6 New Favorite Recipes from 2016

We're just a few hours away from rolling into 2017, which means I've previously written a total of four blog entries this year. I had high hopes of doing some more writing this past summer, but as it was an unrelentingly hot one, and I was very very pregnant, most of my mental and emotional energy was spent trying to think of reasons to stand in front of an open freezer instead. It's possible a lot of those reasons had to do with ice cream, but ice cream doesn't make for very interesting blog entries either. So here we are: I've got a 4 1/2 month old sweet and exceedingly cute baby boy, I'm cold, and I'm ready to write a little.

These are the recipes that have particularly delighted us this year.

The Best General Tso's Chicken (pictured above)
This has the best coating of any takeout-style recipe I've tried. I don't keep Vodka around so I use a little more rice wine instead; I use as little oil as possible for the deep fry step and cook the chicken in small batches rather than one piece at a time, and I stir fry whatever veggies we have around with the garlic and ginger before adding the chicken and sauce back in at the end.  This simplified method works and is a little healthier, but if you want it to look like theirs, follow their directions. I'm going to have to try the other better-than-takeout recipes they list here too.

Oven Fried Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
I brought these to both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. They are delicious and so easy to prepare. I go heavy on the garlic.

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves
These are beautiful, with their crispy golden-brown edges, but fast and simple to prepare. I cut down on the butter. Make sure you let them sit 5-10 minutes after taking them out of the oven!

Oven Baked Scrambled Eggs
I host a family brunch at least once a year to celebrate birthdays, and these are great for feeding a crowd. I cut down on both butter (see a theme here?) and salt and stir several times during the baking process.

Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans

We grew these for the first time this year, and loved them in a very similar preparation. I usually add a pinch of sugar and skip the oyster sauce.

Italian Wedding Cookies
I made these for Christmas this year in an effort to recreate a cookie my husband had tried at work. I added some mini chocolate chips to ours and left them in a ball shape. They're so pretty on a cookie tray!

We sadly had to cancel on our New Year's Eve plans because all 6 of us have colds, so we'll be ringing in the new year at home with some pot roast and reasonable bed times. See you next year! :)


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