My Pantry Shelf celebrates its first anniversary this week.  The year has absolutely flown by (as it probably would have with or without the blog), but 90+ posts later this blog has taken on a life of its own.  This project began as an avenue to share my passion for cooking and preserving fresh seasonal ingredients.  Eating homemade meals made with fresh ingredients is a core value in our family.  Regardless of the time constraints of our busy lives, we make a strong effort to celebrate our family meals, expose our children to a wide array of seasonal foods, and utilize as much of our garden produce as possible.  I firmly believe that the modern working family, with a little planning, can still eat homemade nutritious meals made with the bounty of the seasons.  This is my little space in world to share my enthusiasm for fresh foods. It is full of ideas for how to prepare dishes to eat right away, as well as inspiration for how preserve the freshest foods to enjoy later in the year.

This site has proven to be more than I could ever  have imagined.  My life was full with two small kids and a full-time teaching job before I began writing these posts. Surprisingly though,  instead of overwhelming an already busy woman, My Pantry Shelf fulfills a deep need that had gone unnurtured in recent years.  It gives me a place to be creative and interact with others who share my passion for food. Through this space I have met so many wonderful cooks across the country who also seek to fill their days and their bellies with delicious foods.  This space belongs to me and all of you who have come to share it with me.

Thank you to everyone who reads and cooks along with me.  It is such a delight to know you are out there and trying my recipes.  I truly appreciate those of you who have reported back after making these dishes in your own homes and to those of you who spread the word about this site and help it grow!

As a tribute to the year, here are some highlights…

The most popular posts of the year:

Caramelized Onion Relish

Salt Preserved Lemons

Peppered Peach and Rosemary Jam

Edible Gifts!  Chocolate and Caramel Sauces

My family’s favorite recipes:

Biscuit-topped Chicken Pot Pie

Buttermilk Pancakes

Sesame Ginger Meatballs

Weeknight No-Knead Bread

Mixed Berry Syrup

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Roasted Garlic Lemon Chicken

Chipotle Black Bean and Butternut Squash Salad

Beets with Pistachios and Mint

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles

Food52 contest winners and Editor’s Picks:

Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart (winner Best Dirt Cheap Dinner)

Tequila Lime Tart (Editor’s Pick)

Orange Quinoa with Almonds, Olives, and Feta (Editor’s Pick)

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