A Milestone

Five years ago today, there was a painfully shy teenage girl who decided to start a blog. Cooking tofu pups over a bare gas burner and tossing grilled “cheese” sandwiches into a sandwich press were the extent of her culinary repertoire, and the oven remained a strange and incomprehensible tool of incineration. She had few friends, no direction in life, and little optimism for the future. Crafts- crochet, knitting, sewing, beading; anything to keep the hands and mind occupied- Were a comfort, if primarily a means of distraction. Somehow, with the gentle encouragement of a few kind readers, that tiny, forgettable craft blog began to evolve. Cooking suddenly became another art to be mastered. She became bolder in the kitchen, developing a sincere passion for experimenting with ingredients, creating different dishes.

She discovered a love for photography. She developed a voice. She gained genuine friends. She became a part of a compassionate community.

This wee little blog, an virtual journal filled with rambling thoughts and crazy ideas, was never destined for greatness, but it has irrevocably shaped and guided my life’s journey. Moreover, you, my friends, are responsible for giving me courage to continue along that path. And for that, I am deeply grateful. Five years later and somehow, I’m still here, still learning, along side all of you; a modern miracle if I ever saw one.

I wish I could truly give back to this community that has given me so much, but I have at least one small token to commemorate this fifth blog birthday…

What has become perhaps my favorite crochet pattern ever, the Skull Holders from Debbie Stoller’s The Happy Hooker, has made at least a half dozen appearances on my hook. Given as gifts to friends and family near and far, even I have my own beat up pair tucked in a drawer just beneath the stove. Now I want you to have a set, too.

All you have to do is leave me a comment including your name and a valid email address, and tell me what would be the first thing you’d pull from the oven with these pot holders. Or, if you don’t bake, what other dish they would aide you in cooking. Or, if you can’t think of anything, just let me know that you’re still out there. I’m just happy to have all of you around, following along, and that’s all I can really ask for. You have until Valentine’s Day, February 14th, to enter, and the winner will be selected by a random number generator shortly thereafter.

The journey isn’t over by a long shot though. I’d like to believe that the best is yet to come… Stay tuned!

135 thoughts on “A Milestone

  1. Congrats on the big 5 years. My daughter who is 11 and I will pull out brownies which are her and her fathers favorite snack. Please keep on blogging.

  2. Yah! Congratulations on the big 5! That is awesome.

    Um, I want those oven mitts too! I actually need oven mits (down to one that has seen better days) … first thing would definitely be cookies, but I’m not sure what kind.

    1. Congratulations – I have just discovered your fabulous blog and have been truly inspired. Two of my kids and my partner are gluten and dairy intolerant so I would pull a deathly delicious Lucky Chocolate Bean cake out of our oven with the mits.

  3. congrats on 5yrs. your story is inspiring – and people say that the internet isn’t a true community …..

    a loaf of homemade bread. though another commenters mentioning of butterscotch pecan chocolate chip cookies has my mouth watering….

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  4. CONGRATULATIONS! Yours is one of my favourite blogs, one of the most beautifully photographed, and by far one of the best written. You are an inspiration and have definitely given a heck of a lot to the community – never doubt that!

    The first thing I would pull out of the oven would be something from your new book (I’m currently seeing if I have enough cash to buy it directly from you – sorry to keep you waiting!).

    Here’s to the next 5 years!

  5. Happy Anniversary! I adore your My Sweet Vegan cookbook and can’t wait for your next one!

    I would pull a yummy cheesecake out of the oven with this potholder!

  6. Yay, congrats on five years of blogging, growing, learning, and becoming more awesome all the time!

    thanks for the chance to win, I think the first thing I’d pull out of the oven using this would be a chocolate cake, I’ve had a pretty powerful cake craving lately!

  7. Wow, congrats on five years! I have been planning for a while to bake my hound some squash biscuits from “It’s a Vegan Dog’s Life”, so that would be my first project if I won those beautiful potholders! (Seriously, the blue is just gorgeous!)

  8. Loved the story of development of your blog. Pretty darn inspirational. Love the pot holders too. And I would definitely be pulling chocolate chip cookies from the oven with them!

  9. A veg millet chili!
    I bought your book when it first came out years ago and follow your blog regularly. Thanks for doing what you do!

  10. I love your blog, Hannah. I still count your “Birds of a Feather” as my original amigurumi gateway drug. Those potholders would be handy for pulling fresh chocolate chip muffins out of the oven!

  11. Congrats on the five-year milestone, Hannah! It’s nice to hear how blogging and all that has gone with it continues to provide positive influence both for yourself and others. :) As always, thanks for sharing.

    Those oven mitts are awesome. I’m pretty sure I would break them in by impatiently pulling a crusty loaf of bread from the oven!


  12. It is wonderful following your blog and making some of the recipes you have. Thank you so some much for the last five years of blogging and sharing your up and downs :)

    ~ Danielle

  13. Your blog was one of the reasons I started a blog. I love it! Now, as for the potholders, I would probably pull some biscotti or some double chocolate cookies out of the oven with them. I love the pattern.

  14. At this moment I have a vegan mac ‘n’ cheese casserole in the oven (Veganomicon‘s MacDaddy), though I guess I can’t get the mitts in time to take it out.

    Congratulations on the anniversary! I just found your blog and Twitter feed a few weeks ago and am enjoying finding my way around.

  15. happy anniversary! i’m happy for all your successes in and out of the kitchen :)

    the pot holders would be perfect for a veg & lentil pot pie — cuz veganism is not for sissies!

  16. Oh, I need these potholders!! I live in Tampa Bay were we just celebrated Gasparilla, the pirate invasion. I would be the envy of all my pirate-clad friends. I would either be pulling roasted sweet potatoes or mac-n-cheese made with daiya out of the oven.

  17. Happy blogiversary Hannah! I can’t remember when I first stumbled across your blog…maybe two years ago? But I’ve been a follower ever since. It’s been fabulous following along and seeing each thing you cook look more delicious than the next, as if that were possible. The first thing I would pull out of the oven…probably a loaf of bread!

  18. Probably vegan pizza because that’s my dear one’s favorite. Happy Anniversary and many thanks for everything you share!

  19. you are a true success story! thanks for scoring so many points for Team Painfully Shy Teenage Girl. i’m eagerly anticipating your new book. those mitts are super adorable. i’d request their assistance in baking some enormous loaves of sourdough rye.

  20. congratulations to you and your five years with your blog! how exciting :)
    cute potholders! i can see myself pulling out a loaf of freshly baked bread with those!

  21. oh Hannah those pot holders are adorable. Thank you so much for blogging and sharing your recipes and ideas, you are one of the many reasons why I keep baking and trying new things. If I could one day be the baker you are I would be over the moon with happiness. Thank you oodles! I think the first thing I would bake would be your birthday cake for dogs from My Sweet Vegan as my little furry ladies could use a devine treat.

  22. For 3 of those 5 years I’ve been coming back here to read about your latest crazy adventure, and during that time, the creativity, beautiful photos and wise words have all been a huge inspiration to me.

    Your blog still makes me smile :)

    Potholders make great wrappers for hot cast iron pan handles, and also retrieving loaf tins out of the oven, so I’d use them to make myself fried mushrooms and beans on sourdough toast for breakfast. Nothing says valentines day like skull potholders! <3

  23. What an inspiring story, Hannah! I’m proud of you and I’ve never even met you!! The first thing I’d pull from the oven would be the Brownie Bites from LUNCH BOX BITES. They are Yummmmmmmy! (and that’s an awesome collection of recipes)

  24. Thank you for blogging, Hannah. You are en inspiration to me ever since I found your blog 4 summers ago ( I think).
    Please continue!

    With your potholder I would pull out your chocolate cupcake that have saved me a dozen times. Plus everyone always raved over this vegan cupcake!


  25. I think the first thing I’d pull outta my oven would be sugar cookies (thus making me the hubs favorite)
    Joy (dot) Clark (at) gmail (dot) com

  26. Wow Hannah! I can’t believe that you have this blog already for 5 years. I would say that is truly something… Happy anniversary and those skull potholders are fabulous… I guess I would use them to pull out just another one of my favorite clafoutis!

  27. ADORABLE!!!

    I would absolutely pull a pan of fresh, garlicky roasted, bad ass, ratatouille vegetables out of the oven with these!!

    Thanks, Hannah – keep being amazing

  28. Congrats girl!!! What a milestone it is and we are so happy to have discovered your blog :) We can’t wait to follow your journey more! I would love to pull out my all time favorite easy dessert- chocolate chip cookies, my all time favorite! haha

  29. I’m going to throw this in here! I’d make more vegan cupcakes to share with friends !

  30. Happy fifth birthday to BitterSweet! I love every one of your posts – so creative, and such interesting anecdotes to go along with your recipes and crafts.

    The skull holders are amazing – I must enter! The first thing I’d pull from the oven with them would be…a loaf of date-walnut-apple bread :)


  31. I love your blog; congrats on your 5th anniversary. Your first paragraph describes me pretty well a year ago. I’ve learned to cook and bake through vegan blogs such as yours, and I’m so grateful such a wonderful resource exist. I love the online vegan community!

    Again, congrats on your success! And thanks for sharing your brilliant recipes.

  32. Happy blog birthday, Hannah! Those pot holders are so cute. I’d probably use them to pull out kale chips from the oven, they’re my new healthy obsession. Your blog is awesome!

  33. Oh gosh, probably some of those yummilicious peanut butter scones from My Sweet Vegan. Can’t get enough of ’em :)

  34. This is by far my favorite blog to read – I’m not vegan, but I’m such a sucker for food photography (and dessert!) that I have no will to resist. Thanks for this wonderful store of recipes, photos, and humor.

    I’d better makes some more of those chocolate cupcakes…

  35. I’ve been really wanting to try making scones. Maybe I’ll start with your Apple Ginger Scones. :)

  36. As long as you keep on keepin’ on, there will always be more “best” to come. I know that as surely as I know that I’m a fellow grateful and far-happier-since-I-started-blogging Hannah! Happy blog birthday, and happy every other day of your life too. xoxo

    P.S. I would pull coconut flour (because I just bought some) muffins from my oven!

  37. Wow, Hannah! Happy Anniversary! I still remember the first time I read My Sweet Vegan. I saw a link on the cover fold that said you blog. Honestly, I didn’t know what a blog was back then. I found your website and instantly loved it! Who knew that so many years later, I’d be blogging too? Your blog was the first one I ever discovered and I’m still hooked!

    Those pot holders are too cute to use! I would hang them on a hook above my stove to display ’em!

  38. Happy 5th Blogoversary! The first thing I’d pull out of the oven with Skull Holders would be baked sweet potatoes.

  39. Hannah, I am not leaving this comment to enter the drawing, but simply want to say how glad I am that you blog. You are a true inspiration!

  40. happy birthday! those are beautiful crochets. the first thing I’d take out would be… roasted sweet potatoes or a glazed tofu! yummy!

  41. Congratulations on such a big anniversary. I love this blog–you’re so creative with your food. And as a young woman with a love of crafts, but not much direction, I definitely find you inspiring.

    Hotholders? Hmmm, well, I’m currently abroad, but when I got home I would bake a cake to share with my mom, brother, and sister. Or maybe some pot-pie. Something cosy.

  42. 5 years? That’s amazing, congratulations! My blog isn’t even 5 weeks old yet, it’s inspiring to see people who have made it in the long haul.
    First thing I’d pull out of the oven with those awesome things? My next attempt on a low-calorie chip recipe I’m creating.

  43. I would use these adorably cute potholders to take some freshly baked espresso chip brownies out of the oven…and try not to devour the pan in one sitting :D.

  44. Congratulations on five wonderful blogging years, Hannah! I have greatly enjoyed reading your posts and looking at your photographs. You have a knack for clever recipe creation and immense talents in the craft arena. If I win the potholder set, I would definitely pull a pan (or fifty) of brownies from the oven!

  45. Congratulations on your blogiversary. Keep at it, I like your blog and we need more crafty vegan blogs. I would use your hot mitts to pull roasted root veggies from the oven, they always sound good this time of year.

  46. I’d pull a batch of berry- and chocolate cupcakes from one of the ovens in my college dorm kitchen. The kitchen would fill with the scent of fresh cupcakes, and stoned students from all over would come by and say “hey, can I have.. oh my god, such cute pot holders!”

  47. Contests on your blog birthday. It is hard to imagine you not as a baker, this is one of my essential stops for holiday baking ideas. I would use the oven mits to take out my latest favourite choc chip and date biscuits (cookies).

  48. You’re amazing hannah! You give me so much courage to experiment and create!
    I’d love those amazing potholders! And I’d love to use them to pull out some gingersnaps or a loaf of oatmeal bread!

  49. Hi Hannah – Congrats! You don’t know how many of my days your blog has brightened. I love all your stories and your yummy treats, the great patterns and best of all your sense of humor. You always make me smile!

    If I had the potholders I would first bake my Mom’s peanut butter cookies. She has passed and we used to bake them together for almost all occasion. I would bake them in memory of her pulling them out with Hannah’s potholders and that would make it just right.
    Thanks for all the smiles you’ve given me. Debbie Mcgiboney

  50. As one of my first vegan blog finds, I’m so glad you did it! Your blog has always been inspiring and fun–two things I definitely require from a must-read :) As for those potholders, I’d pull out a batch of agave peach gf muffins!

  51. Wow, 5 years is a huge accomplishment! A huge congrats to you, Hannah! I’m happy to have “met” you and I have to say, I think we would be friends in real life as well…although my crafts are not as gorgeous as yours, I love crafting too! :)

  52. Love the mitts! Congrats on your blog success! The first thing I would pull from the oven would be my homemade vegan biscuits!

  53. You have come so far and should be so proud of yourself!! I’d pull out a loaf of fresh baked bread… mmm I’ve been craving it for too long now!

  54. Coffee-Buzz Energy Bars or Coffee Bars as they are known as around here. I love them, they are sooo good.

  55. Happy Anniversary!! :)
    I would use them for muffins, which I am craving right now…..or tofu spinach lasagna…mmmmm

  56. so many things to choose from, probably something for my husband’s birthday. i love those pot holders! makes we want to get back into stitching:)

  57. Love your ‘blog. Congratulations on 5 years!
    Given that it’s February, I’d probably pull roasted veggies or something similar out of the oven. Maybe a couscous and veggie bake…

  58. Congrats on your 5th anniversary! I started reading your blog for the free crochet patterns, to tell you the truth, and one of the first things I ever made was your cupcake pattern. And I stayed for the pretty pictures of food :)

    Anyway, I’d probably pull a delicious blueberry pie out of the oven with those pot holders.

  59. I would take vegetarian lasagne out of the oven. That is a favorite at my house. Love your blog and your recipes! And I love love love the pot holders!

  60. Gratz on your anniversary. I would pull a vegan souffle, angel food cake or meringue out of the oven, after magically making up a recipe for one…

  61. Congratulations. It’s great to see more people starting younger to want to eat in a way that will help save the planet. I would like to take some vegan enchiladas out of the oven. I did a really quick recipe the other day that came out so good, I can’t wait to make them again.

  62. This is truly a great blog, congrats on 5 years!
    The first thing I would pull out of the oven with these mitts is a batch of vegan PB cookies made using a new recipe (gotta try ’em all)!

  63. I am LOVING your blog – which I found while searching for a quick, vegan treat to use up some leftover strawberries. I made your lovemuffins – and they were heaven! I believe I’ll be pulling some more of those out of the oven in the very near future, perhaps with these sweet mitts! You rock!

  64. Thanks for an awesome giveaway! They are adorable! The first thing I would use these on are roasted root veggies from the Durham Farmers Market!

  65. Congrats on your blogiversary and all the amazing things you’ve achieved since it’s inception. I haven’t joined in until more recently, but I’ve enjoyed every post. Skulls are such a fun pattern :). If I had this, the first thing I’d pull out would be a roasted winter veggie frittata.

  66. How exciting for you! Congrats on all your accomplishments!!

    If I had your oh-so-cute skull pot holder, I would most definitely use it to take out a piping hot vegan pecan pie to serve to my fiance! They’re his favorite and he loves cartoony skulls :)

  67. Happy Anniversary! I love your blog.

    My next baking project is the Canine cake to celebrate my one year anniversary with my first dog. He loves that cake!

  68. Beautiful!! You are far more patient than I am with cookies, and it amazes me how you manage to find genius shortcuts. Congratulations on your success!

  69. my one year old’s vegan birthday cupcakes! yum! (and boy won’t be four year old be jealous of my new potholders!)

  70. I’d use them with my Skeleton plates with spider web cookies on them.
    Congratulations on your anniversary!

  71. Ah, joyeux anniversaire! I would pull out something homey, warm, and spicy…gingerbread cupcakes maybe?

  72. happy anniversary, Hannah! Over the last three years of my veganism, I’ve seen your name pop up across many vegan blogs that I frequent, and I remember you for your name (since we share it, palindromes unite!) and your incredibly colorful, bubbly photos. I can even spot you on Foodgawker without reading the photo byline. Anyway, long way of saying congrats!

    I’d use those mitts to pull a chocolate pudding cake out of the oven. It’s been on my mind for a few days now, and I think I’m going to make one for the bf for V-day. Cheers!

  73. Hi Hannah! I love your blog, and your cookbooks – the first thing I would love to pull out of the oven would be some of the delicious peanut butter scones! (:

  74. With mitts that cute and deadly, I would have to make a veganized version of the zucchini-nut-bread & sweet cream cheese cookie sandwiches from the last page of this month’s Martha Stewart Living. Holy moly, talk about fiendishly irresistible. They wouldn’t come out as fully-formed sandwiches, I suppose, but they would still be dangerous.

  75. A big old batch of the oatmeal raisin cookies with date syrup that you posted a while ago — they were spectacular!

  76. Congratulations on reaching this milestone Hannah! I discovered your blog less than a year ago, just after I’d discovered amigurumi, and your little bird was one of my first successful creations and the first post on my own blog.
    I love these panholders and I’d use them for a yummy chocolate and almond cake – or maybe some croissants…

  77. Dearest Hannah,

    You are an angel. It’s inspiring and beautiful to hear of your transformation through crafting and cooking. I couldn’t help but identify since, in high school, I was painfully shy and, though I wasn’t without direction, I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. Isn’t it lovely that, somehow, through connecting with others via our shared lifestyle and love of cruelty-free foods, we can find solace in the warmth of a blossoming community? Thank you for welcoming us all into your world and inviting us to share in the delights you create in the comfort of your mind and home. We are blessed to “know” you!

    Congratulations on five years of blogging and, well, kicking ass.

    Your mitts are splendid, by the way, and if I had me a pair… I think the first thing I’d like to take out of the oven with them would be cheesecake, simply because I’ve been craving cheesecake. Ok, no, I lied: pecan pie. Mmmm…

    On a side note: You don’t need to thank us with anything! We need to thank *you*!

    Have a great weekend :-)


  78. I was traveling and am just now catching up on the backlog of blog reading. Glad I caught this! Congrats on 5 years of blogging. You have so much to show for your hard work, and I am encouraged that my own skills will progress if I continue on my blogging quest. Thanks for the lovely giveaway as well. I’d love to pull a cake out of the oven with those beauties!

  79. It would definitely be cookies. I love to bake them and eat them. My favorite right now is the Breakfast Cookie on the King Arthur flour blog. Yummy and healthy!

  80. happy five year blogging anniversary!! i can’t believe its been three or four years since i stumbled upon your blog! : )

  81. You have such a wonderful blog! Congrats on 5 years :) I love these pot holders!! I don’t bake much, but I NEED to learn how to crochet so I can have a pair :)

  82. I am blown away by how much you have already accomplished in your life at such a young age. You are an inspiration to this fledgling blogger! I really love the way you play with flavors and textures. Your dessert recipes are unlike any that I have in my other cookbooks, so creative!

Leave a Reply