Oh hey guys!
I started this epic post of my year-in-review, month-by-month, with gads of pictures, and got to April before I was like, geez louise, this is soooooooooo much information! Everyone will be nodding off by May. I tried to throw in some things that didn’t make it on to the blog, like my trip to South Korea, but it got so involved and bam. done with that idea. So instead, we’ll go for a smaller, more manageable theme of 2012: my favorite recipes that I created and posted.
In no particular order (oh, I mean in chronological order):
This pasta salad is the best pasta salad. If you like food that’s really delicious. I made this a handful of times this spring, and have been thinking about it again. The combination of dill and lots of veggies and Wayfare’s sweet and salty bacon bits blends together to create the perfect flavor and texture combination.
Oh, hello, little beauties. These treats are not really what you could classify as ‘healthy’ but they are no-bake and gluten-free and contain nuts and are sweetened with dates, so for a little indulgence, they’re healthy-ish. They’re so fun to make and take only a couple of minutes. Once made, keep refrigerated and pop out for a little bite of birthday bliss.
With a nut-based crust and coconut milk-based sweetened condensed milk, these magic bars are seriously—really and truly—100% magical. I’m not kidding you guys. Just eat one and you’ll know what I’m talking about. These give you POWERS, man. Or maybe it’s just the sugar high from the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and sweet and creamy milk layer.
Kale salads are the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees…they really float my boat and blow my skirt up, if you know what I mean. And this one—with tangy cranberries, sweet strawberries and omega 3-rich hemp hearts was one of my favorites of the many many many many kale salads I had this year.
Spaghetti Squash, and the people that eat it, use to confuse me. But now I’m happily a believer. In addition to being adorable and fun to make, these really do taste like spaghetti (when you top it with traditional red sauce and Italian herbs).
This recipe for chocolate cupcakes goes way back to an index card in my mom’s kitchen, which I think she got from her mom—it’s a recipe from the Depression era when most families couldn’t afford eggs and dairy (Hmmmm. Was this before they were subsidized? Was the Depression era a reason WHY the dairy and egg industry became subsidized? Something to file in my ‘Things to Google’ task list.). This chocolate cupcake (or cake) recipe is very simple and made from a handful of common pantry ingredients. The frosting is also a recipe from my baking days in high school, just veganized. The marzipan pumpkins, fingers and skulls came about through a process of Googling and trial-and-error (and stained orange & red hands).
This recipe is Halloween-specific, but the cupcakes can be made any time, and you can do whatever your heart desires with marzipan (santa hats! easter eggs! spring flowers! american flags! champagne bottles! OMG Champagne Bottles!).
I’m still planning to do a bunch of Christmas baking this year—chex mix and muddy buddies (oh hey! I can use Earth Balance coconut peanut butter this year!) and cookies and truffles and the usual goodies. Just praying (in my agnostic way. So, hoping.) that my family can fight their way through the blizzard in Southern Oregon and make it up in time for Christmas (anyone know any good red-nosed reindeers?) to join in.