I remember long ago my mom lamenting the “stress” of the holiday season. As a kid, I could never understand how something so magical and fun and full of parties and new shiny toys could possibly be “stressful”. Of course all these years later I understand exactly how my mom felt. Creating magic and memories at Christmas is a full time job. And today I’m retiring. I’m sitting on the couch with a cup of tea, my laptop and a couple of magazines. My cooking projects are on hold (until next week) while I refuel and reflect on the year that just flew right by.
It’s trite, I realize, to talk about time flying and all that. But holy cow, where did the year go?! A year ago today I was hugely pregnant, awaiting the birth of my newborn baby. And today that newborn is greeting me with “HI” when I go into his bedroom in the morning; crawling up and down the stairs; and laughing hysterically at his big sister’s antics. In less than a year he’s become a full-blown person and a member of our family. (And I have the grocery bills to prove it!)
It was a big year in the K&B kitchen, too. We made roast chicken and gingerbread cake, pasta and more pasta, oatmeal, burgers, salmon and raspberry bars, among many other tasty treats. I was also introduced to a whole new world of “allergen-free” cooking, when my little guy was diagnosed with allergies to several staple foods (wheat, eggs and nuts among them). And while cooking “allergen free” doesn’t sound particularly sexy, it’s been eye-opening for me. I’ve discovered grains and seeds and foods that I didn’t even know existed, and in an ironic twist our diet is more varied now than it was before the food restrictions came along.
I’ve got lots of great stuff on the blog horizon for 2015, including some new weeknight-saving recipes, a month long meal plan for the new year, and a new cookbook review column. If you’d like to follow along and/or join the conversation (I’d love that), you can subscribe by email, or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.
But before we get to 2015, I’m rounding up the top 10 recipes on (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean from 2014. These are the most visited K&B recipes from the past year. From anchovy-laced noodles to cheesy enchiladas to crispy whole-grain waffles, all of these most-trafficked recipes are kid-friendly, wholesome, simple fare that the whole family will love. I promise.
From my hungry family to yours: Happy New Year! I look forward to cooking with you in 2015.