Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Twice Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are a weakness of mine, to say the least.  I like them mashed, baked, shredded, fried, stuffed and pretty much any other way you can think of.  I've never met a potato I didn't like!  We are also a house that LOVES hot wings.  And I mean LOVE.  We still love wings, but we had a time when we were some wing eating fools.  We're talking about eating wings like 1-2 times a week.  And this trend went for months and months.  We finally decided to slack off on the wing eating, not because we were burnt out or anything, but because they really aren't the healthiest thing you can eat.  So we toned down the wing madness quite a bit, and turned our wing nights into a treat more than a regular occurence ont he meal plan.
We still enjoy our fare share of wings and wing inspired meals.  And we love every. single. bite!  This is another one of those wing inspired meals.  It's a fushion of two foods that I love very much; the potato and the hot wing.  These two things alone are delicious, but what about combining them.  What about a buffalo chicken stuffed twice baked potato?  How good does that sound?  Delish, right?!?  When I tossed this idea around to Spencer, he said yes before I even got the words out of my mouth.  It involved buffalo chicken and that's all he needed to know.

Monday, January 28, 2013

SRC: Granola Bars

I am a huge fan of granola; it's so easy to make and a great snack.  It's one of those things that travels well and can be tossed in a baggie, put in your purse and pulled out the moment hunger strikes.  It's easily customizable, and there are so many different options for add-ins.  I've made granola a couple times now, and I honestly can't get enough of it!  Since I've had success with granola, I've been itching to make homemade granola bars but I just haven't found the time to get around to it...until now.

For this month's secret recipe club I was given Sally's blog, Bewitching Kitchen.  Sally is a biochemist who is originally from Brazil.  She has traveled to and lived in Paris and California, but now calls Manhattan home.  She is a biochemist by day and cook and baker by night.  She is married and has 3 fur babies, all terriers, so she definitely has a full plate!  I enjoyed reading through her blog, getting "to know" her a little better and looking at all the wonderful recipes she's made.  Bewitching Kitchen is home to many delicious recipes, some with Brazilian influence and some without but all delicious.  From looking at her recipe index it seems to me that her specialty and love is bread.  Sally has a plethora of bread recipes, and they all sound  mouthwateringly amazing.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Saturday Scoop

Here we are again; another weekend, another Saturday and another Saturday Scoop!  I hope ya'll enjoyed last week's edition.  I haven been looking forward to today so I could share more of the blogs and sites I love with all of you!  So grab your coffee, a scrumptious muffin, cozy up and prepare to catch up on some reading! 

Baked Bree- Bree Hester of Baked Bree is a legend, to say the least, in the blogging world.  I came across her blog a few years ago and have been fascinated by it ever since.  She is amazing.  I love the food she makes, reading her blog and the photos.  The photos, wow.  They are amazing!  She is just as amazing in person as she seems on her blog.  I actually got to meet her!!!  Awesome, right?  She is incredibly talented and has a passion for food and photography and I'm so glad she started her blog to share all that with the world!

Joelen's Culinary Adventures- is so talented and amazing.  She's not only a food blogger, but love to entertain, introduce others to food and share her knowledge with others.  She's very much involved in the food scene in the Chicagoland area; guided tours, classes and events.  She does it all.  She knows her way around the kitchen and is a plethora of knowledge.  I enjoy reading her blog; not only the recipes but also about the parties and events that she hosts.  She's been an inspiration to me, as well as encouraged me ever since I started my lil' ol' blog.  She's so sweet and so talented and always willing to help with whatever question you may have.

Sing for Your Supper- is another blog I've been following for quite some time and I just LOVE it.  Amy is a wife, opera singer (hence the name "sing for your supper") and mom to an adorable little girl.  She is fun loving and her blog is so much fun to read, I honestly can't get enough!  All of her recipes and posts always look wonderful, and each and every picture entices me to make pretty much everything on there.  (although I haven't quite gotten around to making everything she's posted:)).  This is just one of those blogs that you can grab a cup of coffee or a glass of tea and feel right at home when you're reading! 

Uncommon Designs Online- get ready to get your craft on and put your DIY skills to the test when you click over to this site.  These two ladies, Trish and Bonnie, are so talented and have the answers to your DIY and craft questions.  From cute, and inexpensive, Valentine's treats to adorable door hangers, to entertaining ideas.  They have it all, and then some.  These ladies are bursting at the seams with ideas and crafts to share, and it's quite evident when you look through their site.  Feeling crafty this weekend?  Be sure to check out Uncommon Designs !

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Peanut Butter Pie

Well, today is National Pie day.  Yes, pie has it's very own day.  Don't believe me, check it out.  You really didn't think I would make up a holiday just for an excuse to bake, did you?  I know I look for any excuse to bake or get in the kitchen, but this excuse was actually legit!

Holidays, in general, are fun.  They are an excuse for people to get together, eat good food, and visit.  But food holidays, well how cool is that?  Different types of food that are so incredibly good, and loved around the world are special enough to get an entire day dedicated to their goodness!  I love it.  And I'm pretty sure that every other foodie out there, cook or not, agrees too!  What better way to celebrate pie day than with a delicious peanut butter pie?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baked Brussel Sprout Gratin

For the most part, I try to prepare well-balanced and healthy meals for my family.  However, there are times where we splurge.  And when I say we splurge, I mean we splurge.  Add the butter, pack on the cheese and of course there are the sweets.  Don't even get me started on the sweets.  I think if I threw everything reasonable and healthy to the wayside I would bake numerous times daily.  Yes, daily.  But for the health of my family and everyone around me, I try to bake in moderation.  I said, try!

Normally when I cook veggies, I don't over do it with the additional sauces or toppings.  My family, even my 3 year old, loves all vegetables.  So I'm blessed in the fact that I don't have to do a whole lot of disguising or covering up to get my family to eat their vegetables.  However, it's fun to dress things up and play with them a bit from time to time.  And yes, even douse them in a ooey-gooey, cheesey sauce that is beyond delicious. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Saturday Scoop

Welcome to the first edition of The Saturday Scoop!  This is something I've been tossing around in my mind for quite some time.  One of the main reasons I started thinking about doing this series is because of the questions I receive from friends and readers about why I started my blog, what my favorite blogs are, among other things.  Probably one of the most common questions I receive is "where do get your recipes and inspiration"?  So I decided to start The Saturday Scoop to share with you some of my favorite blogs and websites.  Most of these sites I share with you will be food blogs, but you may see the occassional DIY, organization, or craft site featured as well. 
Every Saturday I will have a new list of sites to share with you, some that I've followed and enjoyed for quite some time while others are some that I've just discovered, but enjoy just as equally.  I hope you enjoy these blogs and sites as much as I do.  I'm sure there will be some that you've heard of, but hopefully I'll be able to introduce a few that you haven't come across yet.  So grab a cup of coffee, a tasty muffin or cinnamon roll, cozy up on the couch and get ready to read and "get to know" some incredibly amazing people!   
Aimee Broussard & Co- I met Aimee at Mixed, the conference I attended back in November.  She is a fellow southerner who not only shares a passion for cooking, but also believes that you should look stylish while in the kitchen.  A true southerner in my book!  Aimee not only has a flare and eye for fashion, all things stylish and cute, but she's also just as passionate about food.  I just recently started perusing her blog (after the conference) but I have quickly come to love it!  From custom and cute aprons, tableclothes, and towels to decadent, sinful sweets she's got it all. 
Kelsey's Apple a Day- Kelsey started her blog just a few months before I started mine, but it's been a blog that I've closely followed since it's beginning.  She's a fun-loving teacher by day (hence the "apple a day") and cook and baker by night.  Her blog is one of those that just makes you feel "at home", like you can just come in, fix a drink and sit down and chat a while.  Her blog features a bit of everything; delicious and decadent breakfasts, the ever so wonderful slow cooker meals, amazing and mouthwatering desserts and some fabulous drinks.  Whatever you fancy, I'm sure Kelsey has you covered.   
Confections of a Foodie Bride- Hmmm, where do I start?  Shawnda, of Confections of a Foodie Bride(CFB), has been an inspiration to me since before I started my blog.  Every recipe on her blog is droolworthy, to say the least.  She is so well versed in the kitchen and she does it all; from biscuits to bagels to jaw-dropping burgers to cakes and cocktails and honestly everything in between.  She's simply amazing and so inspiring.  She's another one of those bloggers that's a great resource and so welcoming of any questions you may have.  She loves the classics but she's not afraid to push the limits, and that's one of the things I so appreciate.
Macaroni and Cheesecake- First of all, isn't the name just so cute?  I think that was actually one of the first things that drew me to this blog, then I started looking at the recipes and instantly fell in love.  Stephanie has a passion for life, sports, God and, of course, food!  Every single recipe on her blog looks amazing; most of them are simple yet so amazing.  She's a fun southern girl sharing her life and passion with others.  Go check out Macaroni and Cheesecake and you too will have an instant, new favorite blog.
The Way The Cookie Crumbles- I honestly canNOT say enough about Bridget.  She is the amazing and talented genius behind one of my favorite blogs.  TWCC is, and has been, one of my dependable "go to" blogs for as long as I can remember.  When I am uncertain about exactly which recipe to use this is where I turn.  Bridget is infamous for all of her recipe comparisons, whether you're looking for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, tapioca pudding or even chocolate frosting Bridget will not steer you in the wrong direction.  Her blog is defintely one of those handy dandy little tools you always want to have in your "back pocket".   
I hope you've enjoyed the first installment of The Saturday Scoop!  I would love to hear from you and what some of your "go to" blogs and sites are.  Have a great weekend!  Bake or cook something delicious and we'll see you next week with some more fabu sites! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Browned Butter Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

My feelings about dessert bars and anything with browned butter are definitely not a mystery.  I feel a deep-down love for both of these things.  I feel that bars are the best way to enjoy all the goodness of cookies, without the tedious tasks of scooping, baking, rotating and cooling.  I also feel that browned butter most definitely makes ANYTHING better. 

These bars are a conglomoration of some of my favorite things; cookies, browned butter, chocolate, caramel and salt.  And it's another one of those sweet and savory combos that I'm so fond of.  When I saw this recipe I was instantly drawn in because of the brown butter, then when I continued to read the title it just kept getting better and better.  It was like I was reading a list of the things that make me so happy; it started great and got better and better with every word! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mixed up at Mixed Con!

As most of you know, at the end of November I had the pleasure of attending my very first food blogger's conference in the rolling Virignia hills.  MixedCon was held at the infamous Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  You are looking at THE Kellerman's Mountain House.  Yes, the one from the movie Dirty Dancing.  "Hello, Mr. Kellerman!"  Yup, that's we were spent this wonderful, funfilled weekend.  I know what you're thinking.  Eeekk is right!
On a Friday afternoon about 150 food bloggers took Mountain Lake by storm.  I honestly don't think they knew what they were getting themselves into when they agreed to host this conference!  150 (mostly female...well, 2 males to be exact) poured into the quiet, mountainess hills reenacting scenes from Dirty Dancing, using up every. Single. Ounce of band with available and giddy to meet all of wonderful bloggers we had come to "know" through the blogging world.  The staff at the hotel were incredible, so nice and accommodating and ready to help in any way possible.
Upon arriving at the Roanoke airport, the conference attendees instantly started spotting one another and introducing themselves.  We got so carried away getting acquainted and visiting in the airport we actually had our shuttle waiting for quite some time...ooops!  We quickly loaded our luggage and got on the shuttle and started the trip to the mountain.  The entire trip to the hotel was filled with constant chatter, everyone so excited about meeting one another, the conference and everything in store. 
The girls I roomed with, along with 3 other attendees, I "know" from an on-line cooking board.  It was great to finally be able to meet some of these people I talk to on a daily basis!  Lucky for me, they were just as nice in person as they are on-line.  Amy, author of What's Brewing in the Kitchen, Heather, author of Hezzi D's Books and Cooks Maeghan, author of The Way To His Heart, Liz, author of  Books-N-Cooks, and Stephanie, author of  Brownies and Blondies were all absolutely amazing.  Just as wonderful as I expected!   
When we entered our room we were greeted with even more swag from our amazing sponsors!  After we got settled we visited and sorted through our swag bags.  I must say, Wow and a huge thanks to all of the incredible sponsors.  Ya'll really loaded us up with some fabulous stuff!  A big kuddos to OXO, KitchenAid, Dixie Crystals,  Real Butter, Dreamfields, Attune Foods, Hershey's, Way Better Snacks, Lucky Leaf, Creminelli, Roland Foods, Stonyfield, Harvard Common Press, Le Creuset, Duff Goldman, Edgeware, John Boos, Boos Butcher Blocks, Dreamfarm, California Raisins, Anderson Seafood, Wisconsin Cheese and Captain Morgan!  Ya'll help make the weekend!

After we chatted for a bit and sorted through all of our goodies we headed down to the cocktail hour sponsored by Wisconsin Cheese.  We enjoyed some delicious cheeses, wonderful salami from Creminelli, sipped on some wine and met some of the other incredibly talented ladies attending the conference. 
After the cocktail hour, was dinner, then we headed over to the barn to enjoy some fabulous cocktails from Captain Morgan's and munch on some cookies.  More visiting and introduction went on for a bit, but not too long since everyone was ready for our midnight mac and cheese party.  Ali, the author of Gimme Some Oven, won the contest put on by Dreamfields for the best mac and cheese.  Be sure to check out the winning recipe for her vegetable mac and cheese.  It's delish!
Saturday was jam packed with fun (and educational) sessions with some of my foodie icons!  First up-photography with the amazing and incredibly talented Bree Hester of Baked Bree. (Let me just say, she doens't give herself enough credit for just how talented she is...don't be fooled by her humility...she's awesome!)  Bree who is a foodie and professional photographer spent time going over various topics suchs as ISO, aperature, and lighting.  It was a great way to start off the day and I walked away from this session with quite a few tips that will come in handy!

Next up was a session dedicated to holiday cookie decorating.  The wildly talented Marian, of Sweetopia not only taughts us tricks, tips and techniques to use when decorating sugar cookies, she also demonstrated her techniques for us.  Talk about someone who is so sweet and so nice, Marian is the real deal.  She re-instilled my confidence and gave me the courage to go home and try frosting sugar cookies again.  Before this session I had lost all hope that I could frost, fill and flood cookies.  Thanks to Marian, I went home and successfully lined and flooded cookies for my little man's 3rd birthday.  Thanks, Marian!
The third session of the day, the last one before lunch, was videography.  Denise Woodward and Lenny Ferreira of Chez Us educated us in the ever so indepth world of videography.  Wow.  I have so far to go before I even think about trying to tackle the world of video.  (Note to'll be a LONG time before you hear any words spoken from this southern girl)  I did, however, learn so much from Lenny, as well as, had a few lot of laughs along the way.  Be sure to check out their blog for terrific video footage, as well as some delicious recipes!

After lunch we had some free time.  Myself, along with Heather, took this time to wonder the grounds, take a self guided Dirty Dancing tour (and along the way I just may have envisioned myself as Baby...that's for me to know and you to never find out)!

The house where baby and her family stayed, while at Kellerman's!
This rock was a tribute to the late, Patrick Swayze.  It was placed on the path the leads guests through the self-guided Dirty Dancing tour. 
I also took some time to read up on the mystery of Mountain Lake.  That's right, the lake that was a staple in the movie was dry. gone. Vanished.  It was a little eerie looking out where the lake should be and seeing high weeds and grass.  Hopefully it'll fill up again soon...and maybe I'll have a chance to visit again and see the flowing waters.
After touring the grounds, it was time to head back to the next session of the day.  Cake decorating with Duff and his gang.  That's right, we got to actually decorate side by side with Duff, Mary Smith and Elana!  Duff and the girls are just as down to earth as they appear to be on their show.  I had a blast cake decorating as well as chatting with him and the girls.  They are all a hoot and so fun to be around.  He was even nice enough to provide us with some fondant, icing and other supplies to take home! 
The next to last session of the day was all about food styling.  Just how do they make the food on the magazines and websites so pretty?  Well, we learned all about it from fellow food blogger and professional food stylist Tami Hardeman of Running with Tweezers.  Tami shared great insights about how the pros make the food look so great, but also shared some wonderful tips for the homecook.  I have already tried to implement some of the tips and tricks she shared with us.
The final session of the day was e-books.  The amazing and talented Heidi Larson, of Foodie Crush, schooled us in the ins and outs of ebooks.  She informed us on how to get started in the e-book phenomenon, how to organize our materials and layout of the book, and finally how to market the finished product.  During this session the wheels in my tiny, little brain started spinning and I came up (with what I thought) were some pretty nifty ideas for an ebook.  Don't start holding your breath yet, I've still got a ways to go before I have any type of book out there!
*Be sure to check out Heidi's e-magazine that's all about food and foodies, Foodie Crush Magazine

Throughout the day booths were set up with different snacks and goodies from our sponors.  We were able to sample different products, stock up on samples, and chat with the reps throughout the day.  I know all of you are familiar with Hershey's so I don't even need to begin to tell you about all the prodcuts they have to offer...I'll just say that they hooked us up!  Way Better Snacks specializes in healthy(ier) snacks and they are making a splash into the food scene.  They provided all sorts of goodies for us throughout the weekend, and I must say their sweet potato chips and sweet chili chips are amazing.  You must try them.  Thanks so much to all the vendors that made sure we didn't go hungry while we were getting our learn on all through the day Saturday.

After the final session wound up we took a minute to go unload all our goodies.  We then headed down to another wonderful cocktail hour, followed by dinner and then headed on over to the barn for another mixer.  We had more yummy drinks from the wonderful and generous Captain Morgan, some live music from a local band, and lots of giveaways from our more than generous sponsors.  Oh yeah, I was once of the lucky winners too!  Wooohoooo!
I had a terrific time sipping cocktails, scoring a great prize and getting to mingle with some of the other fabulous and talented ladies.  I also got to chat up some of the reps of the sponsors; they are amazing and beyond nice.  It was so nice getting to talk with the Lizs (yes 2) from Dreamfields and Kimberly from Dixie Crystals, just to mention a few.  I also got to talk to some talented bloggers, as well, Erin of Eat Bake Drink Cook, Mackenzie of Susie Freaking Homemaker,  Karen of Pint Sized Baker and Krista of Budget Gourmet Mom, just to name a few. 

After sipping on some tasty concoctions, some great music and wonderful giveaways we headed back to our rooms, changed into our pj's and got ready for the movie.  You guessed it, the midnight showing of Dirty Dancing.  We had seen the set and toured the grounds, now it was time to watch the movie in the ballroom at the place it was filmed.  How surreal!  While we were watching the movie there was no shortage of candy to munch on, thanks to Hershey's.  You have no idea how fun it was to watch this movie with so many ladies that were just as equally enthused as I was, I think we all found ourselves quoting each scene...and even cheering at times! 

Sunday morning we woke up, packed up and at one last meal with all our new friends.  Then it was time to bid farewell to Mountian Lake and our friends and head back to the real world.  At the airport I had some free time before I had to board my plane so I spent some time with some more fabulous ladies; Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama and Lauren of  Climbing Grier Mountain.  I had such a wonderful time visiting and chatting with them, my only regret is that we didn't connect earlier at the conference.  After tons of chatting it was time to board the plane and all head back home. 
It was a great weekend, that was jam packed with so much to do.  I still can't believe that I was able to go and that I was surrounded by so many talented and gifted foodies.  It's a weekend I will cherish forever.

Thanks again to our fabulous hostess' and conference organizers.  Paula, of Bell' Alimento, and Susan, of Doughmesstic, ya'll are awesome!  Thanks again for everything and providing a weekend for so many foodies to have the time of our lives!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pasta with Arugula, Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

I think it's safe to say that pasta is one of my all time favorite foods.  I have to be honest, I'm a carb loving fool.  There is just something so satisfying about that starchy goodness.  Top that pasta with some type of tomatoes and cheese and I'm in heaven.  Talk about comfort food!  And I think Tucker has an equal love for all things pasta.  When I ask Tucker what he wants to eat, 9 times out of 10 his answer is mac and cheese.  He comes by his love of pasta and cheese honestly, right?
This is another one of those recipes that combines three of my favorite things; pasta, tomatoes and cheese.  Yum.  This is a meal that is perfect for those times you are craving something lite and refreshing, but maybe the ingredients aren't in season yet.  This gives will give you your tomato fix, but instead of fresh tomatoes it utizlizes sun dried tomatoes.  Another twist, is instead of the traditional parmesan or mozzerella, this calls for goat cheese.  I must say, I have a weakness for that stuff.  There is just something so delicious about the creamy, tang that goat cheese has to offer.  I guess you could say this recipe takes classic flavors and amps them up a notch or two.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

There are people out there that prefer cakeice creamcookiebars, pie, or some other type of dessert over anything else.  Well, my brother is a pie person.  If you set a cake and a pie in front of him, he will choose the pie over the cake every. single. time.  My sister-in-law is a cake person, or at least she was until she met my brother.  The first time I made her something for her birthday, I made her a white cake with apricot filling, which was a hit!  Shortly after her birthday, she and my brother went to a local restaurant and had a delicious meal and finished it off with one of their signature desserts.  That signature dessert just happened to be a pie.  I'm guessing this was the pie that changed it all.  They were both hooked on this pie!
My brother's birthday came up shortly after they had eaten at that restaurant and had that magical pie.  When I asked my brother what he wanted he quickly said I want a raspberry pie.  Well, I needed a bit more information about the pie before I could even try to replicate it.  I started pouring through recipes, sending my sister-in-law one recipe after another.  She would tell me things about each recipe that resembled the pie they had at that restaurant.  Finally, I came across THE RECIPE.  The one that seemed the closest to that pie that they just could not forget.  So when we got together for my brother's birthday, we showed up not only bearing gifts but a delicious raspberry pie!
Looks like we have another pie lover!  Sneaky boy...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to FINALLY be sharing this recipe with you!  I've been eyeing this recipe for I don't know how long, and was just recently able to get around to making it.  I'm so sad it's taken me so long to make this chicken because it is so. Incredibly. Good. 
This recipe encompasses many of my favorite things; crispy chicken, gooey cheese, cream cheese and jalapenos.  It also takes one of my favorite snacks, jalapeno poppers, and stuffs all that gooey spicy goodness in the middle of a piece of tender chicken.  Yummy, right?

This chicken is stuffed with spicy, cheesey goodness, coated in toasted panko and then baked.  The end result is nothing less than amazing.  The outer layer is perfectly crispy, resembling fried chicken.  This crispy texture is achieved by lightly spraying the panko coated chicken with vegetable oil and then baking.  During the baking process the chicken stays moist and tender, while the jalapeno cheese filling gets warm, string and ooey-gooey good! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I'm not sure what it is but cold weather and frost on the ground makes me crave comfort food.  Food that warms you up inside and makes you feel all cozy.  The weather we've had lately has definitely been comfort food weather.  That weather where you want to put on your pj's, cuddle up on the couch, cover up, eat a big bowl of soup and watch t.v.  You know what I'm talking about!  There's nothing better, right?
When I think of comfort food I think of mom's home cooking, chicken and dumplings, and soups, just to name a few things.  To me, this broccoli cheese soup definitely falls into the category of comfort food.  Cheesy, creamy goodness with pieces of broccoli in every bite.  Yum. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 in Review: My Favorites

2012 was a whirlwind of events, to say the least.  It was packed full of so many different things; some good and some bad but I survived them all and made it to another year.  I hope 2013 proves to be a little less crazy and stressful, but regardless of what's to come I can't wait to see what all 2013 holds in store. 

I had so much fun looking through all the recipes I had made throughout the year when I was putting together the 2012 reader's choice.  I must say, all of you had a sweet toothe in 2012!  I love my sweets just as much as you and can't wait to share some more goodies with you.  While I loved each and every recipe that ya'll loved, there on some that didn't make the "Reader's Choice" list that I wanted to re-share with you.  I hope you all had a safe and wonderful new years, I know we did!  I can't wait to share more craziness and delicious recipes with you this year!

Goat cheese and roasted poblano guacomole is a mouthful but it's so worth it.  I think goat cheese was my favorite ingredient of the year; I love the creamy texture and the tangy taste, and it brings so much to any dish.  This guacomole was a hit from the first bite; it has a smokey flavor fromthe roasted poblanos, creamy butter flavor from the avocado and a slight tang from the goat cheese.  

I love anything with bacon and BLT's are one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.  When I found a recipe for BLT Biscuits I was ecstatic, to say the least.  This is one of those things that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a main dish.  It's basic ingredients and is a perfect twist on a classic sandwich.  It's a biscuit base with a creamy, mayonnaise baised topping with bacon and herbs then topped off with grape tomatoes.  It's delicious and a recipe that Spencer continues to drool over and talk about to this day.

The first time I had Avocado enchiladas was when I was visiting one of my cousins.  We went to this little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and he said their avocado enchiladas were amazing.  I was intrigued so I tried them.  My life changed, they were incredibly amazing; creamy, cheesey, gooey and delicious.  I honestly couldn't get enough.  When I got home I knew I had to recreate that meal, and so I did and that's how these babies came about.  

Mongolian beef is one of my "go to's" when we eat Chinese.  I love the sticky, salty and sweetness of this dish.  Put it over rice and it's a complete meal that is sure to please.  I was tickled when I came across this recipe and even more pleased when I made it and it resulted in the same flavors that I enjoy in the restaurant.  It's definitely dangerous knowing how to make one of my all-time favorites!

Homemade bread is one of my, many, weaknesses.  What can I say, I love it!  This white bread was definitely a favorite thing of mine this year.  It reminds me of the bread a family friend made for us when I was growing up; light, buttery and fluffy.  So good and delicious fresh from the oven.

We enjoyed this Lemon garlic linguine with Mascarpone and Shrimp for our Valentine's meal and I must say it was a hit.  I made this several times throughout the year and when other's asked for a simple, yet impressive meal this was always one of my first recommendations.  It's a simple dish full of big flavor.
Chiles Rellenos with tomato sauce was definitely a favorite of ours.  I think Spencer was even more impressed with this one that I was.  I can't tell you how many times this has been requested and made this year.  It's a simple recipe with tons of flavor.  A roasted poblano stuffed with cheese and corn, battered and lightly fried then topped with a slightly sweet tomato sauce.  It's a definite winner and a recipe that will stay in our rotation for quite some time.

Browned butter cookies with caramel frosting were a surprising hit.  I'm normally not one to be wowed by a cookie that doesn't include chocolate in some form, so when I tried these and instantly loved them I was kind of surprised.  This cookie has opened my eyes and helped me to learn to give those non-chocolate desserts a fighting chance.  They are chewy, almost melt in your mouth cookies that are topped with a soft caramel frosting.  In a few words, these cookies are to die for!

Bacon pecan brittle, to say this was a winner would be an understatement.  This stuff is amazing and I can't tell you how proud I was of this creation when I made it.  It has the whole sweet, salty, savory thing going and it's so good.  The salty bacon really helps to cut the sweetness of the brittle, the buttery pecans also add a whole other level of flavor and texture.  Every single person that tried this sweet and salty delicious could not get enough. 

It's no surprise that this Brownie Pie was a hit with everyone that tried it.  It was a "go to" dessert for me in 2012.  It's all the goodness of a brownie in the form of a pie; crispy edges with a fudgy, gooey center.

I could honestly continue listing more and more of my favorite recipes from 2012, but I'll stop.  I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane, I know I have!  These pretty much hit all the high notes.  I can't wait to share more goodies with you throughout 2013.

What would you like to see more of on Lynsey Lou's this year?

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