looking back on 2012: my favorite recipes of the past year

January 2nd is my husband’s birthday and I hate to say it but I’m not on top of things this year. There is no cake at the ready, but that will come soon enough. He’s picked one out, I just need to bake it. But after the sweet-overload that was Christmas, it’s always so hard to think about baking up something so sweet. But I do it for love and truthfully, it’s been a while since I’ve eaten a good birthday cake. In the meantime, one of my favorite things to do to start the new year is to look back at all my recipe favorites from the past year. After my first go-around through my archives, I selected over 26 recipes from 2012 and I’ve narrowed them down to just 12 to keep things neat & tidy. I have to say it was a bit tough, especially deciding on what recipe would take the last spot, but maybe that’s because I’m pretty awful at making decisions.

If you’ve had your favorites from the past year, let me know in the comments…especially if I’ve missed one you’ve treasured. I love to know these things!

Previous recap posts: 20112010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

glorious bowl | everybody likes sandwiches

Glorious Bowl. This is what I should be eating right now. It’s the ideal way to make peace with the season by eating something fresh, colourful and good. Sub in any vegetable you have on hand – grate it, slice it, tear it up. Add a base of rice or grain. Roasted nuts are necessary. But it’s the dressing that makes this dish magic. Nutritional yeast flakes, soy, garlic, tahini, and apple cider vinegar blend to make a vinaigrette that is bold and totally crave-worthy. I’m making this now.

late summer stewed vegetables | everybody likes sandwiches

Late Summer Stewed Vegetables. This meal changed my mind on using up the vegetables that I thought I didn’t really like. Turns out that I don’t have to wince while eating zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes when they’re done right. And stewing these summer veg long and slow with just the right kiss of spice can make all the difference. I loved this and happily ate the leftovers. Serve alongside your favorite wine and a crusty loaf of bread and you’ve got the rustic kind of fare that magazines write about.

Ozark Pudding Cake | Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Ozark Pudding Cake. Here I go mentioning cake again. I urge each and everyone of you to go and make this cake. I loved it. My husband loved it. And my in-laws loved it. It’s not a traditional fluffy kind of cake. Instead it’s crammed with apples, nuts and dried cranberries and surrounded by a crusty, chewy batter. It sounds odd, but it’s absolutely delightful. Make sure to have some good vanilla ice cream handy too!

sesame dip of goodness | everybody likes sandwiches

Sesame Dip of Goodness. Since I wrote about this dip back in February, it has found its way into my monthly recipe repertoire. When friends over for a games night or a dinner party, I make this dip. If I’m feeling snacky and want to gorge on carrots and celery (yes, this happens to me), I make this dip. Soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds and an equal mix of yogurt and mayo. That’s my recipe for success. I’ve used all mayo when I’m out of yogurt and used all yogurt when I’m out of mayo, but I think the blend of the 2 makes the ideal texture. I’m a super fan.

southern style ribs | everybody likes sandwiches

Super Tender Dry-Rubbed Ribs with a Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce. Our first party in our new apartment called for a big ol’ cookout and going whole hog. I made ribs for the first time and it was a total success. I still have friends who talk about those ribs. I still talk about those ribs. And that super delicious barbecue sauce that hit all the right notes.

the best chocolate chip cookies ever | everybody likes sandwiches

The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. Okay, I didn’t think I could get swayed by a chocolate chip cookie. I was wrong. This year, I made 2 fantastic chocolate cookies and this is one of them (the other one involved whole wheat flour and it was also revelatory). Chocolate chip cookie, I’m officially making my peace with you.

southwest potato salad | everybody likes sandwiches

Southwest Potato Salad. Sweet, zingy, spicy, this yam and black bean salad should be made right now. It’s got flavours associated with summertime and bright happy colours to go along with it. Healthy and colourful, it’s an instant love affair. I’ve got black beans soaking on my counter and plan on making this soon. You should get on it too.

rosemary lemonade from everybody likes sandwiches

Rosemary Lemonade. I lived on this stuff during the summer. Refreshing, a little sour, and a nice hint of herbaceous rosemary to elevate this bevy to something real special. Bring on summer, I’m ready. Or, you know, I can wait another 6 months. Whatever.

broccoli spinach soup | everybody likes sandwiches

Broccoli Spinach Soup. Don’t let this soup fool you into thinking you know what this soup is about, because I’ll bet you’re wrong. This ain’t that boring broccoli soup. Go on, just try it. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love this & make it a part of your cooking regimen. It’s light, it’s voluminous and it’s sensual. Well, as sensual as soup can be.

fresh apple spice cookies | everybody likes sandwiches

Fresh Apple Spice Cookies. Eating apples out of hand is great, but tossing some chopped apples into cookies? Brilliant. Especially when the cookie is also chock full of heady autumn spices. Cloves and cinnamon, I’m looking at you. And don’t forget the raisins and walnuts to make them even better. Oh, and they’re made with whole wheat flour which makes them equally good to snack on for breakfast.

greek baked chicken

Greek Lemon Chicken. I love how the simplest meals can be the best. This is one of those dinners. Chicken thighs, lemon juice, garlic and oregano combine to make an extremely flavourful meal that transports you to a Greek island sandy white beach. Or something. During the summer, we grilled this outside on the bbq and it was finger licking delicious.

red lentil mexican soup | everybody likes sandwiches

Red Lentil Mexican Soup with Lime. Clearly I’m in love with Mexican flavours which is perhaps why I’m thinking of visiting Mexico City in the coming months. This soup is one of those clear out the pantry type meals that I rely on so much. It’s a big bowl of spicy comfort and everyone needs a little comfort come January.

elsewhere: I’ve got my favourite top 12 list over at Poppytalk this week. And last week I made one of my favorite salads of recent times, this fantastic Thai Beef salad. Check  them out!

13 comments to “looking back on 2012: my favorite recipes of the past year”

  1. 1
    Joanne   January 2, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I made way too few of these in the last year even though I bookmarked them! Definitely going to be made in 2013!! Happy new year. 🙂

  2. 2
    Karen   January 2, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Thanks for yet another great year of kitchen inspiration! I always look forward to reading your blog — it’s the highlight of my week. While I always love all your recipes, I particularly loved the breakfast ones this year — like the creamy spiced oatmeal and the pumpkin granola (which I make on a weekly basis!), and the apple cinnamon oats that you posted for poppytalk. Have an awesome and delicious 2013!

  3. 3
    Sues   January 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Oh yum! I would die to have those ribs in front of me right now 🙂

  4. 4
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe   January 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you for the reminder about that Ozark Pudding Cake – I still need to make it! Happy 2013! And happy birthday to your husband!

  5. 5
    jess   January 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    The southwest potato salad is a household favorite… meaning that it is in regular rotation… a rarity at our house. Thanks for that awesome recipe, I keep sending it to everyone I know. Also, it is a recipe I don’t change at all, another rarity. Favorite!

  6. 6
    Danabee   January 2, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Golden Squash Chocolate Chip Loaf!

    Thank you for your fun blog. I enjoy it a lot. Happy New Year!

  7. 7
    foodwithpictures   January 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Added a few of those to my “must try soon” list…. thanks and happy new year!

  8. 8
    Petra   January 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Happy New Year.
    I have been a silent follower for quite some time. I really enjoy your blog, your recipes and your gift with words. I made quite a few of your dishes in the past. Tonight I mad creamy vegan carrot ginger soup and it is delish! The perfect soup to brighten up a cold winter evening. Thank you.

  9. 9
    kickpleat   January 4, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Thanks Joanne, have a great new year too!

    Karen, thank you!!! Such kind words to hear – I’m glad you’re enjoying the breakfast recipes! Happy new year to you!

    Sues, I know how you feel 🙂

    Oh, Amanda, I think you’ll love it. Thanks!

    Glad to hear it, Jess. I love that salad so much too.

    Good call, Danabee! I almost forgot about that one. It’s a keeper for sure 🙂

    Thanks, foodwithpictures!

    Petra, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I love hearing from readers, so thank you! And a good reminder about that soup…I haven’t made it in a while. Thank you.

  10. 10
    Rocky Mountain Woman   January 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I somehow missed the pudding cake! I never pass up a cake you can make in an iron skillet….

    must try this weekend!



  11. 11
    Joanne (Bijoux)   January 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Happy New Year Jeannette!!!
    Thanks for this list of your 2012 faves!
    I have to get around to making some of them, scratch that…I meant pretty much all of them!
    I did make the chocolate chip cookies but with walnuts and sent them on their way to a gathering. I tried 2 when they were fresh out of the oven and they were truly a winner for me! I also received some great feedback from the other tasters. So there you go, further endorsement that they are ‘the best ever chocolate chip cookie!’

  12. 12
    Connie L (Real Food Family Meals)   January 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks for the year in review! I just discovered your blog at the end of the year, so I missed most of these. I am most excited to try the Ozark Pudding Cake and the Sesame Dip.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   January 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    RMW, pudding cake!!! it’s the best, really. Enjoy it!!

    Joanne, happy new year to you too. Hope it’s a great one. And I think walnuts go great with chocolate chip cookies, good call.

    Thanks for stopping by, Connie! Hope you give ’em a try!

Leave a comment