Monday, December 28, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else -- New Year's Edition

Welcome to the holiday edition of Foodie Friday and Everything Else.
A year ago, when I wrote a summary for 2014, I was in a different place, both geographically and spiritually. I dubbed that year the worst ever, and I had guarded hopes for 2015. All I can say about that year is, Goodbye. And don't let the door hit you on the way out. 

2015 was a year of the Polar Vortex, ice, bitterness, and a serious accident.

It was a year that broke me into little pieces.

Yet somehow, 2015 ended with cake. 

It also ended with strange, spring-like weather, not that I'm complaining, mind you.

December ended with a broken down barn, one that needs healing and rebuilding, sort of a metaphor, I do believe. 

When 2015 began, I'd thought that the ranchburger would be decorated in white. But it didn't work out that way.

The year ended with a return to traditional decor. And it feels real good.

The biggest surprise about the burger was the peaceful setting. The house is surrounded by an established neighborhood where people walk dogs and babies. It's a place that cries out to be a wildlife habitat.

It's a place where birdwatching turned into squirrel watching.

And sky watching, too.

I'd like to thank everyone for playing with me in 2015. A special shout-out to friends who have participated since the very first Foodie Friday, way back in 2009. Thank you so much for going on this journey with me.

I'm delighted to share a few highlights from last week's party.

Pattie's Pickled Padrons and Pearls by Olla-Podrida.

A Sparkling New Year's Celebration with Mini Parfaits by Home Is Where the Boat Is.
Sparkling Mini Parfaits

Frost Bite Martini by Life in My Empty Nest.

Christmas (and also Year-Round) Granola by Domesblissity.

A traditional Christmas Tablescape by Rustic and Refined.
Traditional Holiday Tablescape

25 Pasta Recipes by Oregon Transplant.

Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette by Morsels of Life.
Morsels of Life - Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Easy Garlic Twists by Simply Stacie.
Easy Garlic Twists - This delicious recipe is a crowd favourite with only a few ingredients! Use refrigerated biscuits to save time. |

Cinnamon Buns by Cooking with Carlee.

Taco Balls by Miz Helen's Country Cottage.
Taco Balls at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

And just for fun, let's revisit 4 Black-Eyed Pea recipes from previous FFEE parties:

Traditional Black-Eyed Peas by Hyacinths for the Soul.

Black-Eyed Pea Soup by My Carolina Kitchen.

Hoppin' John Soup by The Charm of Home.
Hoppin' John Soup, The Charm of Home

New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas by The Kitchen is My Playground.
New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas

***Next week, Foodie Friday and Everything Else will appear at the usual day and time, Thursday, January 7th at 6 PM.

The Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party Guidelines:

***Older posts are welcome.

***No limit on the number of posts.

***No "rules," except one: in order to be featured, your photos must be your own.

***Everyone is welcome.

***You are cordially invited to share your blog posts: recipes, DIY projects, gardening adventures, tablescaping, decorating ideas, home remodeling, nest fluffing, fashion, family life, pets, time management, photography, health tips, blog tips, nutrition, nature, shopping, travel, and everything else.

***To add a link, find the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions, which includes selecting a thumbnail image. After you complete the process, you may see a red "x" (or mark) beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you've made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.

***If you see a thumbnail you like, please visit the participating blog to "pin" photographs. If you need more assistance, an UPDATED guide to the linky party is available here.

**Share your food photos with a larger community at Top Food Bloggers on Pinterest. Send me a message @ Pinterest if you'd like to join (so I'll be sure to see your request--otherwise, it may get lost in the feed, and I don't want to miss your note).


  1. What a year it's been! I've loved sharing with you since the beginning. Here's to a great 2016!

  2. Well, Michael Lee, I'm just now getting to know, and I'm sorry for year had you broken, but traditional is good, and so is cake, and so is this mild weather (even though my daffodils are coming up now, and may not show in spring). With quiet contemplation, it's good reflecting on the year, and hoping for the one to come. Cheers to 2016, and thank you for being our host!
    Rita C at Panoply

  3. Thanks so much for the awesome feature today, what a lovely surprise. It has been a real pleasure to come here on Friday's since 2010 and thanks for all the wonderful parties. Wishing you the very best in 2016!
    Happy New Year!!
    Miz Helen

  4. Thank you so much for featuring my Frost Bite Martinis - I'm making them again for a dinner party this week :-)

  5. Michael Lee, Wishing you a Happy & Healthy New Year and 2015 ending on a sweet note, like cake! Thanks so much for sharing my Sparkling Mini Parfaits. ♥

  6. So happy you are settling in to your new home, I truly hope this will be your year to come!

  7. Thank you so much for featuring my cinnamon buns. I hope 2016 is a great one for you! Ending 2015 with cake isn't a bad way to go!

  8. Thank you for hosting! Always such fun to join in!

    May your new year be blessed with good health, laughter, good eatin' and much peace.

    Hugs. ♥♥♥

  9. Thank you for hosting! 2016 will be about enjoying your new home! Wishing you a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year.

  10. I don't have anything to share this week, my friend. I'm just not up to it after the Christmas that I had. Hopefully 2016 will be a happy one. I hope your next year is better than 2015 and that life in the ranchburger will bring you happiness, peace.

  11. Thanks for featuring my roasted balsamic strawberry vinaigrette among such delicious eats! It's one we really enjoy. :) The sparklers parfaits look perfect for new years! I hope 2016 is great for you, and ending with cake sounds like a fun way to go. :) Thanks for hosting!

  12. Wishing you a HAPPY and HEALTHY new year. May 2016 be the bEST ever cause you sure are! I love partying with you and enjoying your blog and journey. Eat the cake!!! XO

  13. I am honored to be among the favorites from last week. I totally hear you about 2015. What a year of loss it was for our family. Sadly, 2016 doesn't appear that it's going to be much better. Such is life as one gets older. Still, I try to remain optimistic. Happy New Year to you and yours, Michael.

  14. 2015 has been a year of change and challenges for us. Hoping 2016 settles down a tad!
    Wishing you all the best in 2016.

  15. Thanks so much for the feature! What a nice surprise. Here's hoping you and I both have a less stressful and health issue free New Year. Thanks so much for the party too, looking forward to all the great linkups.



  16. I have a very close friend that is successful writer. She and I often discuss writing.
    She says that the best writers "show" more than they "tell." This way the reader comes away with more than the words that were said or the thoughts they were told to think. There is a subtext, something more, something undefinable that works it's way into our souls. A deeper magic is at work.
    You are such a person. I love what you wrote today. It shows, not tells, and in that way lets us "see" your life this past year. You've been through so much.

    I have learned that brokenness can (if we let it), in an unexpected way, rightly orient our lives. It can challenge our beliefs, in a good way. It pushes us to learn to live from the inside out, rather than from the outside in. It can also cause us to look deeper for what is true and what really matters.

    Everything in this life changes. That is an immutable fact. But if our lives are built on the bedrock of faith, love and hope, joy will emerge like a phoenix rising from the ashes, no matter how much pain, change or heartache we have endured. I sense that this may be happening to you. You've demonstrated by your posts that you've always been a "seer" and a lover of beauty, but your heightened awareness of the thrum and needs of life around you - something beautiful and gentle is afoot.

    May your phoenix be on the rise for a more healed and joyful 2016.

  17. I have enjoyed following along as you make your new house a home. So nice to hear you are enjoying the neighborhood. I hope 2016 brings you more happiness, less stress and good health! Cheers to the new year!

  18. What a charming post - this is my first time here so I will be exploring quite a bit - love all the links too - so much fun to see what everyone is doing.

  19. Here's to hope that 2016 will restore you back to optimal well-being and the beautiful . . ."the peaceful setting". . . that cries out to be a wildlife habitat." will be the balm that your body and soul needs. You so deserve it, Michael as does your loving family.

  20. Awww thank you so much Michael Lee for featuring my Christmas (and you're right, all year round) Granola. I'm honoured. I'm sorry to hear your year was a bit up and down. A bit like mine. Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016 for both of us. I look forward to continuing our friendship through social media.

    All the very best and warmest wishes,
    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

  21. Nature is the huge and great canvas and god created there many pictures. By looking through our window we could see the many creativity. Now the professionals are looking to nature to get good idea.

  22. Michael, your home is so lovely (I do like traditional!). Wishing you a wonderful 2016.

  23. I'm wishing you a safe, healthy and happy new year! Thanks for hosting!

  24. Happy New Year, sweet friend! You've had quite the year in 2015 and I'm so thrilled for you and how you're putting your touch on your burger! Don't forget the cheese and onions! ;) Love you,
    Shelia ;)

  25. Dear ML, Love visiting your place in blogland. Sorry some years are the pits, but hopefully all will be refreshed in this year we're off to.
    God bless,