Happy 2018 to you all!
To start off the new year, I thought we'd take a quick jog down memory lane and recap some of my favorite posts. Below, you'll find my 10 favorite posts/recipes of the past year. 2017 definitely had its rough edges (understatement), but it had some great ones too. Aaron and I both started new jobs that we love - Aaron's in a teaching position and mine in publishing...
It was our first full year with Lila...
(photo courtesy of J.M. Fager Photography)
We took our first vacation together (Boston!) - and realized we need to get way better at taking it easy on how many crazy delicious meals we pack into five days...
We went to three of our friends' weddings - one for which I baked a wedding cake! (orange butter cake with orange cream cheese frosting, per the couple's request)
We took a trip to NYC (Aaron's first visit) to stay with our good friends Heather & Josh...
...and their famous dachshund who really wanted my coffee - and who has the most addicting blog.
Aaron and my friends threw me the most magical surprise 30th birthday party of all time...
AND (last but not least) I launched this thing. Not bad for one calendar year!
So in that vein, here (in no particular order) are the top ten posts from 2017. A merry baking to you and a happy new year!
1. patricia egler's fudge nut bars
These somehow manage to make it onto just about any top ten list I might create. They are so versatile, simple to whip up, and the most delicious. Full of silky dark chocolate fudge and a nutty brown sugar and oat crust, they can dress up or down for whatever dessert needs you have.
2. hey pesto! quick quinoa and egg bowls
My favorite quick weeknight dinner is also perfect for any resolutions that may have popped up lately. Delicious and quick as a blink to make (it's ready in 20 minutes with only about 5 minutes of work), it also packs a healthy punch with its quinoa base and egg protein.
3. date & walnut cookies
If food resolutions aren't quite your jam (oh sorry, the jam is the next entry), this batch of date and walnut cookies might just be the ticket. Marginally healthy in that you can technically say you were snacking on dates, these are golden and crispy and melt in your mouth as soon as you bite in.
4. ginberry jam
One of my favorite discoveries of 2017 is that I can in fact make jam. And invent varieties too! I give you my favorite new binge food: ginberry jam. The gin adds a wonderful herbal note to the freshness of the berries and lime. Not too sweet, it's perfect atop a plain slice of toast or dolloped generously on a wheel of brie.
5. DIY candied nuts tins
Brought to you by the New Tab on the Site, this DIY firstborn was a big hit at the Christmas stocking opening last week. It takes just a few items from the Dollar Store and voila! A perfect little tin of goodies is ready. Fair warning: the contents are very addicting.
6. fernet about it - a hot toddy
A post containing one of my favorite stories of the year: the Quest for the Holy (Gr)Ale. Also just a killer hot toddy. Herbal, spiced, and perfect for Autumnal evenings or sub-zero January nights.
7. cutlass potato soup
The equivalent of a warm, snuggly sweater for your stomach. It's comforting, hearty, and oh so very, very delicious. With both bacon and ham, it's a bit indulgent but is really the perfect winter soup.
8. honeyed proscuitto & cambozola crostini
If you want to start the new year off with a fresh round of cheese addictions, let me recommend this cambozola I stumbled across at Trader Joe's. One bite and I was lost. It's a hybrid of triple cream brie and Italian gorgonzola - soft, creamy, and utterly perfect. It's the perfect secret weapon for my favorite fast appetizer.
9. croissant dinner rolls
Representing the bread contingent of this collection, the recipe that has been my holiday assignment since childhood absolutely takes the cake. Or the loaf, as it were. These are at their peak when served warm, with a smear of fresh, melty butter. They pair most excellently with Thanksgiving dinner or your favorite winter soup/stew. (See entry 7 for my own personal recommendation.)
10. brown butter sugar cookies
Last but not least, the iteration of my childhood sugar cookies that is maybe my proudest invention this year. And really, I don't know what more needs to be said about these other than the name. They are just a bit crunchy, ever so melt-in-the-mouth, and with a butterscotchy goodness brought in with the brown butter and brown sugar.
And with that, I'll raise a fresh Lavender 75 to your health and wish you all a most excellent start to your new year.