Happy New Year’s ya’all! And I’m saying that because I’m in Georgia (whoo-hoo) visiting my daughter and family. Unfortunately, I may have bought some Minnesota cold with me, though friends back home say there’s still plenty there to go around! It was minus 17 last night in the Twin Cities, with snow on the ground.
This past year has been one with so many changes: the best, first: A new grand baby, Michael David, a new future son-in-law, Brandon, and two new future step-grandchildren, Caleb & Ryley! Whew! You can bet Jessi’s going to need some good, practical recipes that everyone will eat…
If there ever was a cuter, sweeter more good-natured baby than baby Michael, I don’t know where he/she is! And of course, I’m loving being with all “the littles!”
My time caring for the folks ended this year, and in October they settled into a very lovely assisted living center (they said it was the only way to get rid of me! Thanks, guys!) and I settled back to my own sadly neglected home in the cities.
I was a bit and still am a little shell-shocked! First, there’s being by myself. I thought I’d relish it, all that freedom, and in some ways I do, but it’s an adjustment. I’m a little lonely. There’s no one to eat my desserts. Then there’s the unpacking and all. Bleh.
Unfortunately, nature was determined to take over while I was gone. The yard is dead and my gardens are overgrown, and I had a number extra little pets in the house. It was like a Cinderella story.
You might remember Homer (who is a girl) but you know, she’s really only decoration, not a real cat, and can’t be expected to take things under control. She’s just a bit of warm, purring, fluff.
And that brings us to Chance, who is showing some signs of impulse control, now, at 19 months. (And thanks, Katie, for watching him while I’m in Georgia!)
The vet promised a greater maturity at 2 years, so I’m counting down, lol. Chance is still a scoundrel, but so sweet & eager to please.
But hey, on to the food, shall we?
In the number 10 spot, Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal. I almost didn’t post this last October because I hated the photos. In two months, it’s blown up. (And yes, I love my Instant Pot – get one and we’ll keep learning it together!)
Cheesy Chicken (or Turkey) Casserole is an old standby; a down home family recipe that’s perfect for leftovers. It hasn’t made the top ten since 2014, but this year made a come-back over the holidays. Pure comfort food!
We move on to Million Dollar Dip, another newcomer to the blog this year. It got picked up by Aunt Betty’s Recipes which drove some visitors to my blog. This is also known as Neiman Marcus or ABC dip, and it’s easy and tasty!
Scottish Oatmeal Pancakes are a favorite family recipe. I’ve been making them for decades and still love this very healthy but very good recipe! Mix the night before and make in the a.m.
I’ve had people request this simple Banana Sheetcake over fancy layer cakes for their birthday dessert. Other bloggers have picked up the recipe as “The Best Banana Cake.” It really IS exceptional.
Chipotle Pork Empanadas (made from leftover pulled pork) are staying strong in the top 10, 2nd year running. They’re a bit of work but they’re so worth it – plus I teach you how to fashion your own fillings. 🙂
In the number 3 spot is Pozole. Popular from the first day I posted, this is the 3rd year in the top 10. You’ll find two recipes in the link, one from scratch and the other fashioned from the broth & extra meat from a Pork Roast recipe on my blog.
This is the fifth year my recipe for the Runza or Bierock has been in the top 10. Definitely a heritage recipe, it seems to be gaining in popularity. The dough is quick and easy and the filling oh so good – although maybe in this day and age, is ripe for tinkering.
In a weird turn of events, this old post of a very simple method for doctoring up a can of refried beans, restaurant style, shot up out of the blue to claim the number 2 spot on my blog. Try it! You’ll like it!
Finally, the number one dish on my blog this year? Hotel Eggs. They are so frickin good (excuse me, but they are!) you’ve got to make them, but still, this is the second year they’ve been in the number one spot on my blog. It’s almost embarrassing, lol! 🙂 My TOP recipe, two years running, is scrambled eggs!
It goes to show that sometimes all you need, in real life or on a blog, is to be able to pull off a dish that’s simple but superb, to draw a crowd. And they’ll gather around the table for this!
Edged out this year were My Mom’s Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak, Cook’s Illustrated’s Meatloaf, and Split Pea Soup, which makes a comeback every holiday season, but didn’t have enough “oomph” to out post the refried beans. And, for the first year, ever, Scalloped Potatoes (the 1950’s Betty Crocker version) dropped off the top 10.
Every year, I pick a kind of “Best Personality Award” and highlight one of my favorite recipes that really hasn’t gotten much love over the years. This year, it’s going to be Soused Chicken.
Maybe it’s appropriate for today because in the Caribbean, Soused Chicken is considered a hang-over food. Just in case any of you are. I won’t speculate!This version is elegant, fast, and company worthy.
It’s fun to see what’s popular or not on the blog and always a surprise! It gives me an idea of what you might be looking for in a recipe. It seems like a lot of you, like me, want simple recipes to get something delicious on the table, but even so, aren’t willing to settle for mediocre.
At the same time. those heritage recipes, for the Runza, Pozole & Empanadas are so popular through the holidays, I’m thinking many of you don’t mind hanging out for an afternoon in the kitchen with the family, making those recipes and passing down the memories and good times.
Speaking of good times, Here’s to 2018, and may it be your best year yet! I’m so glad you’re here, and so glad you’re following and commenting and sharing. I hope you’ll continue to stop by, and we’ll keep cooking together.
And tell your friends and family, too, if you think they might like my blog. Ask them to follow by email or on Facebook. 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…