Warmest greetings and a very happy new year from your friendly Iowa food blogger! How were your holidays? I’ve missed you so!
The holidays were the craziest they’ve ever been this year – gosh I don’t even know where to start! We had the pleasure of hosting Ben’s family prior to Christmas plus having lots of friends trickle in and out of the house over the past two weeks. Add in Christmas with my family, a double ear infection for Cam, spending lots of time together as a family of five, this, that, and the other 400 things – it feels like I was spat out of a tornado of tinsel and twinkle lights and landed here in 2019. Holy moly!
Although today is the first day of 2019, I want to take a step back and share the top 10 recipes from 2018 here on IGE, plus five of my personal favorites. 2018 was the fastest year of my life thus far – I mean, Gwen will be 6 months old in just a couple weeks. SIX. MONTHS. OLD!! Which brings me to the highlight of 2018: our sweet Gwendolyn.
I can’t believe I was ever so nervous about having a girl (ask me again when she’s 13, I suppose.) Sis is the pea to my carrot, and our family could not love her more. Not to paint an overly rosy picture because having three young children is absolutely nuts, but I am so thankful that the boys have had nothing but love and adoration for their little sis since we brought her home from the hospital in July. That has been another huge highlight of my year.
While family was the focus of 2018, I also feel like some truly delicious food was cranked out of our kitchen. I know I say each recipe roundup shared here is my favorite, but this list of the ten most popular new recipes of 2018 truly tickles me because it’s the food that you loved the most! YOU are the reason I’m here! My job feeding, sharing, and helping every one of you is the best job on the planet. Not to say that working for yourself is all grins and giggles – it’s the most difficult job I’ve ever had – but man oh man, what a gig. Thank you for coming back again and again.
With all that said, I’m so pleased to share the top 10 new recipes from 2018 on IGE, as determined by your visits, clicks, and shares. Do you see any favorites from the past year?
#1 Spicy Shrimp Soup
I wasn’t sure how many people would be interested in the recipe for Spicy Shrimp Soup, a dish Ben and I recreated from our favorite Ecuadorian restaurant here in town, but here we are – #1 recipe of 2018! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! You guys ADORE this easy, flavorful soup which has just the right amount of heat, as much as we do. It is so, so, so, so good. Please try it ASAP if you haven’t already.
#2 Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars have just the right amount of sweetness, plus that classic pumpkin-spice flavor. They were just posted in September but still managed to take the #2 spot in the list! I can’t tell you how many comments, emails, and notes I consistently get about these bars, which make for easy, on-the-go breakfasts and/or healthy snacks.
#3 Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
File Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls under the recipe I worked hardest on in 2018 – I lost track of how many batches I made before finally achieving the right flavor and more importantly, texture. If you hadn’t voted these delicious rolls to the #3 spot, I would have shared them down below as my personal favorite. They are tender, sweet, cinnamony, and yes – TOTALLY GLUTEN-FREE. Easily made dairy-free too. So many of you made and loved these rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
#4 Triple-Berry Crumb Bars
I find it funny that four of the top 10 recipes from 2018 are baked goods because I so rarely post them here on IGE. Maybe it’s a sign I should post more?! What do you think? Anyway, Triple-Berry Crumb Bars came in the #4 spot for good reason. They are so, so simple and absolutely gorgeous. Use frozen berries to enjoy them all year ’round.
#5 Sweet Corn, Kielbasa and Potato Soup
No surprise that Sweet Corn, Kielbasa and Potato Soup claimed the fifth spot in my 10 most popular recipes from 2018. This soup is so dang good. Hearty, savory, classic flavors that will warm you inside and out. Have a bowl or seven.
#6 30 Clean Eating Recipes
This list of 30 Clean Eating Recipes includes healthy, beautiful, flavorful dishes that are both nourishing AND craveable. Imagine that! Hope you can find a few to tackle this month!
#7 Crispy Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Gnocchi Skillet
I think the popularity of Crispy Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Gnocchi Skillet was because #1.) the dish is irresistible. We’re talking, eat-the-entire-skillet-yourself-delicious, and #2.) because I shared a technique for cooking packaged gnocchi that DOESN’T involve boiling them in water until they’re a gloopy mess. This is uncharacteristic of me to say, but if you’ve tried this recipe then I imagine you will never cook your gnocchi another way again. I certainly don’t!
#8 Meal-Prep Greek Chickpea Salad
Meal-Prep Greek Chickpea Salad surprised me as the 8th top recipe of 2018 – I didn’t realize it was as popular as it is! This salad is LEGIT. Healthy, fresh, filling, and full of ALL THE FLAVORS. So much lemon and dill it’s insane. Check out the post to see how I make this recipe work for fast lunches.
#9 Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins
Healthier Zucchini Banana Bread Muffins are so soft and squishy that you’d never know they’re gluten-free. They’re full of fruits and vegetables, and lighter in fat and calories then traditional muffin recipes too – I mean these babies are checking all the boxes.
#10 Napa Sweet Corn Salad
I am so glad Napa Sweet Corn Salad rounded out the list of my top 10 most popular recipes from 2018 – it is devoured by everyone I serve it to! Suuuper refreshing in the summertime though you can use thawed frozen sweet corn to get a burst of freshness in the season that shall not be named. It’s all about that Honey-Dijon Dressing…
Five of my Personal Favorites from 2018!
The Best Grain Free Granola
You will be eating this stuff hand over fist. The Best Grain Free Granola is incredibly delicious, low in sugar, naturally sweetened, and most importantly – clumpy. BOO YAH!
Crispy Hash Brown Crust Pizza
If you have to eat gluten-free then you know how hard it is to find a GF pizza that not only tastes good but does’t have 4,000 ingredients AND can be picked up as slices that don’t sag like you know what I’m not going to finish that sentence. ENTER CRISPY HASH BROWN CRUST PIZZA. Easy, light, super crispy holdable pizza. So good!
Healthy Cheeseburger Soup
I just developed the recipe for Healthy Cheeseburger Soup about a month ago and it’s already become one of my very favorite recipes of all time. Even having to make it with dairy-free cheese (for now) it’s still incredibly delicious, and the recipe has been a smash hit with readers who have tried it.
Kimchi Fried Rice
I totally understand why Kimchi Fried Rice didn’t break into the top 10 recipes of 2018 list – Kimchi is still a relatively new ingredient to many home cooks, at least in the Midwest – but this is a dish we whip up at least once a month. There is something about the combination of spicy kimchi and savory sausage that makes your mouth instantly start to water.
Chocolate-Peppermint Puppy Chow
Chocolate-Peppermint Puppy Chow didn’t have time to break into the top 10 list, as I shared it right before Christmas, but HOLY MOLY I will be making this recipe until the end of my days! I got many excited notes and comments from readers with peanut allergies because this recipe is peanut-free. Plus it tastes just like Thin Mints. YUS.
Once again, THANK YOU for your readership and friendship in 2018! I am honored and grateful every single day that you choose to visit with me here on Iowa Girl Eats. May 2019 be a year of blessings and happiness!