Hi there! I hope you had the merriest of holidays!
This past week has been the epitome of relaxation. Normally our trips to visit Ben’s parents in DC are go-go-go (which, as an eternal sight-seer, I adore) but 3 out of our 5 days there were spent hanging around the house with the family, sipping hot chocolate by the fire, and reading my brains out (I’ll fill you in on my favorite books on Friday!)
You know what? It was NICE. Nice not having an agenda, nice not worrying about which museums we had to hit before leaving, and nice knowing there was nothing to do, but do nothing at all. I can’t tell you the last time I took a trip and felt that way! Ok, well, Jamaica where there were no worries, but even there I spent several days worrying about how we were going to get to Rick’s Cafe…which we never did. Damned unlimited rum punch!
Anyways, that said, no trip to our nation’s capitol would be complete without a little sightseeing, so we humored my insatiable, inner-tourist and had a couple of days filled with fun, only-found-in-DC activities, too. I’ll fill you in later this week!
Before we get back to regularly scheduled programming, I wanted to feature the Top 12 Recipes of 2012, as chosen by me!
In case you missed it, a few days ago I featured the Top 12 Recipes of 2012 based on YOUR clicks, pins, and shares, and while many of those recipes are for sure my faves, there are even more yummy, mouthwatering, thirst-quenching recipes that didn’t make the list. Here they are, in no particular order. I hope you enjoy!
Fresh Apple Cake
I stand by the statement I made when first posting the recipe for Fresh Apple Cake - not only is this my favorite apple recipe of all time, this is one of my favorite RECIPES of all time. Period! I have never had a more moist, or perfectly sweet cake. You will adore this yummy treat, year-round.
Baked Chicken Caesar Chalupas
Created out of necessity, Baked Chicken Caesar Chalupas were one of my family’s favorite appetizers to order at one of our favorite restaurants in town. When they took them off the menu, I took to re-creating them in my kitchen. They are finger-lickin’ good, filling, quick, and easy to whip up.
Dad’s Killer Beergaritas
Killer…just KILLER! Don’t wait for the summertime to whip up a batch of these ultra-refreshing drinks that pack a punch. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya’!
Thai Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce
With a peanut sauce that’s so good it’d make shoe leather appetizing, Thai Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce are a veggie-packed, lean-yet-filling dinner that Ben and I both adore.
French Onion Soup Potstickers
Chewy, crispy, creamy, and PACKED with French Onion flavor, French Onion Soup Potstickers are one of my favorite foods evereverevereverever. If I remember correctly, I think I ate the entire batch in a day in a half. Whoops.
Thai Fried Quinoa
A dish that Ben wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, Thai Fried Quinoa is one of my favorite ways to use quinoa. Creamy coconut milk, and sweet pineapple mingle with the flavors of soy and lime for a seriously outrageous meal. This is so, so, so good.
Spaghetti & Meatball Soup
Feel like a kid again while eating Spaghetti & Meatball Soup! This shortcut soup is made with marinara sauce, mini meatballs, and tiny noodles, and feels like a grown-up version of spaghetti-Os. As a frequent S-Os connoisseur in college, though, I can attest to the fact that this soup is much, MUCH better!
Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves
Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves make up for all the dry, tasteless meatloaves we were all forced to eat as kids. I mean, smokey-sweet BBQ sauce? Melty cheddar cheese? Caramelized onions? So much win in such a little package!
Homemade Cheeseburger Helper
Never buy the boxed stuff again! Homemade Cheeseburger Helper was a total win with both Ben and myself. He liked the rib-stickin’ meat and pasta part, I liked the preservative and funky-ingredient-free recipe. Ok, and the rib-stickin’ meat and pasta part.
Caprese Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Sausage
A hit in the summertime, or anytime you need a taste of summer, Caprese Lasagna with Spicy Turkey Sausage is actually really light, and made with a creamy white sauce. Ben flipped for this lasagna. Me too!
Kale Fried Rice
The ingredients sound like they’d be crazy when paired together, but I promise that you will ADORE Kale Fried Rice. Given to me by my sister-in-law, her 3 year old, like myself, gobbles this recipe up.
What happens when you have some leftover ground beef to use up? Don’t throw it into the depths of the fridge to be pulled out, un-touched, a week later – mix it with cheeseburger-friendly ingredients then stuff it into the center of a couple quesadillas. You will flip for the yummy flavors in this recipe!
Bonus: Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Dates
I am obsessed, obsessed, OBSESSED with Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Dates. They are the PERFECT mixture of chewy, crunchy, sweet, and savory. They’d be a hit at a New Year’s Eve party, too!
Thank you again for making 2012 such a great year!!