I hope everyone had Happy Holidays and you’re looking forward to the rest of 2023! Here’s where every year I blather on about myself and post my top 10 recipes of the past year. This year, Chance and I closed the year out quietly, much as we started it.
It seems less important to me to think of marking off the passage of time these days with a celebration of a single day. And even less important than that to impose the idea of making major life changes with little preparation and only a resolute promise to guide us on our way.
Yuuuup, that’s my fancy way of sayin’ the heck with resolutions! And I’ve felt this way for a long time. I have my own set of guiding principles that I try to stick with every year, day in and day out. Every now and then I add a new one; this past year or two I’ve come up with what I call “Just say YES.”
See, I have a habit of turning down opportunities, activities, and offers from other people just because I’m a person that doesn’t like to cause much fuss or bother or put anyone out or inconvenience someone. I’m also a bit of a closet introvert so that’s a whole thing, too. And sometimes I turn down activities coz I’m old and have a whole set of physical issues. But regardless, automatically saying NO had become a bad habit!
I was awol from my site for a while: I moved into my own place in June. That move and my new “Just say YES” attitude seemed to be the catalyst for me to finally get a life as they say! For once I am caring for no one but me and my scoundrel of a labrador, Chance, and we’ve been having lots of fun and some adventures.
And what a year 2022 was! I was asked to audition for a Food Network show. Didn’t make it, obs. You might have noticed I’m not famous, lol! But I said YES to the audition!
And all because of saying YES, Chance and I have been continuing his training. We’ve been traveling. I rode a jet ski on the ocean in Florida, went boating on Lake Lanier, and went horseback riding (on a large thoroughbred) in the Appalachian mountains. Ok, I did have to be helped off the horse because my hip locked up, but when that cowboy said “Just slide down into my arms” well, I just said YES!
I went on several dates – the first in 20 years; started seeing a guy for a while. I’ve gone to all kinds of concerts big and small, and little art fairs and so on. I visited my Sister in Maryland, twice. I started taking serious charge of my health. I had quite a scare and I now have more Doctor”ists” as I call them than I can shake a stick at. And I started some pain management, had a few procedures, and I just said YES instead of finding excuses as to why not.
Just say YES applies to food, too. I ate mussels and chicken feet, and thanks to a friend, helped cook a blue crab feast (it’s a little scarce in Minnesota), and guys, I conquered the crayfish. Years ago in N’awlins, I just couldn’t quite make myself eat one of those little suckers! It just kept looking at me! And I’m still volunteering at a local food shelf as much as my Docs allow.
As far as family, we lost my Dad in August at age 92. We celebrated my nephew’s wedding in Richmond in September. And we’re expecting my niece’s new baby in April. Life does go on. But enough about me. I do go on sometimes. But speaking of going on, let’s go on to the cooking! This is a site about cooking, after all. And shopping.
As far as my top 10 this year, you’re gonna see most of the same contenders as last year! My gosh, I’ve been developing and posting recipes for years and years, and now I think maybe I only ever needed to do 10, lol! I hope if you like what’s in my top 10, perhaps you’ll check out more of my site – I have around 1500 posts here!
10) If ever baked beans can be glorious, my method of Doctoring Canned Baked Beans is gonna do it! Posted in June of 2019 I assumed these would be a summer hit. I didn’t expect these beans would be viewed all year long and they made my top 10 in 2020, 2021, and now 2022!! I crave these beans at times!
9) Steakhouse Mushrooms have been in the top 10 since 2018. They are scrumptious, and the recipe is worth a look. I went against everyone’s advice on how to cook mushrooms and came up with these gorgeous browned beauties. Yep, I crowd them all together and then add water and lid them and what a difference that makes.
8) Million Dollar Dip has been in my top 10 since first published in 2017. I attribute its staying power to three things: It’s super delish, it’s super easy and the ingredients are all easy to find! It doesn’t hurt that it’s not super pricey, either, I’m sure!
7) In the number 7 spot is my French Onion Soup Burgers. I haven’t made these for a while and now I need to! It’s not a new thing to add Lipton’s Onion Soup to a burger mix-up (heck, my Mom did it in the 70s) but the caramelized onion with a bit of Sherry or Brandy (oooh la la) and the melty cheese takes these over the top! These burgers claimed the #6 spot in 2020, #8 in 2021, and #7 this last year.
6} Classic Lipton Onion Soup Dip is new to the top 10 in 2022. I made it and posted it when I needed to refresh my own mind on the recipe and the tried and true classic was not coming up for me! Honestly, some things shouldn’t be fiddled with!
5) If you’ve never heard of Cowboy Candy (they’re sweet & hot pickled Jalapenos) you’ve been missing out! They are crazy good, and if you want to tame the heat a bit serve on top of crackers slathered with cream cheese. This is the second year they’ve made the top 10; both in 2021, and now in 2022. They were first posted by me in 2017.
4) This is the second year my popular version of The Original Fat Burning Cabbage Soup has made the top 10. Yeah, I expect a surge every January after we all make our resolutions, but this stayed steady in my stats for the past two years. It, too, was published in 2017. Diet or not, I love this soup and hope you will, too!
3) Yanno That Old Lipton Onion Soup Pot Roast Recipe? I posted it on a whim one cold, rainy September day in 2018 and it’s been in the top 10 ever since! If ever there was a recipe that screams “comfort” it’s this! I think everyone in our family has made this pot roast for decades! My Mom taught it to me when I was a teenager.
2) Another shortcut for canned beans, this time with Refrieds is my post on Canned Refried Beans, Restaurant Style. There’s no doubt there’s room for improvement in a can of refried beans and it’s been fun hearing everyone’s reactions and their own spin. Posted in 2016, they hit the top 10 in 2017 and have stayed there ever since. The pics are horrible but I don’t want to jinx them by taking a new one, lol!
1) Now in the number one spot for so long it’s getting boring, lol, my Ruth Chris Copycat Au Gratin Potatoes. I posted them in November 2018 and they viral thanks to a kind Pinterest influencer and have been in the top 10 ever since! They’re easy, fast, and have such creamy, cheesy deliciousness! I have never served these to anyone who hasn’t raved.
There was only one recipe that dropped off the top 10 this year or fell from glory, as I like to think of it. My Sister’s Cornbread Salad I loved that recipe when she first gave it to me and still do. It is sitting around 15 in my rankings and was replaced in the top 10 by the Classic Lipton’s Onion Soup Dip.
That Cornbread Salad will go on to join the three that rotated off in 2021. My Poor Man’s Mock Prime Rib (and the method is marvelous with real prime rib, too) dropped off after two years in the top 10, this Easy, Cheesy, Broccoli Skillet (so decadent!) fell to absolute obscurity, and my easy, overnight no-knead Crusty Bread did the same.
Every year I try to highlight one of my fave recipes that just hasn’t gotten the visitors or views that I think it deserves. This one, Tanyas Hashbrown Omelette is hands down one of my favorite recipes of all time. They are absolutely fabulous!!
So here’s to 2023, and to the best the future can hold. Last year I said I hoped there would be more dinner parties in the future. Guess what? I’m having my first this weekend. And I haven’t decided what to make yet. Too many choices!!
By the way, after looking at my pics of Chance, aren’t you glad to hear I have a human friend or two coming to dinner?!! 🙂 Below at Halycon, Chance and I were at training. And it was soooo cold!!
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 chatting & cooking together. This year, I’mma gonna try to be more here, too!
And be sure to 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…
Mollie (and Chance!)