What a remarkable year this has been. I’ve grown so much as a blogger in the past 9 months then the two previous years of on-and-off blogging. While for some, blogging becomes a full time career from a weekend hobby, for me it was more like dropping everything else in pursue of my dreams, which obviously involves food. What else is new, right? haha.
On March 31st, I walked out of my 10-year office job to do something I could no longer live without. For me, cooking is an act of love. I truly love every step from growing my own foods from tiny seeds to planning and preparing meals, cooking, baking (which is my newest passion), mastering the grill, sautéing, and of course eating.
This year brought a lot of challenges along the way, ridiculously mentally strenuous days, and the longest work hours of my life. But in the end it was all well worth it, and I can’t imagine anything else I rather be doing.
So my friends, I decided to write a Year in Review and go over my personal favorite recipes and why they are my favorite. The behind the scenes emotions and thoughts, laughable memories alongside a few tips and ideas, product recommendations (a.k.a gift ideas) and important events that happened at Garden in the Kitchen.
I truly hope you enjoy this post, and if you can please leave a note, comment, suggestion, recommendation, ideas, etc… anything for me to grab on to and start 2017 on the right foot!
A Year In Review
Easy Homemade Pizza Dough, April 26, 2016
This was the fist recipe I felt super proud of. You don’t realize you can actually make pizza taste better, and by that I mean… waaaay better then the ones you buy at the store, until you make one. Additionally, making pizza turned out to be easier then I though and a lot of fun too! I learned to make pizza at a cooking class at Sur La Table and while I was there I grabbed a few pizza making tools, which I use all the time. These are definitely incredibly handy tools for making pizza and would totally recommend, should you be interest in making our own pizza.
May was a terrific month! I rebranded to Garden in the Kitchen and gave my work a whole new face and meaning. Who remembers my old blog Ribas with Love?? Aw sweet memories of back when I didn’t know whether to blog about food, or gardening, or clean living haha… I like to think of it as a natural process of narrowing things down to get to the other side of the rainbow 🙂
My Favorite Cookbook of The Year!
This one is a no brainer, Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis was my favorite cookbook of the year, one I went to for recipe inspiration all the time. It was a lot of fun chatting with Giada and she wished me good luck on the blog!! Woohooo 🙂
Grab your Copy Here:
Spicy Veggie Burger, June 15, 2016
This recipe marked the kickstart of summer and adding Vegan recipes to the repertoire, which is something I always wanted to do on my blog and for myself as well. At home we often eat burgers for lunch on Sundays, but I like to avoid eating so much meat. This solved my Sunday lunch problem and hopefully yours too 🙂 Additionally, this recipe has a special place in my heart because I felt that it was a step up on my photography skills, so I was super happy!
Rosemary Lemon Infused Oil, June 23, 2016
I was so happy with the results of this recipe but most importantly, a lot of you were really happy too. I got so much great feedback and awesome comments! This recipe continues to be a favorite among family and friends (they are always asking me to make some) and Fitbit recently included this recipe as one of the 10 Healthy Homemade Gifts for the Holidays!
Morning Glory Healthy Muffins, July 12, 2016
First recipe gone viral! This was quite an experience and surprise when the google analytics stats showed thousands of people looking at these muffins! My mother-in-law had just arrived from Florida, I made these so she would have something delicious to eat with her coffee. I remember like yesterday taking several hundred pictures, in different angles, using different props, climbing on stools haha… she just couldn’t believe how much work!
Another very special passage for me this year, was being featured on Healthy Intent Magazine, where I shared my personal story and Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe. It felt quite surreal and like an amazing accomplishment. I am so grateful for the opportunity!
Scallop Scampi with Zucchini Noodles, August 14, 2016
This recipe was inspired by my favorite cookbook of the year Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis. Although a bit different, I really loved the idea of making spaghetti out of my favorite veggies. On the professional side, this was probably one of my favorite photo shoots. I love the white, clean and crip photos. I find it really hard to photograph on white background and this is my BEST job so far. Ironically, this recipe was not accepted by foodgawker, they seem to only like my dark background shots, Lol… Oh well!! The recipe itself was deliiiish, I probably made this 10+ times over the summer.
Here are a few tools I purchased this year and love using in my kitchen:
Favorite Event of The Year!
Cooking with Siggis! This was so much fun, great atmosphere and awesome people! I made friends I talk to all the time, we always support and appreciate each other. What else could be better? I learned so many ways to cook using Siggi’s Icelandic style skyr and since then I added this delicious and healthy (Not a lot of sugar!) skyr to my diet and as a healthier alternative in baking. I can’t wait to see all my friends and meet some more at their next event!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie, August 22, 2016
What can I say about my first sponsored post !! $$ and the best part is, it landed right on my birthday, August 22nd! What a nice way to celebrate my day and year of hard work. This was just the beginning of many others, in which I had the privilege to work with. It was the best feeling and yes I cried a few happy tears 🙂
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili, November 25, 2016
A most recent recipe but definitely a long time of trying, changing things up to make the perfect chili and voila, THE most delicious, warming chili I’ve ever eaten! This felt like a small victory to me, honestly I have been trying to make chili for a long time… I am talking years! You betcha ‘ll be making a lot of chili this winter and hope you will too 🙂
This is what I have and recommend:
THANK YOU all so much for your love and support in 2016 and I wish for a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2017 for all of us!!