When I first embarked on this blogging journey, my intention was simply to catalogue the recipes that I made for my family and perhaps provide some inspiration to home cooks who find themselves stuck in a recipe rut. However, I was not prepared for the way that this hobby would bloom – okay, explode – into a passion. During the most unlikely times of day – walking the dog, blow-drying my hair, sleeping – I find myself thinking (and dreaming) of new flavor combinations and ingredients, photo angles and anecdotes. This blog has now metamorphisized from a cataloging exercise into an outlet for the few creative bones I have in my body (have I mentioned that I can’t draw my way out of a box?) Now my hope is not only to provide tasty, interesting recipes, but also to entertain and maybe even inspire at times.
The more I became immersed in the world of food blogging, the more opportunities I had to meet and befriend those who share this interest. Along the way, many wonderful people have helped me and provided me with invaluable tips and assistance. They are far too numerous to mention here. However, I do want to recognize one woman who has been supportive and generous with her knowledge since the day I met her – Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. Not only does she author an inspiring food blog, but she is a kind and selfless woman that I am proud to call my friend.
Even though this blog has become an important part of my life, it is simply a sliver of what is valuable to me. Behind the cooking, the writing, and the photos are one thoughtful, kind husband and two enthusiastic, sweet little boys, as well as supportive parents, in-laws, and friends. They are my true inspiration. I am thrilled when my loyal readers enjoy and comment on my recipes, but to hear my boys ask to help me in the kitchen and to be my official taste-testers is the best reward I could receive. So, thank you to each and every one of you – my family, my friends, and my readers. I could not do this without you.
Narrowing down a year full of recipes (nearly 200 of them) down to my ten favorites was challenging, to say the least. I couldn’t do it. Yes, there are actually 11 recipes on this list, and many others that were begging and pleading to be put on the list. “Pick me! Pick me!” For better or worse, here they are. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I do.