Aggie's Kitchen

My Favorite Recipes from 2017 {and Life Lately}

Here we are, the last week of 2017! The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always my favorite. It’s always a week filled with reflection, hope and excitement for what’s to come, planning and goal setting and relief from the busyness that leads up to the holiday season. I LOVE this week.

I always enjoy pulling together a yearly Best Of post for the blog and looking back at what I’ve cooked up and done. This year was a little weird for me. I haven’t been here much and reading back to my first post of 2017 (that wasn’t until February 1) I remember how this year started – with my little one and my husband (and my dog!) recovering from surgery. I don’t open up too much here on the blog because I try to focus on food and health and it’s my happy place so I always try to keep things positive, but I have to be honest – this was a pretty tough year for me. Between lots of trips to the hospital for family members and a big fat hurricane in September, I’ve been in denial and have been just trucking along but it’s caught up with me and I’m trying to navigate through all the feelings and the exhaustion from the feelings.

On November 2, I lost my beloved grandfather. I am having trouble typing those words here because they feel so … permanent. If you have been reading my blog a while then you probably already know my relationship with my grandparents is unique and that they have always been a big part of my life. My mom is an only child and my grandparents have either lived with us, below us, 2 doors down or down the street my entire life. I moved away from home while they were 2 doors down. My parents owned a restaurant most of my life and worked very long hours so my grandparents filled in for them when they were at work which if you know restaurant life you know I was basically spending my time in the back booth of the restaurant, helping out when it got busy or home with my grandparents. Do I wish my parents were home more, of course, but while they were providing for our family my grandparents took care of us in the best possible way. I would never trade that for anything.

Grief is new to me. I lost my baby brother when I was 12 years old and although I was terribly sad and shocked for our loss, being 12 definitely made it easier to deal with it all I guess. I look back and am so regretful and sorry that I didn’t understand more about what my mom was feeling and going through, especially now that I’m a mother. So grief, yea, it’s a bit of a beast. I have basically been in a fog the last 7 weeks. I live an hour away from my family and I think that makes it harder sometimes, I panic when I don’t feel close to them and him so I am working through that. I miss my Nonno so much. Here’s the other thing, my grandmother’s health is declining as well, for some time now. She’s had dementia for years (which I think technically you can say has progressed to Alzheimers) and my mom has been my grandparent’s caregiver for a few years now. This year they all moved into the same house and things got easier, though healthwise it got harder but everyone is together under the same roof. In addition to my grandparents, my husband’s parents are in their 80s and they’ve had and still have some health challenges this year as well. All of this weighs on me tremendously.

So this is life right now, and why I’ve been a little absent. I feel a little lost at times, not sure where to focus my energy. But this week, I felt that spark of excitement, energy and determination that I’ve been missing lately. I missed that feeling. I hope to start cooking more regularly again, and sharing whatever it may be here with you. I want to get back into my routine of meal planning because that was working so well for me earlier this year. I want to share more of what I’m reading because I’ve been reading a lot lately. I want to share more of my everyday meals that aren’t necessarily recipes and look perfect in photos (I do more of that on Instagram so follow me there if that’s your thing).

Ok, so let’s talk about my favorites from this year. Although I didn’t cook a ton, there are definitely a few recipes that stand out. If you have a favorite, please share!

Here are my favorites from 2017:

Give your body a boost of nutrition and hydration with this gorgeous Dragon Fruit Smoothie.

Dragonfruit Smoothie

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This Garden Salad with Shrimp and Bacon will definitely get you back in the salad! It's is chock full of the best crunchy, colorful veggies plus protein to fill you up and keep you feeling good.

Garden Salad with Shrimp and Bacon

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Creamy Greek Yogurt Egg Salad kicked up with smoked paprika - serve with bread, crackers or veggies for a healthy lunch or snack. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com

Greek Yogurt Egg Salad with Smoked Paprika

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Quick lunch or dinner for one! Cajun Shrimp and Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry - low carb, high protein and full in flavor.

Cajun Shimp and Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

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Only 5 ingredients to make these delicious Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Turkey and Black Beans! A light, healthy dinner perfect for weeknights. Leftovers make for great lunches too! Recipe via aggieskitchen.com

Stuffed Poblanos with Turkey & Black Beans

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Mediterranean Farro Salad with Arugula and Chickpeas

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Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

with Sweet Potatoes

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Layered Taco Dip

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Best of from previous years:

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2009

2008 Part 1 & Part 2

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18 Responses to “My Favorite Recipes from 2017 {and Life Lately}”

  1. JulieD posted December 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Oh Aggie, 2017 has been a hard year for you! You have been in my thoughts and I think your reflection on the year is good…as you head into 2018. It’s making me think about my year too. Great recipes and I can’t wait to see you what you do and share in the new year! Love and hugs!!! 💛

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 29, 2017 at 6:37 am

      Thanks Julie, I’m looking forward to a fresh start for sure! Wishing you an awesome 2018!!! xo

  2. Kristen posted December 28, 2017 at 6:08 am

    I was happy to see this post from you, friend and I hope you found it somewhat therapeutic to get everything out. You have had an especially difficult 2017. Here’s to finding and keeping your spark in 2018!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 29, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Very therapeutic. Didn’t expect that but I’m glad. Thank you for always being there for me, love you and here’s to an awesome 2018 for the both of us!

  3. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted December 28, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Love reading what’s new and what’s going on with you friend! Grief during the holidays is so hard yet also so common, I’m sure so will be able to relate. Thinking of you friend! Happy New Year!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 29, 2017 at 6:34 am

      Thanks friend, happy New Year to you! xoxo

  4. Jean posted December 28, 2017 at 8:24 am

    So very sorry you have had such a terrible year.
    I do envy you your years with grandparents…
    You were so very lucky.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 29, 2017 at 6:31 am

      I feel so lucky!! Thank you, and happy New Year to you!

  5. Sandy @ RE posted December 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Aggie-girl, you’ve been through a lot. I know it was tough, and will continue to be. It comes in waves and it never leaves us. Death is so unnatural. I love you, friend. Looking forward to more of your healthy recipes in 2018! XO

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 29, 2017 at 6:31 am

      Thank you friend, for always being there. Love you so!

  6. Kbee posted December 28, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you for your post – and for being real. I’ve had hard and sad years like your 2017. It’s good to write about it. May 2018 bring you not only recovery, but joy. 

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 29, 2017 at 6:31 am

      I’m sorry you’ve had those same kind of years. It did feel good to write about it, thank you for your note and well wishes. Happy New Year to you!!

  7. Kristy Hegner posted January 1, 2018 at 9:24 am

    So sorry to hear about all the challenges you’ve had in 2017. Hoping 2018 is a much happier year for you and your family. I’ll be thinking about you!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 2, 2018 at 7:44 am

      Thanks Kristy. I’m ready for 2018! Happy new year to you, hope you are well!

  8. Brenda posted January 3, 2018 at 8:07 am

    2017 was quite the year – much to be thankful for, yet so much to say good riddance to. You’ve been on my mind, in my prayers. Much love to you as we dive into a new year!! xo

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 4, 2018 at 9:29 am

      love you friend!!! I hope we can somehow see each other this year. I think of you all the time. We’ve both had a year…here’s to a better 2018!

  9. Christy posted January 4, 2018 at 8:58 am

    So sorry to hear about your challenging 2017. You’ve definitely been missed and here’s hopes for a better 2018.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 4, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Thank you so much Christy, happy new year to you!

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