Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A look back at 2014

It's hard to believe another year is just about over. On a personal level, 2014 was a difficult one. As will be apparent from the lack of posts to choose from this past summer, there were a few months where this blog took a back seat to some difficulties we had to endure. However, when I look back though all these posts, I'm happy to say it was still another great year of recipes! I'm always amazed when I think that I'm able to create all these wonderful dishes right in my kitchen. As always, I'm thankful to all my readers who make blogging worth while - I love all of your comments, kind words, and support. I'm looking forward to another great food year in 2015 (and hopefully a wonderful year all-around). I've been thinking about something that I want to get better at making and that answer is PIE. So, I've decided that I'll be making and posting 25 Pies in 2015! Look for the first one to come in January. 

Now here are my favorite recipes from each month of 2014, followed by my husband's (aka the official taste-testers) favorites. Some month's are so difficult to pick just one, but I've done my best. 

Happy New Year!  


January
Saag Paneer (with Homemade Paneer): This recipe was such a fulfilling one all around - plus it's really two recipes in one! First you have a recipe for the whole dish, but there's also a step-by-step recipe for making your own Paneer. If you haven't tried this yet, please do. Not only is is so delicious and flavorful, but it's really rewarding (and easy) to make the homemade cheese!

February
Soft Pretzels with Cheddar-ale Dipping Sauce: Homemade hot soft pretzels -- I mean, come on... what's not to love? They are even more amazing when paired with a dipping sauce made from ale, cheddar, and pickled jalapenos.

March
Spaghetti Squash & Bacon Casserole: This dish is basically a baked version of carbonara except with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. It's so good you guys. Believe me. I am still stunned that there was a time when I didn't care for spaghetti squash... 

April
Lemon Buttermilk Pie: As much as I love chocolate, I really love lemon in desserts. It's so refreshing and the tang really helps it from becoming overly sweet. This pie was a huge hit and I love it! My quest to become an expert pie maker continues....

May
German Egg Pancakes: As is ever-apparent on my blog, I love pancakes. There's no shortage of flavors and varieties that I've tried and posted. These old-fashioned little gems from the Pennsylvania Dutch are one of my favorites now though. They are hearty and protein-packed and you can put whatever seasonal fruits on top that you like!

June
Stovetop Kettle Corn: This was one of our favorite snacks this summer. Learning to make kettle corn at home is both wonderful and dangerous because you will want to eat it all the time! I've never posted a popcorn recipe on this blog before and then this year I posted two (this one and salted caramel corn with peanuts). Funny how that works!

July
Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream: Shockingly, it looks like I only posted two new ice cream recipes in 2014 - this one and honey orange sherbet (which I was going back and forth about posting as my favorite for March). This ice cream was so velvety and creamy from the cream cheese. It was a definite winner!

August
Thai-style Omelets: At first glance these may not look like anything spectacular, but this quick and easy meal is something that anyone who has been to Thailand has enjoyed. These omelets are seasoned with fish sauce, scallions, and lime juice and served over a bed of warm Jasmine rice. All you need are some scallion greens and Sriracha for a quick light summer supper or lunch anytime.

September
Chicken & Apple Indian Curry: This meal is a show-stopper! I'm not kidding at all when I say that you will be blown away when you try it. It's packed full of flavors and the addition of apples makes it unique. We ate this meal several times this fall after we went apple picking!

October
Green Tea Jelly: This was a difficult month to chose, but I'm going with this green tea jelly because it's so unique. Plus, this recipe was my first attempt at making homemade pectin from green apples which was a terrific skill to learn! I think that this is actually my only canning recipe of the year as well!? We gave these for Christmas gifts and everyone was excited and intrigued by the use of green tea to make jelly. We've eaten this as is but also used it to make a sauce for stir-fry by adding some soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger - it was delicious!

November
Pepperoni Pizza-stuffed Spaghetti Squash: I can't even believe that I'm posting two spaghetti squash recipes as favorites! Wow! That really says a lot about my new-found love for this winter squash. There's nothing about this meal that isn't wonderful. All the flavors of pepperoni pizza are mixed with a baked spaghetti squash, then stuffed back in, topped with cheese, and baked again. It's drool-worthy. 

December
Orange-scented Cranberry Cake with Sugared Cranberries: This cake takes the cake for December because it was so pretty and because it finally gave me the opportunity to make sugared cranberries (oh and it was very tasty, too!) I made this cake for my mom's birthday celebration and it was a winner! 

Some of my other favorites of the year include Carnitas (cooked in home-rendered lard), Salted Preserved Lemons (one of my fermentation projects this year), Honey-Orange Sherbet, Chicken Liver Pate (in my quest to use more offal...), Honey Walnut Pie, Pumpkin Pie French Toast, Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, and Buffalo Chicken Chili.

Now it's time for Mr. Savory Moment's picks for 2014!  
It's always fun to see if we pick the same things or not - this year there were only a few.
January: Carnitas
August: Blueberry Pie

Check out other year-end favorites from 2013, 2012, and 2011.

18 comments:

  1. These all look good! I hope you have a wonderful New Year! :)

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  2. They look awesome, Amy!
    Happy New Year!
    Angie

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  3. Those soft pretzels with cheddar-ale dipping sauce are happening for sure. Wishing you lots of happiness and more delicious recipes in 2015! I'm already excited about the pies. :)

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  4. You've shared some great recipes this year! I love soft pretzels and your lemon buttermilk pie looks amazing! 25 pies in 2015? What a fun goal!

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  5. I love seeing both your favorite recipes of the year and your husband's! Happy New Year from New Zealand!

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  6. Here's wishing you a wonderful 2015! Love your roundup - the cherry cheesecake icecream catches my eye in particular.

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  7. Ooo that pepperoni stuffed spaghetti squash looks amazing! Thanks for sharing yours and your husbands favorites! Happy New Year!

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  8. I love your favorites list Amy! It has so been so fun getting to know you this last year. I am completely looking forward to more posts in 2015. I wish you the best success! Keep up the good work!

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  9. What a delicious year you've had and I'm so glad we've been friends. Here's to a Happy New Year and a terrific 2015!

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  10. So much deliciousness in one post! 2014 was definitely a year for great food for you Amy! Happy New Year! :D

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  11. It has been a fantastic year Amy and so glad we have connected. I really loved your Saag Paneer (with Homemade Paneer). I would really love to try to make that soon. Wishing you a super 2015!

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  12. A great year of recipes:). Hope you have a happy and safe New Year. Looking forward to your blog posts next year:)

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  13. great choices from both of you! Happy 2015 and may it hold all that you need :)

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  14. What a wonderful food year you had, Amy! And, all of this goodness despite enduring other troubles. (The same thing happened with me this past year with illness that kept me away from blogging.) I like how you added your husband's favorites, too! I did that last year with my husband and it was fun. :) Wishing you and yours all the best in the New Year!

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  15. Amy:
    I am glad that although you had to endure some difficulties this year, you was able to cook and deliver great recipes. Your cranberry cake was my fave of them all. Simple yet so delicious! Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2015!

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  16. I'm sorry you had some tough times, but I hope 2015 will be better and brighter. I think my favorite from this list is the pretzels with cheese sauce. Yum.

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  17. Hi Amy,
    May the new year be filled with joy, peace and happiness! Hope you'll have a great 2015, cheers to a great start !

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  18. You made a lot of delicious food Amy! I can see why it's hard to pick favorites. I'm sorry you had some bad times last year. I hope 2015 is your best year yet!

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