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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Top 17 posts of 2017

With the coming of a new year, it seems like a great time to reflect on the past year. So here is a look at the recipes you loved the most in 2017!

      Somehow 2017 is coming to a close.  I am not quite sure how that happened.  It seems like just yesterday I was making Easter bread and Easter egg blondies for our Easter celebration.  Then it was straight to red, white and blueberry salads for the 4th of July and we steamrolled right through apple pie steel cut oatmeal, an apple dinner salad, apple and bacon pizza, applesauce cake with caramel frosting and a peanut butter yogurt fruit dip for #appleweek.

     The next thing you know we are roasting fall vegetables, making sweet potato casserole and churning out the sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and peppermint mocha shortbread cookies for Christmas.  After all of that good food and loads of the fun we have had along the way, I am still scratching my head wondering how we got here!

     So as we leave this year and head into the next, it seems like a natural thing to pause and reflect on all that's transpired.  So I thought it would be fun to go back and take a look at the posts you guys liked the most this year.  These are the recipes that seem to have drawn people in this year.  It is a fun and eclectic mix.

    What kind of recipes would you like to see in the new year? I am always open to suggestions! Thank you so much for visiting and for your support throughout the year.  I hope we get to spend plenty of quality time together in the new year as well!

Now let's check out the recipes with the most clicks in 2017.

creamy cheesy pulled pork dip with tortilla chips and celery sticks ready to be snacked on

17. Warm and Cheesy Pulled Pork Dip - You all must love pulled pork as much as we do.  This dip is full of melty cheese and smoky BBQ flavor.

   It is perfect for tailgating, BBQs and parties.  It was a big hit with our extended family and is a perfect way to use up some leftover pulled pork.  Maybe you can make it while you watch the bowl games or the playoffs!

16. No Bake Monster Cookie Bites - These fun snacks are perfect for after school, after a workout or just because. They have a lot of the iconic flavors and textures of monster cookies, but are no bake snack bites.  Fun and flavorful come together in a cute little bite sized package!

15. Caramel Apple Punch - I am trying to bring punch back! I love serving a fun punch at a party.  It just automatically makes things more festive.  For our soup-off I thought it would be fun to serve something simple and seasonal.  This punch was born and I've already made it again for Thanksgiving.  My boys went nuts for it both times and it seems they aren't the only ones!

14. Caramel Apple Empanadas - I have my littlest sister to thank for these! She voted that I make some caramel apple empanadas for dessert and I said I would if she helped.  She called my bluff and showed up, so we had to make them!  We ended up having a blast putting them together and they smelled like heaven when they were baking.  You should give them a try as well.  They definitely earned there place on the best of list!

13. Orange Creamsicle No Bake Cheesecake - This recipe was one of the recipes I was most proud of creating.  I had a vision and made it happen.  The post was originally shared in 2016, but it got a refresh and a video this year! That brought it back to life and people are loving it.  So put lady fingers on your grocery list and prepare to have a new favorite cheesecake!

12. Brown Sugar Zapple Crisp - I am so glad this one made the list.  I reworked the post on the almost apple pie recipe that was given to me at a conference I attended.  It is made with zucchini but tastes JUST LIKE apple pie! It doesn't even seem possible! When somebody commented that they enjoyed eating zucchini in an apple crisp style dessert, I was inspired to create my own take on that idea.  That is how this zapple crisp was born.  So be sure to file this recipe away for when the zucchini are going crazy this summer.  It is perfect served warm with a scoop of melty ice cream!

11. Chewy Maple Cinnamon Cookies were an instant favorite this fall.  I dressed some up as mummies for Halloween and the rest were delicious plain or with a simple powdered sugar glaze and some festive sprinkles. They have those warm maple and cinnamon flavors and a perfect chewy cookie texture. Now wonder they made the best of list already even though I just posted them a couple of months ago.

10. Loaded Veggie Pulled Pork Nachos- These loaded veggie pulled pork nachos are actually vegetarian, but you could certainly make them with some leftover pulled pork as well.  Talk about a perfect game day food! You can load up a sheet pan with chips and a bunch of BBQ inspired toppings. A quick trip in the oven and everyone can dig in.  It is a perfect snack for a crowd or a really fun dinner option.

9.  Brownie Batter Puppy Chow- This brownie batter puppy chow is a favorite over on Pinterest.  It takes that childhood favorite snack mix and turns it up a notch.  If you are a fan of brownie batter like I am, you have to give this a try! Just be warned, once you start it is hard to stop munching!

8. Creamy Caramel Sweetened Condensed Milk Frosting- If I have twitter to thank for the brownie batter puppy chow's success, then Facebook deserves the credit for the popularity of this luscious frosting.  It got a life of it's own over there.  It was one of my favorite frosting creations this year.  If you spend much time around here, you know I am a frosting lover.  In fact, I designed a T-shirt that proves it!  So when this frosting turned out as good as I had envisioned it, I was walking on cloud 9.  I can't wait to have an excuse to make it again!

7. Knock Your Socks of Cinnamon Buns - I just made another batch of these cinnamon buns for Christmas.  I think my youngest sister my walk out if she showed up for Christmas brunch and these weren't there.  The addition of potato might seem strange, but it keeps these beauties so soft and luscious.  They are even really good a couple of days later, warmed slightly in the microwave.  You just have to try them to believe how good they really are!!

6. Peach and Blueberry Wine Slushies - to be honest, it is a bit hard to think about drinking a slushie when it is -10° F out! But you know what, in a few short months it will be sweltering hot again.  Go ahead and save this recipe for then.  You will thank yourself for planning ahead.  These beauties take only a few ingredients and barely a couple of minutes.  You will be kicked back enjoying one in no time at all!

5.  Creamy Pulled Pork Spaghetti - I think you guys love pulled pork as much as I do! (And that's a lot!) This is another great way to use up some of that leftover pulled pork.  This is a simple and flavorful dinner that will have you slurping up the noodles and asking for more.

4.  Ghosts in the Graveyard Trifle- To be honest, I was a bit surprised to see this one gaining steam this year.  Not because it isn't tasty and deserving of attention, it totally is! But it started getting a lot of views back in July or August without any nudging from me.  Then it just kept getting lots of love through Halloween.  It is a fun and cute dessert that is sweet and spooky all at the same time.  I made the components from scratch, but you could easily shortcut your way through a lot of it if you prefer.  Go ahead and pin it so you remember to make it next fall!

3. Grandma's Chicken Broccoli Casserole - This casserole is a recipe that my husband's grandma shared with me.  It was one of my very first posts, but I recently refreshed the post and added new pictures after making it with leftover Thanksgiving turkey last month.  That's all it took to make it go crazy! It is a whole meal in one dish and can be assembled ahead of time to be baked off when you are ready.  My boys always enjoy it when I make it as well, so that is a big bonus!

2.  Farmer's Daughter Cake - This cake recipe is a bit different than most.  Instead of using butter or oil, it uses cream.  That makes putting the cake together easy as there is no butter to soften or cream.  The frosting is like a really thick chocolate pudding. It is a big messy to work with, but worth the trouble.  Plus it makes a convenient 8 inch square cake! This post always gets a nice steady trickle of traffic and has gotten some really good reviews.

1. Sweetened Condensed Milk Buttercream - I guess I am not the only frosting lover out there!  This is by far the most popular recipe on my blog.  It started gaining steam and then exploded.  Now it gets a steady stream of traffic day after day.  If you like American buttercream, you are going to love it.  It is a quick and easy frosting made a little extra special with a kiss of "liquid gold." It has that little extra richness and something you can't quite but your finger on.  It would be great on almost any cake or sandwiched between some cookies! You just have to give it a try and see why it is so popular!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!