Well, we made it through another year! I hope 2013 was good to you and you have some wonderful memories to look back upon. And if you had some challenging moments in the past year, may the new year of 2014 bring you much prosperity and happiness! For me, 2013 was a year of wonderful memories with a few challenging moments sprinkled in. Some of the highlights for me this past year include favorite recipes tied to special memories. Here are the Best of 2013 for me, followed by the top 10 recipes I've shared in 2013 folks enjoyed...
1. Beer Braised Corned Beef Brisket - One of the Baron's favorite dishes is corned beef. His mom, Marnee, makes some pretty amazing corned beef (honestly, the best I've ever had) and knowing how much the Baron loves it, I was determined to come as close as possible to his mom's version. They say three times is a charm and after three attempts in making corned beef within a 2 week period, the Baron said I finally got really good at making corned beef. It will never be as good as his mom's but I'll take it!
2. Chicken & Seafood Paella - I've had this paella pan for awhile and I don't use it nearly enough. So in an effort to make use of what I have, I had friends and family over for a Spanish style dinner to beat the winter blues. This dish makes me think of all the dinner parties I've hosted with friends since it's something we all just dug into at the table, scooping up paella from the communal pan.
3. Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes - This was a recipe I've been meaning to make for awhile and I made sure that they would make it to the table in time for St. Patrick's Day. This would have to be my favorite cupcake of the year...
4. Chicken McMarnee Fingers - Another nod to the Baron's mom! We loved these and especially the use of potato chips as a coating for chicken. It's one of those dishes that reminds me of the fun times we've spent visiting the Baron's parents throughout the year.
5. Bacon & Swiss Quiche - The Baron and I took a much needed weekend getaway to Oregon, IL over the summer and we had this quiche at the bed and breakfast we were staying at. It encouraged me to make quiche more often and this particular quiche was the best I've had in a long while.
6. Mixed Berry Picnic Cake - I really enjoyed this picnic cake, which is another one made by Marnee. She brought this to our Fourth of July family picnic and it was bursting with summer berries of the season.
7. Southwest Egg Scramble - The Baron and I took a trip out to Denver over Labor Day weekend to spend time with his best friends. I loved the time we had there and I even had a chance to cook for them! This was a breakfast dish I prepared for us during our visit using some of Denver's seasonal ingredients.
8. Sausage & Kale Stuffed Pork Roast - Sunday has been a day where I cook a family meal and invite my brother and his partner to catch up on the each other's lives. This pork roast is one of those Sunday meals and I love how we all gather together around the table at least once a month, if not more.
9. Beef Meatball Pho Soup - One of my former coworkers, Melissa of Turning Veganese, became a very close friend this past year and I love spending time with her. We spent a weekend together which involved hitting the Argyle neighborhood of Chicago and going on a grocery shopping spree. As a result, I made this pho soup and it not only was perfect soup to warm up to, it's a soup that reminds me of the time we spent together.
10. Garlic Prime Rib Roast with Red Wine au Jus - Every year my family tends to have prime rib. This year, I hosted another prime rib dinner. In attendance were some great friends and this was such a fun night full of delicious food, flowing drinks and a night of laughs.
Now that I've shared my favorites from the past year, here is a list of the top 10 reader favorites, based on popular 2013 recipes shared on the site: