Happy New Year! A Recipe Round-up from 2014

2015

2015

Last night I had the most perfect time seeing in the New Year.

At about 6pm we wandered down our local high street stopping off at the fish and chip shop for a couple of bags of chips to go. After dousing the chips in salt and vinegar we took our paper wrapped dinner on to the tube and headed into central London.

Fortunately by the time we got to Temple we’d finished our dinner and we joined the crowds of people walking along the banks of the Thames trying to find the best spot to watch the fireworks. We however had tickets to spend New Years Eve at Somerset House – an old building on the edge of the embankment. In the courtyard music was playing, guests were smiling, drinks in hand and everyone was congregated around the large ice rink in the centre.

After a couple of cheeky pints of cider we took to the ice. Much like bambi it took a while for us to find our feet but after a few laps on the practice rink we ventured on to the big stage! Now I’ll admit, Jon and I aren’t about to become figure skaters any time soon but we did have a hell of a lot of fun.

Once the ice skating was over we grabbed our two bottles of complimentary champagne and headed out on to the river terrace to pick our spot for the fireworks. As we stood on the terrace, drinks in hand looking across at the skyline of the southbank we couldn’t help but be in awe at just how lucky we were to be there. 2014 brought some absolutely huge lifestyle changes for us – mainly due to my new job, the extra cash it brought but also the fewer hours we were able to spend together, meaning that every hour we had we had to make extra special.

We stood there looking back at the past 12 months, our holidays to York, Padstow, Delaware, New York and Lanzarote, thinking about the new friends we had made and what challenges and opportunities the next 12 months will bring.

At 1 minute to midnight the countdown began and we joined in with tens of thousands of other Londoners rinigng in the new year.

The party may be over but it’s never too late to look back over the year and consider what it is you’ve learnt and what you are grateful for. With that in mind I wanted to share 12 important posts from this year. Some are popular recipes, others are lifestyle posts but they all mean something to me.

I hope you love them as much as I do.

2014 Recipe Roundup

Flavours of China Cookery Class at School of Wok

Number 1: the cookery school posts.

At the start of 2014 I had six weeks off of work where I was able to spend time doing exactly what I wanted, when I wanted. So naturally, I got out of my kitchen and jumped straight into the kitchen at School of Wok to learn about Chinese Cuisine. I then reviewed it for you on here! One of my resolutions was to learn new skills and I think I’ve done a good job of keeping that resolution this year. I’ve since been to a couple of other cookery schools including Jenius Social and the Meringue Girls. Cookery masterclasses are going to stay high on my list of priorities for 2015.

Do you hope to learn any new skills in 2015?

Breakfast in Bed Hamper
Breakfast in Bed Hamper

Number 2: Giving gifts of the edible kind!

This year when I haven’t been cooking dishes for Jon and I, I’ve been making edible gifts for friends and family. This Breakfast in Bed Hamper has been particularly popular with those of you looking to make house warming gifts for friends and family.

Do you make lots of your own gifts or is this something you want to start this year?

Number 3: Skinny Moussaka and watching my weight

One of the most viewed recipes of 2014 was an old recipe that I re-blogged with an updated method and photos using my new DSLR – Skinny Moussaka. It’s had some great reviews including from a few Greek families!

The intention this year had been to keep a strict eye on my weight but the lifestyle of a trainee solicitor in a top finance law firm on first glance isn’t compatible… Note to self must try harder this year!

Number 4: Clean eating and making my own soup from scratch

Recipes to keep warm were much needed this year after a cold January and February, then what with the temperature dropping back down in October. This Roasted Garlic, Shallot and Potato Soup has certainly been warming my cockles! Clean eating was another resolution I set myself this year so I was keen to cook my own soup from scratch rather than relying on Covent Garden soups!

Black Bean Tacos

Number 5: FIESTA MEXICANA!

I am not ashamed to admit that much of my early “Mexican” food education came from Ol Del Passo. Now if I lived anywhere near Mexico I’d probably be horribly ashamed to admit that, but as a 10 year old English child this was how I learnt about Mexican food.

Fortunately things have changed thanks to the internet and I hope to visit Mexico one day. Experimenting with flavours was a lot of fun this year and these Slow Cooked Black Bean Tacos tasted GREAT! They are now a firm favourite for Saturday nights in our flat.

Number 6: Lifestyle posts

I went off on a bit of a limb this year and shared my 7 Ideas for Thanksgiving Table Decorations and a post on Perfect Picnicware which were equally popular.

Would you like to see more lifestyle oriented posts in 2015?

Number 7: Home-made Peanut Butter – nom!

With my food resolution to focus on clean eating I focussed a lot more on making store cupboard staples from scratch. No canned or jarred product was off limits but I started with simple Home made Peanut Butter.

Number 8: Vegetarian friendly

The shift from meaty to meat free has probably been quite noticeable on the blog. My re-blog of Lentil Lasagne has become a firm favourite of not just my family but many of yours too. The recipe was first posted back in 2011 and hasn’t actually changed that much. The updated photos however have probably helped its popularity. It’s amazing how much we eat with our eyes!

1. Pumpkin Cookie

Number 9: American inspiration

Following our trip to the US I bought back a big bag of cinnamon flavour choc chips which promptly went into these soft and chewy Pumpkin Cookies.

Visiting America was a real eye opener and I definitely want to go back to see more. (Not least because I am planning on having my 30th birthday in VEGAS BABY!)

Number 10:  How to…

Still following a bit of an America theme… my post on How to Cook the Perfect Pecan Pie had loads of you talking. The feedback was fantastic so I hope you all loved it as much as I did.

Top 20 Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party

Number 11: Top Tips for…

My ‘tips’ posts were also very popular this year so you can expect more in 2015 – the most popular of all was top 10 tips for buying a slow cooker with the top 20 tips for hosting a dinner party following at a close second.

Need any help in buying one just shout! It would seem I’ve become a bit of an expert…

Number 12: Slow cooker recipes

Last but not least, the most popular post this year was Slow Cooker Mushroom Stroganoff probably no surprise after you all went out and bought new slow cookers!

So there we have it, my look back on Supper in the Suburbs for 2014.

I definitely think I’d like to continue my top tips posts and lifestyle posts too. As much as I love coming up with new recipes I like engaging with my readers in different ways. The My Week in Pictures post will also be back on Sunday so do come back then to see what I’ve been up to over the festive period!

All that is left now is to say I hope that your 2015 has gotten off to a fantastic start. Happy new year everyone!

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