Best of Feast + West 2021

Here’s a look back at the last 52 weeks of 2021 and your favorite recipes of the year. There were some big changes to recap too!

sunflower field

2021 is over. Once again, it feels like only a few days have passed since I was writing my 2020 recap.

I know it was another hard year for so many. But as I wrote last year, there were good things, too.

I choose to look for the good things. The silver linings. The breaks in the clouds.

swirled ice cream cone

I usually take some time at the end of the year to reflect on the work I did this year and share some personal updates.

Last year I wrote a list of good things I wanted to remember about 2020. Looking back on it I love it so much that I’m doing it again.

So here’s a shortlist of good things I want to remember about this year:

  • Settling into our new house and making it a home by painting decorating, shopping for furniture and working on the neverending list of projects.
  • Seeing wildlife in our new yard, including deer, owls, hawks and coyotes! (But less thrilling are the snakes and possums…)
  • Exploring new-to-us restaurants in Charlotte, especially in our new neighborhood.
  • Getting vaccinated!!!
  • Growing my plant collection and herb garden. This is one of my favorite hobbies!
  • Surprising Chris with a 30th birthday party filled with friends we hadn’t seen since our wedding.
  • The birth of my first nephew! There’s nothing like being an auntie.
  • Finding a sunflower field to picnic in.
  • Visiting our favorite Outer Banks for beach time with my family.
  • Toasting to our second wedding anniversary at the lovely Supperland.
  • A visit from my best friend and visiting my best friend.
  • And another visit from my friends Stephie and Megan.
  • Joining the Peloton community. It’s only been a few months but I love it already!
  • Celebrating some big family birthdays in-person.
  • Hosting Thanksgiving at our new house — my favorite holiday.
  • Spending Christmas with cousins I’ve never celebrated with before. So fun!

But probably the biggest change this year is leaving my job of four years to pursue blogging and freelancing full-time. It was a really hard decision, but I’m so glad I did. It’s wonderful to be running my own business again.

Or perhaps the biggest change was getting a puppy?! Our girl Rey has definitely changed our lives big time but we love her! Huge shoutout to Lucky Pup Rescue SC for caring for her until we could.

black and white dog

Now that the personal stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about the blog.

Feast + West went through a big redesign this year, and I shifted my focus to cocktails and entertaining food. It was a big and welcome change, and I’m loving writing about drinks.

My favorite new posts this year were these:

  1. Harry Potter Boozy Butterbeer — letting my nerd flag fly 😉
  2. Cape Velvet Cream Liqueur — a South African recipe that I really enjoyed developing
  3. Sugar Cookie Martini — a Christmas cookie in a glass
  4. Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce — my favorite Thanksgiving recipe is now on the blog!
  5. Moscow Mule Cookies — cookies and cocktails are a perfect match
  6. Chocolate Bunny Cocktails — how to turn Easter candy into a cocktail vessel — no, really
  7. The Best Ginger Beers — I did a ginger beer taste test just for you!
  8. Frozen Moscow Mule — my favorite cocktail in slushie form

And these ones were your favorites this year:

1
South African Milk Tart // Feast + West
South African Milk Tart
This traditional South African dessert is creamy and delicate. Make it for Easter, Mother's Day or teatime any day!
GET THE RECIPE
2
Say cheers to the new year with an Elderflower French 75! It's a floral take on the classic champagne cocktail with lemon, gin and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. (via feastandwest.com)
Elderflower French 75 Cocktail
The Elderflower French 75 is a floral take on the classic champagne cocktail with lemon, gin and St. Germain elderflower liqueur.
GET THE RECIPE
3
Based on the traditional Moscow Mule, the Yule Mule is a holiday cocktail featuring ginger beer and cranberry juice. Garnish it with rosemary and fresh cranberries for a cocktail that tastes just like Christmas! (via feastandwest.com)
Yule Mule
A festive, red and green holiday cocktail with ginger beer, cranberry, vodka and rosemary.
GET THE RECIPE
4
Looking for an easy boozy treat? Alcohol Gummy Bears are easy, fruity and sweet. Make a big batch for a party or a small batch for you and your best friend. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong! (via feastandwest.com)
Drunken Gummy Bears
Alcohol-soaked gummies are always a hit when hanging out with friends!
Get the Recipe
5
The Tootsie Roll Cocktail is a black candy cocktail fit for Halloween. Made with root beer and coffee liqueur, it tastes just like the candy. Even though it’s spooky and dark, it is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth! What’s in a Tootsie Roll drink and how do you make it? Let’s find out!
The Tootsie Roll Cocktail
Made with root beer and coffee liqueur, the Tootsie Roll Cocktail tastes just like the candy.
GET THE RECIPE
6
This homemade Spicy Jalapeño Infused Tequila Recipe is a concoction with a kick. Made with fresh jalapeño peppers, this spirit — your choice of tequila or mezcal — will bring the heat to all your margaritas and palomas, and help you say goodbye to summer! (via feastandwest.com)
Jalapeño Infused Tequila Recipe
Made with fresh jalapeño peppers, this infusion will bring the heat to all your margaritas and palomas.
GET THE RECIPE
7
Beermosa // Feast + West
2-Ingredient Beermosa
A mimosa made with beer — perfect for brunch or watching the game!
GET THE RECIPE
8
closeup of edible gold and silver stars on jello shots
Champagne Jell-O Shots
A sparkly gelatin alcoholic treat for New Year's Eve or any special occasion.
GET THE RECIPE
9
A gray and white dish towel wraps around a half of a lime, a gold spotted glass, a gold spoon and cocktail jigger and a Seagram's Ginger Ale
Bourbon Ginger Ale Cocktail
A cocktail for a wintry night, this Bourbon Ginger Cocktail will warm you right up.
GET THE RECIPE
10
elderflower rose gimlet in a gold-rimmed stemless cocktail glass with pink garden roses and limes on a white background
Elderflower Rose Gimlet
A fragrant, floral, gin cocktail with hints of elderflower and rose.
GET THE RECIPE

I’d love to know what recipes you loved this year! Let me know in the comments, okay?

I hope you had a wonderful year, friends, or at least have some silver linings you can look back on with fondness. I wish you a magical year filled with champagne toasts.

Happy new year. // susannah

decorative icon of a beer stein.

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