After all the excitement and anticipation leading up to Christmas, I can’t believe it’s all over now. Our Christmas tree is still up, but yet it doesn’t seem to have the same glow as it did just a few days ago when Philip and I opened up our gifts by its lights.
Philip and I had a wonderful Christmas and spent the entire weekend with all of his immediate family. Having everybody all together is a treat since half of them live in Colorado now and it’s not always as easy to have everyone under the same roof. We ate, played games, ate again, opened gifts, watched movies, ate some more, and shared about our past year and year to come. Always a fun time with the Hoerr family! In good foodie fashion, I brought along the candy that Philip and I had made a few weeks ago, my Holiday Pear-Pomegranate Salsa, and my Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread for my father-in-law (extra raisins, of course). Everything was a huge hit!
You had a few of your own favorites this year, too! Now that Christmas is behind us, it’s always fun to look back on the year that is ending and also look ahead at the year to come. One thing I know for sure is that 2015 had some delicious recipes coming out of this blog (as well as the addition of a new camera! No more iPhone photos!). Without further ado, here are your top 10 favorite recipes from 2015 (I think you chose some good ones!):
10) Lemon Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting. In the middle of the snow storm that we’re having, these are so spring-like and refreshing to look at! These cupcakes bring back fond memories since I made these for a close friend’s bridal shower last spring. They’re refreshing, pretty, moist, and absolutely delectable!
9) Southwest Pizza with Lime & Cilantro. This is a winner in my book! After getting a new grill this summer, we tried to find a way to use it any way we could — including pizza! I think this was one of our favorites for the grill this summer, too. Crispy crust with a black bean “sauce”, fresh lime and cilantro, and cheddar cheese melted on top — this pizza isn’t your typical pizza…it’s better. :)
8) Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta Pizza. This picture doesn’t do this pizza justice and I’m so glad you could look past the picture and make this pizza one of your favorites! The salty pancetta and fontina cheese with the Brussels sprouts and leeks pair so well together and make this a gourmet pizza that is a cinch to pull together on any week night.
7) Freekeh & Grape Salad with Salad & Mint. Having a plain piece of grilled or broiled chicken will never be boring again with this salad. The mint is refreshing and the grape adds a nice sweetness to the tang of the feta. With the whole grain freekeh, this is one salad that I keep going back to for a filling and healthy side dish.
6) Copycat LaraBar Chocolate Brownie Granola Bar. All I can say is, yes!! These are my go-to bar for an afternoon snack at work. There’s always a container of these bars in our freezer for me to pull out and pack in my lunch bag. They’re like the perfect fudge brownie, but the best part is that there is no added sugar! Sweetened with only dates, this is a “dessert” I can feel good about eating…ahem…daily.
5) (Philip’s Favorite) Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodles. The picture alone makes me want to bite into one of these chewy, soft, extra-cinnamon-y snickerdoodles right now. These were the first cookies I made for Philip when we were just starting to date and I still wonder if it wasn’t the cookies that actually won him over. ;)
4) Soft Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies with Vanilla Glaze. These cookies are unlike any other cookie and are so. good. Made with sweetened condensed milk, they’re a soft and extra sweet cookie that is topped with a delicious vanilla glaze.
3) Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats. I’m not surprised this recipe made it into the top 3. I can’t even count how many times I made this overnight oats recipe for breakfast this fall. It’s slightly sweet from the apple and maple syrup, full of fiber from the chia seeds and oats, and is filled with protein from the plain Greek yogurt. Hearty and delicious, this is a breakfast of champions!
2) Scotcheroos. If you’ve ever lived in the Midwest for an extended amount of time, you’ve likely heard of Scotcheroos — the most amazing and simple no-bake bar ever that makes an appearance at almost every small-town gathering. Peanut butter and chocolate always go together. This recipe is a classic.
1) Mom’s Homemade Banana Bread. My mom would be so proud! I grew up on this banana bread recipe and my mom was a pro at making it perfect every time. I loved it then and I love it now. Made with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, it amps up the protein slightly and keeps it ultra moist and delicious. Ironically enough, I have some ripe bananas in the freezer just waiting to be made into banana bread…looks like I’m having banana bread this week!
I have high hopes for 2016 and everything that the year has to offer — I can’t wait to include you in all that happens. Here’s to fresh starts, new goals, and of course, some more mostly-healthy, always delicious recipes coming your way! If you’ve followed me on RD in the Midwest during the entire year of 2015 or are just stopping by for a quick visit, thank you! I can’t wait to have you join me in the new year.
Have a safe and happy New Year! See you next year! ;)