Happy Halloween!

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My Top 10 of 2011

I hope you haven’t had enough of all the blog recaps. Personally, I love reading them on other people’s sites. This is the first time I’ve done an year-end review. I’m breaking down the Top 10 into 2 categories: Top 5 reader favorites (based on views) and Top 5 personal favorites. Here we go:

Top 5 Reader Favorites

5. Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins. These little gems are the easiest thing to make. They satisfy my craving for doughnut holes, without having to fire up the wok for deep frying.

4. Vegetable Enchiladas. Anytime I post an enchilada dish, it becomes a popular one. This picture is not my favorite, but the allure of enchiladas overcomes my photograph.

3. General Tso’s Chicken. One of the most popular takeout dishes, made at home. The sauce totally makes the dish, and using all white meat cuts down on the fattiness of the chicken (minus the cooking in oil.)

2. Funfetti Cake. I have mixed feelings about this post. This cake is my absolute favorite to make. The post about it, however is a tribute to my father, who I lost earlier in the year. I can’t look at this picture without remembering him and the struggle he had with life.

1. Strawberry Mojitos. I made these when I had an abundance of freshly-picked strawberries, and enjoyed many of them while our supply lasted. I even made virgin mojitos to have with breakfast. These go down way too easily, and I can’t wait for strawberry season to start back up in a few months!

Top 5 Personal Favorites

5. Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach and Grilled Chicken. I don’t usually cook fettuccine alfredo because of the immensely high fat content, but every so often a splurge is in order. Brining the breast kept the meat moist even when reheated as leftovers.

4. Grasshopper Pie. One of my friends took a bite of this pie and said, “I dream about your food.” That’s how good this pie is. The crust has an extra addition of coconut to make it even more indulgent.

3. Pecan Pie Bars. These were the hit of the entire holiday season. I made them for Thanksgiving, put them in boxes to give as gifts, and made them while visiting a bunch of family. They were gobbled up everywhere.

2. Pineapple Fried Rice. Since we’ve had our wok, fried rice has become a staple in the house. This is my favorite version of it, because the pineapple is such a refreshing addition. This is also the first dish I successfully cooked in the wok.

1. Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes. Successfully making Swiss meringue buttercream was my culinary triumph of the year. After many successful attempts, I did enough troubleshooting to figure out how to turn a soupy mess into fluffy icing. It is now my favorite topping for cupcakes. And the strawberry-lime flavor of the cupcakes shone through as well.

Bonus: Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies. Okay, I couldn’t narrow it down to just 5. So here is one more favorite from the year. I loved how these whoopie pies turned out. The toasted marshmallow filling was so much fun to make.

There they are! My blog and I have grown so much this year. Thank you for your readership. You have supported me through some tough and some triumphant times. Looking forward to what 2012 brings!

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