The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Best Recipes of 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best Recipes of 2016

It's always interesting to look at the blog stats at the end of each year to see what the most popular blog posts were. This year is was my food posts and recipes that overwhelming ranked at the tip top of the list for 2016.
At first, this seemed strange to me because I'm not strictly a food blogger. It's usually the craft and DIY posts that reign supreme. Upon further reflection, it didn't seem strange at all, though. You see...this hasn't been a good year for me personally. It's been a year shrouded in the tragic loss of my only sibling and her unborn baby boy and the grief that has followed. It's been a year of leaning on God and my faith in ways I've never had to before. It's been a year of survival.

The truth is that I didn't do much crafting this year. And most of my craft and DIY ideas got shoved aside--to be completed at a later time. My poor kitchen cabinets are still confused on what color they should be. Finding myself crying over a paper punch because I had frequently used it to make paper garlands with my sister was enough to cause me to close the door to the craft closet. Having to hold my breath and fight back tears walking through Hobby Lobby--previously one of our favorite places to go--has me avoiding that place for now. I'll craft again. I'll walk back into Hobby Lobby. I'll pick up a paint brush and finish the kitchen cabinets. I'll just wait until the pain isn't so fresh and raw.

As I stated in a previous post, it's been the essentials that I've focused on. Faith, family, love, shelter, and food have been those essentials. Even in grief, my family still had to eat. I guess you could say that food has been my "love language." this year. The extra twenty pounds I'm carrying around will certainly testify to that. That's a story for a different day, though and I'm planning on shedding those extra pounds in the coming year. You have to give yourself plenty of grace when you're grieving. Cooking has been therapeutic for me.

It's also made me feel close to the memories of my sister which is what I've needed lately. I remember going to the kitchen one morning right after losing my sister and pulling out our family cookbook--one she put together for us--to prepare a quiche usually reserved only for the holidays. The crack of the eggs, the whirl of the mixer, and the smell of a fresh baked quiche were comforting in a strange sort of nostalgic way. Sprinkled around the pages of the cookbook--between the recipes I used to prepare with my mom and sister--were pictures of my dad, sister, mother, and me from years ago. Each recipe seemed to contain its own stories and memories that I could share with my own kids--merging the past and present together.
You've been here with me to witness much of that. The recipes I've shared on the blog this year were ones straight out of my family's cookbook or my own variation of classic favorites. Thank you, sweet friends, for following along. Thank you for your patience as I navigate the rough waters of grief. And thank you most of all for the support, comments, pins, shares, and messages you've given this year.

So without further delay, here they are! Enjoy this countdown of the TOP 16 recipes from 2016.

















For more delicious recipes, be sure to also visit the Top Recipes from 2015. You can find my all-time, most popular posts from The Life of Jennifer Dawn by checking out this post. Thanks for following along on the blog and social media.

Happy cooking, baking, and memory making!
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