Dec 30, 2011

My Favorite Recipes of 2011

Narrowing this list down was not an easy feat.  2011 was a year that I loved both in and out of the kitchen.  Jack challenged my cooking with his somewhat picky eating habits, forcing me to think outside of my usual box. (Here's to hoping that he doesn't become a truly picky eater.)

I found my way with yeast and am no longer afraid of it, I baked things that I thought were way outside of my realm, and we used our grill more times this year than in the 6 years that James and I have been together!!  Without further adieu, here are my favorite recipes from 2011.

Blue Cheese & Tomato Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms -  An easy and delicious dinner that is super flavorful.  These can be made into small stuffed mushrooms using baby portabello mushrooms for a great appetizer.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Filling - I definitely fell in love with whoopie pies this year and the chocolate and peanut butter combination is a no brainer.

Southwestern Egg and Black Bean Skillet There are several nights a week that it's just Jack and myself for dinner while James works late and this dinner always comes together so easily that I found myself making it for us fairly often.

Parmesan Herb Garlic Bread - This is sort of a yeasted quick bread.  Wait...what?  :)  It has yeast in it but it only rises for a very short time (15 minutes).  It all happens to fast that this is a bread that I make when I don't have time to make a fully yeasted bread for dinner.

Oreo Cupcakes - There really isn't much to say about these treats.  Oreo cookies, cupcakes, done.

Lemon-Blueberry Scones - These were the first scones that I ever made and they will definitely not be the last.  Juicy blueberries, tart lemon, and a sweet biscuit make for a delicious breakfast item.

Pasta all Vecchia Bettola - A fancy name for pasta all vodka, basically.  Such a delicious dinner.

Cookie Dough Truffles - There really isn't  anything not to love about truffles and when you make the cookie dough version, you might just hoard them all for yourself. :)

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas - These enchiladas made both lists, your favorites and mine.  I still continue to make these creamy chicken enchiladas every few weeks.  Yum.

Restaurant Style Queso Dip - Queso is definitely something that I almost always indulge in when we go out for Mexican food.  Now that I have this recipe in my repertoire, I can make it any time. I'm not sure if that's good or bad...

Steakhouse Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette - I had to include this "recipe" for a salad because it's based on our favorite restaurant from where we used to live.  The combination of vegetables will always take me right back to Aspens Steakhouse.

Four Cheese Lasagna - Everyone should have a basic lasagna recipe that they can always turn to.  This is mine, with it's four different cheeses and tangy tomato sauce.  It's always a crowd pleaser.

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam - I tried making jam for the first time this past summer and it was wildly successful.  This strawberry version was our favorite and only lasted a few days.  :)

Dark & White Chocolate Layer Cake - This is another treat that really doesn't need much else said about it aside from the title.  Dark chocolate, white chocolate, strawberries.  It's a stunner, that's for sure.

Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas - These enchiladas are our second favorite to the creamy chicken version mentioned above.  These are slightly sweet, somewhat tart, and still creamy.  They are also a great meal for guests.

Pineapple Salsa Chicken - An easy slow-cooker chicken recipe that is very versatile.  Make tacos, enchiladas, mix it with rice, make nachos...the possibilities are endless.  This was a dish that Jack loves and will happily eat for every meal.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread -  This was one of the 2011's most popular recipe in all of the blogosphere.  It took food blogs by storm with variations popping up everywhere.  It's such a fun treat to make and to eat and is a wonderful brunch item!

Bacon Lover's Mac & Cheese - The title of mac & cheese really does not do this dish justice.  It's so  much more than that.  Cheesy, cream, full of mushrooms and spinach, not to mention bacon.  It's a grown up mac & cheese dream, that's for sure.

Peach Ice Cream - I finally tackled my ice cream attachment for my mixer!  I made countless versions of ice cream, some didn't even make it to the blog because we ate the entire batch before I could take a picture of it.  :)  This peach one narrowly escaped that fate and thank goodness for that. Definitely try this during peak peach season, you won't be sorry!

Asian Lettuce Wraps - This dinner was such a hit and I was a little surprised by that.  I've had the restaurant version of these and was left underwhelmed.  This is one of those times where the homemade version is miles and miles better than the popular dining out version.
Blueberry Cheesecake Bars - Another recipe that made both lists, these blueberry cheesecake bars are truly delicious.  The cheesecake filling is smooth and sweet and pairs so well with the oats and blueberries. I cannot wait for blueberry season!!

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce - I kept seeing different versions of this dish all over the web.  It definitely made me go, "Hmmm..." and scratch my head a little bit.  But once I tried it, I definitely saw (or tasted) what all the fuss was about.  The eggs bake in a rich tomato sauce to desired doneness and then you scoop out each delicious bite with garlic bread.  *drool*

Key Lime Pie Frozen Yogurt - This frozen yogurt is something that you can eat and not feel quite so guilty about.  It's full of flavor but not full of as many calories and fat as a regular ice cream.  Once I tasted the first bite, I immediately made a second batch because I knew it wouldn't last long in our house.
Chicken Pepper Nachos - This is a dinner that we ate countless time over the summer. It utilizes the grill and the flavors are just so wonderful together.  Garlic, lime, black eyed peas, and peppers as chips.  I had a tough time getting a good picture of them because they are a little messy but worth every bit of clean up!

Easy Microwave Popcorn - By far my favorite snack of all of 2011.  Microwave popcorn without all of the chemicals and preservatives!  I now make sure that I always have popcorn kernels around so that I can have this treat at a moments notice.

Black Bean Burgers - These black bean burgers are definitely good enough that you won't miss your regular beef hamburgers.  We had these a few time this year and they are still in heavy rotation.  They fulfill that burger craving and are ready with a few staple pantry items.

No-Bake Boston Creme Pie Strata - This dessert was definitely James's favorite of the year.  While it is no-bake and fairly easy, there are several steps that are all very much worth the little bit of effort!

Buttery Soft Dinner Rolls - These were one of the most popular items from our Thanksgiving dinner.  Rolls that are light, soft,  and buttery.  I've made them several times since Thanksgiving and they are just as perfect each time.


Nicole, RD said...

We loved the honey-lime chicken enchiladas, too...but everything looks delicious!

Jessica @ Sunny Side Up said...

 There are several things on your list that I've made after seeing them on your blog the first time around, and there are several more that I am now adding to my growing to try list!! You should be so proud of your kitchen accomplishments this year!

Jdb4dog said...

I just found your site today...can you imagine what a "find" I feel I've been fortunate to come across "just" at the end of the year! This must be a great sign of the new year to come. Thank you!

articles on food said...

Everything looks yummy and delicious! I personally liked Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Dark & White Chocolate Layer Cake and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars. :)

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