Hope all of you are off to a great start for 2015!
If you are among those making health-based resolutions, congratulations! I sincerely hope you are choosing to make positive lifestyle changes for yourself, and see them through. If you want ideas here are a few that can truly change your life for the better:
- Drink more water – 1 8oz glass every hour if you can
- Eat more vegetables – have a salad or soup pre-meal, add frozen veggies into soups or casseroles
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night – go to bed 15 minutes earlier every day until it happens
- Move more – exercise, go for a walk, do household chores
- Cook at home – as often as possible!
In looking back on 2014, I have been very blessed. So many good memories with family and friends. Leaving academia for full time work in a clinic. Blogging successes. Kitchen successes, and failures. Moving, a birthday, adopting two puppies. Quite the year! And I am hoping that 2015 will be even better.
Also, looking back at last year’s resolutions, I did quite well on keeping most of them. Except the working out three times per week. This is the most common struggle, tied with eating healthier. So that is the goal I will focus on most this year.
In honor of the ending of one year and beginning of a new one, I put together the best recipe from each month in a top dozen recipes for 2014. Revisit some favorites and discover new ones! May 2015 be brighter, happier, and healthier than ever.
January – Cinnamon Raisin Soft Pretzels
These warm, chewy pretzels have the perfect harmony of cinnamon and raisins, coupled with a sticky sweet glaze. Perfect during cold winter nights, date nights, or any time.
February – Red Velvet PokeBall Cupcakes
For a birthday party or a Valentine’s Day surprise for your nerdy love, these cannot be beat in wow and cuteness factor.
March – Fruit-Filled Banana Bread
As a quick breakfast or on-the-go snack, this bread is delightful. Moist and delicious, it is packed with several servings of fruit from blueberries, blackberries, and bananas. You can amp it up even further by using applesauce instead of eggs and/or butter.
April – Ethiopian Series
In this series I shared recipes I made for an Ethiopian dinner party, including beef, pork, chicken, fish, greens, potatoes, lentils, cheese, and that addictively different bread, injera!
May – Meal Planning Made Easy
This was a tough call, since May had several stellar posts! May is also when the Budget Epicurean moved over to WordPress from Google and got its own home. But the most popular post was definitely the meal planning post. It is what got me invited onto the podcast “Stacking Benjamins” to talk about how meal planning can be so easy, and improve your finances so much.
June – Taste of Austin
In this two-post series I shared eight different food locales I visited on a trip to Austin, TX. From taco trucks to the fanciest waterside restaurant, Austin has so much to offer in foodie culture. June was also a successful month for blogging, as I was invited to enter a strawberry shortcake baking competition (which I sadly did not win), and a post about iced coffee netted me a business relationship with Keurig.
This super-quick salty topping is perfect on any kind of fish, or as a bruschetta like topping on crusty bread. I bet you can come up with more uses too. I also got to take a nice vacation in July, which we all need from time to time.
August – Mediterranean Stuffed Mushroom Caps
These little guys are perfect party appetizers, or you could use larger mushrooms and make it a full meal.
September – Jambalaya
Not gonna lie, this is probably one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. Packed with sausage, chicken, and shrimp, as well as fresh celery, tomatoes, onion, and peppers, served over steaming white rice. This was also the month when I took the one-week SNAP Challenge.
October – Barley & Kale Salad
A beautiful cacophony of colors and flavors, this salad is hearty enough to satisfy but light enough to not weigh you down. With chewy whole grain barley, power green kale, and multiple other fresh veggies, this will keep you full long past lunch time, and you can feel good about seconds.
November – Acorn Squash Mac n Cheese
Easily adaptable to any type of squash you have, this recipe pumps up the fiber and vitamins of your typical comfort food. It adds a sweet depth of taste and creamy feel. You can sub in any other veggie you like more than spinach as well, such as tomato, onions, peppers, or asparagus.
December – Last Minute Gift Ideas
When you didn’t know a birthday was today, or got distracted and realized Mother’s Day is today, or somehow Christmas just snuck right up on you. This list of crafts and cooking ideas are all fairly simple, quick to make, and frugal to boot. All of them I have ether tried or am saving to try at some point.
There you have it, 2014 year-in-review of the best of this blog. If you have anything you’d like to see in 2015, or have a different post that was a favorite than one mentioned here, please comment below! Thanks for contributing to this blog’s success in 2014, and I hope to entertain and educate you all this year.