My Top 10 Favorite Recipes from 2010

2010 has been so busy for me for work and my family. I had a fantastic year working on my upcoming cookbook, “400 Best Sandwich Recipes: For Every Meal and Occasion”,  Television Appearances, Spokesperson work, Recipe Development, and recipe testing and judging. I feel so lucky to be blessed to work with so many great clients and have wonderful support from subscribers, friends, fans, fellow bloggers and, of course, family. Thanks to everyone for all of your support. I am looking forward to an even better 2011 with the release of my upcoming book this spring, television appearances and many speaking engagements scheduled across the U.S. To end the year, I thought I would share some of my personal favorites and most popular recipes from 2010:

1. Lightened Up Spiced and Sugary Pecans

2. Watermelon and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

3. Pecan Pie Bars

4. Warm Lentil Soup

5. Apple Muffins

6. Radicchio Winter Salad

7. Flaxseed Crusted Salmon

8. Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

9. Chunky Nut and Dried Fruit Granola

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10. Easy Beef-Vegetable Kabobs

One to Grown On:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark

Banana Bread with Greek Yogurt

This is my go-to Banana Bread recipe. What I love it about it is that I don’t need a mixer, and it’s as easy as can be. I ran this recipe last year on my site, and it was an instant hit. I actually developed it with my son, Alec, who loves Banana Bread (as do all of my kids), but wanted to try to make one on his own without using a mixer. We were surprised at how amazing it turned out. I made a couple of loaves last week and gave it to some friends, and they said it was a must to rerun it again on my site since I have altered it a bit. I honestly think the addition of nonfat Greek yogurt contributes to its moist texture. Enjoy for breakfast or as my kids do, as an afternoon snack.

Note: Feel free to add the walnuts as listed above or leave them out if you’re allergic to nuts.

For Breakfast or Dessert: Lightened-Up Coffee Cake

There’s nothing better than a slice of Coffee Cake in the morning or even for dessert after a light meal. I have been searching for a really great recipe that is “lighter”. I used nonfat Greek yogurt and light sour cream and a topping made with chopped pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. My kids as well as my parents loved this, and honestly, I could not stop eating it either. This would be great to serve for “break the fast” for those celebrating “Yom Kippur” this weekend.

Easy Honey Cake Recipe for Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah)

Honey Cake is traditional to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah because of its sweetness. The tradition on this holiday is that you are supposed to eat something sweet to start off the new year right. Honey Cake is also really popular because it’s a true taste of fall. I love this particular recipe because it is so moist, and it really doesn’t have a lot of oil or fat in the recipe (many Honey Cake recipes do). It has a wonderful hint of strongly brewed coffee, apple cider and lemon zest, adding terrific flavors. I also love that you can make this recipe ahead of time as the flavors get stronger everyday. This recipe is adapted from the wonderful cookbook “Adventures in Jewish Cooking” by Jeffrey Nathan. It is truly a great cookbook!

Note: The platter in the photo is from my favorite “Earthborn Pottery”

Summer Comfort Food: Blueberry Bread

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I have so much going on this week, and it’s the kid’s last week before school starts. I was craving something blueberry, yet comforting, and came up with this recipe for Blueberry Bread. My daughter, Leigh, helped me prepare it, and we decided to add cinnamon and orange zest which actually bumped up the flavor nicely. I tweeted and put a Facebook message while it was cooking in the oven (smelled heavenly), and I received incredible responses. So, here it is!

Healthy Breakfast or Afternoon Snack for Kids and Adults: Pumpkin Muffins

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We love pumpkin in anything at my house, and these Pumpkin Muffins are my kid’s favorite. I modified this recipe from Ellie Krieger’s recipe from The Food Network. I increased the spices a bit and used allspice instead of cloves. Pumpkin Muffins are perfect for an afternoon snack or quick on-the-go breakfast. These have saved me when we are flying out the door to school in the morning and to sports activities in the afternoon. Also, they are as pretty, and delicious, as they look.

Spring Little Cakes: Easter Petis Fours

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My daughter’s Leigh’s favorite dessert is Petit Fours, and these remind me just like her: sweet, pretty and incredible! I thought for Easter and spring, I would offer this recipe from Land O Lakes butter that I use when I’m short on time. It uses a cake mix which really cuts down on the work. These are light and taste as good as they look.

Easter or Summer Entertaining Idea: My Favorite Cupcakes

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Lots of you have been writing to me asking for awesome Easter dessert ideas so how about these Easter Cupcakes? This recipe comes from “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” cookbook, and it is fabulous. If you’re short on time, I have also included a “cupcake express” recipe to save you time. Either way, I just simply sprinkled mine with spring sprinkles, a perfect look for this time of year.

Flourless Chocolate Torte: Gluten-Free and Wonderful for Passover and Easter

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I have made this Flourless Chocolate Torte for several years for my wonderful family for Passover. It’s been a treasured recipe that I haven’t shared. When I got a note from my friend, Robin, saying that her son’s birthday falls on Passover this year, I knew I had to give her the recipe. So here it is…..You can substitute bittersweet chocolate for semisweet or mix the two. It is really easy to prepare and only a few ingredients. Just take your time and follow the directions very carefully. I was in a hurry and unhooked my springform pan too soon (trying to make it to my son’s baseball game) and it came out looking like a chocolate souffle as seen above. Still wonderful and sinfully rich.

Iron Chef in Training: My Cooking Class with Lillian

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Yesterday, I had so much fun with Lillian! I was asked to do a private one-on-one cooking class for Lillian, an incredibly talented second grader for one of her birthday presents. She has a passion for cooking, and wow was she fabulous! I tailored the class specifically for her, and we made an array of healthy snacks, desserts and she even decorated these awesome cupcakes for Halloween. We set up the food for a photo-shoot, just like I do on the set with national food magazines, such as Southern Living. We prop-styled, food styled and critiqued the photos. If you’re interested in this type of class for your child, parent-child, groups of four, college age, newlyweds or yourself, contact me for more information.IMG_2602