Best Of 2012 – The Real Thing

I apologize to those of you who got the previous draft of this post in the mailbox :) Accidents which happen when there’s a 3-year old around (God bless her, it is surprising it did not happen earlier!). Anyway, I was looking for some inspiration for my first post of 2013 last post of 2012 and what’s best than the highlights of the past year of posting on My Italian Smörgåsbord? I got this idea from one of my baking icons, Stephanie from Hefe und Mehr (yeast and more), and decided to adopt it at once (SCROLL DOWN FOR THE COMPLETE LIST).

Chiedo scusa a quanti hanno ricevuto il draft di questo post nella propria casella postale -:) Sono incidenti che possono capitare quando c’e’ una bimba di 3 anni in giro per casa (amorino, sono sorpresa che non sia successo prima!). Comunque sia, questo post e’ un collage delle mie ricette preferite postate sul mio sito nel 2012, idea avuta dalla bravissima Stephanie di Hefe und Mehr, letteralmente “lievito e ancora di piu’” (SEGUE LA LISTA COMPLETA – titoli in italiano in parentesi e corsivo).

In my recipes collage, starting from the upper left corner, we have Walnuts Ricotta Pesto (Pesto alla ricotta e noci) an all-time favorite which is great for a quick and delicious plate of spaghetti with a twist.

The Coffee-Chocolate Semifreddo with Italian Meringue (semifreddo al caffe’ e cioccolato con meringa italiana) is a sweet threat I created for Valentine day and is based on Italian meringue, a meringue which is not cooked, a real chemical wonder which is also incredibly tasty.

I finally managed to bake my own Fette Biscottate, a mildly sweet toasted bread which in Italy is the standard when having breakfast at home.

The Celery Root and Red Lentils Burger (hamburger alla rapa e lenticchie rosse) was the first of a series of vegetarian burgers which are now an important part of my diet, this very one is still my favorite.

This year, my bread baking addiction produced some exciting results, like this loaf I called Söder White Leaven (pane casareccio a lievitazione naturale). It reminds me of the rustic bread we used to get when visiting the hills around Rome with my family.

I also experimented with different flours and ingredients, like Swedish lingonberries, creating a Lingonberry Rye Bread (pane alla segale con bacche lingon) (the little round loaf with the cute scoring) which has become, surprisingly, one of my most popular posts ever.

When my oven broke, I had no other way to make pizza than to fry it. And this was a good excuse to taste again Pizzelle, another beloved food memory from my childhood.

With my Peperoni Ripieni, I healthy-fied an Italian classic, this time using bulgur instead of stale bread in the tuna fish filling.

It is amazing that an international baking group, the Daring Bakers, offered me the excuse to make again my absolute favorite childhood sweet, Pastarelle al Cioccolato, small eclairs filled with chocolate custard.

For my birthday -wondering how old I am?? should I tell you? maybe soon… – this year I made an old Napolitan classic, Torta Caprese (the heart-shaped cake on the last row), a super chocolaty flourless cake which is basically a baked mousse and tastes delicious.

And this was also the first year of life of my Sourdough culture (il mio lievito naturale), which has already given me so much satisfaction and totally paid back for the little attention she asks of me. I have heard of cultures who live up to hundred of years… why not?

Finally, to celebrate the festivities, I baked Swedish Pepparkakor (biscottini alle spezie), creating my own version of these lovely Christmas cookies and making them healthier but still heavenly fragrant (hoping my Swedish readers don’t mind if I dared modifying their classic recipe).

So this is it for me. My favorite recipes of 2012 for you to enjoy. I take the occasion to wish you all a happy 2013, filled with everything you truly want and to thank you for the continuous support to this blog. You really have made this year better.


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  1. Auguroni di cuore per uno splendido anno nuovo. Un abbraccio

  2. What a wonderful collection of favorite recipes Barbara! I love them all, and hope to someday also prepare pizelles! I wish you a most BUON ANNO filled with many blessings, good health, happiness, and prosperity!

  3. It’s obviously been a delicious year in your kitchen, Barbara, and I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog! Here’s to many more tasty recipes, health, and happiness in 2013. Happy New Year!

  4. Beautiful collage.
    “my italian smo. …” is one of my beloved blogs so i wish you Barbara and us-the Readers- happy, tasty and creative new year

  5. A year of wonderful recipes! I marked a couple to try (the burger and the walnut ricotta pesto). Happy new year Barbara!

  6. Tantissimi auguri, Barbara, e un abbraccio, a presto

  7. What a great year of recipes! And congratulations on your sourdough starter. You must be very proud. :) Actually, you should be proud of everything here. It’s all gorgeous and looks extremely delicious!

  8. A wonderful Best of 2012! I like the picture of the happily bubbling sourdough very much. Happy new year to you, too!

  9. ce ne sono tante altre! :) un abbraccio cara buon anno!

  10. It looks like it was a wonderful eating year in your home with all your lovely creations. All the best for the New Year.

  11. What a wonderful collection of recipes. I love them all. You’re so talented. And your bread along with all your other recipe are just out of this world. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and all the best!

  12. buon anno! E che ricette favolose. Sei veramente brava in cucina e pure in fotografia.
    Speriamo sia un anno fortunato. Ciao!

  13. Just came across your blog; your recipes and pics look divine. Not sure which one I’m making first. Happy Happy New Year to you!

  14. Thanks to All and let’s make this 2013 unforgettable (in a good way)!

  15. I’m planning to make your lingonberry rye bread soon as well :)

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