my favorites of 2012


chipotle chicken skewers with creamy cilantro dipping sauce

rushing off to a new years eve party? or hosting one yourself? these chicken skewers would be the perfect party food! they're simple to throw together, can be cooked up quickly, and are delicious hot or at room temperature. and who doesn't love food on a stick?!


grandma's snowballs

this is it. this is grandma's cookie recipe that us kids remember. back at a time when we hated anything with nuts, and coconut but i've already mentioned that many times, we devoured these cookies, always asking what was in them. and grandma never told - at least not me - because she knew if i knew, i'd never eat them again.


cranberry bliss bars

the last few times i went to starbucks was blazing early in the morning, in jfk, after an hour flight from airport with a long day ahead of me, ending with a return flight home. about a year ago, when the salted caramel mocha first came out, i used one of these hellish days to try one. and was shocked at how much i did not like it. how much it didn't even remotely taste like coffee.


my grandma's friend gladys' molasses cookies

i have no doubt that my love of christmas comes from my grandmother. while i told you about her fudge last christmas, this year has been all about her cookies.


roasted artichoke dip

around noon on thanksgiving i stopped at the grocery store, halfway between my house and my parents', to get a loaf of bread to go with this dip. as i pulled into the parking lot, almost at a dead stop scanning for a spot, i hear jason yell "woah, woah, woah" at the same time i hear a crunch. i was t-boned in a parking lot by a woman who pulled out of her spot directly into my stopped car. note i said pulled out, not backed out. so if she looked up, she saw me. needless to say, we were all perfectly fine, since the car wasn't moving, but she managed to do $3,500+ in damage, including replacing both of my passenger side doors. thank goodness that's all it was.


gingerbread biscotti

it has been almost a year since i made biscotti last. and while last year's holiday version was definitely a keeper, this year i seem to be all about the spice, so a gingerbread version is in order. normally i would adapt my favorite basic biscotti recipe, but i was nervous how adding molasses would affect the dough and turned to google for inspiration. slightly different versions of the recipe i settled on were all over the internet and they all promised one thing: classic, crunchy biscotti with delicious gingerbread flavor. and they did not disappoint.


pumpkin whoopie pies

this fall, i've had a minor pumpkin obsession going on. first spiced pumpkin chocolate chip loaves, then pumpkin pie bars and pumpkin spice bundt cake. couple that with my adoration for the baked cookbooks (i've already started looking through the first two books to pick out this year's birthday cake) and i knew these whoopie pies would be killer. these are the first whoopie pies i've ever made. if others are as simple and delicious as these, i better jump on the whoopie pie train, asap.


pork cutlets with cider mustard sauce

lately, i've been trying even harder than usual not to fall into a dinner rut. for a couple weeks it felt like we were eating the same thing week after week, which got really old - really boring - fast. while flipping through recipes i had made in the last month, i remembered this cook's illustrated special i picked up last year when border's was closing. not only are the recipes scaled for two people, but the majority of them are quick to prepare, just what we need for weeknights when we have an hour and a half window from when we get home to when the baby goes to bed.


pumpkin spice bundt cake

i should make bundt cakes more often. they're easy to make, feed a lot of people, don't need any fancy styling to look good, and transport well. it doesn't hurt that i've never met one i didn't like. but i suppose that's true of all cakes, not just the bundt variety.


thick & rich coconut hot chocolate

the day after jessica posted this recipe for slow cooker coconut hot chocolate i went out and bought the ingredients. and then they sat on my counter for a week before i was able to make it. luckily, one thursday morning, the baby took a nice long nap, and instead of cleaning up the mess of toys on the floor, i made hot chocolate.

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