Peer group pressure is a terrible thing! Here I am reviewing 2013, and I don’t really know what to say about it, because it really was a very mixed year on many levels. (Sometimes, it’s just best to stick to thinking about food.)
One absolute and undoubted highlight of this year, however, was getting to meet some of my fellow food bloggers at picnics and pot lucks throughout the year. And, in the first half of the year (before my life descended into mayhem with conferences, exams, politics, crises in my social circle, and extreme tiredness), I really enjoyed the opportunity to ‘meet’ more of you online, through the In My Kitchen posts by Celia, blog challenges such as Food on Fridays by Carole, Pasta Please by Jacq, Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox Love by Lisa, and of course my own monthly Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food Challenge.
I don’t like posting New Year’s resolutions, because they tend to rapidly turn into just one more thing to feel guilty about, so I’m just going to list a few foodie aspirations for 2014. If they don’t happen, that’s OK, too, because they aren’t resolutions!
- Resurrect the Vegetarian Food Challenge. Stay tuned for January’s challenge tomorrow!
- Participate in at least one food blog challenge a month. I like meeting fellow food bloggers!
- Plan and eat vegan meals more often. I have huge numbers of these recipes – why do I never do anything with them?
- Actually invite my fellow food bloggers to hang out and do food stuff. This shouldn’t be scary. Why is it scary? (Why are people scary? Who knows?)
- The aspiration that dares not speak its name. This one is too big and exciting to even admit to thinking about publicly yet, because I don’t know if I can do it. But I know what it is, and that’s what counts.
Last year, I made my review into a gallery of my 12 favourite recipe posts for 2012. This year, in keeping with my theme of enjoying the company of other food bloggers, I’m going to double the fun, and feature two favourite recipes for each month – one of mine, and one from another blog. I hope you enjoy the links, and maybe find some more foodie friends to read…
I wish you every joy in 2014, and may there always be Enough Food!
From Cate’s Cates: Eggplant with Tomatoes and Yoghurt
This is still my favourite thing to do with eggplant – it tastes caramelised and sweet and the yoghurt is cooling and fresh, and altogether, it’s just gorgeous.
From Green Kitchen Stories: Perfect Lemon and Coconut Bars
These are so gloriously gooey and lemony! I’ve only found Green Kitchen’s food this year, and it has just been the most fabulous discovery – I can’t wait to play with more of their recipes in the new year.
From Cate’s Cates: Golden Snake Bread for Chinese New Year
This is a lovely veganised version of a traditional enriched saffron bread – I’m very proud of this recipe, as it has all the honeyed richness of the original, while being entirely vegan.
From Ballroom Blintz: Savoury Tofu Pancakes
Since my Golden Snake Bread was made for a Vegan Chinese New Year Potluck Party, hosted by the lovely Steph from Vegan About Town (see July), it seemed apt to choose another recipe from the same party. And since I couldn’t stop eating Hayley’s tofu pancakes, they were clearly the recipe to choose…
From Cate’s Cates: Raw-ish Vegan Sachertorte Pistachio Truffle Tart
This recipe was made up at the last minute as a gluten- and dairy-free morning tea, and has become my go-to raw dessert recipe. So very good.
From Shot Tails: Vegan Chocolate Filled Jelly Easter Eggs
These gloriously-coloured eggs came in on the last day of my Easter Egg Inspirations challenge, and I’m so excited that they did, because they are one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen
From Cate’s Cates: Carrot Cake with the Lot
This was the birthday cake I made myself, by crossing three of my favourite carrot cake recipes in order to make an even more glorious one!
From Bite-Sized Thoughts: Plum Muffins (Vegan and Streusel-topped)
I’ve so enjoyed reading Kari’s blog this year, and this sort of recipe is exactly why – I love fruit in cooking, and these muffins are half plum crumble, half cake, and wholly irresistible.
From Cate’s Cates: Spiced Rye Bread
This was one of the more successful results of my Pantry Challenge month – a lightly spiced rye bread, perfect to eat with all the jam and honey our house seems to accumulate. But if that’s too sensible for you, allow me to direct your attention to Cross-Dressing Ken, who got his own gallery and recipe this month, in honour of Eurovision.
From Green Gourmet Giraffe: Rhubarb and raspberry focaccia
I’m pretty sure that everyone who reads my blog also reads Johanna’s, but if you don’t, you really should. And then you should start with this beautiful breakfast focaccia that rises overnight in the fridge and becomes glorious with berries and tangy rhubarb for breakfast. This recipe made me so very happy.
From Cate’s Cates: Yoghurt and Almond Cake with Lemon and Rhubarb
I keep on playing around with the yoghurt and almond cake recipe, but this is my favourite variant yet – it’s colourful and tangy and sweet, and just a perfect cake. And it keeps quite well, too.
From Frugal Feeding: Courgette Fritters
I have a bit of an addiction to zucchini fritters, and I love the way these ones use chickpea flour instead of wheat flour. They look gorgeous and fresh, and will definitely be seen in my kitchen this summer.
From Cate’s Cates: Strawberry Salad with Fennel and Parmesan
Apparently, after eating this politely at one of my dinners, a friend’s strawberry-hating boyfriend decided that all salads now needed to have strawberries in them. Need I say more? Well yes, I need, because this recipe was inspired by one from Where’s the Beef. Which is very appropriate, given the history of the next recipe…
From Vegan About Town: Ginger and Chinese Five Spice CupcakesThe aforementioned Steph made these stunning cupcakes, which are just perfect for winter. I love that I took a gingernut recipe and made it into a five-spice gingernut, which Steph then veganised, made chocolatey, and then transformed into cupcakes. The cycle of (food blogging) life continues!
From Cate’s Cates: Apricot and Peach Schnapps Shortbread from Annette’s Subconscious Mind
My friend Annette dreamed up these biscuits one night, so I went home and designed them for her. They are, I think, my best biscuit recipe yet, though they do depend on having really, really good peach schnapps around.
From Wayfaring Chocolate: Oven Roasted Plantain Chips
I’ve never actually tried plantains, but I’m putting this one in the file for future reference, because it looks gorgeous! I should add, too, that Hannah’s blog does tend more to sweets than savouries, so if you like raw balls of nutty, chocolatey, fudgy (but still healthy) goodness, I thoroughly recommend her. Though she seems to be going through a peanut butter phase this year, which is not quite my cup of tea!
From Cate’s Cates: Strawberry, Mint and Dark Chocolate Gelato
Mmmm, vegan gelato! This was a good month in my kitchen, with so many ice-creams, buns, and biscuits that it was very hard to choose just one, but the fresh mintiness of this ice-cream won through…
From David Lebovitz: Fresh Ginger Syrup
I am rather addicted to David Lebovitz’s cookbooks, especially his wonderful Perfect Scoop ice-cream cookbook. And ginger syrup just sounds like a gateway drug for home-made ginger beer to me…
From Cate’s Cates: Funghi Alla Pizza
This was actually a September recipe, because I lost all of October to a conference and a music exam, but it’s a pretty exciting recipe nonetheless, not least because I’m still just so happy about finding enormous, pizza-sized mushrooms. It’s the simple pleasures in life!
From The Indolent Cook: Raw Zucchini Noodles, Aglio e Olio Style
Is there anyone who doesn’t love a vegetable spiraliser? Seriously, this is more toy than kitchen gadget… well, actually, all kitchen gadgets are basically toys, but that’s another story. Anyway, not only do you get a lovely simple recipe for zucchini noodles in this post, you also get an entire comments thread full of more suggestions for sauces. You can’t lose!
From Cate’s Cates: Passionfruit Cupcakes with Lemon Coconut Butter
I keep saying ‘this recipe is really tangy and yummy’, but that’s because all my favourite recipes are tangy and yummy, so what can you do? Also, Mignon at Tastebom keeps on sending me bonus passionfruit powder, which is awesome, because it enables me to make more tangy passionfruit things. Yay!
From the Gourmet Wog: Vegan Spiced Tahini and Orange Cake
I haven’t made this one yet, but wow. How fascinating does that cake sound? And how fascinating does it sound when you consider that I have chocolate tahini in the house? Oh, my…
From Cate’s Cates: Pineapple and Lime Pectin Jellies
Since December is all about the pectin jellies in our household (well, that and the singing), these seemed like an appropriate choice for the month! And yes, they are tangy too.
From Where’s the Beef: Vegan NogI couldn’t end this list without a recipe from Cindy and Michael, two lovely local vegetarian food bloggers whom I’ve had the opportunity to meet several times this year. I’ve never had a traditional eggnog, though my mother used to make a non-alcoholic one for before school on days when we had lots of sport. This one looks lovely, though.
Note to bloggers featured in this gallery – I would love to add a photograph of your recipe to this page, but I don’t want to take liberties with anyone’s copyright. If you are happy for me to use a photo, please email it to me at 17catherines at gmail dot com, and I will add it into the gallery.