Food & Swine

2014 Top Recipes

These are the top reader-selected recipes on my blog for 2014.  There are still a few out there that I may include in a later post, but for now, all of the recipes here are the ones you chose as the best!

Today we’ll check on the baby pigs we’ve got in the farrowing house.  My daughter is out of school so she’s excited to come along for chores and pig-sitting.  Vanilla Ice Cream and Sandra have both had their litters and are doing well.

Top 10 Recipes of 2014

#10.  Pigged Out Patty Melt
I have no doubt that this sandwich would be closer to the top spot, but I posted it recently so it hasn’t had the time to catch up yet.  Ground pork patty, caramelized onions, bacon, cheese and country bread… go for it.
#9.  Simple Farmhouse Bread
This is the most frequently visited bread (loaf) recipe I have and the most beginner-style bread recipe out there. This is the ultimate comfort food of my childhood.  My Grandma Madeline made these loaves to send home with my Dad after chores, when I was younger.
#8.  $17,500 Sour Apple Pork Burger
This recipe was drafted in the backseat during a road trip with friends. Little did I know after entering it into the Sutter Home Winery Build A Better Burger Contest, that it would be the winner, twice over.
#7.  Old Fashioned Cream Cheese Mints
Everyone should know how to make these old fashioned mints.  They are so easy and delicious.  They bring a nostalgic feel to every event where they are served.
#6.  BBQ “Pig Sticks” Pork Tenderloin strips Wrapped in Bacon with BBQ glaze
Being pig farmers, we never have a shortage of pork.  I love these little appetizers which can also be served as a main dish.  The bacon bastes the pork loin so it stays juicy and  the whiskey pear BBQ sauce… well I could eat with a spoon.
#5.  Healthy Veggie Quinoa Frittatas (don’t forget to add bacon or ham!)
This little recipe is one of my favorites, I first learned of these little bites from Iowa Girl Eats.  I’ve made them so many different ways, I can’t begin to tell you.  The day I made them veggie-style, was the day I took pictures.
Egg Cups2
#4.  Bacon Wrapped Crab Stuffed Shrimp
I think these should be #1, well at least they are on my list.  I’m making these for NYE, and I will eat 5 myself.  Decadent crab filling, large butterflied shrimp, bacon and a delicious chili glaze.  Go for it.
#3.  Ballpark Style Soft Pretzels
This was my first submission accepted to FoodGawker, which has gained it plenty of views.  This is another recipe that will be made on NYE.  I love soft pretzels and lived on them when I was coaching softball with horrible morning sickness in 2008.  My daughter now loves them, which I think is funny.
#2.  Dutch Letter Bars
I’ve told you a few times that my sister is the best little baker.  She loves to make different kinds of bars and this recipe for Simple Dutch Letter Bars barely got nudged out of first place of all of my recipes for 2014.  These bars are simple and have the perfect amount of almond flavor.  Tanna… you can make these again, anytime.
#1.  Triple Bacon Sweet Corn Mac N Cheese
Number one.  Bacon infused cream, bacon in the mac n cheese and chopped bacon on top.  Enough said.

Merry Christmas
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We certainly did, and capped it off with a wonderful memorial party for my Grandma Madeline.  She would have enjoyed it so much.  We ate all of her favorite foods, had a bonfire and my cousins made a great photo board with all of her pictures on it.  At the party I learned a couple things that made me chuckle.
#1.  My Grandma and Grandpa had to postpone their wedding because my Grandpa’s softball team made it to the division championships in the area tournament.  (Now you know where my family’s sporty-ness comes from.)
#2. As I was thumbing through her cookbook she wrote with my aunt, I noticed a recipe for “Alfalfa Pesto”.  Surely you were not a proper frontier-woman unless you made pesto out of hay.  (*Okay, the ‘hay’ product comes after the alfalfa is cut and dried. This recipe uses fresh alfalfa.)

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  • Reply Jenny.U December 29, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I think I’ll leave the alfalfa to the goats. ;)

    • Reply Cristen December 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      I’m with you there, Jenny!

  • Reply Emily Grace December 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Cristen,

    Peace to you and your family with the passing of your grandmother. Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures and memories.

    I am going to try your easy bread recipe. I like how you’ve pulled the 2014 favorites. Those pretzels look tempting too.

    Have a great week.(:

    • Reply Cristen December 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the bread!

  • Reply sandyrmiller December 30, 2014 at 1:06 am

    What about the pumpkin rolls? We thought they were super!

  • Reply tanna December 30, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Sour apple pork burger! YUM!

  • Reply Bonita Olmer December 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I love Tanna’s Dutch Letters. I’ve made them twice since you first posted the recipe. My husband loves them too!

    • Reply Cristen December 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      I told her she needs to give me more recipes! Thanks dear cousin!

  • Reply jenieats December 30, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    This was so fun to read. I might try my hand at making those shrimp for New Year Eve.

    • Reply Cristen December 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      I think that would be totally acceptable! (Hopefully your shrimp won’t be so fishy tasting this time, vs. when you made the coconut shrimp last year) XOXO My biggest tip, use bacon slices that are thinner, not thicker, then they will cook up just right!

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