My Favorite Posts of 2012

As if you’re not already fed up to >here< with year-end lists: my favorite posts of 2012! These were recipes that surprised or delighted; that turned out exactly as I had envisioned, or turned out completely differently but in a fabulous way; that I returned to again & again, or ones that I’m sure will be on a yearly seasonal rotation from now on. These are the posts that were fun to write, fun to shoot and fun to eat; and, often most of all, fun to interact with all of you.

Happy New Year, everyone. Be safe out there: I hope you spend the last night of 2012 enjoying good food and good times with the people you love.

tomato-tart3-660Leek & Tomato Tart

This little wonder from David Lebovitz was a revelation: I feel like I made one every other day during the all-too short tomato season. (I even contemplated a version for this year’s holiday party, using fire-roasted canned & sun-dried tomatoes, but I ran out of time & energy to make it happen). Every single time I made it it seemed more delicious than the last. Every single time we attempted to save some, yet finished the entire thing in the blink of an eye. Bookmark this one for next August friends: it is not to be missed.

tomato-chutney1-460Spicy Indian Tomato Chutney

I was skeptical of this recipe at first: too much oil, not enough onion or pepper, too much sugar. And while I found it a bit too sweet going into jars, coming out of them? After a month or so to mellow on the shelf? If I was given to hyperbole I would feel the need to toss out an O.M.G. This has rapidly become one of my very favorite chutneys and I know I will make a much bigger batch next year.

mintchoccupcakes4-460-2Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Red Currant Preserves

I know: cupcakes. The one-woman Anti-Cupcake Crusade not only writes a post about cupcakes, but picks it as a year-end favorite. But this recipe is less about cupcakes than it is about using what you have to make any occasion just a little bit more special. About celebrating the important days without making yourself crazy. About the glory of a no-fail cake recipe and a simple, seasonal jam. I have such great memories of sitting on my back deck in the sun, celebrating Nadine’s birthday with these little gems: despite their cupcake-ness, I’m glad I captured the moment here on the blog.

plumsalsa6-660Shiro Plum & White Corn Salsa

Oh, this salsa. Just looking at the picture brings me right back to July. Cool, crisp, tart, tangy: everything that a summer salsa should be. I think I made it every day for 2 weeks. Next summer, I’ll go for 3.

kalecurry1-460Kale & Potato Curry

Such an unassuming little stew: kale, potatoes, curry. But I find I return to this one again & again; me, the woman who rarely makes the same dish twice. And while I praise most recipes for their adaptability, this one I love just as written: simple, comforting, curry. That reminds me: I need to pick up more coconut milk!

Photo credit: Shae Irving

Photo credit: Shae Irving

Canning Tips & Tricks From Your Favorite Bloggers

This post was a collaboration with some of my favorite canning peeps out there in the Blogosphere. I had so much fun writing it, collecting and compiling so many great tips & ideas from friends and fellow preservers, and then reading all the great reactions, tips and advice from you. Canning: still big in 2013, folks. You heard it here first.

brussel-salad2-460Maple-Glazed Brussel Sprout Salad

I can’t really take any credit for this recipe, as it was barely adapted from the genius version over at Kiss My Spatula. But I’ve made it several times since that original post, and I even managed to wow the family at Thanksgiving, and convert a couple of sprout-haters into sprout-lovers with this one. Never underestimate the power of crunchy, spiced nuts, maple syrup and butter for taming even the most recalcitrant vegetable!

bubbly-meyer-marm1-660Bubbly Meyer Marmalade

Oh, Downton. You know it’s LESS THAN ONE WEEK until Season 3 premieres, right? I have one tiny jar of this marmalade left, carefully squirreled away for the occasion. All I need is high tea, this marmalade, and a fabulous hat, and I can conquer the world. Or at least the couch.

pumpkin-ravioli4-660Pumpkin & White Bean Ravioli

I’m always pleasantly surprised by y’all here at Local Kitchen: when I out myself as a gravy-hater, a pickle-o-phobe or a mustard-eschewer, some of you are always quick to chime in with a heartfelt, “Me, too!” So I was happy to hear that several of you are also tired of the always-sweet, cinnamon-and-clove treatment that pumpkin gets every Fall. This savory pumpkin ravioli was a wonder: garlic, onion, fresh herbs, cellini beans. And it was my first time making homemade ravioli. And I still have some in the freezer. Win-win-win!

chipotlecherries4-460Smoky Chipotle Cherries

Smoky. Chipotle. Cherries. Just the name makes me salivate. It’s just possible that this simple preserve is the best I have ever madeFor all the lousy things that have happened in 2012, I shall endeavor to remember it as The Year I Made Smoky Chipotle Cherries.

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14 comments

  1. What a gorgeous looking blog, the photography is amazing! Very happy to have stumbled across your blog, especially since I happen to live in the Hudson Valley too. I have a stand at a couple of farmers markets through my company so I have a love for local food as well. That said, my blog is about Norwegian cooking, you can check it out here if you’d like: http://arcticgrub.wordpress.com
    Looking forward to following you!

  2. I just came across your blog and think it’s really gorgeous! Love the local concept and the food photos. I’ve specially fallen for your pumpkin and white bean ravioli. Have to try that one!

    As a total newby with my Berlin food & photo blog that I started just a few days ago, may I add your blog to my blogroll?

      • Thank you, also for the good wishes! I have been a food blogger in the German blogosphere since a couple of weeks, but to enter the anglophone sphere with a new blog is quite exciting as the international food community is really huge (and as English is not my mother tongue, so it’s kind of difficult for me to use the right food vocabulary ;-) ).

        Cheers,
        Claudia

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