Light for Life: The 2012 highlights

I have come to the end of the year with mixed feelings. On one hand this year has been overflowing with unexpected adventures, creative growth, and memories I will keep close to my heart. On the other hand, 2013 is bursting with possibilities waiting to be explored. As much as every year holds the promise of goodness there is also the lurking shadow of pain. I can’t help clinging to the current year and all its goodness just in case the unknown holds more discomfort than I want to deal with.

In the same moment Monday becomes Tuesday 2012 will become 2013. I have greeted previous new years in the midst of boisterous celebrations surrounded by music and fireworks. I have also greeted the new year with a gentle snore already tucked into my cozy bed. This year I plan to watch the ball drop with a fluted glass of bubbles and friends all around.

Before the chorus of Auld Lang Syne begins I am going to enjoy a glance back at Our Lady of Second Helpings in 2012.

Posts about Netflix’s removal of workout content from their streaming library were extremely popular ranking No. 1, No. 4, and No. 9 in the top 10 most viewed posts of the year.

This year the sweet potato edged out all other ingredients as the star of the 2 most viewed recipe posts! The vibrant starch shone in both Better (Baked) Sweet Potato Fries (2nd year in a row!) &Southwestern Sweet Potato Bites. These two recipes were also among the most pinned and repinned of the year. Thank you loyal Pinners!

Chocolate Espresso Birthday Cake topped the dessert category with Sinless Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake and S’more Pie! coming close behind.

Readers in the mood for soup loved Seafood Chowder on Galway Bay and Three Bean Stew.

While breakfast browsers spent their time drooling over Good Morning Muffins and Banana Bread Pancakes.

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies ruled among those looking for a tasty snack that happened to be vegan and gluten free.

Blog readers and Pinners unanimously agreed on the year’s most popular recipe suggestion. The Boring-Lunch Cure featured leftover taco fixins’ stuffed into a bell pepper and topped with melted cheese. Pretty tasty if I do say so myself.

I can’t pick a personal favorite. I like each post for different reasons. Simple Toasted Coconut Meringues were addictive, Cauliflower Fried Rice was delightfully out-of-the-box, Jet Lag and a Full Irish Breakfast was a beautiful trip down memory lane, and Tomato &Sweet Onion Pie was one of the year’s best experiments-gone-right.

I have a soft spot for Lazy Baker Pancake Muffins. These sweet little guys became the first of my photos to be published on Foodgawker and Tastespotting.

Sesame-Crusted-Tofu proved to be tempting enough for television. I had a marvelous time sharing it on KCTS 9 Cooks in April.

Beyond the plate I cherish the posts that do not have recipes. They are not as popular and their visually appealing counterparts but those posts are the heart of this blog. Here are my top non-recipe picks for 2012:

Pam, My Motivational Speaker

• ‘Loving’ With Food

• Ready, Set, Start!

• It’s a Spanx-Wearing Bikini-less Life!

• The Mower, The Grill, and The Man who Loved Them

• “Knowing Where to Tap”

• So… My Toddler’s Eating in the Closet

• Can we eat ethically?

Come what may in 2013 I feel good about committing to a few statements. There will be a lot of food. All of the food will be conducive to weight loss and weight maintenance. There will be stories. The stories will come from my heart and be inspired by my family, friends, the media, and my continuing journey to live a balanced and healthy life. I will continue to put one stumbling foot in front of the other, take each day of the year as it comes, and keep looking ahead with wonder at what is yet to come.

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Rose Johnson, 80, is a member of the Everett Area Newcomers Club, which meets and dines once a month at Sno-Isle Tech’s student-run Le Bistro Restaurant. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
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