A recap of 2016 including an interstate move, DelishPlan’s 15 most popular recipes, top cooking tips, plus a new plan for the year of 2017 ahead.
It was exactly this time last year, I made a plan for 2016. The plan includes moving to Austin, TX, a new project called “DelishPlan”, learning videography, and two cookbooks. How did I do and what’s ahead in 2017?
Best of 2016
We did manage to move to Austin, TX from Jacksonville, FL. It was on March 23, 2016. Han and I landed in Austin and the first thing we did was to go pick up our car, which we had shipped the day before. To our surprise, it arrived before we did. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother interstate move. But I certainly didn’t expect moving four times in the following six months because we were trying to buy a home and didn’t want to sign any long-term leases. So we kept moving from places to places until three months ago, we settled in our new home.
The site you are reading right now was not called DelishPlan before. It had a long name of Gourmet Persuasian which I used for two years. Rebranding didn’t occur to me until I launched a slow cooker meal plan service in Jan 2016. That’s a new project I had been working on for months and it’s called DelishPlan. You probably didn’t know about it because I killed it shortly after the launch. I issued refunds to all my customers. Why? It’s because running two brands at the same time burned me out completely. You know what happens when you burn out – your motivation vanishes and that’s bad, very bad if you are an entrepreneur.
So I dropped the meal plan project but decided to keep the name. As the blog continues to grow, my vision becomes clearer. The name of DelishPlan seems to fit the big picture better. Therefore, I focused on renaming the blog and making sure the transition went smoothly. Later in November, the blog went through a major migration. These two events were the most time-consuming things I have ever done since the blog’s inception. The process was painful but it’s all worth it because DelishPlan now looks and functions exactly like what I had in mind.
In February, when I was still in Jacksonville, FL, I started a YouTube channel. In the next 10 following months, I made 34 videos in four different houses. Every time I was in a new place, adjustments were inevitable as producing a video requires a lot more than just taking a photo. For example, natural light is not ideal for videos as it changes over a period of time. Artificial lights provide steady lighting but they also take up a lot of space. Editing is a whole new task after the video is filmed.
There is so much to learn about videography. After 10 months of learning and making mistakes, I still feel like a noob. Some of my videos have distractive shadows. Some of them are blurry. I notice things that I could have done better every time. The learning curve is steep. Even though it’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of practice to produce good-quality videos, it can only get better, right? As long as I persist.
Out of the 34 videos, 11 of them are for other brands. It’s all because I put my work out there, even though it’s not perfect. When people see your persistence, they know you are improving. And that’s why next time you pick up a new skill, stick with it. It will open another door.
The 15 Most Popular Recipes
On top of everything, creating recipes are still the core of DelishPlan and here are 15 most popular recipes to conclude the year of 2016. See anything you like? Other people liked it too.
1. Taco Stuffed Peppers // 2. Garlic Pull-Apart Bread // 3. Traditional Irish Sheperd’s Pie // 4. Caribbean-Style Corn On The Cob // 5. One-Pan Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Vegetables // 6. 4th of July White Sangria // 7. Szechuan-Style Beef Noodles Soup // 8. Baked Chicken Wings // 9. Pan-Fried Basil Tomato Orzo // 10. Classic Italian Tiramisu // 11. Authentic Thai Vegetable Soup // 12. St. Germain Cocktail with Pineapple Juice // 13. Garlic Herb Hasselback Potatoes // 14. Easy Grilled Whole Turkey // 15. Roasted Spiced Walnuts
The Best Cooking Tips
There are also some very useful cooking tips on the blog. The most popular tips are:
The Year of 2017 Ahead
2016 was a little crazy and chaotic. People say that plans always fall behind changes. I think I know exactly how it feels. I planned to publish two cookbooks in 2016. Neither of them came out on time. I guess I could say that I simply did not have the time to write the books. It feels a little guilty to think that way. But I also didn’t want to burn myself out once again. The books are happening. They are just coming a little later than scheduled. What’s coming in 2017?
DelishPlan’s Slow Cooker Cookbook
This 20K-word book took me a whole year to write. I have covered my entire story in the first chapter of the book – a fresh-off-the-boat Chinese woman seeking her American dream. Oh dear! That sounds too corny, doesn’t it? I didn’t know I had a dream until I met my husband Han, who made my dream of being a business owner and a homeowner come true. How? The answer is in my book.
As of today, I’ve received the final version from my editor and my designers is working on the cover and book concept design. I have a feeling that they are going to deliver some options that I will have a hard time to choose. I might need your help when the time comes. Keep a look out for more details of the book. It’s coming in the first month of 2017. Can’t wait.
Fusion Cooker Value Bomb
Haven’t heard of Fusion Cooker? It’s because I haven’t done a good job to introduce it to you yet. In short, Tatung Fusion Cooker is a new kitchen appliance that grills, bakes, and cooks in one space-age device. I know it sounds too good to be true and because it has helped me so much in my own kitchen, I want to show you how it can help you cook in less time with less effort but amazing results too.
Therefore, I am creating a Fusion Cooker value bomb that has everything you need to know about it – recipes, resources, how to use a regular recipe and cook with the Fusion Cooker, cooking demos, live videos. You name it. There will be a Fusion Cooker section on the site for it all.
This book has been in the pipeline forever. If you are familiar with the Tatung Rice cooker, you know how fabulous it is to cook rice. But it can also be used to make a whole lot of other foods like jambalaya, stews, soups, etc. Many users in the States have asked me whether it can cook western food. The answer is yes. So I thought I’d write a book about it and 2017 is the year to release the book.
Hopping In Front of the Video Camera
Unlike the videos I posted in 2016, you are going to see me in my cooking videos instead of just my hands from now on. To be honest with you, I haven’t figured out a system to film myself yet and I am so freaking awkward in front of the camera. The lighting, the audio, the frame, the focus and what I am going to say, all of it seems so new and overwhelming.
I tried with one recipe. It turned out so bad that it’s not even editable. So I refilmed it. We will see how it turns out this time. If it’s necessary, I am going to keep trying until I get it right. And I’d like to invite you to join me by subscribing to my YouTube channel.
I killed one meal plan service in early 2016. But I’ve always wanted to create meal plans, which is how I am able to make sure Han and I eat healthy and delicious food without being broke or getting myself, the cook, exhausted and losing the interest of cooking. I found that if you do meal planning right, it can boost the joy of cooking because everything will be under your control and you know the results are going to be amazing before you even step into the kitchen. So I want to help you achieve that in 2017. In case you can’t wait, I’ve shared some of my best meal planning tips here.
Did I lose it? Did I just make a big plan for 2017 that’s not accomplishable? I don’t know what changes I will be facing in the new year, but for sure I am going to try to stick with the plan.
Do you know what keeps me going? It’s YOU! Thank you for reading, making my recipes, commenting and encouraging me, my friend. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. So here, to the new year, cheers! I sincerely wish you and your family a happiest new year of 2017!