My PERSONAL FAVORITE recipes from 2016

Happy NEW YEAR!  I hope you are enjoying the Top most POPULAR Recipes of 2016!   2016 has been a year of change for me personally from my little brother getting married, to my parents moving to Germany, to selling our home, moving twice, buying a new home, lots of travel, 2 surgeries, and another one this month.  All good things, but one thing that has stayed constant is my love of food, creating recipes and sharing them with you AND your amazing support through it all!  I love opening my computer every morning to your enthusiastic, grateful foodie comments!

While many of my favorite recipes did make the Top 16 Recipes of 2016, many of them did not – after all, I had to stop at 16!  so I am excited to share some of my personal favorites with you.   To help narrow down the recipes, because I love everything I post, I only included recipes not on the aforementioned list and only included recipes posted in 2016.  Have you tried any of these?  What are your favorites?

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My personal FAVORITE recipe from 2016! These need to go on your MUST MAKE LIST!

In no particular order, and because I couldn’t narrow it down to 16:

My Personal 21 Favorite Recipes from 2016:

Lighter Cheesy Taco Pasta Bake

LIGHTER Cheesy Taco Pasta is my husband's absolute favorite pasta! Juicy beef, beans, pasta etc., smothered in an incredible creamy Enchilada-esque sauce out of this world delicious! Your whole family will LOVE this and its super easy!

Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

BAKED OR GRILLED easy Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is one of my absolute favorite recipes with the most addicting Peanut Sauce ever! I made this twice in one week and I still want more! It not only makes an amazing holiday appetizer but add some veggie and rice and you have a meal!

Philly Cheesesteaks

these crazy tender, flavorful Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches are the BEST EVER! The incredible marinated steak and spiced mayo set these worlds above other recipes I've tried. You seriously haven't tried Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches until you try these - and so much easier than you think!

Moist Sweet Cornbread

This Sweet Cornbread is AMAZING! Super moist and tender with just the right amount of sweetness. Everyone always asks me for this recipe because its the best out there!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli Wild Rice Soup

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, Wild Rice Soup is your favorite comforting casserole in soup form! Creamy, cheesy, seasoned to perfection and couldn’t be any easier!

Asian Chimichurri Steak

Asian Chimichurri Steak - this marinade is hands down the best steak marinade I have ever tried - SO flavorful for a crazy juicy, tender, amazing steak!

Cheesy Sausage Pesto Ring

Easy Cheesy Pesto Sausage Ring is SO ADDICTING! my husband and I couldn't stop eating it and then I was craving it for days! You have to make this!!! The absolutely best holiday or game day appetizer!

Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

Super easy Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Taquitos bursting with sweet heat cream cheese chicken filling you will want to eat it with a spoon! Perfect party appetizer that everyone will go crazy for or easy favorite meal!

Blueberry Cheesecake Pie

Blueberry Cheesecake Pie - This is my family's favorite dessert and its made extra easy in pie form! The cheesecake is creamy, rich and delicious and the homemade blueberry sauce is sweet and tangy and simply the best ever!

Sweet Chili Chicken Enchiladas

These Sweet chili Chicken Enchiladas are AMAZING! My whole family loves them and I always make them for company. The sauce is out of this world!

Best Beef Bean and Cheese Burrito

Quick, easy, comforting, inexpensive Beef and Bean Burritos stuffed with the BEST FILLING you will be eating with a spoon! #cincodemayo #30minutemeals

Baked Butternut Squash Risotto

No Babysitting, easy, creamy BAKED Butternut Squash Risotto! This simple to prepare risotto is wonderfully smooth and creamy, seasoned to perfection and is absolutely fool proof! It makes the most amazing Thanksgiving or holiday side but is easy enough for every day!

Pineapple Red Curry Chicken Stir Fry

30 Minute Pineapple Red Curry Chicken Stir Fry - I am in LOVE with this stir fry! The sweet and tangy sauce with pineapple is absolutely incredible. I seriously was licking my plate! and don't forget the peanuts!

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Muffins

I LOVE these Jalapeno Popper Cheese Muffins! they are super moist with an intense cheesy flavor and a cream cheese jalapeno center with the perfect hint of spice. I bring them to all my potlucks and BBQs and are always a huge hit!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

This is by far my family's favorite Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe! An ultra rich and creamy, amazingly flavorful sauce (without any "cream of" anything!), crazy tender meat all made in the crockpot for a gourmet meal with hardly any effort! I love serving this for holidays like Christmas!

One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice

Creamy, Cheesy One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice on your table in 30 minutes! My family BEGS me to make this constantly and I LOVE it too! Quick, easy and packed with flavor and texture! We also love it as the base for taco salad. You definitely have to try this one!

Grilled or Stovetop Sweet Chili Shrimp

quick and easy Asian Sweet Chili Shrimp (grill or stovetop) - this is by far my favorite shrimp recipe! The tangy sweet heat sauce is incredible and its SO easy! 10 minute prep, 5 minutes to cook!

Cheesy BBQ Pork Taquitos with Chipotle Ranch


German Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling

German Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Filling - these are the best cupcakes I've had in my entire life! They are super rich and chocolaty without being over the top and the filling and frosting are divine! Everyone always asks me for this recipe!

Asian Burger with Hoisin Ketchup and Garlic Chili Mayo

These crazy juicy Asian Burgers are so bursting with flavor you barely need to add anything and its one of the quickest dinners you will make! The hoisin ketchup, Garlic Chili Mayo and Asian Slaw are also amazing! Definitely making these for my next BBQ!

Skillet Chicken Fajitas

easy Skillet Chicken Fajitas - these are the BEST chicken fajitas! the marinade is seriously the best I've ever tried - better than any restaurant! My family LOVES these this filling so much we also use it for filling in burritos, enchiladas and salads!

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  1. Erin says

    We just moved to Germany as well. I hope your parents are enjoying it. Looking forward to trying some of these.

    • Jen says

      I hope you have a fun adventure there! Germany is so beautiful! I hope you can make some of these recipes over there and find the ingredients you need 🙂 Happy New Year!

  2. Allie says

    I always get drawn to your recipes. I don’t think there is one recipe that wouldn’t be considered outstanding and one that I would label as “OMG”. That’s where I file your recipes after I make them. You do a fantastic job here. You must have a passion for not only “absolutely delicious” food, but for beauty too.

    • Jen says

      Thank you SO MUCH for such an awesome comment/compliment Allie! I laughed out loud at my recipes file location – thank you, you’re awesome! We must be foodie kindred spirits and share the same taste 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment! Happy New Year!

  3. Pam says

    I love this blog and your recipes – a standout from this list a the Asian burgers – sooo good. I got a gril pan for Christmas so I’m excited to make them again soon .

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Pam! And you have great taste – love the Asian burgers and your new grill pan will be perfect! Happy New Year!

  4. Joanna says

    So much deliciousness in one spot! I’ve printed off four of these to try soon and saved more. I bought myself a red Le Crueset cast iron pan for Christmas. Merry Christmas to me! One pot meals look so nice in this, as it goes from stovetop to table.
    I wish you much happiness and good health in 2017.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Joanna and what a perfect Christmas gift! I think you will get lots and lots of use out of it – and I love that its red 🙂 I hope you love the new recipes you try! Wishing you all the best in 2017 as well!

  5. Heather Lampman says

    Love your recipes! I had a problem with this post, however. A BIG ad kept following and covering the page as I scrolled down. It was so aggravating that I gave up. Sorry!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for letting me know Heather, I have contacted my ad team to take care of it.

  6. Joanna says

    I have everything to make the Chicken Satay with peanut sauce. What would you serve along side this? I like a salad with my meals. Rice?

    • Jen says

      Hi Joanna, I would definitely serve it with rice and a salad would be delicious or some simple stir fried vegetables. enjoy!

  7. Keiko says

    Happy New Year, Jen!
    I have made 5 of your personal favorite recipes and 5 of your top favorite recipes from 2016( and of course I made a lot more from those recipes that didn’t get in to the favorite recipes)! They are all so good (I recently made chicken satay with peanut sauce and really loved it!), and I am looking forward to making more from your recipes this year. It is funny when you said, “a niche recipe that only certain people will want to try and love (like me ” Please don’t forget me! I am in! I am definitely one of the “only certain people”! I especially like your Thai and Mexican recipes!

    • Jen says

      Happy New Year Keiko! I love that you have made so many of my recipes-it really is so flattering and such an honor to receive your comments! I am so glad we have the same foodie taste and that you love all my “niche” recipes – I think that means you have exceptional taste 🙂 I wish you and your family the Happiest and most blessed New Year! xo

  8. Katherine Jaklewicz says

    Hi Jen: Your site is almost as inspiring as your personal story. Thank you for sharing it. I have, and don’t we all, a story as well. I won’t go into it but to say that I’m 74, have had scoliosis my entire life. It is now diagnosed as severe. For the past 3 years, my activity level has been all but non-existent. God is good and I have just finished a trial period with a new to the US procedure that has been used for 12 years in England with great success. We now wait for approval so that I can move to the permanent implant procedure. OK, that said I have always been a small gal with weight steady in the 108 to 110 numbers. I have gained 40 lbs. I am still 5’3″ tall. Enough said. Once the procedure is completed I will be able to take walks again, ride a bike, travel and actually tour on foot. My internist and ortho docs want me to lose this bulk. Low carb and low cal. Several of your recipes seem to fit the bill for me. Do you have any direction within your amazing recipes to guide me to those which will be best to begin with? The foods you love are the foods that my husband and I also tend towards. I know I as alot. If too much know that I understand. Thanks Jen.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Katherine! I am sorry you have been pretty immobile but SO happy this new procedure is working and ecstatic for the new lifestyle you are going to be able to enjoy! As far as low carb and low cal, I’m sorry I don’t have a separate section for that. I would start with the Chicken recipe index: and I think you’ll find many good options in there. Best of luck to you!