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Favorite Posts of 2014

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With the last day of the year being tomorrow, it seems like the perfect time to reflect back on what was my busiest year in the kitchen yet. Somehow with every new year the goal is always to spend less time in the kitchen, with a busy life it can sometimes seem like too much to spend an entire weekend making things for this blog. At the same time, with all the travel I’ve done in Europe there is more inspiration than ever and I just want you to be able to make your own versions of these in your kitchens.

Even if you never make it to the countries where these dishes originate, it’s fulfilling to make a foreign dish and think of the people who made it off on some far away land where the culture may be vastly different than our own.

Beginning with my personal favorites of some recipes I only had in my head before giving them a go. There were so many original recipes this year and some of the best ones yet. Here are my top six from 2014.

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Lemon Pancakes~~~Blackberry and Lemon Curd Hand Pies

Since sharing this recipe, it has become somewhat of a Sunday tradition to get up and make these Lemon pancakes with the perfect zing of citrus and full bodied brown sugar syrup to finish, these are perfect brunch food.

The blackberry and lemon curd (obviously lemon’s a winning flavor here) hand pies were something I thought up when it was still frosty out and the excitement and expectation of summer still months away. These hand pies are full of flavor and the tartness of the blackberries compliments perfectly with the lemon curd.

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Caramel Custard Blueberry Bars~~~Roasted Strawberry Brioche Pudding

With Caramel sitting in the fridge and blueberries next to them it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try bars with some ingredients that had never been put together here before. Of all the recipes on this blog that I’ve created, this one is my favorite by a mile and I would highly recommend giving it a go in your kitchen.

Every summer that has been spent with this blog has involved a recipe including roasted strawberries. It was an internal battle all summer to not roast some strawberries because there are no words for how tasty they are and just how incredibly versatile a dish it is to work with. So I gave in and made this brioche pudding and it was so worth it!

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Maple Sweet Potato Pie~~~Zucchini Bean Salad

The Maple Sweet Potato Pie was an attempt at trying something I’d only ever heard of and maybe seen a picture of within my recipe searches. It was as full of flavor as pumpkin pie, but the walnuts added extra body to the overall dish that this pie shouldn’t be made without them.

In an attempt to make my food intake healthier and zucchini’s are an underrated star ingredient. This salad is the kind of dish that travels perfectly for lunch and lasts for a few days, staying just as crispy as when you first make it. There is a reason why this is the only savory dish on this list because it’s so fresh, filling and utilizes fall flavors.

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Tartiflette (French)~~~Corn Queso Fundido (Mexican)

The best foreign posts this year a mix of savory and sweet dishes from a plethora of countries so I chose my six personal favorites from six countries. The first foreign recipe in the list was made last winter and I still dream about Tartiflette, the French alpine dish that should be eaten in the midst of freezing winter, damned the calories it contains with each mouthful. This is hearty and not as heavy as you might think it could be. This is a showstopping dish and that cheese is incredible.

The Queso Fundido dip may seem like an odd favorite choice from Mexico, but this was so delicious and contained such simple ingredients that it could be recreated in virtually any kitchen anywhere. It was so addictively good to eat that I had to ration a third for later in the day, that’s saying a lot about this amazing dish.

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Triple Coconut Cream Pie (American)~~~Rote Grutze (German)

Coconut Cream Pie is not as rich as you would imagine it to be which means eating a second slice comes much easier than you would think. This also would be the kind of pie you could take to most events and people would be impressed, it’s also extremely easy to make this gluten free for those with allergies.

I’ve been eating German Rote Grutze since I was a child, usually accompanied by vanilla sauce or custard, but I’d never had this dish in its original form and it was so incredibly full of flavor that I can’t imagine going back to packaged stuff. The multitude of berries in this create an intense burst of flavor and this is such a bright dish that is better then serving jello to your family.

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Salmorejo (Spanish)~~~Gemberbolus (Dutch)

The Spanish love a good solid cold tomato soup and Salmorejo is one of those dishes that requires little effort and packs a lot of flavor. It’s as easy as throw it all into a large bowl, douse in hot water, soak and than blend until smooth. I made this a few times in summer for my packed lunches and I’m sure it will be a ready addition in coming summers.

At first glance of the recipe for Gemberbolus from Holland might have you slightly overwhelmed. There was a lot of steps to complete before you have these little ginger rolls in front of you, but they were so full of spice without being overwhelmingly too much or too sweet that it’s definitely worth the effort involved to make them.

2014-12-30_0002Lemon Cake with Rosemary Icing ~~~Asparagus and Smoked Chicken Quiche

The most popular recipes on the blog this year begins with Lemon Cake with Rosemary Icing was the second anniversary cake and the flavors are perfect for winter. The second most popular post of the year was Asparagus and Smoked Chicken quiche which was made to give asparagus another go in my diet.

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Sweet Potato Melts~~~Tan Slice

For a gluten free and vegetarian friendly starter, these Sweet Potato Melts were quite popular and they aren’t difficult to whip up. New Zealand tan slice was the first recipe of the year and not surprisingly popular with it’s perfect caramel center and pieces of chocolate dotted throughout.

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Nutella Croissant Pudding ~~~Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Slice

The Nutella Croissant Pudding, perfect for a weekend brunch was another popular post. The speed with which slices of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Slice disappear is astounding so there’s no surprise it was one of the most visited posts this year.

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Eggs Benedict~~~Pecan Curry Bark

One of the most popular posts this year, Eggs Benedict should rightfully be on this list for being something so easy you can make at home. Seriously, give it a go. The pecan curry bark was my valentine’s post for the chocoholics is easy enough to make for those who actively avoid kitchens.

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Mushroom Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Croutons~~~Tarte Au Sucre

Mushroom soup with Rosemary Parmesan Croutons is the perfect winter dish with a little crunch and the tenth most popular recipe of the year was the Canadian sugar tart that lives up to it’s name.

What was the best dish you enjoyed in your kitchen this year? Another year is coming to an end and I wish your new year be filled with lots of amazing food, incredible people and adventures exploring your own backyard and this beautiful earth. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being apart of this year.

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