Happy 2019, my friends!
I say it every year, but I really can’t believe how fast the holidays came and went. The blur of time from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day holds some of my favorite moments of the year, and 2018 was no exception.
The difference was being able to enjoy it all from the perspective of a happy girl boss versus a cranky retail worker.
2018 was a pretty tame year for us, with a few exciting events that punctuated the rather boring timeline:
In February, we got a brand new roof on our very old house. We’re in the final stages of fixing it up to sell, so we can finally buy our first new home together! Having been able to live rent- and mortgage-free in the house I grew up in has been a blessing, but we’re definitely ready for a new space in a new place.
I traveled to San Francisco, California for the first time in March with my bestie, Lara, for the Mediavine Conference, which was held at Google HQ. Getting to check out where the search engine geniuses work was pretty cool, and seeing so many friends in one room was wonderful.
After the conference, we traveled up to Napa, then back down to Monterey, taking in as many sights as possible in the week we spent there. I already can’t wait to go back!
In May, it was back to Utah for another conference, Everything Food. Of all the work cons I’ve attended in the last 5 years, this one has been the most beneficial. Plus, Utah is gorgeous and full of some of the nicest, most caring people you’ll ever meet.
We relaunched our newsletter, turning it into a weekly recap instead of blasting inboxes with every new post. (I admit, the back half of the year I was pretty bad at sending them out, but if you’re interested in getting my new recipes in your email every weekend, I’ll be starting up again this Sunday! Please do sign up!)
The biggest thing was the release of my very first cookbook in June, which was a labor of love for sure. I plan for my (inevitable) second book experience to be much different, but I’m so happy to be able to call myself a published author!
Somehow, after two years in a row of direct hit hurricanes, we didn’t get hit by any over the summer (thank goodness)! But it was as unbearably hot and stormy as ever.
Lara and I officially launched our food photography business over the summer, also! Our current client list includes some pretty big names in blogging, as well as a startup brand. We’re hoping to find a studio space by the spring so we can really dive into work!
I hit the road again in October with Lara, eating our way up I95 through Savannah and Charleston to attend a close friend’s wedding in Washington D.C. Afterwards, I flew out to Vegas (another first!) to meet up with Abe and some other friends for all kinds of desert shenanigans.
So, our year was mostly positive, with the exception of a couple of painful times, including the loss of a very special cousin of Abe’s. It was surely a sad time, but it also brought our family closer together.
How was your year? Did anything exciting happen? Babies? Weddings? New jobs? I’m really looking forward to what 2019 has in store for myself, my family, and my business!
The Best of 2018 Recipes!
These were the 10 most popular posts on The Crumby Kitchen this year. Some of them are no-brainers, but there are definitely a couple of surprises in there!
Oreos. Chocolate Cake. Mint. Honestly, there’s a whole lot to love with this one.
My Nana’s pie crust has never failed me – and apparently, it’s coming through for you guys, too!
This was a fun, super easy cake to make, and the visuals still make me crave a slice whenever I see it.
Another one of Nana’s tried-and-true recipes. Every Sunday evening was ended with a plate of pot roast and potatoes, and I’m so glad you guys are enjoying it as much as I do.
I mean, come on – it’s cheesecake.
We are not actually huge chicken fans in our house, but we do love to grill! These juicy legs were one of the high point meals of the summer!
I used to buy a 16 oz. container of this stuff from Publix and eat it in a couple of days – and then I tried making it at home. With extra cheese. I’ll never go back.
Nana does it again! I healthified her golabki recipe a bit, replacing some of the ground beef with mushrooms, and you all dug it.
You know, for a dessert I never tried until my first trip to New Jersey, I have fallen hard for cannolis. Even more so now that I make my own every couple of months.
My viral post of the year – this thing was all over Pinterest. So you guys like booze, eh? No problem, I’ll keep drinks like this a-comin’ for you.
My Favorite Recipes of 2018
There were a few recipes we shared this year that I thought would rock the internet…but didn’t quite perform to my expectations. Such is the life of a food blogger. Here are a few of my faves – I’d love you to revisit them and give them a shot!
Strawberry Rose Profiteroles – Choux dough is such an easy thing to make, and cream puffs are even easier to eat. Especially when they’re stuffed with rose (the wine, not the flower) custard and fresh strawberries. These are perfect for them girly holidays, folks.
Easy Weekday Skillet Lasagna – Lasagna. One pan. 30 minutes. Really? How is this meal not completely breaking the internet?
Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Key Lime Curd Filling – These cupcakes were my most requested dessert of the year, showing up at birthday parties, Cinco de Mayo, and (surprisingly) a Halloween party. That key lime curd is TO DIE FOR.
30-Minute Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs – This is actually a recipe pulled right from my cookbook, and now the only way I’ll prepare spaghetti. Everything (yes, even the meatballs) cooks together for less than 30 minutes in your Instapot, there’s no draining of pasta, and it’s not a mushy mess at the end! SO good!
The Bettah Feta Burger – We are burger people, and this behemoth (from this year’s Burger Month) was one of the best bites we had. That salty feta is an obsession that just won’t quit.
Slow Cooker French Onion Chicken – I wasn’t sure about this one before I tasted it, honestly, but you really can’t go wrong with juicy slow cooked chicken thighs and anything French onion. There’s so much flavor in this recipe!
Chicken Tikka Masala – This recipe, adapted from numerous sources, came about when Abe asked me to make something I’d never even eaten myself. As someone who really never appreciated Indian food, Tikka Masala sounded good enough to experiment with. I am now completely obsessed, and even made my own naan bread to go with it. You will NOT regret this meal!
Pecan Pie Cheesecake – By far the best dessert I’ve made all year. Brown sugar cheesecake? Gooey pecan pie topping? Easy to slice and serve? Oh wow. This showed up again for Christmas dinner, much to the delight of Abe and the fam.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies – I knew cake mix was versatile, but holy moly – these cookies are a cinch to make, and the flavor possibilities know no bounds! These have actually inspired an eBook that I’m now working on for you guys, so keep an eye out for info on that!
If you tried something from The Crumby Kitchen this year, leave a comment with your favorite!
Check out The Best of 2016 and Best of 2017 posts & see how they compare to 2018! And don’t forget to complete our 2018 Reader Survey & enter to win 1 of 2 Amazon gift cards!!! We can’t wait for you to see what’s in store for you in 2019 – Happy New Year! xoxo