Debi van Zyl

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HAPPY COOKING TO YOU

I am terrible at sending out holiday cards. I think about it every year, and then nothing happens. Last year I got the idea that I would compile my five favorite recipes from the year and send those out instead of a traditional holiday card.
Well, it didn't happen. And it didn't happen this year either.

But, ah ha!
Dear Blog, that is where you come in!

In the spirit of sharing food with friends and family, I present to you
my five favorite recipes of the past year!

1. Feta-Stuffed Grilled Flatbread
These were so good! We grilled them on our grill pan on the stove and also experimented with other ingredients: spinach, aged cheddar, balsamic onions, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, goats cheese... the list goes on. The recipe makes a lot, so we made a bunch at a time and, once grilled, they store well and make for a super fast breakfast or lunch if you quickly
pop them in the toaster to reheat.
(Recipe by Melissa Clark, still from video by Jenny Woodward)

2. Cheesy Corn Cakes with Spicy Avocado Salsa
These are highly addictive. And easy to make. Almost too easy. So be warned.
And definitely opt for a good aged cheddar... it makes the cake.
This recipe makes a lot too; again, a perfect leftover for a quick breakfast.
(Recipe by Alida Ryder)

3. Pickled Nectarine Salad with Burrata
I truly think this salad saved my life during the horribly hot summer in Los Angeles
this past year. Refreshing AND probably the prettiest salad I've ever eaten. I first made it in heat of the summer in Palm Springs at our friend's house and it led me down a path of pickled salads ever since. A while ago another friend lent me her copy of What We Eat When We Eat Alone, and I can say with confidence that this was my go-to meal while Mr. D was traveling.
And now that we are living apart, I find that meal making for one is so difficult.
So I think about this a lot: this salad and what we eat when we're alone.
(Recipe by Alison Roman. Photograph by Hirsheimer & Hamilton)

4. Beef Chili with Ancho, Mole, and Cumin
Chili is one of my favorite things on the planet. I exaggerate a lot, but not about this. The addition of mole makes this a tasty surprise to the regular old chili I've been making for years, and ancho, well... you can't go wrong with ancho chilies. Smoky, meaty, mole goodness. And now that it finally feels like winter in Los Angeles, I think it's time make this again.
(Recipe by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)

5. Bacon and Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash
A few things to mention right away:
1. This can easily be as delicious for a vegetarian. Bacon certainly brings tasty goodness, but the real secret here
is the smoked Gouda. Do not underestimate this cheese. Bacon is a trusty side kick
but can be left behind if needed, in my opinion. The dish does not lack.

2. I would opt out of dolloping butter on this dish, contrary to what this image tells you.

3. I tested this recipe for Thanksgiving but I was assigned another dish entirely and there were already
way too many sides to bring yet another. And thankfully that was the case because
Mr. D and I ate it happily and greedily, not sharing with anyone else.
Behavior not in keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, I know...
(Recipe by Mellissa Sevigny)

So there you go.
Five of my favorite recipes this year. I make no claim that they are quick, or healthy, or life changing.
They are just tasty. And ones that I found myself making more than once.
I hope you enjoy. Happy cooking to you!

p.s. Recipes for 2015 I want to try:
Fig Newtons from scratch
Black licorice from scratch
 

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