Boxing Day dinner via Instagram.
Hello, friends! Happy holidays! Have you had a nice week? Did you consume copious amounts of food and a few fizzy cocktails over the past week? I sure hope so. We definitely did our fair share of feasting, and as I write this I have a nourishing soup simmering on the stove as we attempt to return to normal eating habits. At least for one day. Then it's back to the kitchen for a casual New Year's feast which will include a beef tenderloin for my boys to eat while watching the Winter Classic on Wednesday. I have another book shoot set up for later this week, which also happens to coincide with my 38th birthday, so needless to say that healthy, hearty soup is really needed, for we have a few more days of gluttony ahead of us.
As I sign off for the week I though it would be fun to take a brief look back at the past year and some of the more popular post on Family Bites in 2013. It was the year that Julie and I introduced our "Gatherings" series and we shared ideas for a simple birthday party, an impromptu get-together, a spring brunch, a teen birthday, cousins' camp, a no-cook dinner party, and a cookbook book club, which has become one of my favourite get-togethers yet.
I took the time to offer a few ideas for easy entertaining, the most popular of which was my 28 secrets to simple summer entertaining. We also talked about 8 ways to entertain on a budget, a make-ahead salad for easy entertaining, 19 ways to top your hamburgers, and 68 ways to naturally flavour your water,
As usual, family dinner was at the heart of the blog this year, and no post was more popular than my life-changing one-pot pasta. I told you about how I get my boys to eat salad, the lettuce hand rolls we all love, and our favourite turkey burgers with avocado relish.
This striploin steak with onion marmalade was really well-liked on Facebook, and my go-to lunches for busy workdays include this easy shrimp Caesar salad and the very popular black bean salad with jalapeno-lime dressing. Two of my personal favourites from the year were the grilled Mediterranean meatballs, and a simple pasta with broccoli and toasted breadcrumbs. Delish. Also, you all really, really loved this kale salad, and admittedly it's a favourite of mine, too.
There was definitely no shortage of sweet treats posted, but the most popular was my S'mores sheet cake, which was closely followed by these adorable chocolate chip cookie cups. Breakfast was made sweeter with banana bread scones, and I was happy to tell you all about the easiest chocolate cake you'll ever make. My favourite picnic and potluck dessert for the summer was this blackberry crumb cake, and the kids fell hard for my healthier rice krispie treat.
As always, kids' parties were the focus of a lot of my work and there was a great response to 8 ways to make fruits and vegetables fun at your next birthday party, the cutest cowboy party ever, an easy hockey party, and an Easter celebration for the kid. On a more personal level, I shared a little about my path to becoming a food writer, and some book news, which is easily the professional highlight of the past year.
Thank you for stopping by and making this hobby such a huge part of my life. I can't wait for the new series, tasty recipes, and pretty parties we'll talk about in 2014.