Aggie's Kitchen

Best of 2014 – My Favorites (and yours!)

Aggie's Kitchen Best of 2014 || My Favorites and Yours

I love year end posts like this. It sometimes feels daunting to put together, especially in the throw of the holidays when I’m not so much in blogging mode. But once I start looking back at everything I cooked up here and in my kitchen for an entire year I can’t tell you how inspiring, fulfilling, and just plain old happy it makes me. This year was a challenging year for me personally as far as finding myself as a “new” mom again, and juggling the schedules and demands of my growing family. Adding a baby to our family that hasn’t been in baby mode for quite some years was a bit of a shock to my system. We truly wouldn’t have it any other way, the chaos, the exhaustion, the love – it’s all worth it. I have always put a lot of pressure on myself to do it all, do it right and be there for everyone. Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming and I just have to shut down and reevaluate priorities. That was what I did this year. I spent a lot of time thinking about my role as a mom, wife, friend, family member…person. I’m not perfect, and I really am doing the best I can in all that I do.

I thought I was going to stop blogging this summer. It made me sad but I was having a hard time fitting this blog space into my real life space. There was no time. No time for a lot really, so I had to let blogging go for a few months to see if it would fit itself back in. And you know what… it did. My baby started sleeping through the night and my kids went back to school in the fall. I felt refreshed, energetic and ready to cook and share regularly again (I was not cooking as much as I was pre-baby). One major thing I learned this year is to be patient with the season you are in…and to just roll with whatever is coming your way. I don’t always handle the changes and challenges well or with grace, but with the help of my supportive and encouraging husband who is always there to remind me and say what I need to hear, I’m figuring it out.

Thanks for listening to me ramble today. I love writing here, for whoever is reading (true blogger confession: sometimes you’re just not sure who’s really reading 🙂 ). I am so excited about a new year (it’s my favorite season!) and I thank you for being a part of 2014 with me.

Hope you enjoy reading through what I consider the Best of 2014 – my favorites and yours! It’s been a pretty delicious year I must say. 🙂

January:  Refrigerator Oats with Berries and Banana – I ate this for breakfast for months. I am ready to get on the oats wagon again.

February:  Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup – another recipe I couldn’t get enough of. Almost my entire family eats this soup which is always good. I think it’s time to make a big pot, great for post holiday eating clean up.

March:  Salmon Quinoa Cakes – one of my favorite recipes this year that I felt like was a no-brainer. I love the idea of using quinoa as a filler instead of breadcrumbs, this one will inspire future recipes for sure.

April:  Lightened Up Broccoli Salad – perfect broccoli salad for spring grilling weather!

May:  Carrot Raisin Quinoa Salad – another light veggie/grain salad that I loved having as a side dish when it started to get warmer.

June:  Summer Chicken Chili Verde – I love soup all year round, especially when you can get so creative by adding in seasonal veggies to change up classics.

July:  Garden Pasta Salad with Chicken Sausage – my daughter asks for this pasta salad all the time. The chicken sausage makes it hearty enough to be a light summer meal.

August:  Turkey and Spinach Tostadas – another family favorite! I can’t tell you how many times I have made these tostadas. Everyone in my family loves them and I pile mine with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and green salsa for extra veggies!

September:  Buffalo Rotisserie Chicken Salad – I made this for my husband because he was craving buffalo wings and we were trying to eat light and lose weight. You can’t beat buffalo anything, it makes everything taste good!

October:  Cinnamon Pear Green Smoothie – a smoothie that carried me through fall when I couldn’t figure out what fruits to buy. I love pears and the added cinnamon in this smoothie got me so hooked.

November:  Butternut Squash and Spinach Manicotti – this is a special recipe and post for me. My daughter and I had such a good time cooking this manicotti together. I taught her something new. And she taught me something too.

December: Baked Spinach and Ricotta Meatballs – Total comfort food. My family was so happy when these hit the table!

 

Your Favorites: 

Aggie's Kitchen Best of 2014 || My Favorites and Yours

Autumn Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Almonds and Apples – this recipe was created for a client and became so popular! It really is delicious and the added crunch from the almonds and apples are my favorite part (plus it’s made with Greek yogurt).

Hard Cider Pork Chops with Apples and Onions – I had fun making this recipe. I was inspired to make pork chops for my in-laws and I added a seasonal autumn twist to them. Such an easy flavorful recipe!

Roasted Chili Maple Pork Tenderloin – This pork tenderloin brought me out of my comfort zone – it was fun to learn something new. Everyone loved this and I’m ready to try more rubs and marinades for new recipes.

Summer Black Bean and Corn Salad – a classic summer (or anytime really) salad. So good on the side of grilled fish or chicken or as a dip for tortilla chips. Great as a taco filler too!

You also loved this Lightened Up Broccoli Salad and Baked Ricotta and Spinach Meatballs like I did.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Aggie's Kitchen Best of 2014 || My Favorites and Yours

Chicken, Pear and Avocado Salad – could not get enough of this salad. Ate it for daaaaays.

Kicked Up Oven Baked Steak Fries – spicy baked fries? Yes, please.

Black Chili Bean and Avocado Quesadillas – my little guy and I were hooked on these mini quesadillas for lunch. Corn tortillas are my new favorite!

 

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!! Best wishes to all of you in 2015!

It’s going to be awesome.

Looking Back:

Best of 2013 – My Favorites and Yours

My Favorite Meals of 2012

Bye Bye 2011

Top 5 Favorites of 2009 – Harissa Steak Sandwich, Game Day Chili, Roasted Vegetable Pesto Pizza, BBQ Pulled Pork and Chipotle Onion Sandwiches, Chorizo and Eggs

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29 Responses to “Best of 2014 – My Favorites (and yours!)”

  1. Kim posted December 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I L O V E this post GirlFriend. You have had a year of adjustments {hello new baby & new house}! Yet somehow you shared with us all those delish recipes. Love them all! And LOVING your newly designed online home. Here’s to a great 2015…. to learning from past mistakes & challenges… and to being our God-given best! Love you Friend.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Thank you for always being my ear through it all friend…love ya!! Here’s to an awesome 2015!!

  2. Amy @Very Culinary posted December 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Deliciousness! You make great food, Aggie.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

      awww Amy, thank you!! Happy New Year!

  3. Erica posted December 29, 2014 at 11:38 am

    All of your food looks so fresh and delicious! Obviously I totally understand the desire to stop blogging. Glad things have fallen back into place. Fridge oats are just the bestest! And I obviously made a bundle of these this year 🙂

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

      I know you can relate to the whole blogging thing…happy New Year to you and your sweet fam Erica! Love ya!!

  4. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek posted December 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    All of this looks so good. Perfect timing. I need to make my January menu today.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:42 am

      yay! 🙂 Thank you!

  5. Jennifer posted December 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Great recipes! I especially loved the hard cider pork chops with apples and onions. I made these for company and they loved it! Happy New Year!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

      that’s great to hear Jennifer, thank you! Happy New Year to you!!

  6. Jamie posted December 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Another great year Aggie! Love looking back on the year of food and pictures. Looking forward to bringing in the new year with you!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Can’t wait Jamie!

  7. KalynsKitchen posted December 29, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Great post, and I am so glad you managed to keep blogging.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Thanks so much Kalyn, I appreciate it. Happy New Year to you!! xo

  8. Gaby posted December 30, 2014 at 1:08 am

    A great year of great recipes!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Thanks Gaby!

  9. Liz posted December 30, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I love your recipes and glad you didn’t quit. Happy New Year!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Thank you so much Liz! Happy New Year to you – all the best!

  10. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite posted December 30, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Love your recipes and post recaps. I’m also thankful that you didn’t quit the blog and was able to find time to post on here because we all LOVE you and your family.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 8:40 am

      thanks Meagan, I’m glad I didn’t quit either, would have been REALLY hard!! Hope you and your sweet fam have a happy New Year!

  11. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted December 30, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Oh how I loved reading this post Aggie!!! You’re so inspiring how you juggle it all!! This year was definitely a major learning curve for me being home with two toddlers every day. Like you said, it’s all about accepting the season you are in and going with the punches. The good news – we did it!!! <3 xoxo

  12. Alyssa (EverydayMaven) posted December 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

    What an incredible year for you Aggie! I will following in your steps with adding another baby (in just a couple weeks) and if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about juggling it all, I would be lying. Thanks for your honesty! I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings you 🙂

  13. Megan {Country Cleaver} posted December 30, 2014 at 10:16 am

    What a delicious year, Aggie! I’m so glad you found your groove again. Your cooking creations would be so greatly missed if you hung up your blogging hat. Keep it up!! And I hope that next year is equally as wonderful.

  14. Flavia posted December 30, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I love this post, Aggie and I’m so glad you continued to blog. I know exactly how you felt wanting to stop because I’ve felt that way the past 2 years with all the upheaval, illness and drama that came my way. Accepting the season of life we are in is the key and I’m so glad to read that reminder because I’m not the most patient person and I too, don’t always handle change with patience and grace. Thank you for sharing your glimpses into your life and your delicious recipes with us. I’m so happy to call you my friend. Love and hugs for 2015 (and I hope we can see each other in the new year)! xo Flavia P.S. Maybe 2015 will be the year you start writing your cookbook of amazing salad recipes. 😉

  15. Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen posted December 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I love this post and all these recipes look just as good the second time (or more) around. I’m so happy it worked out for you to begin blogging again. You know, yours is one of the first blogs I started following on a regular basis and it’s a good feeling to have you around still! I swear I have the thought that I might stop blogging about every other day but somehow, you just keep on going. I think it’s a common thought when life gets crazy..which is about every other day for me 🙂 I really appreciate your support and I’m glad I got to know you better this year. Can’t wait to see what 2015 brings! Happy New Year, Aggie 🙂

  16. Lauren Kelly Nutrition posted December 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    That Summer Black Bean and Corn salad looks amazing! They all do 🙂 Happy New Year!

  17. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen posted December 31, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I always love your fabulous healthy recipes and I need to make that almond and chicken salad today. Happy New Year Aggie!

  18. Jersey Girl Cooks posted December 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I love all your fresh recipes. Happy new year to you and your family!

  19. Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer posted January 2, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Aggie, I sooo love your blog. I’m really looking forward to your healthy recipes in 2015 which are always so inspiring. Blogging is a lot of work, so as a reader of AK, I appreciate the time and effort you put into your space. And I adore you and your family! Happy New Year, friend!

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