It’s been an amazing year for Lexi Bites. I’ve been blogging for more than five years, but it wasn’t until fall 2014 that I decided to really take it seriously and see how far I could go. This year has been an incredible learning experience. Lexi Bites has been growing every month and I’m continuing to hone my recipe development, photography and writing skills. I attended two fun and inspiring blogger conferences and met so many amazing people. I’m incredibly excited for where Lexi Bites has been and all that 2016 will bring.
Over the past year, Lexi Bites has explored the vast culinary landscape, one plate at a time. The blog took a deep dive into the food and drink of Germany, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Curacao, Mexico, the United States, Canada and Poland. In 2015, Lexi Bites’ recipes were featured on Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Parade magazine, Edible Omaha and Omaha Steaks’ SteakBytes blog. What an incredible year!
Here are my top 15 recipes of 2015:
Beer Soaked Garlic and Rosemary Fries – This recipe was inspired by the height of summer. I combined two of my favorites (beer + French fries) to create a tasty, healthier version of fries packed with flavors of rosemary and garlic. This recipe was featured on Buzzfeed’s 10 Surprisingly Delicious Ways To Cook With Beer, which boosted its traffic considerably. I have enjoyed hearing from those of you who have tried this recipe, and if you haven’t yet, put it on your list for 2016.
Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Con Carne – Seriously, what isn’t to love about this recipe? Richly flavored beef, a spicy chile-infused sauce and an easy slow cooker preparation. This would be a delicious addition to your Big Game spread.
Homemade Chipotle & Jalapeno Bagels – I love to make my own bagels and this version takes homemade bagels to a whole new level. When this post was featured in Huffington Posts’ 23 Mexican Breakfast That Will Make Everything A Freakin’ Fiesta, I was incredibly excited and really felt that I was making some traction with the blog. This recipe tastes oh-so-amazing with a runny fried egg and gooey melted cheese.
Cream Cheese & Apricot Kolacky – I’ve always loved Grandma Betty’s Apricot Kolacky Cookies and I’m so happy that you did too. I revisited this recipe after my Grandpa John (Betty’s husband) passed away in April. It was so fun to reminisce about Betty and John and share this recipe for delicate pastries stuffed with a homemade apricot filling. Try these other recipes by Grandma Betty: Beef & Bacon Pierogies, Pistachio Russian Tea Cakes and Caramel-Stuffed Cocoa Cookies.
Strawberry, Honey & Jalapeno Margarita – This cocktail is as delicious as it is beautiful. Fresh strawberries, floral honey and spicy jalapeno pair so well with the tequila and lime. And it would be the perfect pairing with Chile Colorado Con Carne or Homemade Chipotle & Jalapeno Bagels.
Homemade French Baguettes – It’s safe to say I won’t be giving up carbs in 2016. I love to make homemade bread, especially during the dark days of winter, and a simple, delicious French baguette can not be beat. If you’ve never made your own, give this recipe a try.
Spanish Tortilla – Five simple ingredients come together into one stellar recipe that tastes as delicious at 10 a.m. for brunch as it does at 7 p.m. with a glass of cava in hand. Spanish Tortilla is Spain on a plate, and it couldn’t get more delicious than this.
Spanish Burgers with Crispy Serrano & Fried Eggs – A mashup of the all-American burger with Spanish flavors of romesco sauce, Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, crowned with a runny fried egg. This burger was food porn at its finest. It was a blast learning how to style and photograph a burger—but it was even more fun to eat the end result. I implore you to give this recipe a try.
French Negroni – 2015 has been the year of the negroni at Abelhaus, and this version is no exception. Lillet Blanc is a magical spirit that you need in your life, and the French Negroni is an exceptional way to use it. If you need an elegant aperitif that will impress your friends, this is it.
Catalan Fish Stew – Once a humble seafood stew of Spanish fisherman, Catalan Fish Stew is bursting with tender seafood, colorful vegetables and complex notes of smoked paprika and saffron. This would be an elegant main dish for any dinner party.
Duck Confit – C’est magnifique. Meaty duck legs are slowly cooked in duck fat until meltingly tender and delicious. This recipe seems intimidating but is actually quite easy. Once you learn how to confit, you’ll never look back.
Caribbean Beef Stew (Karni Stoba) – An Island-inspired beef stew with spicy habaneros is just what you need to warm you up in the dead of winter.
Scotch Whisky-Glazed Salmon – Everything tastes better with whisky—salmon included. This easy recipe elevates salmon to surprisingly delicious levels.
Spanish Almond Shortbread – A modern take on the classic Spanish crumble cookie, infused with ground almonds, olive oil and lemon zest.
Irish Pizza with Potatoes, Leeks and Bacon – Potatoes on pizza seems like carb overload, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked. I love this combination of smoky bacon, buttery potatoes and tender leeks.
What was your favorite Lexi Bites’ recipe of 2015?
In 2016, we’ll continue to explore the wide culinary world, one plate at a time. Instead of exploring one country each month, I’ll be turning my attention to a particular dish or type of food and explore how it’s prepared around the world. We’re kick off January with an exploration of breads from around the world. I’m even planning a updated, easier version of my popular Homemade French Baguettes. Thank you for a great year!