Well, it has been a fab year in my kitchen, that’s for sure. We have been remarkably consistent about eating good, homemade food and I’m also pretty proud of the fact that we’ve shared many meals with another family going through rough times. It wasn’t always easy to get food to the table, but I’m really glad we persevered and I feel like we’re healthier for it. We made a ton of family favorites, but we tried new recipes just about every week and now we have some great new family favorites! I’m going to try to share those in the new year.
Recipes We Made Most Frequently: We have a lot of family favorites that I made on a nearly monthly basis, including veggie-heavy spaghetti, shepherd’s pie, turkey chili, berry french toast and sloppy joes. Recipes that have achieved the level of “New Family Favorite:” We absolutely LOVE Iowa Girl’s Homemade Hamburger Helper and Chicken Gumbo (a fair few other of her recipes too) and Skinnytaste’s Loaded Potato Soup and Swedish Meatballs. We also make Crack Broccoli or Broccamole almost every week!
Favorite Breakfast of the Year: I can almost always get a great showing on steel cut oats cooked with either milk or water (though milk is creamier) and little pieces of apple and craisins and as a bonus we almost always have the ingredients. On the other hand, Berry French Toast is the most requested.
Handmade Masterpiece: I tried making caramels again this year and this time had great success with Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Cider Caramels. We made two batches and they were a HUGE hit.
Best Recipe Sources: In past years I’ve gotten a lot of recipes from magazines, but this year I’ve really moved all digital. I did glean a few from books during my Cookbook Challenge, but I find much better recipes online these days.
Tool of the year: As usual, I made excellent use of our stand mixer and food processor, but I really got into the stick blender this year. I used it on a ton of different soups and to make dressings and marinades. My mom had the great idea to get me a new one for Christmas and this one has a detachable blade. YAY!
Goals for 2013: The dinners have been great and I want to keep that up, but we need to figure out some other lunch options for Tabby. Without the ability to heat up food, she is frequently left with just a sandwich. So I need to figure out some other things for her to eat.