2015 faves

Today, I’m breaking from tradition and instead of telling you the most viewed, most pinned, most liked, most whatevered post of 2015 (here’s a teaser on Instagram with that kind of data), I’m bringing you a bit of home-grown family research. Because I was dying to know what my kids would say if I wasn’t standing over them controlling their every decision (who me?), I printed out a list of every recipe I’ve posted this year and had each family member independently put an X by their top four favorites (Cam had a little help of course).

The process was enlightening to say the least and I totally believe upon further study that the choices say a lot about each personality. What would have been really hilarious (read: not really hilarious to me at all) was if I had them choose the meals they liked the very least, or in other words, which meals elicited gagging and tears.

But we’ll focus on the positive instead. Take notice of the overlaps! Some true family faves came out of the woodwork.

Without further ado, here are our favorites from this year.


cades favesCADE. He’s 8. He’s goofy. He likes to eat everything but tomatoes.
Cade’s Faves:
Skillet Swedish Meatballs
No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
Pomegranate Guac
Fudgy Coconut Oil Brownie Bites

camryns favesCAM. She’s 3. She’s cute & bossy. She likes to eat when she decides she likes to eat.
Cam’sย Faves (chosen by her devoted mother based simply on the lack of resistance when these foods were served):
Healthier Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Snack Bars
Skillet Turkey Meatballs with Lemon Rice
Raspberry Ribbon Salad
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Tortellini

tys favesTY. He’s 6. He’s snuggly. He loves to eat very, very slowly.
Ty’s Faves:
Zucchini Pizza Crust
Honey Bran Muffins
15-Minute Homemade Root Beer
Eggnog Sugar Cookies with Whipped Eggnog Frosting

brians favesBRIAN. He’s getting older. He snores. He loves anything and everything except capers and cabbage.
Brian’s Faves:
Zucchini Pizza Crust
Decadent Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice With Sausage
Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Hash Browns

walkers favesWALKER. He’s 10. He’s fast. He will eat vegetables before sweets every day of the week.
Walker’s Faves:
Christmas Baked Eggs
Decadent Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
Baked Orange Glazed Meatballs
Sparkling Cranberry Apple Cider Punch

jacksons favesJACKSON. He’s 11. He has some great one-liners. His nostrils flare when he eats beans.
Jackson’s Faves:
No-Bake Thin Mint Cheesecakes
Zucchini Pizza Crust
Shepherd’s Pie
Tuxedo-Dipped Strawberries

mels favesMEL. She acts like she’s 18. She has a really loud laugh. She loves chocolate and saladย but mostly chocolate.
Mel’s Faves (for today, this is like choosing a favorite child – it almost seems unethical):
Healthier Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
Autumn Pear Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
Sweet Molasses Bread
Shrimp and Mango Lettuce Wraps

And. That was probably the funnest post I’ve done all year.

Happy New Year!!

48 Responses to My Family’s Top Recipe Picks from 2015

  1. Kate says:

    Mel, I loved this! I don’t know how I missed it last year but I am so glad I just saw it. You are a great role model and I love your recipes and your fun personality. You have a very sweet family!

  2. Bonnie says:

    Oooh, I love that your favorite treat is the healthy no bakes! I’ve been off actual sugar for several weeks and the only way I’ve survived is by making 3 batches of those bad boys! (I’m wishing I hadn’t polished them off last night) soooo yummy and no after-sugar throat burn! Thanks for all your great recipes!!

  3. Tabetha says:

    Fun post! We love your recipes Mel! Your blog is my go-to for new, fresh recipes. My husband always looks less relieved when he sees a new recipe on the dinner table but I tell him “It’s a Mel’s Kitchen Cafe Recipe.” Thanks for all the work you do!

  4. Michelle Barber says:

    Another year of great recipes Mel! What would we do without you? Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us.

  5. Kimber says:

    I loved this post! I’ve tried more of your recipes this year than any year before and I always love them ALL! I seriously can’t remember my favorites bc there are so many, you are the BEST for sharing your ideas on this little blog here! I do often think when I get a new recipe from a friend “oh this is pretty good, i should send this to Mel though and maybe she could make it a lot yummier!”

  6. Mel says:

    Thanks for chiming in everyone! I love hearing the recipes you’ve loved over the last year (or nearly decade!). It’s so fun!

  7. Jolie says:

    Happy 2016 and a very belated Merry Christmas, Mel! You know I LOVED your running posts, but I have been coming here for the food for years. I have 4 kids–17, 14, 12, and 8. Our family of 6 eats like there are 11 of us, so thank you for such wonderful, easy, delicious recipes! Looking forward to eating well during the next year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Shelby says:

    Loved it! Happy New Year to each member of your family! Thank you for sharing your family and your recipes! Looking forward to more of both.

  9. Jane says:

    The no baks cookies are my absolute favorite, too, and I make so many of your great recipes.
    Thank you for all you do here and have a wonderful new year!

  10. Emily C. says:

    As I was writing my list of Top Things I’m Grateful For From 2015, you made my list, no joke. You have single-handedly changed the way I think and feel about cooking dinner. THANK YOU from the bottom of my (and my husband’s) heart. Your recipes never fail me. Thank you for taking the time and effort to make your blog the best one out there! Bless you, Mel!

  11. Nicki says:

    I love this! Great post, and cute kids!

  12. Pam says:

    You are just awesome! Not only at baking and cooking and blogging and mothering but at your ability to make me want to cook. a lot. and eat even more. and laugh at this post which is the best!

  13. Sheila says:

    What a fun, creative post! Love it! Walker, the vegetable guy, is a guy after my heart. ๐Ÿ™‚ My beloved man is a meat and potatoes (skip the rest of the vegetables) kind of guy. Just looking at those cool pictures makes me smile envisioning all the giggles that came forth as a result of this photography.

  14. Stacy says:

    Ha Ha. Love this post!

  15. Trish says:

    Love it! Your kiddos are adorable!

  16. Jennifer says:

    So fun! I do love these types of posts!

  17. Jen T says:

    Awesome! love the pictures of them! Will have to add these to our “to make” list. Thanks and Happy new year to you and your cute family!

  18. NancyV908 says:

    I loved this post! It is prompting me to try a few new recipes. (But a few of my favorites showed up too.) Thank you so much for this blog. I am a new reader–just since this year (2015)–and I wish I’d known about it sooner. I love the recipes, and I love your writing. I wish you and your family a wonderful 2016.

  19. Susan D says:

    Wonderful cheerful post! I have been following your blog since the beginning and never commented so I would like to wish you & yours a Happy Ney Year!!! :))

  20. Brittany says:

    Love it!

  21. jane says:

    My daughter is 2.5 and my mom made that raspberry ribbon salad over Christmas. My daughter LOVED IT. She is one picky eater, but that salad, she couldnt get enough of it. my mom decided to make it again for new years eve, this time with blueberries instead and blueberry jello. We plan to do strawberry too. I think Cam must be like my daughter loving that salad. I think it’s okay, but the little ones, its a winner for sure.

  22. Ashlee says:

    Zucchini crust was probably my favorite recipe this year. I love it. But I love all the tips you’ve posted too. And my whole neighbor treat tray was from here, including the chocolate peppermint ones and it received rave reviews all around. Love this site!

  23. Rebecca says:

    What a great way to do the end of the year post! I bet your kids had a lot of fun having their say: you are a great mom (and a great blogger, too!).

    It was enlightening for me to read this. I was pretty sure I checked your site often enough not to miss anything, but as it turns out, two of the family favorites were recipes that had flown under my radar. I am eager to try them!

    Thanks so much for everything you do for us readers, and best wishes to you and your beautiful family for the coming new year.

  24. Trisha says:

    I love it. You made me laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚ What a happy, fun family – I’m sure it doesn’t always feel that way, but you have a gift for focusing on the positive and choosing to be happy. Loved the post and excited to try some of your family’s favorites. By the way, hope you are healing and feeling well.

  25. Paige says:

    I’m with Ty… that homemade root beer recipe was amazing! We’re making it again tonight for NYE! Happy New Year Mel!


  26. Maureen says:

    Love your recipes and here I am, selfishly asking for one more… ๐Ÿ™‚ My boys got me an OXO cookie press for Christmas — I don’t see a recipe for those type of cookies here – have I missed it or do you have one you would recommend?

  27. Lisa says:

    My definite favorite of the year was the skillet turkey meatballs with lemon rice. I am actually eating leftovers of it for lunch as I type this… and I think my husband’s favorite was the twixster cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for a great year of recipes! Happy New Year!

  28. Cindy says:

    Please publish a cookbook! My binder of recipes is getting too full!

    Mom to 10 blessings

  29. Go zucchini pizza crust! Love this post Mel, such a great way to mix the blog with the family. Have an amazing new year surrounded by your amazing family!!

  30. Katie B. says:

    This was possibly my favorite post of the year. So fun and cute! Your kids had some yummy sounding picks that I need to try.

  31. Ellen says:

    So I was a copycat and asked my kids the same question. Well…. for one, I can say they have a very short memory, and for two, they won’t get their favorite dinner once a week. What they all unanimously picked was our fondue Christmas dinner…. complete with adopting your rule of “if you drop it, you kiss someone”. It was loads of fun!

  32. Monica says:

    Such fun! And clearly, a fun-loving and wonderful family. : ) Thank you for your recipes and awesome blog. May 2016 will happy, healthy, and filled with new family favorites at your table.

  33. Charisse says:

    This was hilarious! And awesome!

  34. Helen says:

    I loved this so much !!! Now I want to do this with my family …. Poll them on their faves of the past year…. Hmm I just might . What a fun idea and post. Happy New Year to you and yours. Can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store !

  35. Laurel says:

    I vote that brown butter how to post, that was life changing! No bake chocolate cheesecake and Lemon sticky buns are on my top too. its been a delicious year and I’m so excited to see what next year brings! Happy New Year Mel!!

  36. Pete says:

    One of your 2015 recipes is a new staple in our home, the chocolate chip yogurt cake is my 8 year old son’s favorite cake, OF ALL TIME. And he thinks I’m a rockstar dad whenever I make it! Win-Win.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes, your humor and your family with all of us. Happy New Year!

  37. Laura says:

    I stumbled onto your site when I was trying to find new casserole type meals to take to some first time moms…and I have tried so many of your recipes — every single one is a hit!! I love them because they are delicious..they provide just the right amount of cooking challenge so that making them is fun for me and the results are amazing! God bless you and yours in the coming year! Thanks for this great resource!! Best cookbook EVER!!!!

  38. Karaline says:

    What a cute post! I love it. Happy New Year to you!

  39. I love it! So fun. I’ve only tried one recipe on your family’s list (but many more from other years), so it looks like I’d better hop to it. The baked eggs and zucchini pizza crust are calling my name. Happy New Year’s, Mel!

  40. Michelle Meyerh says:

    Thank you for being my go to blog for recipes. Happy New Year to you!

  41. Teresa says:

    Love this post so much! Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, joyous new year! Thanks for all you do here for us. You are amazing!

  42. Becky says:

    Well, it looks like I need to get on making that zucchini pizza crust! I made the sweet molasses bread for the first time this week, and I can totally see how it’s one of your faces!

  43. Liz says:

    That was one of the funnest posts to read also ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!

    Like Cyndi B., I kind of said “meh” to the zucchini pizza crust but I can see I need to give it a try!

    Thanks for a great year of recipes and blog-friendship. Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2016!

  44. Ruth says:

    What a fun post! I love seeing the pictures. I love the recipes….all of them. Happy New Years, Mel! I hope you are doing well and that your face has healed.

  45. Christine says:

    Aww….this was fun and sweet! Thanks for the great recipes all year long. Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Cyndi B says:

    Loved it!!!! Great post, your family is adorable. I kind of dismissed the zuchini pizza crust(my husband can be picky, but I think with so many votes I need to revisit that recipe. Happy New Year

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