Top 5 Recipes of 2016 – Cake, Cookies and MORE

What a year 2016 was!!! It was such a roller coaster year for me, in both my personal and professional life, but there is one thing that stayed constant for me and that is THIS BLOG! I love being able to share with you guys so many delicious meals, snacks, treats etc! And from what I can tell, you guys LOVED it too!

I decided to participate in a “Round-Up” of sorts, with some of my fellow bloggers so we could see what our most popular recipes of 2016 were and share them with you guys in one fun place! Below you will find my Top 5 Recipes for 2016  as well as a link to the main page where you will find so many yummy eats from a wide array of food bloggers! I hope you enjoy, and please be sure to let me know if you had a favorite (bonus points if you made it!).

Whipped Shortbread Cookies

Dainty shortbread cookies with Christmas sprinkles, on baking sheet

This cookie was our most POPULAR post last year and with good reason too!!! It is such a simple yet flavorful cookie that literally melts in your mouth, and it’s perfect for any time of year (but featured for our Christmas Baking Frenzy).

Butter Lemon Snow Drop Cookies

Butter-Lemon-Snow-Drops

No surprise that a cookie recipe took both the #1 and #2 spot for us last year, especially one a tasty as this Butter Lemon Snow Drop. This cookie was featured from a fellow blogger as part of our Christmas Baking Frenzy as well!

BEef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

This is by far my favorite dinner recipe up on the blog, so it is no surprise to me that it came in as one of the top 5 from last year!! It is so EASY and TASTY and inexpensive (with the use of ground beef) that it is a perfect meal for any night of the week.

Chocolate Peanut Butter CAke

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Mmm…that is all I need to say about this one! What a SPECIAL treat to make for birthdays, holidays, dinner parties etc. It is swirled with chocolate and peanut butter batters to create a heavenly cake that everyone will love. Best enjoyed with others so you don’t eat the whole thing!

Christmas baking frenzy- 13 days of goodies

Christmas-Biscotti

This 13 Day post features different cookies, squares, truffles and bars everyday that we like to make around the Holidays to give to friends and family to enjoy! There is a treat for everyone on this list, and even many treats you can make year-round.

 

 

Well, there you have it! What did you think of our Top 5 Recipes?? Did you have a favorite that wasn’t on the list? And what about this year…what would you like to see? Let me know in the comments so I can get creative and get cooking!

“Bang Bang Chicken” – Recipe Swap!

Sweet-and-Spicy-Chicken

Hey ya’ll! I am so excited to share this post with you! I was asked to join a group of Food Bloggers who, once a month, participate in a Recipe Swap! We are each tasked with another bloggers site and then given choice of any recipe they’ve made to “re-do” and make ourselves!! Eeee! This month I was assigned to Miri In The Village , a blog that focuses not only on food but DIY, home and parenting as well! I had a hard time picking just 1 recipe to make, I mean they all looked so yummy, but eventually I settled on her “Bang Bang Chicken”.

This recipe is so full of flavor and took little time to prepare, you guys will LOVE it! My hubby and I devoured it, like literally…the chicken is first dipped in a thick batter before getting coated in panko breadcrumbs and, to top it all of, it is then smothered in an incredible sweet and spicy sauce!! Mmm, are you drooling yet? Check out the texture of the chicken:

Bang-Bang-Chicken-with-Sauce

 

Now, I do have some tips for you to help make it even easier for you to replicate this yummy dish!

Tips and Tricks for the perfect bang bang chicken every time!
  • Cut your chicken into even pieces to ensure the cooking time is the same
  • Whisk your wet ingredients together first before adding to your dry ingredients to make the thick batter (this ensures that everything is evenly mixed)
  • We found we needed more panko than what the recipe called for, have more on hand just in case!
  • Change out your oil!! (trust me) This will help to prevent the chicken from burning on the outside before cooking through (the panko that comes off during the cooking will otherwise stay in the pan and burn)
  • Add more or less hot sauce, to fit your heat preference! (We liked ours a little spicier).

“Bang Bang Chicken”

“Bang Bang Chicken”

Ingredients

    For Chicken
  • • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into small pieces
  • • 1 cup coconut milk
  • • ¾ cup flour
  • • ½ cup cornstarch
  • • 1 egg
  • • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • • salt and pepper to taste
  • • Panko breadcrumbs
  • • oil for frying
  • For Sauce
  • • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
  • • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • • 2 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate until ready for serving.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl mix your wet ingredients together until combined (hot sauce, egg, coconut milk)
  4. Add to your dry ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, toss to make sure each piece is coated in the batter and set aside.
  6. In another bowl add about a cup of Panko breadcrumbs.
  7. Mix all ingredients for the sauce and refrigerate until ready for serving.
  8. Heat the oil in a large skillet (over medium-high heat).
  9. Coat each piece of chicken with breadcrumbs and fry on both sides until chicken is cooked through.
  10. Place on paper towels to soak up some of the oil.
  11. Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve.
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So there you have it guys!!! My 1st recipe swap done! I can’t wait to see what next month has in store for me.

Recipe-Swap

Wanna see who had my site?! Check out Simply Delish Eats to see what they cooked up.

 

 

 


Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

Easy Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe- a delicious soup you will want to make over again with the cool Fall weather ahead! The perfect comfort food!

Easy Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe- a delicious soup you will want to make over again with the cool Fall weather ahead! The perfect comfort food!

If you are like me you LOVE a good Tomato Soup Recipe for the cooler Fall days ahead! Our first guest blogger, Dee from Dee’s In the Kitchen, has whipped up a super indulgent Tomato Soup for you to enjoy! I love the addition of ricotta cheese to her recipe and I think you guys are going to love it too!

Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 White Onion, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 2 Cloves, Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon, Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon, Butter
  • 1 Can (28 oz.), Peeled Tomatoes *used Italian Style Plum Shaped in this recipe
  • 1 Can (14.5 oz.), Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 Cups, Chicken Broth, low-sodium & GF
  • 1 Tablespoon, dry Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon, Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 Cup, Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup, Light Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons, Ricotta Cheese
  • S&P
  • Garnish
  • Mixed Italian Cheeses
  • Fresh Basil Ribbons
  • Fresh Crispy Bread, for dunking

Instructions

  1. See site for full cooking directions
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Find the cooking instructions over at Dee’s in the Kitchen here!

If you liked this post you may also want to check out:

 


This post contains affiliate links, which cost you nothing, but allow you to see the products I use and love in my own kitchen! 

 

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe – Foodie Friday

Easy-Butternut-Squash-Risotto
Quick-Butternut-Squash-Risotto

Here is a real stick to your ribs meal for the cooler days ahead! A simple and delicious Butternut Squash Risotto! I know  most people are intimidated when they see the name…RISOTTO! Ahhh! But guys, calm down, it may look and taste like it was made at a 5 star restaurant but I assure you this recipe is VERY simple! You just need to ensure that the level of heat stays consistent and that you stir constantly and you will come out with a delicious risotto every time. I love adding new recipes to my Fall line-up, I mean you can never have enough comfort foods in your recipe box right?! Most people will think of soups and stews for a classic comfort food, like my Hearty Sausage and Kale Soup (go on, check it out and make that this week too…it makes a ton so you can have leftovers) but I think you will start to add in this risotto once you have had a taste.

Butternut-Squash-Risotto

One of the amazing things about this recipe is that you can really customize it to your mood and what you have in the fridge. Want Asparagus Risotto instead? Sure, no problem, cut and steam the asparagus and throw it in. Wanna make it a Mushroom Risotto? Yep, go ahead, do a quick satuee to the mushrooms of your choice and add em in! Do you see the pattern? Now this recipe is ESPECIALLY delicious as it features one of my favorite Fall ingredients- Butternut Squash. Oh ya, I can see you drooling already! The flavor from the nutty butternut squash combines with the creaminess of the risotto to make a show-stopping dish. And thankfully it makes enough to serve 6-8 people so you can go back for seconds! (Trust me, you’ll be sneaking spoonfuls as you pack up the leftovers).

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Butternut Squash (1.5lb) steamed and mashed
  • 1/4 c Butter
  • 6 c Vegetable Stock (we use the stock cubes a mix our own, more cost effective!!)
  • 2 c Arborio Rice (make sure it says Arborio and NOT Italian!)
  • 1 c Dry White Wine
  • Zest of half a Lemon
  • 1/4 c Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare your squash (steam and mash) and set aside for later.
  2. Over medium-low heat bring your stock to a very gentle simmer in a medium pot (this is key, NOT boiling)
  3. In large pan melt butter over medium heat, add in onions and a pinch of salt. Allow to sweat until they are almost translucent. Add in garlic and stir, add in your rice to toast (about 2 minutes) make sure you are stirring from here on out!
  4. Add wine and stir until completely absorbed. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  5. Now you will begin to add your broth a couple of ladles at a time. You want to add enough to cover the rice, and make sure you are stirring constantly to absorb.
  6. Repeat the above step until your broth is gone or your rice is no longer crunchy (about 30 minutes...This will create the creamy consistency everyone loves with risotto!
  7. Lastly, add in your mashed squash, parmesan and the lemon zest. Stir until everything is mixed. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
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Things to Keep in mind with Risotto

Okay, so remember I said it was very easy to make and you just had to keep a couple things in mind? Well let’s go over that again just to make sure you get the perfect risotto the first time!

  • Heat consistency is KEY! You will want to use a heavy bottom pan to keep the heat even throughout the cooking process. This goes for your pot that is simmering with your broth too!
  • Stir, stir, stir! Make sure you use a good wooden spoon for this! Why? Well it will not conduct heat, meaning it is neutral in your pan (doesn’t mess with the heat consistency mentioned above). You can also use a silicone spatula if you prefer, but I love the feel of the wooden spoon for stirring the risotto, it really moves it around!
  • Milkiness is key! Once you add your liquid (which you add slowly) you want to see the milky starch as you stir. This shows that you are doing it right, and your risotto is coming together perfectly.
  • You don’t need a $40 bottle of wine! People often skip over recipes that call for the use of wine as they think they need to go out and buy an expensive bottle just to dump into their dish…now, yes there are SOME dishes where you want to do this (where the wine is really the star flavor maker) but not in this case! Do you know what we do? Open the fridge and grab whatever dry white wine is sitting there from our last date night…yep!

Well guys, that’s it! I told you it was a simple dish to make! You won’t believe the flavors in this one when you make it. And guess what? It is even BETTER the next day! Enjoy!

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