I’m looking forward to another year of culinary experiments, new ingredients and photography adventures in the kitchen. This blog has become one of the most rewarding learning experiences in my life. Both food and photography have become staple areas of interest and growth for me, largely from the start of this site. And for that, I am thankful.
I am thankful to have passions that have led me to a year full of firsts. My first time roasting coffee, my first time landing a column in a magazine, my first time transforming chickpeas into cookies, and soon to come, my first time successfully brewing my own kombucha. (Cross your fingers for me. I did brew once two years ago, and it was a flop…). All of these adventures have undoubtedly enriched my life. Combined with all of the people who’ve shared this joy with me (both among the blog-o-sphere and those sitting at my own dining room table), I can say 2012 has been a great year.
My goals for 2013: To continue to further my photography, to never stop trying new things, and to remind myself I’m only 22. AKA, I have so many years ahead of me to do all of these things, to put my dreams into action, to meet the world around me. Time is never running out, even if it is almost 2013.
And since the year isn’t even yet over, let’s look back at some of the F-F-F moments in the kitchen. Below, the top 12 of 2012.
Top post of the year: Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Of course my least healthy post of the year also takes the crown for going the most viral. However, I am a firm believer that true health means everything in moderation, and these cookies are definitely worth the occasional splurge.
Best vegetable side kick: Holiday Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries
Sweet, salty and green. That’s a combination I want on the side of every meal.
Best soup: Roasted Apple Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
This was a late night creation that left a huge smile on my face as I headed off to bed. I love when recipes effortlessly work out on the first attempt.
Most worth going the extra step: Kofta Balls with Indian Tomato Sauce
My mom can whip up an incredible Indian feast. This is one of the must-make components on her table full of food.
Best “I can’t believe there’s no heavy cream” recipe: Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder
Not a drop of milk needed for this creamy, incredible chowder.
Best dessert you can feel good about: Strawberry Banana Summer Rolls with Honey Lime Sauce
The grown-up version of PB&J. Perfect for kids, too, and of course for those of us who still want to be a kid every now and then.
Best way to break out of the jar: Tomato Olive Spaghetti
A flavorful sauce that doesn’t need hours to simmer, and will likely make you think twice about buying another jarred version of sauce.
Best healthy vegan comfort food: Pesto Infused Rice with Seitan
You can’t go wrong with pesto. This is rich and satisfying and a great introduction to seitan.
Best anytime dish: Vegan Bean and Sausage Chili
Beans and rice are a go-to in my diet. Hence why I’m not churning out new recipes on this blog everyday. Some meals are meant to repeat. This is one of those meals, spiced up with vegetarian sausage to make it feel like a wintertime special.
Best anytime pasta dish: Pasta with Cauliflower and Capers
Simple and light, the delicate flavors in this dish come together for a meal worth making over and over again.
Best garden summertime dish on the cheap: Curried White Fish Creole
Sometimes dishes like this deliver me a wake up call that salmon is not the only seafood worth cooking.
Best use of tahini outside of hummus: Tahini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Not sure what to do with that half-used jar of tahini left standing in the back of your fridge? Problem solved.