazing year but a bonkers year.

Bread baked in 2013 – rosemary and date syrup bread, and Rachel Allen’s white soda bread.

1 year ago

No knead bread - mycustardpie.comThis was the year of sifting through opportunities and trying to focus on my own priorities rather than everybody else’s. I got a lot better at saying no and yelled YES to some pretty amazing stuff. Visiting Georgia and India opened my eyes in so many ways. I added another title “Food Sourcing Contributor” on Food E Mag which is a joy to write for. It was a mixed year with one very sad thing that I still can’t bring myself to talk about here, but found solace in bread making.

Bread baked in 2014 – on the blog a solitary no-knead loaf.

What to expect in the future?

Where am I now? Still wandering down the path lead by a trail of crumbs in a slightly random way, following any topic that may prove interesting. Just for the record, there is no money earned directly from my blog, in fact I pay a small fee NOT to put ads on it. This is my little space of the internet which brings me joy, escape, a creative outlet, a place to converse with like-minded people; I enjoy many blogs which bring in loads of dough, but I’ve taken the decision to keep distractions to a minimum. Off the page, so many opportunities and experiences (paid and unpaid) have risen because of it.

Are you thinking of starting a blog or an existing blogger? Or perhaps you wonder what motivates someone to commit hours (days, years!) of their life to pouring thoughts out about food into the webosphere on a regular basis:

10 things learned from 5 years of food blogging

10 lessons learned from 5 years of food blogging

  1. Be focussed. Always keep in mind why you are doing this blogging thing (and be honest to yourself about the answer).
  2. Don’t get distracted by the numbers, followers, fans. Social media is an effective way to connect with like-minded people, exchange views, keep your fingers on the pulse, and introduce your blog to a new readership but chasing numbers can take your eye of point No 1.
  3. Be inspired but not overwhelmed by shiny new and impressive blogs out there. Don’t compare yourself or imitate. Try and develop your own style.
  4. Be genuine. That saying about food, “You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake” applies to blogging too.
  5. If you don’t get a thrill every time you post, don’t do it. Blog about something  you care deeply or passionately about.
  6. Always disclose free stuff – people see through it (and in some countries you could fall foul of the law).
  7. Free food, stuff or ‘exposure’ will not pay the bills. Even if blogging for business is not your goal, think before you accept something, consider the amount of time and effort it takes for you to get to and event, pay for transport, write about, cook with it … You could be dedicating that time to something you enjoy more, write about a topic more interesting to you and your readers, or improve your blog.
  8. People in food are generally lovely, generous people. Be open, honest and generous and you’ll fit right in.
  9. Interesting food blogs are written by people who live interesting lives. If you are spending more time writing, promoting etc., than eating, cooking, drinking, then you’ve got the balance wrong.
  10. Enjoy the ride, keep an open mind and you never know where this blogging journey might take you.

Bonus tip:  Learn to use your camera (even the one on your iphone). Your food should be a visual feast and it’s a skill you’ll have all your life.

Five years eh?

Had to share as David Bowie was my first love once upon a time. Indulge me – it’s my blogiversaire.

Wondering about the impact of wheat on our lives or if your relationship with bread is not as rosy as mine, please listen to this podcast about heritage grains. Must listen for all bread bakers too.

Thanks for reading, commenting, supporting. I want to give something back to you for being here for the last five year and I can’t wait to announce the first thing up my sleeve in the next couple of days. Of course it involves food.

P.S. If there’s anything you’d like to see on My Custard Pie — anything that I might be able to help you with or something you’d like to see more (or less) of, please drop me a comment or an email.

P.P.S. If you’d like to keep up with the latest slice of MCP, there are a few options. Have new posts emailed by popping your address in the subscribe box to the right. If you’re a sociable type, you can connect on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest.

  1. February 3, 2015 5:51 pm

    Happy Anniversary and to many more!

    I appreciate genuine bloggers like you who keep their personality and who have ad-free blogs.



    • February 8, 2015 11:00 am

      Thank you Rosa – and thanks for your amazing comments over several years. Really appreciate your support. I’m not anti-ads but to make them work on my site would take time and energy not commensurate with the returns especially as finding the right partners would be time-consuming and tricky.

  2. February 3, 2015 5:57 pm

    Congratulations on your 5 years of blogging journey and it must seem like such a fulfilled journey – food filled, fun filled and soulful! I wish you from all my heart and may each blog post be more inspiring than the last one… I am amazed at how you keep on evolving with each post – in creativity and in style.

    And your mention of Food e Mag dxb… fills me with lot of pride and joy. Blessed to have met you and learn from you… and pardon my tangential comments!

    • February 8, 2015 11:01 am

      Your tangential comments make my day! – And certainly bring colour to life and exercise my brain Ishita.

  3. February 3, 2015 5:59 pm

    What a wonderful walk down memory lane with you Sally. Here’s to the next fabulous 5 years.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • February 8, 2015 11:02 am

      Thanks for being a consistent part of the journey Mandy 🙂

  4. February 3, 2015 6:04 pm

    Congratumulations darling! I’m so proud of and inspired by you! I agree with Rosa – your genuine, honest voice shines through…not just in your words but through your choice of posts and your interactions with people in person. You ARE the blog that you write. There are so many things in the journey you’ve described on this post…from making wiser choices about what to say ”no” to, to hearing you talk passionately about sourcing locally, that make me smile because they remind me of conversations with you.

    You are a blogger with real impact and credibility in the community, and that’s what makes you special. I am blessed to say I know a blogger like you.

    (PS – thank you for the mention, it makes me want to sing with happiness to play a tiny role in your inspiring blogging journey! You are our original “test-tourist,” and little do my guests know that it’s all the tweaks suggested by people like you, mum, Mita, Sarah, Dee and a few very critical others that have helped our baby company grow.)

    • February 8, 2015 11:03 am

      Blogging brought our friendship. That’s more than enough for me. It’s enriched my life in Dubai in so many ways. I owe you a lot.

  5. February 3, 2015 6:05 pm

    Congrats on this new milestone! A very enjoyable and wisdom-infused post 🙂

    • February 8, 2015 11:07 am

      Thank you Stefano – I’ve learned to take much better clicks and extracted some really wonderful corks via this blogging journey 🙂

  6. February 3, 2015 6:07 pm

    Happy blog birthday Sally! What a great 5 years you’ve had. Wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts on blogging. People constantly ask me if I make money from mine and assume I want to, as if somehow that would make it more ‘worthy’, a ‘reason’ to spend the time I do on it. But like you, I choose those free events and offers; things I really want to do, and thus it’s a personal blog that stays personal. It’s become part of me and I can’t imagine life without it.

    • February 8, 2015 11:08 am

      It’s been such a pleasure to connect with you over time and great to find people who are on the same wavelength.

  7. February 3, 2015 6:16 pm

    Here’s to the next 5 years!!! Cheers!

  8. February 3, 2015 6:16 pm

    Happy Blogaversary! Where does the time go?! 🙂 What a lovely, thought provoking post – thank you for sharing (and I can’t believe you’ve been using the same sourdough starter all these years!)

    • February 8, 2015 11:35 am

      Thanks Elizabeth. But no I haven’t used the same starter – I’ve only just started using it. However you’ve given me food for thought. Maybe I should go back through all the breads and ‘sourdough-ize’ them!

  9. February 3, 2015 6:17 pm

    Many congratulations Sally.

  10. February 3, 2015 6:20 pm

    Congrats Sally and happy blog anniversary! To many more brilliant post.. Just to let you know you are much admired and a huge inspiration!
    Cheers and all the very best always!

    • February 11, 2015 6:48 am

      Thanks Shy – so glad to have got to know you on this blogging journey – hope the move is going well and your classes are up and running again soon.

  11. February 3, 2015 6:22 pm

    Faithfully Fantastic,.. Happy Blog Anniversary.. Many more to come love all the picture and genuine thought, You always inspire me, Thanks.

    • February 11, 2015 6:49 am

      Ritu – you are one of a kind – thanks for your kind words and generosity always.

  12. daver001 permalink
    February 3, 2015 6:33 pm

    Interesting as always, Sally, especially as my next cover feature is gluten-free dishes. I can’t imagine life without bread – from a fougasse to a brioche, a cob to a simit, a ficelle to a sliced white, bread informs and shapes our lives. Congratulations on five years and your recent t BBC Good Food ME award. Your posts are always a delight in my busy life.

    • February 11, 2015 6:53 am

      Your intelligent, thoughtful comments add something extra to my posts Dave and I’m always glad to get the email alert when you’ve written them. The gluten-free trend seems to be entrenched. Cutting out all bread is such a radical step (and yes I too would be completely loathe to do it) – I think going back to slow rise methods, natural yeasts and heritage grains would counter many of the problems people attribute to intolerances. Celiac disease is something different altogether and affects a very small number of people.

  13. February 3, 2015 6:47 pm

    This is such a brilliant post, happy happy blog birthday! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging 5 years – I’ve always thought of you as far more experienced than I am and I’m coming up to 4 🙂 Love seeing the recaps of each year – even your year one photos are pretty delicious x

    • February 11, 2015 6:56 am

      Thank you – I set up a family website with some recipes on the now defunct geocities which was a sort of blog I suppose…. all written on my original green apple mac! You had to learn html in those days! Always enjoy visiting your blog and appreciate all your comments 🙂

  14. February 3, 2015 6:47 pm

    Congratulations and a very happy 5th blog anniversary…..A very inspiring post for newbees like me. Looking forward to many more bog anniversary☺

  15. bettybooindubai permalink
    February 3, 2015 6:55 pm

    Whoop Whoop Whoop – 5 years ! Congratulations Sally – reading this with a big smile on my face, it’s such a joy to know you and honoured to have been with you last week at the BBC Good Food Awards xx

    • February 11, 2015 6:58 am

      And I couldn’t have asked for nicer company. Really appreciate your support Debbie – I’ll never forget how kind you were at that cooking demo at LG – my knees were knocking a lot more violently then! Here’s to many more delicious meals and foodie fun together.

  16. February 3, 2015 6:59 pm

    Congratulations Sally. A veritable feast for the eyes and soul – in every way!

  17. February 3, 2015 7:00 pm

    Congratulations on 5 years!! It’s so interesting to see how far you’ve come, especially the photos! 🙂

    • February 11, 2015 6:59 am

      Ah yes – some are super cringeworthy – I was using a Sony Cybershot on food setting to start with! Still manage to produce some shockers but hopefully a few that make you want to dig in too! Great getting to know you albeit virtually Becca.

  18. The Real Geordie Armani permalink
    February 3, 2015 7:13 pm

    and that my dear is exactly why you won the BBC Good Food awards last week, Bowie was one of my first loves too until I saw him live at Roker Park, biggest disappointment of my young life that was, happy bloggaversary MCP x

    • February 11, 2015 7:01 am

      THANK YOU for all your support and friendship. I had a Bowie haircut … can you believe?

  19. February 3, 2015 7:30 pm

    Congratulations!! It has been a great journey! Love this blast from the past of a post. I really am so pleased that i found your blog and i can’t express how much I enjoy your writing. Here’s to many more years of blogging and good food ( and glasses of amazing wines)

    • February 11, 2015 7:02 am

      Anita it’s been great sharing the journey with you too – love how your blog has evolved and what you are doing to celebrate 5 years. Here’s to many more.

  20. February 3, 2015 7:39 pm

    Absolutely inspiring post, especially for someone who’s only recently started blogging. Have enjoyed reading your blog for years Sally and look forward to more!

    • February 11, 2015 7:03 am

      And what a blog – you’ve hit the ground running in a way I could only dream of. Hope your blogging journey is as rewarding as mine has been.

  21. February 3, 2015 8:23 pm

    Great advice. Continue to have fun. Hmmm, Jack Daniels? Really?

    • February 11, 2015 7:07 am

      Er – yes…. it’s KP’s fault for playing in the JD annual golf day 🙂

  22. February 3, 2015 8:34 pm

    I loved this post so much Sally. You’re a total inspiration and you’ve helped me to realise that actually, it’s okay if my blog keeps taking twists and turns and not quite knowing what it is.. It’s my little place and that’s okay. I needed to read this today 🙂

    I can’t wait to read what your new project is and I look forward to seeing the progress of the sourdough!

    Happy blog birthday xx

    • February 11, 2015 7:11 am

      A lot of things on the internet inspire me but it’s easy to feel demotivated by all the blog advice which tell of one way only to be a ‘successful’ blog – I do think assessing what this means to you at the end of the day is important. And everyone following this blogging success mantra has lead to so many homogenous sites all looking the same. I like quirky!

  23. February 3, 2015 8:36 pm

    Many congratulations Sally on completing 5 years and to many more ! I haven’t met you yet but in the last one year that I have got to know you through FIA and through your writing on this blog, it has made me so fond of you, your creativity and your writing style. You are an inspiration to many, including me. And I hope to see you in person sometime soon 🙂

    • February 11, 2015 7:12 am

      Thanks Tasneem and I hope so too. Must make an effort to arrange an FA get together soon.

  24. February 3, 2015 8:42 pm

    Very sound conclusions….as usual, a very neat post:)

  25. February 3, 2015 9:03 pm

    Congrats on 5 years! Feels such a length of time when you write it like that, but I am sure it has flown by. I’m almost at my 4 and can hardly believe that either. A realistic and achievable list of tips to live by – thanks Sally, and best of luck with the next 5 hey?

    • February 11, 2015 7:13 am

      So much has changed technology wise in 5 years – you made me wonder what it’ll be like in 5 years Ceri. Will we look back on 2015 as ancient history?!!

  26. February 3, 2015 9:11 pm

    COngrats on the 5 years Sally. I for one am glad that this crazy thing we do called blogging made us cross each other’s paths. You are a lovely and important part of the blogging scene for me. Wishing you many more crazy, focused, fun-filled and incredible years!

    • February 11, 2015 7:15 am

      Couldn’t agree more Meeta – here’s to more crazy and creative times together 🙂

  27. February 3, 2015 9:26 pm

    Congrats on 5 years! Great words of wisdom in your 10 lessons – I like #9 the best 😉

    • February 11, 2015 7:16 am

      Not to mention the impact on your posterior of all that sitting Erum!! It’s been great getting to know you through FA 🙂

  28. February 3, 2015 10:56 pm

    What a great post 🙂 happy anniversary Sally xx

    • February 11, 2015 7:17 am

      Cheers Elaine – and thanks for all your comments. I’ve been a bit stretched recently so not reciprocated enough but want you to know how much they are appreciated.

  29. February 3, 2015 10:58 pm

    Happy 5 Year Blogiversaire! Such an impressive milestone, Sally. 🙂 Love your 10 things learned!

    • February 11, 2015 9:38 pm

      Thanks Nancy – it has indeed been ‘feasting with friends’. 🙂

  30. February 4, 2015 12:01 am

    Love your blog. I don’t comment often but I enjoy reading. Congratulations on five very successful years of blogging.

    • February 11, 2015 9:59 pm

      Thank you Heather. Admire your knitting and sewing skills immensely – very deficient in that area!

      • February 12, 2015 1:39 am

        It has only been through practice that I have improved.

  31. February 4, 2015 12:03 am

    Thank you very much for your wisdom and advice. The timing of your post couldn’t be better. I will take every single piece of advice to heart, especially 1,2,9,10. I feel ashamed when I see my food photos and how they have degenerated over the years. Hopefully I will get my foodie sparks back. Living in a conservative country has taken its toll on my blogging but I will keep fighting. Thank you very much again.

    • February 11, 2015 10:00 pm

      Blogging here is all good on the surface but with hidden challenges that you have to be aware of. Nothing like Turkey though – I admire you for blogging on regardless. Thanks so much for your lovely comment and good luck.

  32. February 4, 2015 1:37 am

    Eeeee, David Bowie at Rocker Park, I’d like to hear more about that, but it’s another story… 😉

    • crasterkipper permalink
      February 4, 2015 1:39 am

      That’s supposed to say Roker not Rocker! Love the Bowie clip & fab bread extravaganza – makes me want to get kneading straight away 🙂

      • February 11, 2015 10:01 pm

        Do it – Starman would be good background track for rhythmic kneading!

    • The Real Geordie Armani permalink
      February 5, 2015 3:31 pm

      he was rubbish 🙂

      • February 11, 2015 10:03 pm

        First huge gig my sis and I ever went to – in Milton Keynes bowl – absolutely fantastic. Serious Moonlight tour. Must have worn out before he got to Roker!

  33. Charlie Lee-Potter permalink
    February 4, 2015 2:04 am

    Full of integrity, full of life, full of fun – I’m raising my glass to you and your blog, Sally x

    • February 11, 2015 10:04 pm

      Thank you Charlie – your kind words mean a lot… cheers.

  34. February 4, 2015 2:52 am

    Fabulous post, Sally. Your tips are spot-on. Happy bloggy birthday – and may there be many more.

    • February 11, 2015 10:07 pm

      Really appreciate your comment and have loved connecting via Celia over the years.

  35. February 4, 2015 5:15 am

    Great blog, as a new blogger its great to get some tips, as a fairly enw to cooking/baking person feel quite motivated by you.

    • February 11, 2015 10:10 pm

      So lovely to hear Tucker 🙂

  36. February 4, 2015 5:34 am

    What a lot of wonderful bread! And, many happy returns!

    • February 13, 2015 8:05 am

      Thanks Michelle – Finding and reading your blog has been such a pleasure, in fact (navigating there now…..)

  37. February 4, 2015 6:00 am

    Congratulations Sally, yours is one of the most genuine and valued blogs that I follow, urging us to eat well, buy locally, err occasionally and cook well. Look forward to following your path to perfect sourdough!

    • February 13, 2015 8:06 am

      That’ll be a long path! You always leave such generous comments and I can only bow to your amazing expertise in the kitchen. Great to connect as always…

  38. mita56 permalink
    February 4, 2015 7:04 am

    Congratulations Sally – well done and sooo looking forward to many many more posts from your blog.

    • February 13, 2015 8:07 am

      Thanks Mita – it’s been great getting to know you and your blog.

  39. February 4, 2015 7:28 am

    Congratulations! Your perfect breads (and honest posts) are an inspiration. A lot of mine have to be re-marketed to the family as deconstructed pies or inside out upside down buns.

    • February 13, 2015 8:07 am

      Ha ha – My theory is ‘if it tastes good, it is good’.

  40. February 4, 2015 8:41 am

    Congrats Sally. Five beautiful years where you have inspired people, touched lives and made a difference. I wish you many many more years of writing and sharing your life with us. Loved this post 🙂

    • February 13, 2015 8:09 am

      Life in Dubai would have been so different if I hadn’t connected with so many people through food here. So glad I got to know you Prachi. And best of luck in your Food Revolution Ambassador role

  41. February 4, 2015 8:48 am

    You have achieved so much in 5 years! Congrats Sally!

    • February 13, 2015 8:10 am

      Thanks Nielouphar – it’s been such fun with Fooderati Arabia hasn’t it.

  42. February 4, 2015 9:35 am

    You did it again, your posts always inspire me. I read this while having my breakfast & it was such a positive way to start the day…. & with some Bowie, that’s one of my fave songs.

    It is really lovely to hear that you get such joy from writing the blog, I think it shows in every post but its lovely to read it so explicitly.

    Congratulations on 5 years thoroughly lived & enjoyed.

    • February 13, 2015 8:17 am

      Julie and Julia has a lot to answer for. Most people I meet think I blog for money – how much do they think blogs earn?!! Joy and passion is what fuels 99.9% of blogs and I’m one of them. So glad you like the Bowie – it suddenly popped into my head when I was writing this and a whole memory bank was opened up. Good luck with your own wonderful passion-fuelled blog.

  43. Lyn Born permalink
    February 4, 2015 10:09 am

    Congrats Sally!!! Five fabulous years of inspiring blogs!! Keep it up. xxx

    • February 13, 2015 8:18 am

      My partner in so many crimes… such a joy to know you Lyn… and thanks 🙂

  44. February 4, 2015 10:43 am

    Congratulations Sally!!! And thank you for being an inspiration to us all!

  45. February 4, 2015 10:49 am

    Happy blog anniversary, Sally! Another lovely post, your writing is always so enjoyable…an inspiration for a new blogger like me.

    • February 13, 2015 8:19 am

      And you inspire me Francesca – in awe of people who blog in a second language. See you at the market 🙂

  46. February 4, 2015 11:01 am

    “Interesting food blogs are written by people who live interesting lives.” I couldn’t agree more Sally! It is such a joy to read blogs such as yours because you can see the genuine passion for everything you do and write about. Have so enjoyed reading your blog over the past few years – it must be three and a half years since I discovered it! You are an inspiration and I look forward to reading all the posts to come 🙂 Congratulations again!

    • February 13, 2015 8:21 am

      You know this means a lot and what a fan I am of your wonderful writing. You’ve taken me on an amazing and vivid tour of places around the world through food.

  47. lizzygoodthings permalink
    February 4, 2015 12:26 pm

    Lovely post, Sally, great tips, and happy anniversary for your lovely blog!

  48. February 4, 2015 1:51 pm

    Congratulations! Coming up on my 1st blogging anniversary, I am already excited to look back and see what can be changed. Lovely post.

    • February 13, 2015 8:23 am

      All blog anniversaries are special in my opinion. Waymarkers of journeys of discovery, expression, creativity and commitment. Cheers DCF.

  49. February 4, 2015 2:20 pm

    “Interesting food blogs are written by people who live interesting lives.” that line truly defines both you and My Custard Pie. Thank you sharing your passion, I really look up to the work you do.

    • February 13, 2015 8:28 am

      Blushing Rupal. Always good to see you and another person who has made life in the UAE a bit more interesting, varied and richer.

  50. February 4, 2015 4:20 pm

    Congratulations! My blog is almost 7 years (in March) and my photos up until recently were awful – yours all look good! I used to use my mobile phone (ordinary not a fancy one) and the photos were dreadful.
    Here’s to many more years blogging!

    • February 13, 2015 8:41 am

      Oh Jan – I started with a Sony Cybershot on food mode – I thought it was the bees knees. I still have disasters with a fancy camera … but hopefully have found my way by sticking to a simple format without a lot of props. I realise I lean toward Donna Hay in this respect!! Thanks for the good wishes and it’s been great getting to know you of late.

  51. February 4, 2015 10:49 pm

    Happy anniversary, Sally! Looking forward to your sourdough bread 🙂

    • February 13, 2015 9:04 am

      Thanks – and best wishes from one baker to another 🙂

  52. February 5, 2015 1:44 am

    Happy “blogiversaire”
    I like the list you posted, and i noticed how photos and recipes improved with time. Thumbs up for more years ahead!

    • February 13, 2015 9:04 am

      Glad you think so Hisham… still on a food photo journey 🙂 Thumbs up and cheers indeed 🙂

  53. February 5, 2015 8:27 am

    Wishing I found this post half an hour ago – before I popped a loaf in the oven!

  54. February 5, 2015 1:19 pm

    Great post and although only one year in I can see so much truth in each of the 10 points…..

  55. February 5, 2015 4:00 pm

    You always make so many valuable points and I agree with all of them. I also miss fresh from the oven, loved that challenge. You have achieved so much but I look forward to seeing what else you have in store over the coming years 🙂

  56. andreamynard permalink
    February 6, 2015 3:19 am

    I’m in awe of all the wonderful things you’ve packed into the last 5 years Sally! I have Edna, offspring of Priscilla in my kitchen too – so brilliant to know you’re baking with Priscilla’s offspring too. Very interested in heritage wheat too, I’ve been experimenting with it a bit.

  57. pololifestylemagazine permalink
    February 6, 2015 8:20 pm

    Congrats, great job!

  58. CL Mannarino permalink
    February 6, 2015 10:06 pm

    ❤ I needed to read this today!

  59. February 7, 2015 11:55 am

    Happy bloggie birthday and thank you for a wonderful round up of the last 5 years. I really do enjoy stopping by here and learning something new. You got me listening to the Food Programme and it’s certainly provided food for the mind at times.

  60. February 7, 2015 5:16 pm

    Congrats Sally. It’s hard to believe that it’s only five years. You’re such a pro anyone finding your blog for the first time (can’t be that many!) would think you have been blogging all your life. Always such well researched and thoughtful posts. Many happy blogging returns 🙂 x

  61. glamorous glutton permalink
    February 8, 2015 2:07 pm

    Congratulations Sally, I love reading your posts, beautifully written and fab photos. It is wonderful the friends we make blogging and the lessons we learn – here’s to many more years. G G

  62. February 8, 2015 11:09 pm

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I just wanted to say how much I love it! I’ve just moved to Dubai and started my own blog which I can only hope will be as amazing as yours in five years. Fantastic writing, beautiful photos and gorgeous recipes. So thank you for providing me with some great reading material! Looking forward to the next post!

  63. Emily Leary permalink
    February 17, 2015 12:32 am

    Congratulations! And great points – very true.

  64. February 20, 2015 9:40 pm

    Hello Sally,
    Ive just been sat reading through your blog, and oh my! Your blog is so inspirational, your recipes are amazing. I’m new to blogging and really trying my best. Ive totally become obsessed with it. I’ve only been doing it for 2 months now so I’m still finding my feet, so its not perfect yet. I would really like it, if when you have time maybe take a look at my blog?
    Thank you for creating such an amazing blog for me to look up to!

  65. milktherapy permalink
    February 27, 2015 10:06 pm

    Congratulations and you make me hungry when I look at ur photos! 🙂

  66. March 1, 2015 3:52 pm

    How did I miss this?? Joyeux blogaversaire! Glad that blogging brought us together, and love your very wise words (and agree with them!) xx

  67. March 4, 2015 2:06 pm

    Congrats on your 5 Blog Birthday! yayyy! I have been following your blog for more then 4 years now & absolutely love your cool style, fab pictures & traveling food posts, of course too!

    You all gave us great tips about blogging in general too! You are so right to be true to yourself,…It is very important too!

    So, I raise my filled Champagne glass to you, dear Sally & to your cool foodblog! Cheers! xxx
    To many more years to come & lots of food inspiration! yes! xxx

  68. March 4, 2015 10:31 pm

    your bread looks great

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