I love that I’m still listening to Christmas music in the last couple days of 2012! I have only been listening to it for about 12 days so I actually am enjoying each song and I don’t feel harassed when I hear an old classic! Something about the lack of the constant abuse of Christmas music in the shops and stores here in England really help to enjoy the holidays a little bit more.
What was your favorite Christmas song this past year? Do you stick to the classics or do you prefer a few original, unconventional songs? I prefer the latter and I found this gem by Colbie Caillat that I simply just don’t want to stop listening to! Don’t you love those songs??
Alright, on to the gems of 2012!
Let’s start with the garden!
Our garden was simply massive this year! We planted something like twenty different veg with varying success and it made for a great experience! Mei really learned to garden quickly and fell in love with the tomatoes. The only crop that I was truly disappointed in was the potato box. I think we will have to rig it up a bit differently next year, but we WILL try it again!! Our entire family had the best time working in the garden and eating all that we managed to grow!
French Fridays with Dorie was pretty darn fantastic as well! There were a few assigned recipes that we have made at least a dozen times since the initial assignment – one of the parts of French Fridays that I love the most!
- The Bacon, Egg & Asparagus Salad – it was an amazing salad, bite for bite!
- Lime, Honey, Beet Salad – I rediscovered a taste for beets.
- Dover Sole Meuniere - you simply just couldn’t count the number of times we have eaten this one!
- Simply the most surprising recipe of the year, Eggplant “Tartine” with Tomatoes, Olives and Cucumbers!
We were also graced with a new cook this year, Miss Emily Ruth, on July 13 and she is really growing quickly! Every day provides new opportunities for her to show us what she knows and Mei & Emily have such a special bond already! They both are going to be great helpers in the kitchen really soon!
My favorite recipes for this year!
- Nutella Chip Cookies. I am now a Nutella convert. In cookie-form only.
- Rhubarb Cherry Pie. This was for my husband especially and it was finger-lickin’ delicious!
- Peach Earl Grey Jam. UH. MAZE. EN. period.
- My first successful pull-apart pot roast. Thank you Pioneer Woman, my husband now swoons when this comes up on our weekly menu plan!
- I embraced the artichoke and made a tantalizingly delicious pasta with loads of artichoke hearts!
- Felix Felicis. It will save your hinney every time you have a sore throat or cough. It’s just darn good and makes for an excellent accompaniment to a tall summer glass of iced tea!
- Oysters Rockefeller. An old classic that makes me really want to be a part of the Mad Men world and sip on a martini – even if it made me violently ill hours later. We since learned that pregnancy hormones and oysters have had a foul past, for whatever reason, they just don’t get along, even if you like & eat oysters regularly when your not pregnant….
The best discovery of the year simply must be our CSA, Abel & Cole! They deliver a box of fresh veggies each week and we have discovered a love for a few new varieties of veg and tried veg that we had never considered or known about before also – which has been exciting and fun for us! Plus, there is the added benefit of supporting our local farmers which helps us to eat more seasonally and support sustainability. Who can say no to that?
It has also spawned my series “What’s In My Box” on Tuesdays where I showcase the veg we received and what we did with each bit of it.
One of my regular features as of late, has been Slow Cooker Sundays in which I feature a new and exciting slow cooker recipe. It has been an integral part of making more time for myself and for my husband and I to do the things we want to do together, alone and as a family – a lifesaver when navigating the choppy waters that is learning to be parents to two young children. So far, this is our favorite slow cooker recipe this year! Moroccan Chicken!
Lastly, my most viewed post of 2012 was the Orange Fluff JELLO Salad that I made for Mei’s birthday!
That wraps up 2012! What are you doing differently or more of in 2013?