Saturday, December 31, 2011

Favorites of 2011

2011 was the year I baked. And baked. And baked. And then tried to add whole wheat pastry flour to my baked goods to rationalize that they were healthy.  Not ironically, it was also the year that I tried to teach myself to both draw and paint in watercolor, to do yoga at least once a week, and to spend as much quality time with my sons as possible. But no matter how busy, cooking continues to be respite.  Here are the recipes, books and sites I turned to repeatedly as 2011 draws to a close.  

101 Cookbooks was my favorite blog of 2011.  I never cook the same thing twice, but I still made Heidi Swanson's delicata squash roasted with miso and harissa at least 6 times in the last month. These tiny ginger cookies were my favorite for cookies swaps (and nibbling myself!).  I treated our dear babysitter to Swanson's cookbook, Super Natural Everyday because of its gorgeous photos and fabulous recipes.

I also leaned heavily on three other baking books this year. The Flour cookbook continues to be my go-to for pies and sweet treats. Baking by Dorie Greenspan is as reliable as I've ever tried. And Alice Medrich's Chewy, Gooey, Crunch, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookie book is the best single item book I have. The Maya's Lemon Thins were everything you could want in a lemon cookie.  As for baking bread, Peter Reinhart's trio of Bread Baker's Apprentice, Whole Grain Breads and Artisan Bread Everyday are all I need to bake decent artisanal breads.

Two other non-baking books were my go-tos this year. First, My Japanese Table by Debra Samuels. I extolled this book here and will soon post an interview with Ms. Samuels. I also continued to cook my way through Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, yet again.

My favorite trip of 2011. Easy: my solo trip to the Kripalu Yoga Resort. Another post coming up about that, too. As a family, though, our trip to the Sebasco Harbor Resort was one of the highlight's of our summer. I can never get enough of Maine.

And you? What were your favorites?