Happy 2013! I hope everyone had a fabulous and fantastic New Year’s Eve!
As we wave good-bye to 2012 I thought I’d do a quick round-up of the Top 10 Most Viewed Recipes from 2012. I only started blogging in July of 2011 so 2012 was my first full year of food blogging (and a fun and amazing time it was). I’ve got tons more to share and I hope you’ll continue to visit 🙂
Leftover Bolognese Hash
I still have extremely fond memories of this post, it was so delicious and I’m glad I could offer up more ideas for leftover pasta sauce. Lol, I’m still always on the hunt for new uses so if you have any feel free to share! Read the full post for the full run-down of ideas of what to do with leftover pasta sauce.
Slow Cooker North Carolina Pulled Pork
This is one of the best dinners around for a busy weeknight that involves a minimum of fuss. I’ve always been a huge fan of the North Carolina style of bbq which is mostly a vinegar base. While this isn’t true bbq since there’s no smoke, it’s definitely a great set it and walk away to come back to deliciousness dinner.
Blackened Fish Pasta in a Spicy Creamy Garlic Sauce
I’m so glad this made the top 10! Honestly this is one of my go-to‘s that I make because I love garlic and the sauce lends itself to endless interpretations. I’ve subbed in different proteins (chicken, shrimp, seitan) for the fish, or even just upped the vegetable mix, subbing in what’s on hand (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, extra mushrooms, zucchini, peas, you name it) to go for a completely vegetarian option. I’ve done roasted garlic versions, and while I always make it spicy, I’ve also done different spice flavorings instead of straight Cajun.
I actually made this just last week and multiple times before then since the original posting. In a lot of recipes I often need 1 strip bacon so I’ve started buying 10 or so strips at a time and wrapping each slice accordion style and sticking them in the freezer. Which means it’s super easy for me to pull out a slice at any time and whip this up for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) anytime the craving hits.
Spinach Stuffed Parmesan Tilapia
When I first made up this dish it was a particularly dreary day but the lemon butter sauce definitely helped to bolster my spirits! This was when I had just started to really get into cooking seafood, and this was definitely a great dish that gave me the impetus I needed to continue making fish a weekly part of our menu. Stuffed with spinach and coated in a light panko coating, that’s all topped off by lemon butter sauce it’s a must make!
Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce
I think the title of this says it all. Chicken gets lightly seasoned then baked and served with roasted brussels sprouts, potatoes and carrots. It’s all topped off with a quick apple mustard sauce that’s delish and a perfect fall dish. Plus you can’t go wrong with a meal that gets your protein, vegetables and starch all done at the same time with minimal effort.
Cincinnati Style Chili
This one is definitely near and dear to my heart. I grew up eating Cincinnati style chili – a thin, all meat version that’s more like a sauce than a chili and is served in hot dog buns, on spaghetti, or in burritos (and a host of other ways as well) all topped off with a heaping mound of cheese. To make it stand out even more, it’s got an unusual spice combination including cocoa, cinnamon and cloves. This is my knock off version that tastes almost exactly like one of the big chili chain’s versions and when I make this I know I’m controlling the ingredients and it’s cheaper than buying it to boot. I usually always have some of this in the freezer in individual portions.
I’m surprised this made the Top 10 but completely happy it did. My surprise stems from the fact that this takes 2 – 2.5 hours to make! Although once you get the hang of it gnocchi are extremely easy to make and I can knock them out in 30 minutes or less. While the original recipe calls for boiling the gnocchi, I’ve also had great success sautéing them in a skillet before tossing in whatever pasta sauce I’ve got on hand.
Super delicious and the perfect busy night meal – it’s definitely the throw it all in the cooker and let it cook all day kind of dish. I attribute this post being in the top 10 due to the New Year (and I would have made it this New Year’s Eve if we’d been in town) but it’s perfect anytime. What’s even better is that this can easily be a one dish meal or you could serve it with cornbread or a salad.
This is still one of my favorite soups around! Super easy, super delicious, I often make this. There’s just something about the kale, potatoes and pork that just works. Plus I love knowing that this healthy version is just as satisfying as the full fat cream based recipes out there. This soup is so satisfying and great with a simple salad on the side.
And one of my top fav’s from 2012 that didn’t rank in the Top 10:
My husband still talks about these Cuban Pork Rolls. These were completely fantastic and absolutely delicious and still one of our favorite meals and I wish this post would have gotten more hits. Stuffing pork with a bit of ham, mustard, pickles and cheese then baking just works. Serve with a side of some veggie heavy Mexican rice and a salad and you’ve got a filling and delicious dinner.