Surprise! I too am publishing a year in review post!
It starts off personal, then we get to the food. Click here if you’re just interested in the food because, hello, I get it.
Personal Year In Review
2019 will always be the year that I remember I finally started to get out of my own way. That little internal voice can be quite a witch with a B, and man. For the first 25ish years of my life, I really let it control me.
Not all the time, of course. But definitely more than it should have.
But sometime early this year, or maybe it was late last year, I found a little…intention. A mantra, if you will. And it really helped guide my year:
If not now, when?
To be honest, I can’t remember where I saw it, but once I did, I loved it. It’s so simple, easy to remember, and just really really powerful for me for some reason.
A few years ago, I talked about how I was slowly starting to learn how to “dance” (figuratively, of course), meaning to really embrace and live my life.
And while I’m still figuring out what that means to me, I know I’m heading in the right direction. And man does it feel good.
And a lot of that had to do with my lil mantra. If not now, when?
I asked myself that question quite a bit this year, and it led me to some of the best, unique, fun, exhilarating times of my life.
So 2019 is the year when I did. When maybes became hesitant yeses. And then more confident yeses.
Some personal highlights include:
- Running my first half marathon (and first race ever)
- Going to Europe by myself, meeting up with friends, and figuring out our itineraries and transportation
- Gaining confidence in my work
- Volunteering at an animal shelter (not as much as I’d like, but I did it)
- Trying new recipes to help us get out of our food rut
- Went cross-country skiing with some friends
- Went to Minneapolis for a team retreat
- Worked with a Pittsburgh-based company to create vegan content
- Went to two bachelorette parties
- Made more of an effort to see my friends
- Spoke at a conference
- Went tent camping for the first time ever
- Made my friends’ wedding cake
Some are small highlights, some are big. But they’re all important to me because I chose to do them instead of putting it off until later (or more likely, never doing them).
Obviously, this year wasn’t all rainbows and glitter. But I’m really proud of all that rainbows and glitter right there. 👆
Fooduzzi Year in Review
Ah, Fooduzzi. Such a fun year in food!
I had to scale back my posting a bit this year due to work, life, and “if not now, when”-ing, but I’m really proud of and excited about the content I made this year! In particular:
Shooting recipe videos with my brother
This has been such a fun development this year. My brother is a…film guy? He does film stuff. He shoots and edits and does all the things.
(In fact, most recently he worked on the Mr. Rogers movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I’ve probably already told you that because it’s SO COOL.)
So I said, “Hey brother. Would you like to shoot some recipe videos with me some time?” Not really knowing what to expect.
And he said, “Duh.” Knowing exactly what to expect. Mainly that his cat would keep a tight ship and monitor the situation closely.
It’s kind of a hot mess when we get together to shoot, but MAN. So fun. And he just does an amazing job on the videos.
I’m really tickled with how they’ve been turning out (more to come in the new year as well!), and you can check them out on my YouTube channel. 😊
Homemade pasta with the fam
Another huge win from the year was my epic pasta-making party with my family.
My parents have made pasta in cooking classes in Italy twice, so obviously they’re pros and have mastered the art of pasta making.
SO! I decided it was time to veganize their recipe, and it was a blast. My brother took pictures for me that day, and he took like…900 of them? It was ridiculous. But really tasty and just so much fun. I remember giggling a ton that day.
Taste Test Tuesday
My recurring series on Instagram! You guys are really seeming to like this series, and I’m SO GLAD because they’re so fun.
If you’re unfamiliar with Taste Test Tuesdays, I share these videos on my Instagram Stories on, you guessed it, Tuesdays. I’ll find an interesting-sounding food at the grocery store and try it and review it on camera. Very simple concept. So much fun.
I’m a pretty awkward person, so being able to get in front of the camera and talk about foods I like or don’t like or think are weird is just really fun and natural for me.
Just a heads-up: I’m planning on adding a page to my blog recapping all of my past Taste Test Tuesday…tastes. And I’m definitely definitely going to continue to do them in 2020 (so if you have any recommendations or requests, comment below or DM me on Instagram!).
A Week of Meals from…series
Yep. This year I started a series reviewing cookbooks and trying the recipes from said cookbooks. But in 2019, it was a series of one.
That said, I’m continuing it next year! And I already have loads of cookbooks in mind to test. More to come. 😉
Fooduzzi Christmas Party
Yep. I took my “team” (aka. my mom who helps me with Pinterest and my aforementioned brother) out for Fooduzzi’s first Christmas party!
We went to Cinderlands (a cool brewery/restaurant in the Strip District here in Pittsburgh), and it was a ton of fun.
I will say my food (the vegan charcuterie board and the lentil wrap) weren’t my favorite (in fact, I really really hated the charcuterie board), but the beer was great. And the company was even greater.
Top Recipes of 2019
Alas, we’ve gotten to the yummiest part of this post: my top recipes of the year!
We had some surprises and upsets this year, but all in all, I’m excited about this list. Without any further adieu, here are some of my top recipes from the year (in no particular order):
Protein Fried Rice – Simple, filling, and down-right delicious.
Baked Buffalo Tofu – For those who want to #buffaloallthethings.
Chocolate-Covered Vegan Cookie Dough Bars – I mean, no surprise here. Edible cookie dough in bar form.
Thai Peanut Butternut Squash Soup – Peanut butter in soup is never a bad idea.
Best Damn Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies – I’ve made these approximately 50345892 times. Give or take.
Vanilla Matcha Green Tea Latte – Warm, cozy, green tea goodness.
Cinnamon Turmeric Iced Tea – One of those recipes I threw together on a whim but is delightfully refreshing.
Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing – The GOAT. Quite possibly my favorite recipe on the blog.
Healthy Buffalo Chickpea Dip – Save this recipe for the Super Bowl, k? Just…thank me later.
Bonus: My favorite new recipe from this year was probably…Chocolate Beer Cookies. Or these Funfetti No-Bake Cookies. Or this pasta salad. Or these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. Or this Vegan Cacio e Pepe!
Thanks for a great year. I don’t say it enough, but I just think it’s the coolest that you’re here. Thanks for your support and for reading my yammerings and for making my recipes. It’s an indescribably awesome feeling to have you here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed Fooduzzi in 2019, and I’m so excited for what 2020 will bring! XO
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