Merry Christmas Eve EVE everyone! It is holiday time at last!
As the year draws to an end, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the year Ciao Veggie has had, and say thank you to everyone who has been reading and cooking along with me! I wish I could throw a big Christmas party for friends of Ciao Veggie. Crockpots full of mulled cider and mulled wine, Buble’s Christmas album on the stereo and some of my favourite foods on a little buffet table.
Maybe these ones? Do these look good? And yes, I’m saying I will make ALL of you mug cakes. All of you. (They really are easy)
So, I thought I’d reflect in a series of Top Fives. How does that sound?
Five ingredient lentil lasagne. Thanks to a BuzzFeed feature, and the fact that everyone loves easy recipes, this was my top post for 2014 (even though it was written last year- on my other blog- I decided to include it here anyway!)
Feta & eggplant meatballs. I really loved this recipe, and when I first posted it and it didn’t instantly soar to success, I was just a little disappointed. Enter the Huffington Post (!!!!), and order was restored to the universe 🙂
Simple pesto salad dressing. This is a strange one because it never got featured anywhere, and hasn’t been wildly popular on social media. But google ranks it high for “pesto salad dressing”, and it may be a pretty niche idea but some people do search for “pesto salad dressing”, and voila! Nailed it.
Pasta alla vodka and blue cheese. Pinterest loves over-the-top decadent, creamy, carby dishes. This became apparent when I posted this recipe!
Vegan caesar salad dressing with avocado & garlic croutons. Tumblr loves vegan recipes. This became apparent when I posted this recipe! Thanks Tumblr! I know I’m a food blogger and I should be all Pinterest-obsessed, but the truth is I freakin’ love Tumblr (not that you’d ever know it looking at my Ciao Veggie Tumblr. I have another one which I can use to appreciate cats and fandom. Sometimes your online personas need to stay distinct, ya know?)
My favorite recipes aren’t always the most popular! So, excluding the most popular five, my own personal highlights this year were
These chili paneer lettuce wraps are honestly really easy, and really delicious, all at that same time.
I am addicted and I make them all the time.
I loooove spinach and artichoke dip- but it’s such a guilty pleasure with all that cream cheese and mayonnaise! So I am really proud of this lighter, but truly still delicious feta and artichoke dip– and again, it’s easiness is just the icing on the cake.
Pasta dishes are kind of my “thing” here aren’t they? Well I might as well embrace it! I loved the way that a white wine reduction added immense flavour to this carbonara and reduced the need for cheese and cream.
I love it when a big plate of veggies is actually, genuinely delicious. And I think these tree hugger nachos nailed it!
Fresh burrata. Blueberries. Basil. Need I say more? This is a really exquisite, fresh salad which will start you off on a regrettably expensive love affair with burrata. Sorry ’bout that.
It’s not all about me!
- This summer I became totally addicted to Averie Cooks’ Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies. Making these once a week was a hard habit to break.
- For a little get-together I made some of these French Shallot Anchovy Puffs– replacing the anchovies with capers to make it veggie friendly. Delicious! They were a hit!
- I finally discovered mug cakes after throwing together 6 of these from Table for Two for a dinner party. I am in love. I’ve already adapted this recipe into two different flavors- including chocolate orange mascarpone and one which I’ll be posting close to Valentine’s Day!
- Isn’t it awesome when you have a few things to use up and find just the right recipe to do so? Yeah that happened to me with this soba noodle chimichurri paneer on Playful Cooking, and it was delicious. That is an awesome blog for a paneer lover like me!
- Blissful Basil’s jackfruit chicken salad was a revelation! I have been having so much fun experimenting with jackfruit chicken since I tried this. You might see some recipes next year!
To the readers who follow me on social media, through my newsletter, or RSS, wow! Each and every time I get a new subscriber or follower, it still makes me so happy. And I’m nearly at 1,000. Thank you so much. To everyone who posts nice comments, well, you are incredible, and those just make my day. Finally, to my friends and family who proofread, make my recipes, try my recipes and are nice about them- I couldn’t do it without you.
Happy Holidays everyone!