Top 10 Reader Favorites of 2014 + THANK YOU
Happy New Year! As we’re getting ready to ring in 2015 in a few hours, I’ve been reflecting on the past year, and thought it would be fun to recount the top ten most popular recipes of 2014.
But FIRST, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for reading and sharing this space with me. Thank you for allowing me to create and have my best job ever as a full-time blogger (!). This site could not exist without you and (three-ish years later) I am still constantly pinching myself. So here’s wishing you all a very happy, fabulous start to the New Year. I can’t wait to cook with you again next year!
Now, without further ado, your 2014 favorites…
1. One Bowl Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins
The number one recipe of 2014 also happens to be one of my personal favorites of the year. You guys went crazy for these super easy, decadent, chocolate-y (but actually decently healthy) banana muffins. One bowl (no mixer required) and about half an hour stand between you and sweet, chocolate banana bliss.
2. Weeknight Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta
This easy, weeknight favorite narrowly came in second – behind the most popular FKS recipe of all time – and is more evidence that you guys really love pasta. Greens and goat cheese (I cannot get enough) combine for a healthy, satisfying pasta dish that’s perfect for chilly fall/winter nights. We make variations of this recipe all. the. time.
3. Creamy Coconut and Blood Orange Popsicles
I found some particularly vibrant blood oranges at the market and made bright pink Valentine’s Day popsicles, resulting in one of my favorite flavor combinations of the year. It may have been the middle of winter, but creamy, frozen vanilla coconut milk + tangy blood orange swirled together for the win. Love me some winter citrus (and judging by how these exploded on Pinterest, so do you…)
4. Whole Grain Triple Dark Chocolate Brownies
I finally mastered chewy, chocolate box-like brownies from scratch, and these have easily become my go-to brownie recipe. It took me months, years even, but these decadent, dense, fudge-y, crackly-topped, homemade brownies became a delicious reality in the ‘Swoon kitchen.
5. Garlic, Sage and Brown Butter Pasta
I made this on a whim one morning and it is pure carb heaven. Fresh pasta tossed with flavorful brown butter – infused with garlic and fresh sage – combine with toasted breadcrumbs and parmesan… I don’t even know what else to say. You get it.
6. Flourless Hot Cocoa (Marshmallow-topped) Cookies
These hot cocoa inspired cookies were a delicious consolation prize after I dropped the pie. The melted marshmallows take them over the top and these were easily your favorite recipe of the holiday season.
7. Simple Homemade Chicken Ramen
My efforts to create a quick, simplified version of authentic Japanese shoyu ramen resulted in my favorite chicken recipe of the year (and my second most popular poultry recipe behind these crispy baked chicken tenders from last year). It’s a hearty, flavorful soup filled with ramen noodles and fresh veggies and topped with succulent chicken breast slices and a soft-boiled egg. So. Good.
8. White Bean and Tomato Stew with Ditalini
I love me some white beans, and this hearty white bean and tomato stew is ultimate comfort food. A close runner up? This lemony kale and white bean soup…
9. Crispy Herb Roasted Potatoes
My favorite method for perfectly crispy roasted baby (or fingerling) potatoes, generously salted and tossed with fresh herbs. I almost didn’t post these – I was nervous you would think these were way too simple – but you proved me wrong, big time.
Once again, the simplest recipes often reign supreme. After hoarding tons of apples this fall, I stuffed these petite heirloom beauties with a cinnamon-oat crumble and baked them in apple cider. The result: sweet, melt-in-your-mouth autumnal goodness.
And there you have it! I’m so looking forward to getting back to cooking – post holidays – and I would love to know what sorts of recipes you’d love to see next year. Seriously, send me your suggestions!
Until then, have a fun/safe/bubbly celebration tonight! See you next year!
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So many amazing recipes! You had a great 2014!! Can’t wait to see what genius recipes you think up in 2015!!
What a collection! I think those muffins are going to make an appearance in my kitchen sometime soon..
I want to make them all.. Great recipes and beautiful photography.
Happy new year Laura!
I only subscribed recently… but when my husband saw your cider baked apples on the screen, he made them that evening for dinner! Scrummy they were too…. I must try the choc & banana muffins in 2015!
Happy New Year to you Laura.
Thank you Sally and Happy New Year to you and your husband too!!
Happy New Year Laura, I just recently discovered your blog and started following you and I have to say I want to try all of your recipes. Everything I have tried so far has been wonderful! I see you are from Santa Barbara, I live just down the way in Ojai! so I share the same love of fresh and seasonal and all things citrus with you!
All the best in 2015,
Thank you Leanne!! I miss the Central Coast like crazy! We were just back in Santa Barbara for Christmas and my heart is still there 🙂 Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year Laura! I missed the triple chocolate whole grain brownies, must try them soon!
Happy New Year to you too, Kelly!! Those brownies were one of my very fav’s of the year 🙂
Wow, I subscribe to a lot of food blogs. I just downloaded several of yours to my recipe list – thanks!
Thanks, Leslie! Happy New Year!