Saturday, December 31, 2011

A look back at 2011

I've never done an end of the year "best-of" post before, but after seeing so many of them this year, I've decided to do one. Rather than posting the most viewed or commented posts, I'm going to follow the example of my friend Christine and choose my favorite for each month. I'm so grateful to have discovered this outlet for writing, storing recipes, sharing them with others, and becoming a part of the amazing food blogging community. The main reason I started this blog was to begin to document my cooking progress because I knew I needed to take control over the food going into my body if I was ever going to take control over my health. I'm glad to say that I've noticed a lot of changes in myself and that 2011 had more ups than downs.

Now, here's my look back at my favorite recipes from 2011.

January
Cashew chicken korma: While this does happen to be one of my most viewed recipes, I think it is my favorite from January because it was one of my first attempts to make my own Indian food. It was delicious and I really should make it again! 

February
Eggplant involtini: This Mario Batali recipe is a delicious way to enjoy eggplant. Plus it's really easy and makes a great dinner with a salad. We do try to eat at least a few vegetarian dinners each week and this one is perfect.

March
 Turkey sloppy joes on cheddar and scallion biscuits: I'm cheating a little on this one because these are two separate posts, but they do go together. These sloppy joes are absolutely delicious and the biscuits are even better. We like to eat the leftover biscuits in the morning for egg sandwiches. I love taking a recipe that I grew up with as a kid (and out of a can) and making it from scratch. Not only is it healthier, but it tastes way better, too.

April
Brazilian shrimp stew: I remember this stew fondly. It was fiery and sweet at the same time. Full of plump and juicy shrimp, this dish is sure to please any seafood fans out there. Plus, it's quick and easy and we all need dinners like that in our arsenal! 

May
 Chickpea and eggplant phyllo tarts: I'm picking these tarts for the month of May because they were my first experience with phyllo dough. I was always intimidated by it and I must say that although it was a bit tricky at first, these tarts were lovely and delicious. I like when I have a recipe that challenges me in some way or another. 

June
Five bean salad: I know what you are thinking... bean salad? really? But, yes, really. Bean salad is something that you've likely encountered at potlucks and picnics in your life. I've always enjoyed bean salad, but hadn't had it in years. This past summer, I decided to make it using fresh green beans and low-sodium organic beans along with lots of fresh onion and celery. It was delicious. I can't tell you how many times I made this salad last summer (and even got requests to bring it to picnics). I never tired of it either! 

July
Currant and ginger scones: I picked these scones for July because they were my first attempt ever at making scones and also because it was the first time I ever used fresh currants (they were available for one week at the farmers' market!). The scones turned out nicely and the currants were delicious! 

August 
 Galumpkis: I think these are my favorite recipe from August mainly because I found a handwritten recipe on a piece of paper in an old cookbook from my husband's grandfather who had passed away the year before (right about this same time as this post). I wanted to make galumpkis but couldn't find a recipe that sounded like I remembered them as a kid... then the piece of paper fell out of a book and the rest is blog history. Plus, they were super good!

September
Buckwheat pancakes: I liked these hearty and rustic pancakes a lot. I think I was gravitating toward picking this recipe not because it's overly exciting or creative, but because pancakes are one of my favorite things to make. I didn't make all that many new varieties in 2011 as I have in other years. Note to self for 2012: more pancakes.

October
Apple crumb tart: This month had a couple recipes that I really loved... I chose this tart because it is like an apple pie and an apple crisp all in one, which is wonderful. Plus, fall is my favorite time of year and when I read this recipe it reminds me of crisp leaves and apple picking with the family. I love recipes that remind you of events and people in your life, which this one did as soon as I saw it.

November
Pumpkin gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce: Just the fact that I made homemade gnocchi lands this recipe the top spot for November. I had never eaten gnocchi in my life until our anniversary dinner this month. Once I ate it, I knew I wanted to make a version at home. This pumpkin version is relatively easy to do and completely worth the time. I think that a butternut squash version is on the horizon... 

December
Sugar plums: December was the most difficult month for me to choose! I made so many new treats this Christmas and it was a really tough choice for me between these sugar plums and the Guinness gingerbread... The sugar plums won by a hair simply because they were something completely different for me to make. They felt really old-fashioned and they were so good. All of our family loved them and people (like myself) were all surprised and intrigued to learn that sugar plums are a real thing - and I love when food gets people interested and excited.

Now, Mr. Savory Moments wanted to give his input on his favorites of 2011, too. So we went through each month and these are his picks. Since he is the official taste tester of everything, I value his opinions. Plus, it was fun to see if we picked the same thing or not (mostly not). These are my husband's favorites for each month:

January: Pecan-crusted chicken
February: Roasted sweet potatoes with spinach and cranberries
March: Cheddar and scallion biscuits 
April: Brazilian shrimp stew
May: Chickpea and eggplant phyllo tarts
June: Potato and Swiss chard hash with eggs
July: Korean marinated beef lettuce wraps
August: Stewed okra and tomatoes with andouille sausage
September: Zucchini bread
October: Roasted chicken thighs with garlic cloves
November: Pumpkin gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce
December: Sweet and spiced glazed mixed nuts

Thank you for reading and I'm looking forward to cooking and blogging all sorts of new recipes in 2012! I've got my new camera and three new cookbooks from Christmas to help me get started!

I wish all of you a Happy New Year!

8 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Amy!!! It was fun reading your favorites! I'm going to try that eggplant involintini soon. :)

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  2. Haha, I totally hear you. I wasn't going to post one of these either at first, but I saw a bunch on other sites so I figured I should! The Eggplant involtini looks incredible. It reminds me of eggplant parm, which I love!

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  3. ooh, so many good recipes on here! i'm off to take a look at the galumpkis, mom always used to make them, but i haven't attempted them yet :)

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  4. looks like some great eats this year! I'd love to try that shrimp stew! happy 2012!

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  5. The pumpkin gnochi looks fabulous. Everything looks good but the gnochi would be new to me.

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  6. Your 2011 sure looks delicious. Hope your 2012 is equally full and delicious.

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  7. Happy New Year Amy! Oh wow... what a yummy post full with tasty foods. I'm certainly gonna try your Chickpea & eggplant phyllo tarts. And also your current & ginger scones. I've never make scones before in my life! This will be mt first :)

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