Reader Favorite Recipes 2019

By Ann Fulton

Reader Favorite Recipes 2019
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Reader favorites from the year include a little something of everything. Is your favorite on the list? In addition to the 12 recipes chosen by readers, I’ve tacked on a few personal favorites that are staples in our house!



Weren’t we just wearing shorts and flip-flops?

Somehow, we’re not only on the brink of a new year, but a new decade! What better time to reflect, reminisce…and remember our favorite recipes!

As such, I pulled together the top 12 recipes of 2019 (plus a few personal favorites), as determined by comments, emails, Pinterest and firsthand feedback from my ever-fabulous, faithful readers. Our stroll down memory lane is also the perfect time to thank you for all those comments, emails, etc. I truly appreciate everyone who makes that effort after cooking one of my recipes.❤️

As always, I welcome your suggestions as to what you’d like to see on these pages in the coming year. The monthly “Favorite Things” post I shared this past year began thanks to reader requests. Do you want to see more of those or something new and different? And what sort of recipes are you hoping to cook more of in 2020: plant-based, quick meals, breakfast foods, packable lunches or healthy snacks? Or maybe you’d welcome theme-based recipe collections, more prep-ahead tips, and/or meals that rely on grocery store convenience items (like slaw mix or rotisserie chicken)? I’m open to any and all ideas, so please weigh in.

Most importantly, I wish you a New Year filled with health and happiness and look forward to many new shared kitchen adventures! 🎉



So let’s get started with your 2019 favorites

Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers - These super simple, flavor-packed burgers can be cooked on the grill or stovetop and have been a surprise hit-even with those who don’t profess to love blue cheese. (Don’t miss my list of favorite toppings!)

Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers-3 simple ingredients make THE BEST turkey burgers ever...tender, flavorful and not the least bit dry. Easy to cook on the grill or stovetop.

Congo Bars - Some readers remembered a similar recipe from their childhood while others were delighted to discover it. The bars are quicker to make than cookies and simple substitutions satisfy gluten- and/or dairy-free needs.

Congo Bars = the ultimate blondie! Perfectly chewy and so much easier to make than a batch of cookies, this foolproof recipe is a childhood favorite that has stood the test of time. 

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties - Love sausage but trying to eat healthier? This recipe went viral on Pinterest and for good reason. Ground pork and a short list of spices create a healthy alternative that tastes just like more the processed traditional sausage. Use it anyplace you’d ordinarily rely on bulk sausage (or sausage that has been removed from its casings).

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Patties - Love sausage but trying to eat healthier? Ground pork and a short list of spices create a healthy alternative to sausage that can be used in so many ways.
Sausage and Cabbage Stew (with Instant Pot option)- Comforting and loaded with flavor, this one-pot meal quickly became a new favorite with my family and many reader friends, too. Plus it’s really easy and loaded with wholesome veggies!

Sausage and Cabbage Stew

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore (with slow cooker option) - “We loved this one Ann! I made it last night and it is a winner!! Really easy to make as well. Hubby went back for seconds.” This reader quote sums up the tender, flavorful chicken dish quite nicely. Any leftover sauce is scrumptious served over pasta later in the week.

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore (with slow cooker option)-Tender, flavorful chicken and lots of healthy veggies are the hallmark of this easy meal. Leftover sauce can be enjoyed like your favorite marinara.  

Aunt Peggy’s Turkey Chili -All thanks to Aunt Peg for her endless inspiration. This chili is the quick-and-easy, make-ahead-if-needed, reheats-beautifully weeknight recipe that we all need!

Aunt Peggy’s Turkey Chili -Quick, easy and super satisfying, this flavorful meal is a go-to on busy nights and reheats beautifully. 

Lolita’s Low Sugar Granola - Many of us gravitated to this recipe that relies on far less sugar than traditional granola recipes without sacrificing taste. Locals can cheat and purchase it at Lemon Street Market, but Lolita herself shared the recipe for all who wish to make at home!

Lolita's Low Sugar Granola -With 125 calories and less than 3 grams of sugar per serving, this delicious granola is truly healthy!

Spring & Summer Avocado Toast - This super simple meal was Pinned thousands of times in the days after I posted it and garnered much praise via texts and emails. People seemed to flock to this wholesome meal because it’s ridiculously easy, a little novel AND incredibly satisfying.

Spring & Summer Avocado Toast — A simple twist makes this protein-rich meal refreshingly delicious-and extra easy.

Tuna, Tomato & White Bean Salad - Readers raved about this fresh, flavorful, quick-to-assemble salad. The nutrient-dense ingredients pack a protein punch and can be easily adapted based on what you enjoy or have on hand.

Tuna, Tomato & White Bean Salad-Pantry staples meet sweet tomatoes and a handful of fresh herbs in this protein-rich, flavor-packed salad. Enjoy it as an easy lunch or pair with an ear of corn, piece of cornbread or a crusty roll for a light but filling dinner. (Leftovers taste great, too!)

Wicked Good Chicken - The recipe is a bold twist on honey-mustard chicken and popular with many readers. I updated the old recipe with new photos and reposted, which is how it made this year’s list. For a good chuckle I left one of the original pictures, which may make you wonder why anyone ever dared to try!

Wicked Good Chicken is like a grownup version of honey mustard chicken, no mayo required. Quick prep with basic ingredients, it's an ideal weeknight meal!

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing - Strawberry season may be a long way off, but you must remember this recipe when the season arrives. It’s easy to whip up with a short list of ingredients and will make you crave salad, especially this winning combination!

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing- fresh strawberries and a short list of pantry staples are all that's needed for a dressing that's sure to become a family favorite!

Slow Cooker Stuffing (with oven method) - In the days after Thanksgiving, I received countless emails, texts and face-to-face praise for this classic stuffing recipe. Many people used the option that would satisfy gluten-free guests and mentioned that the gluten-eaters never knew the difference. Others appreciated the slow cooker method to free up oven space. Whatever the reason, I was delighted to hear it was a hit!

SLOW COOKER STUFFING (with oven method) -Tender stuffing with crispy edges is 100% possible in a slow cooker, freeing up precious oven space. Classic flavor will win you over, optional add-ins and prep-ahead tips will keep everyone happy! 

And my 5 personal favorites

Favorite Brussels Sprouts Salad - This is no easy choice because I adore so many of the recipes from the past year. However, the following salad was a clear winner because I make it SO frequently. Quick and easy thanks to a handy shortcut, I often alter the ingredients based on what I have on hand. My favorite additions are leftover roasted broccoli and roasted winter squash, which I chop into bite-size pieces. When adding these veggies, I usually omit the apple. Sometimes I also mix in broccoli slaw, thinly shredded kale, quinoa and/or chicken. This endlessly customizable salad is brimming with complementary flavors and textures and has been a potluck go-to that has garnered at least as many recipe requests as my Favorite Broccoli Salad!

FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD - A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.

Slow Roasted Salmon - Time and time again, I return to this simple technique for its promise of perfectly tender salmon every single time. It’s easy to adapt with the use of various sauces, and in the warmer months, you’ll appreciate that the unusually low oven temperature won’t heat up your kitchen! (And guess what? Even though the recipe says “slow”, salmon is relatively quick cooking so you can still get it on the table in under 30 minutes.)

Slow Roasted Salmon-The need-to-know technique that assures perfectly cooked, tender salmon every single time. Plus you can use the approach with other favorite salmon recipes.

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs - These melt-in-your mouth ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender with delightfully crispy edges. Plus they are a breeze to prepare-and no need to tend the grill for hours, making this recipe a stellar pick any time of year. (A frequent request in our house!)

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs-Melt-in-your mouth ribs with crispy edges are a breeze to prepare  with this easy recipe!

Apple Crumb Cake -As I type, I’m basking in the warm glow of having just eaten a leftover piece of this moist, tender cake for breakfast. From holiday meals and casual entertaining to easy weeknight desserts, the flexible, one-bowl recipe is one of my go-tos for fall and winter-and even passes as coffee cake!

APPLE CRUMB CAKE - a go-to dessert for fall and winter, from holiday meals and casual entertaining to easy weeknight desserts-AND it passes as coffee cake!

Easy Mud Pie - There are quite a few winter birthdays in my family, and for welcome variety, I prepare this scrumptious ice cream pie instead of baking a cake for each occasion. The simple steps can be done in advance, as time allows, and there’s an excellent gluten-free adaptation. The easy chocolate cookie crust can also be paired with other favorite ice cream flavors and pie fillings.

Easy Mud Pie-A true winner! The quick homemade crust adds something special (and allows for a gluten-free option) but a store-bought cookie crust works well, too

Happy 2020 and happy cooking!

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  1. Anne Besterman

    Hi Ann ~
    I was delighted to read the “2019 Reader Favorites” posted last week … and even more excited when I realized that I have made more than half of these recipes in the past year! I have plans to make the Sausage and Cabbage Stew and Chicken Cacciatore early in the new year … can’t wait!
    One of our “family faves” this year has been your Crustless Zucchini Pie; I have made it five times since Thanksgiving and have shared the recipe several times … what a wonderful brunch item! Also, my Christmas gift for friends this year was your Sea Salt Hot Fudge Sauce; I packaged each in a (clean) pint ice cream container and included a gift card to purchase ice cream! Everyone loved it!
    Many, many of the recipes in my looseleaf recipe file are from Fountain Avenue Kitchen … you are truly my “go to chef” for all occasions! I’ve decided that in 2020 I will create a new binder for just FAK delights! Many thanks for all that you do … and Happy New Year to you and your family!

    1. Ann Post author

      Anne, this is the best comment…thank you! I’m thrilled you have made and enjoyed so many of the recipes, and I love how you packaged the hot fudge sauce for gifts. What fun! I’m sure your friends were delighted! I also love it when readers tell me that they have a binder of my recipes – how wonderful that you have enough to create one in 2020. I may not have gotten around to writing a cookbook yet, but my fabulous readers have figured it out on their own! Thanks again, Anne, and Happy New Year to you, too!