December 31, 2012

A look back at 2012

2012 is just about over and it's time to reflect upon the year... Last year was the first time I did a "best-of" post and I really enjoyed it. This is the list of my favorite recipes for each month in 2012. I've challenged myself this past year to make many new things and have started to delve a little bit more into regional cuisines. I'm excited to have received some great cookbooks for Christmas and am looking forward to all the new ingredients, recipes, and techniques I'm going to continue to learn in 2013. Thanks to everyone who takes to time to read and comment on my journey to learn more and more about food and cooking.

Potato and cheddar pierogi: I chose these for January because it was the first time I ever made pierogi. It was a completely new technique for me and I enjoyed it a lot. Now I have made these same pierogis again and even one filled with kabocha squash. They are definitely worth the time and effort.

Kao Soi: This month was easy because hands-down Kao Soi was my favorite thing I made. I kid you not when I say that I have had dreams about this dish that is a favorite of mine from my travels in northern Thailand. Lucky for me, my Thai friend gave me the best recipe she could using ingredients you can find here in most Asian markets. When I made this soup, the smell transported me back halfway around the world. There's a reason this dish is famous in Chiang Mai.

Fudgy coconut brownies: March was a difficult month for me, and I actually feel sad when I look back at these posts because they take me back to that place.... However, I'm picking these decadent, gooey, and delicious brownies because they will help to cheer anyone up when they are feeling down. Plus, they were my first homemade brownies and they use coconut oil.

Carrot cake pancakes: Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. I request it from my mom almost every year for my birthday and it was the flavor of my wedding cake. When I realized I could take the flavors of my favorite cake and make it for breakfast - I knew it was meant to be. The cream cheese and maple topping makes these extra spectacular!  

Rhubarb bars: This was a tough call between these bars and this spiced rhubarb cake. These bars came out just slightly ahead because they were such a different application for rhubarb for me. I loved these bars - they were sweet and tart and the shortbread crust gave them great texture.

Farfelle with summer squash and garlic scape pesto: I chose this dish mainly because of the garlic scape pesto - it was so delicious. It was pungent with garlic flavor and so bright and colorful. It paired perfectly with the pasta and delicate summer squash. Garlic scapes are fleeting, so I like taking advantage of these special ingredients while they are available. 

Avocado-lime ice cream: Last summer was really, really hot. And, I got an ice cream maker. It was difficult to chose my favorite recipe of July because there were my first three ice creams in there. I chose this one though because it just really pretty and unique - plus it's pretty healthy!

Warm Mexican corn salad: I chose this salad basically because it was amazing! My husband and I scarfed it down loving every bite. It's creamy, spicy, sweet, salty, and just plain good. You need to use sweet corn to get the proper balance of flavors. 

Tomato jam: This is like a fancy ketchup for adults. I've been enjoying this jam a lot. It's really great on scrambled eggs, with a cheese plate, or as a glaze on top of a meatloaf. I also chose this because it was the only thing I canned this year! That is something I look forward to doing more of when I have a larger kitchen and a garden.  

German sweet and sour red cabbage: I made a lot of yummy desserts in October, but this cabbage still stuck out to me when I was going through this month's recipes. I made this for an Octoberfest dinner and was very pleased with the results. I'm excited to say I just got The German Cookbook for Christmas. This is a cuisine I will be exploring more in the near future.

Old fashioned pumpkin pie: OK, November was the most difficult month for me to choose and I'm still not 100% sure of my choice. Honestly though, my husband and I loved this pie. I would think about it all day and look forward to eating a piece after dinner. Also, it was the first time I made a pumpkin pie from a sugar pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin. I almost chose pumpkin pie ice cream or Borscht.... But, I'm still going with this pie. I'd love to have a piece of it right now.
Honey-cinnamon coconut snowballs: December is another difficult month for me to choose my favorite. I picked these because they are a healthy treat full of good fats and they are simple (no bake). With all the sugar heavy, refined flour, and other not-so-good-for-you treats of the holidays, these are a welcome change. I've been looking more into traditional diets and these are a treat that you can feed to people who are Paleo, gluten-free, etc.  

Some other recipes I was really excited about in 2012 include: Moroccan stewed beef with prunes and apricots, cheddar-broccoli soup (ala Panera), spiced rhubarb cakelavender-honey frozen custard, apple-turkey burgers with cranberry-apple relish, Borscht, and pumpkin pie ice cream, and maple-pecan pie, and West African chicken and peanut stew.

The most popular reader recipe from 2012 based on number of page views is: Mexican macaroni and cheese.  

Now it's time for my husband (AKA the official taste-tester) to chose his favorites. I love to see whether or not we pick the same things - this year we only had a few.

Some of my food and cooking goals of 2013 include learning more about foraging, lots of German cooking, and learning more about traditional diets such as fermenting foods (sauerkraut, sourdough, kefir) and eating fewer grains. 

Happy New Year! 


  1. You served up so much delicious food this year and it's been so much fun following along! I need to remember to make that avocado ice cream. mmm....

  2. Hi Amy, your Jan to Dec food are so delicious and appetizing.
    Happy New Year to you and wish you all the best in 2013.

  3. This is some good stuff right here. I'm going to have to try the carrot cake pancakes and the coconut brownies.

  4. What a great roundup. I'd have to say my favourite of these is those gorgeous looking rhubarb bars. Happy New Year xx

  5. so many great recipes! I'm wishing those pancakes will be here when I wake-up!

  6. I love how you had your husband pick his favorites too! I really want to make some tomato jam this summer. Have a Happy New Year Amy! I'm looking forward to another year of your delicious recipes.

  7. What a lovely round up, its making me drool! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  8. What an awesome and delicious year! My favorite was the Potato & Cheddar Pierogi, me being Polish and all!

  9. Love the pierogi recipe! Trying it out in the new year :)

  10. Yum! What a collection! I NEED to try the perogie recipe!

  11. Great round up! You definitely made a lot of delicious food in 2012. Looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings - happy new year!

  12. Those pierogis look so good! They remind me of the varenyky I had in Ukraine and I loved them. I'm definitely making these and then those brownies. :) Okay everything you made looks fantastic.

    Best wishes for a fantastic 2013!

  13. Great roundup! I love how you picked a favorite from each month! Definitely need to try the avocado ice cream...

  14. What an impressive list of best ofs! You made so many different and creative recipes. I love that you included your hubbies "best ofs". My husband and I would have different lists I'm sure!

  15. yum. what a tasty year :) can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!

  16. That Kai Soi does look incredible and I can see why it was one of your favorite things to make...Happy 2013!!!!

  17. Beautiful collection of recipes Amy! To many more creative ideas for the 2013!

  18. You had an absolutely amazing year of food!

    Some of OSS recipes literally made my mouth water.

    Happy new year and here's to 2013 being even better than 2012!


  19. I want to eat all of that! Everything you makes looks so good. I hope this year is just as good, if not better!


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