Monday, December 31, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Most Popular Recipes of 2018

Baked Brie with Balsamic Blackberries

This was the only appetizer I posted this year, but basically, you don't need another one. This is great for the SuperBowl or New Year's or any gathering that requires amazingly delicious cheese and berries. It's super easy to make and even easier to make disappear.

Baked Garlic Green Beans

Can you believe that a green vegetable made it into the most popular this year? It's true! This was one of the recipes with the most hits this year. It's easy to get in a vegetable "rut" so I love finding a new treatment for our favorite veggies. As I mentioned in the original post, this was the first time ever that we ran out of the vegetables at dinner - these garlicky green beans were a real favorite!

Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce

This stir fry dish with noodles and a peanut sauce is definitely worth getting in your dinner rotation. You can use pork, chicken or beef, and any veggies that you like. I love how versatile it is, and how delicious.

What fun this has been to look back on the greatest recipes of 2018! Tomorrow I'll share what I'm hoping to make in the New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Instant Pot Recipes of 2018

I love using my instant pot. It's not always the fastest way to cook, (ironic since it's called the Instant Pot) but it does always produce wonderful results. Probably the best thing about it is that it dirties only one pot, so clean up is a breeze. Here are my three favorite IP recipes from the last year.

Chicken Tikka Masala

This was a VERY popular dish at our house. It has just the right amount of spice and coconut milk adds to the delicious flavor. I've heard there's a way to cook rice in the IP at the same time as the entree, which would make this even better, but I have not tried it for myself. This is equally good served over riced cauliflower, too.

Bacon Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Risotto is my FAVORITE thing to make in the IP. It turns out beautifully every single time, with no need to stir. And there are so many different combinations to try with different proteins and veggies. I made up this recipe based on ingredients that needed to be used up, and they went really well together. Leftovers make a wonderful lunch the next day, too.

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

Dessert in the IP? Yep! And cheesecake turns out wonderfully. It is so creamy and delicious. This version relies on a quick toasting under the broiler to create the crisp, sugary top, like creme brulee. If you have a torch, that would work even better!

Tomorrow we'll feature the most popular recipes on this blog from 2018. See you then!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Desserts of 2018

Ooh la la, it's dessert day! I'm featuring my three favorite desserts of this past year today, but tomorrow there will be another in the Instant Pot category. Dessert in the Instant Pot? Yes sir (or ma'am). But first, check out these amazing creations that use your oven.

Brownie Cake with Cookie Butter Frosting

If you've never tried cookie butter before, go out and get some today. That stuff is fantastic, especially on a brownie cake. This was another one of the recipes I promised I would make in 2018, and it was wonderful. I will probably make it again and again in 2019, too!

Oatmeal Dulce DeLeche Bars

I would put dulce deleche in anything, but it is especially good between layers of oatmeal. These bars are wonderful when they are chilled, and they are very sweet, so a little goes a long way.

Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

One of my favorite bars of ALL TIME, these put two of the best ingredients together: chocolate and peanut butter, for an amazing taste sensation. This makes a big pan, too, so there's plenty to share.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the best Instant Pot recipes of 2018.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Main Dishes of 2018

Today we're taking a look back at the best main dishes of this past year. I posted a lot of main dishes in 2018 and they were all fantastic! You will find some featured here, and some later this week in the best Instant Pot category, and one in the Most Popular category.

Let's not delay - you'll want to try each one of these this year!

Cuban Quesadillas

This was one the recipes I had tagged to "make in 2018" and so I made these amazing quesadillas right away in January. And I'm so glad I did. They have made many repeat appearances at our lunch and dinner table this year. Sometimes, I make carnitas for the express purpose of making these quesadillas (or for the tostadas featured yesterday! you'll have plenty for BOTH!)

Sausage, Shrimp and Vegetable Skillet

I love, love, love this recipe. It couldn't be simpler and it's super healthy, chock full of whatever veggies you want to use. The salty keilbasa makes a great partner to the shrimp, and the whole thing is just all kinds of wonderful.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

This is one of the most surprising recipes I tried this year. Surprising because of its simplicity in terms of method and ingredients, but complex in terms of texture and flavors. It is really, really good.

Tomorrow is the best desserts of 2018! The Countdown is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Countdown to 2019: Best Breakfasts of 2018

I love the Countdown! I love looking back on things I've made and posted this year - oftentimes it's a good reminder to get these great recipes in the rotation, if they've fallen out for any reason. I had a bit of an unplanned hiatus from blogging this summer, so I have fewer recipes than usual to choose from, but if this first day is any indication, all my choices for the countdown are amazingly delicious things that I would make over and over again.

So, here you go - the best breakfasts of the past year.

Brunch Tostadas

So this might be one of my all time favorite recipes of the whole year - not just for breakfast. I had something similar at a restaurant on vacation and counted the days til I could recreate it at home. It was a huge hit at our house and with extended family. It makes a great dinner or breakfast or lunch or brunch - it's spectacular whenever you serve it!

Roasted Vegetable and Bacon Breakfast Bake

This is a great make ahead casserole, perfect for when you have overnight guests. I love the added flavor and robust-ness of the roasted vegetables. Just like the tostadas, this makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Triple Berry Streusel Muffins

I make muffins almost weekly for the kids' breakfast (easy for a quick grab on the way out the door!). The favorite is definitely banana with chocolate chips but sometimes I like to change it up with different fruits and topping. This version was a definite winner. They didn't even miss the chocolate chips (maybe).

Thanks to Sarah for hosting the Countdown, and stay tuned for best Main Dishes tomorrow!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Hot Cocoa Fudge

Isn't this the cutest fudge you've ever seen?? I knew as soon as I spied it on Pinterest that I would have to make it. And those teeny, tiny marshmallows - they are almost too cute to eat. But I bet you can get over that pretty quickly because this candy is delicious.

I had never bought those mallow bits before but I easily found them at Target. They come in a little plastic jar-like container in the marshmallow section. I can't wait to find more uses for these little marshmallows.

Chocolate, white chocolate, and marshmallows - what a perfect little fudge this is!

Hot Cocoa Fudge

2 cups chocolate chips
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mallow bits

Line a 9x9 or 8x8 pan with foil, and then grease the foil.

In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate chips with 5 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk.

In a separate bowl combine chocolate chips with remaining sweetened condensed milk.

Microwave chocolate chips for 30 seconds, then stir. Heat for another 15 seconds then stir vigorously until chocolate is smooth. Transfer mixture into the pan and spread into an even layer.

Microwave white chocolate 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Spread mixture on top of dark chocolate layer.

Top with mini marshmallows then gently press down. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to set.

Remove fudge and foil from pan. Carefully peel all foil from fudge. Cut fudge into bite sized pieces and serve.

Recipe Source: Wonky Wonderful

Monday, December 3, 2018

Frosted Gingerbread Bars

This is a fun, and slightly different, take on a holiday cookie. If you love gingerbread, you will love these bars. All the goodness of a gingerbread cookie covered in cream cheese frosting and sprinkled to look appropriately festive...

I really prefer bars to cookies - they're just easier! But besides eating them, I like serving them too - and they add a nice variety to a cookie tray or gifting box at this time of year.

I hope you'll try these if you need a new Christmas sweet!

Frosted Gingerbread Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses. Add the egg and stir until completely incorporated. Add baking soda, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt and mix until well combined. Spread dough evenly into a greased 9x13 pan, pressing all the way to the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (Do not over cook). Remove from the oven and let cool.

For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese together then add vanilla. While mixing, gradually add in powdered sugar. Mix until creamy & well-combined.

Once the bars have cooled, frost the tops. Garnish with holiday sprinkles or a pinch of cinnamon. Cut into squares and serve.
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