Welcome to 2011!

I was reviewing a grammar concept with my 6th graders yesterday and they seemed less than enthusiastic when asked to chant the rule back to me. I tried the usual encouragement: “Come on, guys, say it with enthusiasm!” I was met with the same tired chorus of voices. “Come on, really yell it this time!” Same old song.

After several unsuccessful attempts, I tried a new angle: “Imagine that this grammar rule is the BIGGEST, MOST AWESOME PRESENT YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN, and you’ve JUST torn into it on Christmas morning. Open up the box and SCREAM the AMAZING GRAMMAR RULE you see inside!” Finally, half giggling and half screaming, they belted out the rule with gusto.

They just weren’t sure they wanted to be excited about grammar. I get it. I’m not sure I want to be excited about what I’m being handed right now, either — the unpredictable future, the passage of time. But let’s take a tip from my 6th grade class and open 2011 like it’s a wonderful gift.

Last year was filled with some of the highest highs and lowest lows (more on these later) of my 26 years on the planet. I’ve lost things that were so important to me that I still can’t think of them; instead, I’ve tucked them away for now in the attic of my memory. They’ll sit there like the Times Square Ball, wrapped carefully and waiting for when I’m ready to look through them again.

I’ve also gained so much — and I don’t mean weight, y’all, believe it or not. I’ve grown, I’ve made new friends, and I’ve done so many brave things. Every excursion into unknown social, emotional, and culinary territory has shaped me in some small way, so that I feel like a different version of myself than I did last year at this time. That’s scary, but also valuable. We’re always growing and changing, losing and gaining (once again, not talking about the scales!). Let’s put things into perspective. The truth is, we didn’t know we’d see this new year, and now here it is — ready to be lived as best we can live it.

Here are the top ten recipes from Willow Bird Baking in 2010. Just as these were your favorites, they’re some of my favorites, too! I hope you’ll enjoy them all over again:

10. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Cheesecake

9. Homemade Croissants!

8. A&P Spanish Bar Cake

7. Lemon Raspberry Cake

6. Browned Butter Pumpkin Croquemcake with White Chocolate Chai Mousse

5. Coconut Cream Tart

4. Paula Deen’s Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

3. 48 Homemade Breakfast Cereals

2. Carrot Cake Waffles


1. Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake!

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30 Comments on Willow Bird Baking’s Best of 2010

  1. Megan
    January 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm (11 years ago)

    What’s not to be excited about when it comes to grammar?! Or is it just grammar nerds like me who get all excited?

    Love your recap! You’ve made some gorgeous desserts!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      January 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm (11 years ago)

      I am RIGHT there with ya on the grammar, Megan! High five for excellent writing.

  2. KeepItSweet
    January 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm (11 years ago)

    I am not surprised that both of those cheesecakes made it into your top 10! I drool every time I see them!!

  3. Gabrielle
    January 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm (11 years ago)

    How does the grammar rule song go? I probably could benefit from it…lol:)

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      January 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm (11 years ago)

      HA, Gabrielle, just little questions to find the subject and verb of a sentence πŸ˜€

  4. Meghan
    January 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm (11 years ago)

    Yay good grammar! And cheesecake!

  5. Jules
    January 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm (11 years ago)

    Yay for grammar and cheesecake!

  6. Mollie
    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm (11 years ago)

    Happy New Year! I’m not surprised, I can say from experience that the Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake was one of the best things I made this year too!

  7. oneordinaryday
    January 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm (11 years ago)

    Wonderful roundup. Can’t wait to see what you do in 2011.

  8. Joanne
    January 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm (11 years ago)

    I know what you mean about this year being high and low for you. And I’m so sorry you had to experience the lows. But let’s just hope this year shall be better, right?

    And with food this good to be made, how can it not be!

  9. Karly
    January 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm (11 years ago)

    I’ve been dying to try making my own croissants. Definitely bookmarking your recipe!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      January 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks, Karly! They’re a lot easier than you might think — they just take awhile! You feel SO accomplished once you’re finished, though!

  10. Andrea@Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries
    January 5, 2011 at 10:55 am (11 years ago)

    Great way to look at the New Year, Julie; it truly is a wonderful gift! These were some excellent recipes and I’m still planning to learn the art of making my own breakfast cereals! πŸ˜‰

  11. Jennifer-The Adventuresome Kitchen
    January 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm (11 years ago)

    oh- your pictures just make me drool! What lovely, lovely pastries! You give me inspiration to convert more recipes to gluten-free. Hard work, but the payoff’s always nice when I get it right. Top of my list this year is a croissant! Happy New Year, and here’s to a year of delicious eating!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      January 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm (11 years ago)

      Oh, I can’t wait to see what you do, Jennifer! Thanks so much, and Happy New Year πŸ™‚

  12. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit
    January 6, 2011 at 1:22 am (11 years ago)

    You have had a delicious year! I missed some of those favorites, and you can be sure I’m going to check them out now. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  13. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    January 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm (11 years ago)

    Happy New Year Julie and a great round up! I hope this year is a year of just highest highs for you πŸ˜€

  14. Maranda
    January 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm (11 years ago)

    Well I have to say that this was a wonderful present for me to open up. I had forgotten about a couple of these. Here is to a wonderful new year full of fresh hope and life lessons!!! xoxoxoxoxo


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