It was a year full of ups and downs, maybe more downs than ups, but it ended a way lot better than it started. This year I had to learn for the first time how to really be alone, and this isn’t always easy (understatement), but I really treasure all the lessons that I’m learning from it and all the new opportunities that it gives me. Having the complete responsibility over my own life is sometimes a bit scary, but when it turns out well and/or I’m learning a lot from it, it gives me such confidence. Next semester I’ll graduate in here Beijing and even though I still don’t know where life will take me afterwards, I’m pretty sure it will turn out fine. But before that happens I’m planning to travel a lot within China and Southeast Asia, stay fit and healthy and work on new Martetatin projects, I can’t wait!

These 10 recipes are my favorite posts from 2013. It’s not a very objective list, as I’ve been missing cooking, Western food and the access to certain ingredients. It was a hard list to make, unfortunately I had to leave out the incredibly moist and flavorful coconut and lemon cake, my new love for carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, the super simple but oh so fragrant scallion noodles,  but I think I ended up with a pretty neat list.

As I’m writing this post I’m already dressed up to party into the new year, including a pretty dress, high heels and new earrings. I wish everybody a Happy New Year, a wonderful 2014 with lots of fun, success and love!

Spinach date almond salad

10. Spinach salad with dates and almonds.

I’m not a big fan of salads, but if it’s a recipe by Ottolenghi, no matter what’s in it, I’m hooked. There is nothing boring or bland about this salad. A mixture of temperatures (warm oil and spices), textures (sticky dates, crunchy almonds) and flavors (pungent raw onion, sweet dates, exotic spices) create one big party in your mouth. It’s the best party to end this year with and start a new and fabulous 2014.

Chocolate mousse

9. Chocolate mousse.

I’ve never tasted a chocolate mousse that is so scrumptious, so light and so easy as this one. Eggs, good chocolate, a pinch of salt and a bit of patience is all you need for dessert.

Meatloaf Chipotle 4

8. Grilled cheese sandwich with chipotle glazed meatloaf.

Chipotle glazed meatloaf + Leicester cheese + rye bread + butter = Why is this not number 1?

Polenta pizza 2

7. Polenta pizza with ratatouille.

My mom thought it was quite funny I wrote a post on her polenta trauma and she told me this dish actually looked really good, so I figured she had grown up a bit and was ready to try a decent polenta dish. But when I said I could make it for dinner she made it very clear (she’s a teacher, so she does that very well) to me that she is never going to eat polenta again, ever. It’s healthy, it’s different and packed with flavor, too bad for her she’s missing out on this one.

Eggplant lamb

6. Stuffed eggplant with lamb, almonds and pomegranate seeds.

Ottolenghi, what a genius. All his recipes are incredible flavorful, have mind-blowing textures and his use of colors is just out of this world. Every time I open one of his cookbooks (I am a lucky girl cause have all three), I want to make it my life task to make every recipe at least once. I guess I’ve already figured out my plans for after graduation after all..

Eton Mess 1

5. Eton mess.

When I think of this Eton mess the first thing that comes to my mind is my flat mate devouring it, legs up in the air and making sounds like she arrived in heaven. I made this Eton Mess for one of my Chinese cooking videos and my flat mate helped me shoot it. After finishing up we ate the whole batch and hearing seeing how she enjoyed it, ensured me this dessert was a big success.


4. Salted caramel brownies.

Normally I have the patience to let brownies rest overnight so they cut up beautifully, but obviously this time I did not. I also didn’t have the patience to properly read the recipe, so the caramel ended up a little different from in the original recipe, but it still tasted so good. I made these gooey monsters on the last day of my short trip back home last February. When I arrived completely jet lagged in a freezing, smoggy and lonely Beijing a day later, these brownies really were the right fix.


3. Buttermilk fried chicken.

Even though I always say fried chicken is my favorite food, it only ended up in place 3. Maybe I’m growing up and my tastes are developing or I just made damn good food this year. The meat is juicy and tender and the outside is crunchy and packed with flavors. Just thinking of it makes me crave it all over again, I might have to get myself some Chinese fried chicken after partying tonight..


2. Chicken pot pie.

It has almost been a year since I made this, but I can still remember  how incredible this chicken pot pie turned out. Making the whole dish from scratch (making my own stock, cooking a whole chicken and picking off the meat and making my own pastry) was very therapeutic and I loved every minute of it. And most importantly, you can really taste all the effort and good ingredients that went into the creation of this pot pie. It’s the ultimate comfort food, something that I could really use on these smoggy, cold days in Beijing.

Carrot Orange Avocado Salad

1. Carrot, orange and avocado salad.

Since figuring out that a salad doesn’t necessarily have to be a mixture of lettuce, tomatoes and a dressing, I actually started loving salads. And this one is the best I’ve ever had. This mixture of incredible flavors will knock you of your feet: there’s the exotic taste of cumin, the punch of the garlic, the acid from the orange and the heat from the chili. The carrots are roasted until they have the perfect bite, the avocado’s have just the right ripeness and the oranges just finish the dish. It’s just the best dish on Martetatin in 2013, objectively speaking.


7 Responses to “10 best recipes from 2013.”

  1. raastha

    Happy New Year Dear!

    This is the first post that I read in the new year. I am glad to see a array of colors that also taste yummy. My favourite is the 1 & 10. I am salad person. I know its not only healthy but beautifully presented every time. In India, for any marriage that I go my eyes are always on salads rather than the main course, side dishes or deserts.

    I wish you post more in the new year with lots of new ideas that waiting to come out from within.


  2. sarahyoungfoodie

    Hi, I have been following your blog for while now and I just wanted to post a quick comment to say how much I have enjoyed reading your posts in 2013. I have tried two or three of your recipes now and they have all turned out fantastic! :) I would really appreciate it if you could have a quick browse through my blog as I would really love your opinion due to the fact that I have very little food blogging experience and would love to hear from a more experienced blogger. Thank you! :)


  3. PeteWernicke

    Love this list! I love that it’s not full of the usual fancy, obvious stuff. That stuffed eggplant is a winner for me, thanks for the inspiration.

    I’m looking forward to blogging about food this year, about recipes/dishes I make/recreate that bring make particular memories in my life.

  4. Karen

    Your list of favorites all look wonderful and I can’t wait to try your salad since it is number one. It has to be delicious if it beat out all the others. :)


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