Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! On this day in 2010, I decided to start a blog chronicling my cooking adventures. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year!
One year. 140 posts. 131 recipes. 580,000+ blog page views. 2,515 Facebook fans. 410 Pinterest followers. 403 Twitter followers. That’s year one by the numbers – something fun to look back on, I hope!
It’s been an amazing first year. It blows my mind that so many of you out there read my blog, make the recipes I post here and give me such great feedback, encouragement and inspiration. THANK YOU! Thank you for following my blog and cooking alongside me throughout my first year.
Because you all are so important to me (and also because I didn’t want to have to choose myself) I left it to you to choose my best recipes of the year in the first annual Reader’s Choice Awards! I am so excited and thankful that many of you took the time to cast votes for your favorite recipes. Some of the categories had runaway winners and others were so evenly split it was too close to call! A few categories ended in a tie, and in that case I submitted my own vote between the tied choices to select a winner. For each category I’ll picture the winner and then list the runner up along with my own pick, just for fun.
Without further ado, here are the winners of your 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards:
1. Best Appetizer: Mini Spinach Dip Bread Bowls
Runner Up: Buffalo Chicken Bites
Emily’s Pick*: Pepperoni Pizza Mini Puffs or the Mini Spinach Bread Bowls - I was the tie-breaker on this one!
*My picks were not counted in the results unless a tie-breaker was needed, I am just including them for fun*
2. Best Asian Dish: Ginger Sesame Chicken
2. Best Asian Dish: Ginger Sesame Chicken
Runner Up: Asian Chicken & Vegetables with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Emily’s Pick: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
3. Best Breakfast: Sausage, Egg & Cheese Hash Brown Cups
Runner Up: 20 Minute Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Pizza
Emily’s Pick: Sausage, Egg & Cheese Hash Brown Cups OR Pumpkin, Cranberry & Apple Baked Oatmeal - I am so bad at choosing!
4. Best Baked Good: Monkey Bread Muffins (by a landslide!)
Runner Up: Pumpkin & Cream Bread
5. Best Comfort Food: Deep Dish Pizza Casserole
Runner Up: Creamy Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese
Emily’s Pick: The 1st and 2nd place winners were only separated by one vote in this category and I think they're both fab, so...both.
6. Best Dessert: Crustless Mini Pumpkin Pies
Runner Up: Nutella Thumbprints
Emily’s Pick: Lemon Lime Cupcakes
7. Best Italian: Best Lasagna Ever (by a landslide)
Runner Up: Layered Pasta Bake
Emily’s Pick: Best Lasagna Ever (it really is)
8. Best Main Course “Muffin/Cupcake”: this was a 3-way, almost 4-way tie, but I went with Taco Cupcakes!
Runners Up: Lasagna Cupcakes and Meatloaf Muffins each got as many votes as Taco Cupcakes, and Macaroni & Cheese Muffins only received one less. This was a close race.
Emily’s Pick: Taco Cupcakes
9. Best Mexican Dish: Taco Casserole Bake
Runner Up: Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole
Emily’s Pick: Taco Casserole Bake
10. Best Pasta Dish: Cheesy Taco Pasta (landslide)
Runner Up: Pasta with Feta & Roasted Vegetables
Emily’s Pick: I pick Cheesy Taco Pasta is my first choice. There was actually a tie for 2nd place between the Pasta with Feta and the Sausage & Pumpkin Pasta, but since the Pasta with Feta was my strong second choice I broke the tie.
11. Best Pizza: Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Runner Up: Pineapple & Pepperoni Pizza
Emily’s Pick: I could never choose between Cheeseburger Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza
12. Best Soup: Chicken Tortilla Soup (landslide)
Runner Up: Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan Crisps
Emily’s Pick: Chicken Tortilla Soup - I haven't made this in forever, time for a new photo!
13. Best Vegetarian Recipe: Mushroom Risotto
Runner Up: Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Emily’s Pick: I really love both the first and second place winners in this category, so I'm going to just ditto your votes, though it's hard for me not to throw Italian Farro Bake in there!
This is also a funny way to see how much better my food photography has gotten in a year. I need to remake some of these winning recipes in 2012 and take some replacement photos!
Thanks so much again to all of you for reading my blog, cooking my recipes and encouraging and inspiring me with your comments. Merry Christmas and Happy Blogiversary to emilybites.com and all of you who read it!