2013 favorites

I was wishy-washy on whether to do a favorites list this year, but seeing everyone else’s lists convinced me to look back over my posts, and I was reminded of some great recipes that deserved to be highlighted. I didn’t get as many posts up this year as I have in the past, even though I was cooking as much as ever. What that means is that only the recipes that really impressed me made it here. These ten are the best of the best:

Chipotle Shrimp
chipotle shrimp 3
This is a standout for its simplicity, which makes it a perfect weeknight meal. I also like that the shrimp gives it some variety from my usual rice and beans routine.

Mascarpone-Stuffed Strawberries
mascarpone strawberries 7
These are halfway between a healthy snack and a decadent dessert, which I’m finding is a nice niche to be able to fill.

Beef Barbacoa
barbacoa 8This is the single best thing I made this year.

Kentucky Butter Cake
kentucky butter cake 7
It seems blasé, just a basic dough in a bundt pan, but it’s tender, light, buttery, sweet cake perfection.

Shrimp and Avocado Ceviche
shrimp ceviche 7
My new favorite way to eat chips. (It’s weird that two shrimp recipes have made this list, because as much as I love the flavor, sometimes the texture of shrimp squicks me out. I usually chop it for this salsa, which helps.)

Panko-Crusted Salmon
panko salmon 5
To be honest, I have never cooked this. But it’s become one of Dave’s fallbacks when it’s his turn to cook and he doesn’t know what else to make. I’m not complaining one bit.

Goat Cheese Almond Strawberry Cheesecake
goat cheese cheesecake 5
The best dessert I baked this year (hurriedly photographed with my phone in a grassy area next to the office parking lot as I was running late to a meeting). The goat cheese really does add something special to the cheesecake, even though you wouldn’t know it was there unless someone told you.

Shiitake Mushroom and Lentil Asian Tacos
mushroom lentil tacos 4
Such an interesting combination of flavors. I love food that is this fun but is still perfectly healthy.

Pasta with Zucchini Cream Sauce
pasta with zucchini cream sauce 7
I made this several times over the summer.  I love looking at vegetables in new ways, and letting the zucchini melt down into the sauce was perfect.

Salad with Pancetta, Peperoncini, and Parmesan
peperoncini pancetta salad 3No one will ever complain about this salad.  It’s such a great course to serve before a rich pasta dish.

Really my only goal for 2014 is to keep at it. Happy New Year!


  1. Thanks for sharing! You always post such great recipes, it’s hard to know if I’m saving all the best ones, so this round up helps me catch anything that may have fallen through the cracks (like mushroom lentil tacos!) I just tried your lentil tacos from 2012, and can’t get over how the lentils taste so much like the chile con carne my mom used to make for taco night.

  2. Awesome list! Can’t wait to try them!
    (FYI, your links go to Flickr pics instead of your recipes.)


  3. i’m gonna make the beef barbacoa tomorrow night. we LOVE mexican!

  4. heidikins – Thanks for letting me know about the links! They should be fixed now.

  5. Thanks for fixing the links. I look forward to trying some of these!!