Cheers! My last post of 2013 is this Pineapple Coconut Champagne Cocktail. The perfect sip to end a fantastic year and start a new one. And at the end of the post is a round up of my top recipes of the year.
Can you believe 2013 is over? I can’t. This year has FLOWN by. Scary how fast it has flown by. I think we say this at the end of every year.
This year was a fun one. So much happened. We started construction in January of our kitchen in our new house. We weren’t living in the house yet so we were able to work and not have to live without a kitchen. I am now naming it ” Kitchen remodel 2013-2014″ since it isn’t finished yet. I have learned that remodeling a kitchen from the ground up at about 95% DIY that it takes a LOT LONGER than most remodels. I have watched blogging friends get new kitchens this year as well and theirs were demolished and put back up in a matter of weeks. I love that we have done all the work ourselves and I am beyond amazed at my husband’s cabinetry skills that I never knew he had. But I cannot wait for it to be completely finished. Neither can he. But I have more projects for him so its not like he is off the hook for anything else. I think he secretly hates Pinterest now.
I was in two weddings this year in Southern California of two lifelong best friends. Amazing weddings, I got to hang out at the beach ( my happy place) and soak in some California sunshine all while playing bridesmaid and having a blast seeing my friends so happy. One of the weddings was an am Christian wedding (the ceremony I was in ) and the rest of the day an Indian ceremony and reception and the ceremony for that part was unlike anything I had ever seen. There was an elephant there!! The food was also so incredible and I even made one of the amazing drinks they handed out during the ceremony, a mango lassi, HERE. I still want to make some of the Indian dishes for my blog so I will add those to my now “Culinary Bucket List 2014”.
We moved into our new house in June with the kitchen still under construction. We have been living with several rooms under remodel ( because apparently we can’t just do one room at a time) and several of our rooms are still full of boxes. One day we will fully move into this house. The new house is in walking distance to the elementary school my older daughter started attending this year. I think I was the only parent not crying at kindergarten drop off the first day. Not that it wasn’t an emotional day for such a huge milestone, we just aren’t criers. Actually my husband and I high-fived each other which garnered dirty looks from the parents that were crying. Hey whatever, I still think it was funny. We high-fived again when we dropped the 3 year old off at preschool. First time in 3 years I have had a break from the kids. For a whopping 2 1/2 hours. Definitely high-five worthy.
This year with my blog I was presented with some amazing opportunities with working with brands I love (Cost Plus World Market being one of them- still pinching myself over that one) , developing recipes for brands and getting freelance food photography jobs. I absolutely love the photography aspect of food blogging so to have become a professional photographer through my blog is beyond what I could have imagined would happen. I am working with a good friend of mine who is a top professional photographer in this country and he is mentoring and teaching me to be his assistant and eventually run photoshoots. I am beyond thrilled. A true opportunity of a lifetime. I have also had my work published in FoodieCrush magazine, I was asked to participate in a food styling challenge for i am baker, and I have made so many more amazing friends in the food blog world and become closer to the ones I have known for years. I got to meet and spend a day with one of my blogging iols and mentors, Kristen from Dine and Dish, when she was in town visiting. She is just as wonderful in person, if not more, than she is online. So genuine, so sweet, so down to earth. I also had recipes featured on Buzzfeed, Greatist and Babble. It was a GOOD year for my blog.
Another wild happening is I am going to be filming an episode of My Family Recipe Rocks in January. Its from the Live Well network and it will be filmed at my house. I am like TOTALLY freaking out about it. I have never been on TV before, plus, I will be cooking with Joey Fatone of N’Sync fame ( this makes me one degree of separation from Justin Timberlake now ha ha ha) and I am not one to be start struck, but I also have never cooked with a star before! I am going to be making my Spicy Cioppino My Way and a dessert I still need to figure out what dessert to make. I am thinking an Italian themed cupcake to go with the meal. Maybe a cannoli cupcake. We will see. I am very excited to do this.
So for my final post of the year I figured why not something Pineapple and Coconut. Because I am after all, Pineapple and Coconut. I tested this champagne cocktail recipe out a few different ways, one with my pineapple simple syrup and coconut milk, one with the syrup and coconut juice and one with pineapple and coconut juices. I think my favorite was the one with coconut milk and pineapple simple syrup but, it wasn’t really pretty. The milk look curdled ( gross) but it tasted so good!. But for the sake of keeping my last recipe of the year simple..I am sticking with the juices. And I used my favorite bubbly, Macaron Prosecco, which goes perfectly with this cocktail, but feel free to use your favorite champagne if you don’t have this available.
- Pour some simple syrup in a small bowl and the shredded coconut in another small bowl. Dip the top ¼ or so of your champagne glasses in the simple syrup and then in the shredded coconut making sure the rim is well coated. Set aside to dry a little
- Fill each champagne glass with 1 ½ ounces of EACH pineapple and coconut juices. Fill the rest of the way with the champagne or Prosecco. Serve immediately.
- Simple Syrup is a 1:1 sugar water ratio syrup. To make combine equal amounts in a sauce pan ( example 1 cup sugar one cup water) and then bring a simmer stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Chill completely in an air tight container until ready to use.
Happy New Years!!!
And now for the the top 10 recipes from this past year:
And the number one for 2013 IS
So there you have it. My top ten are exactly what my blog is all about. A nice mix of healthy eats and sweet treats. I have a lot of amazing recipes planned already for next year. January will be all healthy recipes ( think more paleo/primalish, lower carbish, all around whole foods healthy amazing meals like we at at my house) because we all need a break from the holiday sweets. This has been an amazing year for my blog and I thank each and everyone of you that reads my blog, makes my recipes and shares my work with your friends and family. It is beyond amazing to see a hobby turn into something I can make a living at.
And for a bonus: This is a fun app that it seem everyone is doing right now, you can make 15 or 30 second videos of your pictures set to music. So I give you a year of my recipes in 30 seconds via Flipagram HERE
(For some reason and due to my lack of technical skills I can’t embed the video properly so the link sends you to youtube instead!)