Recipes

cosmopolitan

Did you learn how to cook anything new this year? Anna Hezel, senior editor at Taste (one of my favorite breakout food publications of the last couple years) asked this on Twitter last week and like a Muppet to the ABCs, I couldn’t resist jumping in. I’m glad I did. I always wish I had more time to cook all the things I want to cook (my To Cook list is still thousands deep), wish I could share more recipes more often here, but this caused me to look back at the new recipes here in 2018 and feel a murmur of pride. Look at all we did! I learned to make falafel, and that it’s shockingly easy! I got to make Pad Thai I crave the most at home. We got cacio e pepe just about foolproof at home, just when I was convinced I never would. I learned about melting potatoes. We made the sheet pan sandwiches of my dreams and they’re vegan too. We had a real talk about the InstantPot and got some delicious short ribs out of it. I learned to make the best apple pie I’ve ever had. I made a completely bonkers layered mocha cheesecake late in the day on my husband’s birthday, and last week we mashed up baklava and babka, just because we could. I look at all of this and I am so excited about the year we’ve had, many of these things I had barely dreamed up yet this time last year, and I hope next year is even better.

And now, a brief moment of sap: Getting to hang out here, indulging my culinary whims, and having a cheering and encouragement squad had been one of great surprises and delights of my so-called adult life. Who knew what I’d do when I grew up? Certainly not me. I bumbled along, I tried things I hated, I tried things I didn’t hate but felt no passion for, and one day I landed here and, to my surprise, am rarely asked to leave. I am so thankful you are here and since I am not tired of cooking, I hope you never get tired of reading.

So tell me: Did you learn how to cook anything new this year?

Meanwhile, here are your Smitten Kitchen favorites from this year:

Best of Smitten Kitchen 2018, Savory:
best of 2018 on sk: savory recipes

 

Best of Smitten Kitchen 2018, Sweet:
best of 2018 on sk: sweet recipes

 

A funny thing happened this year. I pull these Best Of collections most (er, some) years [here’s 2017 in two parts, 2016, 2015, and 2014 if you’re curious.] and sort them into sweet and savory, but what usually happens is that the sweet recipes really outrank the savory ones. I get it: chocolate > soup. The world, or at least my world, needs both, even if I know asparagus tartines will never elicit the popular fervor of peanut butter cup cookies. But this year, something flipped, and the savory recipes took a bit of a lead on the sweet ones. Are we cooking dinner more, or trying to? Is the explosion of great bakeries in each city so wonderful we don’t need to make cookies and pie at home anymore? I will be mulling this over while enjoying a year-end cocktail if you don’t mind….

I vowed that 2018 was going to be the year that the cocktail dream of the late 90s/early-aughts, The Cosmopolitan, would get its due. Well, there’s always 2019, right? While it existed before the martini-and-things-served-in-martini-glasses-that-make-martini-enthusiasts-shudder craze of the early 2000s — it’s a descendant of the Daisy, the Cape Codder, and more — the arrival of Absolut Citron (remember all those sleek Absolut ads?) led to Toby Cecchini putting it on the menu at The Odeon (a place to see and be seen downtown) where it got Madonna’s seal of approval and later a pop culture nudge from Sex and the City that landed it, well, everywhere. Which means a backlash was shortly on its heels — we’re rather fickle, aren’t we? — and that brings us up to today, where despite the fact that many credit the Cosmopolitan with the launch of the craft cocktail movement, the prospect of a Cosmopolitan still elicits groans from anyone old enough to remember when you couldn’t escape them.

cranberry juice is good, pom is betterthe cosmopolitan + deb can't find her cocktail shakerthe cosmopolitan + deb can't find her cocktail shakerthe cosmopolitan

But not me. I think it’s because the very first one I had, at a long-since-closed bar on West 14th Street, probably within days of arriving in NYC, was absolutely perfect — dry, not too sweet, with a clear suggestion of lime — despite the fact that not once since has been, I remember it as a good drink. The Cosmo (we’re on a casual name basis, you see) is distantly a sour cocktail, where the citrus is replaced by cranberry juice. While the good cranberry juices are very tart, it’s hard to find ones that are just cranberries these days and not blends of other juices and flavors. (I made do with what I could get in these photos.) But in the year 2018, pomegranate juice is more tart and easier to find; I highly recommend using it here instead. I use unflavored vodka, because I’ve already lived through the 1990s, but I never skimp on the fresh lime juice, because that’s the way I like them best.

the cosmopolitan

Cheers to you! I hope you get lots of rest in these last few days of the year and lots of cheer. See you in 2019, armed and armored with soup.

Previously

One year ago: Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread
Two years ago: Pimento Cheese Potato Bites
Three years ago: Feta Tapenade Tarte Soleil
Four years ago: Fairytale of New York and Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini
Five years ago: Gingerbread Snacking Cake
Six years ago: Fromage Fort
Seven years ago: Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs
Eight years ago: Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies and Milk Punch
Nine years ago: How to Host Brunch and Still Sleep In, Spinach and Cheese Strata, Pear Bread, and Parmesan Cream Crackers
Ten years ago: Potato Pancakes, Even Better, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Gramercy Tavern’s Gingerbread, Pizza with Broccoli Rabe and Roasted Onions, and Pecan Sandies
Eleven years ago: Austrian Raspberry Shortbread, A Slice-and-Bake Cookie Palette, Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese and Caramel Cake
Twelve years ago: Gougeres + Stuffed Mushrooms

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Grilled Zucchini Ribbons with Pesto and White Beans
1.5 Years Ago: Best Hot Fudge Sauce and Grilled Pizza
2.5 Years Ago: Funnel Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Herbed Summer Squash Pasta Bake and Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars
4.5 Years Ago: Limonada de Coco/Frozen Coconut Limeade and Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

Cosmopolitan

The original recipe calls for cranberry juice cocktail (i.e. it will have other fruit flavors) but I prefer the pure stuff if you can get it, or use pomegranate juice, which is wonderful here. Adjust everything to taste, of course: more juice for mildness, more liqueur for sweetness. If your martini glasses are large, you might to scale this recipe up to fill them.

  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) vodka, Citron or plain
  • 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) lime juice
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cranberry or pomegranate juice
  • Ice

Chill your glasses — you can use coupe, martini or other cocktail glasses here — in the freezer until needed.

Place drink ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker (or, if you’re Deb and can’t find yours, a large jar with a lid will do) and shake until everything is cold. Strain into chilled glasses. Garnish with lime or lemon peel, if you wish.

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123 comments on cosmopolitan

  1. erineaguayo

    Yes! I took a deep dive into perfecting my Mexican cooking skills this year (and other Latin dishes), and can finally make perfect corn tortillas every time, can nixtamalize and grind my own flint corn to make gorditas/tamales/huaraches, made three kinds of mole for the first time, have pickled vegetables called curtidos, baked alfajores, and more. I credit Nopalito and YouTube for flavor and technique perfection. I had no many idea how many grandmas cooking over a corncob fire in an outdoor kitchen with roosters running around are also on YouTube. The camera phone has democratized cooking instruction and opened up worlds I’ve been trying to access for 20 years…I’ve also done some solid middle eastern-style baking with the help of Soframiz and Sweet cookbooks. And of course, I’ve made dozens of your recipes, although many were already family favorites. Here’s to more new-to-us cooking in 2019!

    1. MaggieToo

      You’re an inspiration, Erineaguayo. This, x100:

      “I had no many idea how many grandmas cooking over a corncob fire in an outdoor kitchen with roosters running around are also on YouTube.”

  2. Lucy

    Thanks for all you do here. I learned cooking basics from my mom, but grew into cooking adulthood with this site. When I experienced the rockiness of just-out-of-college adulthood, cooking in general and this site in particular gave me a sense of solace and accomplishment that put back the rug that I felt had been pulled from under my feet. I admire your vision and commitment to inspired, fail-proof food people enjoy making and eating.

  3. Lizzy

    2 things – if I can’t find my shaker, I use a travel mug. It’s got a lid, it stays closed (if using a mug that stays closed). Then you can pop it open and pour it out. Or take it on a walk around your neighborhood and sip it as if it’s coffee. I mean, you could do that.

    I just got the Sister Pie cookbook (highly recommended) and I learned how to make all-butter pie crust. By hand. Genius! And I also have become a little bit addicted to paprika-rubbed sheet pan chicken, thanks to Alison Roman (who is a genius and everyone should go get Dining In, too because life is short so use good cookbooks!).

  4. Robyn

    I did a few new things this year but my most proud moment was FINALLY figuring out a shortcut secret to making really richly flavoured beef and barley soup from leftover beef – browning (already cooked) beef to an extreme crust in the pan and then deglazing with stock.

  5. Elizabeth

    BREAD! I have really worked on my bread game this year. I’d already made a sourdough culture, and had gotten reasonably good at making a big sourdough boules and batards, but my husband and child needed a sandwich bread that was soft enough to wean them away from store bought. And I needed it to be whole wheat only. I tried stuff from this blog, from The Perfect Loaf, from all over the place, and I just got it today! Thank you, Peter Reinhart.
    I also learned how to make babka and flapjacks and chocolate peanut butter-stuffed cookies and rugelach–thank you Deb!, and the salted chocolate chunk shortbread cookies and the crispy lamb’n’chickpeas from Alison Roman, and yummy bbq pork from Edward Lee’s cookbook, and just recently finally made some really good croissants (not great, but I’m happy to keep trying!). Good year in the kitchen, and Smitten Kitchen was my gateway blog into the world of cooking blogs. Thanks to the whole community of cooks, bakers, learners, and teachers out there…

  6. I had red beans (New Year’s Day red beans and rice) soaking in my two jars with secure lids, so…guess what? Turns out, pouring the ingredients into a plastic storage box with some ice and stirring with a spoon works just fine. Voilà!

  7. Sarah

    Yes! Your list of best-of for this year is spot on. I have made and loved so many of the recipes, but nothing beats that garlic lime steak and noodle salad. And the sweet story connecting the recipe to your dad is what I love most about cooking; cooking with love for the people you love. I hope you found peace this first holiday season without your dad, and wish you a wonderful 2019. So looking forward to a year full of more delicious smitten kitchen recipes!

  8. Ginger

    I made your tangy beef brisket. I’m in Mexico so asked this guy who sells barbecue to get me a brisket. He did. It was over 14 lbs. Wouldn’t fit in the freezer of my side by side refrigerator freezer so had to hack off one end. Could not get it to fit in my large crockpot so kept cutting off pieces of it and tried to slice more and more fat off (seriously, that cow needed Weight Watchers BAD!). Finally got it jammed in the crockpot and went to bed. Luckily I put the crockpot on a tray because it bubbled over. It tasted great but I must have scooped off 3 more lbs of fat after it chilled.

    This was for Christmas and 2 guests of the 5 were an hour late. 😡. The best side dish were glazed shallots with chili. Too bad I forgot to put them out but I’ve been enjoying them since Tuesday. Loved the brisket, loved the shallots, hate guests who are late for dinner. Happy Holidays and I’m not getting dressed until the new year.

    1. amycjes82

      I just wanted to share that your comment made me laugh out loud. I’m sorry if it was not intended to amuse but I can just picture myself with a huge piece of brisket, hacking off parts to make it fit in the freezer and crockpot! And I share your irritation with late guests.

      Thanks for the chuckle!

  9. Stacy

    You are, forever and always, my absolute favorite food blogger. I’m about to embark on a full kitchen renovation, and I CANNOT WAIT to start the new year in my new kitchen with new (and old!) recipes from you. I hope you’ve had an amazing holiday season so far and have a very happy new year :)

  10. Julie

    This year I made my first:
    -homemade potato gnocchi (way easier than I expected)
    -Roasted leg of lamb (tasty, but could have been more tender)
    -clafouti (your plum cake, and MY GOD was it the most perfect, delicious dessert)
    -sandwich cookies

    And not new, but I am constantly trying to make the perfect meatball. I make very good ones, some near great, some perfectly fine for a Sunday dinner. But this year I made the best I ever had and what made them better is that they were for a dinner for my best friend who is pregnant with twins, and her husband. They went out of their mind, which is the best compliment ever. I finally used the fresh breadcrumbs soaked in milk trick, and used more cheese than ever and they were amazing.

  11. Pam

    With the hectic-ness of work and little kids, i don’t make make actual recipes in this life phase of mine, but try to celebrate every night that I put dinner on the table for us. I am heartened when you mention feeling similarly.
    And I did make your amazing chocolate olive oil cake for my family this week, and we roasted you Deb! Cheers.

  12. Tori

    This year, I learned how to make risotto. It’s so shockingly easy, and now I make it quite a bit. I also perfected my pie crust – turns out that having a food processor makes things soooo much better and easier. My goal for next year is to learn to make full puff pastry!

  13. Emily

    Hi Deb,

    I know it sound silly but I forced myself to learn how to cook fish and by fish i mean salmon, cod, etc, not shellfish. I was always afraid to cook it as it can be expensive and I didn’t want to ruin it. My mom never cooked it so I was never taught. I made some salmon last Friday that was amazing. I also bought a cast iron pan (which i cooked the salmon in) and i am totally converted. I am glad to have just gotten over my fear.

    Cheers!
    Emily

    1. JanetP

      I live near the ocean and we have fresh fish quite often. I make it very simply, since it’s so fresh — 375 degree oven, brush the fish lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper, pop in the oven for 12 minutes. Perfection, every time. Thin fillets, like sole, take less time, of course.

      What I learned to make this year is not very exciting: slow cooker “rotisserie” chicken. Hubs has celiac, so our standby of storebought rotisserie chicken has been off the menu for several years, and I’m so happy to be able to make it at home! Key is using really good chicken (like Bell and Evans) or the amount of pumped-in fluid that comes out is disturbing.

      1. Emily

        I loved cooking salmon in my cast iron pan because I could watch it cook from the side. You are right, though, cooking fish isn’t that hard!

  14. Whitney

    I now have a very simple oregano, mustard vinaigrette from Julia Turshen’s “Now and Then” that I can make without consulting the recipe that makes just a perfect simple side salad with dinner. Learning to make the dressing in the salad bowl, then adding the salad ingredients, just makes it easier (one less bowl to clean!) and each piece of lettuce just gets coated perfectly.

    Thanks as always for doing what you do. Whenever I need to look up a recipe, I consult this site first and more likely than not, that is all that I need!

  15. Rachel

    This is my first year really truly cooking for myself and I’ve learned how to make so many new things – rye bread, pizza dough, brown rice on the stove, roast chicken. Thank you for the amazing recipes and constant inspiration!

  16. KJ

    I made my first pavlova this year as it’s a dessert that’s always scared me, and I’ve always been told how difficult they are to make. I wasn’t 100% happy with it as it didn’t have the “marshmallowy squidginess” in the centre that Nigella promised, but it tasted good, and my family enjoyed it, and I will try again, perhaps at a lower temperature? I love seeing the yearly round up of recipes, I always spot a few in there that I missed which look delicious.

  17. Sharon Town Lee

    After watching every episode of the Great British Baking Show, I have perfected Beef Wellington! My family has described it as “A triumph, my dear,” which was deeply satisfying. :-)

  18. Ann

    The best thing I learned to cook this year was fowl with lots of fat. I learned the hard way and through lots of (expensive!) mistakes that cooking duck and goose is very different from cooking chicken. Figuring out how to puncture or score the skin just right and adjust temperatures and cooking times to get crispy skin and all the fat properly rendered out is not an easy thing, and I enjoyed learning it.

  19. Jean

    Long time listener, first time caller. I have been a scratch cook and baker for 40+ years. You and Skinnytaste are the only food blogs I follow – I have all your books, and will cook from your recipes and serve them to guests with no previous “tryout.” From me, that is the highest form of compliment I can pay you. Looking forward to more great ideas in 2019. Thank you for a wonderful, tasty 2018. Jean

  20. L’Ariane

    I learned how to make hummus this year and tried baking for the first time in ages! Also how NOT to make pizza crust with cornmeal, haha.

  21. I grew up in a restaurant family so I am always trying new things. There isn’t much I won’t try. I get sort of obsessed with recipes, techniques or a particular culture and immerse myself until I have it mastered. You have been a source of this. Your latke waffles are a go-to recipe for me. We had them Christmas Eve, made from sweet potatoes, and served as a latke bar with smoked salmon, chives, dill, sour cream and beet dip. On Christmas Day, we had them (made out of russets) to accompany the prime rib and pan sauteed mushrooms. I love that your recipes are so adaptable.

    I was jumping up and down when I saw your recipe for chocolate wafers. My Mom used to make us the refrigerator cake out of Famous Chocolate Wafers. This has become another favorite of mine (and my Mom, too). When she needs choclate cookies for pie crust or craves the refrigerator cake, she asks me to bake them for her. We both feel better, as we are stuffing our face with refrigerator cake, knowing our option is healthier than the store bought cookies. 😂😂😂

    My next obsession is baklava babka. Two things I love shmooshed together in one! ❤

    Thank you for all you do! Happy New Year, Deb!

  22. Jane

    German buttercream — for when you want a frosting that tastes of more than just sugar (ahem, American buttercream), but also with a less buttery mouthfeel than Swiss meringue buttercream. I got the base recipe from Stella Parks and added melted dark chocolate. A definite winner.

  23. Brittany

    This is the year I perfected sourdough and croissant dough! I had always viewed a jar of sourdough starter as just one more thing that needs my attention – I’m looking at you children and pets! – but our local source which we had grown very fond of decided to abruptly switch recipes and I just couldn’t anymore. It took about 8 weeks – starter is actually a fab fuss free fridge-dweller – and 5 loaves before I nailed it but once I did, we knew we were in trouble. Ruined, forever. And croissant dough had always eluded me, density is such a tricky thing, but they are better than any I have managed to purchase in my small town. And I sourced both from King Arthur which I only learned about from you, Deb, so many thanks yet again! No small coincidence that I also got a treadmill this year but best new year wishes and please never go away because I adore you and sk!!

    1. deb

      I’m happy to read this. My 2018 goal had been to get over my fear of having another thing to feed (ha!) but I never found the class I really wanted to take (I’m a person who wants an in-person class, not just a book or online class for this) and life got busy, etc. I’m hoping 2019 is the year! And thank you.

  24. abclauss

    Hi Deb! Made your sweet potato and black bean tacos countless times this year. And by association, I learned to make the best taco topping–pickled red onions! Between this and a few other vegetarian recipes on your blog (quick pasta and chickpeas, cumin junkie recipes) my family and I realized how amazingly delicious meatless meals can be. Grateful for your blog and the variety of recipes you feature. Falafel is in my sights for 2019. Happy new year!

  25. Susan

    I’d been slogging through the first part of the year thinking where has my interest in cooking gone? Have I cooked so much in the past 10 years that I’m burned out? Then..Sheet Pan Meals happened. I love them. They are so easy and so practically complete. And the seasoning you can toss everything in has really opened my eyes. Where in the hell were these when I had kids to feed fast? Always late to the party. That never changes. smh.

    1. Susan

      …Oh, From some wandering I did in, I think, your last newsletter. I rediscovered the Jack Rose cocktail. It’s an old fashioned cocktail made with applejack brandy. It fell out of favor when tastes became more sophisticated. Mine did not..

  26. DawnInVT

    I love your year-end posts! They are my favorite of the whole year. And your musings on the savory/sweet competition for top rank has my market-research brain bursting with questions: how do you decide rank (total clicks? unique clicks? # of comments? # of “I made this” comments? something else?!); how about ratios of sweet to savory between years (i.e., did you post more savory recipes this year so there were more of those options from which to chose versus prior years?); has the constellation of your readers changed in some meaningful way that would suggest we now prefer savory more than sweet?. I could go on, but fear I’m boring most everyone…. All that to say – thanks for all that you do. Your recipes feed my creativity and, in turn, literally feed my family. You’re the best Deb. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    1. deb

      I absolutely do not think too hard about it! WordPress has some internal stats; we used those to select. It’s not very scientific, these lists. I generally post almost as many sweet as savory, with a little more savory (but probably evened out by cocktails, which I file as sweet). And thank you. I’m so glad you’re here, reading and commenting.

  27. Hi Deb! This year I made my first butterscotch pie (your recipe) and apple pie fillings, albeit baked in store-bought crusts. I’ve not yet worked up the courage to make pie crust myself (maybe next year?) Thank you for your ever-growing treasure trove of great recipes! Happy New Year :)

  28. Meghann Lawrance

    I made my first ever Swiss roll as part of a Yule log for Christmas. The buttercream icing left a little to be desired as I had reached that point of cooking for an epic meal where my desire to properly do things had run out, and also my air con is broken, and also I live in Australia. BUT my Swiss roll was perfect; light and tender, and my cream filling kept it moist and I was very proud.

  29. Bonnie

    I learned to make my version of your version of huevos rancheros (butter instead of oil, yolk broken so egg cooks clean through), and have it three or four times a week. Except for the sugar it’s “properly balanced between the four food groups: sugar, starch, grease, and burnt crunchy bits,” as enjoyed by diners on Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld.

  30. Rita

    I just went thru this Cosmo search before Christmas. Whole Foods sells. Glass bottles of unsweetened cranberry juice. I diluted: 2 cups juice with one cup water, and a half cup simple syrup. I kept it in the fridge. I thought Cointreau was better than triple sec. most recipes don’t use enough juice – I liked equal vodka and juice. Cheers!

  31. Julie

    Bagels! That’s one of my favorites that I made for the first time (and twice) this year, from your recipe. Also New Mexico Green Chili (that’s what the recipe I used called it, but I associate it with Colorado, which I visited for the first time this year). Jambalaya and gumbo too, inspired by a trip to New Orleans last year. I made plenty of favorites again, like your Mom’s apple cake and your gingerbread cookies (and hummus (also yours) and about seventeen more slaws (not all yours, but the majority).) My to-cook list extended as well, mostly thanks to you. I hope you keep cooking and sharing forever! Happy New Year, Deb & family! (and I can’t wait to try a Cosmo with pomegranate juice.)

  32. Ellamarie

    I learned how to make baklava this year (which shoots your “babklava” to the head of the line of what to make next). Learned how to make spanikopita and sourdough french bread. I’m always, always making something new, so there’s tons more, but these are the heavy hitters.

  33. I learned how to make a wonderful white bean cassoulet. I’m from the south – I’ve had and made beans my whole life. But this is a game changer.

    Thanks Deb. Your such a great inspiration. And my little girl with the abundance of curly red hair is 28.

  34. Lisa Matarazzo

    Hi Deb – Thanks for all you do. This has been an interesting year for me as far as meals go because I discovered both of my kids are gluten intolerant – so we have been finding lots of alternatives. I did learn some new recipes this year. I can’t believe it was only this year – I thought I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup cookies last year too! Those were a big hit for my brother! I also tried my hand at making a Manhattan, the fabulous melting potatoes and a few other items you’ve posted. My favorite however were the squash toasts with ricotta and cider vinegar and I’ve made it over and over again mostly without toast – it’s a great side dish. Keep up the delicious work!

  35. Jane Doe

    2018 has been the year I learned how to cook more to my tastes again, as trying to cook for my kids’ tastes had become tiresome – at 2 and 5, you never really know what will be a hit or a miss and it changes constantly! So now I just do me and so far they have eaten everything or certainly not disliked more dishes than before. I have consulted your site constantly, especially for vegetable “sides”.
    2018 has also been the year I have started to eat lunch more consistently, again with many a salad variation from your site, such as panzanellas.
    I am a really good cook (if I say so myself) and can master the fussiest dishes for many people without problem. I make sushi, my own bread (have done so for over a decade), and much more. But I really hope 2019 will be the year I master the humble meatball – mine are always either too dry or so soft they fall apart if I so much as glance at them. I do not know why. Here’s hoping next year will be the year.
    Finally and most importantly, thank you and have a very happy new year.

    1. deb

      Amen to all of this, but I do love the first part. I completely agree. Also, I’m not going to push my own recipe on you because if you’re here, you’re probably aware of it but psst, okay, the everyday meatballs on this site? Maybe they’ll do the trick. (I am obsessed with meatballs and that’s my go-to.)

        1. Liz

          Butting in here … I LOVE the everyday meatball recipe. I typically make it with beef and lamb vs beef and pork. And if I don’t want to cook in sauce (sometimes I want them plain), I bake them in a mini-muffin pan. They kind of sort of fry in their own fat. This is not my original thought … forget where I saw it and I’ve never made mini-muffins in my pan … bought it for meatballs :)

      1. Jane Doe

        So, here to report back: I tried your recipe again (last time I read the comments and so many people said they baked or fried them and I got nervous and pre-fried them a little to and they fell apart a little, as you knew they would…) and this time I really follow all your instructions and it worked well, they were tasty (as they had been before) but still just a leeeeetle bit too soft and now I am wondering if just a leeeeetle more panko might do they trick to make the most perfect meatballs for our personal tastes and I might try that but of course you were right (you knew that) and they were much, much better than previous attempts.

        1. deb

          I’d reduce the liquid a little for a firmer meatball. Or a touch less panko. I make them soft because it’s my preference (I have bad memories of hard meatballs) but I know it’s not everyone’s.

  36. Peggy

    This year I started baking my own bread. I now prefer homemade over store/bakery bought bread, though there are times I run out and buy a loaf. LOL.

  37. Adrienne

    I quite like the moment of sap. I enjoy reading your writing because you know when a parenthetical aside is necessary, and they flow from me as well. I have not made anything new in my rental space with a wet bar-that-I-must-pretend-is-a-kitchen this year, but I did make an entire shrimp boil for 6 on 1 hot plate. So that’s something. I also made the Nutella star twist bread, but that was with cans of crescent rolls so I don’t truly count it as a recipe so much as a technique. I think 2019 will be the year I properly explore Indian food thanks to some new friends at my office who would like to teach me. Happy New Year!

  38. Susan Frost

    I just wanted to let everyone know that Deb’s recipe for the baked oatmeal with pears in the new cookbook is so delicious that even my house guests who “don’t really like oatmeal” (?!?) gobbled it up. A huge holiday hit. Thank you!

  39. Amy

    This year I tackled birds. First came many practice chickens. Then I honed in my Thanksgiving turkey brine and cooking technique. The highlight of the year was wowing the socks off my husband with a perfect Christmas Day pheasant. Deb, you are inspirational, please keep it coming!

  40. Kim S

    Thanks for another year of inspiration and entertainment Deb! My 2018 resolution was to cook a new recipe every week-not an easy feat when life gets in the way and it’s just easier to make your fallback pasta or rice and call it a night. But I made it! 52 new recipes under my belt—some of the best from you! Pasta with white beans and rosemary garlic oil, crispy tofu and broccoli with sesame peanut pesto, your Marsala sauce—all winners! My family and I have both appreciated my goal to try new things, and I thank you for giving me some new ideas to try! Happy New Year!

  41. Sara Darling

    This year I learned: how to make cheesey grits. It takes too long for every day, but when I have time….

    And I hear you on the difficulty finding straight cranberry juice for cocktails. One thing Ive found helpful – cranberry juice concentrate from health food stores (or, y’know, the internet). It is AMAZING in cocktails, and keeps almost forever in the fridge.

  42. Liz

    I’ve made bread all of my adult life, no knead revolutionized things for me about 8 years ago and 3 years ago that segued to sourdough but this year the new thing was learning about how to make a sweet starter which I use for donuts, cinnamon rolls and just this week the baklava-babka!! I use discard starter in savory crackers but also just this week made your graham crackers – YUM! I’ve had an Instant Pot for almost 3 years and use it more and more – this year learning about layering things: beans and rice, eggs and potatoes for example. My all time favorite recipe here is the Summer Squash Pizza. But as a long time scratch cook, I mostly use recipes as inspiration and ratio guidance and so am here often for both – Thanks for making this a fun and inspiring food place!

  43. Michelle Oie

    Our house loves both sweet & savory. I look forward to your posts for new ideas & keep notes on each recipe for tips on future changes, if any.
    The ‘Spinach & Cheese Strata’ is lucious. The ‘Artichoke-Olive Crostini’ is an easy appetizer that can be made quickly. Your ‘Marbled Banana Bread’ is devoured. The ‘Smashed Chickpea Salad’ is a great entree for a vegan friend. Keep your ideas coming. Love & appreciate your work! Sending gratitude.

  44. TinaD

    Breaded fish. I finally found a baked breaded fish method I like (turns out panko is worth the big deal they make of it.) maybe next year I’ll conquer deep-frying. Or, you know, not. I have a million of your recipes on my “to make” list (now extended onto Instagram), but many, many of them are bakes and I’m trying to do the diet-and-exercise thing. (Plus the children quit eating cake. Grrrrrr.) Still, I’m very glad you do what you do.

  45. TanjaK

    I have learnt to let go. I’ve learnt that I will never create a perfect looking, pinterest worthy dish, but that what I cook will alsways be tasty. I have learnt to be better at baking by simply slowing down. I have also learnt that trends are ridiculus and have embraced our local traditions more. So, this year I have finally decided to listen to myself, to let go of perfection and cooking has become so much more enjoyable.
    Thank you also for being so generous and sharing so many great dishes with us. I always look forward to your posts and throughout the years you have taught me quite a lot. Here’s to many more years.

  46. TMc

    I’m almost embarrassed to say what I learned to master. Ready? Hard boiled eggs. Mine were always over done, hard to peel or tough whites. I was not about to pull out my pressure cooker just to cook eggs. Now, I steam them in 1½ cups of boiling water, add in eggs reduce and simmer for 9, 10 or 11 minutes depending on your preference. 9½ minutes is egg yolk caviar butter heaven! I’ve never had super tender whites until now.
    And….I bet my 9:30 p.m. tonight, I will be learning the perfect Cosmopolitan cocktail! Thanks to you Ü

  47. Deb, thank you for the extensive breakfast and lunch dishes. When kids are small, dinner is the main family meal, but as they get older, they are busy with sports, study groups, work…and they sleep in on the weekends. Well, I sneakily make a terrific breakfast every Sunday morning now, and they do show up for huevos rancheros, buttermilk pancakes, cinnamon rolls…a new tradition has begun.

  48. embrita

    I bought my husband a book called Old Man Drinks for Christmas last year and he’s been mixing his way through it ever since. The photo on the front is of an old man who is surely growling “get off my lawn!” at the camera man, but the recipes are solid. We also learned to make French 75s (not in the book) – they’re good with gin in the summer and cognac in the winter (the earliest recipes are with cognac) and swapping the lemon for pomegranate is very festive. If 2019 is the year of the cocktail, I am 100% here for it. (Related: have you seen F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter wherein he conjugated cocktail? I want it as a poster in my kitchen.) Happy New Year!

  49. Yes! From you I learned broccoli rubble–which is my daughter’s new favorite broccoli–and olive oil chocolate cake, which comes in very handy when I have to bake for vegans. And from somewhere else I learned to make Greek lemon potatoes, which are a lot like your melting potatoes, except . . . lemony. From Chad Robertson (of Tartine) I learned some techniques for improving my sourdough. I learned I could mimic tandoori chicken using my broiler. And I finally braved my pressure canner and canned some chicken stock. This is my favorite thing about cooking, I think: there’s always something to learn, always something to improve.

  50. Denise

    I faced my fear of yeast (it’s a living organism; it senses fear) and mastered the art of bread making. Deb, thanks for all your stories, humor, posts and recipes. Keep it coming!

  51. Abesha1

    I perfected my lentil soup this year, mostly to give away, although I love it, too. Basically it’s a Giada de Laurentiis recipe, and I add leafy greens toward the end. It’s better the second day, and even better after freezing! It is rich and thick with tomatoes, it happens to be vegan (use vegetable broth or Better than Boullion No
    Chicken) and gluten free, it’s made with pantry staples, and is perfect for giving as a dinner for someone who’s in need of a pot of soup. I always give bread or muffins alongside, and something sweet.
    It warms my heart to give it.

  52. Jill Q.

    One of the things I worked on this year was your “bakery style butter cookies.” I have definitely not perfected them, but I’m getting better and enjoying the process. And my family always welcomes the trial cookies.

    Also, I discovered a “plain” sugar cookie recipe that I really love. King Arthur’s “Holiday Butter Cookies” plus America’s Test Kitchen Christmas Cookie Glaze (if you can stand the persnickety ounce of cream cheese required). I never thought I’d find a sugar cookie that tastes good. Also, for extra persnickety-ness, I loved the glaze best when I made it with a tsp of vanilla, 1/2 tsp of lemon extract and 1/2 tsp of orange extract. The internet tells me this is an approximation of “fiori di sicilia” extract in panettone. I can’t vouch for this, but I can vouch for it being extremely tasty and even the picky children eating the cookie without complaining of lemony-ness.

    In 2019, I hope to get back into more savory cooking and not just baking (cookies, so fun! everyone loves them! You give them to people and they’re happy!) Thanks for sharing so many wonderful ideas with us.

  53. Cathy

    Thank You Deb for all your ideas and inspiration. I refer to your site all the time and book number 2. I have also made bread for over 20 years but this fall I made your foccacia and it was a HUGE hit. I thought it was easy and fun dough to work with. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  54. Judy Cinerari

    Thanks for your posts. I enjoy every one and often find some great recipes. Who could not love Melting potatoes? This year I learned to make pizza. Every Friday night my children and their families come over and we make pizza together. My 3 year old granddaughter loves kneading the dough and choosing her toppings. At the moment we are camping in country Victoria Australia and it is 105 degrees, so no pizza tonight! Hope 2019 is filled with love and joy. Cheers Judy.

  55. Kate S.

    Deb, thanks for another great year. I have made many of the recipes on this list, and several are in very regular rotation around here! I started following your blog shortly after I graduated from college almost a decade ago. The recipes on these pages have seen me through my poor graduate student days, early attempts at cocktail parties and dinner parties, breakups, and cooking for my now husband and many other family members and friends. I can always count on your recipes to inspire, and more importantly, to work every darn time. When I started cooking from your blog, I was living in a tiny apartment in the East Village — probably not far from you! Now, I live 3,000 miles away. Coming here always feels like coming home.

    I am especially excited to try this cosmopolitan recipe. My mom used to host Christmas Eve for our entire extended family. Sometime in the late nineties when cosmos were trendy, she started making them for the party. She always said they made the family more pleasant :) She passed away a few years ago, and I don’t think I have had a cosmo since, but I have been thinking about them and her fabulous parties this holiday season. Thanks for giving me just the recipe I needed when I needed it — I’m sure it won’t be the last time. Cheers to 2019! Looking forward to many more great recipes.

  56. Jane M

    NOPE I never tire of your blog posts! They are so inspirational for when I’m in the food blaaaaahs! Happy New Year! I need to host a party to bake that Baklava Babka! It looks STUNNING!

  57. Rita

    Apologies Deb (I’m Canadian) but I believe you have the ratio of ingredients in your cosmo incorrect – and I believe this is what has given the cocktail a bad reputation. Having lived through the 90’s I agree with the whole flavoured vodka craze and would suggest you try a 3 to 1 ratio for your cosmo.

    My recipe is very “booze forward” (as I like to call it) and is presented as a delicate pink colour – anything darker than light pink IMO and you’re too heavy on the cranberry which kills the cocktail making it a syrupy sweet mash. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed seeing a waiter carrying over a “cosmo” that is too red – knowing they’ve gotten the ratio wrong.

    So I suggest you try your cosmo this way and guarantee you’ll enjoy the tart boozy spark of this “hint of pink” cocktail.

    – 1 oz frozen unflavoured vodka (the coldness of the drink helps to create sublime little boozy ice bombs)
    – 1/3 oz Cointreau
    – 1/3 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (don’t compromise)
    – 1/3 oz cranberry juice

    Pour ingredients into a chilled cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously (this is what binds the fruit juice to the alcohol – you actually want to bruise the vodka) and pour into a chilled martini glass. If it’s too tart for you (this will depend on the limes you’ve used and your brand of cranberry juice) soften it with a scant splash of Cointreau. It will be just pink, very vodka forward and sublime…

  58. Claire

    I made cassoulet for my birthday, it took three days and two additional cooks to do all the required steps without short cuts, quite a project. Also made my first-ever successful pie crust without the food processor thanks to your all-flaky butter crust recipe.
    Happy new year to all and besides the recipes thanks to all the helpful commenters here, I learn a lot from everyone.

  59. Helen

    Thanks for doing what you do! Your recipes are idiot-proof, no nonsense, always surprisingly delicious and accessible. I recommend you to everyone I know!

  60. Mike

    I’ve perfected some Latin entrees—lomo saltaldo (Peruvian mash-up of stir fry); posta negro (Colombian pot roast using red wine, brown sugar) and ropa vieja (Cuban shredded flank steak braise). Love ‘em and perfectly adapted to being the one meat eater in the house.

    OTOH, cacio e pepe is still a mess even following your recipe, watching the video and trying other recipes that promise it won’t turn broken. Every time it’s a mess. But we have perfected a “cacio e pepe “ Mac n Cheese.

    Mike

  61. I overindulged in news, Can & US, this week, sigh. I checked in with you and ta-da, as always, something distracting and clever and thoughtful. Thank you.

    I learned how to cook goose breast 2 ways, it’s lean and nicely gamey, I’m a fan.

  62. Liz S.

    Two new adventures for me were bialys (from your wonderful site) and English muffins (from Stella Parks’ Brave Tart, which I learned about on your wonderful site).
    Thank you, Deb!

  63. C

    I’m not sure if it counts as cooking (sometimes there was heat, but mostly infusing), but I made my first DIY liqueurs and bitters. Ginger liqueur is delicious.

  64. Nancy

    I love to cook and won’t live long enough to make all the recipes I’d love t try. My 26 year-old son wanted to make macarons (someone at his office bet him he couldn’t make them) and I had to admit I had always wanted to make them but had never tried. They turned out quite nicely, although probably needed a little more beating for better “feet”. We stepped it up by making vanilla bean cream for the filling. This year I really need to master a babka and I would love to replicate my grandmother’s burnt sugar cake. I think the liquid proportion is off and the cake frequently falls. Thanks for inspiring us all, Deb.

  65. Elizabeth

    Happy New Year, Deb! I love your blog! One of my firsts this year was your linguine and clams – made it for my sister’s birthday and everyone loved it! My 17y.o. daughter decided she couldn’t live without the “linguine and clams” t-shirt you linked to. Fun! Another first this year was making fruitcake from scratch. Delicious and a big hit, even with folks who weren’t sure they about fruitcake.

  66. Molly

    Yum – these look amazing – looking forward to trying!
    I think almost everything new I learned to make this year came from your site (or your books), Deb! I know we don’t know each other, but among my family and friends we are on a first name basis – “Did you see Deb’s new recipe for…,” “Deb says to do it this way…” – my mom, sister, and I all love to follow your blog, and everyone in our family (including a few toddlers!) raves about any and all new recipes from SK. Big hits this year were anything with Jim Lahey’s pizza dough (esp. the Even Better Potato Pizza), the spinach sheet pan quiche, your mom’s party cheese bread, hot fudge sundae cake, hummus with cucumbers and tomatoes, etc… I have always been kind of a dud with pastry/bread but your recipes are working for me every time!
    This site is a wonderful place of humor, inspiration, and community and I cherish it so much every day (it is the only site where I actually enjoy reading the comments :)). Looking forward to even more great things in 2019 – thank you for all that you do!!

    1. Molly

      And how could I forget the farro and broccoli rubble, broccoli and tofu with peanut sauce, and pasta e ceci, which are all in heavy rotation for my weekly make-ahead meals. Also the chocolate olive oil cake has been a huge hit for parties, and marbled chocolate cheesecake brownies. And I can’t wait to try the falafel you posted last week, complete with homemade pita. My husband looooves falafel, but is disappointed by whatever we get from take-out, but I just know your recipe will be perfect.
      Obviously I could go on and on, but I will stop there :) Thanks again for everything, and happy new year!!

  67. janmorrison12

    Looking back I don’t think I was terribly adventurous in my cooking and baking this year. After five years in Labrador I was in a sort of fugue state ever time I went to the market or grocery store brought on by the mounds of gorgeous fresh vegetables and fruit, the meat cuts, the wondrous sourdough breads etc… So it was simple to create excellent meals. One thing I did over and over was make roasted tomatoes AND your genius roasted tomato soup with cheddar lids. Gawd that was fabulous. And I made a version of fromage fort after our solstice party that we are living on. The other thing I keep making is a lamb meatball recipe from recipetineats called Moroccan Meatballs though they ain’t. They are damn good though and in fact I’m going to make them today just cuz.
    I also made a nearly true to Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon with some sensible changes and it was really good. Last night we went out for New Year’s eve dinner and the hosts made the most scrumptious Osso Buco and in looking this up I realized I ate veal which I swore I’d never do and now I feel quite sad. Okay I’m going to go now.

  68. Dalnapen1

    Deb, just a note to thank you for consistent leadership and inspiration into new and rewarding food/cooking adventures! I’m a longtime blog follower, and mainly because of you (and basic food wisdom garnered from my mother and country/farmstead grandmother) my world think I’m an exceptional cook. It has even led to a side hustle as a boutique caterer—although constrained by my small kitchen and unwillingness to buy commercial equipment… Can I say further that it is your palate that I have come to trust. Also I love your evolution to more plant based meals, as we all try to help our planet and our health going forward. And your inclusion of delicious ethnic foods widens my experience. I also love that your cooking often revolves around the life and rhythms of a family and children—because love and support of family members is a huge motivation to cook well. So thank you, Smitten, for all your efforts to ‘get it right’ and perfect new recipes. My life is the better for it! Also remembering your dad in this new year, and praying your mother continues well. Thank you also for sharing the children’s lives—amazed at how quickly they’re getting taller; can you slow it down a bit? Yours gratefully.

  69. Kim

    Happy New Year Deb!
    Ever since I set a goal for myself to learn how to cook I’ve made a list around New Year’s of things I wanted to learn that year. But actually it’s even better to look back and give myself a pat on the back for actually doing some of these ;)
    In 2018 I’ve learned how to make sauerkraut (ridiculously easy), teriyaki sauce and skewers, how to cook mussels (I only ever grilled them before) and Marcella Hazan’s pork in milk. I had to learn to cook on an induction stove rather than gas, but I still think it sucks.
    In 2019 I hope to learn some go-to dinners based on vegetables rather than meat! I’m eyeing your falafels (man that sounds dirty…)

  70. Rebecca

    Happy new year to you from a Yorkshire reader of your blog.

    Ribollita or Tuscan bean soup. Tastes so good, is filling and there is loads of cavelo Nero and rosemary in the garden, so it’s fairly cheap and convenient to make. That’s been my favourite recipe this year, something that’s healthy that I actually enjoy. The other thing is American blueberry pancakes. I’ve started putting lemon juice in the milk and let it stand. That seems to make big fluffy ones!

    Othe new recipes I made this year; a crab dip. Smoked salmon fishcakes. Spinach and chickpea curry. Stilton and pea quiche. Mushroom and Chestnut pie.

  71. thisbalancinglife

    Happy New Year! It’s fun to reminisce and thoroughly enjoy flipping through your cookbooks and blog revisiting old favorites: the bean, kale (or my garden’s chard) and chicken Pot pie, the “anything” yogurt cake. Overall this last year has consisted in my guy and I re-learning or further mastering dishes. We’ve taken a braise to the next level with lamb shanks in N. African/Moroccan flavors, Pork tenderloin with cumin and warming spice and cooked apples, or gratin-ing any and all seasonal vegetables. Yet the biggest take away for me in savory food is the gremolata. By tweeking the base ingredients just a tad by what’s seasonal really takes a dish to another level of flavor. Here’s to 2019 and learning even more in the kitchen.

  72. Your enthusiasm is wonderfully contagious, and I find your encouragement that we, the unschooled but still trying, can cook anything a home to be very heartwarming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  73. Last night (New Year’s Eve) my kids asked me to make dessert crepes. I was nervous because my last memory of attempting them, circa mid-90s, was a dispiriting disaster. But then I remembered that you have a number of crepe recipes here, and I tried your foolproof recipe and followed your instructions to a T, and they were *perfect*. Even the first one turned out! So thank you, Deb, for yet again encouraging me to spread my wings in the kitchen.

  74. About two years ago, a woman told me that she had had acorn squash quesadillas with salsa verde. Last year, I discovered that the recipe was on your page and I made them. They were delicious and I will make them again! Last year, I also learned that just about any type of grain can be cooked and then put on a sheet pan and baked to become golden and crunchy. These can then be tossed with any kind of roasted vegetable.

  75. Sarah

    This year I learned how to minimize dishes! I moved to a house with minimal takeout options with a four year old and a two year old. I’m an accomplished cook but doing it every day and cleaning up gets dreary. Now I’m a wizard at figuring out how to reuse prep bowls when assembling a recipe, adjust messy steps like browning meat (hint you can often just keep the lid on the pan to keep the splatter in), and really do the dishes while cooking. So worth spending some time thinking about it, and I appreciate you consider the dishes aspect of your recipes Deb!

  76. Rebekah

    I absolutely think that 2019 could be the Year of the Cocktail, especially as we wind up to the 100th anniversary of Prohibition. Seems fitting, no? And I personally expect to need to have some cocktails in my back pocket (literal or recipe only) for the upcoming interminable election cycle.

  77. Caitlin McGuire

    This year I meant to master bread baking in its entirety (right…), but I came out the other side with a phenomenal pizza dough and a goes-with-anything focaccia recipe, which it turns out pretty well satisfied my bread needs. Not sure what the kitchen goal will be this year; maybe I’ll aim to use all of my kitchen gadgets at least a handful of times or declutter them. I love this blog, Deb, thank you for continuing to give us these recipes and stories.

  78. Frances

    I still love a good Cosmo, too, despite having been around for it’s SATC years. I like mixing cran and pomegranite juice or adding a splash of sour cherry to either.

  79. Janel

    Yes! I moved to South Africa and learned to make bobotie, and pap, and malva pudding. I also made my first classic plum pudding and got really good at homemade tortillas. Love reading all the comments about new dishes others have tried (or perfected) this year!

  80. I AM that “can I make this gluten-free/dairy-free/Whole-30” weirdo. And, by my husband’s dinner table remarks, I don’t think I’m doing half-bad at it, weirdness aside. ;) I made your lip-smacking Garlic Lime Steak and Noodle Salad Whole-30 friendly (and it was good enough that we actually licked our plates). I made your Summer Squash Pasta Bake gluten-free (and my husband has not stopped requesting it since). I made a gluten-free/dairy-free/paleo riff on your crackly banana bread (on my site as “boy-catching banana bread”, because it’s true) that my gluten-loving sister inhales by the half-loaf. Can you believe it? I feel like a culinary wizard. You’ve empowered me to believe that in the kitchen, anything is possible. Looking forward to all the cooking adventures in 2019!

  81. alison

    IKEA’s Dryk Lingon is great in cosmos, and comes in handy little juice boxes that are the perfect size for one cocktail. Not that I ever (hic) stop at one….
    My husband and I made so many recipes from your site and cookbooks in 2018 that it really is too many to list, but the most stellar, most memorable, and in our rotation almost weekly is (drumroll, please)

    STREET MEAT!!!

    Seriously. Our harissa intake has increased exponentially because of you. And your site and recipes are such constant in our household that we refer to you as if you were here. “What would Deb do?” is our mantra.

  82. I threw a Vietnamese themed party for New Year’s and made the candy pork, plus Charles Phan’s chicken satay and fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce. Everything was fabulous! thank you for your inspiration. Now I am looking to make a few other items from his book.

  83. Susan

    2018 was my Year of Dough. I finally conquered my fear of working with yeast and phyllo dough! Among other things, I made your stromboli, chocolate babka, chocolate swirl buns (do you see a pattern here?), and pita bread…thank you for making it seem doable! I made a successful brioche and was so pleased with my spanakopita that I made it a few times in 2018, however I am still trying to perfect the soft pretzel. The dough adventures continue! 2019 goal: using my Instant Pot without fear or frustration.

  84. Trushna

    This fall, I decided to practice (and perfect) your galette dough, all made by hand. I’ve always been afraid of rolling out dough, and having it either stick to the counter, or break apart, or come out tasting far too floury. Your recipe worked perfectly, every time. Now I’m more confident about all dough.
    After Christmas, though, your galette recipe took on a new meaning: it was the last meal I made for my father-in-law, before he left for a hospice (he has terminal cancer). He loved it, took an extra helping, and now whenever I roll it out, I will think of him.
    Thank you Deb, for sharing such wonderful recipes with us, and allowing us to create wonderful memories with those we love. I wish you many happy moments in 2019.

  85. Kelly

    In about the last 6 weeks since I discovered your blog, thanks to you, I learned how to make baked potato soup, Italian stuffed cabbage, crisp black bean tacos, cabbage and sausage casserole, and green bean casserole with crispy onions–which my family raved about at Thanksgiving. I read every one of your posts from 2006-now and you have inspired me to cook so many more things and so much more often! I used to find cooking for 1 or 2 to be such a chore and not worth the effort but now I can’t wait to try many more of your recipes this year! Cheers and happy New Year Deb!

  86. Emily

    This year, I made my first beef rendang (courtesy Ruby Tandoh’s Flavour), first tortellini soup (from your cookbook), and first ox-bone soup/seolleongtang (from Maangchi’s website). I also made a lot of your stovetop mac and cheese.

    The sweet side is a bit harder to recall, because I bake a lot – but I did make my first banana pudding (from Taste of Southern) and my first apple pie/first lattice-top pie from your site. And of course so many banana breads (different recipes), cakes, and brownies.

    It’s hard to say what 2019 will hold in terms of food, but I’ve got my eye on a few things: the Black and White Chocolate Cake (Dorie Greenspan), homemade cappelletti soup (from a family recipe – your pea tortellinis allowed me to think that maybe I can make filled pasta, and it won’t be a multi-day process), and chocolate babka.

  87. Anne

    Deb, thank you for a fantastic site! I have loved EVERY SINGLE recipe I’ve ever cooked from here! (And I loved hearing you speak, late LAST year, at your jam–packed book-signing party at Third Place Books in Seattle.) This year I discovered SOURDOUGH BREAD, and have been learning much about its idiosyncrasies as my husband has happily eaten both failures and successes! I love the almost miraculous alchemy of it. Every loaf is a little different (despite weighing ingredients to the nearest gram) – the vagaries of ambient temperature, humidity, and whether the local yeast are in a good mood or not are fascinating. And YUM.

  88. A few things! I got really good at Indian food while dating an Indian man (we broke up in September but I’m still great at Indian food), and I made my first-ever puff pastry.

  89. Janie

    I must admit that I love the Cosmo! Perfect for a catch up on girls night! I live in Dubai and am surrounded by fresh pomegranate juice and this combo – cranberry, with a bit of pomegranate, pomegranate on its own and even or my other usual cranberry with grapefruit — you will never forget what a perfect a drink this can be!

  90. Deborah Herzog

    Deb,
    Try Saint Germain in the cosmo instead of Cointreau or (shudder) Triple Sec. so good.

    My favorite recipe from 2018, Spaghetti Pangrattato. Make it at least once a week, usually throw some spinach in with the pasta.

  91. klovescoffee

    I really just came to say that I love seeing Tito’s in your photos. Texas vodka FTW! And also that half the hits on the sheetpan meatballs recipe were probably from me because I made them that often. Food my kids will always eat = food I make weekly. So thanks for that.

  92. Judy

    Instead of a lime or lemon peel, I float a large, frozen cranberry in my Cosmos. Different. I keep a bag in the freezer for just this purpose! I use a splash of cranberry juice (a cap-full).

  93. Rachel in PGH

    I chose a cookbook off my shelf every couple of weeks and tried to make 3 or 4 dishes I’d never attempted before. Some old cookbooks and some new. Very fun. I also made awesome croissants from the King Arthur website and a lot of excellent pizzas. This year’s goal: Baguettes, plain and sourdough. I’ve made lots of old and new recipes from your site and cookbooks, but our absolute favorite was an old one, the mediterranean baked feta with tomatoes from 2012. (I can’t make a smart link). Everyone should rediscover this recipe which is the absolute most popular appetizer I’ve ever served, equally good with winter cherry tomatoes as in the middle of the summer. Thanks so much for all you do, Deb.