Best Bites of 2016

27 Dec Best Bites of 2016

Sydne George Special of the DayThere’s a quote clipping hanging on my office bulletin board that reads,

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. So throw off the bowlines. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain, 1879

Such a good reminder, I think, to live with no regrets, which is exactly what I set out to do when we rang in the new year of 2016 so many months ago. Life is short, and fragile, as it turns out, and there’s no time like the present to spend time with the people you love seeing the places you’ve always wanted to see.

How incredibly fortunate I am to have been able to experience all that I did in 2016. My recipe for a year well-lived included fine dining in Las Vegas with my husband Mike and daughter Madison during our trip to watch our daughter Mackenzie run her first ½ marathon, a special weekend away with my mom at the Oregon Truffle Festival, a whirlwind tour of Boston area colleges with Mackenzie and my fabulous friend Katherine, an amazing girls’ getaway to paradise in Punta Mita with my high school buddies, the trip of a lifetime to Italy with our family of four to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, a wonderful Wimbledon adventure with my mom, dad, brothers and our immediate family, a surprisingly sensational trip to South Dakota with my sorority sisters and finally, the publication of my first cookbook, Little Red Book of Recipes to Love in late fall 2016.

What a simple pleasure it was to leaf through last year’s Special of the Day columns in search of best bites to share with you reader friends as we close out the year.

Wishing you all the best in the new year, I give you my collection of favorites from 2016, memorable recipes I go back to time and time again, in this week’s Special of the Day~ Best Bites of 2016. Happy cooking!

Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies (silver)sm

January 2016: Fine Dining in Las Vegas~ Giada’s luscious Lemon Ricotta Cookies are to die for!

Truffle Brie Crostini

February 2016: Oregon Truffle Festival Favorites~ Make Rick Ebster’s Truffle Brie Crostini with Pineapple Marmalade to wow your dinner party guests.

Two-bite Amaretto Cannoli

March 2016: Best Bite (or Two!) from Boston~ Two-Bite Amaretto Cannoli are a party in your mouth!

Catch of the Day at Sufi

Catch of the Day at Sufi

April 2016: Catch of the Day from Sufi Punta Mita~ An unusual combination of creamed spinach with shallots and garlic, fried plaintain, Dijon-shallot-caper sauce, tender flaky fish and fried dill you’ll fall head over heels for.

Andouille Sausage, Red Bell Pepper and Shrimp Skewers

Andouille Sausage, Red Bell Pepper and Shrimp Skewers

May 2016: Best Bites for Grilling Season~ A few go-to grill recipes to love.

Rustic Chicken and Morel Mushroom Tart

Rustic Chicken and Morel Mushroom Tart

June 2016: A Motherlode of Montana Morels~ and recipes for Rustic Chicken and Morel Mushroom Tarts, Steak and Morel Mushroom Bites and Morel Mushroom Pâté.

Risotto with Zucchini Flowers and Shrimp

Risotto with Zucchini Flowers and Shrimp

July 2016: Best Bites of Italy~ By far the best dinner I had in Italy, the Risotto with Shrimp and Zucchini Blossoms from the Ristorante da Raffaele is worth rounding up the zucchini blossoms for. Trust me.

Grilled Chicken Tacos

August 2016: Grilled Chicken Fiesta~ I cannot count the number of times I have made this chicken in the last year. It is so super simple and versatile. Make it tonight. You will glad you did.

Roasted Beet Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing and Candied Walnuts

September 2016: Fall Favorites~ classic comfort food at its finest.

Just-Add-Rice Jambalaya (sm)

October 2016: A Gumbo to Love Again and Again~ Because what’s not to love when your slow cooker simmers up the spicy gumbo you transform into Just-Add-Rice Jambalaya and Creamy Cajun Pasta?!

Feast Favorites Flatbread

November 2016: Always Thankful for Thanksgiving Leftovers~ Make the most of your turkey and trimmings with these feast favorite recipes.

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. Her first cookbook Little Red Book of Recipes to Love, a beautifully-curated collection of go-to tried-and-true favorites, is out now and available at Wines by Wednesday and the C.M. Russell Museum Shop, and on and

She can be reached at . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at

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