Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018

Top Recipes of 2018

Let's take a look back at 2018.
Here are my Top 10 recipes that you loved!

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Whew!  What a year.

I always enjoy taking a look back at the past year and seeing which recipes shined bright and which recipes tanked {yes, there are always some that go over like the plague}.  Each year is different and it is fun seeing what my readers flocked to over the past 12 months.

Yesterday, after the flood of Christmas, I sat down at my laptop, logged into Google Analytics {the bible of website stats} and scrolled through the list.  I wrote down my Top Ten recipes {traffic wise} and set it aside.

Only to look for that precious list today and finding it NOWHERE.  So, I sat down {again} today and plucked out that Top Ten and well here we are.  So before I lose that list for a second time I figured I better get this blog post written and submitted.

So, here you go!  My Top 10 recipes from 2018 + a few honorable mentions.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


So many of you reached out to me the week after Thanksgiving saying this dessert was a hit.  I love it because it feeds a big crowd, rather than just 8 slices of traditional pecan pie.  Plus there is a double crust hidden in there and has a touch of my beloved pure maple syrup.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


It's really no surprise that some Instant Pot recipes made this list, plus I know you guys are always up for a good breakfast casserole.  This one is full of hash browns, pork sausage, green chiles, cottage cheese {secret ingredient!}, cheese and of course eggs.  It comes together start to finish in just 25 minutes.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Apparently y'all loved breakfast foods this past year.  These healthy egg cups are easy to bake up on Sunday and then re-heat throughout the week.  The creaminess of the diced avocado and spicy bite of salsa really bring them all together.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


I remember sharing these scones on Instagram last Spring and pretty soon my inbox was flooded with photos of you all making them.  People are so surprised sour cream is in the dough!  They are delicate, soft and tender.  I'd eat them everyday for breakfast if I could.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


When my daughter's preschool class visited the apple orchard this past Fall I went along and came back with a jug of cider.  Anyone who knows me, fully knows that many recipes came out of that jug of cider.  These donuts included!  Invest in a $10 donut pan and you'll be set for life.  Soft, tender, flaky and bursting with apple cider flavor.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


I'll be honest, I was a bit surprised by this one.  I love this tradtional Southern cake, but I wasn't sure if anyone else would.  Studded with bananas, pineapple, pecans and buttermilk, this cake is incredibly moist and is a perfect Spring dessert.  And double bonus, it looks really pretty!


Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Nothing gets Moms more amped up than easy dinners, especially when all their munchkins are headed back to school.  We are short on time and patience.  This fun list went over like gangbusters with the Mom crowd, but is easily a great list for any family wanting to do some meal planning.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Finally, a meaty dish!  This recipe came from my Mom and her friends and now I make it at least once a month.  Kids love it.  The French fried onions give it incredible flavor and even more crunch.  I like to prep this a day ahead so it's easy to throw in the oven on a busy weeknight.

Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


I just made this again over Christmas, it is such a big hit!  Take some help with store bought cinnamon swirl bread, cut it into cubes and half the work is already done.  Serve warm with soft butter and warm maple syrup and your friends and family will love you forever.


Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


If I knew back in January that top recipes only required two ingredients I would have made more of them!  These easy homemade bagels {seriously, don't be afraid} reguire just plain Greek yogurt and flour, plus a few seasonings.  They are delicious made into breakfast sandwiches or slathered with veggie cream cheese for any easy on-the-go lunch.

----------------------------------------------

And how about a few Honorable Mentions?  These three recipes came in just short of the Top Ten, but still had a LOT of views.


Top Recipes of 2018...Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I can't wait to get back in the kitchen in 2019.  A lot of fun and exciting things are planned!  I hope you've enjoyed the past year and have tried a few of my new recipes.  I love hearing what you make so make sure and tag me on social media {@sweetsavoryeats} when you make something and I'll be sure to share the love.

As always thank you for reading, posting and sharing my site with others, it is how I grow.  Until next year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

Have you started your holiday baking?
These Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies are always a big hit!

Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies....a soft, tender, almond flavored sugar cookie coated in holiday sprinkles!  A kid favorite! Perfect for Santa and all your holiday gatherings. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Well, I have 90% of my shopping done and all of those presents wrapped and under the tree, so I'm not doing too bad, right?

I have one last shopping date later this week to pick up those last minute items, but overall I'm feeling pretty well accomplished this year.  I did the bulk of my shopping Thanksgiving weekend {by myself, always by myself} and I've been able to pick up a few things here and there since then.

Per usual, we will have Christmas here at home with the five of us, then we'll be traveling to my side and my in-laws during Christmas break.  For those of you that have ALL your family within 10 miles, be thankful!  Traveling during Christmas is not my favorite.  We always seem to run into weather issues and sick kids.

Crossing our fingers all is easy this year.

Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies....a soft, tender, almond flavored sugar cookie coated in holiday sprinkles!  A kid favorite! Perfect for Santa and all your holiday gatherings. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

My girls were begging me to bake two weekends ago and although I was under the weather I knew I couldn't disappoint them.  We managed to crank out three different kinds of cookies, this Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookie being one of them.

I love this cookie because of it's almond flavoring {seriously, so good} and kids loves this cookie for the sprinkles.

What kid doesn't LOVE sprinkles?

I let mine roll these in the sprinkles, because let's face it that is the best part!  These cookies need to be completely covered with those cute holiday sprinkles, as when they bake the dough will spread just a bit.

Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies....a soft, tender, almond flavored sugar cookie coated in holiday sprinkles!  A kid favorite! Perfect for Santa and all your holiday gatherings. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Love a soft cookie, yet one that keeps it shape nicely and doesn't fall apart?  THIS COOKIE IS FOR YOU.

They are just a tad crispy on the edges {I almost don't even like to say that, because it's barely crispy} and so incredibly soft in the center.  Plus, the sprinkles give them an added crunch.  Find whatever holiday sprinkles you store has - I found mine at ALDI - they are not hard to find this time of year.

These cookies make the perfect batch, an easy two dozen and package up really well.  I've already handed out a few boxes to friends and neighbors and they rave about them.  Plus, they've asked for the recipe!  Which until now, I had to scribble on a piece of paper for them.

Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies....a soft, tender, almond flavored sugar cookie coated in holiday sprinkles!  A kid favorite! Perfect for Santa and all your holiday gatherings. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Enjoy your holiday baking!

It's one of my favorite traditions.  My girls love it {while our oldest boy just enjoys eating them}.  Making these kinds of memories with your kids are the ones they'll remember forever.

Merry Christmas!

Yield: 2 dozen

Soft Batch Christmas Sprinkle Cookies

This is an easy and fun Christmas cookie the kids will love! Take their help by rolling in the sprinkles right before baking. This soft, almond-flavored cookie will become a family favorite.
prep time: 2 hour and 10 minscook time: 12 minstotal time: 2 hours and 22 mins

ingredients


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t cornstarch
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Christmas sprinkles

instructions


  1. In a stand mixer combine the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the sugar and eggs and combine until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides if needed.
  2. Add in the extracts, corn starch, baking soda and salt.  Sift in the flour until a soft dough forms, again scraping down the sides when needed.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or stick in the freezer for 1 hour before baking.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Pour the sprinkles into a bowl and set aside. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball and place in the sprinkles, rolling until covered.
  6. Place 12 cookies on the baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes or just until lightly golden (do not overbake).  They still make look a bit wet, but that is what you want.
  7. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.  When cool, store in an airtight container.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways Recap + Triple Gift Card Giveaway: Day 12

It's Day 12 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

What a wonderful 12 Days it's been...let's end this holiday series with a bang.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways Recap + Wayfair, Minnetonka, Caty + Rose Market gift card giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post is in partnership with Wayfair, Minnetonka and Caty + Rose Market.

From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank you enough for your support during my 3rd Annual 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways.

This is a BIG undertaking.  I start researching and contacting companies in August with the work continuing right up until today.  Saying this, it is also a lot of fun.  I love how you guys get so excited!

This year has gone off without too many glitches {thankfully}.  Yes, I did get sick around Day 7 and that was just FOR THE BIRDS.  I'm thinking God wanted to have a bit of a laugh, just seeing how much I could handle.  Well, I powered through!  I've yet to receive any negativity {people get cranky on the internet} so that is also a bonus.  All in all, not too shabby.

I hope you enjoyed the prizes this year - I brought back just a couple favorites from the year before - and brought in quite a few news ones.  I try and keep things interesting!  A bit of food, a few appliances, some home decorating and my favorite local products.

12 Days of Holiday Giveaways Recap + Wayfair, Minnetonka, Caty + Rose Market gift card giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)
In keeping with tradition, I'm again ending this year's series with a BIG gift card giveaway.  I don't care what people say about gift cards, I personally love them.  I can buy what I want!  My three sponsors this year jumped on board right away, as they also know you guys and love you guys.

Wayfair - $100 gift card
     
   
12 Days of Holiday Giveaways Recap + Wayfair, Minnetonka, Caty + Rose Market gift card giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Need some ideas if you win?

How about the slippers I own? Minnetonka's Women's Cally Slipper, a best seller!  Or maybe the sweatshirt I've been eyeing for a LONG time, Grateful by C+R or even a new 12-piece set of pots and pans from Wayfair?

So many ideas you could spend a whole afternoon shopping!

ONE lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card from Wayfair, a $50 gift card from Minnetonka and a $50 gift card from Caty + Rose Market.  Please use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple ways to enter.  U.S. residents only please.  One random winner will be chosen on December 15th.

Good luck!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Lakeside Lettering Co. Hand Painted Signs Giveaway: Day 11

It's Day 11 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

Today I want to beautify your home and give you something that will make you smile.
Lakeside Lettering Co. is back again this year!

Lakeside Lettering Co. Hand Painted Signs Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post is in partnership with Lakeside Lettering Co.

I'm a firm believer in that if you love your home and enjoying being in it, you will be HAPPY.  Yes, of course I'm not only talking about the people you live with {kinda important}, but with the aesthetics as well.

Taking pride in your home can do wonders for your spirits, especially during the holidays and winter months when many of us can suffer from the blues.

My friend Jami exemplifies this motto.  She has turned her one time hobby into a full time business over at Lakeside Lettering Co. {another great Iowa small business}.  I brought her back again this year because you all told me to!  It was hugely popular.

Lakeside Lettering Co. Hand Painted Signs Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Jami, being the peach she is jumped on board again without hesitation.  She knows my audience and kindly suggested one of her new signs {see above on the left} and then allowed me to chose another piece I thought y'all would enjoy {see above on the right}.

The first sign is 18x31 and says, "Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate, where you eat and sleep so close together you can't help but communicate. Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss. Love grows best in houses just like this."

The second sign is 24x24 and says "Love is all you need".

I am just in LOVE with them both.

Lakeside Lettering Co. Hand Painted Signs Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Doesn't this sign make so much sense?  It really resonated with me as we DO live in a very small house.  In fact, at times I feel like the walls are caving in on me.  Just under 1,000 sq ft for five people and a dog {with no basement}.  So imagine that for a second.

Do I wish I had a home office?  100% yes.  Do I wish I had a second bathroom?  You have no idea.  Do I wish I had storage space?  Hand down, a resounding yes.

But.

Being in such a small space has made our three kids practically inseperable.  There is no room to run off and hide, they are forced to be in each other's space {which yes, causes many a fights}, but also has made it clear just how close they are.  When one is gone, they are asking when they'll be home.  I can only hope this closeness lasts forever.

Lakeside Lettering Co. Hand Painted Signs Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I chose this second sign for it's simplicity.  I wanted a sign that made sense the second you read it.  Love doesn't have to be between a partner or spouse, or even a parent or grandparent.  Love doesn't need to be romantic.  Love can be from a best friend, an acquaintance or a distance relative who remembers to call each year on your birthday.

It's those little bits of love that keep up running, you know?  Sometimes people get so hooked on BEING IN LOVE that they forget the little loves along the way.

I just feel this sign is a gentle reminder that not only love can be found anywhere it also is what is important.  Not the big house.  Not the fancy car.  Not the six figure bank account.

Lakeside Lettering Co. Hand Painted Signs Giveaway (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Which sign is calling your name?

Jami at Lakeside Lettering Co. has agreed to give away one of each of these signs!  One lucky winner will receive the "Love Grows Best in Little Houses" and one lucky winner will receive the "Love is All You Need" sign.

Jami also has a TON of signs in her Etsy shop {that she'll be reopening after the busy holiday rush}, so make a mental note to come back and visit.

To enter please us the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 14th.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Beer Battered Chicken Wings + Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Giveaway: Day 10

It's Day 10 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

One popular kitchen appliance has been in all the headlines this year.
Today I'm featuring the Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven!

Beer Battered Chicken Wings...Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post is in partnership with Cuisinart.

Hey friends, it's Day 10!  This holiday series has been flying by, I hope you have been having as much fun as I have.  There is still time to enter Day 8 and Day 9, so make sure to check out those giveaways!

Being a food blogger I see a LOT of trends, whether it be in recipes, food, appliances or gadgets.  Many come and go, but many also stick around for the long haul and this year has been all about the popular air fryer.

Do you have one?  Or is it on your Christmas list?

Beer Battered Chicken Wings...Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

My friends at Cuisinart have one of the hottest kitchen appliances on the market right now, combining both the popularity of an air fryer with a toaster oven.  Two-in-one!  This unique kitchen workhorse not only bakes, broils and toasts, it also lets you air fry right inside the oven.

Air frying, which uses powerful ultra-hot air, is a healthier way to prepare delicious fried favorites from wings to fried pickles to french fries and crispy shrimp.  And since toaster ovens stay on the countertop {and look sleek and gorgeous}, this air fryer doesn't have to move back and forth from cupboard to counter.


I mean, just look at these Beer Battered Chicken Wings?  They are perfect, quick and easy to assemble appetizer for those holiday college bowl games and upcoming New Year's Eve parties.  No need to mess with a messy deep fat fryer!

These wings have an easy TWO ingredient batter {just flour and beer}, which gives them a ton of flavor and extra crispiness.  Feel free to eat them plain, straight out of the air fyer or tossed in your favorite sauce and then dipped in a creamy ranch or bleu cheese dressing.

Beer Battered Chicken Wings...Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Enjoy this fun recipe below!  Make sure to print off for all your upcoming holiday parties where you need a fun finger food.

Is it bad if I want to make a batch for breakfast, lunch and dinner?  I'm a wing fan, what can I say!  Maybe slathered with my homemade honey mustard dressing that always gets rave reviews.

Beer Battered Chicken Wings...Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)
My great friends at Cuisinart have agreed to giveaway an Air Fryer Toaster Oven to ONE lucky reader!

To enter this giveaway please us the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for multiple chances to win.  U.S. residents only please.  One random winner will be chosen on December 13th.

Or just interested in ordering your own?  It would make a superb gift for the foodie in your life this holiday season.  Visit HERE for ordering details.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Yield: 2 lbs chicken wings

Beer Battered Chicken Wings

Enjoy super crispy beer battered chicken wings in the Air Fryer! A two ingredient simple batter makes these hard to resist.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 25 mins

ingredients


  • 2 lbs chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
  • 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light beer
  • 3/4 t salt
  • cooking spray

instructions


  1. Place the Air Fryer basket onto the baking pan.  Spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour and the beer.  Sprinkle wings with the salt and put into the bowl of batter.  Coat wings in the batter and transfer to the basket.
  3. Put the assembled pan into Rack Postition 2.
  4. Set the Air Fryer to 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cook until golden and crispy.
  5. When chicken wings are done, toss immediately in your favorite sauce or keep plain and have dipping sauces available for tasting.

NOTES:

*Chicken wings may also be purchased already cut.They are often referred to as "party wings" or "winglets."
Created using The Recipes Generator

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2019 Nourished Planner Giveaway: Day 9

It's Day 9 of my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways!

Nothing screams 'let's get this new year started' than with a new planner!
Today I'm featuring the 2019 Nourished Planner.

2019 Nourished Planner Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This holiday series has been so much fun!  You guys are having a blast entering and good news is we are not done yet.  You still have time to enter Day 7 and Day 8, so be sure to check those posts out.

For the past year I have been referring to my planner {the 2018 version of the Nourished Planner} as my BIBLE.  Yes, I'm kidding a bit when I say that, but there is also some truth behind it.  That thing goes with me everywhere and is a contant presence on my kitchen countertop {otherwise known as the command center}.

I keep everything written down there: grocery lists, doctor's appointments, kid's sports practice schedules, my meal plan, daily to-do lists and so much more.

2019 Nourished Planner Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I knew in my heart I had to bring The Nourished Planner back this year for this holiday series.  It's just too good not too!  And my gracious friends Heidi and Alexa jumped on board again without hestitation.  These ladies are stellar in some many ways.

This planner is your guide to planning for better health {not just physically, but mentally}.  It's an all-in-one spot to plan your day, your week and your month.  It provides tools to help organize your time through goal setting and prioritizing.

This isn't another rigid planner setting the pace, but a planner that allows you to be free and make it your own.  A to-do list, meal planner and organizer all in one.

2019 Nourished Planner Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)
Each month starts off with a challenge, something to set your sights on for the month, along with goals, a bucket list areas that you can just 'think about'.  

It's honestly, one of my favorite areas of the planner.

2019 Nourished Planner Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The weekly and daily planner sections are what keep my life in order.  This year they have added to the dinner meal plan area, with an additional ection for breakfast and lunch {sometimes those meals need to be planned out too!}, as well as a fitness tracker, appointment box and the much needed to-do list.

Double bonus, the big white section below allows for ample doodling and other "lists" that come up.  I will tell you that, that area never stays white for me!

2019 Nourished Planner Giveaway...12 Days of Holiday Giveaways (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


Heidi and Alexa have graciously agreed to giveaway TWO Nourished Planners to some lucky winners!  PLUS, if you would like to purchase a Nourished Planner for a loved one on your gift list this year I have a deal for you as well.

All of my readers can receive 10% OFF a Nourished Planner by heading HERE and using the CODE: SweetSavory10.  Plus all orders placed in December receive FREE shipping!

No reason not to order.

To enter this giveaway please use the Rafflecopter Giveaway icon below for mulitple entries.  U.S. residents only please.  Two random winners will be chosen on December 12th.

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