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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Best of 2012 – My Favorites

At the end of each year, I love looking back through the blog and sharing what, in my opinion, were the highlights of my year in food.  That is until I actually begin the process of trying to choose and narrow it down to anything resembling a reasonably sized list, and then it feels a bit like being asked to choose my favorite child.  I started with a list of close to 50 favorites, but have narrowed it down to 25  for you.  Hey, that’s five less than last year so we’ll call it an improvement :)

Recreating fudge stripe cookies at home was a tasty accomplishment and also brought back a flood of childhood memories of my sweet grandfather.

These blueberry yogurt multigrain pancakes are a healthy breakfast option, but don’t taste like health food.  They have definitely become a staple in our breakfast repertoire.

I’ll never tire of finding fantastic new pizza varieties to make at home, and this mushroom fontina pizza is one of our very favorites.  Pizza that pairs well with wine?  Yes, please!

You’ll notice a theme in most of my favorite desserts – they involve chocolate, and lots of it.  Combining lots of chocolate with one of my other favorite things, cheesecake, and this chocolate lover’s cheesecake was definitely the perfect cake to celebrate my birthday last year.

An okra corn cake may not sound all that exciting, but when topped with a dollop of herbed goat cheese and a spoonful of roasted tomatoes something special happens and they become one of my top appetizers of the year.

I made lots of progress in my mission to DIY more foods last year and while I thoroughly enjoyed finding homemade versions of many kitchen staples, for me making greek yogurt was kind of life-changing.  It’s fun to make, tastes fantastic, and has saved me from wasting a huge number of little plastic yogurt containers.

I still regard this layered mediterranean dip as a totally genius idea, not to mention it’s healthy and amazingly delicious.  I brought this to lots of parties and get togethers last year, and never made it out with leftovers.

This baked tex-mex pimento cheese dip is another totally addictive and crowd-pleasing appetizer.  Though it is decidedly unhealthy, it’s hard to care – just so good.

Believe it or not, if I were to choose just one recipe that were my favorite from 2012, it would be this guacamole.  That may seem crazy – it’s just humble guacamole, after all.  But as a former guacamole hater, this was a game changer for me.  We make this almost weekly and I have a hard time sharing.

Although I suppose if there were a recipe to give the guac a run for its money, it would be this one.  I make this breakfast panini for much more than just breakfast.  It’s the one thing that always sounds good to me, even when nothing else does.  Mmmm, breakfast sandwiches FTW!

I made these cute little banana pudding parfaits for my baby girl’s first birthday party and they went over like gangbusters.  I was just glad I had saved a few away in the fridge for later :)

Another ode to chocolate in the form of tunnel of fudge cake which is every bit as amazing as it sounds.  Every chocolate lover needs to make this cake.  Do it!

I remember once when I was a child, I ordered a grilled cheese at a restaurant and they brought it out with a slice of grilled onion on top.  (Seriously, for a kid…who does that?!)  I wouldn’t eat a single bite.  Well, I’ve come a long way because now one of my very favorite grilled cheese sandwiches is this French onion grilled cheese.  Guess I’m all grown up.

In May I celebrated the five year birthday of this little ol’ blog and made a chocolate peanut butter layer cake to celebrate.  Happy times and good cake all around!

In my continual quest for lunch foods that don’t suck, I recreated a Greek veggie wrap that I used to buy all the time at work.  Satisfying, healthy, and all-around awesome, this is still one of my favorite lunch foods.

Whenever I’m in the mood to bake just for myself, just because, I almost always make cookies.  These espresso chocolate chip coconut cookies are pretty stellar.  Make them and you’ll see.

Finding an acceptable homemade version of the eternally popular funfetti cupcakes wasn’t easy, but worth the wait.  How can you resist all those cute sprinkles?

It’s always a happy occasion to find a recipe that is both good for you and actually crave-worthy.  This roasted veggie chickpea salad is definitely both of those things.

I’ve been making sourdough bread for quite some time but finally, after lots of recipes and lots of experimentation, I found the recipe that I L.O.V.E. love.  The hardest part is not demolishing a loaf when it is fresh out of the oven.

At the end of summer, we ordered Maine lobsters as a splurge and a special treat.  Having these fresh lobster rolls for a dinner out on the patio made for a perfect summer evening.

This lemon loaf is really a cake, but if no one is looking, you can pretend it’s breakfast.  Don’t worry, I won’t tell.

Chocolate swirl buns are a supposed breakfast item that we all know are really a dessert, but if having these as a breakfast treat is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Roasted pumpkin pasta with browned butter sauce was a great way to enjoy pumpkin in a savory capacity.  It’s a simple dish that is elegant enough for entertaining.  Love it!

This cherry vanilla layer cake my brother chose for his birthday cake was definitely a show-stopper.

As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many good enchilada recipes, and this one is a total winner.  The shrimp and veggie filling is awesome on its own, but the roasted poblano sauce takes them over the top.  Go the extra mile and make homemade tortillas – so very worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this peek at my favorite recipes of 2012.  These are the ones you don’t want to miss!

  • et-tu-tutu

    These all look so delicious! The only one I actually made was French Onion Soup Sandwiches, and they were amazing!

    -Lindsey

  • http://twitter.com/katrinaskitchen In Katrina’s Kitchen

    The french onion grilled cheese looks amazing! Happy New Year! :)

  • http://twitter.com/wvanillasugar Warm Vanilla Sugar

    You had such an amazing year Annie! I went bonkers making your recipes and still have so many to try. All the best this year! xo

  • http://profiles.google.com/vicmouw Victoria HM

    I will begin making each and every one of these. Thank you for all of the time you put in to sharing your food with all of us. My family (esp. my husband) thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/emilialiveslife Emilia

    I love these posts, thanks so much for taking the time to share your favorites with us! I’m definitely feeling inspired to get into the kitchen and bake after reading this, everything you make is breathtaking. Happy New Year!

  • Iglika

    Happy New year! All the best!

  • Caroline L.

    Could not stop drooling and couldn’t decide which one out of all of these incredible recipes to try first! Thanks so much for sharing with us! Can’t wait to see what you make this year :)

  • Christiana

    A great list, indeed! The yogurt was a big one for me too. I can’t wait to see what is in store for 2013. Happy New Years Annie!

  • Elizabeth Ann

    That tunnel of fudge cake is still on my list of things to make PRONTO!

  • http://twitter.com/alisonlewis Alison Lewis

    fabulous list!

  • http://twitter.com/JenatPBandP PB and Peppers

    Wow! This list is fabulous ! I love it!! I’m bookmarking this, you have quite a few recipes i want to try!! Happy New Years!!

  • kelimation

    I could hardly believe when I saw those blueberry pancakes on this list that I haven’t been following your blog for an entire year. I stumbled across it when someone shared that recipe on facebook last year and my kitchen hasn’t been the same since! I’ve always loved to cook, but somehow your blog was exactly what I needed to get to the next level. Every single recipe you post seems doable and proves to be utterly delicious. Before your blog, I was only inspired to cook a few times a month. Now, I cook every day. I can’t think of a better gift one could give. Thank you so, so much, Annie!

  • Yael

    What a great list! I always look forward to getting notice of a new post of yours in the mail. Just love your blog! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

  • Patti T.

    Those are definitely some great recipes. Now I know when I started following your blog, it was when I found the recipe for homemade yogurt on Pinterest. The recipe was a great find, but I am thinking your blog was an even better find.

  • Meg Jones | The Spatularettes

    Love your homemade funfetti!! It became a birthday staple in my kitchen this year : ) Can’t wait to see what you have for us in 2013!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.stillings Samantha Stillings

    Happy to say that I’ve prepared a few of these! Love your taste & techniques! My favorite favorites list on a blog!

  • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

    I’ve been looking for this grilled cheese & onions recipe FOR AGES & couldn’t remember to save my life where it originally came from. I am SO HAPPY TO SEE IT HERE & need to make it immediately. Thanks & happy 2013!

  • SK

    Found your blog this year, what can I say totally awesome!! Sour dough bread, sour dough waffles, homemade pita bread and the list goes on. Thank you and god bless. Happy New Year!!

  • Connie Zhou

    its been a good year! keep it up!

  • Lauren

    I love your end of year round ups! There is always a great recipe or two in there that I missed – and I wonder how they sneaked past me :)

    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.thelittlebitchinkitchen.com/ Kristen @ The LBK

    What a year! Can’t wait to try those shrimp enchiladas! I am sure your 2013 will be wonderful as well!

  • http://twitter.com/HoneybeeGB Her Diary

    I am new here. So all your recipe are kind of new to me. They look delicious, can’t wait to try each one of them especially the roasted pumpkin pasta. Happy new year!

  • Cristina Rojas

    sweet Annie, thank you for another year of fabulous food! i have already bookmarked the recipe for the sourdough, the cheesecake and i also found the recipe for the chocolate overdose cake….oh my! i am making that tonight. it feels like a sin not to, right? ;) thank you for being an inspiration and for making my morning reads and coffee much more interesting! best of luck this new year!

  • Loretta E

    I’m so impressed! Everything looks delectable! And your chocolate lover’s cheesecake is one of my favorites…

  • Helena

    This post was the push I needed to make those chocolate swirl buns. They are blissful.

  • annieseats

    You have no idea how much I appreciate this comment. Thank you so much! I am thrilled that I helped in at least some small way to get you excited about cooking :)