As I look back on the year in the blog, there are some things I’m proud of and others that I look forward to improving upon in 2020.
First, I published 96 new posts in the past 365 days, which is down from 2018 but I’m planning to improve on my consistency in the new decade – mainly through better time management and completing my artificial lighting set-up so I’m not restricted to shooting during daylight hours.
I am proud of my improvements in my photography, styling, and overall creativity. In 2019, I really tried to incorporate more of my humour into the blog and many of you could relate to my deep loathing for spin class, articulated in this post.
I was also excited to partner with more brands and restaurants in the past year. From Sipsmith London Dry Gin to my hand-crafted Caesar to celebrate National Caesar Day at the Heart & Crown Irish Pubs.
Today, on the last day of the decade before we enter into the roaring twenties, I’m sharing your fan favourite recipes from 2019 – in rank order by page views. Miraculously, there just happens to be an even split between tastes and tipples this year.
1. Raspberry Mango Smoothie
This smoothie featured my favourite combination of fruits, and what I used to order at Yogen Fruz in the Rideau Centre before it closed its doors – raspberry and mango. It would appear, the rest of you are partial to this pairing as this healthy breakfast smoothie was the most-visited recipe from 2019.
2. Lillet Lady Cocktail
This refreshing cocktail made with Lillet Blanc, elderflower liqueur, gin, blended cucumber, mint and simple syrup was a summertime staple for many of you, taking the silver medal in the popularity contest for 2019. This is a phenomenally easy-drinking tipple and I’m not surprised to see in on the top 10 list. Further proof that the combination of gin, cucumber, and elderflower liqueur was one of the drinks of the decade.
3. Blood Orange Mezcal Sour
Landing on the blog just before Valentine’s Day, the heart-shaped bitters topper on this Blood Orange Mezcal Sour struck you with Cupid’s arrow and was also featured on the Pinterest official Instagram page. Conveniently, blood oranges are back in season at the moment so don’t miss your chance to recreate this beauty in your home bar.
4. Chickpea Taco Salad
This salad is a whole meal and delivers big on flavour. Well massaged kale is complimented with chickpeas roasted in homemade taco seasoning, quick pickled red onions, pumpkin seeds, avocado, feta, and roasted sweet potato – finished with a splash of chipotle lime dressing. One of my personal favourites from the year and a go-to when I want to eat my greens.
5. Vanilla Pavlova with Blood Orange Curd
Another blood orange recipe – this time in dessert form. The blood orange curd topping off this beautiful vanilla pavlova tastes like heaven. Again, lucky for you, winter = citrus season, don’t delay making this show-stopping sweet treat while blood oranges are readily available. This is one recipe that tastes as good as it looks.
6. Herbed Salmon and Potato Frittata
I published this recipe on New Year’s Day 2019 and, coincidentally, I’m making it for breakfast this morning, nearly one year to the date of publication. As I’m currently on Day 2 of my Whole30 diet, I’m going to experiment with swapping out the sour cream for coconut yogurt to make it diet compliant. Made with four different kinds of herbs – this frittata is packed with flavour and won’t leave you hungry thanks to the addition of toothsome potatoes and protein-packed smoked salmon.
7. Cherry Bourbon Sour
If Pretty in Pink were a drink, it would be this Cherry Bourbon Sour. This little number went a bit viral on Instagram – who said millennial pink was over? This drink gets it’s vibrant hue from the use of homemade cherry syrup which finds an interesting counterpoint in a couple dashes of celery bitters. You might have to wait until summer to test out this beauty unless you can somehow get your hands on cherries in the dead of winter.
What’s not to like about a one-pan brunch option that comes together in minutes? Apparently nothing. A Middle Eastern classic that sees eggs poached in a flavourful combination of simmering eggs, herbs, spices, peppers, and onions – this dish makes a strong case for breakfast for dinner.
9. Modern Aviation Cocktail
A classic cocktail reconsidered with the use of Empress 1908 gin – made with butterfly pea extract which gives this tipple its distinctive purple hue. Which is only intensified by the use of Crème de Violette – typical of your standard issue Aviation Cocktail. I’ve mixed things up by using Cherry Masala Chai bitters to balance out the floral notes in the gin and Crème de Violette liqueur.
10. Vesper Martini
And last but not least, James Bond’s drink of choice: the Vesper Martini rounds out the top ten from 2019. I reached for the upmarket (and priced accordingly) Isle of Harris gin in this three-ingredient cocktail that demands top-shelf booze. A timeless drink for the martini lover.
Stay tuned for much to come in 2020 and wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
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