Top 10 Favorite Recipes of 2015

Wow! 2015 was a whirlwind. There were some pretty big and influential things that happened in my life and with others around me - new homes, weddings, babies, puppies. 2015 was a really good year, and I feel extremely lucky to say so. To sum up the last 365 days, there are a few keywords that stand out - pregnancy, hottest summer ever, newborn, life-changing, bathroom renovation, painters, skittles, and fro-yo. As exciting as this last year was, I am hoping that the next year brings a little more travel, fewer house renovations, more family time, more trashy TV, and A LOT more cocktails, am I right? As the year quickly comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to go back through my old posts and sum up my 10 favorite recipes and let me tell you, my friends, there is a theme. Chocolate, carbs, and caramel.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting

After a love/hate relationship with zucchini this past summer. A serious recipe fail involving zucchini and fennel and strong pregnancy hormones, I decided mid-June that I absolutely would never eat zucchini again. Until I made this spiced carrot and zucchini bread that changed my life. Because walnuts and a thick cream cheese layer. Need I say more.

Montreal Style Bagels with Date and Walnut Cream Cheese

This past year I decided that I was finally going to attempt Montreal-style bagels at home. I was pregnant, and lazy, and didn't want to make the 30-minute walk to

Eltana, where you can buy the most incredible Montreal style bagels I've ever tasted. I was suffering from serious bagel cravings, so I made a batch at home, ate 3, stuck the rest in the freezer, and ate a bagel for breakfast for at least 2 months straight. The best two months of my life.

Walnut and Bananas Foster Pancakes

I'm not kidding you, this was the first time I had ever made bananas foster. I don't even know why I was denying myself such an experience. And what better way to eat pancakes then topped with sweet caramelly bananas. Maple syrup just doesn't cut it anymore

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

I lived off of this sandwich for the first 3 months of my pregnancy. I'm not kidding you. I ate it every day. Cheese, avocado, green pepper, hummus, pesto, and lettuce. So much green, so much good.

Plantain Chips and Guacamole

Deep fried plantain chips were something that I wanted to create at home for many years, but never got around to it, mostly because of my fear of deep fat frying. After a random trip to the Asian grocer and an impulse plantain purchase, that dream became a reality, and my life became complete.

Seared Halloumi, Caramelized Peach, and Cherry Salad

I had never been a fan of halloumi (I always thought it to be too chewy) until this new

Greek restaurant

 opened up in Capitol Hill, and then I realized that I want to put fried halloumi on everything. And I especially want to eat it in salad form with sweet tangy summer fruit.

Broccoli Rabe Arancini with Marinara Sauce

At the end of the summer, I made these deep fried risotto balls filled with mozzarella, and served with marinara and grilled lemons, and it wasn't necessary the components that made this recipe great, it was the arancini method that I really locked down. I dream about these arancini often.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Doughnuts with Skor Bits

I always prefer a deep fried doughnut to a baked one, but this recipe changed that for me. Dark, chocolatey, cakey, doughnuts topped with salted caramel and covered with Skor bits. The doughnut of my dreams.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Candied Pecans

I made this cheesecake for Brent's birthday, and it was probably one of the best cheesecakes that I will ever make. The graham crust was not too sweet, a little salty, and the perfect amount of crunch. The filling was cinnamony, pumpkiny, creamy yet thick. I topped it with salted caramel and candied pecans, which are basically two of the greatest inventions next to electricity. Now that I have a small baby in my life, I'm not sure I will get around to making something as elaborate as this again, but a girl can always dream.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels

Now that I know I can make a replica of my favorite salted caramels at home, I don't ever need to leave the house again.

Thanks again guys for an amazing year! For all of your support and encouragement, and for allowing me to share a little piece of my life with you.