Best of 2013 – My Favorites

I posted your favorite recipes of 2013 yesterday, but I’m back again today with some of my faves.  Many of your picks would have landed on my list as well, but this gives me a great chance to highlight a few awesome, yet under appreciated dishes from the year. 

best of 2013 - my faves

13. Oreo Heaven Bars – I made these last January for my bestie Bill’s 26th birthday.  I brought the leftovers to work and everyone went completely nuts for them.  I’m talking about men sneaking over from other sections to give them a try.  But really, what’s not to love?  An Oreo crust, a chewy brownie layer, and decadent Oreo cream on top.  I’m drooling just thinking about it!

12. BBQ Chicken Dip – This has Superbowl food written all over it.  Most people serve Buff Chick Dip that time of year, but I thought the BBQ was a nice change of pace.  My guy [and girl friends] inhaled it, and I even received emails from a couple of readers telling me that they tried and loved it.

11. Lemon Cupcakes with Real Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting – This was hands down my favorite cupcakes recipe of the year.  I served it to my college teammates when we threw a surprise baby shower for two of my fellow runners last May.  Even my “I don’t like cake” friends liked this one!

10. Triple Berry Trifle – This is a bit of a labor of love, with three decadent layers of berry mousse smothered over fluffy angel food cake.  I made it for Maria’s birthday last spring, and finished the left overs for breakfast the next day.

9.  Rosemary Parmesan Pretzels – These are a forever favorite with all of my friends and have made and appearance at countless events though out the year.  Nobody can believe how simple they are to make, and even better, these flavor packed bites stay fresh for a week in a tightly sealed container.

8. Chocolate Chip Cookie For 2 – This year I launched my Recipes For 2 series, where I try and shrink my favorite dishes and desserts down to a portion size perfect for two people.  This giant cookie is sweet, chewy, buttery, perfection that can be prepared with just one bowl!

7. Mushroom, Leek, and Zucchini Quiche – 2013 was the year of Super Brunch, with the most super brunch of all being my Bike Race Party last June.  This quiche is simple to make, employing the help of a store bought pie crust, and disappears almost instantly after being pulled from the oven.

6. S’mores Brownies – These guys made a lot of appearances last winter and were always a hit.  Between the boxed brownie mix and the storebought fluff, this totally rich and decadent dessert is unimaginably simple to make!

5. Lemon Blueberry Tart – If I could only count the number of times I baked this tart this summer…  Fresh blue berries top a sweetened up lemon curd filling, all packed into my very favorite short bread crush.  Without a doubt this is the first thing I’m making when blueberries come back in season next summer.

4. Chipotle Cheddar Bacon Mac – Ummmmm, this one is just as good as it sounds.  A cheesey, salty, spicy sauce coat macaroni noodles for the perfect side dish or main course this winter.

3. Lavender Bundt Cake – My brother’s then girlfriend, now fiancée, gave me this recipe when they came to visit last spring.  I baked it for multiple occasions and find it to be the perfect addition to a brunch table or a sweet [but not too sweet] ending to a meal.  I even like to snack on it with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon.

2. Peach Berry Cobbler – Ho-Ly-Cow.  There are no words for this one and the photos just don’t do it justice.  The quintessential flavors of summer baked in their own juices and topped with a sweet golden crust.  I die a little bit inside just thinking of its perfection.

1. Ombre Cake – Hands down the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, and it’s extra special to me because I baked it for my dear friend Maria’s bachelorette party this past fall.  I never thought I could pull something like this off, but with a simple tutorial, a couple short cuts, and the right equipment, it turned out to be a surprisingly approachable recipe!

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