2012 has been an exceptional year for many reasons.
There was excitement of welcoming new members to the family (especially our little niece), Adam and I buying a new house, graduating from university with my B.A, getting accepted into PDP for teaching, travelling all over Europe for a month during the summer and visiting where my father was born in Italy with my Nonna, teaching grade 2, and finally ending the year moving into our new house where we are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight with family. What a whirlwind!
Yes, 2012 certainly was full of new and exciting adventures for us. Of course it was not all smooth, there were tears and loss along the way. However, that is the great part about starting a New Year. You have the opportunity to leave the past behind us and start anew. I don’t know what 2013 will bring with it, what surprises or loss I may encounter but I can say that I am ready for it, and excited for the year ahead. I have a feeling it will be a great one.
With another year ending, I thought I would look back at 2012. These are some recipes and stories that happened this year (click on description to jump to post)
All the best in two thousand thirteen.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns + A month of not eating out
Banana Bread + Welcoming our new little niece + Eliminating foods (Allergies)
Baking & Donating over 200+ Cupcakes for the Heart and Stroke Foundation
Coconut Cloud Cake for my darling Mother’s birthday
Strawberry Rhubarb Galettes + Selling our Condo!
My Birthday Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes + Leave for Europe!
Travelling Europe + Coming home
Family Traditions + Blackberry Crumb Bars
Homemade Halloween + Almond Butter Cups
Amazing 2 Ingredient Pancakes + Food Allergies
Cranberry Bars + A new Camera Love
Almond Butter Blossoms
Merry Christmas + Happy New Year, may it bring you all health & happiness
Happy New Years! I hope everyone had a good New Years!! I had a very cold and chilly new years eve. Adam and I went down to Seattle to celebrate! A very very cold Seattle. We both had not been in over 5 years and thought It would be fun to go down and walk around for the day. We visited the famous Pike’s Place Market where they throw whole salmons across the crowds, where the very first Original Starbucks opened and where they have boasted the “World’s Best” Mac and Cheese.
We walked around seeing all the sights and walked up to the Space Needle. Neither of us had ever been up it! We decided to go up to the top to get a view. It may have been a cold day, but it was a beautifully crisp bright day. Perfect for viewing! It was a little nerve-wracking going up the elevator at first since I had never really been on anything that high before! Once we were at the top it was really beautiful. Definitely worth the trip!
After walking around we were hungry, seeing as how we were up at 6:15 that morning to make the drive across the border. We looked around the marketplace for something to eat and could not make up our minds. After walking by it once or twice, we decided on getting something from Beechers Handmade Cheese. It just smelled sooooo delicious! They say they have the worlds best Mac and Cheese recipe. In fact, It was featured on Oprah’s 2010 Favorite Things list!! I guess it means It’s pretty good!!
And it was.
It was the most deliciously deliciously ooey-gooey cheesiest mac and cheese. They make it with their Flagship cheese and Just Jack. It’s Penne too, so it’s not the regular elbow mac. We also split a panini and their ‘bredzel’ which was a twisted bread-pretzel-stick with cheese and spices. Mmmmm. It was a carb overload. It’s a good thing we walked around all day!
We stayed down in the states for a few days at Adam’s parent’s place down there. It was awesome, we got to have a campfire on New years, and sit around and make s’mores and drink all night! Well, at least until we needed to go inside because it was too cold we were a little too tipsy… needless to say we celebrated the new year the next day! haha. It was lots of fun. We went up to the Nooksack falls, and it was f-f-f-freeeezingggg. on Jan 1st we woke up to -10 !! It was still beautiful nonetheless.
When we got home we couldn’t stop thinking about the delicious mac and cheese! So last weekend I decided to try and make it. I have never tried to make my own Mac & Cheese before but thought this would be the perfect recipe to try. On their website they provide their recipe so you can make your own. If you’re not in the Seattle area I highly suggest trying their World’s Best Mac and Cheese recipe! I didn’t get a picture of ours because I was too busy eating the cheese sauce! But It was good. really really good.
Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese
recipe from here
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( I also used whole wheat flour )
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used about 1/2 whole milk and 1 cup skim)
7 ounces Beecher’s Flagship Cheese (or any Cheddar Cheese) grated (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 ounce Beecher’s Just Jack Cheese (or any Jack cheese) grated (1/4 cup)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (don’t skip these last ingredients! It taste’s wonderful!)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
6 ounces penne pasta (about 3 ¼ cups) ( I used some mini shell pasta that we had & it was delish!)
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, grated
1 ounce (1/4 cup) Beecher’s Just Jack Cheese, grated
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
To prepare sauce, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter or oil an 8-inch baking dish. Cook penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and drain well.
Combine pasta and sauce in a medium bowl; mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheeses and then the chili powder. ( I didn’t get past this step, cause we couldn’t wait to eat it!!)
Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
You can eat it without baking it, just cook the pasta fully and serve with extra cheese on top!