Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013 Retrospective

Happy new year, everyone!

It's become a bit of an annual tradition for me to look back through the blog at the end if every year, and review the biggest events, month by month.  

Spicy Chickpea PastiesI set myself the goal of baking something new every week in 2013, and in January I got off to a pretty good start. I created the recipe for these spiced chickpea pasties inspired by something I'd enjoyed in a local cafe.

Steam-powered clock in VancouverFrom late January into early February, we took the train from coast to coast across Canada. Our first stop, Vancouver, was beautifully atmospheric in the mist - and we particularly loved the steam-powered clock in Gastown. At the other end of the journey, the coastline of Nova Scotia reminded us of Cornwall (although I've never seen the sea in Cornwall freeze against the shore).

SamosI was presenting at a conference in Greece, in March. The island of Samos was quite hard to reach in the off-season, and seemed a strange place to have an academic event - but it was very beautiful, whether by day or by night.
TEDxCheltenhamMarch was also the month that the video from my TEDx Cheltenham talk was uploaded to YouTube. (No, I still haven't watched it myself.)
Swedish baking - cheesecakeAmongst other things, in April I made a Swedish cheesecake, which is unlike any other cheesecake I've eaten. The recipe starts with making your own soft cheese, which was also a first for me. Thanks are due to my friend Josephine (who blogs occasionally at Kaprifolia) for translating the recipe for me.

Rosetta Stone screen captureIn May I started learning Turkish, with a free trial of the Rosetta Stone program. I found it quite intuitive to use, but as always, I do struggle to devote enough time to these things to really get the most out of it!

UntitledI walked a marathon in June, which was a significant challenge, since I'd assumed it would be easy and therefore neglected to do any preparation. Well, unless you count making some energy bars to take with us!

Vietnamese Spring RollsIn July I made Vietnamese spring rolls with a spicy satay dipping sauce. These bright and cheerful rolls were perfect summer fare.

Orange & olive oil cakeI've been making a lot of vegan cakes this year. In August this orange & olive oil loaf cake was a definite highlight. The surfeit of blackberries in the local hedgerows also led to a frenzy of jam making.
Cake & Bake Show - London 2013I had my first press pass in September, with press accreditation for the Cake & Bake Show in London. This was a great opportunity to pick up baking accessories and ingredients, some of which I'm still waiting to use.

CarcassonneIn October Andy and I headed to the ridiculously picturesque city of Carcassonne for a long weekend, on our annual anniversary quest to visit somewhere we haven't been before. We stayed at the 5-star Domaine D'Auriac hotel, with Michelin-starred dining, which was incredible.

Butternut Squash & Spinach RisottoMy most popular recipe in November, by a very big margin, was this butternut squash & spinach risotto (which has been pinned over two thousand times!). It always surprises me when healthy recipes do better than cake! But it was really very tasty.

Kadyanda (Cadianda)We also spent a couple of weeks in Turkey. Though colds and snuffles prevented us from doing everything we'd planned, we enjoyed exploring the ancient site of Kadyanda.

French toastDecember, of course, is always a month filled with foodie treats, from chocolate brioche for breakfast, to boozy fruit cake for dessert, which are generally a long way from being health foods. But I also looked ahead to the season of new year's resolutions, and wrote about my top five apps for health & fitness.


Anonymous said...

What a great year! I remember many of these moments (and recipes!). I was not aware that you did a TED talk to I'll have to check that out. You should, too ;)

Lavender and Lime ( said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic year. May 2014 be better!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Looks like a wonderful year!

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes said...

Looks like 2013 was a great year for you!!

Karen Main said...

Rachel what a huuugggee year, congratulations. A TED talk, how do you hold back on watching it? plan to.

Shana Norris said...

I love the format of your retrospective. And I'm obsessed with all things Swedish, so I must try that cheesecake. Although making my own soft cheese sounds a bit terrifying!

Rachel said...

A good year indeed. I'm not surprised the risotto was popular - it sounded truly yummy!

Slamdunk said...

I went back and read your posts on Samos. What beautiful pictures! I am sure that you earned your free time though after the stuffy academic conference. Happy 2014 Rachel.

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