Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A year of recipes
I’m always a little surprised in December when I look back over the recipes I made over the previous 12 months. I think, “Did I cook all that?”
I’m happy with myself for trying so many new things, but sometimes I discover recipes I had forgotten since the first of the year and quickly make plans to try them again. That’s why I do this overview every year, not only to remind me of what I’ve cooked, but also to give my readers a second chance to try some good food!
The recipes from my food column in 2011 have been a good mix between desserts, main dishes and side dishes, I think. Several of them came from friends, including Harriet Page’s garden pea salad and Anne Liles’ Colorful Marinated Salad. I lost count of how many readers told me they had made these two dishes. I’m very grateful for friends who don’t mind sharing a good recipe!
I had a huge grin on my face when a reader stopped me in the grocery store after the recipe for vegetarian stir-fry appeared in the paper in February. She was making dinner for a guest who is a vegetarian, and she was shopping for ingredients for the recipe. That recipe was inspired by the American Heart Association’s Heart month celebration.
Other recipes came from browsing through cookbooks and magazines and online recipe sites.
The recipe for mini cheesecakes is a popular one with many cooks, and I was able to adapt one from the Allrecipes website for a Relay for Life fundraiser at my church. The cheesecakes were a hit at the father-daughter banquet and were so much fun for my daughter and me to decorate.
A very simple recipe for ham and cheese biscuits has been made many times at my house since I published that recipe in April. They are addictive! Give them a try.
And I love it when my mother-in-law, Ollie Batts, tells me how much she’s enjoyed making chocolate covered cherry cake and how many variations her friends have come up with. It really makes me happy when I know people try these recipes.
Apple crisp and peach cobbler were other reader-favorite recipes this past year, so was the easy recipe for pumpkin bars using white whole wheat flour. My daughter’s boyfriend asked me to make the pumpkin bars, adorned with cream cheese frosting, for his 18th birthday in December. I was thrilled he asked me and that he liked the dessert so much. Again, many readers stopped me in public to tell me they had made these recipes. Their comments help me figure out what kinds of recipes my readers like — simple ones using local and seasonal ingredients. I’ll be looking for similar ones in 2012.
And when I was making our grits and sausage casserole for Christmas morning, I told my family I wish I knew how many people told me they would be making the same thing for their holiday breakfast. Again, a simple recipe with a few basic ingredients.
Thanks to everyone who read my column last year and to those who took the time to email me or speak to me in public to say how much they like trying my recipes.
I have a few ideas for the coming year, but if you have suggestions of things you’d like to see in this column, send me an email. I love new ideas!