As the year comes to a close, I always enjoy looking back and remembering the special events that I will carry forward into the New Year. My personal life is filled with wonderful memories... from my autumn travels in Italy to Liv's Championship performance last summer in Las Vegas at Nationals. In between, travels and time with close friends, dinners with my parents, lunches with girlfriends and weekends with the Dance Moms all brought treasured moments that I will bring with me into the future.
Life, as always, has kept me in balance, and here at Liv Life I make a decent effort to maintain a balance of healthy meals and sweet treats. A review of our statistical Top 10, however, shows absolutely NO balance. Sweets and treats all the way, with assorted Krispie Treats taking three of the Top 10 slots. It would seem that the world, very much like Liv, has a sweet tooth.
Without further ado, I give you our statistical Top 10 of 2011... and then for a bit of balance, I've thrown in some of my personal favorites to carry with us as we enter the New Year.
Arriving in the 10th position and making our list for two years in a row, is one of Liv's personal all time favorites: Chocolate Banana Crepes. Balance indeed, these crepes bring one, if not even more, servings of fruit in the banana all wrapped up in a thin, low fat, egg based crepe. I'm proud of Liv and her efforts to perfect her crepe making skills as she frequently comes home from school and whips up a batch of crepes... just cause she can.
Number 9 brings us a neighborhood favorite, and a guest post from my good friend Dan bringing us some serious "Man Food". Unfortunately for him, this man food has also become one of the most requested kid foods and the ladies pretty much love it too. Cheesy, salty and not to heavy, Becky's Stromboli is the ideal Super Bowl fare and will make you the hero of any gathering you bring it to.
Decadence on a plate, but now that I think about it, balance as well with a fairly healthy pancake made with whole wheat flour and topped with bananas in addition to the sweet Maple Glaze that makes this breakfast an event to remember.
2011 was the year that we discovered Nutella... that creamy, chocolaty, hazelnut spread that brings deliciousness to nearly everything it touches. With our love of Peanut Butter Krispie Treats, trying a Nutella version was just a matter of time.
Throwing rays of brilliant sunshine into our lives, this tender, bright cake features our own homemade Limoncello. Bright with citrus flavors, Limoncello Lemon Cake won't last long on your table.
Continuing our love of Citrus, these Lemon Drop Jell-O shots were a hit at a friends after dinner party. One of those "Wow! Look at that!" plates on the appetizer table, you decide just how potent these little guys should be.
Ahhhh... the flavors of fall! Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls have graced our tables in all seasons for years. Balanced with the Vitamin A rich pumpkin, these lower in fat treats are one I can feel good about serving, and also taking that second piece.
The marriage of peanut butter and chocolate is highlighted in these somewhat addicting treats. A dairy free version for my lactose intolerant son has become his favorite after school treat.
These guys are truly Krispie Treats taken to a new level! Layers of Peanut Butter Fudge trapped in between peanut butter enhanced Krispies, all topped with a luscious peanut butter ganache makes these treats truly magnificent and most deserving of a top spot on our list. These treats eased the pain of Back to School.
A funny note on this post, it wasn't until over 2 months after posting that I noticed the spelling error in the title... I had "layred" in place of "layered". Ugh!!!
My surprise of the year, these adorable shots have had more hits than all the rest of my blog posts put together. Definitely eye catching, the shots didn't bring the punch I was looking for, but I'm thinking that could easily be remedied with the addition of more tequila.
Some of our personal favorites made it to the Statistical Top 10, but to balance out the list I've gathered a few additional Liv Life Top Picks.
Coming in statistically at number 28 we get to the first healthier post on the list. Whole Roasted Garlic Lemon Chicken is not only simple to put together, but a total family pleaser. With your house smelling like a restaurant, this chicken will draw your family from all corners of the house asking how soon will dinner be on the table.
One of my all time favorite appetizers. Adorable in their single serving won ton cups, the flavors of the tropics really shine. Mango, coconut and lime bring the chicken filling to a mouth watering level and will be one of the first appetizer plates empty on your table.
Light, healthy and filling... I never knew poached salmon could be so good!
Another eye catcher ideal for a gathering is this Greek-like Appetizer. Featured for the first time on our New Years Table last year, I've been known to toss a few of these skewers together for an evening snack with a glass of wine.
Keeping the balance in my personal choices, something sweet is in order. As such, this luscious dessert will round out the Liv Life favorites of the year. Readers of Liv Life may have noticed my fondness for the heavenly Grand Marnier, and this cheesecake definitely fit the bill. Spiked with Kahlua AND Grand Marnier, the flavors mixed with the chocolate and brought 2011 to a resounding finale.
And there you have it...
Balance, Love and Life, all in one place. May 2012 be prosperous to you and yours, and may your plate always be filled.
Happy New Year!!