2011 Highlights


This post may contain affiliate links.

I wasn’t going to do this post.  Everyone has seemingly done one and at the risk of jumping on the Year in Review Blog Post bandwagon, I am doing it anyway.

Reading so many Best Of posts caused me to reflect back on some of my 2011 Highlights:


Aruba, May 2011

Malmok beach with chains on post

Aruba, December 2011

Aruba beach with boats

Travel + Photography Workshops

Real Food Styling & Photography Workshop with Matt Armendariz and Adam Pearson

Green bowl of pasta with fork

Mexico City with Penny de los Santos

Man laughing holding wire bucket of potato fries

Food & Light in Boulder, Colorado with White on Rice Couple, Jen, and others

Cupcake with yellow frosting surrounded by rasperries

Friend Meetups



Many meetups with Marla

Intentions & Goals, i.e. Resolutions, and Reflections

2011 Intentions and Goals

October Goals

October Goals Reviewed

7 Links Post including most controversial posts, posts with surprising success, posts that didn’t see enough of the light of day, and more


Told we had to move within 30 days

Moved into a new place two weeks later

Photos of my Kitchen


My 10 Year Anniversary with Scott

Just being a Mom.  Motherhood is my Best Of, period.

Non-food posts I am proud of

Blogging 101

Blogging 102

Blogging 103

Blogging 104

Blogging 105

Compiling a FAQ Page which is a master list with answers to frequently asked questions that I receive.  I also included sections on travel, photography, food questions, and more.

 Two Recipes with surprising success

These have both gone gangbusters on Pinterest and Stumble.

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles

Bowl of Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles

It’s interesting to me what like and gravitate toward, and what becomes a hit.   Don’t get me wrong, although these two recipes are good, I like the following better…

Favorite Desserts

This is hard because I made so many but if I use the “first thing that comes to mind” strategy and think about what I just loved and missed when that dessert was done and gone ( I rarely make something twice when there’s so many new things to try), but the following are what popped into my mind: Two cookie recipes, one brownie recipe, two bars.

When it comes right down to it, simple is good. And so is peanut butter, chocolate, and white chocolate. If nothing else, I am consistent with the flavors and textures I like.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Stack of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stack of Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars

White Chocolate Vanilla Marshmallow Cake Bars

Stack of White Chocolate Vanilla Marshmallow Cake Bars


1. What are your highlights from 2011?  Personal, work, family, relationship, blogging, food?  What comes to mind?

2. Are you setting New Years Resolutions, intentions or goals?

Of course there are small things I am mindful of and would like to work more on, but overall, I’m not setting any huge new goals.

I tend to do that for myself throughout the year but nothing huge comes to mind now so I’ll take that as my cue to keep on, keepin’ on.. status quo.

If you are a resolution setter, I’d love to hear what’s on your mind and your list.

Happy New Year!  If you’re celebrating tonight, please be safe!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Sure, the end of year posts get old, but it’s so nice to see what each of us considered our most significant moments. I’m glad you did this round up — so many delicious treats to savor!! Happy 2012, Averie.

  2. Wow, what a year! It sounds like you have done lots of amazing things. I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it. I hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you and I look forward to your posts!


  3. I’ve been resisting writing a “Best of” post, but I think I might have to now. What a great year you’ve had! It also seems very photogenic.

    By the way, I was surfing eBay for a good deal on a stand mixer for you, and they have a bunch over there. You might wanna go check it out? Just a thought! I know for a fact that men are much more likely to buy you things if said things are not very expensive. ;)

  4. Happy New Year!!! 2011 seems to have been as action packed for you as it was for me. What a good year though. I moved states and changed universities AND changed my major as well. Lived on my own again, then moved in with the family again. Had ups and downs on the road to recovery from my eating disorder, but pretty much got it beat now which is super cool. Started my own blog and am just enjoying life.

    2012 brings more exciting things and I’m still in the process of writing out my goals/ resolutions. But I know I want to add a bit more muscle to my frame and experiment with new recipes in the kitchen as well. Enjoy your new year’s celebration!!! see you on the flip side :)

  5. Great recap, so many great memories here! All your photography adventures are awesome and I’m jealous of all your friend meetups, hopefully I’ll have more in 2012. :-P

    1. Lots of highlights for me completely two half marathons and running the most miles in a year. And surviving a a busy year at work with things picking back up.
    2. I have a lot of goals like expanding our garden, saving money, running more miles, and creating more recipes.

  6. your photographs look professionally captured! always! you must be a photographer! happy new year to you! cheers to health, happiness, and peace in 2012! :) PS: i bought a fabulous blender so will need many and frequent vegan smoothie recipes from you! thank you in advance. ;) xxx

  7. Looks like a lot of highlights in your year! I appreciate you keeping this post low-key but delicious with photography. Looking forward to hearing your goals for 2012. Just preparing to reflect on my 2011 highlights…

  8. I love the end of the year recap! It is a great way to see how exciting your year is and to catch up everyone else too!

    I will definitely be making those cake batter truffles when I get back from vacation. Delish!
    Happy 2012!

  9. haha, i knew you wouldn’t be able to resist doing one! you looove reminiscing on past posts, so when you said you weren’t gonna do one, i was actually super shocked! happy new year!

    1. I really had NO intention of it, none, but couldnt resist after seeing everyone’s years in pictures…I was like, well, okay…me too :)

  10. wow what a wonderful year! It all looks delicious :) Highlights – marriage, graduation with a masters, and a new job. I have some ideas that I have started working on and want to continue working on in 2012 – mostly balance and cycling. Happy New Year!

  11. Ditto for me “keep on, keepin’ on.. status quo.” That is how I roll too.
    Love seeing your highlights and I am happy that I witnessed all of these virtually as they happened.
    Fun to see what a successful year you have had & I bet 2012 will be even brighter.
    See you in 2 weeks!! Yay. I always look forward to our meet-ups as well :)
    Happy new year!

    1. Soak up the bits of your holiday sun and don’t party too hard tonite…kidding :)

      See you soon. Miss you!!

  12. Happy New Year Averie to you and your family. Love seeing your photography grow in 2012. Someday when I get a decent camera I’ll have a dozen questions for you. :-)

    1. You are the first person I think who’s actually told me she’s made them (or that your mom did). Thank you for making them and for the report back. That’s music to my ears! :)

      1. I made those bars as well. I commented on the actual post though. They were definitely a hit at the Christmas Eve party I went to.

      2. Oh thanks for refreshing my memory! Glad they were a hit at the Xmas Eve party! :)

  13. great recap of a fun year, Averie!

    I have a couple new goals in the coming months, but I’m not a resolution maker, per se. I am excited for a new year, though!

    we are celebrating tonight, but are hiring a driver so all should be fine! happy new year to you, Scott and Skylar!

  14. I don’t have any resolutions or goals other than just continuing to heal my gut so that it can stop reacting to seemingly every single thing I eat. And hopefully 2012 will be the year I finally get pregnant. But then, I say that every year! Hope you have a great day today Averie!

  15. You HAVE had a big year!
    2011 was a biggie for me too. Moving, changing jobs (three times), losing 30 pounds by eating intuitively, reconnecting with my creativity, selling my first piece of art, deciding to chase my dreams of being an artist, healing some rocky relationships, etc. Lots of learning and growth!
    I prefer to set intentions for New Years, because “resolutions” sounds outdated and militant. Intentions are a purpose with which I align myself, while resolutions are a to-do list. Who needs another one of those?

  16. I think I’m pretty much addicted to the fudgy nutella brownies! I’m on my third pan this week… lol. best easiest brownie recipe I’ve found to date. thanks!!

  17. You’ve definitely had a full year. I love how far your photography has come. Love seeing these pictures. I wish you the best for 2012 my friend.

  18. It sounds and looks as though you had both an adventurous and delicious year! Happy new year and I hope to meet you in 2012! Happy new year!!!!

  19. Happy and wonderful 2012! I actually benefitted from your Blog 101s posts as I was new to blogging.

    I love setting intentions, but I actually love resolutions … I love new beginnings … new starts … I do set resolutions each year … I am not always successful at all of them … I still like to set them …

    Have a wonderful 2012 with your beautiful family, baking and camera by your side!

  20. What a FULL year for you, you did and saw so much congrats :)
    I just posted my foodie highlights from the year and I did a 2011 goals recap last week. I accomplished most of my goals and had a great year myself too. Still working on some goals for 2012 though!

  21. You have had a wonderful and amazing 2011! Cheers to 2012! I hope you and your family have a happy new year and 2012 is going to be wonderful for all of you! <3 xoxo

    Thanks for another year of friendship ; )