I’m working on several Year In Review type posts and thought it would be fun to recap my Weekend Cooking posts and other highlights of 2016 in food. If anything, it’s a way to remind me that there were some good things about this year (but not much).
Early in the year came the news that my favorite childhood bakery, Geiger’s in Northeast Philadelphia, was closing its doors. If there was ever a year that needed Geigers’ creme filled powdered doughnuts, 2016 was it. (Not that I could eat them anymore, but still.)
Both kids took a required cooking class in school (can I say how delighted I am that our school district requires this?) which led to them making some simple dinners on their own when they were unhappy with what I prepared. As a bonus, this class also gave me two nights off from making dinner, thanks to them having to plan and prepare a meal as a homework assignment.
Summer was all about the bounty of the farmer’s market (until the season ended in October), discovering the ease of overnight oats, and creating a gluten free bread salad. I gave quinoa a second chance and now, I can’t get enough of it (especially cold). This Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, Black Beans and Feta was perfect as a work lunch during the summer.
A friend from afar sent an incredibly generous food gift which we’re still enjoying and our next door neighbor shared his tomatoes with us. Our backyard blueberry bushes produced enough berries for a Watermelon-Feta-Berry salad perfect for the Fourth of July and a Berry Banana Smoothie. I tried to trim our food budget by identifying some possible homemade pantry items, like the Slow-Cooker Vegetable Broth I make occasionally — especially in fall for soups and sauteing vegetables.
Our financial situation this year prevented us from enjoying Pittsburgh’s dining scene as much as I would have liked, but I did have the chance to try two new (to me) establishments. After a Listen to Your Mother rehearsal this spring, our cast had a delicious dinner at Church Brew Works. In the summer, a former coworker and I enjoyed drinks and appetizers at Sienna Mercato.
Given all the dreadful news that 2016 held, you’d think my wine consumption would have been off the charts this year. It wasn’t, but when I did imbibe, my electric wine opener proved essential — like when we returned from visiting family in Philly for several days only to find a broken refrigerator leaking all over the kitchen with hundreds of dollars of rotten food inside.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with family in Philly, complete with second helpings of gratitude and enough pie to make up for our scary Thanksgiving of 2015.
Among the many piles of food-related books and cookbooks I checked out from the library, I reviewed these:
In regard to the last two, I made some lifestyle changes related to my doctor giving me six months to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides, and this year I became one of those people who track every calorie and carb with My Fitness Pal. I need to get back on track with MFP but at this point, maybe that’s something best saved for 2017.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads (who, as a coincidence, has a similar retrospective post up today) and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page.