When I look back through my blog, I’m always amazed at how much I have grown. In my photography (whoa, please never look at my old photos – eek!), in my cooking and baking skills, and in finding my blogging voice. This blog is such a huge passion of mine, and it constantly inspires me to try new things and do better. I feel like 2009 was a wonderful year for the blog. I looked back through the posts from the year and came up with 30 recipes minimum that I felt I just had to highlight once more. These are the things I think you really must try – you know, sometime before 2011! I’ll be breaking this up into a three day series with 10 favorites listed each day. I’m going in chronological order so if you haven’t been reading long, you may have missed these!
My Favorite Salsa Ever – it still holds this title, and I still love it just as much as when I first posted the recipe. I often find myself putting Mexican food on the menu so I can have more of it!
Red Velvet Cheesecake – a genius idea from the people of Southern Living, this dessert combines two of my favorites by creating a red velvet flavored cheesecake with a cream cheese topping. It’s a decadent treat that is also visually stunning and I can’t wait to make it again soon.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte – holy cow, this will probably stay on the list of top desserts I’ve ever tried! It’s obvious why I’m so smitten with this dessert - a chocolate cookie crumb crust, filled with a light textured but incredibly rich peanut butter filling, topped with ganache and honey roasted peanuts. Be right back, I need to go make one right now….
Mexican Rice – this is without a doubt the best version of Mexican rice I have ever tried. It has a wonderful texture and thanks to the cooking method, tons of flavor is absorbed into the rice itself. I serve this frequently when I make Mexican food, and it is always a hit. I have also found it to be a great base for burrito filling.
Spaghetti and Meatballs – everyone needs to have a great recipe for classic spaghetti and meatballs, and I love this one. It is a wonderful comfort food but definitely tasty enough (and fun!) to serve to company. I also love this meal because I end up with enough leftover meatballs to have meatball subs later in the week. It’s a classic!
Chocolate Overdose Cake – okay, really, I don’t think much needs to be said about this cake. It seems to speak for itself. With a brownie base, chocolate mousse filling, and chocolate cake layer all covered in a decadent chocolate ganache, and containing almost 2 pounds of chocolate. Yeah, you need this in your life.
Butterfly Cupcakes – I don’t think I’ve ever made such a whimsical treat as these cupcakes. This has certainly been one of the most popular posts on my blog, and one I receive the most questions about. They are fun to make and are an impressive dessert that would be perfect for so many occasions – birthdays, bridal or baby showers, a spring party. I just love them!
Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Cupcakes – the idea of combining cake or brownies with ice cream into a cupcake is sheer genius. These are so much more fun than the full sized ice cream cakes I remember as a child. I just love individual desserts! The strawberry brownie combo is fantastic, but the beauty of this dessert is that you can mix and match cake and ice cream flavors. I plan on trying many more variations in the future!
New York Cheesecake – If I had to pick a favorite dessert of the year (or possibly of all time), it would be this cheesecake. I haven’t made it since the first time I tried it, simply because last time it rendered me powerless and I am pretty sure I ate the majority of it myself. It’s so amazingly creamy and delicious that I didn’t even feel all that bad about it. Though I haven’t made it again, I definitely spend an abnormal amount of time thinking about it. And I do have a birthday coming up – maybe it’s time to break it out again (hehehe ;) )
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels – since discovering the wonder of homemade bagels, they are a frequent favorite in our house. I have had fun playing with different flavor variations and cinnamon raisin is a classic that just can’t be beat. What a wonderful way to start the day out right. Yum!
Stay tuned for tomorrow installment of The Best of 2009…