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 😛 ).
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
Cream cheese frosting is definitely the best! Happy Blog Anniversary!
Happy Anniversary! Your beautiful blog is such an inspiration for me and I’m sure tons of other bloggers out there!
Those cupcakes look lovely! The cream cheese frosting and lemon sound like a delicious combination. Happy Birthday to your blog! I love reading it and being inspired by your creativity. I hope you continue for many many more years!
Doesn’t matter how FAR you’ve come, just that your product (pictures, recipes, words) today are so amazing and an inspiration to us all! I visit your blog almost daily just to say “wow” and hope that one day I will come even close.
Happy Blog Anniversary… and I hope many MANY years are yet to come.
3 years is wonderful!! I really think you are one of the pioneers of food blogging, and yours is one I see linked to on thousands of blogs out there! Happy blog birthday!! (and the cupcakes sound amazing)
Peabody, I am SOOOO grateful that you started your blog, and have kept it up for so long – keep it up!! I seriously cannot thank you enough for all of the inspiration that you provide me, with baking, photography, writing, etc.
Congratulations on an amazing three years. You are definitely a rare talent, keep up the good work.
Gretchen Noelle says
Happy Blogiversary! What a wonderful thing to celebrate!
Happy Blog Birthday!!
Happy birthday! If you ever decide to grow lemon verbena be a bit careful as its terribly invasive, kind of like mint! They look adorable…
noble pig says
I am completely jealous about the herbfarm, I want to add it to my many restaurant experiences but these cupcakes, oh my.
I think we’re all better people thanks to your food blog, Peabody. We’re certainly better-fed people!!!
Congratulations, my dear! Here’s to another fabulous year!
Happy Blog Birthday!!! Those cupcakes look like perfection!!
Wonder of wonders you are Peabody! Love the cupcakes and yeah to the cream cheese icing!!! How amazing to spend 24 hours at the herbfarm, heck I’d like just 5;))
Happy Bog!!! Birthday!
happy blogiversary, peabody! thanks for all your droolworthy photos and interesting posts over the years. and of course, the cupcakes look delicious.
Lucky me, I just planted lemon verbena, not having any idea what to do with it.
Congratulations on reaching the 3 year mark! Your pictures, your writing, and of course, your food, are all wonderful. You’re an inspiration to the rest of us out in blogland.
Here’s raising a glass to another 3 years, and then some.
One of the things I love most about your blog is that the recipes are consistently great. I’m thankful for the lovely photos and you’re *view* of life. I was keeping you to myself, but now it’s time to share you with my friends.
Blessings on your Blog Birthday!
Baked Perfection says
I just wanted to let you know that your site was one of the reasons I started my own. I truly enjoy checking your site for updates to see what you have to say. Thank you and here is to another three years!
Happy Blog Birthday! 🙂 I’m with you… everything does taste better with Cream Cheese Frosting on top!
Happy day. Happy cupcakes. Good for you.
standing still says
I totally agree with you about the cream cheese frosting. Ear wax sandwiches would taste good with cream cheese frosting on top.
evil chef mom says
happy birthday! and everything tastes better with cream cheese… truer words were never spoken.
Those cupcakes look amazing!
those cupcakes look amazing! congrats on 3 years!!
Congrats, Peabody. We enjoy reading your blog and enjoy making your recipes even more! Please know that your efforts are appreciated!
Happy Blogaversary – reading your story was inspirational – I carry the prize for the absolute worst photography in the history of blogging. Not a title I carry with great pride or reverence. It’s kind of like the Duh Award.
happy anniversary! congrats on 3 years!!!
out of curiosity, what type of nikon do you have and what settings do you use it to take your pictures?
any tips would be appreciated!
Such cute little bites! Congrats on three years. Is that a cake plate? It’s SOOO cute!
I am a relatively new reader, although I feel like I have been along for the whole three year ride… ever since I found your blog I have spent each night after my husband goes to bed, reading back month after month. It’s like my treat before I go to sleep, and finally, as of this morning, I have finished reading through all of your posts!
You’re truly entertaining, inspiring and a wonderful photographer. Your recipes are always things I would love to make myself, although I am a beginner, and your cookbook mentions have already gone on my amazon wish list.
So, thanks and happy blog birthday, again!
Happy blogoversary and congrats on all of your incredible accomplishments in both food photography and writing. It’s truly inspiring to see how far you’ve come in such a short time. 🙂
Happy, happy, happy blog birthday! You may not realize it, but when I only have time to visit on blog, yours is almost always the one. The photos have been an inspiration and are always a delight. Cream cheese frosting is one of life’s great gifts…it would make a paper bag taste good…can only imagine how great those birthday cakes taste.
Happy Blog anniversary! Your journey in blogging world has been one of my inspiration over years. It’s just truly amazing within years how much progress you’ve made and how many talented people you’ve found!
steph (whisk/spoon) says
wow–three years! here’s to another! i had no idea you have published photos and articles….that’s great!
Happy Birthday! These cupcakes are absolutely adorable!
Congratulations on the three year anniversary, love your recipes and photographs. Tried old fashioned chocolate cake today-divine,though I must have done something wrong-it didnt look half as good as yours. practise makes perfect…i m on a roll.
Happy Cook says
Happy Birthday to your blog.
Hi hi i can relate to you about the comments and my hubby also didn’t understand the big commotion for comments 🙂
happy third birthday peabody! it is paying off isn’t it? lovely… and I’m excited about this recipe. I just got my first lemon verbena plant since I couldn’t find the fresh leaves anywhere around me and i will be using it a lot. congrats on all your success!!
Happy Birthday to your marvelous blog! Keep up with the great work!
Those cupcakes look so tempting! Yummy!
Happy Third Bloggy Birthday. I look forward to many more such celebrations here.
I may not always leave comments but read your blog regularly. Love the pictures.
I think I discovered your blog because of the Snickerdoodle muffins, before you started calling them Refund Muffins, hee! I’ve made them many times since and have always gotten great results. I love the creativity you put in your recipes and photos, it’s very inspiring. I look forward to reading many more of your posts!
Congratulations on 3 years of blogging! I’m a relatively new reader of your blog and can’t wait to try out some of your recipes! Everything always looks so amazing!!
Patricia Scarpin says
Dear Pea, happy blog birthday!
Your blog has been a constant inspiration for my blog. Ever since I started posting, I looked for ways to improve my recipes, writing and photos and you are one I truly admire.
These cupcakes look fantastic and I did not know about lemon verbena.
Your blog is truly an inspiration.
Happy Blog Birthday! I’m sure thankful you started it because your wonderful creations are a joy to see and read about (if I can’t taste, sob sob) 🙂 Here’s to more years of deliciousness!!
Your experience in the Herbfarm sounds incredible as do those cupcakes 🙂
Happy Blog Birfday! These look delish! My husband and I are addicted to a lemon verbana soap that cost 8$ a bar. Eek! It is absolutely amazing.
Happy Anniversary! I’ve been reading your blog weekly over the past year. Not sure if I’ve commented before or not but wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and am inspired by it. Keep the droolworthy posts coming 🙂
I love the idea of infusing the milk with lemon verbana to get the flavour; that sounds gorgeous. And happy blog birthday!! I’m constantly in awe of your creations – we appreciate them all (even if your husband won’t eat them, heh).
Happy 3rd Birthday Peabody’s Blog!
Aww, what an inspiring story! It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside, as if I just took a bite of one of these delicious cupcakes. Congrats! What a great accomplishment :). My bloggy is just a baby, still in diapers, so I’m still learnin’ how to be a good blog mom :).
Cheers to longer than 3 more years!! I am addicted to lemon verbena and lemon thyme lately. Lots of it is going in ice water and fruit salads! Having supporting husbands or mates and friends makes this whole venture a little easier doesn’t it?!…even if they are picky eaters (mine is anti cherries, raisins and coconut)
Anna Marie says
Since you mentioned it… What kind of camera *do* you use?
The cupcakes look divine =)
Anna Marie says
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. 🙂
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.
PS. That picture might not look good, but those tarts sound darn good.
Congrats on 3 years, and discovering a new herb!
Happy bloggerversary and many, many more! I’m a very satisfied reader and commenter. Cheers!
Jen Yu says
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!
Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says
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!
Chez US says
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!
beautiful cup cakes
plz visit my new blog and leave your valuable openion on it
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!
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.
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……
I’m late but happy blogday.
Happy blogday! That is a fantastic accomplishment you should be proud of. Congrats on the published photos!!!!
Joy the Baker says
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!”
Congrats on your third blog day, Peabody. Let the bad juju never touch you again, ever.
Congratulations on 3 years! Still my very favorite blog.
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!
Happy blog birthday!! 🙂 And I agree, everything is better with cream cheese frosting.
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.
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!
And we are so glad that you started this adventure three years ago!
pea & pear says
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
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
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)!
Julie O'Hara says
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:)
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?
Happy birthday! The world is definitely a better place with your lovely blog in it!
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.
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.