What a year it has been! This has been a good year for me and for Cooking On A Budget. August marked the fifth year of blogging.
Back in the spring I became part of the Pollinate Media Group and then in August joined up with the Social Fabric Network. This has given me an opportunity to do some sponsored posts and I have completed three so far: Walmart Edwards Frozen Pies, JELL-O Pumpkin Spiced Filled Pumpkin Cake and most recently, Mexican Nacho Dip & Burrito Recipe. This was something else for me to learn and I've loved it; it's both challenging and fun and I can't wait for my next assignment. In addition to that, a few weeks ago I became a co-host for the Let's Get Real Link Party that goes live every Thursday at 5 p.m. EST.
I am involved with a large group of wonderful bloggers on a daily basis and we have formed strong bonds that are not limited just to blogging about food ~ we've formed nice friendships. And speaking of that, I've also become part of a group of bloggers for #FreakyFriday where we are all secretly assigned someone else's blog to make one of their recipes and then post and share on certain Fridays throughout the year. We will be doing another one in February of next year and I am very much looking forward to that. This has given me an opportunity to make new blogging buddies and to get to know them a little bit more with each and every event.
The Best and Most Popular Recipe list came from the amount of page views each recipe had. I have a couple of personal favorites that didn't make this list. Wondering if any of these was your favorites this past year. I'd love to hear what your favorites were and if that favorite is on this list.
- I am beyond thrilled that my recipe, Steakhouse Potato Gratin earned top honors coming in at the time of this writing at 79,688 page views and has been pinned 343,634 times. The steakhouse potato gratin is a recipe I am extremely proud of. The technique is spot on and anyone can master this the first time out. This dish is not a skinny dish by any stretch and it tastes out of this world delicious!
- Cube Steak with Mushroom and Onion Beef Gravy ~ Cube steak is something I grew up eating from childhood until now. If you have never had a good cube steak, then you are cooking it wrong. I show you how to properly cook them and you will not be disappointed. Cube Steak will be your new kitchen buddy.
- Ground Pork Enchiladas ~ This recipe surprised me at it's popularity. When I made them I really wasn't sure if it would go over well, but it turns out it did. They are so easy to make and taste really delicious.
- Easy Fried Apple Pies ~ I did not come up with this idea but I made them easier and budget friendly. These fried pies are so very, very good. They also remind me of something you would eat at a summer fair. Everyone will love them.
- Mexican Shepherds Pie ~ As I learned after I made it, this was not a novel idea. It had been conceived by someone else. This recipe took off far better than originally expected. It tastes terrific and it's one the whole family will enjoy.
- The Perfect Spoon Roast ~ I just did this again this past weekend as roasts were on sale. The roasting method is spot on perfect and the gravy is amazing. Makes a great holiday meal!
- Meatball Quesadillas ~ Never did I ever see this before - anywhere. (It's been copied since, for which I am flattered.) It's novel, unique and what a great way to use up left-over meatballs and sauce! They taste so darn good. Kids will go crazy for them.
- Cowboy Chili ~ My husband brought this recipe home from a client and we love this version in addition to his own chili concoction. It's spicy, spicy, spicy!
- Cheese Steak Pasta Casserole ~ A dish served in a restaurant sparked the idea for this tasty dish. Family friendly recipe and who doesn't love a zipped up mac 'n cheese?
- Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin ~ Tender, juicy pork with a really delicious outer bark! We really loved this and I think you will too.
- Baked Cod with Herb Crust ~ Cod is one of my favorite fish. It's versatile, easy to cook and is not "fishy" tasting. Mild, flaky and with an herb crust it makes an amazing meal. And it's elegant enough to serve company.
- Bacon, Bleu Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes ~ I did not know if these would be as good as when they were being conceptualized. Turns out they are. Something as they say, "out of the everyday".
- Mom's Chicken Salad ~ A simple home style chicken salad sans frills that is what I grew up on and I think lots of people identified with.
Butter Basted Pork Chops with Thyme
I can't say enough good about these chops. They are restaurant-quality and taste out of this world good!
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes
These stuffed tomatoes are ever so delicious and I really, really loved them. I was so flattered when one of my blogging friends was impressed enough to make her own and put her spin on them and blog about them too!