Best Of The Year 2011

As I look back on 2011, it was a memorable year for me. At the end of May, I decided to start my blog, Back Road Journal. Going from the fear of how do I start a blog to being named “Best Food Blog of the Year” by Wineguys Radio and TV is amazing to me.

When you start a blog, you wonder what you will write about, will anyone read your posts and most of all, will people enjoy it. I have been most fortunate to have had the nicest people stop by to visit my blog. I have to thank all the readers who also took the time to write a comment. Your support that has encouraged me…made me strive to create new recipes, visit destinations that you will find interesting, share new gardening experiences and so much more.

I decided to look back at my posts…to see what you enjoyed each month. I thought I would share the most popular.

June’s favorite was Monet’s Garden On a Rainy Day…memories of rainy day travels.

Monet's home and garden

July’s favorite was Best Lamb Burger…summer on the lake and grilling.

The Best Lamb Burger

August’s favorite was Antique and Classic Wooden Boat and Car Show…Freshly Pressed.

Freshly Pressed/ Antique Classic Wooden Boat and Car Show

September’s favorite was I Bid A Fond Farewell To Summer, As I Look Forward To Fall…a look back at summer in Maine.

Farewell To Summer On Long Lake

October’s favorite was Foodies Tour Of Munich…food lover’s tour of Munich (part of our fall trip to Europe).

Beautiful Pastries

November’s favorite was Pot Roast Osso Buco Style With Polenta…chuck roast turned into an Italian favorite.

Pot Roast Osso Buco Style With Polenta

December’s favorite was The New Year’s Lobster Pot Pie...named “Best Recipe of the Year” by Wineguys Radio and TV.

Lobster Pot Pie

I hope you have enjoyed looking back at my posts as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. I look forward to all that 2012 has to offer and hope you will join me.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

75 thoughts on “Best Of The Year 2011

  1. You’ve done a great job in such a short time, I remember those same questions when starting (they still pop up!). I must say, the fall trip to Europe was my favorite, it brought back sweet memories for me.

    1. Hi Judy, Thank you for your compliment. The first step of actually getting started was the hardest. The fall trip to Europe was great…there was so much to see and do. I love going back and looking at the photos.

    1. Thank you Monique. Monet is one of my favorite artists. Someday, maybe I’ll get a chance to see and enjoy his gardens in the sunshine.

    1. Hi Jenny, I appreciate your nice comment. It has only been a short time since I started my blog and I have met so many nice people along the way. Thank you for your visits.

  2. Congrats on the blog of the year by Wineguys! Very cool. And very well-deserved. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts as well. It’s always something different and fun – often my little day time vacations. 🙂 The only thing missing from this list is “the bad.” That little guy was just too cute. Here’s to a great 2012 Karen!

    1. Hi Kristy, Thank you so much for your nice comment. Actually, “The Best” snuck in…he is in my post about the end of summer. He was a real star on the blog last year. We never could get mad at him for eating the cherry tomatoes because he was so cute.

  3. Congratulations Karen! This is a terrific look back…I hadn’t seen the Monet’s garden post so it was fun to catch up. I’ve so enjoyed being an armchair traveler on your adventures and reading your great recipes. You are most deserving of your awards. Cheers to you! ~Betsy

    1. Thank you so much Betsy. I am happy that you have followed along on our adventures and enjoyed them. Monet’s garden was beautiful even on that rainy day.

  4. Congratulations on The Blog of the Year Award – wow what a well deserved accolade! And it was good to go back and revisit posts and see some I missed. Looking forward to seeing what you delight us with in 2012 🙂

    1. Hi T.W., Long Lake is so beautiful and I’ll try to get some photos from the water this year. I’m looking forward to your return visits…thank you.

  5. Congratulations! What an incredible validation that you’re doing precisely what you were meant to! Thank you for sharing with us the joys along your way, and lI’m ooking forward to what’s to come! Bright a beautiful New Year!

    1. Thank you Spree for your lovely compliment. I do enjoy being part of the blogworld. I hope you will enjoy following the adventure in 2012.

  6. I’ve been there for your journey and have enjoyed it immensely. Won’t it be fun to see what happens in the new year….good food, good travels, good friends.

  7. Congratulations on your much deserved award, Karen. I have enjoyed every one of your posts since I started following you earlier in the year. What a beautiful photo of Monet’s garden. I’m looking forward to all your posts in the coming year.

    1. Thank you so much Cathy. Monet’s garden was lovely even in the rain. I look forward to your visits in 2012. I will certainly be visiting your site…enjoying the recipes and photos.

    1. Happy New Year Eva and thank you for you nice comment. I know that you will enjoy Monet’s home and garden. The pastel colors in spring were lovely…here’s hoping you have sunshine.

  8. What a great way to start the New Year! Congratulations on your award and I loved the brief look back at 2011. Wishing you continued success in 2012, Karen.

  9. wow… Congrats Karen on the Best of the Year Recipe!! It indeed looks awesome! I love your photography, that garden is gorgeous…stunning!! Looking forward to following along with you in the new year!

    1. Thank you Linda for your nice compliment. I was to pleased with the way my lobster pie turned out. It is a real keeper. Would you believe that all my travel photos are done with a point and shot camera.

  10. I love the review of your favorites, and congratulations on such a delightful award. Your success in such a relatively brief period of time is indeed indicative of how much others–definitely include me in that–enjoy hearing about what interests you! Continued success and good times in 2012, Karen. You are delightful oasis…I stop by often 🙂 Debra

    1. Debra, Thank you so much for your lovely comment. When I first created my blog, I was worried about readers enjoying my posts as I don’t have just one theme. I couldn’t do it without my friends in the blogworld who seem to enjoy following my adventures…food, travel, gardening, etc. Thank you for your support.

    1. Hi Greg, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to torture you with the lobster. I guess I should have put the kitchen post in…it certainly was one of the most popular. I’m glad you enjoyed the posts. Your blog was one of the first to appear on my blogroll and I thank you for all of your nice comments.

  11. Congratulations on your award Karen, I’m very happy for you! Happy New Year with more and more excellent posts and photographs!

  12. What astounding progress and development in such a short period of time! Clearly you were meant to be on this journey, and I’m so pleased that we all get to share it with you. Each of these entries exemplifies the reasons your blog has both depth and breadth of appeal, and makes me scroll back and forth repeatedly to savor them one at a time–though I’ll confess to stopping in my tracks every time I get to the lobster pot pie! Congratulations on your enormous success and the recognition it’s garnering you. Greatly deserved. And a joyful continuation of your journeys in life and blogging in 2012.

    1. What can I say Kathryn, after such a nice compliment other than say “thank you” for your lovely words. It is my readers that have given me the encouragement to take my blog in the direction that it has grown. I find that I use the word amazing all the time now, but that is how I feel. I am amazed and can not believe how many readers enjoy following my posts about my journeys in life.

  13. How did I miss the post where you mentioned being awarded that?? Congratulations! That’s a big achievement – I’ve had so much fun following your blog and your adventures so it’s definitely deserved!

    Great round up Karen and well done again 🙂

    1. Hi Charles, It is very easy to understand how you could have miss the post. You were on holiday enjoying all that sunshine (ha ha). I thought it got dark early here. Thank you for your compliment…I have enjoyed having you follow along on the journey. You comments have made me research what an ingredient would be called where you live and have certainly given me a lot of laughs.

  14. I know I am glad that you started blogging…I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts and comments. If you lived closer, I would invite you to tea so I could learn even more about you. Congratulations on all your success this year! ~~Bliss

  15. Wonderful roundup, Karen! That lamb burger sounds fantastic, and oh my, that photo at the lake is absolutely stunning. Great shot! Happy New Year. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your nice comment, Caroline. The lamb burger was great. I’ll use a grill pan to make them during the winter but on the grill brings out the best flavor. I love sunsets on the lake where our summer cottage is located. Our summers are always special there…can’t wait till we can get back.

  16. It is always a pleasure to visit here and I never leave empty handed, I love the posts you chose for your round-up. Your photos are beautiful. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that 2012 brings only good things your way. Have a great evening. Blessings…Mary

  17. Hi Karen! Congratulations – it was a spectacular year! I have no doubt that 2012 will be just as delicious and I look forward to seeing what comes next!

  18. I am so pleased you shared your most popular posts – I am fairly new to your blog so it is great to have a round-up of your readers favourites.
    Looking forward to being along for the ride in 2012.
    🙂 Mandy

  19. Congrats!! You have done a great job and I look forward to all that 2012 will bring!
    PS… isn’t it funny how you start a blog for yourself and then find yourself thinking about what would appeal to your readers LOL! Even if only 18-25 readers as in my case. (and half of them are related to me!)
    Keep up the great work – you give me a wonderful place to escape to if only for a few minutes!!

  20. Congrats on your award!! It was much deserved. I made a slightly different version of your Lobster Pot Pie for New Year’s Eve, and it was delicious! (I needed enough lobster for 6 people, the market only had 2 little lobster tails, so I used those plus scallops and shrimp..amazing!) I can’t wait to see what you surprise us with in 2012.

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you for your nice comment. I’m so happy to hear that you made the lobster pot pie. Adding scallops and shrimp is perfect…glad you enjoyed it.

      1. Hi Mary, Absolutely…I love when my readers take my recipes and then create a recipe that fits the ingredients they have at hand. Sometimes there is an ingredient that they don’t like or can not eat for health or dietary reasons. I will appreciate a link back. Thank you so much for asking, I appreciate when someone appreciates my work enough to share it with their own readers.

    1. Thank you for your nice comment. I jumped over to your post and you did a wonderful job of capturing the joys of visiting Maine. I was more than happy for you to share my photographs but especially that you asked permission and credited the source. I hope someday you will get a chance to see Maine and perhaps make it your home.

  21. I always forget that you haven’t been blogging for much longer than Ruth and I have. Everything always looks so clean and professional. I consider Ruth and I very lucky the day you found our blog and we, as a consequence, found yours. Here’s to 2012!


  22. Congrats on winning the Best Food Blog of the Year award! That’s terrific! Your blog is so much fun to read and informative, and your pictures are beautiful! Looking forward to seeing what 2012 brings!

  23. Hello Karen, thanks so much for stopping by my cooking website so I could find yours. You have beautiful posts, lots of yummy recipes and lovely pictures and looking forward to keeping in touch in 2012. I am a happy new follower! Take Care, BAM

    1. Hi Nick, Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog and your nice comment. Monet’s garden was a wonderful stop on our trip through France. His love of color and his style are found though out his garden and home.

  24. Love the roundup idea and boy do I love the looks of that lobster pie (clearly I’m not alone). I have some frozen lobster in the freezer, but I don’t think it would do justice to that recipe. Congratulations on your award and here’s to your continued success in 2012!

  25. The lobster and the burger are my favs!! You have such an incredible space here and I really do enjoy visiting. You definitely deserve all the awards and accolades. I can’t wait for another year of incredible blogging

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