A year that was special - 2011

Far from the madding crowd. Long ago when I had read this title, little did I know it's significance. Of being lost in a crowd. Of need to be with only oneself. Of getting reintroduced to oneself. Yes that's what this year did to me. It took me far from the madding crowd, far from the hustle bustle. To a quiet corner where slowly and gradually I would get to know my latent interests.

365 days. 52 weeks. Countless moments and inedible memories. 2011 was as special as every year has been in my life. Only difference being that this year was dedicated solely to me. Not just to the mother, wife, employee, daughter, sister and friend but to me as a person. Where I discovered my love for cooking, photography, writing and more importantly I got the time and space to nurture them.

Like all years, this year too saw its own share of ups and downs, of tears and joys and of excitement and delusions. But in the end its only the wealth of knowledge, experience, memories and love; that matters. So I know I'm richer in all these aspects. I also believe that the journey is far important than the destination. So with this in mind, I'm relishing every bit of my journey.

On personal front we moved from UAE to Bahrain, with a three month stint in India thrown in between. Which surely meant lots of upheavals and unsettlements. But on the brighter front, me and my little ones are surely getting enriched by experience of different countries. And a great trip to Europe just added to the fun. 

On blogging front, I can surely say that I have been very lucky to get huge appreciation from you all for both my photography and writing.  Winning a photography contest was simply the icing on the cake. Also the great testimonials I got from the readers about the recipes they and loved is the biggest encouragement of it all.

So thanks to this special year when I started this tiny space of mine, which became my source of inspiration to learn, practice and improve the simple pleasures of life. And also proved me lucky of having so many wonderful friends and readers to support me through and through. A year has passed and I can surely say - this is just the beginning.

And as a tribute to the year gone by, here are my top 10 posts/ dishes of the year, for various reasons:

1. Spinach Spaghetti: This image was one of the first images that was so well appreciated and is till date the most popular post on my blog. Tried and tested by many it surely is a healthy favourite of mine. 

2.  Mango Granita: This chilled cup not only cooled me during the soaring temperatures but also won me my first photography contest - a 5 in 1 reflector.

3. Strawberry Frasier - This was  first Daring bakers Challenge and taught me lot of new things in baking like making perfect chiffon cake, handling meringue, making pretty looking layer cakes.

4. French croissants - Another of DB challenge, making a perfect croissant was a great surprise to me as well, as pastry was something that I never though I could venture. This challenge proved me so wrong and gave me a keeper of a recipe.

5. Eggless chocolate orange cake - Personal favourite of mine, since it removed the fear of eggless baking without compromising on taste or texture. Another keeper.

6. Coconut Barfi - Inspite of all my baking endeavors, I'm quite a novice at Indian sweets. And this is one easy recipe that removes all those fears and apprehensions. The fact that it got featured in Indus Ladies' Diwali sweets e-book, was an added bonus.

7. Nankhatai - This is my personal favourite, since it was again a rare attempt at recreating a childhood memory of Indian cookie through my newly acquired baking skills.

8. Coffee Cake - I can't count the number of times I've harped upon my liking for simple cakes. Easy to make and soft to taste without need of any icing. And this one, till date tops my list.

9.Apple Oats Smoothie - This is another popular recipe from the blog, which is not just very easy but extremely healthy too. Again been tried and tested by many out there.

10. Mango Ice Cream - Another first attempt at making ice cream and the result was simply great. Luscious and creamy - without eggs or ice cream maker.

Wish I could add more, but guess for this they top the list. Promising to learn many delicious recipes in the coming year and to share them with you!!

Wishing each one of you a great year ahead. May it fulfill your dreams and make you a better person. And I know we bloggers are going to rock in 2012 :) Happy cooking and healthy partying!!

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