The New & the Old 2016 Greatest Hits Post

Happy New Year Everyone! The years just seem to slip away faster & faster! I’m still dividing time between home and the folk’s. I never thought of love as an “investment” before, but I can see how the sharing, caring, the ups & the downs, compromise & commitment have paid off with a relationship that’s enduring and has great benefit to them both.

The Folks
The Folks

Me, I’ll probably spend my last years with a dog and a cat, and when I pass, they’ll nibble me away before anyone finds me. And let’s hope it’s not my Homer, who always goes right for my nose. She cuddles up, purring and lays her head on my cheek, then…nips my nose. Yep, it’ll be closed coffin for me, for sure, if Homer is around.

And by the way, I AM single, and wonderful. And modest. . and hey, I can cook, too. I think I have a few more good years left, but I ain’t gettin’ any younger! Who knows, maybe someone will yet save me from that fate…

Homer decided to help us decorate for Christmas, this year!
Homer decided to help us decorate for Christmas, this year! She doesn’t look like the viscous nose-nipping monster she is, does she?

As for highlights, this year my Dad and I had a lovely trip to visit my brother & sister-in-law in Atlanta in April, and had a little mini re-union with my daughter and nieces, nephew and grand kids. Thank you, J & J, for that most generous gift!

The two girls on the right hand side are my sister, Liz’s, girls, the young man is my brother’s son, in the grey is my daughter and my four grandbabies are in front. And my Da, back center.


And, as many of you know, I lost my beloved Gibson in June. I made it out of the vet’s to the car, somehow drove across the street to an empty parking lot and wailed, shamelessly. How I love/d that dog! What an amazing journey we had. There’ll never be another like my Gibs.

And that’s my daughter, Jessica, below, the one who’s inadvertently responsible for this blog, with my youngest granddaughter & my Gibson. You’ll find a few of Jessica’s recipes on this blog. Love you, sweetie! My fave? Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Green Olives.

Gibson with my daughter & one of the twins
Gibson with my daughter & one of the twins

After Gibson, I consoled myself trolling for shelter dogs on the internet, night after night. While sobbing. I mean, who does that, really?

And that’s how I found the deplorable Chance. He’s curled up with me now in a rare moment of quietude. That face = trouble. How did I not see that one coming?  He’s bright & sweet and totally rambunctious. And very busy!

Chance about 11 weeks
Chance about 11 weeks

But now on to the food. You knew that would be coming, sooner or later, right? I mean this IS a food blog, after all. Here’s the top recipe countdown for the year.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak. This is just how my Mom made it. She never really “taught” me, I just learned it – from the time I was old enough to stand on a kitchen chair. 🙂 It’s in the number 10 spot.

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Old Fashioned Swiss Steak
Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf
Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf. This one is adapted just how we like it, and the meatloaf is fantastic, but that sauce is heaven. Make the sauce. Drink it, bathe in it, put on your meatloaf. Just make it!

Scalloped Potatoes - Old fashioned 1950's Betty Crocker version
Scalloped Potatoes – Old fashioned 1950’s Betty Crocker version

Scalloped Potatoes, like the ones your Grandmother Made came in at #8. Comfort, through and through, this is a 1950 Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe – so these really ARE the ones Grandma made! I do like to add cheese, sorry Grandma!

Split Pea Soup is here for the 2nd year. This is one gorgeous recipe and I never can seem to get a great photo. I’m surprised it’s holding on in the number 7 spot coz there are haters out there, people, haters…

Split Pea Soup
Split Pea Soup
Chipotle Pulled Pork Empanadas
Marvelous Empanadas made from leftover pulled pork

Here’s my Chipotle Pulled Pork Empanadas. About 2 cups of shredded pork, some sweet potato & a touch of kale, they’re divine! You’ll look like a genius if you make these & its really easier than you’d think.

Runzas or Bierocks: From the moment I posted this recipe, it’s been popular, and this year it came in number 4. There have been complaints the recipe’s too long. It’s not any longer than any other, it just has detailed instruction. I want to hold your hand through the process so you can get it right the first time – even if you’re not a baker. The home-made dough is fast, easy and a joy to work with.

Freshly Baked Runza - you can't imagine how good they smell!
Freshly Baked Runza – you can’t imagine how good they smell!
Scottish Oatcakes - Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Scottish Oatcakes: Well, they’re really just oatmeal pancakes and one of the best pancakes of any kind I’ve ever had. I’ve been making them at least 25 years & now I’m trendy with this healthy recipe!

Banana Sheet Cake
Banana Sheet Cake

One of my fave desserts of all time, passed to me from a friend at work. Banana Sheet Cake. Seriously delish. It’s even been picked up by other bloggers as the “BEST” & requested for birthdays!

Pozole - Sometimes spelled Posole, a Pork & Hominy Stew
Pozole – Sometimes spelled Posole, a Pork & Hominy Stew

Pozole. I should say Red Pozole, because now I have a Green Pozole, too. Make from scratch or use some of the meat & juices from Crockpot Pulled Pork to shortcut. This is like eating a tamale in soup form.

And in the number one spot: Hotel Eggs. Baked to perfection in the oven, they take a little time but they are superb. And they free up your stove top for other breakfasty sides. Who knew this simple little, no fuss recipe would take over the number 1 spot two years running? They’re just eggs, people, they’re just eggs, lol!

Baked “Hotel” Eggs

I’d like to also show you one of my fave recipes on this blog – one that’s never gotten the love from ya’ll I’d like to see it have. Seriously, it’s only had 55 views, ever. It’s just so delish and super simple it’s hardly a recipe. Individual Dulce de Leche Apple Crisps. Bonus, they can be made with butterscotch or caramel, too. Home-made or store bought.

Individual Dulce de Leche Apple Crisp
Individual Dulce de Leche Apple Crisp

There’s not a recipe in my top 10 that isn’t an absolute classic, either “All American” or a familiar one from just south of the border. So I know my readers have great taste! But do click around. My fave type of cooking is fresh, fun food and you’ll find plenty of that here, too.

So while I keep working on finding and developing recipes that keep the budget under control, what this year has taught me is that my readers love classic recipes, too. I’ll keep giving you my quirky Grandma recipe box, a mix of new and old, and I hope you’ll keep following along! I love that you’re here for the ride, and thank you! And, as I say every year, like that old Girl Scout song:

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver, but the other gold…”

Happy New Years Everyone! And may you have many more new memories this year to cherish along with the old…

Happy New Year from Chance!
Happy New Year from Chance!

35 thoughts on “The New & the Old 2016 Greatest Hits Post”

  1. Losing a pet is horrendous, such a gut-wrenching loss. Your new canine pal looks very cheeky and cute – and highly unlikely to eat you 😉 That banana sheet cakes looks so damn delicious. Hope 2017 is fab x

  2. I haven’t made swiss steak in forever… now I really want to! And I had never heard of runzas until recently, a coworker has been talking about them nonstop for the past few weeks. How did I not know you had them on here?! And you know I love your hotel eggs. I made them again at Christmas time for all of the family who came to see Jax’s haul. What a crazy year. Here’s to a great 2017!

  3. Aww – you’re a kindred spirit. I must get my beautiful faithful funny dog Lola up on my blog. Thanks for all the great recipes and inspiration. (Made the white chocolate popcorn over the holidays – SO good!) Happy New Year xox

  4. Beautiful post Mollie– glad for the trip with your Dad, sounds like a sweet memorable time together. And wish I had remembered your hotel eggs last week when all the kids were here! I’m copying it to save for next time! –and the Scottish oat cakes! Fun to summarize all you’ve down this year–so glad to be your blog-friend, You are amazing. Here’s to the best 2017 ahead… xox

    1. Thank you, Rhonda, and Happy New Years! Glad to be your blog friend, too! 🙂 You’ve inspired me with all your lovely pics of family, I thought I needed to add a few. 🙂 I have way too many food pics on my computer and not enough of the people I love, lol!!


      1. ha ha! That’s me too Mollie. I gave my phone to another teacher so she could get photos for the yearbook and she remarked on so many food photos! I’d love love to see your Christmas pics– where did you end of celebrating?? Minn or So Dakota? take care, Rhonda

        1. I ended up in MN, then got a flat on the way to pick up our ham and didn’t make it to the store. So funny for a food blogger, lol! Well, we had bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with a maple bourbon mushroom sauce.

          1. Oh gosh, that sounds good Mollie!! Is the recipe on your blog? And sorry about the flat– ugh. I hate car trouble, just expect to put gas in every couple weeks and that car should run with no problems!! Hope you got help to get it fixed!! xo

            1. It was just a crappy day! But we just had a “different” Christmas and everything was fine. And nope, not on my blog, but it will be. I’ll make it again for sure so I can get photos this time around. 🙂

              1. Does sound pretty bad Mollie– and I know how that is– when you are making a meal for lots of people, who has time for photos?? I’ll be patiently waiting for it to show up next time you need to make a fancy meal! Meanwhile I’ll read all your other great recipes… xox

  5. Hey Mollie, I’m not going anywhere! I read all your posts, but of course my faves are ones that don’t involve BAKING! I prefer BACON, just sayin’… 😉 Happy New Year to you, Chance, and your folks!!! xoxoxo

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