Happy New Year: The 12 Best Dishes of 2012!

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.

One quick little note — in making these selections, I only chose things I actually tried for the first time this year, as opposed to our longtime favorites. And now, in no particular order:

1. SHRIMP ENCHILADAS VERDES

096 shrimp enchiladas verdes

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.

Moving on.

2. QUINOA WITH SALMON, FETA, AND DILL

101 quinoa with salmon, feta and dill

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.

3. STEAKHOUSE PIZZA

130 steakhouse pizza

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.

4. BISTRO CHICKEN TWIST

bistro.chicken.twist02

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!

5. OVEN BAKED SRIRACHA CHICKEN

144 oven baked sriracha chicken

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.

6. SAGE AND PROSCIUTTO RISOTTO

179 sage prosciutto risotto

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.

7. SMOKED SALMON KALE CARBONARA PASTA

186 smoked salmon kale carbonara pasta

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…

8. CHILI CHICKEN SOUP WITH CILANTRO DUMPLINGS

199 chili chicken soup w cilantro dumplings

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.

9. LEMONGRASS CHICKEN

DSC_1139

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.

10. CAJUN CHICKEN WITH PEPPERJACK AND SPINACH

202 cajun chicken with pepperjack and spinach

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.

11. BUFFALO TEMPEH WINGS

235 buffalo tempeh wings

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.

12. MINI BAKED BRIE CUPS

245 mini baked brie cups

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

170 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!

Advertisements

One thought on “Happy New Year: The 12 Best Dishes of 2012!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s