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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013 - Recipes

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Wow, I had a tough time coming up with my favorite recipes from 2013. This was a year of good eats! While these are in no particular order and I could probably throw another dozen recipes in this post, here are a few of my very favorite eats from the past year! Without further ado...

chocolate chunk cookies
Salty Chocolate Chunk Cookies
These are my favorite chocolate chip cookie I've had to date. I'm not done trying recipes, for the heck of it, but I could stop right here and call it good because it doesn't get much better than this! Crispy edges, chewy centers, chunks of dark chocolate, and sea salt! Their sister cookie, the peanut butter cup pretzel cookies, are just as fantastic and deserve an honorable mention!

blue cheese stuffed chicken
To be honest, it wasn't until I started looking at the recipes from the year that I even remembered that I'd made this. As soon as I saw the post, however, it all came back to me and I immediately wanted to make it again. This is one of those dinners that looks way fancier and more difficult than it actually is, and everyone needs a few of those in their arsenal! 

king cake
King Cake
I think making a King Cake will be an annual tradition, even if I never attend another Mardi Gras celebration in my life. I was obsessed with the texture and flavor of this yeast cake/bread and Ryan and I finished it off alarmingly fast! Fat Tuesday falls on March 4th this year and I'm guessing I'll have my hands too full with a newborn to make this happen but if anyone wants to send one my way I will not be disappointed!

black bean chili fries
(Black Bean) Chili (Sweet Potato) Fries
I had so much fun developing recipes as an Alexia Tastemaker this year, and this creation was definitely my favorite. You can't go wrong with a healthier spin on chili cheese fries, especially when they don't taste healthy at all! Is it too soon to plan your Superbowl Party menu? Serve this and I promise you'll give the commercials a run for their money in terms of excitement!

cream cheese frosting
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Any recipe that I make more than once automatically screams favorite because I'm always so anxious to try new things. I've made this cake three times this year. See for yourself why! Cream cheese frosting wins, every time!

chicken salad veronique
Chicken Salad Veronique
This is another repeat recipe for the year. 2013 might just be the year of chicken salad. There was chicken salad with avocado dressing, mixed fruit chicken salad, and even chicken salad lettuce wraps. We loved them all but if I had to pick a favorite, this is the winner. It's fairly basic, but the tarragon addition as well as the perfect amount of mayo make this particular recipe stand out. 

steak and vegetable salad
Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad with Chipotle Chimichurri Dressing
It was a toss up between including this steak salad or the barbacoa beef salads with black bean avocado salsa. They were both fantastic, but I included this one in the round-up because of the chipotle chimichurri dressing which made this salad stand out for the typical "Mexican" salad. I could eat either of these salads weekly and not get sick of them!

peanut butter
Peanut Butter Pudding
Perfectly creamy, perfectly peanut buttery, this renewed my faith in making pudding after I had a few disasters with lumpy puddings in the past.  Now anytime I find myself with leftover cream and milk, I struggle deciding whether to make pudding or ice cream! 

eggplant parmesan rollatini
Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini
A spin on Eggplant Parmesan where you don't have to worry about frying? This make-ahead recipe is comfort food without all of the added fat or calories. I still remember how excited we were to eat this for dinner and how thankful we were that there were only two of us, meaning plenty of leftovers!

veggie burger
Zesty White Bean Burgers
And last, but certainly not least, these bean burgers were another recipe we enjoyed several times this year. 2014 will be the year to take a better photo of these (!), but in the meantime, know that they opened my eyes to the fact that bean burgers don't have to mean black beans and more importantly, bean burgers doesn't equal dry or tasteless!

I'd love to hear your favorite (Sweets Life or other) recipe from the year! Leave a comment with a link so we can all try each others favorites this year!

One Year Ago: Best of 2012 - Recipes
Two Years Ago: Favorite Recipes from 2011
Three Years Ago: Favorite Recipes from 2010