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2012 was a year of growth.

Growth of this blog – AnnaShortcakes reached 20,000 views and featured 253 new posts.

My cousins and I at Big Ed's Pizza in Oak Ridge, TN.

My cousins and I at Big Ed’s Pizza in Oak Ridge, TN.

Growth of this novice chef – I tried new things like wine tasting, smoking meat, canning Pear Vanilla Jam and Lemon Curd, gardening on my own (normally done with my extended family), and traveled to new places like Mount Vernon, Virginia and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

I can’t wait to see what the New Year holds. I am adding a new monthly post called “In My Kitchen” inspired by Fig and Lime Cordial‘s Celia. I have already added a Twitter account; you can follow me at @annashortcakes.  I also plan to travel more, try new foods, and continue my search for fantastic new recipes.

In my kitchen…


… is the KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachment Pack that includes a slicer, a grinder, and sausage stuffer attachment. A gift from my thoughtful hubby. I cannot wait to try it out. If you have meat you want fresh ground, we can go halves on the meat. I hope someone brings me a deer carcass. I am going to use the grinder to quick chop all kinds of summer vegetables to speed the canning process for my mother-in-law’s tomato soup recipe.

In my kitchen…


… is a gorgeous Pampered Chef baking stone. Thanks to my in-laws for this awesome gift. I can’t wait to bake like crazy!

In my kitchen…


… is a bowl full of real Florida grapefruit. Picked by a family friend from the tree in their yard, these grapefruits are way better than any you might buy in the store. And the uglier they are, the better they taste.

In my kitchen…


… is a bottle of Cranberry-Lime Infused Vodka ready for me to buy the limeade concentrate so we can try the crantini.

What is in your kitchen this month?