As I come at you today with my Top 10 Favorites of 2017, I’m sitting here in slight disbelief that another year has come to an end. The year flew past faster than ever! In my case, that’s actually a good thing. 2017 was not a great year for me. I spent most of the time feeling down and stuck in a rut, and it just wasn’t a very great year for me emotionally and psychologically.
At some point in the past year, I just couldn’t get in touch with the old me. Everything that I loved and enjoyed didn’t give me the usual happiness and sense of purpose, and I had no idea how I could find my way back to myself. I don’t want to be overly dramatic for this wrap-up post, but it was clear that this wasn’t a very productive blogging year for me as I looked through my old posts to write this.
In any case, I’m still grateful that I was able to put this list together, because in the end, I am reminded that some good things did happen in 2017. Even better news? I’m determined to make 2018 a brighter year, and hopefully I can build on that momentum going into the following years.
Enough with the drama now, let’s talk about my Top 10 Favorites of 2017 in terms of recipes, eats, and experiences!
TOP 10 FAVORITE RECIPES
10. Chocolate Cherry Brioche
A fluffy brioche filled indulgently with chocolate and specks of sweet dried cherry. I made this for the holidays because it seems befitting of the time, but it’s actually a great treat for any time of the year. It does require a bit of rising time though, so schedule accordingly! Get the recipe.
9. Japanese Toast Box
A different iteration of an ice cream sandwich, these toast boxes are the bomb! Cold ice cream and fruits are eaten together with buttery and warm toasted bread. Doesn’t get any better than that! Get the recipe.
8. Chubby Hubby Cookie Bars
Inspired by the famous Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby Ice Cream flavor, these cookie bars are equally yummy and addictive! They are a bit on the sweet side, but I must say, they are sweet in a good way. Get the recipe.
7. Vietnamese Banana Cake
I never got to try this in Vietnam, but apparently this dessert is a popular one there. It’s a delicious baked banana cake that’s a cross between a flan and pudding. Get the recipe.
6. Jalapeno & Cheese Cornbread Muffins
These cornbread muffins have a delightful sweetness, but also a kick from the jalapeños and a touch of savoriness from the cheese. They look simple but I promise they are oh so good! Get the recipe.
5. Sweet & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies that play up the sweet and salty combination. It has potato chips and pretzels alongside the chocolate chips so you can munch and crunch. Such a glorious cookie! Get the recipe.
4. Banana Bread Biscotti
I love biscotti but I don’t make them enough. I’m happy that the one biscotti recipe I made this year comes from Joy The Baker. She came up with yet another brilliant take on crowd-favorite banana bread by capturing all its flavors in a biscotti! Get the recipe.
3. Salted Egg Lava Buns
These buns enjoyed a huge moment here in the PH this 2017, but there’s a good reason for it! These buns have a lava-like filling made using salted egg yolks and milk. Delicious and an absolute joy to eat! Get the recipe.
2. Lemongrass Pork Banh Mi
This banh mi is an exotic mix of juicy, savory, sweet, sour, tangy, and spicy, all rolled into one sandwich. This combination of tastebud-tingling flavors is what makes a banh mi so good! The lemongrass pork go perfectly with the pickled veggies, cilantro, and the Sriracha mayo. Get the recipe.
1. Cherry Chipotle Chili
One of my favorite recipes of all time! This chili has tangy-sweet cherries to help balance out the heat from the chipotle. So so good! Get the recipe.
TOP 10 FAVORITE EATS
10. Vanderlust Bistro & Patisserie
I’m all for restaurants with unique experiences that are well-executed, and I think Vanderlust does this really well, especially with their desserts! Read my review.
9. Green Pastures
With dishes that approach healthy and wholesome eating in a new way, I was really impressed by the few dishes we tried here. Read my review.
8. La Spezia
Although a little pricey for your regular meal, this restaurant pulls all the stops to make sure you get an authentic Italian experience. Read my review.
7. Tra Vinh
A family friendly restaurant with soul-quenching noodle soups. Need I say more? Read my review.
6. Falafel Yo!
This was a complete surprise for me. I am a fan of falafel on a normal day, but when you add them tasty little balls into the pita and mix all the other stuff in there, you get a dynamite of a falafel, yo! Read my review.
I was seeing this cheesy plate of wonder in social media all the time, so we finally drove all the way to Ayala Malls The 30th try it. It was totally worth the trip! Read my review.
4. Oedo Japanese Restaurant
Just a place that serves some solid Japanese food at a price that won’t break the bank. I will always think of this restaurant any time I’m in the QC area and craving for Japanese food. Read my review.
3. Shiok Shiok
Singaporean food doesn’t get any better than this. And it’s so cheap too! Read my review.
2. Paradise Dynasty
This place was kind of hyped, so I had my reservations upon going in. Though they have some solid xiao long bao offerings here, it was the rest of their menu offerings that sold me. It’s my number two of the year, and that’s a pretty tough spot to crack! Read my review.
1. Hey Handsome
I started the year eating in this restaurant, and I’m ending the year telling you it was my fave. Sheer deliciousness. Read my review.
FAVORITE DISCOVERIES & EXPERIENCES
Figures of Beans Coffee
As a coffee lover, I’m always grateful to receive coffee packages. I’m grateful to Figures of Beans for introducing themselves to me. I’ve been recommending this brand to all my coffee-loving friends! Read my review.
I fell in love with the Bacon Chili Chocolate by Risa. Read my review.
Take Root Healthy Snacks
I can’t think of any other word to describe my feelings other than me being obsessed with the bliss balls and kale chips of Take Root. Read my review.
Scout’s Honor Cookies
My year-end surprise. I love cookies a lot but I’m often critical of them. These were pretty awesome. Read my review.
Sapporo Snow & Smile Tour
What can I say about this trip? It’s unforgettable because I experienced snow for the first time, and I met some amazing people too. Read my travel diary.
My Staycation at Marco Polo Manila
This list wouldn’t be complete without talking about the awesome staycation I had at Marco Polo Manila. Read my staycation diary.
My first foray into Afternoon Tea
This one is a special mention, because I have to commemorate the day that I began this newfound love for Afternoon Tea. Read about it here.
Well, this list turned out pretty good, don’t you think? Looking forward to what’s in store for 2018 already!