Let’s start out this little birthday celebration with a story about how Kalyn’s Kitchen came to be. I started the South Beach Diet in July 2004, after an old boyfriend visited me and I realized how much I hated being fat. And I was fat; probably not as fat as I looked in this before photo, but fat enough. By early 2005 I had lost about 35 pounds, and everybody who’d known me as someone who loved to cook and eat wanted to know how I was doing it. I started sending out recipes on an e-mail list, which quickly became a bit of a pain. Then my brother (the fabulous Rand) suggested I start a blog as a place to store the recipes so friends could find them.

Here’s the part that seems unbelievable now when I look back on it. Neither Rand nor I had ever seen a single food blog when I started Kalyn’s Kitchen. He was using the internet a little at that time, but I rarely went online except for e-mail or Epicurious.com, and absolutely didn’t know there was a huge web of bloggers out there. I certainly didn’t imagine there were people on the internet blogging about FOOD.

I’m grateful for the many good ways my life has changed over the last two years. I’ve become a more proficient, more creative, and more diverse cook from the challenge of coming up with new recipes day after day. I’ve met talented, creative food bloggers from all over the world, some even in person, and a few who’ve become great friends. By accident, I started what I think is the longest running weekly food blog event, and in the process I’ve learned so much about unusual foods around the world from the Weekend Herb Bloggers. I’ve enjoyed writing about Food and Drink for Blogher and attending the Blogher Conference. Most of all the blog has been a wonderful outlet to indulge my life-long passion for creating interesting food and a way to keep my brain stimulated learning new things.

Kalyn’s Kitchen has improved so much in two years, thanks to the generosity of Rand and Bradley who’ve provided hours of creative and technical help. Some of what you see here is also due to photo advice and template consulting from my great food blogger friends. (You know who you are!) The latest improvement was a suggestion about a better way to print recipes from the wonderful Zoe who then helped implement it! I’m grateful to everyone who’s helped me along the road to this point, either through technical assistance, advice, input, or moral support.

None of this would have happened without YOU, the person who is reading this right now. It’s the people who read the blog, give feedback about recipes, leave comments, subscribe, participate in Weekend Herb Blogging, and send nice e-mails who give me the energy to keep creating new dishes and posting them day after day. People are often telling me how much they appreciate my blog, and now it’s my turn to tell you how much I appreciate all of you who are enriching my life and inspiring me in so many ways. Thanks to all my wonderful readers and food blogger friends, and here’s to many more years of delicious food and friendship!

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