2015 We bid You Adieu

Yet another year is about to fade into memory. We pause to take stock, to look back and reflect for a moment on all the passing year has bestowed – the good times, the sad moments, the adventures, the pleasures and most of all the blessings from above both large and small.

I am thankful for my loving family. My guys are the best – allowing me to experiment in the kitchen and sample new dishes from around the world. Most of all, they wait patiently to be fed as I snap away with my trusty camera. Blog photos first, consumption second. There have been a few bombs along the way – but then aren’t mistakes simply a learning opportunity? Burnt Offerings – When Things Don’t Go as Planned is a great example of lessons learned.

I am grateful to my fellow bloggers and readers. Your feed back has been terrific – and your shares have been a delight. I have learned so much – especially from those beyond America. Thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to glimpse into your lives and view the world around me with a new prospective. It does not seem to matter where we live or how we live (fancy or simple) but that we live. Deep down, life, love and laughter are the unbreakable threads that bind us together.

One of the things I have enjoyed most since creating my little blog way back in 2014 are the research projects that have gone into some of the postings. Why we do the things we do? How did a particular dish evolve through the years? It is fascinating to learn the customs and traditions of people and places beyond my own. There is magic in learning.

As 2014 drew to a close, I did what so many of us did that year, I shared the top posting among readers (you can check them out at 2014 Has Been A Hoot! Thank You One and All). This year, I thought I’d share my favorites of 2015. These might not have been the top hits with the most reads, but they are the ones that hold a special place in my heart.

Farewell 2015 – with one final look back, I am eager to dash into 2016 for I know life (with all its struggles and heartaches) is filled with magic and God’s graces.

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JANUARY: Cheater’s Chili To Rocks in the New Year

This simple “cheat” chili will be making an appearance again on New Year’s Day 2016

Cheater's Chili (4)

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FEBRUARY: Golden Perfection Oven-Roasted Capon

I’m picking up another of these delicious birds before they are all gone for the season.

Capon Chicken (1)

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MARCH: Filipino-American Pork Chops Adobo Style

I am proud of my heritage and my crazy, mixed-up roots.

Pork - Pork Adobo & Lumpia

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APRIL: Classic Ziti Bake with Italian Sausage

This is great because it travels well for pot lucks and will easily feed a hungry crowd.

Baked Ziti 1

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MAY: Portuguese Marinated Surf and Turf on Rosemary Skewers

While I never did plant Rosemary in the back yard, I still have high hopes for doing so. If you haven’t had foods grilled on Rosemary Skewers, you don’t know what you are missing.

Portugues Beef on Rosemary Skewers  & Marinated Shrimp (1)

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JUNE: Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Jack Daniel’s Grilling Glaze

Okay, so there was only one post for the entire month of June – bridal season keeps us busy. Oh, but what a delicious steak!

Rib-Eye with Jack Daniel's Glaze

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JULY: Boozy Bourbon Meatball Appetizers

It was a real toss up between this and 4th of July Flag Cake. For deeply personal reasons, the meatball appetizers won out.

crockpot meatballs 3

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AUGUST: Ranch Chicken with Butter-Cream Sauce

Don’t you just love it when an old, trusted recipe inspires you to create something new?

Ranch Chicken with Butter-Cream Sauce (1)

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SEPTEMBER: One-Dish Chicken Supper with Potatoes and Gravy

Oh to simple pleasures and fond childhood memories!

Chicken - One Pot Chicken Dinner 02-24-2012

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OCTOBER: Halloween Fun with Everyday Snack Foods

Kiddo and I had a great time “playing” with our food. And these snacks must have been good – there wasn’t a spider or broom stick left!

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NOVEMBER: Stuart Anderson’s Black Angus Baked Potato Soup

This was another tough choice. My favorite labor of love was all the planning and research that went into The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea. It’s a long read filled with all sorts of yummy delights. However; soup won out not only because it was delicious but because I have begun a new love-affair with the simple pleasures of soup for supper.

Baked Potato Soup

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DECEMBER: Brown Sugar Pecan Glazed Pork Tenderloin

For whatever reason, I seem to do my best in the kitchen in December. Perhaps it is the magic of the holidays and a deeper connection to the things that matter most – family.

Brown Sugar Pecan Glazed Pork Tenderloin (6)

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On a final note, I wanted to give a special “Thank You” to a few special people who have inspired me the most in 2015 through their beautiful blogs, wonderful recipes and touching stories. Please stop by and let them know just how marvelous they truly are.

mommermom She sews, she cooks and most of she shares herself openly with others.

Tux His pictures are awesome, his approach to life uplifting and his recipes are TDF. Be sure to check out his rendition of RED VELVET CAKE WITH ERMINE ICING. I made this for Thanksgiving, just to get a jump on the Holiday season, and it was delicious.

Tasty Eats With great recipes, tips and always quick with words of encouragement even when things go wrong in my kitchen.

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2014 Has Been A Hoot! Thank You One and All

On January 13, 2014 I stared at the glowing, blank page of my laptop. Do I dare? My fingers began to type, as if by magic. Without a clue as to what I was doing, or what would become of it, Rosemarie’s Kitchen was born. By the blogging world standards, it’s not a huge, runaway hit. But then, I didn’t create Rosemarie’s Kitchen to become “famous”. I simply wanted a place to share my recipe collection and perhaps a few memories along the way. I yearned for an outlet beyond Facebook, and blogging, although a little scary, seemed the right fit for me. What I hadn’t anticipated at the start of this journey was that I would discover a more personal view into the world around me. Blogging connects people who might otherwise never meet in an exchange of ideas, customs and traditions – be it faith, family or nationality. The people I have “met” along the way are wonderful – creative, delightful and insightful. I have learned much from them.  Thank you all for this wonderful experience. It’s been a hoot. One that I hope will continue.

Since mine is a cooking blog, as 2014 draws to a close, I thought it would be nice to post a few links to recipes I’ve shared with you this past year. Of all the recipes I’ve shared; these have been the “tops” among readers in their respective categories. Hope you enjoy a second look . . .

***** APPETIZERS *****

The Importance of Sunny Pepperoni Pie

This was an original creation, inspired by Sunny Spinach Pie. I created the Sunny Pepperoni Pie for my dear, sweet brother. I’m glad to see it was well received.

The Deviled Egg You Say!

jan 2013 024

A collection of Deviled Egg Recipes and ideas to inspire you. Sometime I make these just because . . .

Christmas Party Potato Platter with Fresh Dill and Red Caviar

Christmas Potato Platter

Perfect for Christmas Time with their Red and Green thing going on. Gold Caviar could be used at other times of the year, as well as Black Caviar. These are yummy delicious.

Filipino Egg Rolls – Lumpia

Lumpia

Serve as an appetizer, as part of the “main” event for an Asian Inspired meal or on their own – these meat and veggie packed rolls are awesome.

 

***** MAIN ATTRACTIONS *****

French Beef and Red Wine Stew on Garlic Mashed Potatoes

french beef stew mashed potatoes

This stew is more along the lines of a French Beef Burgundy dish. It fills the kitchen with an intoxicating aroma of wine and the potatoes that accompany this stew are heavenly.

Country Ribs with Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce

Pork - Country Ribs Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce

Another “original” recipe from my kitchen to yours, adapted from an old family recipe on Hubby’s side. The peppery-smoked flavor is perfect for summertime barbecued ribs.

Southern “Fried” Oven Chicken – No Lie!!

Fried chicken

This “fried” chicken is cooked in the oven. It’s crispy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside. Perfect for Sunday Dinner. We like it with mashed potatoes, corn and fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits. Nothin’ like Southern Cookin’.

Filet Mignon in Red Wine Reduction Sauce with Tarragon-Garlic Butter

Filet Mignon in Red Wine Reduction Sauce with Garlic Butter

All I can say is Oh My Good! The reduction sauce is sensational, the garlic butter an added kiss of flavor. These grilled steaks are beyond delicious. Serve with a baked potato or garlic mashed and a vegetable such as asparagus in a tarragon cream sauce, you’d swear you’re dining at a 5-Star restaurant without the 5-Star price tag.

 

***** SOMETHING ON THE SIDE *****

Smokey Pan Seared Asparagus

Asparagus - pan seared

These smokey, pan-seared asparagus need no sauce. Kiddo wasn’t a fan of asparagus, until he sampled these yummy tips. The flavor is wonderful. I promise!

Haricots verts à l’étouffée (Stewed Green Beans)

Stewed Green Beans

These green beans are “stewed” in a little butter, with garlic and thin slices of shallots. Like all things French, they are beyond delicious.

Filipino Pancit with Chicken, Pork & Shrimp

Pancit

Another Filipino favorite. Pancit can be a meal all on its own, or the perfect side to just about any Asian/Pacific Island dish. Every family has their own take on Pancit, and this is mine.

Roasted Red Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted - Rosemary Red Blist Potatoes (2)

My all-time favorite to serve with Chicken Marsala or other Italian inspired dishes as well as most American favorites such as roast chicken for Sunday Supper.

 

***** SWEET ENDINGS *****

Best Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that Ever Came out of a Box

FOPINE01

The beauty of Pineapple Up-Side-Down cake is that it is the perfect “finish” for a picnic, great for outdoor entertaining on a warm spring day. Try using a mixture of red and green cherries for a holiday “touch” with your Christmas Ham. It is bursting with flavor, yet moist beyond belief.

Maria Luisa’s Leche Flan

P1010215

My mom’s Lecha Flan was always in demand at family gatherings. I can’t remember an Easter Table without it. This Spanish Dessert is popular with Filipinos. I’m proud to carry on the tradition.

Fresh Berry Trifle – A colorful Summertime Dessert

Berry Trifle

This dessert is so creamy, so refreshing and oh so pretty. While I made mine with blueberries and strawberries, any mixture of berries would go well. When in season, we like to pick some wild blackberries to add to this summertime treat.

French Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling and Fresh Berry Basket

French Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling and Fresh Fruit Basket

This yummy, sweet cake is filled with a slightly tart blueberry filling, both complimenting and offsetting the sweetness of the cake and Almond-Butter Cream frosting. This is a cake with the grownups in mind.

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As 2014 draws to a close and we turn our attentions to the coming New Year, I leave you now with one more Irish blessing, in honor of my dear, sweet Dad.

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

1,000 views Yeah!

I’m usually not one to post things like this, but I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who stopped by this month to take a gander at what’s cooking.  I know, views are different from actual visitors, but still – I feel special thanks to all of you.

And the feeling is mutual – you are all very special to me.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!