A Year, Gratitude and a Chocolate Cake

It’s hard to believe that today, this little blog of mine turned one. This has been a very creative year for me, full of surprises, new friendships, new discovered passions and very, very unexpected. The year in which I discovered photography and how it has changed my life.

Today I learned that Cannelle Et Vanille was voted “2008 Best Food Blog – Photography” in the 2008 Food Blog Awards hosted by Well Fed. Just to be nominated in that category next to super talented bloggers and photographers blows me away. That alone was a real gift to me.

When I look back at those photos, I realize how unplanned this all was. I didn’t sit down for days thinking about starting a blog. I just did it. The recipes poured one after another without too much thought. Photography followed soon after and it has now taken a hold of my life.

I have many things to be grateful for and many people to thank for all their support and encouragement this year. Helen, Nadia, Jill, Bego y las tres Marias, Robyn, my dear C., Katherine, Bea, ama ta aita, Valerie, Pia, Esti, Deb, Jessie, Amaia, Benat, Ez, Traci… so many people, always ready to share, to inspire and to help.

I wanted to take this moment to thank all of you who have followed and supported this blog from the beginning and those of you who took the time to vote for me on the awards. It really means the world to me.

Here is a little celebratory cake composed of chocolate biscuit, milk chocolate mousse, fresh berries and chocolate cigarettes. I shared it with my neighbor Scott who kindly cleaned my camera a couple of days ago (a cake can be very motivating for some!).

Please visit the Well Fed site to read the full list of winners. And a big congrats to my dear friend Helen for TWO awards. Wow…

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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135 Responses to “A Year, Gratitude and a Chocolate Cake”

  1. leaca says:

    Wow. All these look great but chocolate and strawberries and chocolate look so yummy.

  2. I have never ever ever posted on your blog before. I started blogging 6 months ago and found you soon after. You have skills. Keep it up. The reason why I come back is because of your amazing photography! You deserve this award!

    Congratulations from one who admires (alright lurks) from afar!

  3. Happy blog birthday! What a fabulous year! Keep up with the excellent work!

    A gorgeous cake! So pretty…



  4. Peter G says:

    Congratulations Aran! Very well deserved. It was an honour and pleasure to be nominated alongside you! Happy Blogiversary and keep those sweets coming!

  5. edina says:

    Happy Blogiversary and Congratulations on the well-deserved blog award! Thanks for sharing such great recipes, too!

  6. Tartelette says:

    Well honey…Honestly what can I say? Keep’em coming…. :)

    Seriously though, I already said it in email #55 (no joke people we are email junkies): congrats on the award! I am salivating everytime and I could not ask for a better friend and partner in crime.

    Besos to you little ama. eskerrik asko for all the sweets.
    Ok, that is the extent of my Basque…oh yeah and “bero”…I might try to place it somewhere next time :)

  7. Congratulations, Aran! Well deserved recognition as yours is one of the best! And, of course, a stunning cake. :)

  8. Jinnie N. says:

    congrats on the bday and congrats on the award! your photography is absolutely amazing. :D i’m screaming inside my head looking at all this gorgeousness!

  9. josephine says:

    wow, i cannot believe you’ve only been doing this for a year! your photos and desserts are jaw-droppingly gorgeous! congrats!

  10. congratulations on the award/ you surely desserve it :) this dessert looks so so got pity I can’t grab it and eat it . you surely do amazing things with desserts :)

  11. MeetaK says:

    ARAN! First I wish you a very happy blog birthday. Your desserts are a true inspiration! Second a big congratulations for the award. Truly deserved!

  12. 190.arch says:

    Con justa razón los premios y todo, tienes montado un lugar extraordinario, gracias a tí, guapa!

  13. Congratulations! I’m a fairly new visitor to your blog and patiently wait for your new posts. Your creations are traditional and modern and beautiful all at once.

    Happy Anniversary!

  14. morgana says:


    Me alegro muchísimo de que el premio sea tuyo. Siempre es un auténtico placer visitar tu blog, tus fotos son tan hermosas. Pero no sólo son bonitas y bien hechas.

    Es difícil de explicar pero al menos a mí me transmiten una sensibilidad una dulzura, una tranquilidad…

    Es como mirar nevar, o ver cómo el aire se lleva las florecillas de un árbol frutal y todo se tiñe de rosa en primavera, o como nadar en un mar tranquilo u observar las olas que el viento crea en los campos de cereal aún verde.

    No te conozco personalmente pero supongo que simplemente tus fotos transmiten parte de lo que eres tú y, por lo menos yo, estoy encantada de poder ser una espectadora. Es un privilegio.

    Puede que todo esto haya sonado un poco empalagoso, pero es que realmente me resulta difícil expresar lo que se siente (o mejor lo que siento yo) al visitar tu blog.

  15. Nikki says:

    Congratulations Aran ^_^ Breathtaking compilation of desserts there, truly inspiring!

  16. Vanille says:

    Congratulations Aran !
    Thank YOU for sharing with us these amazing and inspiring creations…

  17. Bria says:

    Congratulations on turning one, and also for your nomination (not that I am the least bit surprised!). This may sound lame, but your blog truly is such an inspiration. You have definately made a great contribution to the food blogging community. I hope we continue to see more from you for years to come!

  18. Time passes so soon! Congrats on turning one:)

  19. Essenslust says:

    I love your Blog!

  20. ooo Aran congrats!! I’m not surprised you won as your pics are always fantastic!!

  21. Marija says:

    Congratulations on your award! What a present for your blog birthday! Wish you many more years of blogging and awards!

  22. idu says:

    ZORIONAK Aran!!
    Ongi merezitako saria, ongi eta gogo onez egindako lanagatik.
    eta ospatzeko egin duzun tartatxoa, zer esanik ez. Pozten naiz benetan, ikaragarri gustatzen zaizkit zure argazkiak, duten zuritasun eta ikutu hori, egunetik egunera hobeagoak dira, eta gu arritzen, pozten, gozatzen, jarraitzen duzu. ZORIONAK!!

  23. Millie says:

    Bravo, bravo to you Aran!! Warmest congratulations from across the Pacific, this award is so well deserved. You inspire & motivate us with each post, thank you.

    The celebratory chocolate cake will be made with great affection here, but not for a little while. We are in the middle of the most horrendous summer heatwave here in Southern Australia – 108F. today, 110F. tomorrow! Definitely not chocolate weather.
    Millie ^_^

  24. andaoana says:

    Happy birthday! and congrats for the award. You must be proud of it as you fully deserve it.

  25. Christy says:

    Congratulations!! I’m so happy that you won, because I feel that you absolutely deserved it!! Have always loved coming to visit your blog—so many pretty sights to behold—I’m sure other readers feel the same way!!

    Your photos and your desserts have only gotten better with time, so here’s to a new year or blogging, desserts and photography!!

  26. congratulations Aran, you so deserved it! And happy blogaversary (?): I can’t believe it’s only been 1 year, you are so popular: every post is a pleasure for the eyes!
    keep the good work ;)

  27. Carmen says:

    Sin duda te lo mereces.

  28. Aran, you are a talented, generous and kind blogger and you deserve all the success! Your photos are to die for and your recipes are equally fantastic.
    This cake looks beautiful and here’s to many more years of your blog!

  29. CONGRATS Aran…you are a STAR! Richly deserved & I knew it was gonna be you! Just turned 1…happy birthday to your stunning blog! That’s a beautiful cake too; a masterpiece!

  30. Mobula says:

    Zorionak, Aran!!! Parece mentira que haya pasado un año desde que te descibrí. Al principio me confundiste, no tenía claro tu origen pero tenía clarisimo que tenías un potencial enorme, me lo confirmaste con el cambio del blog y con tus maravillosas fotografías, son tan inspiradoras y transmiten tanto…

    Felicidades de nuevo por el premio, que tan justamente te mereces sin desmerecer al resto de nominados, pero has sido toda una revelación para mi y cada día una fuente de inspiración..



  31. congratulations, aran! your blog is just beautiful. the dessert today is really exceptional.

  32. lisa says:

    Congratulations, Aran. You deserve it – your photography is beautiful, and your desserts are always lovely.

  33. Aran says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words!

    Eskerrik asko Idu!

  34. jillian says:

    Congratulations! Your photography and desserts are always gorgeous!

  35. Bridget says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, Aran!!! Your photos are always absolutely stunning!!!

    The farm pictures of your son are SO sweet! :)

  36. Kitty M says:

    Congratulations I am so pleased for you, that’s great news. In fact I joined a local photographic society last night, I’ve been so inspired by all you bloggers!

  37. Happy Bloggy Birthday, looking forward to reading about the next year.

  38. Congratulations on a year of blogging, and on a well-deserved win!! Your photos, without fail, are always breathtakingly beautiful and mouthwateringly delicious. Can’t wait to see what year 2 brings! All the best to you. :)

  39. Congratulations on the award and on the blogiversary! I look forward to seeing more stunning photos and delicious food in the days to come – whenever I see in my Google Reader that you’ve posted, I save it and read it last because I love reading your posts so much :)

  40. VeggieGirl says:


  41. Happy blog birthday! As always the photos are gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS!

  42. Candace says:

    Congrats!!! You deserve it!!!

  43. Edi Style says:

    What is there left to say… You are an A!!!

  44. maggie says:

    Congratulations. Such gorgeous photos!

  45. lynda says:

    Happy Birthday to your blog and congratulations on your award!What a warm and thoughtful piece with the added bonus of that incredible chocolate dessert and your beautiful photographs. I am inspired so much by yours and Helen’s blogs. Thanks for putting your talents out there for us to enjoy! :)

  46. Congratulations on the award! I’m so glad that I discovered your beautiful blog. What gorgeous chocolate cake too!

  47. ONLY ONE YEAR OLD!!!???
    Amazing! Very well deserved indeed.

  48. Congratulations, dear, dear, Aran! I have loved reading your blog (for almost a year now!) and seeing your talents. Your award was well deserved.

  49. Aran: You absolutely deserve it! Your blog is so beautiful, so stunning – I look forward to every single post and am always amazed! You put a lot of work into this and it shows. Congratulations!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Felicidades en tan merecido galardon!
    Pasiva lectora pero muy fiel visitante de tan maravilloso blog.
    Sin duda eres un orgullo de tan linda tierra Vasca.
    Ana (Tu vecina de Broward)

  51. Zorionak Aran,
    Es un premio muy muy merecido.

  52. Cherie says:

    Congratulations! We knew you’d win! Great photos and outstanding recipes.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Bego (una de las tres Marías)

  54. anna says:

    I’m glad you won – I voted for you! I love that I can be browsing tastespotting or anywhere on the internet and recognize your photos immediately…or is it your desserts I recognize? Either way you have a signature style that is consistently beautiful and creative. Congratulations! :)

  55. Tea says:

    Dear Aran,

    This is a big day for you, and you deserved it. You have been making our days brighter by sharing your amazing talent for both baking and pastry and photopraphy. That’s something I am going towards to in my career and you have been a great inspiration :)
    Lots of love,

  56. nadia says:

    THis took my breath away, such beautiful recipes and photographs, i see now that i must of met you in the very beginning. you never seace to inspire me, you make my jaw drop every time. YOU ARE A TRUE ARTIST and i am blessed to have you as a friend.

    Congrats dear Aran!!

  57. Rita says:

    Congratulations Aran, you deserve it!

  58. Avanika says:

    Congratulations. You totally deserved to win. I love whenever google reader tells me you posted a new post. I really admire your photography, and how you make the simplest things look amazing [eg the whisk in this post]

  59. Sonia says:

    Felicidades, tus fotos don una maravilla. Tiene todo tan buena pinta.

  60. Botacook says:

    It’s true, your pictures are absolutely fantastic, they hold a part of dream and travel… This recipe is scumptious and your pictures are, as usual, very beautiful.

  61. cindy* says:

    this cake is beautiful and so reminiscent of the forest.

    congrats aran! this truly is one of my favorite places to stop by…gorgeous photos and treats and beautiful words. here is to more years to come!

  62. Gabriela says:

    Berriro…..Zorionak!!!!!!Todo un exito!!! Que a gusto le daría un gran mordisco a ese estupendo pastel de chocolate!!, seguro que habrá muchos más pasteles de celebración de futuros exitos y que podamos compartir, A disfrutar!! Jon precioso. Muxus. gabriela

  63. Catherine says:

    Oh, this is just great !!! And you deserve it so well ! Congratulations ;o)

  64. Jennie says:

    happy anniversary!!! you deserve all the attention for you work; it truly is astonishing how much you’ve done in one year on this blog. What talent!!

  65. Laura says:

    Happy birthday to one of the most beautiful blogs around!
    and congratulations for the award.
    Your blog is really inspiring, and not only in the baking community. You are a style icon as well!

  66. veron says:

    Congrats Aran!You totally deserve it!

  67. Joyce says:

    Aran congrats to being voted 2008 Best Food blog!
    Did I read correctly you just started photogrpahy this past year too?!! Oh my goodness you are putting me to shame! Alot of wonderful accomplishments in one year!
    Happy 1st Blog Birthday! I so look forward to seeing what year 2 will bring.
    Sending you wishes for many more golden and savory moments my friend!!
    Oh dear I think I died and went to heaven looking at your chocolate cake! There is nothing like a birthday. I can’t wait for my actually bday next month!

  68. Aimée says:

    Happy Blogaversary, Aran. It certainly is exciting to think about what next year holds.
    I voted for you and an thrilled you won–it is much deserved.

  69. Kate says:

    Ton blog est magnifique, je suis fan !

  70. heidi says:

    Congrats!!! well-deserved!
    Happy Blogiversary!

  71. corine says:

    You’re IT to me, without contest.

  72. Eeks! that is so exciting. I voted and you so deserve a win. The fact that I actually baked something – a chocolate something no less – is a testament to your inspiration. I never bake dessert, so your blog really must of nudged me to open my horizons – and such delicious horizons as well.

  73. Happy birthday blog!!

    Congratulations on your win!! I love your pictures!

    This was a great year…

  74. Anonymous says:

    Happy birthday!!!

  75. May says:

    A very happy blog birthday!
    Congrats for the award! You so deserve it. I love your photos- masterpiece!

  76. Hi,
    I just started reading your blog and I must say I absolutely love it. I too am a pastry chef in a restaurant in atlanta and reading your blog has gotten me inspired again. Your pictures are AMAZING (what kind of camera do you use), and the food looks fantastic. Thank you, you made me remember why I love pastry:)

  77. Dawn says:

    I love your blog…just started coming. What a delight for the eyes…
    I, too, love how photography is changing my life, just wish I discovered this earlier.
    Congrats on the nom

  78. What a fantastic looking cake!! And congrats on the nomination!!!!

  79. Congratulations ! I love your blog. Your pictures and ideas are amazing !

  80. limonana says:

    happy anniversary!! your blog is just perfect, keep up your amazing talent!

  81. Seanna Lea says:


    You are one of the first food blogs I found just a few short months ago, and your photos and recipes inspire me to try new things!

  82. Wow, stunning as usual! Congratulations and happy bloganniversary. You deserve it!

  83. But my dear, you so deserve to win. Your blog is visually incomparable and your prose is clean and personal. Your love for your fresh elegant dessert creations just shine through. You are making them alive for us and you so generously share.
    Thank you.


  84. wow happy birthday Aran!!! i didn’t realize i was older than you…i think it’s our HUGE variance in popularity :) one year down–many more to go!

  85. PheMom says:

    Happy Bloggy Birthday Aran! A beautiful little cake to celebrate with. Your award for the photography is well deserved too!


  86. Y says:

    Congrats on the well deserved award, and happy blog birthday! Here’s to many more :)

  87. Beautiful blog!

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday.

    Can I have a chocolate cigarette to help you celebrate? (I did not know that was the name for these lovely shaved pieces of heaven…thanks for teaching me.)

    I wish you many more successes in the days and years to come. Your blog is a treat to be savored and I am enjoying every minute of it.

  88. Aran says:

    i cannot thank you enough for all your words!

  89. Wow wow wow – That cake all by itself could have won best photography – not to mention how delicious it must be. Congratulations, you surely deserve it. Your blog is inspired and so are your recipes.

  90. abby says:

    congratulations, your blog is such an inspiration to me! i’m looking forward to many many more anniversaries!

  91. You definitely deserved it! Your blog is so inspiring! I always love seeing your new posts and the creativity that flows out of each one. Your desserts and photography are among the best in the blog world…so glad you started one year ago!

  92. Jen Yu says:

    Happy 1-year blogiversary, Aran. And a big congratulations on your award, which is very well-deserved (I’m always happy when the ones I voted for win!) Yours is such a delightful blog full of light and beauty and a sense of happiness. I always leave your blog feeling better about life. Here is to many more years of beautiful work.

  93. Amy Esther says:

    Wow, congrats! It’s really hard to believe that you’ve only been doing photography for a single year! You must have had a really good eye for design to begin with….

    The cake look absolutely delicious, I’m dying for a slice!

  94. Sooo well deserved! Happy anniversary on your blog. I love reading your blog and looking at your beautiful photos. You really bring out the beauty of food.

  95. Mrs.French says:

    clink…cheers! I am so proud of you and not at all surprised…I am so surprised that you have been doing what you do for only one year!!! You are a pro…you are my inspiration…I thank you too…you make me better at what I do…xo t

  96. Happy blog birthday! It’s hard to believe your site has only been around for a year. You take such gorgeous photos!

  97. Nina Timm says:

    Do not be amazed that you won that award….your photography is awesome.Happy birthday talented lady!!!

  98. Te lo mereces. Tus fotos son maravillosas y tu forma de ser tan dulce como tus recetas.
    Un beso y enhorabuena

  99. Anne-Laure says:

    Ah il faut bien que je finisse de mettre un commentaire, sans me laisser arrêter par cette question “est-ce que je peux l’écrire en français, comme le titre du blog ?” !
    Bon allez je me lance, in french dans le texte… sinon je peux tenter l’english, mais ça sera moins développé et spontané, c’est certain !

    En fait je voulais juste dire bravo pour ces recettes inimitable et surtout surtout le soin porté à la présentation, ces superbes photos !
    Je me régale autant de la subtilité photographique que des sujets photographiés !
    Cette sélection est amplement méritée, félicitations !

    Je suis photographe, en particulier en gastronomie, ce qui explique que je sois aussi réceptive à ce que tu fais !

    Encore bravo et bonne continuation !

  100. Aran says:

    Anne-Laure- mon francais est terrible! i can understand your comment but if i had to translate my recipes to french it would take me forever. i could do it in spanish and basque though.

    thank you!

  101. Many, many congratulations on this most well-deserved award. And even more thank yous for sharing your enormous talent with all of us. We truly appreciate all your hard work. It’s clearly your true passion – you set the bar for creativity!

  102. Aran, what can i say except THANK YOU for starting this blog thyat has given so much to so many, for your constant support and beautiful work that’s always an inspiration–I am so happy to know you and thank you for letting me into your world!
    These photos are amazing and I see another beautiful year ahead!

  103. rosy says:

    Complimenti per il bellissimo blog… belle immagini, belle ricette … a presto Rosy

  104. Joslyn says:

    happy blog anniversary Aran. you deserve any and all awards…your work is absolutely amazing. you inspire daily.


  105. Zerogluten says:

    Campeona, campeona, oe, oe, ooooooeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No sabes lo que me alegro. Felicidades artista.
    Mil veces te lo he dicho y mil veces te lo diré. Eres la mejor. Eres mi punto de referencia, mi heroina, mi maestra….
    Me gustan tus recetas, me apasionan tus fotos, me impresionan tus presentaciones. Todo en tí es especial.
    Y además eres buena persona.
    Te mereces este premio y míl más que te dieran.
    Felicidades y millones de besos sin gluten

  106. linda says:

    Congratulations and again congratulations! Love your work!

  107. paula says:

    you sure do know how to make me swoon.

  108. Sugar Chef says:

    Congratulations on your win and happy birthday. I love your pictures and recipes you deserve every award you get.

  109. Claire says:

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful blog & congratulations on your win! What a difference a year makes. That cake looks yummy. Cheers & keep up the good work!

  110. Happy happy blogiversary!
    your pastry and your pictures are astounding!
    you deserve that award!

  111. Shayne says:

    your creations and your photos are wonderful and I am not surprised on bit that you won. you earned it!

  112. ana dane says:

    congratulations, your award is well deserved. keep up all that mouth-watering work!

  113. Aran, You so deserve the award! Congratulations on a year of exquisite food and gorgeous photography!

  114. Hilda says:

    Congratulations on the award Aran, just the first picture for this post alone deserved it, let alone all the other beautiful posts and pictures this year. And Happy Blogiversary!

  115. Vera says:

    Aran, congratulations! And what a gorgeous cake to celebrate!

  116. Jamie says:

    Wow Aran, congratulations on the birthday and the award. How….rewarding! But your blog is magnificent, the photos are incredibly beautiful and the food is delectible. Good luck and your faithful followers will continue to follow.

  117. pia says:

    oh aran! words almost escape me – and not just because of that heavenly creation of yours that has my heart beating faster just looking at it (i want it now!!), but your beautiful words to mark your first blog aniversary. A big congratulations to you for the award!!! And a big thank you for including me in your post, it has been wonderful to find you too…

    …i could go on further but I have not stopped sneezing since I started writing this comment so i should sign off before i accidentally poke an eye out.


  118. Katie says:

    Congratulations on your win – its very well deserved. Your photos are always stunning.

  119. Camila says:

    Congratulations!!! Your pics are definitely the best!

  120. Bea says:

    Wonderful Aran. Your pictures are just lovely!

  121. Peabody says:

    Happy one year, and what a great year it was.

  122. Sallie says:

    All this in just one year! I am still trying to figure out how is the best way to post… oh, well! Your photography is just gorgeous! I love stopping by and living vicariously through you. Thanks and I can’t wait for year 2!

  123. Congratulations it’s well deserved! I voted for you:-) That cake really reminds me of a hill top country cottage somewhere surrounded by a wooden fence with wild flowers blooming inside. Absolutely stunning!

  124. Cakebrain says:

    congrats Aran! though this was not a surprise that you won! Your pics are truly inspirational and you are an amazing talent!

  125. B says:

    Arantza, many many congratulation on winning the award. Certainly I shared the views of everyone above. You really deserve it vecause of your enthusiasm, “savoir faire”, and passion in what you do! Truly inspiring for many of us!!!

  126. Esti says:

    Te mereces eso y mucho más!!!

  127. Happy, happy birthday! I have enjoyed your fabulous blog so much!

  128. rachel says:

    I almost can’t stand how delicious all these desserts look. Food has never looked so beautiful.

  129. Ana says:

    Came across your blog via Apartment #34, and I’m in heaven.

    Are you taking applications for adoption?

    Happy Anniversary!

  130. Lisa says:

    Hi Aran!

    I’ve visited your blog on/off for a while but never commented. I just had to today though since it seems – we share a very, very close blog birthday! You’re actually the 2nd blog I’ve come across in the last 2 days (in addition to mine) celebrating a first birthday! Great minds really think alike eh?!

    Beautiful photography and fantastic desserts. I think I’ll be visiting a lot more often. :)


  131. I love this one! It looks like a little fort!

  132. disa says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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