Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Most Popular Recipes of 2019

Today on the Countdown to 2020 (one more day!) it's time to look back at the most popular recipes on Cook with Sara in 2019. These were some of my favorites, too, so it was fun to see that the readers agree. I hope you'll try one or more in the New Year.

Soy and Honey Glazed Cod

Twice Baked Potatoes

Upside Down Shepherd's Pie

Check out these other bloggers, too!

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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Best Desserts of 2019

As we countdown to 2020, today is the day we take a look back at the best desserts of 2019. This category has unusually slim pickings this year - as I mentioned before, many of my new recipes this year were main dishes. But just because there are fewer desserts to choose from doesn't reflect on the quality or deliciousness of the desserts - these three in particular were amazing and will be repeated in years to come, I'm sure.

Peach Cobbler Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars

Check out these other bloggers for more great desserts:

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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Best Main Dishes of 2019

Today is Main Dish day on the Countdown to 2020. I have lots of these to choose from: 2019 was a great year for me for making new main dishes and posting them. These are a few of my favorites; you'll see more later in the Reader's Favorites category. All of these meals are fantastic options for any weekday. And they were all devoured by my family, which is the ultimate endorsement.

I hope you try a few in the New Year and let me know what you think!

Banh Mi Tacos

Cheesy Taco Pasta

Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Chicken Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner

Mango Chicken Curry

Check out other great main dishes from other bloggers here:

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Best Breakfasts of 2019

It's the annual countdown to 2020 hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing! For the next several days, we'll look back over the best recipes from different categories on this blog. Today, it's breakfasts.

Now, this year was unusual for me. I didn't post as regularly, and I also posted mostly main dishes! So some of these categories will be a little thin. But it's still fun to revisit and remind myself of all the delicious things we ate this year.

So, my two favorite recipes for breakfast/brunch this year were:

Monte Cristo Breakfast Bake

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Check out all the other bloggers posting their favorite breakasts:

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Monday, December 23, 2019

Pear, Raspberry and Pistachio Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

It's pretty unusual for me not to be posting a cookie recipe or a holiday dessert on the Monday before Christmas. I've done a little baking, but honestly I'm not as into it as usual. And that's ok. Because we all need vegetables, too.

I made this salad last week when I had pears that needed o be used up. (Again, with the buying too much produce!) I loved the combination of the pears and raspberries with the tang of the poppyseed dressing. And the pistachios? Those salty wonders just took this right over the top.

This salad was a big hit with my family and would be a great addition to any holiday menu. I love that it's so beautiful on the plate, too. And when you eat this salad, you can justify eating even more cookies. So, that's a pretty good deal. Merry Christmas!

Pear, Raspberry and Pistachio Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

6 cups spring mix
1 cup raspberries
2 pears, thinly sliced
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. poppy seeds

For the dressing, in a large measuring cup, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, sugar, and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in poppyseeds.

Place the spring mix in a large bowl and pour dressing over. Toss to coat all the greens. Divide the greens among 4-6 salad plates (depending on how big you want each salad to be!) and top with sliced pears, raspberries, feta and pistachios. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monte Cristo Breakfast Bake

As you're planning your Christmas or New Year's menu, I hope you'll consider this wonderful breakfast dish. The Monte Cristo sandwich is traditionally dipped into French Toast batter and fried, then topped with powdered sugar and served with cream cheese and jam. It is indulgent! In this casserole version, croissant sandwiches with the same traditional Monte Cristo fillings (ham, swiss, turkey) are baked in an egg "bath." A blackberry jam on the croissant adds the wonderful sweetness that often accompanies the sandwich.

I made this after Thanksgiving and used leftover turkey in place of deli slices. If you have leftover ham and turkey after Christmas, this would be a great, and unique, way to use those leftovers! Like all good breakfast casseroles, this one can be made the night before, making your morning easy. You can serve this with a fruit salad (we love this cranberry version!) and have a wonderful and filling breakfast or brunch.

Find more great ideas at Inspire Me, Hearth and Soul.

Monte Cristo Breakfast Bake

4 Tbsp. blackberry preserves
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
6 bakery croissants, split
6 slices Swiss cheese
12 thin slices Black Forest ham, (8-oz.)
12 thin slices turkey, (8-oz.)
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups half-and-half

In a small bowl, combine the jam and mustard. Spread the mixture on the cut sides of each croissant. Layer the ham, turkey and cheese on the bottom halves of the croissants; top with the other half of the croissant. Place sandwiches in a single layer in a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.

Whisk together eggs and half and half; pour over the sandwiches. Lightly press down the sandwiches into the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Bake at 350, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until eggs are lightly set. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8

Recipe Source: HyVee

Monday, December 9, 2019

Strawberry and White Chocolate Shortbread

I love rich, fancy, complex Christmas cookies just as much as the next person. But I also love a really simple, but equally delicious and satisfying, Christmas cookie. This cookie fits into the latter category. Super easy to whip up and bake, but beautiful on a plate, this is a lovely cookie with a contrast of tart dried strawberries and sweet white chocolate.

This cookie dough requires refrigeration before you slice and bake. You could certainly work to make these more perfectly round, but I sort of like shortbread in little square-ish shapes. Do what you like. But make them, in any case. They will be a big hit at any Christmas gathering, or just at your table with your morning coffee!

Strawberry and White Chocolate Shortbread

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
3/4 cup dried strawberries, finely chopped
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour. Mix until combined.

Stir in finely chopped dried strawberries and white chocolate.

Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper and roll into 2 inch diameter log. Gently press with your hands, and wrap tightly in parchment paper and refrigerate the log for 2 hours to firm.

Unwrap the log and using serrated knife cut into 1/3 inch thick slices. If the dough crumbles too much leave it at room temperature 5-8 mins then slice. If the slices lose their shape press back together with your fingers and place them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet with one inch of space between.

Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheets for 5 mins then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: OMGChocolate Desserts
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