2011 RE Round-Up: Table, Food, Garden, Home, Life Experiences

Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal. – Julia Child

Tonight at midnight, we’ll be celebrating a brand new year on Reluctant Entertainer.

I want to thank my readers for their love, support, enthusiasm, and comments in 2011. I appreciate you!

The New Year provides a catalyst for recalling the good times, doesn’t it? We reflect back on the year and we look forward to what’s to come.

The thread of celebrations run through our homes, and for many, it’s focused the most around our dinner tables, where so much of “life” takes place.

In this post, I want to share some positive memories and good times that I had in 2011 with the friends and loved ones who helped create them.

Just for fun, I want to look back to some of my favorite published posts.

The real miracle of food around the table

If your gathering lacks pizazz and Cranberry Hazelnut bread

Butternut mushroom bread pudding

A cry for help that “I don’t want to entertain”

NYE party and chocolate dipped bacon

Teaching our kids that imperfect is good with Oreo Truffles.

Folding or hanging tablecloths?

Does having a history with friends make entertaining easier?

Roasting tomatoes and whole wheat pasta

Not-too-fancy Lemon Curd ice cream

How to end a party with style and grace

Girls having fun with Risotto with Butternut Squash

Getting strawberries planted in the ground early

How to set up a holiday buffet

Wow your guests with Red Beet Chili


Do you fudge with expiration dates in your pantry?

How to make cake flour

Forcing branches on your kitchen counter

Balcony Girls, chocolate sauce, and the Theatre of Bullying

Hospitality and story about Virginia

8 tips on gardening in the city

Flexibility with teens and Buttermilk Coffee Cake

My house is too clean?


Setting a beautiful Easter table

The perfect boiled egg

Benefits of entertaining 2 nights in a row

Wild mushroom and white bean tart

Serving and giving at a dinner party

My son set the table and it wasn’t perfect

How to store fresh picked strawberries

Teen party with mini pavlovas

How to make a fruit and flowers centerpiece

Growing seeds with an AeroGarden

One hot summer’s night … (and 30 Days of Summer Entertaining)

How to stencil a cake

Pork Chops with Glazed Apricots

Chicken and Beans Nacho Casserole

How to mix and freeze herb butter

Mashing pinto beans

5 part series on how to can jam

Roasted balsamic strawberry bruschetta

How to take a meal to a family in need

What is a blogging conference?

More relaxed when everyone pitches in

Nutella Berry Bruschetta

Summer pulled chicken pizza on pita bread

Mini caprese bites

How to cook a large houseboat meal

How to create a centerpiece using lavender

Old-fashioned peach cobbler

Prawns with avocado and mango salad

Using a secret ingredient when cooking dinner

How to thank a hostess

Zucchini noodles with parmesan sauce

Canning peaches with a friend

Technology versus people

Sisters in NYC

Even in a messy house

Turkey bacon meatballs

What is discontentment?

Again, a huge thank you to all my readers in 2011! You’ve encouraged me to keep writing, cooking, and sharing table experiences.

Happy New Year, Friends!

What was your favorite post on RE in 2011? What would you like to see more of on RE in 2012?

11 comments on “2011 RE Round-Up: Table, Food, Garden, Home, Life Experiences”

  1. What a great year, Sandy! I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings for you! Have a happy one filled with love, family and even more success!

  2. Fabulous- that’s what you have been this year
    Happy 2012

  3. “food for thought as well as food” …exactly!

  4. Happy New Year indeed! I have enjoyed every aspect of your blog for a long time, just because it stems from your hostess heart. Very inspirational writing and photos.

    I would enjoy more about your edible garden, when possible. It seems to be beautiful even in dormancy, and I’d love to hear more about what you plant and when, etc. We’re in Oklahoma, Zone 7, and I’m always nosy about others’ gardens. LOL

    Also wondering if you’d be open to sharing budgets for different sorts of parties. Sometimes we spend as little as $20 on a gathering of friends, other times well over $100. I know others spend much more, and I think budget is a major component of feeling “worthy” to hostess more often.

    Anyway, whatever you post I’ll be a happy reader! Many blessings to your family in 2012!

  5. Happy new year Sandy! Thanks for being you and taking the time to share your expertise on
    this beautiful blog. What a wonderful retrospective on the year. I hope you know how much you are truly, appreciated. You may never know all the lives you have touched with your wisdom, let alone the wonderful tips and recipes. Thanks for providing food for thought, as well as food. Personally, there were so many things I enjoyed, but the strawberry bruschetta was so good, and I can’t wait to make the beet chili again. Best wishes for a happy, healthy new year. Thanks for everything you do.
    Cheers,
    John

  6. I can hardly wait for more lessons in entertaining in 2012! I love everything I read on here :)

  7. Thanks for a great year, Sandy, and for encouraging us to be more hospitable, and showing us how to pull it off. I look forward to 2012.

  8. Happy New Year! So looking forward to reading your blog in 2012!!!

  9. There is no way I could narrow it down to one!!! I love all your post and totally love your blog, You changed my mind about entertaining and cause me to focus on the real important part- people!! Love ya Sandy, Happy New year!!!

  10. After reviewing most of the posts highlighted for the year, I went back again, in order to answer your question about my favorite one. I honestly could not narrow it down to my favorite ONE, but here is my comment: I especially love your articles on hospitality, as they relate to the beauty of bringing others into your home (no matter what the size). I agree that so many people are struggling through life, and many NEVER get invited to anything in one’s home. The power of love is in full force when you ask someone over to share a meal.
    My favorite recipes this year were: the mini caprese bites, the nutella bruschetta, and the wild mushroom-white bean-tomatoe tart.
    I’m so glad someone told me about your blog! It’s the only one I look at regularly. Bless you!

  11. So much eye candy here! Love all these great events and photos! Happy New Year to you and yours Sandy!!

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