thumb_IMG_1398_1024.jpg

Hi!

Welcome to The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas! I'm Alexa, and I am a food and travel blogger who loves cooking, baking, eating, and storytelling. Enjoy reading and eating your way through the sagas found here!

Top Recipes of 2017 on The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas

Top Recipes of 2017 on The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas


Regardless of how you feel about it, 2017 is coming to a close as the clock strikes midnight tonight. So much has happened in the world this year, points of epic joy and shocking heartbreak, moments of blinding anger and those of tender sweetness. Each of us has had a completely unique experience of 2017, and now it's time we move into 2018 with brightness and hope.

2017 has been quite a whirlwind of a year for me. I finished my thesis project, I graduated from college, and I moved from the west to the mountains and then again from the mountains to the east coast. I travelled to 13 different states, I evacuated from a hurricane for the first time in my life, and over the course of this year, I have been forced to learn more about myself than ever before. 

But most significantly for us here, 2017 was the year I started The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas! I have so enjoyed getting to share my stories and recipes with you all, and interact with you as we celebrate food. Each view, like, comment, email, message, and picture from you has meant so much to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

So, in honor of the end of the year, I've tallied up which recipes and posts were most popular with you all. Without further ado....here are the Top 10 Recipes of 2017:

pestopasta.jpg

10. Three "P" Pesto Pasta

Herby and green and filled with crunchy veggies and nuts, this pasta makes spring and summer dreams come true. I can barely wait until spring hits again and brings its bounty of basil, because I love the stuff (hello, check out the name of my blog!) and apparently you guys do too!

spicedbeefstew.jpg

9. Spiced Beef & Vegetable Stew with Toast

A hearty crockpot stew full of flavorful ground beef, a plethora of veggies, and a veritable garden of aromatic spices makes this soup a perfect wintertime companion. Combine it with some warm, buttery toast and you have the meal equivalent of athleisure (aka, comfort above all).

mintchocolatechipmacadamianutcookies.jpg

8. Mint Chocolate Chip & Macadamia Nut Cookies

A combination of mint chocolate chips and macadamia nuts give these chocolate cookies a little va va voom. Their mixture of minty fresh and tropically nutty caught your eye this year, and together we reveled in their chocolatey existence. 

pepperjackchickenparmigiana.jpg

7. Pepper Jack Chicken Parmigiana

A somewhat misleading name on my part, as the melted cheese that hugs this breaded chicken like a Snuggie was actually pepper jack instead of parmesan. You didn't seem to mind this small embellishment, however. And with robust red sauce poured over breaded and pan-fried chicken oozing with globs of spice-flecked cheese all laid to rest over a bed of al dente pasta--who could blame you?

spicytomatocreampasta.jpg

6. Lactose-Free Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta with Chicken & Spinach

This lactose-free creamy tomato sauce is light but also packs a bit of a spicy punch on account of the crushed red pepper. It's then rounded off with chicken and the fresh green addition of spinach. This was one of my favorite posts of the year as well, because in it I talked about my changing relationship with food and how vital it is to eat purposefully and live vibrantly.

DSC_0822.jpg

5. Vegetable & Herb Grilled Cheese

My first recipe on the Sagas, and you guys kept it right up there in the Top 5 the whole year through! I guess it just goes to show that nothing outlives the simple comfort of gooey, melted cheese, especially not when you pair it with olive oil-soaked bread, crunchy vegetables, and zesty herbs. (PS--Maggie, I feel like this recipe could potentially owe it's Top 5 status to you! Thanks for all your support!).

kaleandchickpeaquinoa.jpg

4. Kale + Chickpea Quinoa & Cheese

This recipe captures the comfort and sentimentality of mac & cheese, but gives it a healthy update. The fresh crunch of kale and chickpeas mix with nutty quinoa and melted cheese, and notes of lemon, garlic, and crushed red pepper add extra levels of flavor. Quick and healthy, this recipe quickly rose to the top of my analytics charts and stayed there, meaning you guys were down to mess with a classic like mac & cheese and give it a fresh twist.

bruiseberrypie.jpg

3. Bruise Berry Pie

Despite the fact that I gave this recipe a rather dangerous-sounding name, you guys gave it a lot of love. You're brave souls! And I hope that you were rewarded for your bravery in clicking on this post with a pie oozing with sugary, jewel-toned blueberries and blackberries and the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, all wrapped up in a buttery, flaky pie crust.

cheesysausagebakedpasta.jpg

2. Cheesy Hot Italian Sausage Baked Pasta

Pasta with hot Italian sausage, crunchy onions and bell peppers, and the flavor of roasted garlic under a layer of melted mozzarella cheese: basically an oven-baked dish of comfort. And if this Top 10 list is any indication, you guys are all about the cheesy comfort dishes (Guess what? Me too!). For some reason I was surprised by how popular this recipe became, and here it is in the runner-up spot at year's end--even my brother (the king of "I'm just making plain rice and beans for dinner") makes this and loves it! I'm not sure why I was so surprised; pasta + cheese + hearty tomato sauce is basically a foolproof combination.

devildogs.jpg

1. Nano's Devil Dogs

It is with great pride and joy that I announce that Nano's Devil Dogs took the #1 spot as Top Recipe of the Year 2017 on The Basil & Cinnamon Sagas. Although it's hard for me to choose between my recipes because I love them all (obviously, or I wouldn't post them), I know without a doubt that this is my favorite recipe I posted this year, and I'm beyond happy that it was yours as well. It is a recipe that has been passed down through my family and that holds a lot of nostalgia and fond memories for me. What was probably more of a draw for you all is the fact that these are cakey-textured chocolate cookies sandwiching creamy Cool Whip--so basically, heaven. Magic. Pure bliss. Thank you for loving them as much as I do!


Once again, thank you so much for following along with me on The Sagas for 2017, and I can't wait to share more recipes and stories with you in 2018. (Also: If there are recipes you'd like to see, send me an email or message with your requests. I'd love to see them!)

Happy New Year, all!

xoxo Alexa



Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies