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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to take a moment and say a special thank you to you, my wonderful readers, for being so awesome.  I am incredibly thankful for you – your comments and emails, your compliments, your words of support and encouragement, your interest, your loyalty.  And most of all, for allowing me to be a part of your lives and as some of you have called me, your friend in the kitchen.

I’ll “see” you again in the new year!  If you have certain kitchen-related resolutions that I might be able to help you achieve, please leave me any suggestions in a comment or email.  (Aside from just wanting healthy foods – in January, that’s pretty much a given.)  Have a wonderful holiday weekend and be safe!

Note: The sparklers here are for show and I wouldn’t recommend putting them in anything you actually intend to eat later.  The baking cups were purchased on Bake It Pretty but they no longer carry them.

  • Amber

    Beautiful picture! Happy New Year!

  • Anonymous

    Happy new year, Annie!!!

  • Mandy W.

    Happy New Year to you too! I enjoy your blog so much! I’m looking forward to all of your yummy posts in 2012.

  • Alexa

    Happy New Year to you, too… and thank you for a year of wonderful posts. Rereading your freezer organization post got me wondering if you have any tips for pantry/cabinet organization. My husband and I are expecting our first baby and I’m at a loss for where to store bottles (along with warmer and steamer) and kid plates and utensils.

  • http://www.victoryissweet.blogspot.com/ victoria speris

    i really enjoy your blog and love having you in my kitchen! thank you so much for writing!

  • Anonymous

    I doubt I’ll have much to contribute on that topic mainly because everyone’s kitchen and cabinet set-up is so very different.

  • http://twitter.com/JenatPBandP Jennifer Drummond

    Happy New Years to you! I recently found your blog and I just love it! Everything you make looks so wonderful!!

  • Shannon Stovall

    Beautiful picture! Looking forward to baking/cooking with you in 2012!

  • Anne Vermeulen

    Happy New Year from one Annie to another!

    The posts I most appreciate? The ones that do a step-by-step for some cooking/baking/decorating “basics”, like how to frost cookies with royal icing, or how to make a good pastry dough, even separate from that amazing apple pie cookie recipe. Often, I find my skills getting taken to the next level when I know the “why” behind the how – like why you don’t overmix your flour into your recipes, why ingredients need to be at room temperature when you bake, etc. All that to say, I love ALL of your recipes and posts, but if I were to make a specific request, step-by-step tutorials are most appreciated. Thanks!

  • Heather W.

    Happy New Year to you! I look forward to your upcoming posts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/abattocletti Ashlee Battocletti

    i would love to see a chicken marsala, i am currently on the search for the best one :D happy new year to you and your family!

  • Melissa J

    I would love some creative and attractive ideas for packing and shipping cookies, brownies and other gift-able items. It seems I’m shipping food to friends and family but it never looks very appetizing all packed up. I need some creative inspiration. Maybe you’ve already covered this and I missed it, but thought I would mention my lack of “style” when it comes to mailing things. One recipe I would love to send are the caramel brownies. Is it doable? Happy New Year and Thanks!

  • http://thefrugalgirl.com/ The Frugal Girl

    Happy New Year to you, Annie! Beautiful photo.

  • Shelby Chubb

    Hi Annie, thanks to you too! I just recently started reading your blog in early spring and I love it! I enjoy cooking and baking but often lack the motivation to do it as often as I could. However, looking back through the reader’s favorites and your favorites, I realized that you have inspired me to try the recipes quite a lot in 2011! Thanks for your hard work and dedication and those beautiful pictures!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve actually got one posted. Just use the search bar to find it. It’s a favorite of mine!

  • Ruchita

    Happy New Year! Thanks for all the great recipes you’ve shared this year. :-)

  • Sharon

    Hi Annie,

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks for all the great past times you have given me this year…when I am spending me time, I always go to your site! I have just been told by the doctor I have medium high cholesterol…and am devastated because I love chocolate, chocolate and more rich chocolate and cakes and am not fanatic about fruit as dessert! Can you think of some good options where butter is not involved in cakes and where layered cakes are still possible?

    Thanks so much!
    Sharon

  • Liz

    Ooooh, on that note, I need to send care packages to Singapore. Any ideas on foods/cookies that can be shipped for ~2 weeks? I was thinking meringue cookies since those things never go bad… Thanks! Happy New Year!

  • Sharita Bent

    Thanks, Annie!!! So grateful for you too!!! You were one of my favorite blogs (end of the year postings that I do. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/s2HQ6p HAPPY NEW YEAR & MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOURS!!! XOXO

  • Tina

    All the best to you and yours in the new year!!

  • Sharita

    Thank you, Annie!!! So grateful for you, too!!! You were one of my favorite blogs (end of the year postings that I do) recently. You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/s2HQ6p HAPPY NEW YEAR & MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU & YOURS!!! XOXO- Sharita

  • Genny

    Aw, thanks Annie! What a great way to end the year! All the best to you in 2012! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year!

  • http://atthepatisserie.wordpress.com/ Ann P.

    Yes, your readers love you Annie! Here’s wishing you a happy and joyful New Years celebration, and the very best in 2012 :)

  • Anonymous

    I’ll keep my eye out for anything that might fit the bill!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    My resolution is to do more thoughtful entertaining throughout the coming year. I love the posts you do on entertaining and parties; your attention to detail and creativity makes me drool with jealousy. I’m going to throw really awesome birthday parties for my daughters this year and take the time to have friends over (ignoring the fact that my house is less than perfect for entertaining) and just be more welcoming and open to hosting things with the help of your prior posts on the subject. So you already have helped me with my New Years resolutions!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Braman-Duarte/100000682511378 Paula Braman-Duarte

    Happy New Year, Annie, wishing your little family all the best in the coming year. And many thanks for all you include here in your wonderful blog.

  • Laura

    Annie, I would love to have ideas for recipes that are toddler-friendly (i.e. good for picky eaters) but that adults would like too. You have kids so I’m sure you know what I mean! = ) Even if it’s a compilation of old recipes that you think would work, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a happy New Years!

  • Jo H.

    Many blessings to you and your lovely family in the New Year!

  • http://www.peanutbutterrunner.com/ Jen

    Happy New Year, Annie! I hope that 2012 brings you blessings, happiness and lots of deliciousness!

  • http://onceuponarecipe.wordpress.com/ Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    And a happy new year to you too Annie. I just love coming here and seeing what you’ve been up to in the kitchen!

  • Cindy

    Happy New Year to you Annie and all your family!! Many Blessings into the New Year and everyone will be healthy.

  • Krista Stewart

    Special thank you to you Annie! I’m amazed and thankful that you have kept up with your beautiful blog during busy and tough times this year. You are a very strong person! Wishing you and your family a happier new year!

  • Anonymous

    Laura, that’s something I’ve considered before but I think toddler eating in general is kind of controversial and I don’t really want to get into the debate. I am of the belief that picky eaters are created by parents who allow them to be that way, so in our house there aren’t really toddler foods – there’s just food. Andrew eats what we eat – sushi, spicy stuff, whatever. He doesn’t know it’s odd for a kid, to him it’s normal. We certainly did go through a phase where he tried to act picky and be controlling, but we put our collective foot down and now he’s a great eater. I’m sure there are plenty of people who disagree so I’ll probably pass on that topic. Sorry!

  • Anonymous

    Lauren, that is an awesome resolution! I already have quite a few parties in the works for 2012 (!) so hopefully they will continue to provide inspiration for you. I’m sure your friends and family will love the results of your resolution!

  • Kimlantz

    I wanted to thank you for such an inspirational Blog. My friend just introduced me to your site just a few weeks ago and I havent stopped looking at it! I love everything you have posted and my printer is very tired of all the copies I have made. Cant wait for the New Year and to see what you inspire all of us to create!

  • http://www.fortyninefiftyone.blogspot.com/ Amibeth

    Beautiful photo! Your photography is getting better and better; I very much enjoy the photos that go along with your recipes. :) Happy New Year to you and yours! I love that you have a wonderful variety of meatless dishes and look forward to what 2012 brings in that area. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anna-Yoder/137900027 Anna Yoder

    Love your blog, Annie. Have you ever made cheese before? that’s my new year’s cooking goal… I am a little bit intimidated…

  • Anonymous

    That’s on my list for sure! I have a couple cheese-making things planned and will definitely be posting about them. Good call!

  • Traci Jancasz

    So happy that I found your blog this year, Annie! So hard to pick out my favorites. Very excited for many special treats in the year to come. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  • Mary

    My New Year’s Resolution is to do lots of meal planning, freezing, etc. to avoid fast food or pizza delivery in between work and kids’ activities. I’m especially hoping to increase my family’s intake of fruits and vegies.

  • Chelsea

    Like Lauren below, I plan on entertaining a lot for 2012. I usually host July 4th, and I’ll be looking for non-traditional food items for a BBQ; think “anything but hot dogs, hamburgers, or macaroni salad.” I’m looking forward to anything you post regarding grilling, meats, or side dishes that are summery and good for a crowd. Happy New Year!

  • Chelsea Francis

    That’s such a festive photo! Happy New Years to you too!

  • Tesei

    HAppy New Year to you too Annie. I love your blog, thanks so much and I wish you and your readers a new year full of health, love and lots of baking!

  • Thedouxproject

    Hi Annie,

    The picture looks fabulous! Happy new year to you and your family! Have an awesome weekend. My resolution is to try everything I have been afraid to try last year – Macaroons, Floating Islands and the works!

    How about experimenting with some Indian cuisine? That should be fun.

  • http://www.thethreelittlepiglets.com/ Jen

    Happy New Year to you as well!

  • http://kerrycooks.wordpress.com/ Kerry

    Happy New Year Annie!!!

  • Riki-Tiki-Tembo

    Happy New Year to you too Annie and your beautiful family :)

  • Kathy B

    My first New Year’s resolution complete! ~~~join annie’s blog……..looking forward to many wonderful and inspirational recipes to enjoya nd share.
    From Middle Tennessee….your newest follower, Kathy.

  • KiKi

    Even if i’m a young french blogger, i really appreciate your blog, it is just wonderful !
    Happy new year to you.

  • Cluttercafe

    Annie, you are awesome! An inspiration to those of us with busy schedules and families to tend to. Thanks for the blog! Have a blessed 2012!

  • Werlinich

    Happy New Year Annie. I have shared your blog with so many of my friends. I enjoy reading all of the posts.

  • Anonymous

    And we are so thankful for you!! Thank you for all the inspiration and great eats. May 2012 be your best year ever. Looking forward to another year of reading your blog. :)

  • http://indigoscones.blogspot.com/ Ellen

    I request a layer cake tutorial! I guess to most it seems pretty basic and all, but I want to know how you do it, what tools you use, if you freeze the layers before assembling, if you’ve ever split cake layers and how, etc.
    If you please :)

  • uvamom

    Thank you, Annie, for being a wonderful inspiration to me as I have tried to take some “me time” over the last year in the kitchen …it has benefited my family with some wonderful new food experiences and has given me a new confidence. As a wife/mom/grandma, I am in awe of all you do – your willingness to share yourself with so many is a gift to us all. May 2012 be a year of many blessings to you and your family.

  • http://baked-in.com/ Julie

    Happy new year to you and your family, Annie. You’ve inspired my kitchen over the past few years. I hope 2012 brings all of you joy, laughter, and many more beautiful moments together.

  • christina

    I’m right there with you with wanting to incorporate more homemade foods into my meals at home. I love the idea of homemade spices and have recently added a bread machine, pasta maker attachment, and ice cream maker to my collection of kitchen appliances. My husband also bought me The Perfect Scoop for Christmas, which I was glad to read is one of your favorites. Happy New Year to you and your family and will be looking forward to more homemade staples for me to experiment with throughout 2012!

  • Reagan

    Annie- I am a big believer in home cooking. Have you ever looked into any gluten free recipes? I have a member of my family who is celiac. I am trying to cook more things with the gluten free flours with mixed results!

  • Anonymous

    Not specifically. In the past I have only made things that were naturally gluten free, and never for that purpose. My sister-in-law is gluten intolerant and recently moved near us so I have a feeling I’ll be experimenting more and more with it.

  • Julie

    I just wanted to say thank you for all of your posts and great recipes. I discovered your blog right before Thanksgiving. When I logged on to see how your Thanksgiving went, I was so saddened to hear about your father. You are your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that 2012 is a year of healing but also filled with great things. You have inspired me and my husband.