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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reader Favorites from 2014

One of the reasons I love writing this blog is seeing what the readers go for. Sometimes I'm surprised to see a recipe fall flat when I was so excited about trying it, but more often I'm blown away by the response to a recipe that I tried on a whim or one that I've been making for years and it never occurred to me that everyone else has not. Last year a couple of my favorites wound up on the reader favorites list which pleased me because I felt like I was on track.

I think last year I listed the top 6 posts. This year I'm going to do things a little differently. With almost two years of blogging under my belt I wanted to include the top 6 recipes from this year along with the top 6 over the past two years. So, what say we start with this year's reader favorites?

This is by far the number one viewed post overall. I'm positive that's because it's from the Pioneer Woman and, like myself, people simply trust anything she does. This mixture of meaty sauce, creamy, melty cheese, and perfectly cooked pasta is the ideal dish for feeding a large family. It makes a ton of food (I've fed 8 with leftovers with this recipe) and is absolutely delicious to boot! It's just as good as leftovers as it is fresh out of the oven and I could eat the sauce as a soup, it's so good.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Menu for 12/29/14-1/4/15

My holiday season has not quite died down yet. I've been asked to make another batch of tea cakes for a family member and I'll be dropping them off on Wednesday. In addition, my big gift from Yaya, a new dryer that we desperately needed, will be delivered on Wednesday as well.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Bailey's 4th Christmas

Do you feel neglected? Because I feel like I've been neglecting you. It wasn't intentional, I promise. I've just been so incredibly swamped with Christmas stuff.

I've been crafting and baking and visiting friends and family. Down time has been completely nonexistent.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yaya's Chicken and Veggie Spaghetti Pie

Of all the things my mom cooks this is by far one of my favorite recipes. I have asked for this as my birthday dinner more than once. Even though it's the same recipe mine never tastes quite like Yaya's but isn't that typical? I mean, I use her spaghetti sauce recipe and mine never tastes like hers and I use Nana's lasagna recipe and it tastes totally different.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Menu for 12/15/14-12/21/14

Man, it's been a crazy busy weekend of baking! I got to try a new frosting technique Monday night. I made us some chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting and made them look kind of like starlight mints.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup

It's cold, y'all! At 11:30 at night it's 26 degrees outside. And I live in Tennessee! I don't mind the cold, I actually prefer it to the heat, especially the muggy, humid heat we get here. Bailey doesn't seem to mind the cold either but we have two cars with the heat somewhat on the fritz. Aaron's truck has no heat at all and mine only has defrost or it blows at your feet. I guess that's better than last year when the defrost didn't work but it makes it hard to take Bailey anywhere when she can't wear a coat in the car and it takes forever (and a ton of gas) for the car to warm up.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Menu for 12/8/14-12/14/14

Bailey and me with Senator on Christmas morning 2011.

Well I was going to share a couple of cute pictures I took during our day out with Nana on Friday but Bailey has taken off with my phone and won't let me have it back even long enough to transfer them to my computer. So instead I'm going to do a little flashback post.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Root Beer Barbecue Chicken

I have a few barbecue recipes that I've picked up over the past three or four years. I make some darn good pulled pork and I have a nice spicy crock pot barbecue chicken recipe but both of those take all day to make and sometimes I just don't have the time to wait around. This is particularly true on days when I completely forget what's on the menu and remember too late to spend 8 hours roasting a pork shoulder in the oven or even 4 hours slow cooking some chicken in the crock pot. Who wants to wait until midnight to eat dinner, right?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday December 2014

The Christmas season is upon us and I've rounded up some of the best ways to make your Christmas as merry as possible. This month I've included several crafts and DIY gifts, a couple of drinks to keep you warm, a few cookie recipes, and more.

I think I'll start with the drinks.

A Wish for a Warm Belly:

Salted caramel and chocolate long ago surpassed peanut butter and chocolate for my favorite flavor combination. The salt brings out the buttery flavor of the caramel and makes it taste even more rich. I also love that this is made in the crock pot, a huge warm pot of love for your friends and family. This would be perfect to serve on Christmas morning or at a party.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

The past two years I've had the pleasure of making the pies for our Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe isn't a secret. In fact it's on the side of every can of Libby's pumpkin puree. It is, however, the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. And, as I said, pumpkin pie is my all-time favorite holiday pie. Yes, I do love pecan pie, but pumpkin is where it's at!