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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 2013 – your favorites

I always enjoy the time of reflection that comes with the end of one year, as well as the anticipation and hope that comes with looking forward to the next.  I especially love looking back through the pages of this blog and seeing what recipes from the past year really stood out.  Tomorrow I’ll recap my personal favorites from this year, but today I’m highlighting the 10 most popular posts from 2013 on Annie’s Eats.

These refrigerator dill pickles are one of the easiest things you’ll ever make, and one of the foods I find most irresistible. Already looking forward to summer when I take a jar and call it lunch.

What’s better than homemade pretzel bites? Soft pretzel bites made three different ways with three different sauces.  It’s hard to choose a favorite of the three…so, just try them all okay?

Chocolate chip cookies with nutella, brown butter and sea salt.  Really, what more needs to be said?  Not a thing.

A peanut butter smoothie made with a bunch of healthy ingredients but tastes like dessert?  I’m so in.

These chipotle chicken kabobs with avocado cream sauce were a spur of the moment dinner, and they ended up being one of the best dinners I made the entire year.

Even with all the kinds of cupcakes I’ve made, this year was the first time I made turtle cupcakes.  With the combination of chocolate, caramel, and pecans, you really can’t go wrong.

I made these blackberry pie bars for my sweet girl’s second birthday party and they were a big hit.  I can’t wait till berry season comes around again so we can make them again.

I love a classic, plain jane brownie as much as I love one that is jazzed up a bit.  These chocolate fudge brownies with a sprinkle of fleur de sel are the bomb.  If you haven’t tried them yet, please do.

I haven’t made many forays into cheese making (yet) but I made the first step with homemade ricotta this year.  It’s pretty fantastic stuff, and far simpler than I could have imagined.  I almost never buy it from the store anymore – homemade is just so much better!

This black bean, corn and avocado salad is another reason I’ll be glad to have summer back.  This stuff is a perfect appetizer when paired with chips or a side that goes with just about everything.  It’s also a great thing to bring to pitch-ins and such to offset the typical spread of heavy, less than healthy fare.

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I really must remember to make most of these in 2014. Those turtle cupcakes especially…not really sure what could be better!

  • Ellen

    I am so glad those nutella cookies are on here! I’ve been looking for a good nutella cookie recipe to help use up a large jar (not that I need help… I just would rather not eat the WHOLE thing straight up on toast for breakfast every morning…shake things up a bit) and these look perfect! :) Happy new year!

  • http://www.spoonfulofflavor.com/ Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    This is one of my favorite weeks here on Annie’s Eats! I love all the “best of” posts. It is always hard to pick a favorite because I love all of your recipes, Annie!

  • http://lifelovelibrarianship.com/ LibrarianLizy

    If you got this list from your stats, I’m pretty sure I’m responsible for most of the hits on the pretzel bites post. I made the garlic version for my holiday open house two weeks ago and must have looked at the page 100 times! I also had to access it a lot to send the link out because so many people wanted the recipe! :)

  • Annie Lindsay

    I think I’ve either pinned or actually made at least half of these recipes. The nutella cookies were a HUGE hit for a coworker’s birthday. And I’ve been eye-ing that pickle recipe for months!

  • katherinelynn_04

    the black bean and corn salsa is amazing. I’d been making a similar one for a few years, but I decided to try your variation and it was perfection.

  • heloisa

    Feliz Ano Novo!

  • http://WWW.marilynyocum.com/ Marilyn Yocum

    I loved reliving these, especially the blackberry bars and the pretzels!

  • Emily @ Life on Food

    These are some good looking favorites. I remember a lot of them over the year so they are certainly my favorites.

  • Steph in Lex

    The turtle cupcakes are SOOOOO delicious. Anyone who is on the fence must make them immediately! Here’s how good they are: I don’t even like chocolate cake, and I love these. I could eat a whole bowl of just the frosting, and can drink the homemade caramel sauce. No joke.

    The peanut butter smoothie is fantastic, too! Definitely hard to believe it’s so healthy. :)

    I’m totally intimidated by the pretzel bites. I’ve considered making them and backed down several times. I need to bite the bullet and do it!

  • Lindsay

    I’ve made the pretzel bites twice! Surprisingly easier than most bready things, and absolutely delicious! They were a hit at my Super Bowl party last year. Give them a try!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    Another year of hits. I made the peanut butter smoothie immediately when you first posted it, loved it and almost immediately forgot about it. Probably because I entered the first trimester of my pregnancy and lost my sweet tooth (like I always do). Seeing it here reminded me of what a dicious treat it was and I’m definitely past my no sweet tooth first trimester at this point so let’s just say…New Year’s Eve dinner this year just consisted of a peanut butter smoothie. Yum.

  • Steph in Lex

    I will definitely have to. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  • Jessica

    I have made the pretzel bites twice this holiday season. My family loved them and they were gone within the hour. Surprisingly they are easy to make and they are much tastier to snack on then something out of a bag.