Happy New Year and A Big Announcement

by Darina on January 1, 2016

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Happy New Year, dear reader! I wish you a joyful and prosperous 2016. I hope the holidays were enjoyable for you, no matter what you celebrate. If you’ve been checking back here for gingerbread and turkey recipes but finding nothing but crickets, it’s because I have been working on an exciting new project. Drumroll please … Essentially, instead of creating posts for this blog, I have been testing recipes for a new one. 

That’s right! After seven years of producing Gratinée I’ve started a new blog, which has gone live today–January 1st, 2016. This is a new beginning for me, in more ways than one.

Why a new blog, you ask? I’ve been mulling this over for months. It has not been an impulsive decision for me. I have been thinking about pulling the plug on Gratinée for a long time now. Not only have my blogging goals changed over the years, my diet has changed as well. For the first six years of its life, this site was a general interest recipe bank, with a particular fondness for French and Italian food. A year ago it became gluten-free. Gluten-free readers who find my site are confused by the recipe index, and a lot of my new recipes are no longer relevant to some of my longtime readers. I’ve realized for some time that I have been suffering from a “niche problem”. If you know anything about marketing in this new age, you will know that your niche is everything, and the more targeted it is, the more people you’ll attract who will love exactly what it is that you do. My photographer friend Colleen, for example, takes pictures of nothing but crows. Not birds. Just crows. They sell and she does very well and a lot of people dig her work. People who really dig crows. 

In 2015 I thought a lot about what my recipes said about my niche–or if I even had one. I also weathered a health crisis and had to change the way I eat. This means I continue to eat gluten-free but also need to be mindful of other ingredients I choose. I hesitate to say that I am eating more healthfully, as I believe that any wide variety of foods can be healthy. But I’m choosing whole or minimally processed foods most of the time. I’ve upped my produce and legumes, decreased my intake of meat and processed grains. Desserts, when I have them, are often sweetened with ingredients like maple or brown rice syrup. I will always favour my comfort foods, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I have been experimenting with a variety of ethnic cuisines that do not rely on wheat as much as the traditional European way of cooking that I have been devoted to. My recipes going forward will reflect my new way of eating, but I can’t say they will be a big departure from what I’ve done before. It’s really become all about tweaking. 

In addition, my new blog Gastrostoria will not simply be a food blog, although food will still be a big part of what you will see there. Writing, photography, coaching and teaching are what I have done for many years, and you will see that reflected in increasingly exciting ways, as well as a wider photography portfolio.

To find out more about my new direction and get the recipe for this above pictured Hazelnut Chocolate Crinkle Cake, please click here. Although I will no longer be adding new content to Gratinée, I will keep the site up for those wanting to access previous recipes. Please note that I will also not be adding to my current Facebook page and have started a new one for Gastrostoria. I also have a new page focused exclusively on my imagery, a lot of which will not appear on the blog.

Finally, if you are a regular reader of Gratinée, I hope that you will continue to follow me on the next phase of my journey and join me for more sumptuous photographs, great recipes and food stories. :) 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen Wilson January 1, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Huge congratulations on the launch of your new project Darina! Your amazing talent, skill and passion are a huge inspiration to me and I know this endeavour is going to be a great success!

Darina January 1, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Thank you so much, Colleen! I hope 2016 will be a great year for you!

Teri Macovei January 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm

I always admired your cooking passion and amazing recipes. You display your talents and passion for what you do in such a simple way, Darina, and yet it is so inspiring. You are an amazing human being and people will see that through your work. I wish you the best of luck with your new project.

Darina January 11, 2016 at 10:10 am

Thank you so much, Teri! That means a lot to me :) I appreciate your support and enthusiasm over the years and look forward to watching you also reach for your dreams. All the best in 2016! <3

Kaireen Morgan January 13, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Wow, Darina, I’m so glad I visited your site this evening to see what was new! Had no idea you were cooking up a new site slong with some new recipes…and photos. Sounds like you have a solid focus along with some fabulous ideas. You go, girl. Knock ’em dead in 2016 – your year to shine.

Darina February 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Thank you so much, Kaireen!

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