It is a tradition meanwhile to look back at the past year in the beginning of the new year. 2020 was a memorable year, also for surprising.recipes. Sometimes I am not sure whether this is despite or thanks to the virus. But I cooked a lot, and learned a lot about cooking! And I was able to create a record number of 41 new articles. Most of them recipes, some round-ups. I bundled my personal favorites in surprising.2020. In this top 10 2020, I will give you an overview of the 10 most popular articles with my readers. So these are the recipes you liked most in 2020.
For new recipes, it is meanwhile not so easy anymore to find a place in this ranking. Some older recipes are turning into evergreens, and of course they can collect views the whole year long. This of course is not possible for new recipes. Nevertheless, four new recipes of 2020 made it into this overview!
1. Pangasius in tomato saffron sauce
Talking about an evergreen. This Pangasius in tomato saffron sauce is the most viewed recipe for the second year in a row. People tend to react very emotional on the word "Pangasius". So I decided to do some research to check whether the allegations are true. Or what could be the reasons to give this fish in such a bad image. I updated the article with my research so that everyone can decide on his/her own whether you want to eat this fish or not.
2. Vegetarian banana peel curry
This banana peel curry could become a strong contender for the number 1 position in 2021. It is one of my personal favorites, and it needed only a few months to reach the second position. It is also the prototype of a surprising.recipe: an easy combination you would have never thought of.
3. Chicken chowmein
This chicken chowmein made it already to place 5 in 2019. It continued to receive a lot of interest in 2020 and made it so to the third place. I love it, because it remembers me to the adventurous holidays we had in Nepal and Tibet. Currently making this this is the closest I can do to traveling.
4. Healthy breakfast cake
And we have another evergreen from the year 2019. This healthy breakfast cake with fruits, nuts and oatmeal made it to place 7 in its first year right-away. In 2020 people were more interested in a healthy breakfast than ever, and so it made it to place 4.
5. Mac&Biscoff tiramisu
On place 5 in this top 10 2020 we have a second new recipe from the year 2020. It started with the recreation of a dessert I had with my grandmother long ago. But I ended up with a completely different but most surprising.combination: a tiramisu based on Mac&Biscoff cookies. You can call it an Italian-Flemish dessert!
6. Mini fried eggs
I love surprising my audience with strange questions and insights. In this case: "How can you make three mini fried eggs out of one normal chicken egg?" The question alone is sufficient to make readers having a look at this kitchen hack. With place 6 it achieves the same result as in the previous year.
7. Eggplant con chili
This is the third new recipe that makes it into this top 10 2020: eggplant con chili. A delicious Mexican vegetarian dish that I made in May. I got in contact with the Youtuber Icookyouwash (nice concept) and promoted her creation on surprising.recipes.
8. Spicy roasted pumpkin
This spicy roasted pumpkin appears for the first time in a yearly round-up. I made it already long ago on my Dutch blog: gerechtenweb.blog. In 2018 I translated it into English for surprising.recipes. It always received a fair amount of traffic. And it was one of the posts I revamped during the year. With positive effect so to see, as it made it to place 8 for the first time.
9. Banana omelette for breakfast
The easiest recipes tend to be the most popular ones. 10 minutes, one banana and two eggs is all that you need for this breakfast I created in August: banana omelette for breakfast. It is one of the few recipes that also made it to the top 10 2020 on my Dutch blog: gerechtenweb.blog.
10. Walliser Käseschnitte
This Walliser Käseschnitte is a typical Swiss vegetarian dish you can have after a good hike. I made it back in 2015 and now it appears for the first time in the yearly round-up, top 10 2020. And just like the spicy roasted pumpkin, I reworked the complete post during the year 2020.
What else was new in 2020?
WP recipe maker
I started with the free version of WP recipe maker to structure my recipe cards. I was and am very happy with it. But a free version has of course only a limited functionality. It is more or less a teaser, so to say. So I upgraded to a paid version with more functionalities during the year. You have more options now to print the recipes and to save the recipe images on Pinterest. Additionally you can adjust the servings and most important for non-European readers: you can convert the quantities now to the US-metric system. Finally I added nutrition facts to the newer recipes.
And you can rate them of course! Please take your time to do so if you like them!
And some chauvinism is also not far away. I am quite proud that the company behind WPRM, bootstrapped.ventures, is Belgian. So I am quite proud that on of the most used plugins for recipe cards is from my little country: Belgium.
Surprising.recipes is a hobby, so making money is not the goal. One of the goals of the blog is to stay in touch with new technologies. After some experiments with GourmetAds and Adshares in earlier stages I decided to place some ads from Google. I guess they will profit more from it than I, but hey, I want to learn about it.
Another new tool I introduced in 2020 was Blog2Social. Writing blog posts is one thing, but how do you share it to the world? It can end up in a lot of work, and the manual approach is very unstructured and error prone. So I decided to start using Blog2Social to do this planning and sharing from one dashboard. It helps me a lot meanwhile!
And finally, the most important change was to migrate to Siteground. I was on WordPress.com before. This is ok if you start blogging. But if you want to do more this standard package has its limitations. And the paid version is also quite expensive for a small blog. So I decided to migrate to Siteground to reduce costs and be more flexible. I was really afraid everything would go broke, but in the end Siteground helped a lot and the switch went very well. The only real headache are special characters that get lost during the conversion. Restoring them was a lot of work. And still is...