Friday, December 30, 2011

The 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2011

I can hardly believe that 2011 is winding down so quickly.  In just two days I will have to start writing “2012” on everything. However, if past years are any indication, remembering to actually write 2012 instead of 2011 will probably not happen for at least 3 months.  Am I the only one who has that problem?  Please tell me I’m not.  It’ll make me feel better.

On a more serious note, 2011 has been an eventful year.  It started off with an ER visit in February after I wrapped my hand around a 400 degree skillet handle – serious ouchies.  April brought a new job and the excitement and adjustment that comes with going back to work full-time after a couple of years of part-timing it while going to grad school.  Things settled down for a while after that, but it was back to the hospital again in September for some non-emergency, but definitely needed, surgery.  Between the surgery and an allergic reaction to the antibiotic they gave me at the hospital, I was pretty much out of commission through October. 

I’m back at full speed now, but this has certainly not been a great year for blogging with any regularity. I am so appreciative of those of you who have stuck with me through the posting droughts and kept coming back even when I didn’t have anything new to say.  I’m hoping for a healthier, injury-free 2012 that will be full of new recipes and regular posting.  Most of all, I am hoping for a happy, healthy new year for everyone.  May 2012 be a great year for all of us – and full of great food to boot!

Speaking of great food, 2011 did manage to bring some recipes that you guys loved.  Interestingly, some of the most popular recipes of the past year were actually posted in 2009 and 2010. Thank you to Pinterest for helping get the word out!  Below you will find the 10 most popular recipes of 2011 based on viewer page loads.  Did your favorites make the list?  Let me know!

The 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2011

10.) Chili Mac with Corn and Green Chiles

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Easy No-Peel Apple Cake

Happy holidays!  Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or just the fact that you have a long weekend away from the office, I hope you are enjoying your time off and spending it with family and friends.  Stan and I are in Nashville this weekend, hanging out with my parents, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather and having a little Hanukkah celebration. 

One of the many ways we’ve been celebrating is with cake – sweet, delicious, ridiculously moist, crunchy-topped cake.  Cake filled with so many apples there seems to be more apples than batter.  Cake my family cannot stop eating – despite the fact that 50 percent of us are on a diet and 25 percent of us are not supposed to eat gluten.  Oops… but hey, that must mean it’s good, right?

In addition to being good, this apple cake is easy to make.  I had 10 minutes to spare yesterday before my parents got back from an errand, and I wanted to make something sweet.  In terms of the prep work, I’m not sure what I liked better – the fact that you add all of the ingredient to the mixing bowl at one time (no need to measure your dry and wet ingredients separately) or the fact that you do not have to peel the apples.  Ok, that’s a lie. I don’t like peeling apples.  I love that this recipe specifically calls for unpeeled apples. 

Most of all I love this cake because my family loved it – and that’s the most important thing of all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Onions and Bacon

I was all set to tell you about my new favorite dessert today – a dessert that is fast, easy, and perfect for a weeknight treat.  So why, I’m sure you are asking, am I telling you about Brussels sprouts?  Because I made this recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Onions, and Bacon last night, and it rocked my world.  So much so that it jumped right to the head of the line.  You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.  (And trust that the dessert recipe won’t remain a mystery for long.)

But I digress.  Back to my new favorite veggie recipe… It all starts with a little bacon – just enough to make the whole dish smoky and incredible tasting.  Diced granny smith apples and red onion come next, cooked in the bacon drippings until they are softened and sweet.  Finally, shredded Brussels sprouts are mixed in, along with some great flavor from apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard.  All in all, the combination of flavors and textures is, as I said, kind of world-rocking.  At least for a vegetable recipe. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Second Birthday - And Some Favorite Recipes From the Past Two Years

I missed a lot of things while I was out of commission recently.  One thing I hadn’t realized I’d missed was the second birthday of The Well-Fed Newlyweds.  Now you know I was seriously under the weather!  I can’t believe it’s been over two years since I shared my first recipe with you.  Some of you have been with me since the beginning, and some of you are new friends.  However long it’s been, I’m so happy to have you here to share in the successes (and occasional) flops of our kitchen.

Since I’m feeling kind of nostalgic, I thought I would share some of our very favorite recipes from the past two years.  These are recipes I’ve made over and over again – and will likely continue to make for years to come.  If you missed them the first time around, give them a try.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

One Year Ago: Nutty Pumpkin Granola

Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheesy Chicken and Corn Stuffed Peppers

So… hello.  It’s been awhile.  I know I’ve said that before when I’ve disappeared for a week or two - you know, for moving, a dead computer, mono… those sorts of things.  Dropping out of the blogosphere for over a month, however, is pretty much unheard of for me.  I feel like I owe you an explanation.  I don’t normally share super-personal stuff here because, well, it’s super-personal.  But you’ve stuck around.  You kept coming back even when I wasn’t posting.  You didn’t give up on me.  And I appreciate that.  I really do.  So I have a story for you… 

This story starts about 2 and a half months ago, over Labor Day weekend.  While you were out (hopefully) enjoying the long weekend, I was in the hospital having surgery.  Fortunately, everything went well with the surgery.  Unfortunately, I ended up being allergic to the antibiotic they gave me at the hospital.  That one fateful dose resulted in approximately six weeks of allergic reactions.  We’re talking hives, rashes, swollen joints, swollen eye... and that’s in addition to the surgery recovery.  I was a hot mess.  I was also pretty much at a cooking standstill as I wasn’t allowed to bend, lift anything, etc. 

Over the past few weeks, I have returned to the living – and the kitchen.  I am so glad to be back and able to share recipes with you.  Like today’s recipe for Cheesy Chicken and Corn Stuffed Peppers, one of the first things I made when I got back in the kitchen.  These peppers are ridiculously good.  Filled with chicken, corn, cream cheese, salsa, mild green chiles, fresh jalapeno, and two more kinds of cheese, these stuffed peppers are jam-packed with flavor.  They also have great texture from the creamy cheeses, crunchy corn and peppers, and chewy chicken.  And like most of my favorite meals, these stuffed peppers are quick and easy to make.  These peppers welcomed me back into the kitchen, and I’m sure they would be a welcome addition to your table any night of the week.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons

Hi, friends. It’s been awhile since we’ve talked.  I’ve missed you.  I don’t like to go so long between posts, but I’ve been off having adventures.  Ok, not really… I’ve been dealing with some medical junk and recovery has left me a bit lacking in motivation to write – or do just about anything else.  At least I left you with a nice recipe to look at for the last couple of weeks though, right?  I mean those French Dip Sandwiches rocked.  In fact, I kind of wish I had one right now, and it’s only 10:30 in the morning.

And I’m on the mend, which means good things are coming your way.  I haven’t been cooking much lately, but I’ve got a ridiculous backlog of recipes waiting to be shared.  I’d hoped to post today’s recipe while it was still warm outside, but life happens.  I know you get that.  And maybe it’s still warm where you live.  We’ve got that fantastic warm during the day and cold at night thing going on right now.  It’s my favorite weather of the year – the kind where you can wear short sleeves during the day and burrow under blankets and sleep with the windows open at night.

Since fall is clearly cruising into town, today’s recipe is likely going to be my final ode to summer.  I think it’s an appropriate choice, too, since nothing says summer as much as tomatoes, and in this recipe, tomatoes are the star.  Ripe, juicy, sweet, and tangy tomatoes.  Lightly dressed with a simple red wine vinaigrette.  Topped with crunchy, cheesy, garlicky, salty, homemade croutons.  This recipe is brilliant.  And I am certain I will be thinking about it until tomato season rolls around next year.  If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where tomatoes are still in season, get them while you can, and try them topped with some crunchy, crushed crouton goodness.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches au Jus

Like many couples, Stan and I have different ideas about what makes a good meal.  I take more of the foodie approach.  I like variety; I want different flavors and colors and textures.  I like to try new things – even when they take a long time to make and turn our kitchen into a disaster.  I like the process almost as much as the eating.  I also think vegetables are a necessary component of every (non-breakfast) meal. 

Stan, on the other hand, is more of a stereotypical man.  He sees food as fuel.  To him, trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen merely delays getting food on the table – and leaves more dishes to wash.  He most certainly does not consider vegetables a necessary part of any meal.  Stan likes meat.  With a side of meat.  And some potatoes.  And ideally, some bread for dipping. 

Considering our different approaches to eating, I feel pretty lucky that Stan will eat pretty much anything I put in front of him, including vegetables.  Since he eats kale, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and other assorted green food on a regular basis, I like to “reward” him from time to time with a “man meal”.  Like French Dip Sandwiches au Jus. 

When I told Stan I was going to be making French Dip Sandwiches for dinner, he actually got excited about food.  (This is rare unless we’re talking about Doritos.)  When he came home the next night and I was shredding the beef, I actually had to kick him out of the kitchen so he wouldn’t eat all of it before I had a chance to turn it into sandwiches.  (I felt a little guilty about that since I couldn’t stop snacking on the meat myself.)  And then the sandwiches were ready - crusty bread filled with tender, salty, savory beef and sliced provolone cheese with a cup of jus (the beef’s cooking liquid) for dipping.  I even made roasted potatoes to go with the sandwiches. Stan was a happy man.  So happy he didn’t even mind the kale salad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding is one of those foods I associate with childhood.  Growing up, my mom would make pudding for us using the box mix.  Sometimes she made instant pudding.  That was fun because it required putting the pudding mixture in a sealed container and shaking the daylights out of it to mix it up.  (At least that’s how we did it when I was helping.)  More often, Mom made the kind you had to cook and then let chill. That was also fun because we never put plastic wrap on the top of the pudding cups so they got a nice thick film.  (Am I the only one who thinks it’s fun to eat pudding skin?)

I never was into the pudding cups you could buy at the store.  My mom’s “homemade” pudding seemed far superior in taste.  Plus I was weirded out by the idea of pudding that didn’t need to be refrigerated.  That went against everything I knew about dairy products at that point in my life.  (Shelf-stable boxed milk would have probably blown my mind.) Homemade pudding from scratch was not something I knew anything about as a kid.  As an adult, I knew you could make pudding yourself, but I’d never tried it.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve saved several pudding recipes to try.  For whatever reason, I’ve never gotten around to making any of them.  The other night however, I was having a serious sweets craving.  Stan was at the store getting groceries, and while I’d texted him a request for ice cream, I had my suspicions he wouldn’t remember to bring any home.  (I was right.)  I didn’t want to take any chances, so I went looking for the chocolate pudding recipe I knew I had stored away.

And I gotta say… I’m glad Stan forgot the ice cream because homemade chocolate pudding rocks.  It is richer and more chocolaty and more decadent than anything you can made from a box mix.  And much to my very happy surprise, homemade chocolate pudding is just about as easy to make as the pudding you cook from a box.  All you have to do is whisk a few things together, heat everything up, and whisk a little more.  See?  Easy.  Perhaps the very best part about scratch-made pudding is that you probably already have all of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry so you can make it anytime you have a craving.  And I suspect you’ll be having lots of cravings once you have a taste of this homemade pudding.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken

For most people, summer is the perfect time for grilling.  Not so much for us.  At least not this summer.  Stan does our grilling, and this summer he avoided our grill like the plague.  Not because he has developed an aversion to one of his favorite toys, but rather because it was approximately 150 degrees all summer long.  (That may be a slight exaggeration, but you get where I’m coming from.)  We have a charcoal grill and convincing Stan to stand outside for extended periods of time in the sweltering heat was just not going to happen.

And I was okay with our lack of grilling… mostly.  What I missed though, was the opportunity to try the many recipes I had lined up for summer grilling.  Fortunately, Stan decided to brave the heat a couple of weeks ago and let me pick out the recipes.  Enter today’s recipe for Spicy Honey Chicken – otherwise known as possibly the best chicken we ate all summer.

This chicken recipe is fabulous for many reasons.  First, it is easy.  Ridiculously easy.  Rub on a spice mixture, grill, and brush with honey-easy.  It is also insanely delicious.  The chicken is spicy, but not too hot.  It is smoky from the grill.  It is sweet (but not too sweet) and caramelized from the honey glaze.  It is economical.  And in addition to all of those reasons, this chicken recipe is great because it works just as well in a grill pan as on a real grill, making it perfect for year-round cooking. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

I don’t know about you, but after a rough day, I crave comfort food. And when it comes to comfort food, I like it as carb-y and cheesy as possible. Not exactly healthy, I know. But that’s why it’s comfort food, right? I mean come on, who ever wanted carrot sticks and bean sprouts after a hard day? Unless maybe they were tossed in an Asian-inspired dish and smothered in peanut sauce. In which case, sign me up.

But what if comfort food could be healthy(ish) and comforting at the same time? What if you could still satisfy the craving for carbs and cheese and stick-to-your-ribs casseroles without completely destroying your waistline? That would be a good thing right?

I thought so. And so I tried today’s recipe. One, because it looked ridiculously good. And two, because it wasn’t nearly as unhealthy as it would appear at first glance. This casserole is full of good things. Chicken and brown rice and chiles and black beans and corn and salsa. All healthy. Sour cream (I used reduced-fat) makes it a little creamy, and just a little cheese makes it gooey. All you have to do is stir everything together and bake until bubbly.

One bite and I was in love. This Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole is complete comfort food, but it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. Serve it up with a salad on the side and you’ve got a meal that will comfort your belly… and your conscience.


Related Posts with Thumbnails