Well, 2020 has been quite the year. One of the bright sides of working from home for the past nine months is that I got to spend a lot more time in the kitchen. That meant a lot more time to experiment and learn some new favorite recipes—and lots of stress cooking and baking.
One of my goals going into 2020 was to be more curious and adventurous in the kitchen. And to eat more vegetables, which I did. More time in the kitchen really helped me get there, because I was able to try things out on my lunch breaks, or I could start dinner at 5:00 instead of waiting until I got home at nearly 6:30. My weekends weren’t as rushed trying to get in all the recipes I needed or wanted to make.
And I think this year resulted in some of my best and favorite recipes I’ve ever made.
Here are some of my favorite recipes of 2020!
I can’t talk about everything I cooked or baked this year, so these are the top highlights and things I made multiple times.
First thing’s first… sourdough. Until this year, I’d avoided learning how to bake bread because I knew I’d just eat it all the time. And, well, I wasn’t wrong. I ate a lot of bread this year. But it was bread that I made and it was just delicious. Next on my bread baking bucket list? Sandwich bread and burger buns.
Sourdough bread really is simplicity at its finest. All you need to start is flour and water. After learning how to make a sourdough starter and bake bread from @itscalledbalance on Instagram, I got bitten HARD by the sourdough bug. And since I accidentally ended up with about five starters going at once, I had to find more uses for them aside from endless loaves for myself. King Arthur’s Sourdough Pizza was one of my favorite sourdough experiments, along with Sourdough Crumb Cake and Cinnamon Buns.
Thin Mint Truffles. Like Oreo balls, but way better. Thin Mint Truffles use—you guessed it—the popular Girl Scout cookies. They’re chocolatey, minty, and absolutely delectable. I’ll be making another batch this year, if I can get my hands on a few boxes of Thin Mints.
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. If this isn’t Southern Living’s most popular recipe of 2020, I don’t know what is. I feel like every other post in a Facebook group I’m in was someone sharing their take on those heavenly cookies. I don’t blame them; they’re amazing. Especially with some flaky Maldon salt sprinkled on top when they’re fresh out of the oven.
Tacos with homemade tortillas. We are BIG tacos fans. We make them for dinner at least twice a month, and they’re our favorite dinner when we’re hosting friends. In fact, we made our tacos for Christmas Eve dinner, with queso and guacamole, too. Homemade corn tortillas are well worth the extra effort, even though they aren’t that difficult!
Personal Peach Cobbler. For the last few years, I’ve devoted a few weeks in the summer to peaches and recipes that celebrate them. This year’s Personal Peach Cobbler is one of the best Peach Month recipes I’ve ever made. When you want peach cobbler but don’t want to make a whole big batch, this is the recipe you need! You’ll have your own single serving of classic peach cobbler ready for eating in as little as 30 minutes.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. I first made this recipe in 2019, and have been finessing the texture and flavors ever since. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese is secretly healthy (well, kind of), packed with warming spices and fall and winter flavors, and wonderfully creamy. It can even be made vegan, dairy-free, and/or gluten-free if needed!
Birthday Bundt Cake. I made this delicious cake for my birthday back in November. The only thing that makes a solid Southern pound cake better is birthday sprinkles and some frosting. A touch of almond flavor, along with the vanilla, really rounds this cake out.
Bagels. I was never a big bagel person, until I had the real deal in New York last year. To continue my bread baking endeavors, I decided to give King Arthur’s “A Dozen Simple Bagels” recipe a try a few weeks ago. Y’all, they’re delicious, and I will make them again soon.
Certainly a lot more than these recipes came out of my kitchen this year. If you’d like to explore more of my recipes from this year, head here! My new stand mixer is going to get a lot more action in 2021, because I’ve got a lot more recipes to make and experiment with. I can’t wait to share my 2021 kitchen adventures with all y’all soon!
What were some of your favorite recipes from 2020? What do you want to try baking in the New Year?