Countdown to 2016: Most Popular

countdownto2016We’re polishing off the year with the five best recipes of 2015. This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Scoot on over to her page to see more round-up recipes.

I was anxiously awaiting my email from WordPress giving me my stats for the year. And the results are in!

I have enjoyed blogging in 2015, and 2016 already has a lot of ideas in the works. Here’s to hoping I can keep up with Sew You Think You Can Cook as much as I want to with two boys under two.

2015 stats

Sew You Think You Can Cook was viewed 37,000 times – that’s 9,000 more times than last year! I’m sure there are sophisticated bloggers who achieve those numbers in as little as a month, but I’m happy to see that my little corner of the internet is reaching out to a few people. My most popular referrer this year was Foodgawker, which means my photography skills have improved since 2014! Quite exciting. Facebook has been a big help this year, too. In 2015 my Facebook page reached almost 580 followers; if you’re one of them I thank you – keep clicking and keep sharing!

My busiest day of the year was June 5th – my Salmon in Puff Pastry was to blame. It’s one of my favorite recipes: less than 5 ingredients and beautifully impressive.

One of the top five most popular posts was actually from 2013 – it’s crazy to see how some of my very first recipes had staying power. (My Key Lime Pie is holding steady at number 1.)

And now for the top five recipes of 2015, these are in ranking order:

Whiskey Bacon Baked Beans

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt with Tart Lemon Glaze

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Salmon in Puff Pastry

Cracked Sugar Cookies

2015 Best Recipes.jpg

Countdown to 2016: Crockpot

countdownto2016We’re continuing the countdown to 2016 with a round-up of my favorite slow cooker recipes from 2015.

Turns out that was a much easier search than last year. I only shared 5 slow cooker dishes over the course of the year! I’m pretty sure I’ve used my CrockPot more than five times! Usually I run into a problem of the food not looking photogenic and decide to give up on posting. More often than not though I’m simply making a repeat recipe or just tossing some pork or chicken in with a bottle of barbecue sauce or salsa.

This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Scoot on over to her page to see more round-up recipes. I know I’ll be looking forward to seeing the recipes other bloggers have collected as the Best Crockpot recipes of 2015.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Lime Chicken

Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken with Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce

2015 Slow Cooker Round-Up

Countdown to 2016: Dessert

countdownto2016I skipped yesterday’s countdown of Main Dishes because I instead shared my first #MuffinMonday post! Those Lemon Ricotta Muffins would definitely be on my breakfast favorites of 2015.

This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Scoot on over to her page to see more round-up recipes.

Today’s countdown though is all about dessert. Desserts are definitely the highest grossing posts on Sew You Think You Can Cook.

So how did I pick my favorites? I do not have a very big sweet tooth and when it comes to cravings I reach for salty snacks over chocolate (though my like of chocolate has increased after my two pregnancies). When I bake I tend to enjoy a slice the day I make it and I’m content. My husband is the one who polishes off the desserts over the week. And/or I send them with him to work or take them to friends. So, this list encompasses the desserts that I ate more than once.

Copy Cat: Reese’s Cups

Copy Cat: Snickers

Cranberry Spice Bundt Cake

Cranberry Tart

Fudgey Cashew Brownies

Key Lime Cheesecake Filled Graham Cracker Bundt Cake

Mantecaditos

Tahini and Lemon Curd Ice Cream

White Chocolate Chip Cookie Souffles

2015 Dessert Round-Up.jpg

#MuffinMonday: Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Muffin Monday

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. And I’ve decided to join in the fun! I’ve been a part of this group for a couple of months now but today is the first day I am able to post with the gang. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

We went through a spell with Firecracker where the only thing he’d eat was a waffle. I became creative in adding some extra nutrition to the breakfast item through apples, sweet potatoes, and Greek yogurt. The waffle obsession has slowed if not died and I’m happy to report the adventurous eater is slowly reemerging. I’m looking forward to continuing to post with this group once a month as it seems muffins offer another food medium to sneak in some good nutrition.

Today’s muffins are filled with ricotta cheese and lemon. The ricotta cheese provides extra protein and calcium and yields perfectly light and fluffy muffins.

I’ve had this recipe on my radar for 11 months and finally had some leftover ricotta (from Thanksgiving) to make it! (I’ve been using my leftover ricotta for pasta instead.) Tara’s muffins are much prettier than mine because she put coarse sugar over the top.

This recipe makes 1 dozen kid-approved muffins.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • 3/4 C cake flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In an other bowl fold together the egg, ricotta, water, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  5. Divide batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/lemon-ricotta-muffins/*

lemon ricotta muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Bacon Cheddar Corn Muffins from Making Miracles

Banana Cranberry Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Banana Streusel Muffins from All Roads from Lead to the Kitchen

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts

Lemon Ricotta Muffins from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Savory Corn Bread Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Sticky Toffee Bran Muffins from Food Lust People Love

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page

Countdown to 2016: Breakfast

countdownto2016It’s day two of the Countdown to 2016 and it’s my favorite day – breakfast!

The amount of breakfast recipes had to have doubled over this past year. I know our consumption of waffles and pancakes had a serious spike in stats! My Firecracker went through a picky eating phase where he’d only eat breakfast foods, and I’m not talking eggs and sausage. I found ways to up the nutritional value of those much loved waffles and pancakes to make myself feel better about it. He’s clearly my son because I could eat waffles for every meal of the day (and I’m not ashamed to admit it’s definitely been done.) I’ll be expanding the breakfast repertoire next year though with #MuffinMonday!

This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Scoot on over to her page to see more round-up recipes.

Apple Pie Waffles

Blueberry Cherry Coffee Cake with Walnut Streusel

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Waffles

Cherry Coffee Cake

Maple Blueberry Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes

Poppy Seed Muffins with Dried Cherries

Strawberries and Cream Muffins

Vanilla Orange Scones

2015 Breakfast Round-Up

Countdown to 2016: Appetizers & Snacks

countdownto2016Last year I participated in a Countdown to 2015 and it’s that time of year to start the countdown again. This time to 2016!

Sarah, blogger at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, is hosting the countdown again this year and I’m so glad she is. I stumbled upon her invitation at the perfect time, too! I was looking at my planner and trying to figure out what recipes to share the last week of the year. Instead of sharing new recipes I get to look back on 2015 and share yours and my favorite recipes and posts. I hope you join me on this ride.

Today we’re talking Appetizers & Snacks. I hope you find something to fit your New Year’s Eve celebrations and to munch on during the College Football Playoffs and bowl games.

Black Bean and Beer Queso

Brussels Sprout Crostini

Black Bean Dip

Hummus and Pita

Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Spanish Chorizo Croquetas

2015 Appetizers & Snacks Round-Up v2

Brussels Sprout Crostini

Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone! I hope you’re done with all your holiday shopping and are ready to enjoy the long weekend with your family and friends with good food, laughter, and lots of love.

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Every year my future sister-in-law’s family throws an open house party on Christmas Eve. We’ve gone the last couple of years and have brought along with us bacon wrapped dates (that almost burned my parents’ house down), sausage pinwheels, and broccoli and grape pasta salad.

This year I’ll be bringing an appetizer that we had as lunch this Thanksgiving. A Brussels Sprout Crostini. (We made it lunch by using toasted Italian sandwich bread slices instead of crostini sized bread slices.) The day before Thanksgiving my husband and I were watching an episode of Giada’s Holiday Handbook on Food Network and she made a charred Brussels sprout crostini for a holiday cocktail party. We looked at each other and declared, “That looks good!”

I suggested we make that for lunch on Thanksgiving, but as sandwiches with some meat. (We weren’t having our traditional Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts since it was a small gathering this year.) We immediately headed to the store and it was the best decision ever. I fried up some pancetta to provide a crunch factor (and protein) to the sandwiches and omitted the pine nuts. I also used red wine vinegar in place of champagne vinegar because I had 3 bottles of red wine vinegar in my pantry (that’s what happens when you forget you have red wine vinegar a couple of times…).

I will be bringing an appetizer-appropriate version to the party tomorrow and will add those photos to this post after Christmas. I plan to bring everything already prepared but not assembled, allowing people to make their own crostini as they wish.

Brussels Sprouts Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz pancetta, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 slices of thinly sliced Italian sandwich bread or 24 crostini

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the cranberries. Allow the dressing to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the broiler.
  3. Toss the sliced Brussels sprouts with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 6 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a bowl and toss with the dressing from Step 1. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, mix the remaining olive oil with the ricotta cheese. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Assemble crostini by spooning the ricotta mixture on the bread and topping with crumbled pancetta and the Brussels sprouts.

*This recipe is modified from Giada at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/charred-brussels-sprout-crostini.html*

Brussels Sprout Crostini | Sew You Think You Can Cook