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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Best of 2013 from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen

Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed celebrating over the last couple of weeks, but now it's time to start fresh and write some new chapters in the coming year. I'll have some new recipes for you next week, but wanted to share some of most viewed recipes I created in 2013.

I'm always amazed to look back and see how many experiments and new recipe creations I can come up with each year to share with you and 2013 was no exception. Last year alone, I shared over 200 new recipes with almost 800,000 pages on this blog being viewed. That's a 55% increase over last year and I hope you will all continue stick around on my culinary journey. I truly enjoy the work that I do and am blessed that I am able to share it with each and every one of you. 2014 will hopefully bring a few changes to Carrie's Experimental Kitchen as I plan to change the format of my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. This is a HUGE undertaking, but I know it will be the right move once it's all completed so please bear with me during any growing pains!

So let's get on with the roundup! Here were the Top 25 Recipes I created in 2013 that were viewed the most by you...the readers. Grab your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy the's a long one!

#25. Balsamic Meatloaf (Main Entree)
This recipe was created almost one year ago today and was a favorite for good reason. With aged balsamic vinegar, Pecorino Romano cheese and Panko breadcrumbs you can't go wrong. Feel free to substitute ground chicken or turkey in place of the beef.

This recipe is fairly new to the blog scene, but grew quickly in popularity. I used this same recipe to brine my Thanksgiving turkey and it was incredibly moist and juicy.

I created these delectable pork chops back in February 2013 after I was contacted by Circle B Ranch; which provides naturally raised pork products. The combination of horseradish, whole grain mustard and fresh rosemary on these chops was delicious. You can also use this recipe as a rub on a center cut pork loin.
Trust me. I do try to eat and cook healthy for my family as much as possible, but hot wings are my husband and eldest daughters' downfall. They love them...the hotter the better! These wings were pretty darn tasty if you ask me and I like how you can control how much "heat" you give them to allow for everyone to share. These wings also make a great game-day snack (hint hint...Superbowl!) 
#21. Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (Main Entree)
I don't use my slow cooker very often, but this is one of those dishes that shine! Tender beef, Portobello mushrooms, fresh herbs, white wine and sour cream make this a delectable dish for any day of the week. Looking for something a little healthier? Try my Chicken Stroganoff
Here is another family favorite recipe that I recently introduced and has quickly grown to be one of your favorites as well. We make this stuffing with ground beef and chorizo every Thanksgiving. It's a tradition and I'm glad I was able to share it with you this year. 
I'm so glad you all liked this one because it's one of our favorites as well! It's so simple to make on a busy weeknight and light cream cheese helps make this dish extra creamy. 
I love lemon anything, especially in my desserts. So when I originally saw this recipe on fellow food blogger Christie from Zestuous, I had to try it out immediately. Perfection! 
Here is another recipe I created a year ago in January. They are so sinful, yet simple to make. These deliciously creamy potatoes make the perfect side dish to any meal and is one of the recipes I make the most often. See, I guess I do make the same recipe twice...well sometimes! 
This salad is a twist on a classic favorite using a combination of cherub and golden cherry tomatoes, crispy celery, oregano and lemon juice. It's so light and flavorful I can make a meal out of this alone on a hot summer day. 
#15. Avocado Quinoa Salad (Salad)
I originally shared this recipe back in April as a Guest Post on another food blogger's page, Brianne from Cupcakes and Kale Chips. I'm so glad the post was a success as this is a deliciously easy and healthy salad to prepare. 
How do you like the selections so far? Wait, there's more! 

Fresh garden tomatoes, spinach, garlic and Brie cheese make up this tasty side dish. To be honest, it was pretty filling and made a wonderful lunch all by itself the next day as well! 
I originally posted this one last January and then ran it again as a Recipe ReRun last month before Christmas. Making Prime Rib is much easier than you think and especially when you add a rub like this one with horseradish, garlic and fresh rosemary. You can't go wrong! 
#12. Dijon Mushroom Pan Seared Pork (Main Entree)
This next dish I came up with in a pinch one weeknight evening. By pan searing the meat, it formed a crust and locked in the juiciness. Add a few ingredients and a delicious dinner is ready in about 30 minutes! 
#11. Marilyn's Crock Pot Meatloaf (Main Entree)
This easy to make meatloaf is loaded with flavor and let's your slow cooker do all the work so you don't have to. 
Are you ready for the Top 10? Let's see what they are! 

#10. Turkey Orzo Soup (Soup)
This heart warming soup can be made in about 35 minutes and makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner. You can also substitute chicken for the turkey. 
#9. Triple Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Dessert/Breakfast)
If you're looking for a chocolate fix to go along with you cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon, these are perfect. I really have to make these again because they were seriously good and the kids devoured them so quickly the last time! 
#8. Turkey Swedish Meatballs (Appetizer/Main Entree)
At only 40 calories per meatball and under 30 minutes to prepare, how can you go wrong with these turkey swedish meatballs! They were delicious and even the kids loved these. Serve them alone as a hot hors d' oeuvre or as a meal over some rice or egg noodles. 
This one also recently made the cut on the Top 10 Appetizer list I shared with you, so it's no wonder it's in our top 10 all time favorite recipes from 2013. It's also another recipe I've made a few times since I originally shared it back in July. My youngest daughter just loves it and orders it out at Olive Garden every time we eat there. 
#6. Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pretzels (Appetizer/Snack/Dessert)
Ok. So who doesn't love the flavor combination of brown sugar and cinnamon? Well apparently not any of you! This recipe comes in at #6 and is the perfect combination of sweet, salty and crunchy. I originally created this recipe in May; however, it has taken off on Pinterest over the last month. If you're looking for a more savory pretzel, try my Rosemary & Lemon Seasoned Pretzels version too! 
I created this sponsored post the end of May to celebrate Hellmann's Mayonnaise 100th Birthday. We were asked to tweak a recipe created by Mario Batali (Chicken Pasta Salad with Green Olives and Raisins) and make it our own. Not only did Hellmann's share this recipe on their social media, Barilla picked it up as well. It was a fabulous salad loaded with my favorite Mediterranean flavors. 
#4. Pumpkin Cheese Ball (Appetizer)
This is the perfect appetizer to bring to a party or serve your guests. It's quick to make, delicious, and is reminiscent of all things Fall. Though I just created this recipe a little over a month ago, it has soared to the top as a fan favorite. 
If I learned anything this year is that good things come in small packages. You guys love recipes that are bite-sized and these mini Mac and Cheese Poppers are no exception. At only 24 calories each, you can pop as many as you'd like and these are so kid-friendly too!
#2. Low Fat Blueberry Muffin (Dessert/Breakfast)
Coming in at #2 are these Low Fat Blueberry Muffins. I love to try to reduce calories on my favorite recipes without losing the flavor and I did just that with these tasty beauties. These muffins are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack and freeze beautifully! 
ARE YOU READY? The #1 most viewed recipe from 2013 was...

I first posted this recipe back in February as a favor to my Aunt and Uncle who live in Michigan. They had eaten out at a local restaurant and had this dish, but the restaurant had either discontinued it on their menu or it closed, I can't recall now. In any event, my Aunt phoned one day and asked if I could try to replicate the recipe for her. Now I can generally replicate anything I've personally eaten before with a high percentage of success; however, doing so by verbal description only was going to be a little challenging. I experimented and after one try I have to say that I perfected their favorite dish and it is now a regular recipe in their monthly menu planning. 
WHEW...What a roundup with so many wonderful selections! 
Tell me which recipe YOU can't wait to try in 2014! 


  1. Carrie,
    You've been busy this year--great work!

    1. That I have, but I love creating new recipes my family will love. Thanks for stopping by Kirsten!


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