January 02, 2013

Happy New Year and Looking Back on 2012

Happy New Year!

Hope you’re all off to a great start for 2013!  I had a nice low-key New Year’s Eve drinking craft beer with the boyfriend, and a relaxing New Year’s Day lounging around watching movies.  I had planned on spending this week making tons of new recipes before I get back to school next week, but I’ve been hit by a pretty nasty cold that has me awake all night and energy-less during the day.  Not a great start to the year, but I’m hoping to get through this quickly so I can finally have some new recipes to share with you guys!  Until then, I thought it’d be fun to look back at the past year and make some blog resolutions for the new year!

New Foods/Recipes I Tried Last Year

Jap Chae

I feel like I’m always trying new recipes and new ingredients, but some of the new things that stand out the most from last year are:

Korean cuisine – Before my trip to Seoul this fall I made a few Korean dishes myself – my first time making Korean food!
Doughnuts – I got a mini doughnut pan for Christmas last year and had fun trying out a few recipes with it, like French toast doughnuts and peppermint mocha doughnuts.
Breakfast Quinoa – I need to remember to make quinoa for breakfast more often, it’s such a healthy way to start the day and this chocolate cherry almond quinoa was delicious!
Silken Tofu – I’ve never liked tofu but last year I discovered that silken tofu is a great secret ingredient that makes things light and fluffy without being detectable!  I used it in corn dip and pesto sauce and hope to find a few new ways to use it this year!
Using Booze in Food – Last year I discovered how much I like cooking with wine (as in these red wine lentils and this pasta in a mushroom white wine sauce) and even beer (like this Guinness Dubliner soup or my pumpkin mac and cheese) – both add such unique flavour that nothing else can replicate.

New Foods/Recipes I Want to Try This Year:
I’ve still never made a meal in a crockpot, which is something I must learn how to do!  I also hope to try more Ethnic cuisine at home, I really want to make my own bread more, and I need to make more healthy snacks like homemade granola bars to have around.  Oh and I got a cake pop maker for Christmas so I plan on learning how to use that soon!

New Blog Things I Tried Last Year

5 summer dessert bars

This year I tried to include more posts that were not just about a recipe.  This included more round-up style posts (like 5 summer dessert bars, 5 ways to eat avocado for breakfast, 5 summer quinoa salads, etc.), ‘things I ate’ style posts (like food I ate in Singapore, Thailand, and Korea), theme/idea posts (like baby shower food ideas or food-on-a-stick themed meal), and more personal posts (like my birthday weekend recap). 

These seemed to be received well so I’m going to try to continue to include these types of posts this year!

My 5 Favourite Recipes of 2012

A few days ago I shared the 10 most popular recipes on my blog last year, and now I’ve tried to narrow down my 5 favourites.  In no particular order they are:

Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto

This stands out in my mind not just for its gorgeous colour but because it tasted amazing!

Mini Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Mini Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

I was so proud of this little cheesecake because it was so cute, and I loved the combination of flavours too!

Heart Shaped Personal Pizzas

Another heart-shaped dish, and this really didn’t require a recipe, but how can you not love these?

No-Bake Peanut Butter Lentil Granola Bars

I worked hard to come up with a granola bar recipe that snuck in lentils and ended up loving these so much I made them multiple times!

Apple Pie Bars

One of my fave desserts – a bit of work to prepare but these are so good!

And a couple of honourable mentions:

Recipe I’ve Made the Most Over the Last Year

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

Easy Cheesy Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas – This is probably the easiest recipe on my blog and the dish I always turn to when I don’t feel like making dinner

Recipe I’m Most Proud Of

Mini strawberry & peach pies

Mini Strawberry and Peach Pies – These were a ton of work and I was so proud of how they turned out!

If you have any ideas for things you'd like to see from me this year, let me know!  Cheers to 2013!

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