Happy New Year(‘s Eve)! I feel like everyone always uses this day to say things like, “the year went by sooooo fast!!!”, so I’ll be the contrarian and say that 2012 actually felt like a pretty long year to me. What with changing jobs, moving across the country, celebrating our first year of marriage, and (most importantly!) starting this blog, I feel like I packed a lot into these last 365 366 days. On to 2013!
However, on the topic of end-of-the-year recaps, I definitely will not be a contrarian, because I’m very excited to share with you my favorite 12 dishes of 2012. I promise you that I only post recipes on this blog that I actually enjoyed eating, but there were a few things that stood out as the best of the best.
Oh, man. Full of butter, sour cream, and Monterey Jack cheese, I can’t exactly tell you with a straight face that these are healthy. But if you’re looking for a one-way ticket to flavor town, that ticket is called these enchiladas.
I think dill is one of the most underused herbs out there, and smoked salmon might be one of the most underused proteins out there (at least when it comes creating entrees). And feta…well, feta’s used plenty. Probably because it’s delicious. This meal is on the pricier side, ingredients-wise, but it was definitely something I had to actively force myself to stop eating. It’s just so fresh and delicious.
This is a bit of a splurge, both in terms of ingredients, time, and calories, but it was very, very worth it. I remember making this on a Friday night after a particularly horrible week at my old job and just being consumed with happiness upon taking the first bite. If you’ve got some time and want to try something out-of-the-ordinary, this pizza is the way to go.
I really loved this dinner, and I’m a little bummed that I didn’t get a better picture of it. This meal is definitely something that looks super fancy and complicated but is actually pretty easy to throw together. Man, I need to make this again!
I tend to really enjoy Asian-flavored food, and this chicken hit all the right notes for me. Sriracha, ginger, hoisin sauce, and Chinese Five-Spice Powder…completely divine. And easy to throw together, too.
Ahh, pros-ciut-to! And sage, another underused herb. The flavors in this were fantastic; plus, I really appreciate how it forces you to open a bottle of white wine. OK FINE I GUESS I’LL HAVE SOME WINE. IF YOU INSIST.
I think what this year-end recap has taught me is that I am in love with smoked salmon, because everything I’ve made with it has made the list. Hmm, I think I know what to add to my grocery list…
This soup is something of a Cinderella story — I can’t believe it made the Final 12! I saw this recipe in one of those little Betty Crocker booklets they put out in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, and I can’t say I had super high hopes for it. But it was truly outstanding and the very best kind of comfort food.
Guys, lemongrass is SO GOOD. Why isn’t it as prevalent as, like, parsley or basil? We need to make some major changes in 2013, the first one being all lemongrass, all the time.
This is the gold-standard for go-to quick dinner recipes. Fast. Easy. Delicious. Short ingredient list. Has some vegetables. Not too many. The taco seasoning was a good touch, too.
I loooooooooooved these. If you’re interested in trying tempeh, or you like buffalo wings, or you are alive, please try these tempeh wings. I could eat them every day.
Here’s the second Cinderella story — something that’s basically just brie cheese made the list! Brie has never been one of my faves, but I made these for my brie-loving husband and ended up completely loving them. Brie! The orange zest-brown sugar-almond topping is absolutely perfect, too. However, I wanted to add one little note based on some feedback I got from these — make sure you remove the white rind from your brie before cutting it up! The rind won’t melt well and will affect the texture of the cups.
AND THE RUNNER-UP: CHICKEN BACON RANCH PASTA BAKE
So I didn’t feel right including this in my list since I only ever had a bite of it, but this is by far the most-visited recipe on my blog, so I figured it should at least be mentioned. If one of these recipes was going to get a lot of attention, I’m kindof glad it was this one, because I did probably the most tweaking/adjusting/adapting to the original recipe to fit my personal preferences (or more accurately, the preferences of my husband). So this is one of the few “original” recipes that I’ve posted so far. We’ll see what happens in 2013!
Happy New Year!