Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Favorite recipes from 2012

Towards the end of December, I always look back over my food columns from the previous year to remind myself of the recipes I’ve shared with my readers, to enjoy the photos once again and to see which recipes I’m still making!

I did that again a few weeks ago and am giving you a chance to try some recipes you might have missed the first time around.

The new food column recipe I made the most in 2012 was probably porcupine meatballs from August. My husband and I love that recipe, which uses ground turkey, and made it often last fall, enjoying it the first night as well as in leftovers. We couldn’t get enough of the meatballs in a tomato-based sauce served with mashed potatoes. Yum!

But the most popular recipes of the year, with my readers, involved cake mixes.

In February, I ran a column about a simple cake made with only two ingredients: an angel food cake mix and a can of crushed pineapple. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough boxes of angel food cake mix on the shelves of Wilson grocery stores to go around, and readers called me and e-mailed me trying to find a box! I hope everyone eventually found the cake mix and made this easy and delicious cake.

I followed up with several other cake mix recipes, including pumpkin muffins, soda cake and in the spring, a strawberry angel food cake that is probably my favorite of all of them! The strawberry cake is so easy as well and is made with an angel food cake mix and two cups of lightly sweetened sliced strawberries. It’s delicious served with whipped topping!

But the run on the grocery stores for angel food cake mix was just a warm up for what happened in September when I published a recipe for pumpkin spice cake. The problem? The key ingredient — pumpkin spice instant pudding mix that’s only made in season — turned out to be hard to find, if not impossible. I got so many calls and e-mails from readers who wanted to make the cake but couldn’t find the pudding. It got so bad, in fact, that I contacted Kraft Foods, and they donated 96 boxes of the pudding mix, which we gave away in just a few hours in October. (I’m not including that recipe today because the pudding mix is not available.)

One more cake mix recipe also stirred a lot of interest. In January, my daughter made a batch of tie-dye cupcakes and photographed them. Many of you have told me you made the cupcakes over the last year and were pleased with how pretty they turned out. Anna made them again a few weeks ago, with great results again.

But not everything had a cake mix base in 2012. Other favorite recipes with my family and yours include a fruit salsa recipe I first had at Bible school; tomato and zucchini bake that many readers tried; chocolate chip banana bread, which I’ve made several times since I ran the recipe in September; and sweet potato bread, using Wilson County produce.

I was also thrilled that several of you made the Halloween recipes — candy-coated pumpkin pretzels and a Halloween mix — with your children. I love when youngsters get involved with food preparation.

Once again last year, readers of my food column encouraged me, gave me ideas and continued to read the paper, both online and in our print edition. It’s so rewarding when my readers stop me and tell me they have tried a recipe and enjoyed it. I also appreciate all of you who purchased the church cookbook I worked on this past fall and who have told me they are using it.

Please keep reading the column each Wednesday and keep cooking!

Favorite recipes from 2012

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