How is it possible that another year has come and gone?
Of course, the end of another year means it’s time to sift through my recipe box (or blog archives, as it were) to determine which recipes garnered the most praise from my very awesome readers.
The approach is not especially scientific. Comments on the actual recipe posts factor in, as do Pinterest pins, social media shares, and text messages and feedback from friends and acquaintances.
However, because I write a Sunday newspaper column, so much of my feedback comes from readers in the form of emails and in-person feedback as I go about my daily business.
Whatever the source, I appreciate every bit of that feedback and the thoughtfulness behind it.
Genuine thanks to all of you who took a moment to share your thoughts. What I do isn’t rocket science and it sure isn’t going to create world peace, but it does take a lot of time and effort, and the words of encouragement keep me going!
My intention was to present the top 10 recipes of the year, but in the end, I had trouble eliminating the final three.
So I present to you the top 13 recipes of 2018. (This number actually seemed fitting because, despite its reputation, 13 has long been my older son’s and my favorite number!) 🍀🧲
Here’s to a happy, healthy and delicious 2019! 🎉
P.S. Don’t miss my pick for “sleeper of the year” at the very bottom.
Easy Hand & Body Sugar Scrub － I’m already breaking the rules because, technically, this is a 2017 recipe. However, it came in at the tail end of the year and has been a resounding success thanks to Pinterest ever since. Plus this is the time of year that most of us can most use this. Dry, cracked hands anyone? (Raising mine!)
Pasta with Sausage and Shortcut Broccoli Pesto －I’ve cooked this dish in school seminars with scores of middle and high school students and, despite the presence all that healthy broccoli (which cooks down into a pesto-like sauce), it’s been a resounding success! My family adores this recipe, too.
Oatmeal Packet Mug Muffin － Everywhere I go, people tell me they bought instant oatmeal to try this single serve muffin and now make them regularly, if not daily. So many readers felt compelled to try, and then quickly fell in love with the ease, the flavor and the health appeal. I’ve made more of these muffins than I could possibly count!
One Pot Stovetop Chicken & Rice －Who can’t use another easy, one-pot meal that’s family friendly and travels and reheats well? The latter qualities make this an especially good meal to take to a friend in need. (Funny fact: When I took the photo, I decided it could use a few peas on top so that people knew they were in there. In my haste, I sprinkled a few still-frozen peas over top － which is why, despite thawing, they look a little wrinkly!)
Favorite Flourless Chocolate Cake －Need I say more? Seriously though, I was surprised by how few comments there are on the actual recipe post because I feel like everywhere I go I hear about readers making this decadently delicious and naturally gluten-free cake.❤️
Crispy Buffalo Wings － Don’t be put off by what seems like a long recipe. There are simply several choices combined with clear instructions and helpful tips that make these crisp and juicy bites (dare I say?) better than any restaurant wings. Last Super Bowl Sunday this recipe won the prize for most texts with rave reviews and photos in a given day. (It was better than the commercials! 😂)
Easy Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables －People adore homemade pickles, and this recipe makes that crisp crunch and flavor available anytime of year －and no canning is necessary! The flexibility of using your favorite vegetables adds appeal. Don’t miss the tip for reusing the brine and the clever hack!
Slow Cooker Crispy Pork Carnitas － The pork portion of this recipe garnered much positive feedback, but in my mind, the recipe is as important for the linked recipes that complement it and so many other meals. (If you haven’t made the slaw, you simple must! I make it at least twice a month as an easy side, for fish tacos, to stuff in burgers and a variety of sandwiches, to accompany a variety of bowl and anything Tex-Mex…and the list goes on.)
My Favorite Broccoli Salad － This has been so well received by all the local readers who, like me, have enjoyed a similar salad at Isaac’s restaurant. Perfect for potlucks (and, quite frankly, any meal any time of year!) I make this easy recipe as a broccoli slaw, too.
One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies －Vegetables, protein and loads of flavor in another one-pan meal. Many readers use homemade pesto (sometimes stashed conveniently in the freezer), but store-bought works well, too. The recipe is inherently flexible, too.
Stuffing Balls －Posted mere weeks ago, I’m still hearing comments about this recipe almost daily as I travel from the grocery store, gym, meetings, etc. The crispy edges and ease of preparation made these a new Thanksgiving favorite for many families. As a side to any poultry, they’re truly delicious year-round.
Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cobbler － I mentioned that my dad likes this for breakfast, so I often hear that Bob, Emily, Kathy, John, etc. now do the same. (Of course, it’s really good after dinner, too!) Many readers were as sad as we were to see peach season come to an end this year.
Special honors for the “Sleeper of the Year” go to…(drumroll please!)….
I love this recipe. My family loves this recipe. Meatloaf is pure comfort food. Leftovers are fabulous. And that glaze! Yet I hardly heard a peep about this easy, economical family favorite. I’m sure people made it…at least a few? 😂 If you did, feel free to weigh in. If you didn’t, may I recommend it in the New Year?