The New & The Old – 2017 Greatest Hits Post

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.

Help me welcome Baby Michael to the family!

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!”

And just in case you think the fam is “normal” check out the next pic!

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.

Welcome to the new additions! We have Ryley, baby Michael, Saint Brandon, Audrey and James (twins), daughter, Jessica, with James (twin), Alexandria, then Addison on the right and Caleb in the back. Well, maybe Caleb & Ryley are normal, after all – we shall see what continued exposure to us does…

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.

Homer wanted to see what was going on with all that cheese!! She knows she’s not supposed to be on the table!!

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.

Chance – so proud of himself for passing obedience! The vet asked if they just moved him forward, lol!

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!)

Instant Pot Braised Pork Chops Mashed Potatoes, Gravy & Carrots

Instant Pot Braised Pork Chops with all the Fixin’s

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!

Million Dollar Dip

Million Dollar Dip

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.

Scottish Oatcakes - Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Banana Sheet Cake

Banana Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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 Pulled Pork Empanadas

Marvelous Empanadas made from leftover pulled pork

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.

Posole, Pozole, a rich pork and hominy stew.

Pozole – Sometimes spelled Posole, a Pork & Hominy Stew

Freshly Baked Runza or Bierock

Freshly Baked Runza – you can’t imagine how good they smell!

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.

How to doctor up a can of refried

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!

Oven Baked "Hotel" Eggs - easy and perfectly light and fluffy!

Baked “Hotel” Eggs

Edged out this year were My Mom’s Old-Fashioned Swiss SteakCook’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.

Simple American Style Soused Chicken

Simple American Style Soused Chicken

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…

I think Chance’s looking for the ground!! This is a last winter photo but so cute!!

44 thoughts on “The New & The Old – 2017 Greatest Hits Post

  1. Mollie!! You have such a beautiful family and pets. That photo of the baby in the mixer bowl takes the cake!!! (pun intended) I have enjoyed your blog and the recipes you share. Again, Happy New Year!!

    • Thanks Debbie – I feel the same way about you and your blog! James, the four year old twin was looking at the pics with me and was visibly shocked!

      He said, “Why did you mix up the baby??!!”

  2. I didn’t know your daughter was Anne Geddes 🙂 Why are you living in Minnesota with a gorgeous family like you have and all those grand babies? Sell your home, move to Georgia, buy a condo and be a bigger part of their lives (probably a kid sitter)! By the way I have enjoyed your recipes the past year and hope for more of the same. Didn’t you hit 1,000 yet? Happy New Year!

    • lol!! Well I’m hoping for some big changes like that in the future! You know, we only just got the folks settled – I need a bit of a rest before any big plans are implemented, if you know what I mean!!

      I must be very close, between posts, which the track, and pages which the don’t!! I’ve enjoyed you, too, Judi, and your blog – I love that you elevate things just a bit with every post, beyond just the every day! Actually, I think we’d have a blast cooking together!

      I suppose I’ll need to do something special for 1000!!

      • Of course – I know how busy you have been taking care of your parents. Kids grow up fast and there is so much to enjoy when they are young. I think you would be cookin’ a lot too! I have a sister who wants me to move south but I like Michigan with all its seasons – never easy!

  3. Eeek! Have fun visiting family. They look like a fun bunch! And those hotel eggs are amazing, I’ve made your recipe a few times myself!! Here’s to a great 2018!

  4. Cheers to more awesome recipes in 2018, woo-hoo! I checked out your hotel eggs. Funny, when I first started my cart business I was planning on also serving breakfast tacos (logistics didn’t work out), but your hotel eggs were the exact way I planned on making the eggs for them! I know I googled this method but somehow I missed your post at that time…

  5. The BEST post Mollie!! I’m pinning a few of these recipes! And so fun to see the pictures of your Georgia family!!– and, of course, Chance. Looks like Jessica has her hands full with all those cute kids– She may never let you go home!! Happy 2018 Blog-buddy!! I look forward to all your posts ahead! xox

    • I asked my daughter if we ever had “the talk” lol!! And Chance, such a handful! I’m kind of enjoying the break from Chance – the seven grandchildren don’t even equal his energy altogether!

      The Photographer (I meant to credit her) is Page Beni. She’s done my daughter’s photographs for years and is just crazy talented! There’s a number of photos of Jessi and family on Page’s fb…including pregnancy photos. (They’re a big thing, now.)

      • I still have 3 dogs now, and will NEVER have a puppy again. Those photos are fantastic. Yes, it’s amazing what’s considered the “norm” in baby/family/pregnancy photography these days!

        • Oh, Mimi, he’s just about killed me! I usually have “used” older, dogs, but when I saw him at the pound, I thought there’s my chance to raise a dog and train him well, hopefully w/o some of the issues my other rescues have had! I had no idea what I was in for!

  6. Wonderful post and I loved that last picture of Chance digging in the snow. Hopefully he’s going to become a more settled dog soon. 🙂

    Best wishes to you and your family and a Happy New Year.

  7. New year begins, let us pray that it will be a year with peace, happiness and abundance of new friends, God bless us through out the new year 2017, Goodbye 2017 & Welcome to New Years 2018.

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