Our Favorite Recipes of 2011

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As we look back on all the recipes of 2011, we have favorites from some new adventures that we started this year. In January we began working with The Kids Cook Monday, sharing recipes that the whole family can help make together. And in August I began a new creative endeavor near and dear to my heart. I call it The Farm Project, and it takes me to farms all over Northern Virginia photographing them in all the seasons and making dishes with foods produced by the farms.

As always our favorites are the recipes that we make over and over again, the dishes that everyone goes back for seconds (or thirds) on.

I made these mini spiced pumpkin Bundt cakes with maple glaze as part of the a photo shoot at Wegmeyer Farms in the fall. The mini cakes are just the right size for dessert, and our boys licked the glaze off the plates.

This year I finally posted the Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) that I make every year for our anniversary because our tenth anniversary, which we celebrated last year, was extra special. We shared our honeymoon and anniversary story and recipes for our favorite German dishes with the wonderful people at Where Women Cook, and they included it in their book Where Women Cook: Celebrate!, which was released this fall.

I’ve been making my own hummus for years, since moving back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia in the mid 90’s, and I’ve been experimenting with flavors for almost as long, and I have to say that this harissa hummus is my new favorite. The flavor with the smoky homemade harissa sauce is addictive.

The classic Mexican brunch dish huevos rancheros was a favorite for our oldest son to make for The Kids Cook Monday. He even plated the food for the photo, impressive for an 8-year-old!

Our new favorite cocktail, the caipirinha, is a classic from Brazil. We tested several versions with different fruits, and we found that pomegranate is a favorite for us.

I’ve adored these gems since first tasting them in Colombia back in the early 90s. I didn’t have a recipe, so I made up my own, and now we love to make mashed potato-stuffed tomatoes with our homegrown tomatoes in the summer. They go perfectly with grilled meats.

An abundance of gorgeous fresh peaches that I brought back from a visit to South Carolina filled our kitchen with smells and tastes of peach cobber, peach ice cream, and this delicious and easy spiced peach butter. There isn’t any left now, but we’ll definitely make more next summer.

I shared my sushi dilemma, how I’m the lone sushi lover in our house and my secret to getting my sushi fix. I sometime make sushi on a cracker with tamari ginger dip, layered with smoked salmon, sliced English cucumber, and thin avocado slice. It’s easy and satisfies my cravings between sushi runs.

Since strawberries come into season in May, we always celebrate Mother’s Day with a strawberry dessert. This year we licked the crumbs, filling, sauce, and ate every last bite of strawberries of this strawberry chocolate cheesecake, and it was worth every calorie.

Ham is our favorite meal for Easter, and this year the maple whiskey glaze ranked up there as one of our all-time favorite glazes for our celebration dinner.

Spinach tortellini soup is another Kids Cook Monday recipe that Hockey Guy whipped up, one that he made nearly all by himself. He did a great job and the soup was excellent, a definite keeper.

And finally, the first Kids Cook Monday recipe we did, a pizza pot pie inspired by the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. This is a fun recipe for the family to make together, and you can stuff the pizza with whatever you like.

Thanks for joining us for our adventures in the kitchen and garden in 2011, and as always we look forward to sharing more with you in the coming year. Best wishes and Happy New Year!

[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]

[Disclosure: This blog earns a few cents on items purchased through the Amazon.com links in posts.]

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