Yeah…it’s 4 o’clock in the a.m. and I’m up. Best part? Been up since 3. (winning) You know me, I go through these phases where sleep just isn’t a priority and thinking takes the lead. And since I’m all in my head over here, I thought I would put that energy to good use and compile a blog post of all my most popular posts. I’ve had several people bring that up to me lately actually. People asking me what my favorite recipes/stories are, making requests for ‘that thing you made with that stuff four years ago’, etc. I know I’m a lot to handle, I know I put out a lot of content, and I’m sure that’s hard to follow sometimes so I’m doing you a favor on this cold and dark morning and making it a little bit easier to find some of those ‘favorites’. These posts were picked based on you and what you liked. They’re based on views, so all of these here are posts that you guys liked, and shared, and looked at over and over again. AND THEY’RE ALL ABOUT FOOD!!!!! Another day I’ll put up the most popular non-food posts, but today we talk food. Because that’s where it all began…
One of my oldest recipes, this one right here is a big hit around October-November with all you lovely people. I use a gingersnap cookie as the crust (just the cookie, no crumbs and butter- so easy!!) in the bottom of muffin tins before a creamy pumpkin cheesecake mixture gets baked on top. They’re bite sized treats that are perfect for holiday parties! It’s been one of my most popular recipes for over 5 years!!
Nope, I’m not gluten free. BUT, this banana bread right here is AMAH-ZING. It’s the most moist, most rich, most satisfying banana bread I have ever tasted and it’s so healthy I can’t even take it. Everyone who tries it- adults, children – love it and are super surprised to hear how good for them it is. It uses coconut sugar, coconut and oat flour, coconut oil… nothing refined, nothing processed, just pure, delicious goodness.
And I aint even vegan, y’all. But let me tell you, this chocolate pudding pie made from pureed dates and cocoa powder and cashew butter and coconut ‘cream’ is killer. My husband requests it for Valentine’s Day every year. And he ain’t even vegan either, y’all.
This recipe is one of my family’s favorites and I have to say, it’s phenomenal. I make my own Garam Masala spice blend (although store-bought it totally fine!!) and season tender chunks of lean beef with it before stewing with vegetables and a spiced tomato sauce. It’s intensely flavorful, hearty and absolutely perfect for these cold winter months. And the coconut barley underneath? Damn. Just damn.
So…this is kinda incredible. It’s part cheesecake, part banana pudding, with a seductive layer of homemade dulce de leche making things all hot and steamy, set upon a salty and sweet vanilla wafer cookie crust. Day-um.
I mean… This right here is the best, most incredible, most amazing, most mostest French Onion soup I have ever had. I make it with brown butter, brandy (sometimes sherry), nutmeg, allspice, sage…and the toasts are made out of what I happen to think is a pretty cool idea. You ready? I use those onion rolls you find in the bread section of your grocery store. The ones you sometimes use for hamburgers? Yep. Those. They have a great flavor, they fit perfectly over most crocks and I always happen to have an open pack in my fridge or freezer leftover from cookouts.
Ya’ll love this one! It’s an old recipe, if you couldn’t tell from the quality (or lack thereof) of the picture. It’s a healthier and much more flavorful version of the traditional eggplant parm. It uses roasted eggplant, that’s slathered with a roasted garlic-balsamic spread and layered with tomato sauce and different kinds of cheeses. It’s so good to your tongue, I swear you won’t even miss the fried stuff.
These gnocchi are made with sweet potatoes, whole wheat flour and asiago cheese and they are like sweet pillows of God-ness tossed with spicy Italian sausage flavored with sage and fennel and maple syrup. And because I love a little pop of green on a dish, a handful of peas from your freezer round out this dish and make it a perfectly balanced and irresistible dinner favorite this time of year.
This recipe idea came from Marcella Hazan’s Milk Braised Pork Loin. I use the shoulder because I think it’s a much more flavorful cut of meat. I rub the meat all over with sage and fennel, black pepper and kosher salt and sear it in a cast iron pan before braising it with vegetables and garlic, rosemary, bay and nutmeg and the secret to making this dish incredible- milk. Just plain milk. No stock, no wine, MILK. And what the milk does to the meat, y’all, is TO DIE FOR. It comes out so tender, so flavorful, so rich… I really can’t say enough about it so you’re just gonna have to go make it yourself and we’ll come up with better descriptors.
I have probably made hundreds of batches of these guys right here. For awhile there I was in talks to market them and I was a marshmallow machine. They’re made with agave nectar instead of corn syrup, which is not only a little healthier but also so much easier- No candy thermometer needed! Just bloom some gelatin, whip with the agave, some vanilla and salt and within minutes you have this fluffy mixture that after cooling on a cookie sheet, becomes sliced into marshmallows!! My kids love to help with them-they love watching the liquid turn into a ‘cloud’!! And they’re so perfect for this time of year too…I’ve given them as gifts before, wrapped in pretty cellophane with homemade hot cocoa mix.