2013. The year two-thousand-thirteen. About to become 2014.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this year. There has been rough stuff and good stuff. I like to think there has been mostly good. I’ve learned a lot about life, a lot about myself, and a lot about who I want to be and what inspires me. I’ve actually pretty much come to terms with that. Family first, through necessity and choice. I’m trying to lighten up and not take life so seriously all the time (some days are better than others). I’ve made new friends and lost touch with others who have moved on. What didn’t change for me this year was my continued need to have a little place of my own here in this blogging community. I’ve been reminded several times of the ‘old days’ and the relationships and the parts of the community that I love. This has always been, and will continue to be, my little happy place.
In the spirit of community, and under the wonderful idea from one of my longest-time blogging friends, Becky, myself and several other bloggers who I admire so much (please be sure to visit the list at the bottom of this post to see what they have ‘curated’ for your enjoyment!), have put together a little blog tour of our favorite recipes from other bloggers in this little piece of the universe. This really was such a fun project and came at such a good time when I needed some distraction. I thoroughly enjoyed putting this together and I hope you enjoy it too! Happy New Year and please be sure to visit the others in this blog tour to see what gems they found! I know I’m looking forward to it!
Without further ado (well, till below anyway!) here is my top ten – and in the interest of easy bookmarking I’ve created a pin board with my favorites all there. Please visit these blogs. They are all completely wonderful, inspiring, creative and written by amazing people.
All the recipes linked below can be found pinned from their original sources on my collection board and are shown above. Here are my thoughts on why I chose these recipes and these blogs as my favorites. Sorry that the order of the pictures and the links below don’t match, but frankly I’m just not quite that organized and am a more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. You may have already known that and will therefore forgive me. If you didn’t know that, well, you do now and the caption under my picture on the side will just make that much more sense now. My list is rather personal to me as well as about the recipes that inspire me. There are so many other amazing friends and bloggers out there so narrowing this down was a challenge! If you had a favorite from this year I would LOVE to know – feel free to share a link in the comments!
Baked Chocolate Doughnuts from Use Real Butter – Jen is the author, creator and photographer at Use Real Butter. I have admired her for so many years and even more recently since she has become an even bigger part of our family life. Jen shares my sentiment that Kayla is bright, beautiful and amazing and always shows her support and love. In a world where you don’t always get people who are on your side when your child is considered different, this is an amazing blessing and Jen is a cherished friend. She is also an incredible blogger and her posts never fail to satisfy. I could go on and on and on about many posts, but the one that jumped out at me was when she posted her recipe for these doughnuts back in October. Perfection!
Huckleberry BBQ Pulled Pork from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody – Peabody is another wonderful person I’ve admired for years. Her blog is all things hilarious, somewhat sarcastic and absolutely the most sinful sweet creations on the planet. Why then am I sharing her BBQ Pulled Pork recipe? Well, because even there she knows how to make it unique and amazing. Peabody is another amazing friend who always takes the time out to still be a friend. For the most amazing baked good and creations you should visit her blog. And for the unique and wonderful savory creations as well!
Cookie Dough Cake from Pastry Affair – Honestly, with the chaos that is our family life, I can be totally backwards and behind the times. Seriously. That is why Kristin’s blog, though really well known throughout the world, was a revelation to me this year. I have a serious crush on her blog now and can’t wait to dig in more. The pictures, the writing, the recipes – it’s all there. I especially loved the creativity of this cake that she made (seriously, how genius is cake with chunks of cookie dough baked right into the batter!?).
Sourdough Pancakes from Completely Delicious – While I haven’t had a chance to make all the recipes on my list here yet it is an issue I intend to rectify. In the meantime, let me tell you about these pancakes from Annalise. I went through the process of making sourdough starter several years ago and just never really liked the blend. Then I saw this recipe and knew I had to try the starter and the pancakes. And oh did we try them! Once my starter was ‘grown’ (I have NO idea if that is the term to use) I made these pancakes several times a week, keeping my starter fed and alive for quite a while. Sadly, I had no one to feed and care for my starter when we left town for 10 days so that was that. However, I know where to get the directions to make more and it is well worth the process. On top of that Annalise is one of the funnest bloggers I know to follow (and seriously I look forward to her pics, especially of her darling son).
Great Grandma’s Cheese Torte from Budget Gourmet Mom – Krista is a blogging friend who became a real life best friend. One of the very best I have. You’d think that would qualify her to be on my list anyway, but seriously, she is one of the most amazing and talented ladies I know. Her humor and her love for her family (even when they are driving her nuts!) always shine through. Her recipes are fantastic and her inspiration is, well, inspiring. She is even currently working through some heirloom recipes from her family and this Torte from her Great Grandma is one of them. I seriously can’t stop staring at the pictures, reading the stories and seeing how unique it is. I just love it.
Chocolate and Butterscotch Mousse Cake from Bakers Royale – Naomi is quite possibly my biggest blogger crush that I have. She is amazing, beautiful, lovely and a kind person. On top of that the work that she does (even when she is too hard on herself and thinks it subpar at times) is hands down stupendous. Her attention to detail, whether in props, lighting, photography, recipe, ingredients, food styling or whatever make her blog pure art. I could stare all day and sometimes love to just go look at the pictures and enjoy when I have a minute because it is just good for the soul. Her cake that I’m linking to here (and all the photographs in the post) are ones I’ve had stuck in my head since the moment I saw them. I would actually frame them and a gallery in my kitchen. Then I’d make the cake and eat the whole thing. And I probably wouldn’t share.
Kitchen Sink Chocolate Chip Cookies from La Fuji Mama – Rachael is the Mama in this blog and she has a sweet and handsome husband and two of the cutest dang little darling girls on the planet. And I know because I’ve met them. Rachael is another blogger friend who became a real life best friend. On top of that her flair in the kitchen always astounds and inspires me. In my opinion she is a genius of fusion and flavor while still making the ‘exotic’ foods she creates seem friendly. Which I think isn’t easy to do when many of them may not be common. But that’s what makes it so fun. I feel a bit like I’m broadening my horizons and getting an education while having a chat with an amazing lady. Probably because I am. In the meantime, these cookies are even unique and amazingly customizable. So they go on my list!
Glissade Chocolate Pudding from 101 Cookbooks – Heidi Swanson. I will always hold a dear place in my heart for her blog 101 Cookbooks. It was one of the very first food blogs I’d ever read or even seen. I was just discovering this amazing world of people who were as interested and consumed with all things culinary and the experience, and in Heidi’s case, I like to think real understanding and reverence for what we feed ourselves. I still love to read her blog and see what she is up to. I don’t have much time any more to do that, but when I get to check in I’m always so happy I made the time. Her recipes are fantastic, but honestly, her personality and blog just always inspires me and makes me feel just that much more calm and hopeful. Like her find of a vintage children’s book that had this recipe in it, so she made it, and loved it, and shared it. I need to see more things like that in life.
Sweet Baked Ham from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – Mel is an amazing cook, talented, kind and thorough bloggers I know. She hones her craft, tests her recipes and only shares the cream of the crop. So that means that if she has a recipe on her site, it is darn well going to work and taste amazing. And even your picky kids are going to want more. True story. I’ve been lucky enough to have a long time, long distance friendship with Mel and I’ll never forget the little behind the scenes support she has sent my way for my little family. I chose this recipe because it was intriguing and seriously like nothing I’d ever seen before. That said, I had to try it. Right away. So, I actually made this for our Christmas dinner (Yes. THAT is exactly how much I trust Mel’s recipes). It was indeed interesting to make, her directions were thorough and flawless, and the end result was just as described – which was stunning. Truly the best ham I’ve ever had. It’s like getting all the good parts in every bite. I’m not even waiting for this one for the holidays! It is it’s own reason to celebrate.
Traditional Liege Waffles from I’m Topsy Turvy – Ashlee is also another blogger I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know in person. She is astoundingly creative, talented and fun. I admire her skills and her attitude about life so very much. I also seriously admire her recipes. This one in particular is on my short list of those recipes that I know desperately need to be a part of my life. I have done a whole lot of research, study and searching for an ‘authentic’ version that looked like what I dream of in my head and have concluded that this is it. It may be a bit more work that a regular old waffle, but I know when I get all the pieces in place to make these it’s going to be a life altering experience.
Again, you can find all the links from their original sources on my Pinterest Board. The amazing bloggers below have also joined in this tour and I hope you’ll visit their blogs and see their favorites as well! I know it will be worth your time and a great way to usher the old year out and bring the new one in!
Becky – Project Domestication
Lindsey – Cafe Johnsonia
Becky – Vintage Mixer
Heidi – FoodieCrush
Barbara – Barbara Bakes
Karen – 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Kalyn – Kalyn’s Kitchen
Melissa – Bless this Mess
Deborah – Taste & Tell
Kristen – Six Sisters Stuff
Jared – Tone & Tighten
Rachael – La Fuji Mama
Jesseca – One Sweet Appetite
Ashlee – I’m Topsy Turvy