Our favorites from 2011

I enlisted Mike’s and Adam’s assistance in narrowing down our favorites from 2011.  We each chose 3 favorites from 2011 (only rule was they could not have appeared on the most popular post from yesterday), and then I selected 3 bonus recipes that are family favorites. 

**Adam’s 3 favorites**

Cottage Cheese Pancakes -Without a doubt these are Adam’s favorite thing in the whole world.  I make a double batch every month to freeze, as he is always asking for some cottage cheese pancake strips.  He’s happy, we’re happy, it’s a win-win.

Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes – These are a very close second to the cottage cheese pancakes.  Once Adam ate an impressive 7 pancakes in one sitting! 

Garden Pizza Puffs – Like most kids, Adam loves anything in pancake form or muffin form.  He calls these ‘pizza muffins.’  I often make them with spinach or broccoli, and they are a huge hit at dinnertime.

**Mike’s 3 favorites**

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Scones – This was my first attempt at ever making scones, and Mike insisted these were the best things I ever made. 

Ravioli with Roasted Zucchini – Within a week of making this for the first time, we made it at least 3 more times.  We don’t repeat meals nearly that often, but we just couldn’t get enough!

Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies – I made these a few years ago and Mike has been asking for them ever since. 

**Alida’s 3 favorites**

Banana Split Cupcakes – These cupcakes are fun to make, end up so cute and are always a crowd pleaser.  I love the surprise inside, which is so easy.

Black Bean Chili with Roasted Butternut SquashThis was a new recipe for me this year, and I love the sweetness of the butternut squash with the spicy chili.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Ricotta PancakesI loved this new spin on my old favorite ricotta pancake recipe.  Blueberry and lemon are always a wonderful combination.  My mom started making this recipe, and even my dad, who doesn’t typically like blueberry pancakes, loved these!

 **Bonus picks**

Tortellini Soup with Chunky Tomatoes and SpinachWhile in general I’m not a soup person, I do make an exception for very few. This soup ranks at the top of that list! Since posting this recipe, my mom added this to their rotation and has made it nearly every week.

Grandma’s Peanut Blossoms – My family LOVES these peanut blossoms more than any other cookie (maybe even dessert).  Catch them when they’re fresh out of the oven, and they are warm, the chocolate is melty, and they are just to die for.  My grandma knew what she was doing in the kitchen, and this recipe is no exception.

The Best Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce – This is my most requested recipe by far.  It’s easy to whip together, delicious and healthy too!

That’s all folks!   Whether you’re a long time reader or brand new, I thank you all for being here.  2011 was a fun year, and I have many exciting things planned for you in 2012.  So have a very Happy New Year!  Cheers!

Alida’s Kitchen: Top 11 in 2011

As we are nearing the end of 2011, I wanted to take a moment to look back.  Almost 7 months since starting Alida’s Kitchen, it has been such an exciting opportunity to share what goes on in our kitchen with you.  My hope is to have inspired you to get in the kitchen, to try something new and/or different, to make something special for loved ones or simply to treat yourself.   So let’s look back at the 11 most popular recipes from Alida’s Kitchen in 2011!      

9. Grilled Peanut Butter Chicken

 8. Apple Cheddar Frittata

7.  Pumpkin Banana Bread

 6. Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

5. Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

4. Sweet Onion and Cheddar Cornbread

 3. Skinny Pumpkin Pie

2. Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

1. Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

Tomorrow I will be sharing with you a list of our favorite recipes from 2011.  Some old favorites from the archives, other recipes that have found a way in our regular rotation and more.  Check in tomorrow to find out what we love!

Kodak Photo Book: A carb-free, calorie-free post!

Hey everyone, as you may have guessed, today’s post is not about food. But it is pretty exciting, and there is something in it for you at the end. I promise you a tasty recipe tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this carb-free, calorie-free, [insert here whatever you want]-free post!

Mike and I were married nearly 3 years ago and went on our honeymoon shortly thereafter. It was an absolute dream vacation exploring Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.  We were busy!  We hiked many miles up volanoes, through jungles and canyons; we saw dolphins jumping and whales breeching; we went kayaking and snorkeling; we wined and we dined. Like I said, we were busy!

We were so busy that by the time we got home, I realized we took over one thousand pictures.  *gulp*   It was overwhelming to think about the time it would take to narrow down the pictures and then figure out how to preserve the memories in an album. So we went without an album…until now!

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was given the opportunity to create a Quickstart Photo Book using fun, new photo book creation features.  It was time to tackle the beast of the honeymoon photos.  I couldn’t wait to create an album to preserve and relive those fun memories!

So I started to play.  I uploaded pictures, created pages, and then showed Mike.  His response was “Wow! That’s awesome!’ He was right. It was awesome! 

With KODAK’s album creation software, I was able to choose the number of pictures per page in a variety of formats, had the option to use a caption, and had a variety of covers, colors and backgrounds from which to choose.  The website was also very easy to use, which definitely enhanced the experience.

What might have otherwise been a daunting task became something really exciting and fun!  The photos throughout this post are of various pages of the finished album.  Mike and I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the final product!

So my friends, now you can have some fun too!  The generous folks at KODAK Gallery have given me an exclusive offer to extend to you.  Now through 8/31/11 go to  and receive 40% off a medium hardcover or a large photo book. 


Disclaimer:  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was given the opportunity to create a  medium-sized, hardcover KODAK Gallery photo book for free (including free shipping).  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I wish you all a wonderful holiday with good food and sunshine.  Have a great day and there will be a new recipe posted tomorrow. 

How are you celebrating the 4th?  I will be chasing after the little guy pictured below. 🙂   

Be safe and have fun everyone!