The Best of Audrey’s Apron in 2014: The 10 Most Popular Recipes!

Here are the top 10 most popular recipes of 2014 based on your views and comments! Some of my personal favorites are in the mix (especially #1, #2, #3, and #10).

I hope you will use this list to jump start your cooking in 2015 with some new recipes! Click the title above each picture to view the recipe. Thanks for a great 2014!!

1). Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes (GF, DF, Vegan)

photo-6

Wow, did this recipe ever take off this year! This was by far the most popular post, and for good reason–these are one of my favorite ways to prepare sweet potatoes. One comment said, “These were so good! It was like eating CANDY!”

2). Parmesan Upside Down Baked Potatoes (GF)

photo-1

This recipe was the #1 most popular recipe of 2013, and I’m not surprised to see it in this year’s top 10 post because it is awesome! Sandy left a comment that said, “I made these tonight as part of a Pinterest meal blog post. They were very good. I added the rosemary, which is a favorite of mine with potatoes. Thanks!”

3). Lemon and Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken (GF, DF, Paleo)

IMG_20130417_175817

Hands-down, this is my go-to favorite marinade for grilled chicken. It’s super easy (5 ingredients!) and light–no oil needed here!

4). No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls (GF, DF)

IMG_20130804_203042

Don’t let the terrible photo fool you–these are SO, so good!! You probably have everything you need in your pantry to make these sweet treats right now. 1 bowl and 6 basic ingredients is all you need!

5). Southwestern Grilled Sweet Potato Salad (GF, DF)

IMG_0947

Love all the colors in this salad! It’s a great side dish or main dish for vegetarians/vegans. It’s also a fabulous option for a potluck or picnic as it does not need to be refrigerated like a traditional potato salad.

6). Baked Chicken Taquitos (GF if using corn tortillas)

IMG_20130730_183409

Eat them whole as a main dish or cut them in half for an appetizer–either way they are amazing! I love this recipe and I think your whole family will, too! Bonus: they reheat well!

7). Pappasito’s Fajita Steak Marinade (DF)

IMG_20130502_192127

This simple marinade mimics the flavors of the famous Pappasito’s fajita steak! It’s delicious and so simple–just 3 ingredients!

8). Oven Baked Corn on the Cob (GF, without butter: DF, Vegan)

IMG_20130914_191029

A great, easy way to perfectly cook corn for a crowd! It’s ideal for cookouts because you can leave the corn wrapped in foil to keep it warm after it’s cooked.

9). Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes (GF)

IMG_20140103_193551191

Love this simple way to cook sweet potatoes! It’s easy and delicious.

10). Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing + A Salad Idea (GF, DF, Paleo, Vegan)

IMG_20130617_185843

That title says it all–this salad dressing is quick, easy, and healthy! I’ve made this numerous times whenever I want a change from my balsamic vinaigrette.

And there you have it: the top 10 most popular recipes for this year! Thank you so much for following along my cooking journey–I’m looking forward to a great 2015!

Thanksgiving Feast Recipe Round-Up

Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes to get you through the big day tomorrow! Since turkey is the main star of the show, I included the top 20 recipes in the following categories: breakfast, sides, and desserts!

ThanksgivingRecipeRoundUpCollage

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Breakfast:
Pumpkin Spice Muffins (GF if using all-purpose GF flour)

IMG_20131012_100504These muffins are soft, full of pumpkin flavor, and not overly sweet. I included ways to make them a tad bit healthier in case you want to save your indulging for the dessert table!

Apple Crisp Muffins

IMG_20131017_172342

All the flavors of an apple crisp, in muffin form! These are really good and taste like eating dessert for breakfast!

Pumpkin Spice Latte (GF, use non-dairy milk for vegan)

IMG_20131019_093835

Skip the Starbucks line–this is the best way to start Thanksgiving morning! Double the recipe for a bigger crowd.

Homemade Sausage Balls (No-Bisquick!)

IMG_20140201_164055552_HDR

Flour, baking powder and salt replace the bisquick in these homemade sausage balls. They’ll be gone quick!

Sides:

100% Whole Wheat Soft Dinner Rolls (vegetarian)

IMG_20130330_185737

These do take a little bit of time to assemble but they are so worth it! Soft, fluffy dinner rolls always have a place on the Thanksgiving table, right? Right.

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes (GF, vegetarian, vegan)

photo-6

One of the most popular recipes on the blog! Super easy, and super delicious.

Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes (GF, vegetarian option)

photo-1
Garlic transforms these mashed potatoes in a major way while milk, light sour cream, and broth keep the potatoes soft and smooth. Again, this recipe is great if you want to save your calories for another side or dessert.

Autumn Chopped Salad (GF, optional vegetarian/vegan)

IMG_20131011_194756

LOVE this salad! It is always a hit. Apples, pears, peanuts, dried cranberries, feta, bacon, and a poppyseed dressing–you’ll want to leave a little bit of room for this on your plate!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Kale (GF, vegan)

IMG_20131106_183023
This salad is tangy, savory, and filling. Lots of textures make this dish really interesting!

Roasted Green Beans (GF, vegan)

IMG_0833

Hands-down, the best way to prepare green beans. Sprinkle a bit of shredded parmesan on the top and these are to die for!

Roasted Parmesan Sweet Potatoes (GF)

IMG_20140103_193551191 (1)

A more savory option for sweet potatoes (as opposed to the spiced version above which is sweeter). Easy and delicious!

Butternut Squash Soup (GF, DF, vegan, paleo)

IMG_1527
A small ramekin of this soup would be an awesome side dish for Thanksgiving! It has a little bit of a kick (if you want it!) and caters to every family member’s dietary restrictions.

Parmesan Upside-Down Baked Potatoes (GF, vegetarian)

photo-1

Last year’s top recipe–and for good reason! These are awesome!

Farro with Roasted Green Beans, Cranberries, and Feta (vegetarian, omit cheese for vegan)

IMG_20140120_192338001_HDR

Farro has an awesome texture and this combination just screams fall!

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese (GF if using corn starch)

IMG_20140210_193242927_HDR

This casserole tastes super rich thanks to a butter/flour roux and cheddar cheese! One of my favorites.

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash (GF, vegetarian)

IMG_20131011_195337

My favorite way to prepare butternut squash. Parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper transform this butternut squash into something special. Not too soft, not too firm–just perfect!

Desserts:

The Best Apple Pie Ever. (vegetarian)

IMG_1488

The title says it all! This is literally THE BEST apple pie I’ve ever made, and it’s the only dessert I’m bringing to Thanksgiving this year! I make it with my one minute home-made pie crust.

Chocolate Puffs with Mascarpone Cream (Vegetarian)

IMG_20140130_160512478_HDR

If you want a show-stopping, mouth-watering, completely unique dessert, you should make these. They look and taste gourmet!

Perfectly Chocolate Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting (Vegetarian)

IMG_20130326_201753

This one is for all the chocolate lovers out there! This is the only chocolate cake recipe I use now! It truly is perfect, and the nutella buttercream is an awesome flavor combination.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies (vegetarian)

IMG_20130603_181325

Umm yeah. Just look at that! I don’t think I need to convince you how awesome these are!

 

 

 

My 5 Favorite Apple Recipes for Fall.

Now that it’s almost October, I’m starting to get on board with all the fall things! The weather has turned a little bit cooler and the leaves are starting to change, so I’m starting to accept the fact that summer is over and fall is here.

Displaying IMG_20140925_122056654.jpg

Yesterday my friend and I picked apples and  now I have no less than 50 apples to use up. So, here are my favorite apple-based recipes in case you pick up some fresh fruit, too! These recipes scream fall to me and are tried-and-true. Some of them are pretty indulgent, so enjoy in moderation.

Easy Crock Pot Apple Butter

If I have to choose one apple recipe to make each year, it’s this one!! It’s fool-proof. I’ve been making this for years and it always turns out fantastic. It’s so easy to do because I let it cook in the crock pot overnight. In fact, I made this last night and woke up in the middle of the night to the sweet aroma of apples and cinnamon. I LOVE the way it makes my house smell, and the taste is even better! Make a large quantity and freeze some of it for later.

The Best Apple Pie Ever. 

IMG_1488

IMG_1493

Now, if my husband could pick just one apple recipe for me to make, it would be this one. I use my one-minute homemade pie crust to hold in those sweet, juicy apple slices. They get tossed in a rich butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking, and some of that lovely mixture gets brushed on the crust. It is sooooo ridiculously good.

Apple Crisp Muffins

IMG_20131017_172628

Super sweet muffins with real chunks of apple in the batter, then finished with an oat topping reminiscent of an apple crisp (hence the name). There’s enough sweetness that these can be dessert instead of breakfast!

Autumn Chopped Salad

IMG_20131011_194812

This salad is ahhhhmazing. There’s lots of yummy things like crunchy romaine, feta, peanuts, cranberries, bacon, a pear, and (of course) an apple! Toss the whole thing in a combination of poppyseed dressing and balsamic vinegar (seriously, so delicious) and dive in!

Easy Crock Pot Apple Sauce

Here’s another super easy crock pot recipe. You can make this refined sugar free by simply omitting the sugar. Like the apple butter, it all cooks down in the crock pot, but the apple sauce takes about half the time (6 hours). When it’s done it looks like this:

IMG_20130921_184108

What is your favorite apple recipe? Let me know in the comments!

From the Archives: Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Parmesan roasted green beans are an easy side dish that can accompany chicken, fish, steak, pork, or any dish! The simple roasting method brings out the best in the green beans, giving them a unique flavor and delightful texture. No bland, mushy green beans here!IMG_0839

The first time I roasted green beans was life-changing; I never knew they could taste so good! My husband and I don’t particularly care for the green veggie unless it’s roasted. The texture and flavor completely changes so that even green-bean haters love them this way!

IMG_0838

I originally posted this recipe last year in conjunction with my easy crock pot bbq chicken, but this simple recipe deserves its own post. For the last couple years this has been my tried-and-true green bean recipe, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Trust me, if you haven’t roasted green beans yet, you must try them. And then let me know how they turn out. I promise they’ll win you over this way!

IMG_0834

Sometimes I’ll add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese when I take the pan out of the oven, and sometimes I won’t. The parmesan adds another dimension of flavor and saltiness, but if you don’t have any or are cutting out dairy for dietary reasons, they’re still delicious as-is.

IMG_0833

They key is to season them well. Season with quite a bit of freshly cracked pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder before baking, then taste one out of the oven and re-season, if necessary. I like to season them once they’ve been tossed in olive oil and are laying flat on the baking sheet because I feel it gives me better control, but you can also season them as you combine them with the oil.

One last trick I use: I always cover my baking pan in foil for virtually no clean up. I lightly spray it with cooking spray before adding the green beans. Works every time!

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz green beans, washed and dried
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

1). Preheat oven to 425F. Line a pan with foil for easy clean up. Mix the green beans with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Make sure they are all in one even layer on the pan.

2). Bake for 10 minutes. Mix the beans lightly and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese (optional).

Serves: about 4. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 62 Fat: 2.9g Carbs: 8g Protein: 2.7g Sodium: 38g without salt

Recipe adapted from: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/11/roasted-parmesan-green-beans.html