Friday, January 31, 2014

January Re-Make Recap

Anyone else over winter? Between the Polar Vortex and the snow I'm ready for spring. Truth be told, I've never been a fan of winter, but this year has been particularly brutal. For the first time since I started these monthly recaps I won't be saying "can you believe it's already the end of XXX month" because I'm actually happy January is almost over. That means we're 1/3 of the way through winter and spring is coming!

We did eat very well this month, though. I certainly had plenty of time to cook with all the snow days.

I love making a big batch of eggplant rollatini to keep in the freezer. This made three pans - one we ate that night and the other two are tucked away in the freezer for another time. It's going to be so awesome just popping them in the oven one night when I don't feel like cooking.

I'm not sure if I should keep including the Texas Roadhouse salads in this recap because it's the only side salad I make anymore. It's simple to make, tastes great and is Baby Girl's favorite salad. She knows all the ingredients that go into making it and will remind me if I forget anything.

chopped chicken taco salad

I'm getting back into big dinner salads and this chopped chicken taco salad with cheese quesadilla strips was such a hit a few months ago that I thought we should have it again. My favorite part of this salad is the quesadilla pieces. There's just something about a gooey, cheesy quesadilla.


It might not be grilling weather but I had a craving for a Shake Shack burger that couldn't be ignored. The sauce really makes these burgers special.

crispy potatoes

This is now my go-to recipe for roasted potatoes. They come out perfect every single time and we all love them. I haven't been adding the cheese lately and they're still awesome.


I dug way back in my archives for the ever-popular Philly cheesesteak sloppy Joe's this month after wanting something different to make with ground beef. Always a winner.

We rarely do breakfast for dinner but I saw these bacon and egg quesadillas on my blog while searching for something else and needed to make them ASAP.

I served the quesadillas with refried beans, of course. It was a great Saturday night meal.

This grilled chicken and potatoes with roasted garlic-oregano vinaigrette was another dish I saw on my blog while looking for something else and had to make it ASAP. It was just as delicious as we remembered.


This is another one of our favorite dinner salads - the CPK BBQ chicken chopped salad. All the different components that go into this salad are what makes it so incredible.

chorizo burritos

I had to restock our freezer stash or chorizo and egg burritos because SP kept eating them when he was home due to the snow. I still need to try making my own chorizo. I was thwarted a few weeks ago when my supermarket was out of ground pork.


I also needed to make more sausage and spinach egg bake. This is still my favorite weekday breakfast with a little mayo mixed with hot sauce.

banana chocolate chip muffins

I made these banana chocolate chip muffins twice this month. The first time we had 6 bananas that needed to be used so I made a double batch of the muffins for the freezer. A few weeks later we had 3 ripe bananas so since we already had so many of these in the freezer I thought I'd make them for Baby Girl to share with her school friends. I used my new mini muffin tin and they were the perfect size for the kiddos (plus we got three regular size muffins with the extra batter that didn't fit in the mini pan).


This taco rice is one of my favorite recipes to make with ground beef. It's so satisfying and comforting.

fish sandwich2

These crispy fish sandwiches are my new favorite sandwich and my new favorite way to eat fish. I love the crispy coating so much and the fish is so flaky and moist.

I made this cauliflower bacon mac and cheese, which originally called for broccoli, again this month and I think I definitely prefer it with cauliflower. Bonus is Baby Girl loves cauliflower both raw and cooked.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Risotto

I'm on a serious risotto kick these days. When one of the ladies on my cooking board sang the praises of this Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto I couldn't wait to try it.


While I'm sure the oven method is easier, I prefer to cook risotto on the stove top because I have more control. The cooking method is the only change I made to the recipe.


We all loved this, even if I ended up with more broccoli than rice. The flavor was great and the rice was nice and creamy. I also like that this was an all-in-one starch and veggie side dish.

Broccoli Cheddar Risotto
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

4-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 broccoli crowns, cut into small florets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

Bring the chicken broth to a low simmer in a saucepan. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every so often, until the broccoli is tender and browning in spots, about 15 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the skillet.

Melt 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in the now-empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Pour in the wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.

Start adding the chicken broth one ladle-full at a time, letting it fully absorb before adding more. This process takes anywhere from 17-25 minutes.

Before you add the final ladle of broth, add the broccoli back in. Add the final ladle of broth and once it's absorbed, taste some of the rice to make sure it's cooked through. Turn off the heat and add the grated cheese and 2 tablespoons of butter. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Cheddar, Broccoli and Chicken Pasta Skillet

I love one-pot dishes, don't you? It's so nice to cook pasta with other ingredients, not just because it saves time and dirties less dishes, but because the flavorful cooking liquid infuses the pasta. My friends Cassie and Stephanie both raved about this Cheddar, Broccoli and Chicken Pasta Skillet and I couldn't wait to try it.


One thing we both loved about this was the chicken. It was perfectly cooked, very tender and juicy. SP asked me what I did differently and I told him that, unlike other one-pot recipes, you cook the chicken and then remove it from the pan, only adding it back in at the very end so it doesn't overcook. Sometimes I've questioned leaving chicken in the pan too long when I've made other recipes but I didn't think to make that change myself. I will from now on.


Baby Girl ate a huge bowl of this and proclaimed it super yummy. I found that my broccoli didn't cook through in only 5 minutes, so I've increased the time in the recipe below. I also misjudged the amount of cheddar I had on hand so I didn't have quite enough to actually taste it. But not to worry, this will definitely be made again and again so I've got time to get it right.

Cheddar, Broccoli and Chicken Pasta Skillet
As seen on Stephanie Cooks, originally from Center Cut Cook

1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8oz short-cut pasta
1 and 2/3 cup chicken stock
2 and 3/4 cups water, divided
8oz broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup light cream
8oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a very large skillet. Add the chicken chunks and cook until the chicken is browned on both sides, and almost entirely cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook the onions for several minutes, until they start to turn translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Sprinkle in the oregano and red pepper flake.

Add the 1 and 2/3 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water. Stir in the pasta and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-13 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed into the pasta.

Add the broccoli and 3/4 cups water; cover. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.

Add in the cooked chicken, 1/2 cup light cream and cheddar cheese. Increase the heat to medium high. Continue stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

The sauce will thicken as it stands.
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Artichoke and Brie Dip

I wanted to have a few things out to snack on when our guests arrived on Christmas Day. I'd had my eye on this Artichoke and Brie Dip for awhile and couldn't wait to make it.


This made a ton of dip - definitely good for a large party - so next time I'd cut the recipe in half. We all loved it. Rich, creamy and cheesy, what's not to like? I served it with toasted bread slices and Triscuits on Christmas Day but the next day we had it with Ritz crackers and I think we all preferred them.

Artichoke and Brie Dip
The Kilkenny House

12 oz artichokes, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8oz Brie cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Combine artichokes, mayonnaise, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce together until well blended. Add the Brie, Parmesan and mozzarella and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the mixture in a round 1.5-quart baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with toasted bread, crackers or veggies.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recipe Remake: Christmas Morning Strata

One Christmas when I was growing up my mom found this recipe for Christmas Morning strata and decided to make it for breakfast. We all loved it and it became our standard Christmas morning breakfast. She still makes it every Christmas for her and my stepdad. I tried to get SP and Baby Girl on board, but so far they just aren't fans. For SP it's a texture thing - he doesn't like the soggy bread - but I think it's possible Baby Girl will like it in the future.


After not making it for a few years and having to beg a piece from my mom, I decided to just make my own batch this year and eat the leftovers the rest of the week. When I was looking back at blog posts I realized it had been awhile since I made this and the photo definitely needed to be updated.


I really love this strata. It's simple and there aren't any crazy ingredients, but it's just so, so good. Hopefully Baby Girl will be won over and this can retake its rightful place on our Christmas morning table.

Christmas Morning Strata
Source Unknown

1 pound pork sausage
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
8-12 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles. Stir in the mustard.

Grease an oval 2.5-quart baking dish with butter. Fit the bread in the dish, tearing the pieces as needed to cover the bottom and sides of the dish with bread. Add the sausage mixture and top with the cheese.

Combine the milk and remaining ingredients, then pour over the sausage mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Dip {Giveaway}

Have I got a giveaway for you guys!

But first, let's talk about this Loaded Baked Potato Dip. It has all the flavors of a loaded baked potato in dip form. Brilliant. I halved the recipe since I was only serving 4 people and it was plenty. We all agreed this would be a great dip for the Super Bowl.


Which brings me to the giveaway. Just in time for the Super Bowl, Cape Cod is offering a great prize pack to four of my readers (yes, you read that right). Four of you will each receive a package containing 3 bags of Cape Cod Waffle Cut chips and 3 bags of Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Original chips. We used the Waffle Cut for this dip and they really stood up well to the task.


Simply enter using the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway will run until Thursday, February 23 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced by 11:00am ET on February 23 so Cape Cod will have a chance to ship the packages in time for Super Bowl Sunday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Loaded Baked Potato Dip
As seen on Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations, originally from The Barbee Housewife

16 oz sour cream
16 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped

Mix the sour cream, most of the bacon, most of the cheese, and most of the green onions together. Chill for a few hours (at least one hour).

When ready to serve, stir and then top with the remaining bacon, cheddar and green onions.

Serve with potato chips.

Disclosure: I received the same number and variety of chips for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Yorkshire Pudding

Another staple on our Christmas table is Yorkshire Pudding. I'd never heard of it before my stepdad joined our family more than 25 years ago, but it's similar to popovers - crusty on the outside and custardy on the inside.


In the years when my stepgrandmother made Christmas dinner I always assumed the Yorkshire pudding was a difficult thing to make. The year I took over making dinner I was worried about getting it right. It turns out Yorkshire Pudding is very easy to make. I've never had enough beef drippings to make it with those so I just use melted butter. This year's version was especially beautiful.

Yorkshire Pudding
The Joy of Cooking

1 cup minus 1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup beef drippings or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well blended.

Heat a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and add the drippings/butter, then add the batter all at once.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Don't open the oven while the pudding is baking.

Remove from the oven and cut into squares. Serve immediately - this is best eaten piping hot.
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Perfect Roast Chicken

I've been remiss. Ina's Perfect Roast Chicken has been my go-to recipe for roasting a chicken for years, but I recently realized I never blogged it. Craziness. I've made dozens of roast chickens during this blog's lifetime, I can't believe I never thought to photograph a single one.


I love to roast a chicken a couple times a month when it's super cold. And man has it been a cold winter so far. This recipe is fantastic - I love that the lemon and garlic flavor infuses into the chicken as it cooks. I started squeezing some of the lemon juice over the chicken before putting the pieces into the cavity and that imparts even more flavor.


This also makes an awesome gravy, which, of course, I didn't photograph. I love that my new stove has a continuous grate so the roasting pan sits evenly on top while I'm making the gravy. Note: the online recipe includes carrots and fennel, but they aren't in the cookbook version so I don't use them.

Perfect Roast Chicken with Gravy
Recipe from Ina Garten

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 lemon, halved
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the chicken giblets. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme and the garlic. Squeeze the lemon all over the chicken, then add the halves to the cavity. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions in a roasting pan. Place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes while you make the gravy.

Pour the liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan into a fat separator. Leave the onions in the pan. Put the pan on the stove top and heat over medium-high heat, stirring the onions. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Pour the liquid from the fat separator into the pan, leaving the fat behind. Mix the flour with the fat and stir into the chicken broth. This will thicken the gravy. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Slice the chicken and serve with the gravy,
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Roasted Shrimp with Mayo and Mustard Sauce

My mom offered to bring an appetizer for Christmas dinner. I'd had my eye on Ina Garten's roasted shrimp for awhile so I asked her to try that method with some shrimp.


We all agreed that there's no other way to make shrimp now that we've had them roasted. They were incredible, so bursty, plump and flavorful. I asked her to make a mayo and grainy mustard sauce to go with them. These were gone within a matter of minutes.

Roasted Shrimp
Shrimp from Ina Garten, sauce from A Taste of Home Cooking

2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayo
2-3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them in an even layer.

Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until just pink, firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the mayo and mustard, tasting and adding more mustard as needed.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Recipe Swap: Pasta with Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce

After you read this post stop what you're doing, go to the supermarket, buy the ingredients for this recipe and make it. It's seriously that good.

Shrimp pasta with lemon cream sauce

But let's start from the beginning. The theme for this recipe swap was Holiday Baking/Cooking. I had planned to peruse Jaida's vast archive of cookies and other sweet treats so I could make something for Christmas but time got away from me. The holidays seemed even crazier this year and once I remembered that I had to make something for the swap it was after the New Year. I knew I (1) didn't want to make something sweet that would tempt me to eat all of it and (2) that I couldn't send it in to work with SP because chances were good that his coworkers wouldn't appreciate being tempted either.

I always make seafood for Christmas Eve dinner so I figured I'd have a look at her seafood recipes. And then I spotted it, this recipe for Pasta with Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce. I happened to have shrimp leftover (from Christmas Eve, actually) so I put it on the menu.

Guys, seriously, this is an amazing recipe. It might not sound like much from the ingredient list, but everything comes together so well. And angel hair is my new favorite pasta - there's just something about its lightness that gets me every time.

If you want to check out what else was made during the swap click on the links in the link-up after the recipe.

Pasta with Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce
As seen on Sweet Beginnings, from Simply Recipes

3/4 pound angel hair (capellini) pasta
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (loosely packed) parsley leaves, chopped
3-4 scallions, minced (about 1/4 cup)
Zest of a lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl.

In a small pot, bring the cream, stock and lemon juice to a low simmer. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp. Stir well and add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Let the shrimp cook 4-5 minutes.

Add the parsley and chives to the sauce and let cook for about 1 minute. Pour the shrimp and sauce into the pasta bowl and mix well. Add the lemon zest and the Parmesan and mix again.

Divide into servings, and top with more Parmesan.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Roast Beef Tenderloin

Every year since my mom met my stepdad we've had the same Christmas dinner. The centerpiece is a Roast Beef Tenderloin. A few years ago I took over Christmas dinner and even though I consider myself to be a good cook, the beef always causes me some stress and anxiety. You don't want to overcook such a high-quality (read: expensive) piece of meat.


I keep the preparation simple to let the flavor of the beef shine through - just some salt and pepper to crust the outside of the beef. This year I also made an au jus to serve with the beef, which was a great addition.


Funny story - since we got a new stove this year I was even more concerned about overcooking the beef. We bought an oven thermometer and discovered our oven runs about 25 degrees hotter than the gauge says. I also bought a new meat thermometer to make doubly sure I cooked the meat as rare as we like it.

After 30 minutes in the oven I realized I had forgotten to compensate with a lower temp, so I quickly turned the oven down. When the roast had been in the oven for an hour I took it out and stuck in the meat thermometer to check it. The screen quickly jumped to 137 degrees in the thickest part. I tested another section and that said 147 degrees. I panicked, convinced I had overcooked the beef. I crossed my fingers and asked SP to stand by me for moral support when I cut into it and, thankfully, it was perfectly cooked. So much for that brand of thermometer!

Roast Beef Tenderloin

1 trimmed and tied beef tenderloin (about 4 lbs)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place meat on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, on the center rack for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

Roast the meat for 15 minutes per pound, until desired doneness (120-125 degrees for rare, 130-135 degrees for medium rare). Check the internal temp by inserting a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat.

Transfer meat to a platter and let rest for 10-20 minutes before cutting into slices.
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Monday, January 06, 2014

Best of 2013: My Favorites

On Friday I brought you your favorite recipes from 2013 and today I'm bringing you my favorites. There were a few from your favorites that were also my favorites, which made coming up with this list more difficult. I tried a bunch of new recipes this year and a lot of them ended up being family favorites that I remake often.

13. Chicken with Prosciutto, Brie and Arugula


This is one meal I wish I could remake more often, but I've had a heck of a time finding arugula that doesn't spoil before I get it home from the store. This may have to be a summer-only dish when I can find arugula in my local farmers markets vs. the supermarket.

12. California Club Blue Cheese Chopped Salad

club salad2

Whenever I want a dinner-size salad I turn to this recipe. We all love it and it's easy for me to prep all the ingredients ahead of time.

11. Grasshopper Mint Brownies

grasshopper brownies

This is one of my top 3 favorite desserts. I made them for St. Patrick's in 2013 and I'll be doing the same this year. I love the minty flavor and the green color, plus they're insanely good.

10. Bang Bang Chicken Skewers


I've only been to Bonefish Grill a handful of times but we always get an order of their Bang Bang Shrimp. This version uses chicken instead, which is more economical for me, and grills them rather than fries them, which is much healthier. We had these quite a few times this summer.

9. Avocado and Cucumber Tartine


This tartine was one of my staple lunches in the spring and I can't wait to make it again. There's nothing like a crusty roll slathered with mashed avocado topped with sliced cucumber. It may sound like an odd lunch but it's positively delicious and surprisingly filling.

8. Broccoli Pesto Pasta

broccoli pasta

This is another family favorite. I love that it's meat-free but I also love how the broccoli is pureed to make a sauce rather than left whole. Very homey and satisfying.

7. Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

chicken nuggets3

I need to find a recipe for pickle juice so I can make this recipe more often. Soaking the chicken pieces in the juice and buttermilk before breading and frying them imparts such an intense, briny flavor. These are addictive, especially with the honey mustard sauce.

6. Grilled Chicken Caesar Flatbreads


I must have made these flatbreads a few dozen times this summer. It's a simple meal that I could throw together quickly and we all loved it. I'm looking forward to many more of these this summer.

5. Taco Rice


The beef mixture in this recipe is now my go-to for tacos of any kind, but I'm especially fond of this rice dish. It's all my favorite things about a taco in one bowl. There's something so satisfying about eating this and I especially love the contrasting flavors and textures.

4. Salted Fudge Brownies


Another of my favorite desserts, these brownies are special because of the sea salt mixed into the batter. I love that salty and sweet combo and these are fudgy, rich and delicious.

3. Citrus Chicken Burritos with Cilantro Lime Rice

citrus chicken burrito2

These are, hands down, my favorite burrito of all time. I took two of my favorite recipes and combined them to make these burritos. While all the various components make them very time-consuming, I have to make them at least once a month to satisfy my craving. Perfect in every way.

2. Sausage and Spinach Egg Bake


This egg bake has become my go-to weekday breakfast. I keep a batch of these in the freezer and just heat up a slice and serve it with mayo mixed with hot sauce. So satisfying and delicious, plus it's easy to make.

1. Flatbread Pizzas with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Spinach


We ate these flatbreads (and another variation with sausage) almost every Friday from June to September. I couldn't get enough of the oven-roasted tomatoes with the spinach and the fresh mozzarella cheese. I'm counting down the days until tomatoes are in season again so I can bring these back to the meal plan.
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Friday, January 03, 2014

Best of 2013: Your Favorites

I hope you all had a great New Year's. We rang in 2014 with Baby Girl by watching the countdown and fireworks in London at 7pm ET and drinking sparkling cider. Then, once she was in bed, SP and I finished watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We needed a long movie to keep us awake until midnight. I think this is the first year since before Baby Girl was born that we actually stayed up to watch the ball drop.

As always, I'm a few days late with these two recaps. Better late than never, right? Today I'm bringing you your favorites from 2013 and Monday will be my favorites from the year.

13. Hashbrown Waffle with a Fried Egg


This is an ingenious breakfast idea, especially for someone who prefers savory to sweet. I was a bit skeptical of the potatoes cooking properly but they were perfectly crispy and the fried egg gilds the lily. Delicious.

12. Baked Oatmeal


This was a staple in our house for quite a few months this year. I'm still not sold on the idea of oatmeal for breakfast but SP is a big fan. I love recipes like this that allow you to make something from scratch and portion it out just the way you would with a store-bought packet.

11. Southern-Style Mustard Potato Salad


This potato salad is similar to my all-time favorite version, but unlike that version, Baby Girl actually ate and enjoyed this one. It's tangy and creamy and perfect for a summer BBQ.

10. Cannoli Cupcakes


I was happy to see these cannoli cupcakes make the list. If they hadn't been on this one they most certainly would have been on mine. Cannoli is one of my favorite desserts and these cupcakes are a fun twist.

9. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Buttery Pan Sauce

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Seeing this post made me realize we haven't had pork tenderloin in awhile. That has to change and soon. This is a super simple but very flavorful recipe that requires a little advanced planning, but is well worth the effort.

8. Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta

roasted red pepper pasta

I love when the pasta sauce takes less time to cook than the pasta. It always makes for easy weeknight meals. Unfortunately this is one of those dishes that includes artichokes, which SP doesn't like, so I haven't been able to remake it as often as I'd like.

7. BLT Spaghetti Carbonara


We eat a lot of carbonara in this house and I'm always looking for new veggies to add to make it a bit healthier. This version was one of our favorites this summer.

6. Copycat Chipotle's Chicken Burritos


I love a good burrito and these were no exception. I'd had a tough time finding a cilantro lime rice recipe I liked and this one hit the nail on the head. I wouldn't have thought to try basmati in Mexican food but it works so well.

5. Smothered Italian Chicken


This is another oft-repeated family favorite. You can't go wrong with crispy chicken smothered in a creamy sauce.

4. Shake Shack Burgers


I must have made these burgers a few dozen times this summer, they're that good. These definitely would have been close to the top of my favorites list if they weren't already on this one. In fact, seeing them on the list prompted me to put them on the meal plan again. The sauce is what does it for me - it elevates a plain burger to something extraordinary.

3. Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars


I think it's safe to say that this is my favorite dessert of all time. It's incredibly dangerous for me to make because I could probably eat the whole pan myself. Looking at the photo again, I can almost taste them. I think another batch is in order soon.

2. Mini Apple Pies

mini apple pie

These were a lot of fun to make. I love individual, mini desserts because everyone gets all the best bits.

1. Overnight Baked French Toast

french toast

I'm not surprised that this was the number one recipe from 2013. Everyone loves a good make-ahead breakfast casserole and this one is pretty awesome.
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