Wow. Seriously, just…wow. How else can I describe the last year?
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I never imagined I would stick to the whole blogging thing. I thought it would be another one of my two-week hobbies, destined to go the way of all the fads before it. But you guys showed up, so I stuck around, and I’m so grateful for that.
I see the numbers…well over 100,000 different people are visiting this blog every month. I can see on my stat tracker how page views in 2014 were more than double those in 2013. I see photos that you guys submit, I interact with you on social media, but it still boggles my mind when I am shopping in the grocery store and a stranger comes over and tells me how much she loves my recipes. Or when a reader emails me that her husband thinks she became a better cook, but really she’s just been making all of my recipes. Or when a reader I’ve gotten to know on facebook makes a simcha or party and every dish (s)he serves comes from my blog.
This blog isn’t just about me and what I’ve made. It’s about you. Interacting with all of you, seeing you fill your kitchens and feed your families with the recipes I dream up has been life-changingly amazing for me. I’m so glad you’re here, and I hope you’ll stay and help me make 2015 even better!
So, what did everyone love this past year?
Top Ten Recipes of 2014
Based on page views, here are the top recipes of 2014:
1) Fried Ice Cream: I was intrigued by the idea of fried ice cream for years. I’m glad I finally tried it, because it’s a whole new level of awesome. Apparently I wasn’t the only one intrigued, because close to a quarter of a million people came to check out this recipe!
2) Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Margarine or Butter: This recipe was carefully created to fill a need: readers kept asking me for a dairy free chocolate chip cookie recipe that didn’t have margarine in it. I was thrilled with the result, and am even more thrilled that so many of you have made these and raved about them!
3) Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes: This isn’t the first year that my healthy pumpkin pancakes made it to the top posts of the year list. What can I say, except that these are delicious and healthy? Oh, and they have pumpkin, so that’s good too. 😉
4) No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Mousse Cups: I couldn’t be happier to see these make the top ten list, as these are probably one of the most raved about recipes on my blog, and definitely share the number one dessert throne with my Hot Gooey Caramel Pie. Anyhow, if you’re not one of the tens of thousands of people who have tried this treat…get on it. Like, now.
5) Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Marshmallow Frosting: Alright, I will admit that I didn’t expect to see my sweet potato cupcakes on this list, but ya can’t argue with that gorgeous mound of frosting on top of an unusual – yet totally delicious – cupcake, right?
6) Peanut Butter Filled Brownie Hamantaschen: I don’t think I truly understood the word viral until I posted these hamantaschen. I mean, if any flavor combination deserved to go viral, it’s peanut butter and chocolate. That being said, these were viewed more times in just a few weeks (the day after purim till now has been ghost-town on that particular page) than most recipes got all year. Whoa.
7) Spicy Baked Zucchini Sticks: These spent so long as my number one recipe. Then my number two recipe. It’s kinda sad that they dropped all the way to number seven this year. If you haven’t tried them yet, go for it. They’re a super easy side dish that is healthy, tasty and family friendly. Not exactly shocking that they’re so popular!
8) Roasted Red Pepper Dip: This is a staple in my house, so I sure am glad that so many of you guys have made it staples in your home too. In my facebook group (you should totally join), there’s usually two or three people a week posting how they can’t believe they never made this before, that it’s so good, etc. Just jump on the bandwagon already!
9) Healthy Crockpot Turkey Meatballs in a Tomato-Spinach Sauce: This recipe is a great reminder that I should be coming up with some more healthy crockpot recipes!
10) Roasted Green Beans with Onion Garlic: This might be number ten on my list, but it’s probably number one or two on my list of favorite veggie sides. Did I mention it’s super easy too? (I sense a theme here. Hmm.)
But wait, let’s have some more fun, shall we! Here are some honorable mentions…
These roundups have gotten a ton of attention this year too, helping so many of you with your menu and meal planning. I’m glad I could help you with them!
Top Posts of Previous Years:
Some things change, some things stay the same. Check out the trends by looking at these posts.
My Personal Favorites:
Obviously, I had to stick some of my favorite recipes in here too. So many to choose from…but here are a few!
1) Sesame Broccoli: This recipe was borne out of desperation, and I’m so glad that happened because this dish is fabulous. Lots of readers have reported making this with green beans instead of broccoli. Delicious too!
2) Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddies: There’s something to be said for nostalgia, which this recipe is all about…
3) Hawaiian Chicken Burgers: Just a simple, easy, healthy(ish) supper recipe that’s really delicious. Hard to explain why something so (seemingly) ordinary is extraordinary, but I just love this recipe.
4) Peanut Butter Caramel Truffles: These are the best kind of evil… ridiculously decadent but worth every.single.calorie. I promise.
5) Sweet and Spicy Maple Roasted Pecans: These should come with a warning about how you will not be able to resist them. I crave them more often than should be considered normal… O_o
Page views are one way to gauge a recipe’s success and popularity, another is actual feedback from actual people who make and love the recipe. Here are some that didn’t make the original list, but I know you guys love:
1) Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers: I don’t claim to have invented pretzel crusted chicken, but I do make the claim that my version is not only BAKED, but…perfect. My family absolutely loves these…and I’m so glad that your families are loving them too!
2) Hot Gooey Caramel Pie: As I mentioned above, this dessert shares the number one spot in terms of gushing fans. I kinda invented it by accident…and it sure was a happy one!
3) Pastrami Stuffed Shells: I’ll never forget how within a half hour of publishing this recipe, it was already blowing up on my Facebook timeline. I was like…this gon’ be goooood! And it’s been a fan favorite since that day!
4) S’mores Bundt Cake: This cake wins the prize for most pictures of it submitted. I can’t blame you guys – it’s gorgeous – and everyone who makes it wants to show off!
5) Grilled Chicken in Mustard Sauce: This chicken seems simplistic, and it actually is, but it’s proof that people want simple deliciousness.
6) Coffee Crinkle Cookies: Another no-margarine cookie recipe, this one with coffee in it. How can you not love it?
7) Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken: The flavors in this chicken are kinda magical, plus the chicken itself is soft to the point of being melt-in-your-mouth. I can’t believe the number of you that have raved about how good it is!
8) Grilled Chicken and Portobello Wraps: I almost didn’t publish this recipe, because it seemed too simple, but…thousands and thousands of happy readers later and I am so glad I did!
9) Melt in Your Mouth Chanukah Gelt Cookies: These cookies taste great, but the adorable look is probably why my facebook feed went wild with these amazing cookies all chanukah long!
10) Chunky Vegetable Soup: Want comfort food? Sure you do. This is definitely a reader favorite soup – and one of mine too!
Popular Kitchen Tools:
One of the new things I’ve been doing this year is sharing kitchen tool recommendations and deals. I’m so glad it’s been well received by you guys, and I thought it would be fun to share the most popular kitchen tools I’ve shared this year.
2) Vanilla Bean Paste: It makes me so happy to see that you guys are buying this, because I’ve been lecturing for ages on how good quality vanilla is essential to good quality baked goods. This stuff can be expensive, but the huge 32 oz container of it is pretty economical, especially if you’re a frequent baker.
3) Panini Machine: I love mine, and when it finally died this year, I bought one too. Panini machine is basically a way to make sandwiches awesome.
4) Paderno Spiralizer: Everyone’s talking about these nowadays, and they sure do work! If you don’t have one yet, go for it!
5) 12 Piece Knife Set: Nothing makes me happier than to see you guys taking me seriously when I preach the importance of using good quality knives. This set is inexpensive, but still decent. Don’t handicap yourself with bad/dull/wrong kitchen knives. Believe me!
***Note: While we’re discussing these recommendations, I want to explain something about them. I would never, ever recommend a product that I don’t think is good, but when I do recommend something, I use an Amazon affiliate link. That means that the folks at Amazon pay me a tiny percentage of everything you buy after clicking on my link. That’s right: everything. That means that if you appreciate the endless hours of work I put into creating amazing and free recipes for you to make, a great way to repay me (at no cost to you!!) is to make a habit of clicking through my Amazon link before shopping. There’s a link right there on my side bar, so it isn’t very hard. I so appreciate the readers who have told me they do this, and it allows me to continue providing free recipes to you all!
Anyhow, I just want to personally thank you – that’s right – you – for coming to this blog and being a part of this magical year. I hope you’ll tell your friends, family, and everyone you know to join me and my loveliest group of readers here. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store – for all of us! -Miriam
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Now it’s your turn: what was your favorite Overtime Cook recipe of 2014?
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