2012 Year in Review: Favorite Recipes

December 31, 2012 · 5 comments

in annual best of

Happy (early) New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are  having a fun time gearing up for 2013.  Today, I’m really excited that Zachary gets to help with making our traditional new year’s bread/cake—the vasilopita—for the first time! By this time next year, we’ll have to cut an extra slice for kiddo #2!

Every year, I love doing a “favorites” post to share my favorite (and your) recipes from the year. It gives me a chance to reflect on the things I’ve made, and more importantly keep track of the hits for our family that will likely be staples for years to come. If you’re a new reader, it gives you a chance to look at the best of the best without scrolling through as much (though, as the owner of this blog, it is my duty to tell you to scroll through. ;-))

This year, I actually posted less frequently than every other year (sorry ’bout that), but when I made my preliminary list of favorite recipes, I somehow managed to have one of my largest lists ever. I guess that means that, despite my less frequent postings, we still ate a lot of great stuff this year. It was really difficult to whittle it down to 15. One of my requirements for a main dish making it onto the list was that we had to have eaten it more than once since making it for the first time (and, if you know other bloggers or people who really love trying new recipes, you know that sometimes, even if a meal is really great, it can take a while to make it again because of all the others you want to try first).

“Your” favorite recipes are those that received the most traffic and/or links back. This year, I also asked Tom to list his favorite recipes. We actually only overlapped on 3 things in his top 10 – though all but one of the things on his list made it onto my preliminary one.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic—or, like me, you just really love lists and can’t get enough of them—check out the round-ups from the preview years:


2012: Your Favorite Recipes

  1. Jalapeno Popper Chicken
  2. Cajun Chicken Pasta
  3. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Zesty Dry Rub
  4. Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan
  5. Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  6. Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  7. Chicken (or anything, really) with Creamy Green Chile, Tomatillo, and Poblano Sauce
  8. Baked Burritos with Sour Cream-Poblano Sauce
  9. Quinoa Patties with Lemon, Parsley, and Olives
  10. Cannellini Bean Salad

2012: Tom’s Favorite Recipes (in order of posting date)

  1. (Mo Willems) Decorated Sugar Cookies
  2. Quinoa Patties with Lemon, Olives, and Parsley
  3. Arugula and Endive Salad with Pine Nuts and Parmesan
  4. Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  5. Chipotle and Citrus Pork Tenderloin
  6. Summer Barley Risotto
  7. Sumac Skirt Steak with Pomegranate Reduction
  8. Thin Crust Pizza Margherita
  9. All-beef Meatloaf
  10. Za’atar and Lemon Lamb Chops

2012: My Favorite Recipes (in order of posting date)

Lighter Chicken and Dumplings
This version of chicken and dumplings is slightly healthier than thte standard, but you’d never know. The broth is so rich and flavorful, and the meal is comfor food at its best. Plus, it taught me a new trick about making dumplings come out fluffy and light vs. soggy/sticky.


Key Lime Yogurt Cake
I took one of my favorite yogurt breads/cakes, and adapted it to include the winning combo of lime and coconut. The result was an incredibly moist cake (or bread, if you want to be healthier) with a bright citrus punch.


Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits
Goat cheese. Biscuits. Nuff said.


Chicken with Creamy Green Chile, Tomatillo, and Poblano Sauce
I think I made this sauce 3 times in the same month. It’s so easy, healthy, creamy, and delicious. It’s great with chicken but it would be equally great with another protein, or as a topping for nachos, or…anything. Really. Just make this stuff. While writing this post, I actually managed to add it to next week’s menu.


Mushroom-Crusted Chicken Burgers
Anything with mushrooms is a winner in my book, but dried porcinis, creamy cheese, and peppery arugula put these burgers high on my list.


Super-Crisp Oven-Baked Fish
Okay, if you know me at all or follow this blog, it’s probably pretty surprising that I’m listing a fish recipe as a favorite of the year. But, this recipe is just that great. The crispy coating really makes it and topped with a few squeezes of fresh lemon, I’m pretty sure fish doesn’t get much better.


Tsoureki (Greek Easter bread)
It took forever, but I finally made my first tsoureki and it turned out fabulously – albeit, really huge. This year I know to split it into more loaves!



Skillet Ground Beef Stroganoff
I’d be remiss not to add this one to the list. It’s not the most gorgeous or complicated dish, but it quickly became one of our staple dinners. Easy to make and full of flavor but not preservatives, like its (less tasty) Hamburger Helper counterpart. I’m also going to cheat and sneak in an extra different, but similar dish here: creamy taco mac. Both have made whatever semblance of a rotation we have.


Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This meal really surprised me. I liked all of the ingredients, but the end result was even better than the sum of its parts. This recipe was a big winner among all of us – which is especially awesome when it’s a  healthy vegetarian recipe.


Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Tom’s pretty pink birthday cake. :) And all the pink comes from fresh strawberries – no dyes  here!


Summer Barley Risotto
This was another surprise hit. But I guess it should never be surprising when a dish with oven roasted tomatoes turns out wonderfully.

Considering we had this all.the.freaking.time. over the summer, this salad is deserving of a spot on this list.


Margherita Pizza/Thin Crust Pizza Dough
For its crispiness, ease, and taste, this pizza dough quickly became my favorite one to make. This pizza keeps it simple with fresh tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella.


Hummingbird Coffee Cake
Oh, this coffee cake. I had every intention of taking much of it into the office, but I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with it and neither could Tom. This coffee cake is incredibly moist and packed with tons of my favorite ingredients.


Slowcooker Loaded Potato Soup
People always seem to have a ton of luck with crockpot soup recipes, but I am rarely one of those people. This soup, however, fired on all cylinders.

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