Solyanka

We have had some pretty cold and dreary weather lately, and this kind of weather always causes me to crave soup. This weekend, Brent was eager to experiment with something new. Brent discovered Solyanka, a spicy and sour soup that originates from Russia but is also popular in Germany and former Eastern Block countries.

Solyanka is traditionally prepared in three different varieties: meat, fish, or mushroom. When Brent shared our recipe development with our friend Russ, who you might know as The Domestic Man, his first question was “Meat, fish, or mushroom?” As someone who specializes in recreating traditional recipes, it was no surprise to us that he was already familiar.

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Tex-Mex Breakfast Bake

For the start of 2017, I’m trying something that I normally despise—eating breakfast. Most mornings, I don’t find myself particularly hungry and I get by with a cup of black coffee and wait until lunch. That said, it’s always been a hunger decision rather than a dislike of breakfast foods. You can see from our multiple breakfast recipes that we’re pretty keen on breakfast foods (although Heather is a much bigger fan of pancakes and waffles).

This recipe hits a number of must-haves for me: you can make it in one pot, it makes multiple servings, and you can make it spicy. This skillet dish reminds me a bit of chili, but the addition of cauliflower and the final step of baking the dish brings the texture closer to a breakfast casserole. And if you’re like me, and like things spicy, you can cover it in hot sauce with no regrets.

Without further ado, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for our tex-mex style breakfast bake.

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Easy Overnight Refrigerator Pickles

Pickles—just thinking about them makes my mouth water. They’re easily one of my favorite snacks, and I’ve been known to sit down on the couch with one of the gigantic jars you can buy at Costco and put a serious dent in the supply. We’ve also come to love local pickles as well as craft pickles. Brooklyn Brine makes some amazing flavor combinations, especially spicy ones, that we love, but our wallets do not (plus, they’re not quite gluten-free).

Making pickles with a traditional brine is fun, and like craft cider or wine in a lot of ways (fermentation), but it is definitely not an immediate reward. When we made our own pickles back in 2012 based on another recipe, we waited a good 5 days before trying them and had mixed results. We also did something similar with Brussels sprouts a little while back. Even with this recipe, it took the better part of a week.

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Year In Review: The 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2016

At the end of the year, it’s time to reflect. It’s crazy to think that we’ve been writing for this blog for almost 5 years, and had over 1 MILLION views during that time! We’re blown away on how this accountability project, originally set up to blog about our first Whole30® (my first post here), has grown and changed our lives. We’ve made lifelong friends, hundreds of recipes, and had a great time cooking and learning to photograph.

To send off 2016 in style, here are the top 10 recipes as rated by views for the year. We’ve also added a few of the posts we felt were the best of the year in the honorable mention, the least popular post of the year, and news and well wishes for 2017.

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Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

We have more than a handful of Brussels sprouts recipes. But, we love them so much, we’re always looking for creative ways to make them. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, Brent’s mom saw a Brussels sprouts slaw at Wegmans and told us about it. We agreed that it was an interesting idea, but there were a few ingredients we wouldn’t usually incorporate into our cooking. So I took the premise and made my own, fall-inspired salad. We served it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner and it was a unique and refreshing vegetable on the plate. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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