Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in Review: My Picks

Is it just me, or has this been the fastest year ever?  We started things off with a bang with the birth of Henry and Tucker, and things just got better from there.  I cannot even begin to imagine our family without these two sweet sweet babies, but I'll save the sappy stuff for their first birthday post in a few weeks (sob!).  Overall this has been a fabulous year for our family:  Smith has blossomed into a fun-loving and sweet toddler, Caroline started Kindergarten, and Joey passed his CPA exams!  As I mentioned yesterday, this old blog wasn't quite as active as it's been in years past, but looking back through my archives, there was still plenty of deliciousness to choose from!  Here are my favorites from the year:

The Sweet

Apple Cider Caramels were a huge hit, and after snacking on more than my fair share, I used them in these salted caramel apple crumble bars and caramel-stuffed brown butter cookies.  Not bad at all.  The extra step of reducing apple cider down to a thick syrup really takes these little babies to the next level of caramel perfection.

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar is one of my very favorite flavor combos, and to use it in a thick, creamy, and luxurious ice cream makes it even better.  The subtle flavor of the vinegar isn't overpowering here, it just adds an extra complexity and depth of flavor to the ice cream.  I really cannot wait to make this balsamic strawberry ice cream again this spring.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Browned Butter, Nutella, and Sea Salt.  I feel like I don't even need to say anything else here.

When I made this Blueberry-Swirl Bundt Cake, I caught myself eating bite after bite every time I wandered into the kitchen.  It was bright, sweet, and so so good.  And it's perfectly acceptable to eat it for breakfast.

The Savory

Autumnal Chicken Pot Pie has been a family favorite for a few years now, so I was really excited to finally share it with you guys.  It's a pretty standard pot pie, but with the addition of butternut squash, mushrooms, and sage, it definitely takes advantage of beautiful fall produce.  Plus, you cook it in a cast iron skillet - one of my favorite ways to serve dinner!

Here's another recipe I was holding out on you guys - sorry!  Grilled Tuna and Avocado Salad was one of the first dinners I made after we got married, so it's always held a special place in my heart.  It's so bright, fresh, and summery, and man does it make me miss hot weather!

This Flat-Roasted Chicken with Tiny Potatoes was not only one of our favorite dinners of the year, but it also led me to master my spatchcocking technique!  I finally understand what the fuss is about roasted chicken!

Corn Risotto-Stuffed Poblanos combined so many of my favorite things:  sweet corn, risotto, beer, and poblano peppers.  It was such a great summer dinner, and one I'll definitely be repeating for years to come.

It's not very often that I repeat recipes, but this Spicy Cilantro-Grilled Chicken made many appearances on our table this summer.  Served with fresh watermelon and grilled corn on the cob, it really was my favorite summer dinner.  And pssst - the leftovers made some killer nachos!

The Pizza

2013 was the Year of the Pizza.  Seriously, we probably ate homemade pizza 3-4 times a month - both because we love it so much, and because the kids are obsessed with helping me make it.  And out of all the pizza we made and ate, Pizza alla Vodka was by far my favorite. Vodka sauce, spicy sausage, roasted tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.  Yes, please.

I know it sounds really weird to use a corn puree as the sauce on a pizza, but I'm begging you to make this Pizza with Corn, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella this summer.

It may not seem like anything special, but there's something about this Sausage, Provolone, and Spinach Pizza that we just love.  I almost always have all these ingredients on hand, so it's perfect for a last-minute dinner, and it always hits the spot.

The Boozy

Using my ice cream maker to create frozen boozy drinks was a total game-changer for me, and Sangria Slushies were a major home run.  Is it a cocktail?  Is it a dessert?  Who cares!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Josie said...

Look at the pictures and very diverse food all the foods we enjoy is created and the characteristics of the flavor.

Josie said...

I must must must remember to make those poblanos this summer! And your corn pizza was AMAZING. I still dream about it.

Josie said...

The chicken pot pie looks delicious. I love that it is packed with vegetables to change up the flavor.

Josie said...

Josie, your categories are genius. Pizza and booze so deserve their own places. Thank you for another outstanding year!

Josie said...

I cannot wait to make this pizza! It looks delicious!

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