First Year Favorites


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Today is the one year anniversary of the day I started writing down my recipes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. After a year of blogging and over four hundred recipes, I have made many dishes that are now true family favorites. (I really did try to narrow this list, I promise!)

All of these recipes have been made at least three times and some of these dishes are on our menu every month. Every single one of these foods makes me very happy when I eat it!

* You can click the picture or the links beside each post for the recipes.

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A white plate topped with meat and vegetables

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Stir Fry
Tender chicken, salty bacon and crisp tender peppers are tossed in a fantastic sweet and spicy sauce to make this my most beloved stir fry. My husband made this the first time we had it and it was so delicious that I immediately put it on our menu again for later than same month. I make this more frequently than any other recipe on this site.

A plate of hot dogs and a cup of coffee

Filipino Lumpia
I fell in love with lumpia at first bite many years ago. The flavor is unique and unforgettable. The fact that I can now make them in my own kitchen still makes me grin! Thanks to a new friend for her fantastic recipe, this is the meal I am proudest of this year. I have to practice restraint and not make them constantly now!

A plate of food on a table

Mexican Lasagna
This dish has been a family favorite for a few years now. My kids frequently request it and it is so easy to make ahead of time; I frequently have a pan of this lasagna waiting in the freezer.

A piece of cake on a plate

Herb Rubbed Pork Roast
Loaded with flavors from all of the spices, with a surprising kick from the peppers and the salt, this is currently my favorite pork roast recipe. It is incredibly tender and it turns out perfectly every time.

A plate of food on a table

Beer and Garlic Grilled Chicken
This marinade has become a staple in our house over the past year. Every person who has tried this chicken has commented on the fantastic flavor. We like to grill a lot of extra chicken each time we make this and then keep it in the fridge for easy lunches.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Spice and Potato

Vanilla Bean Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Without any added sugars at all, this is one of the best sweet potato dishes I have ever tasted. The potatoes are roasted until they are bursting with rich flavor. The vanilla provides a delicious undertone to the dish and the butter and cream take this to a level I can only compare with a warm mousse. I happily eat this for dessert every time I make it.

A bowl of food with broccoli, with Spice and Sugar

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
If you aren’t a fan of brussels sprouts, these just might change your mind. Lightly sweetened with brown sugar and still crisply warm from the stove, these are addictive. I actually crave brussels sprouts now, thanks to this recipe!

A piece of bread on a plate

Rosemary Bread with Whole Wheat (my version of Macaroni Grill’s bread)
This bread is completely addictive when dipped in extra virgin olive oil and cracked pepper. I’ve made this so many times I have lost count. There is rarely a slice left after a meal.

A piece of bread on a cutting board with a cake, with Walnut

Zucchini Spice Bread with Walnuts and Olive Oil
The olive oil in this bread gives it a deeper flavor and whole wheat flour improves the texture as well. This bread is richer in flavor than most quick breads and it is not cake-like at all. I can hardly wait to make the first loaf from this year’s garden!

A piece of cake sitting on top of a wooden table

Cinnamon Spice Soaked and Baked Oatmeal
Cinnamon and nutmeg are soaked with milk and oats overnight, providing a deeper flavor as well as whole new texture to baked oatmeal. The oats are still separate and chewy, but they manage to hold together quite well.

A close up of food on a plate, with Cream and Pancake

Delicate Cream Cheese Pancakes
Just two ingredients and these pancakes are ready to cook. These are on our menu at least once a week. With a taste more like crepes than pancakes, I love that they are so incredibly simple to make!

A sandwich sitting on top of a paper plate, with Kitchen and Almond

Almond Bars
Delicate, almond flavored shortbread is topped with sliced almonds and drizzled with a sweet almond glaze. There is nothing else I bake that is as frequently requested as these Almond Bars. I quadruple the recipe almost every time I make them, so that I have plenty of them to give away.

A piece of chocolate cake on a plate, with Chocolate chip and Sheet cake

Texas Sheet Cake a.k.a. Best Chocolate Cake Ever (with Gluten Free option included)
Served warm, this cake is fabulously gooey and chocolatey. Served cold, it forms an awesome frosting crust layer on top that simply melts in your mouth. However you serve it, definitely plan to share with friends!

A close up of a plate covered with chocolate, with Cookie and Butter

I Want To Marry You Cookies
Warm melted butter is blended together with sugars and it creates a rich toffee flavor that I have never before tasted in a chocolate chip cookie. The cookies positively melt in your mouth. This is the BEST second day cookie I have ever made. They taste phenomenal warm from the oven and they taste even better the next day.

Food on a plate, with Cookie and Shortbread

Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
Light, buttery, delicate almond flavored cookies with just the right amount of sweetness, filled with homemade jams and then lightly drizzled with icing. These cookies will surprise you by truly melting in your mouth.


Ginger and Honey Roasted Almonds
Ginger and honey give an awesome twist to classic burnt sugar almonds. These are a healthier version with loads less sugar and they turn out even more delicious than the sugared ones everyone loves.I can hardly keep these in the house, they disappear so quickly!

A bowl of fruit sitting on top of a wooden table, with Smoothie and Grape

Favorite Green Smoothie
Orange juice, sweet green grapes, a banana and a handful of spinach combine to make this the easiest (and possibly the tastiest) green smoothie I make. If you are new to green smoothies, this is an excellent place to start.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my favorite salads and dressings!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Tricia @ saving room for dessert says

    Congratulations Mary! What a tremendous accomplishment. I will have to look at all these again and see which ones I need to make. How am I ever going to post anything new if I spend all my time making your recipes 🙂 So happy to know you. Keep up the great work – we love your blog!!!

  2. Magnolia Verandah says

    HI Mary just popped over from Sue's The View from Great Island and loved the line up of your first anniversary. Congratulations and hope to visit you again in the future.

  3. Geni says

    Happy Anniversary Mary! I don't know…this blog is so gorgeous and professional that I was sure you were older than one! I am so glad that you did a Barefeet's Best OF. I would have missed those almond cookies…I hadn't seen those before and I have actually searched the internet for a cookie just like that and came up empty handed. So yay! Congratulations on a smashing first year!

  4. Anna @ hiddenponies says

    Happy blogiversary!! I love following along with all your recipes, I can't believe you've blogged that many recipes in a year, amazing!! I can't wait to try that stirfry, the lumpia, the almond bars…oh man, everything!