My Top 10 Favorite Dishes in 2012

As we get older, the years just fly by. It's shocking that we're already closing the 2012 chapter and preparing for all that 2013 holds for each of us.

Perhaps you've made some resolutions or commitments for the new year. This is the time I enjoy reflecting on what I did right and well and put forth new intentions for what I'd like to accomplish in the coming year.

Looking back over the last 12 months, and especially reflecting on what we cooked, I made a list of what I think are my top 10 favorite dishes. Maybe you have other favorites that were featured on this blog? I welcome your comments and wish you a bright and flavorful 2013!


The eggplant fries and aioli we made in June were unique, healthy and a fabulous way to trick your mind into thinking you're eating French fries. You should be able to find plenty of eggplant at the farmers market in June, so this is the time to make this bait and switch dish for your family.


Who doesn't love avocados? Creamy, rich in flavor and great for adding to almost anything...but they tend to be high in fat. Actually 22 grams of fat for one medium avocado. Though it is good fat, it's hard to rationalize eating an entire avocado by yourself even though we may want to. That's why the chickpea and avocado mash I made in September will go down as one of my favorite finds in 2012. It's easy to make, healthy and the chickpeas add protein which we can always eat more of.


As a bona fide soup nazi, the minestrone I made in February blew me away. The fact that it impressed David as well means this takes the #8 spot.


Yogurt topped with Cowgirl Granola is a staple at our house--and hopefully yours. But if you have never tried making your own yogurt, you're missing out. All it takes is a little time and you may never go back to store-bought again--or at least you'll be more discerning. (Noosa yogurt is my go-to. Try any of the berry flavors. At just 9 grams of sugar per serving, you'll think you're eating something way more decadent.)


Easter is a lovely holiday. The seasons are changing, you welcome seeing the sun again and it's a time for renewal and celebration. Another plus is that it's time to bring out the white pants--a summer staple in my wardrobe.

The baked beans I served for our holiday family gathering were over the top and I'll be forever spoiled and grateful for this dish that earned me the new title of an "honorary New Englander."


The German in me craves cabbage and sausage. Frequently. This new and revised version of braised cabbage is balanced with both apple cider vinegar and apple cider. It's a spectacular fall and/or winter dish when you can find fresh apple cider in the store or perhaps at your favorite farmers market if you live anywhere near apple orchards. Add kielbasa, ribs or pork chops for a hearty and heart-warming meal.


We eat a lot of salads in our home. So much so, that David often proclaims, "No more salads!" But smother your salad with this almost good-for-you green goddess dressing we featured in March and your family will no longer complain about having to eat salad. In fact, they might even request it--served with green goddess dressing, no doubt.


July is the month where we're sporting shorts and bathing suits and it's a perfect time to enjoy berries at their peak. The raw blueberry tartlets I made that month was one of the dishes David still raves about. Raw nuts and dates make the tender yet malleable crust and blueberries combined with orange juice, zest and a touch of brown sugar make the filling. This is one dessert that you won't feel guilty about eating.


Though I cannot say the same thing for this dish.

February tends to be quite cold in South Texas which calls for rich, decadent desserts. Combine that with Valentine's Day and the #2 dish on my list is baked hot chocolate. The three layers of texture is what makes this dessert a winner.

The outside is crispy like a brownie, the second layer is pudding-like and scoop your spoon to the bottom and you get this gooey-like hot chocolate concoction. It's a pumped up version of the 90's lava cake sensation. Trust me, you'll dazzle your lover with this dish on any occasion.


Part of this dish was featured twice this year--because it's that good. Even though we have really become aware of what we eat this year and cut back on our sugar consumption and increased the veggies we eat, my sweet tooth still rears its ugly head on occasion. For these moments, I have collected quite an array of options that are gluten-free, grain-free and even sugar-free or low sugar and yet you'll never know what's missing.

That's why my #1 dish of 2013 is the pecan pie crust filled with apples and served with a double-cinnamon ice cream. Yes, it's the most recent dish I have made, but it is, hands-down, spectacular, sinful and yet totally guilt-free. Did I mention that it's gluten-free, grain-free and super low sugar???

Ten new reasons to dig in!

From my kitchen to yours,
Buen Provecho and Happy New Year!
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