Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Retrospective: 2014 in Review

It seems somewhat crazy to me that we're already at a point for a "best of" post for 2014.  I mean, 2013 really didn't end all that long ago, did it?
According to my post list, I made 87 new  recipes this year.  That's more than 1 per week, and really exciting, when you think that the Magazine Challenge requires more than 1 per week.  I made 38 recipes from Everyday Food as a part of said Magazine Challenge that I've managed to blog.  There are a few more that will come up early in January.  This is also the year that I joined the Secret Recipe Club and started posting a recipe once per month from that source.  I also participated in my first multi-blogger event this year with the #10DaysofTailgate, which I loved!  I've signed up for another event in February, and have already started making recipes to get ready for that.  I also had a weekly menu featured on the Canadian Food Bloggers site, and started playing around with Twitter.  Finally, I started filling my freezer this fall to keep us eating at home and on track.
Now, let us relive the best of this year that J and I have eaten from our kitchen on the mountain.  I present to you now a Things I Make (for Dinner) retrospective:

Best thing from the Secret Recipe Club:  This is difficult, seeing as we loved everything I made.  Secret Recipe Club was my first foray into the wider world of blogging, and gave me a boost in audience every month.  My most viewed recipe was the Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Shells - the first thing I ever made.  They're decadent and delicious.  The Peanut Butter Cup Pie I made for my birthday was decadent and delicious too...and I loved it.  But I am most likely to make again the Southwestern Shepherd's Pie.

Best thing from the Magazine Challenge, Year 2:  This is hard.  I've made a couple of things that are good, but are still on my camera.  Our favourite entree from this year's challenge was either the Cheddar Horseradish Burgers or the Chicken Tandoori Burgers.  The best dessert was the Raspberry Trifle I made for Christmas, which I have yet to blog.  But the Crunchy Ice Cream Loaf was a winner too.  The one thing I made from Everyday Food that I still talk about a lot was from the previous year:  Stuffed Onions.

Best Freezer Meal:  This was the year we started to use the freezer to our advantage - freezing meals for busy nights so we wouldn't be tempted to eat out.  We still probably eat out more than we should, but we did manage to cut down on that trend this fall...until we ran out meals in the freezer.  It's front-labour intensive, but so worth the results.  The Baked Spaghetti  was so good, and so easy, but our hands-down favourite were the Beef and Cheddar Pastry Pockets.  I made the leftover prime rib from Christmas into 6 more pockets for the freezer for the new year.  Yum.

Best thing from Pinterest:  I've become more choosy in what I pin on Pinterest.  I reorganized my boards this year, and I think it's made things even harder to find.  I keep forgetting I have boards like my "Dessert" and "Breakfast" boards, and still pin everything to my "Recipes to Try".  I also pin a ton of Budget Bytes recipes to that board, and they're all delicious and things that I know I'll make.  Budget Bytes gets its own category, so either the Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins  or the Chocolate Cream Pie or perhaps the Ben's Chocolate Ice Cream was the best.  It's a toss up.  Apparently, I like making desserts from Pinterest.

Most Spectacular Dessert:  Probably the Butterscotch Torte I made for my mother's birthday.  It was beautiful and delicious.

Best Budget Bytes Recipe:  I love Beth.  I love her food.  The Monterrey Chicken Skillet was surprising as something we loved, and her Bacon and Spinach Skillet was amazing.  But the best thing that I've made a few times is the Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  It's divine.  I would encourage you to check out her site at Budget Bytes.

Best Recipe:  This is tough.  If we look at it from a "make again" standpoint, It's the Cheddar-Beef Pastry Pockets.  If it's dessert, it's the Chocolate Cream Pie.  Perhaps we call that the best meal, and call it a day.

Here's to good eating in 2015!

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