This year got off to a rocky start due to a mending arm after a bike accident which meant I spent a little less time in the kitchen. Once I got going, I did hit upon several recipes that are worth profiling here in my 2011 Year in Review.
Without further ado, the winners of the 2011 Veggin’ Awards go to…
Best Retro Entry: 1970’s Adobo Meatballs 
We stepped into a time machine when I made these little guys for a disco potluck. They were spicy, delicious, and oh-so-retro paired with the classic cheezball with Ritz. I swear I heard the strains of Stayin’ Alive as we sashayed down the street carrying these plates to our friend’s house.
Best Product(s) Reviewed: Veggie Brothers Vegan Food Delivery 
Heck, a giant box filled with dry ice and wonderfully prepared vegan food…what’s not to love? From soups to breakfast pastries, I had a great time eating and reviewing the Veggie Brother products. My toaster oven never had so much fun.
Best Guest Assistant Chefs – The Cooking with Kids Series: Home-made Corn Dogs , Zippy Ranch Dip , Pizza-rific Lasagna  and Zucchini Chippys 
I have to say, the judge is a little biased on this one considering I’m the proud Auntie of my twin niece and nephew. It was a lot of fun messing up Nana’s kitchen with flour and goopy batter. Best of all, Nana did the clean up and we did all the eating!
Best Guest Assistant Chefs – Runner Ups: Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali in the Vegetarian Giro d’Italia  cooking series.
The summer was filled with a flurry of vegetarian Italian recipes. Some of my favorites included: Gorgonzola Soup  and Strozzapreti with a Mushroom Ragu . The stozzpreti entry does bring pause because it was a reflection after a very sad day in cycling.
Best Cycling Series: The Vegetarian Vuelta a Espana 
From saffron to tomato soup to monkeys and food poisoning, I covered it all through this special series through Spain. If I had to pick my favorite recipes, I would have to say it was the artichoke rice cakes with manchego cheese  and the potatoes with saffron, almonds and bread crumbs . We ate a lot of cheese and saffron during the month of August.
Best Cycling Related Post – Chilled Soup Category: Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup 
Check this post out for a mini-history of California cuisine and a recipe for soup that was so fresh, healthy and unique with the saffron-lime ice as an extra adornment.
Best Guest Post: YoBimbo – Ridiculous Poblano Conglomeration 
YoBimbo and her partner are allowed to cook for me whenever they’d like. For an “on the fly” recipe, this was indeed ridiculously good. (Seriously, when are you guys coming over again and feeding us?)
Best Recipe That’s Been Made Again and Again and Again: Jalapeno and Tomato Macaroni and Cheese 
Macaroni and cheese, yum. Macaroni and cheese with spicy jalapenos and tomatoes? Triple yum. I’ve made this a million times since discovering this recipe. It just that good.
Best Ode to Faux Meat: Black Pepper “Chicken” Curry 
Bottom line about fake meat products: It isn’t mean to taste like the meat, it’s meant to be a conveyance device for flavors. This recipe shows just that.
Best Recipe for Strapping to the Back of a Bike and Surviving the Ride to a Pot Luck: Stuffed Calabacitas (Squash Stuffed with Corn, Tomatoes, Green Chiles) 
Hands-down, these were one of the best items I made on Veggin’ all year. And, they are sturdy little buggers, too. They lasted a bike ride through some cold and rainy weather, and after a quick visit back in the oven they were devoured in no time flat.
And, there you have it folks, 2011 in the bag. Hope ya’ll have a healthy, happy new year. Stay tuned to what’s going to be an interesting 2012 here on Veggin’!