This year was a big year for me. I began the year by welcoming my beautiful niece into the world and wrapped the year up by welcoming my own bundle of joy. I am now learning the ropes of being a first time mom which is quite challenging and incredibly rewarding. On the blog front I have spent this past year working on my photography and developing new recipes for you. I have seen a great increase in my blog viewership, with my daily readers more than quadrupling, so I must welcome those of you who are "new" here and send out a great thanks to those who have been around awhile.
I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy New Year! I'll "see you" in 2012! Until then... here's your top 10 of 2011!
1. The most popular recipe, by far, was for these cake batter cookies. I love these cookies- they truly take "semi-homemade" to a new level by giving you a super easy recipe that yields amazing results.
2. Your second favorite recipe this year was crockpot pulled chicken. This one surprised me! Not because the recipe isn't tasty, just because it's not something I'd typically expect to be so popular! It surely was though- mostly thanks to Pinterest.
3. I was thrilled to see that my perfect party cookies were so high up in your favorites this year! This was my first original cookie recipe and one that I was so proud of. I spent a lot of 2011 creating my own recipes but this was my first time venturing into baked goods. If you haven't tried these yet please do!
4. This was another surprise hit! I will say that these potatoes are so darn good that they absolutely deserve to be this high up on your favorites. They are crispy, almost tasting like a french fry, but without the fat/calories of deep fried potatoes. I think I'm going to make these again soon... just seeing the picture makes me miss them.
5. I discovered Chipotle on the day my niece was born because we needed to eat and we needed to eat fast. Since discovering it I have been obsessed with their rice. It's just SO good. It wasn't long before I made it at home. Now it's a staple in my kitchen. You must try my knock off for Chipotle's cilantro lime rice.
6. I have to say- you guys have great taste. I was so excited to see this recipe for fettucini alfredo florentine in the top 10. It deserves to be. A "lighter" version of a creamy classic always deserves some attention!
7. Yay for this recipe! When I first made these Bang Bang Shrimp I was thrilled. I go to Bonefish Grill a few times a year solely for the Bang Bang Shrimp (although the food is pretty good- nothing compares to that shrimp) so being able to make it at home was great.
8. Now this recipe is definitely so popular thanks to Athen's Foods highlighting it on their website. With that said, it's still worthy of the special attention it received in 2011. Flaky... creamy... bite sized... sounds perfect to me! Flaky spinach dip bites are an awesome appetizer.
9. These cinnamon glazed doughnuts were my first attempt at homemade doughnuts. We were big fans of their soft cake-like taste dripping in frosting. A doughnut pan is a small investment (about ten dollars) that opens up a world of fun baking options.
10. The final top recipe of the year was for these oreo cheesecake cookies. I made these for John as a special "thank you" for being such a great husband. It's one of my favorite posts because it's a special message just for John (and all of the people who read my blog haha!) and I'm glad his special post made the top 10.