Love and Olive Oil - Eat to Live. Cook to Love.

The Best of 2011

Another year, come and gone. I always take this time to reflect on the past year, all the wonderful things I’ve seen, done, and eaten. Ok, mostly eaten. Don’t say I’m not the only one who remembers experiences by what I ate along with it?

This year I organized an epic cookie swap. Roasted a duck. Spoke at a conference. Planned a conference. Attended a few more. Baked a cake (or two or three). Went blueberry picking. Attempted a savory cheesecake. Adopted a 3rd cat. Visited Charleston. Put watermelon in a jar. Explored the Bourbon Trail. Discovered kumquats, Damson plums, and grits. And, oh yeah, wrote a cookbook. Indeed, it’s been quite a year.

The most popular post of the year (traffic wise) is the brightly hued Rainbow Cake, followed closely by the Grasshopper Brownie Bars and the Cookie Dough Truffles. I love watching these three posts battle it out in the popular posts section in the footer of the site (which shows the most popular posts in any given month). It’s an epic battle of the sweets, cake takes on brownie who fights to the death with cookie dough. And lucky for us, everyone wins.

But I’d like to highlight what I consider the best posts of 2011. Best meaning my favorite, your favorite, and/or just plain awesome. This was a sweet year for sure (I always struggle to include an equal amount of savory dishes in this year-end roundup). What can I say? Life is uncertain. Eat dessert. First. Last. And in between. It was sure hard to narrow this down, choosing 18 posts out of 95. But I did it. And I hope you enjoy this look back at the sweetest (and most scrumptious) posts of the year.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous new year to you and yours!

(1) Homemade Vanilla Extract / (2) Cookie Dough Cream Pie / (3) Chocolate Stout Cake with Dulce de Leche and Vanilla Bean Buttercream / (4) Tequila Watermelon Popsicles / (5) Grasshopper Brownie Bars / (6) Photobombed / (7) Cinnamon Chocolate Churro Cupcakes  / (8) Étouffée Style Shrimp and Grits / (9) Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Best of 2011

(1) DIY Distressed Wood Photo Backdrop / (2) Spicy Tomato Peach Jam / (3) Fettucine al Pesto Genovese / (4) Pumpkin Crème Brûlée / (5) Chocolate Banana Cream Pie / (6) Brownie Pie / (7) Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Malted Milk Chocolate Buttercream / (8) Basil Lemonade / (9) Rocky Mountain Avalanche Bars

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27 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Wow, I love them all! What a great year! Happy New Year!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’ve been wanting to make homemade Vanilla Extract for such a long time! Happy New Year to you! And THANK YOU for all you’ve done for me this year. I love every bit about my new site, all because of you!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Definitely loved the photobombed one. Cats are so silly and fun.

    Reply

  4. 4
    Christina
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

    The Hot Tomato Peach Jam was my favorite. They made great Christmas gifs. I made three batches!

    Happy New Year!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 10:40 am

    love this! happy new year, lindsay!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Your golf cake was my absolute fav idea! I hope to recreate that sometime. :) Have a happy new year Lindsay!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

    great recap – fun to see that I have most (all??) of these bookmarked anyway…

    happy new year to you!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 11:04 am

    What a year for you. Great to meet you (and work with you) this year. I can’t wait for the cookbook. Here’s to a great 2012. Happy new year, Lindsay!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I. WANT. IT. ALL.

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Everything looks so delicious that I want to make them all! Congrats on the wonderful blog and writing your book. Happy New Year!

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Great recap and again, many, many congrats on your cookbook! Writing a book, blogging, running your web design biz…needless to say, you were just a little bit busy :)

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    ? them all!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I love the golf ball cake!! Beautiful :)

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I love ALL of it. Thanks for everything this year, Lindsay! You’re an awesome friend and I’m so excited for 2012 for you! Can’t wait to see you & Taylor in March!!

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Here’s to an amazing 2012!! Happy New Year!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On December 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    What a wonderful year! Cheers! Here’s to an even better 2012!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On December 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    You’ve had quite the year Lindsay! I hope 2012 brings more wonderful things and that I get to see you again ;) Happy New Year!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Ruby
    Posted On January 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Not only they’re crazy good recipes, your photos are really my favorite. So clean, balanced and always with nice color contract— just beautiful!
    Happy New Year!:)

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On January 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Hello and Happy New Year Lindsay. I am looking forward to keeping up with your photos and stories in 2012. What is not to like about a golfball cake? Very much fun. T

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On January 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

    The vanilla extract definitely blows my socks off. Amazing!

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On January 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I love all of these 2011 recaps I keep seeing around the web- such a great idea, wish I’d done something like that on my blog!

    Happy New Year!

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On January 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Wow! I’ve just discovered your blog and it’s so inspirational! My partner is an unadventurous eater and I have a 10 month old, so I am trying hard to cook food which will introduce her to new foods and please him too! Looking forward to reading more of your work this year.

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On January 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Ps: LOVE the rainbow cake!! OMG I need to try this!!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On January 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    SO. MUCH. AMAZINGNESS. I don’t know where to begin!!!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On January 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    What a great list – awesome post!

    Reply

  26. 26
    shannon marie
    Posted On January 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    hi, i am wanting to make your cinnamon chocolate churro cupcakes, but the link does not work. and they are not on the cupcake page. where would i be able to find them?

    Reply

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