2015 favorites

I’m late on this, but with no end in sight to the flood repairs on our house, plus a daunting end in sight to being pregnant, I’m late on everything lately. Dave and I are getting by the best we can right now, but looking at last year’s recipes is a nice reminder of simpler times. Here are some of my favorites:

Beef Satay with Spicy Mango Dip
beef satay 5

This was so good, I made it again for the tiki-inspired meal my brother and I served on our family’s annual beach trip. It stood out even among a spread of crab rangoons, coconut shrimp, kalua pork, and a pitcher of tonga punch (plus a virgin version for me and the kids).

Poblanos Stuffed with Black Beans and Cheese
stuffed poblanos 3My standards for weeknight dinners are so high – delicious, healthy, easy, vegetarian or seafood-based – that it’s rare to add a new meal to our rotation. This one fits all of the requirements, and as an added bonus, it can be made ahead. I often make enough for two dinners and have it early in the week and then the night before we leave for a trip.

Confetti Cookies
confetti cookies 6

These cookies scream ‘birthday’ to me, but they’re also just a fun cookie – colorful enough to grab the attention of kids, and they taste just as good as they look.

Goat Cheese and Braised Lamb Shank Raviolilamb goat cheese ravioli 6I wish I had infinite amounts of time to make this every week. It’s one of the best things I ate last year.

Cheesecake Squares with Sour Cream Topping
cheesecake squares 5
I love a grand and celebratory cheesecake, but this one can’t be beat for simple good flavor. It’s a childhood favorite that’s become an adulthood favorite.

Mai Taismai tai 6Dave and I have had so much fun making tiki a hobby, trying new drinks every week and sharing notes with my brother across the country. We struggled to find the perfect mai tai recipe and nailed it right around when I got pregnant. I’m looking forward to enjoying one of these next month.

Berry Jam and Chocolate Mousse Tart
berry chocolate tart 11

I love chocolate, but I don’t think I’m one of those chocolate people. I always want something to brighten it up, and a thick layer of berry jam is the perfect tart balance to lots of chocolate mousse.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheesestovetop mac and cheese 8
I started making this last year as a pregnancy craving, but in this rough beginning to 2016, it’s become a comfort food favorite.

Slow-Ferment Pizza Dough
pizza dough 9
Definitely the recipe I made more than any other this year. A quick mix on Monday night makes bubbly, crisp pizza Friday after work.

Lemon Cheesecake
lemon cheesecake 2
Macaroni and cheese and cereal have been my primary pregnancy cravings, yet somehow, I seem to have made cheesecake at every opportunity as well. That might not have anything to do with pregnancy and everything to do with how delicious and creamy cheesecake is. This one is one of my favorites; that lemon curd on top goes so well with the rich cake.

Honorable Mention: Transportation Cake
tranportation cake 1The coconut cake recipe I shared here is a light, moist, and coconutty, but what really makes this worth talking about is the decorating, which was so much fun that I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to make layered cakes since then – including my own baby shower.

Frankly, it’s been a rough start to this year, but soon enough, we’ll have a baby and hopefully a house to put her in, and we can start finding our new normal. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.


  1. Wishing you the best with your flood repairs and baby! Take care.