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I am not very good at looking back over a year, so I’m not so sure about a year in review.  Honestly, it feels like a personal exercise just as a runner training for a marathon.

I embarked on a big personal change this year and shared with friends as they experienced big changes in their lives.  Neighbors who I shared life and food with moved to Colorado, a roommate of nearly 3 years got married, and my best friends and happy hour buddies moved to Santa Barbara.

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A going away brunch for our neighbors

I was a bridesmaid in two weddings this year, to two beautiful brides who I had the pleasure of living with.

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A best friend’s bridal shower (same friends who moved away 😦 )

Elaine and I at her wedding

Another best friend, favorite roommate and Asian chef at her wedding

This year I bought a DSLR camera and pulled my old film camera out of the closet. Getting back into photography has been slow going, but I am so thankful for what is available at our fingertips.

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Taken with Cannon AE1-Program, Kodak PORTRA 400, exposure adjusted

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Taken with Canon AE1-Program, Kodak PORTRA 400, exposure adjusted

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Taken with Cannon AE1-Program, Kodak PORTRA 400

If you are interested before or after reading, I created a few poll questions to better understand you my readers.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by in your busy holiday schedule!

January: Sesame and garlic-ginger baked tofu with soba noodles and avocado

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This is one of my most viewed posts this year and it completely took me by surprise.  I love tofu, but I am not loyal to it.  Even though you can do so much with it, the texture throws me off.  My favorite is Trader Joe’s high protein Organic super firm tofu.  I know, it sounds crazy but it works really well and doesn’t fall apart.

I really like discovering alternative ways to prepare foods.  This tofu is baked which makes it super easy and really helps to absorb the marinade of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and cilantro.  The pine nuts add a nice texture and complexity to the dish.

February: Carrot-Apple-Beet-Swiss Chard Juice

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This is my 2nd most popular post of 2013 and let me tell you, this was one delicious juice.  Beets and Swiss Chard are from the same family and have an intense sweetness to them.

Warning: beets and swiss chard in juice form can have adverse affects as they cleanse your body (from my understanding and experience).  You may experience dizziness or the juice may flush you out.  I recommend that you start out by juicing only 1/2 of a beet and you may consider substituting another vegetable or green for the swiss chard; I really like a 1/2 inch slice of sweet potato.

March: gluten free Carrot-Cake Cake Balls

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This was my 4th most viewed post and oh so much fun to make.  Honestly, though they were gluten free I haven’t experimented with gluten free flours enough to be happy with the results.  This cake turned out great, but I think the garbanzo bean flour in the mix reacted strangely with the carrots.

I have done a lot of baking this year and in May my parents brought me my Kitchen Aid mixer.  Yes, I am one of those people who can’t stand the thought of waiting until I’m married to fill up my kitchen.  Currently I am pretty well stocked (it really helps when roommates marry and leave behind what they don’t need) so it makes baking easy.

I also made a record number of cake pops this year.  Ok, I made cake pops with my roommate a whole 3 times, but for us it was a record!

April: An Earth Day celebration FARM TO TABLE DINNER

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Farm to Table- Table

I actually posted about this in May but attended the Earth Day event in April. It was an amazing dinner and such a unique event to attend.  Farm to Table dinners are becoming more popular and more restaurants are starting to go this way, but what was so exciting about this dinner is that the local farmers who provided the vegetables attended the event.  We were able to meet a few local farmers and learn how we can support urban farms in our city.

May: Red Velvet Cake Pops and Cake Pop Process

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This is my most viewed post of all time and makes me astounded at the internet. Have you ever thought about what the creative process looks like now?  With Google, Tastespotting, and Pinterest etc. exchange of ideas that happens so quickly.

I absolutely love these cake pops.  I am a big fan of red velvet cake and the Martha Stewart cake I make tastes amazing!  I am still craving these 7 months later!

June/July: Chicken Sausage Kale Dogs with mango-corn salsa and avocado

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I took a hiatus from blogging in June after my friends wedding and was touch and go much of this year.  I just couldn’t manage work, blogging, and weddings!

Ok, so these aren’t even a blip on the radar of the most popular posts this year but I sure loved them and the mango-corn salsa was darn delicious.  I have to admit, the quality of the chicken sausage was everything.  Purchase juicy sausage from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and make sure it’s not pre-cooked. The Italian Kale makes a nice bun and is sure worth experimenting with.

August/September/October: Gluten free, Dairy free, Swiss Pancakes

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This year I learned that you can make amazing pancakes with Almond milk. This recipe from Silk makes delicious pancakes that taste very similar to buttermilk pancakes.  My friend made me Swiss Pancakes when I visited and I found them so much fun to play with.  With only 4 ingredients, if you alter one it makes the pancakes completely different!

November: Sweet Potato, Red Lentil, & Butternut Squash Soup

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This soup really didn’t rate this year, but it was rather tasty.  I was so thankful that  I made so much soup and homemade broth this year.  When the California weather gets cold, though rarely it seems, it is handy to have soup in the freezer.

The sweet potatoes and red lentil gave this soup a really nice flavor. Surprisingly, this soup has no dairy or coconut milk.

December: White Bean & Bacon Soup with Dijon Mustard Croutons & Bacon Bits

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This is one of the top 20 posts from this year and top 10 for this month.  With this one, numbers really don’t matter.  It just tasted so good!  The croutons provided an element of surprise and really balanced well with the bacon.

I am in love with soups, stews and chili currently; basically anything that keeps me warm!

December: Guinness Dark Chocolate Ganache Holiday Cake Pops

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I had to include these as one of my favorites!  They are the 3rd most viewed post this month, so I think I see great potential. 🙂 They were so much fun to make and were a hit amongst our friends.  The cake is super moist and pares well with the Ganache frosting.  I learned so much about cake pops, which I shared here.

If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed reading.

What was your favorite post of your blog or event in your life?

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