My Massive 2013 Year-End Recap!

by Irvin on December 30, 2013 · 6 comments

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End of Year Recap at Eat the Love.

I don’t know about you but 2013 has been a spectacular year for me! It flew by with me trying to just barely keep up. It was the year that I spoke at a number of major food conferences, won a coveted award for my photography, drove across the country with AJ in a seven-week long road trip and blogged for every single day in the month of November. Here’s a recap of what I did in 2013:

How to Make Granola: the only granola recipe you'll ever need. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Park.

January had me posting about the only granola recipe you’ll ever need by deconstructing granola into it’s parts and giving you a ratio. It also was the month that AJ and I started to fall in love with National Parks, including Yosemite (split in two posts) and Joshua Tree.

Open Faced Brown Butter Spiced Apple Pie by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Fashion Week and Gluten Free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.

February I took a trip to New York. There I talked at the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference and snuck into a couple of fashion show during fashion week. I also found time to bake up some gluten free chocolate shortbread sandwich cookies and a fabulous open-faced brown butter spiced apple pie.

Homemade Chocolate Cake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love |

Kosher for Passover Lemon Curd Cheesecake and Blood Orange Blueberry Macaroons.

March had me baking a couple of treats that were Kosher for Passover, including a Blood Orange and Blueberry Coconut Macaroon and a Lemon Pistachio Cheesecake for my friend Tori over at Shiksa in the Kitchen. I also found the will and nerve to hit the publish button a chocolate cake recipe post that I been sitting on for a year about being jealous of other food bloggers. You all were so kind to me with your support when you read it.Strawberry Lemon Shortcake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Passion Fruit Cookies and Pregnancy Cookies.

Thomas Keller and my IACP award winning photo.
April was a turning point for me. I attended the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival which inspired a tropical flavored cookie and I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit friends, making strawberry lemon shortcake and visiting with one of my best friends Rita who was pregnant! I ended up developing some pregnancy cookies (I mean Manly Spring Training Cookies), which she adored. I also spoke at the 2013 International Association of Culinary Professionals conference where I ended up winning the coveted best-in-show food photography award for their annual photography competition. Yeah, that was me, meeting and hanging out with Chef Thomas Keller.

Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Copycat Wordless Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Gluten Free Nutella Cookies and Red Velvet S'mores.

Meals on Wheels Gala.

May had me co-hosting our annual San Francisco Food Blogger Bake Sale where I made a gluten free Nutella cookie. The bake sale raised over $500! I went to the annual Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintners Gala fundraiser party, which was fabulous as usual. My Red Velvet S’Mores with Cream Cheese Marshmallows took Pinterest by storm and I proved what I superfan I was for Arrested Development by creating a Wordless Recipe homage to the sitcom for their Bluth’s Frozen Bananas (thank you Netflix for not suing me).

Attending a Food Blogging Conference and Cherry Blueberry Oat Cookie Pie Crisp.


June had me writing a post on what to expect at a food blogging conference, which apparently went slightly viral in the food blogging world. I also made a fabulous cherry blueberry oat cookie pie crisp and looked at a lot of cookbooks. A lot. Of. Cookbooks.

Road Trip USA

Cherry Buckle and Fresh Mint Ice Cream.

July and August had AJ and I driving around the country, visiting friends and seeing the sights. I still had time to blog here and there, sharing recipes for the Perfect Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and a really great Cherry Buckle with Cocoa Cinnamon Crumb Topping. But AJ and I found ourselves hiking hand in hand in Grand Teton celebrating the fact that we could marry each other in California thanks to the Supreme Court. American felt even more beautiful after that victory.

Iced Coffee and Gluten Free Ombre Cake


Christina Tosi at Feast Portland's Night Market. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Feast Portland Sandwich Invitational. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

September had me recovering from our trip and me explaining to everyone how to make the perfect cup of iced coffee, the cold brew method. I made a triple-layer gluten free ombre cake as well to celebrate AJ’s birthday. And I made a trip up to Portland to experience the magic of Feast Portland. I hope they invite me back next year because it really was magical.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love |

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park

Caramel Apple Popcorn and Caramel Apples

October had me celebrating my 40th birthday, as well as trying a few new things here on the blog. Easy and simple recipes like my caramel apples and my caramel apple popcorn appeared, as did my popular pumpkin cheesecake brownies. I also ended up doing some photo essays from our road trip across the country, including one for Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.

Lightroom tutorials

Lightroom Tutorial for text on photos

How to make Potato Chips and Mussels and Fries Recipe

Green Bean Casserole and Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Chess Pie Tart by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. | www.eatthelove.comPumpkin Bundt Cake and Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

November had me joining the madness of NaBloPoMo where I post every single day for the entire month. I was actually pretty excited to give some cool digital photo tutorials on Adobe Lightroom, including how to add text to your images, how to make diptychs, triptychs and collages, as well as how to create a cool hipster matte finish look on your photos. I also cranked out some really fun recipes, veering away from my usual sweets and sharing how to make potato chips, how to make a fancy dinner for two with mussels and fries in under an hour, homemade cranberry sauce and one of my most popular posts, vegan green bean casserole. Man people loved that post! Of course, I also went pumpkin crazy like the rest of the world and had recipes for pumpkin chess pie tart, pumpkin bundt cake and pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

The Best Christmas Cookie Recipe Ever - Orange cookies with cinnamon and cloves. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies and Butterscotch Cookies

Lemon Cookie Bars and Caramel Bars

Then December rolled around. You’d think I would have been burnt out from the crazy constant blogging but instead I decided to blog my 12 Days of Holiday Cookies! Chocolate crackle cookies, lemon cookies bars with pomegranates, caramel bars with salted roasted cashewsbutterscotch cookies and the best Christmas cookie ever – an orange, cinnamon and cloves cookie were all pretty popular and crowd favorites. Of course I also did giveaways every single week, on Saturday, giving away over $600 worth of stuff here on Eat the Love! In fact, you can still enter to win my end-of-year swag back! Clearly I love you, my loyal readers!

Eat the Love's Year End Bag of Swag Giveaway! Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

And thus ends my epic 2013 recap. It’s been a fantastic year so far and I’m thrilled to be ending it on a high note! I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes me. I know I already have some pretty awesome projects lined up that I can’t wait to tackle. See you in the new year!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ poet in the pantry December 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm

This post just reminds me that I need to stop by here a lot more often. You produce so much awesomeness! Your Chocolate Cake post from March is one of my favorites and your photos are always so inspiring and wonderful. Thank you! Can’t wait for what you share in 2014!


Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living December 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Your photo essays are beautiful! Have you ever been to Palo Duro Canyon? If not I highly recommend. It’s where Georgia O’Keefe did many of her paintings.


[email protected] is How I Cook December 31, 2013 at 7:49 am

What a year of greatness you’ve had! Here’s to reading more of your adventures next year! Thanks and Happy New YEar!


Shikha @ Shikha la mode December 31, 2013 at 9:41 am

Awesome, awesome recap. Your photos and your photoshopping skills are seriously amazing – how did you learn? I’ve had so much fun reading about all your adventures this year and I can only hope to have as many. I will be attending my first food blogging conference though next year so that’s something. Happy new Year!


Lizthechef December 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm

What a fabulous read! Your productivity shames me into working harder next year. Happy New Year.


Miss Kim @ behgopa January 1, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I remember most of those posts! It seems like yesterday that I just started reading your blog. Yours was one of the first food blogs I started to follow when I began blogging earlier this year. I stumbled across your blog as I was Googling for tips on getting started. You had so many excellent and helpful tips! I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2014.


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