year in review | 2011 favorites

It's that time of year. Here, a look back at my favorite CAF recipes from 2011.

JANUARY | Red Lentil Soup

This soup was all about simplicity. Minimal ingredients, simple preparation and the beauty of making something wholesome from scratch.



FEBRUARY | Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

This is a near-perfect pantry dish with lots of flavor and a comfort-food quality perfect after any busy day. It was also something I never cooked before, so I loved that it taught me something new.


MARCH | Salmon Salad for Two

This was my first "on a whim" dish of the year. I bought salmon with no idea what to use it for, and the recipe came together on my walk home. I love when that happens. It also signaled the shift from winter into spring when the warmer weather changes your cravings.

APRIL | Mixed Bean and Parsley Salad

There's something to be said for ultimate simplicity. This is another pantry meal that helped us many busy nights after coming home from work, going to the gym, and needing something healthy and filling ready when we got home.


MAY | Charred Corn Risotto with Jalapeno-Basil Oil

This recipe was inspired by a wine we tasted in Santa Ynez that paired perfectly with the tex-mex flavors of one of my favorite Italian meals.


JUNE | Lemon Cream Scones with Raspberry Jam

I always love a scone, because scones remind me of London and all the fond memories I have from that city, and this lemon-scented version took me back.



JULY | Fig Flatbread

There was a lot of good food this month including steamed mussels and pinot noir bbq sauce, but fig flatbread won out because I have a wonderful memory of strolling through the farmers' market without a plan attached to dinner. I let myself be inspired by the season, and the flatbread reflected that in its freshness and beauty.

AUGUST | Ina's Apple Tart

The little black dress of desserts.


SEPTEMBER | Farro Salad for Late Summer

I made this just before fall began and its bright flavors highlight everything there is to love about summer.

OCTOBER | Chocolate Cayenne Dessert Cookies

The cocktail cookie. I don't make nearly enough of them, and Dorie Greenspan reminded me of that.

NOVEMBER | Roasted Brussels Sprout and Black Rice Salad

My new favorite fall salad, perfect for any holiday table or just when you crave something healthy.

DECEMBER | Kale and Barley Salad

Ideal for setting things right when you've eaten too many holiday sweets.