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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Your Favorites from 2012

As 2012 winds to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what a whirlwind roller coaster year this has been. In February, I got a huge surprise when my blogging friends flew to Richmond to throw me a surprise baby shower and hang out for the weekend. A few weeks later, Eric and I welcomed sweet Clara into our lives. After struggling for what seemed like ages, I told all of you about Clara’s birth defect and received an outpouring of support that means more to me than I think you’ll ever know. Over the summer, we took a trip to Pennsylvania for Big Summer Potluck and had a pretty amazing time. I got to see my blogging friends again in the fall, which was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. Right before Thanksgiving, we had a scary hospital visit with Clara, but we’re ending the year on a good note. All through the ups and downs, you guys have been here – reading and commenting and emailing – and we (yes, Eric too) appreciate it so very much.

Before we move into 2013, here are your top ten favorites from this year. It’s been a pretty delicious year (you guys love some desserts!), and I’m looking forward to what next year holds.

Nutella Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries
Stuffed Nutella French Toast – I’m not surprised at all that this is your number one favorite post from 2012. I mean, it gives you a reason to eat chocolate for breakfast, which pretty much makes it an automatic winner.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake – This dessert looks fancy and difficult but is easily broken down into manageable steps. It’s truly decadent and is definitely the most delicious dessert I’ve made this year.

Rainbow Layer Cake – I made this for a friend’s daughter’s first birthday, and I’m so incredibly happy with how it turned out. This cake has a lot of wow factor, especially when covered in white frosting. Cutting into it and seeing a rainbow is such a surprise.

Key Lime Pie Bars
Key Lime Pie Bars – This simple and tasty dessert was my go-to for pretty much every impromptu summer party. I may be making these again soon as I wish for warmer days.

Village Fries
Village Fries – Fried potatoes covered in herbs. What’s not to like about that?

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing – Salad dressings are something we’ve been DIYing for a while, and this one is especially fantastic. There’s no need for store-bought when homemade dressing is as easy and delicious as this.

Crab Cakes
Pan-Fried Crab Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce – These are seriously perfection on a plate. This is one of the best meals we made this year, and I cannot wait to make this one again.

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies – Another store-bought favorite turned homemade, these cookies are cakey and sweet and even easier to eat than they are to make.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte – If there’s one thing I love as much as chocolate and coffee, it’s chocolate and peanut butter. This torte is out of this world, and I think I need to make it again soon.

Overnight French Toast – All the flavors of French toast with the ease of putting it together the night before. I’m definitely not surprised this one made it to the list, as it’s been one of our favorites for quite some time now.

Even though these are from years past, I couldn’t post without mentioning these two reader favorites:

Three Cheese Mac & Cheese
Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese – This remains one of our favorite recipes, and so many of our friends have made this countless times since I posted it. I think this will be one of the most popular posts for the foreseeable future.

Frozen Butterbeer
Frozen Butterbeer – Even though the time for new Harry Potter movies coming out is over (sniff), we still have plenty of reasons to make this drink that I swear tastes insanely close to the one you can get at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We’re so excited to take Clara there in the next year or so (and then again and again once she’s finished the books).

  • Courtney Rae Jones

    Yum! Everything looks so delicious. Your blog was one of my very favourites to follow in 2012. So many fantastic recipes and beautiful photos. Looking forward to all of your posts in the new year. Wishing you the very best in 2013.

  • Tracey

    I have so many of these recipes bookmarked – what a great year!! I’m dying to try the rainbow cake, yours is just stunning :)

    • Courtney

      Thanks so much, Tracey! That is definitely one of my favorites from this year, too.

  • Holly Mintz

    I got an iron cast skillet for Christmas this year just so I can try that mac n cheese recipe! :)

    What were some of your personal favorites from last year?