Now that we are almost at the end of another year I thought it would be nice to look back over 2016. Over the year I have shared so many recipes I thought that it would be fun to pick out my 12 favourite recipes. It has been lovely looking back over the year and reading through the various recipes and trying to narrow it down to one favourite recipe per month. But I have done it and here are my 12 favourite recipes of 2016!
In January I brought you lots of healthy meals. After all of the over indulgence of Christmas, January always seems to be a month of craving for healthy meals full of vegetables. My favourite recipe from January, and one that will definitely be on my meal plan next, is my Lemon Courgetti with Grilled Tuna. Vegetable noodles are a fantastic way of replacing some carbs with super vegetables.
Over the last year I have finally realised that a good breakfast is needed to start the day. In the past I have often skipped this all important meal, thankfully this is no longer the case. One of my favourite cooked breakfasts has to be my Mushroom, Egg and Avocado Brunch. This dish combines healthy vegetables, protein and good fats together in this irresistible brunch.
In March we celebrated all things fairtrade and raised awareness for fairtrade foods and products. Aldi challenged me to create a fairtrade recipe and I created a delicious fairtrade cake. I made my Banoffee with a Difference Cake. What makes this Banoffee cake different is that the 'offee' is not for toffee, it is for coffee. This cake uses fairtrade bananas, coffee and chocolate.
Aprils post brings back a longing for travel and plans to look forward to. In April I shared my Carnival inspired recipe. Before we embarked on our once in a life time holiday I planned what dishes I would try and Nonna's Linguine and Meatballs was on my list for Cucina del Capitano. My Meatballs Carnival Style were how I imagined the dish to be and I was delighted to taste that I was not too far off!
May was time for SATS at school for J. This was a week of tension for us all so to celebrate the completion of them I decided to make a cake. My Well Done Celebration Chocolate Cake was an astounding success with J. If you are looking for a celebration for a chocolate lover then look no further!
In June our fabulous Queen turned 90. This, in anybodies life, is a huge milestone and the Queen is no exception. As you can imagine the whole country celebrated Her Majesties life and we celebrated with a Cake Fir for a Queen. This cake is a true summer treat, adorned with fresh berries on a bed of fresh cream, this cake is truly fit for a queen!
In July we had an abundance of fresh berries growing in the garden so I started to use them in as many dishes that I could. This breakfast was an instant hit and has definitely gone down as my favourite summer breakfast. My Fresh Strawberry and Mint Porridge is full of the flavours of summer. It is so satisfying to walk down the garden to collect some strawberries and a sprig of mint and sit in the garden eating this wholesome breakfast.
Over the summer we also had a lot of mint, hence the continuation of a mint recipe. We all love a good risotto and it is a great way to sneak extra vegetables into the children. This recipe adds the magnificent mint to give it a true summer flavour. My Green Veg and Mint Risotto is packed with 5 different varieties of green vegetables plus the mint so you know that you are going to be getting a lot of goodness in this meal.
In September we celebrated a birthday in the family and gave me a perfect excuse to bake a cake. Chocolate is a favourite and this cake also combines the tempting Tunnock's Teacakes. My Tunnocks Teacake Chocolate Cake was a real showstopper and left all of the party guests wanting more. The teacakes were such an easy was to add a topping that really did impress!
In October I took part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off and baked along with what was, sadly, the final Great British Bake Off on the BBC. I was over the moon to receive the acclaimed Star Baker award for week 9, the Patisserie week, for my Savarin. This was a completely new bake to me and it was the technical for that episode so to receive the Star Baker award, for me, was a huge accomplishment.
As the seasons change so do the vegetables in our garden. November brought the first frost and the perfect time to harvest some homegrown kale. I love to experiment with vegetables and discovered how delicious kale is in a salad. My Winter Kale Salad shows us that salad is not strictly for summer vegetables, it can be adapted to suit vegetables from all year round.
Once December arrives the festive flavours take over. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves play a big part in spicing up sweet bakes. Another fruit that just encompasses Christmas, for me, has to be fresh cranberries. I adore the sharp taste that they add to dishes and incorporating them into bakes is a must. My Cranberry, Coconut and Chia Seed Oat Bites give a healthy baked oats bites a real festive makeover! One nibble of these oaty bites will certainly leave you wanting more!
One of my other top foodies events of the year had to be my visit to the iconic River Cottage HQ. I am a huge Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fan and to be able to visit the heart of the River Cottage business was incredible. The event, hosted by Foodies100, was a mixture of learning cooking techniques, socialising and networking with fellow bloggers and dining on an exquisite winter feast courtesy of the River Cottage chefs. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to visit I simply had to include it in my food round up of the year!
Thank you for reading my little foodie blog over the last year and previous years. It is thanks to you that I am still here doing what I love and I am looking forward to bringing you yet another delicious year of food!
Happy new year and here is to a year full of scrumptious foods!