Top 5 Recipes of 2015

Random | December 30, 2015 | By

Can you guys believe that 2015 is winding down? It was a really busy year and definitely had some big highlights for us. This was my best year yet for Christen in the Kitchen and I’m really looking forward to seeing where 2016 brings me! Just under 14,000 people read my blog this year, and its exciting to think what next year could bring. I’m currently working on some personal goals for myself to work on in the coming year and maybe I’ll share them as I finish them up. 

For now, I wanted to look back on my top 5 recipes for 2015.Top Recipes for 2015

And if you’re curious, exactly one year ago, I talked about my top 5 recipes for 2014

Top 5 Recipes of 2015:

  1. Monster Cookie Dough Dip 
  2. Sweet Potato and Kale Gratin
  3. Sunday Night Beef Stew
  4. Glowing Skin Green Smoothie
  5. Slow Cooker Stout French Dip Subs 


Top Recipes for November 2015

Blogging, Random | December 1, 2015 | By

TOP RECIPES FOR November 2015Hey there! Happy December 1st! I thought it would be fun to recap some of the most read recipes here on Christen in the Kitchen for the month of November.

It was a really exciting month for me. I had some great collaborations with some brands that I love, but also had a record month for total readers page views! I’m so glad that people are liking the recipes and stories that I’m sharing, but also participating in this little community by giving me feedback, suggestions and sharing their favorite recipes as well. I also am proud that I was able to get more posts up on the blog. I think we all struggle to find time to do the things we love (rather than just doing what we have to do) so it’s been a pretty delicious month in the Gowan household! 

Speaking of which, I have some fun announcements coming up in a few weeks – just some extra fun ways to celebrate the holidays this year here on Christen in the Kitchen.

So without further ado, here were the top five posts from November:

  1. Monster Cookie Dough Dip – Is it a snack or is it dessert? No one really knows, but it’s highly addictive and super delicious! 
  2. Sweet Potato and Kale Gratin – I actually made this for Thanksgiving dinner and it was just yummy. I love cheese, cream and butter and you can’t go wrong with that holy trinity of awesomeness. 
  3. Breakfast Stuffed Red Peppers – This breakfast is just a great way to balance out all the crazy food from the holidays (hello, cookie dough dip) so try this low carb, healthy breakfast stuffed full of veggies. 
  4. Sunday Night Beef Stew – This is actually a recipe from May 2014, but its popular! I love this dinner and I’m definitely going to add it to a meal plan soon (possibly with venison instead because we just got a ton!) 
  5. Cranberry Nut Bread – A great holiday recipe in my family, and a perfect brunch item! 

So, there’s what you guys enjoyed! Like I said, fun stuff coming your way (especially if you have a sweet tooth!), but make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date. 

Meal Plan – Nov. 14-19

Meal Plan | November 14, 2015 | By

Walking in the woods

Hey everyone! I’ve gotten my life in order earlier this week than usual and thought I’d share our weekly meal plan. This way, if you’re sitting around this weekend wondering what’s for dinner then here are a few ideas for you! 

  • Saturday: Pork Chops and an amazingly delicious (and super secret) side dish that I’m recipe testing right now
  • Sunday: My mom’s lasagna – so good and I need some comfort food right now
  • Monday: These Whole Wheat and Oat Pumpkin Pancakes with a side of bacon 
  • Tuesday: Parmesan Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli (because we eat it way too much already!) 
  • Wednesday: Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup (I’ll also blog this one if I can get it just right!) 
  • Thursday: Some sort of freezer meal

I have a couple Thanksgiving recipes that I’m testing this week so next week will be extra delicious. One recipe is a family classic and a few others are a more modern spin on traditional Thanksgiving flavors so stay tuned! 

In the mean time, go follow me on Instagram! I usually like to take pictures of things fresh out of the oven so you’ll get a sneak peek of what I’m working on! I actually stole the photo above from Trevor’s Instagram so go follow him too 🙂 

5 Things on My Cooking List

Uncategorized | March 19, 2015 | By

We have a couple fun weekends coming up and many opportunities to try some new recipes. We are in the midst of sapping season! As I’ve said before, Trevor is obsessed with making maple syrup from the trees in our backyard and we get quite a bit of sap each year. We usually have quite a few people over to help out when he’s boiling so I’ll be making quite a bit of snacks and lunch-type things soon. 

Here are a couple things I’m going to be trying the weeks to come:

These Guinness French Dip Sandwiches – I honestly can’t say no to a good French dip sandwich and adding some Guinness makes everything better, right?

Creamy Pappardelle with Leeks and Bacon – we’re getting into spring vegetables soon so I’d love to get some local ones and try out this creamy pasta dish. I’d also probably swap out pancetta for the bacon just to jazz it up a bit. 

Baked Broccoli Parmesan Dip – This looks like a great make-ahead dip and just throw it in the oven when we have people over. Everyone loves a warm, cheesy dip with some crusty bread! 

Seriously, this is called Crack Pie. I’ve never been to Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City, but I’ve always wanted to! This is apparently the world’s best pie and I’d love to see if that holds true. I will definitely report back to you on this one! 

And for a Sunday breakfast, some Strawberry Granola Pancakes. They look downright delicious and would go pair perfectly with some breakfast sausage and a big cup of coffee! 

So that’s what’s coming out of my kitchen sooner rather than later. What are you cooking and what are some recipes that I should try out? 

Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Dinner, Not-so-healthy | February 24, 2015 | By

Bacon mac and cheeseWe are in the loooooong stretch of winter. The holidays have passed, but its still snowing and temperatures got down to -14 last night. Ugh. I’m just going to keep on keeping on until spring. For now, bring on more comfort foods. 

I’ve been really loving mac and cheese recipes with other things mixed in. We had dinner at Druthers Brewery, one of our favorite places in Saratoga, last week and I had a great Hawaiian Mac and Cheese there. They’ve won a bunch of local Mac and Cheese competitions, and I’d never tried any of their recipes before. It was a great hit (and we had a ton of leftovers!). This is an easy, homemade version that also sneaks a little bit of a veggie in there too. 

This is also a great make ahead dinner. Just leave off the topping and when you get home from work and while the oven is preheating, mix up the topping, add it on and throw the whole thing in the oven. 

Read on for the recipe.


The ups and downs of food blogging

Uncategorized | January 28, 2015 | By

Not to sound like a complete whiner, but I’ve been striking out on recipe testing lately. Things have been good, but not great. They aren’t recipes that I feel great enough about to share on the blog. So needless to say, its a bit frustrating. Today I wanted to share some of recipes that are on my to do list for the coming week. 

So that’s what’s coming up here and I’ll keep you posted as they happen! Have a great Wednesday! 

Meal Plan Monday

Meal Plan | January 12, 2015 | By

Hey everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend. My weekend was filled with cleaning/sorting toys and watching children get everything back out again (sigh). It’s the joys of parenting young kids, right? One big highlight was Hadley starting ice skating lessons. Pretty soon she’ll be keeping up with her dad. Now I just need to get some skating lessons…maybe Bryn and I will take some together 🙂 

So no new recipe today (we kind of struck out on dinner last night). That’s the joys of food blogging. Sometimes the recipe just doesn’t turn out. It’s not a total loss, but I think I need to try a couple different tweaks to get it blog-worthy. Instead of a recipe, I’ll share what our meal plan is for the week. It’s nothing super special, but still some good recipes. We’re in the midst of trying to use up what’s in our pantry (and I’ll share a little bit more about that tomorrow or Wednesday). So here’s the plan for the week:

Monday: Leftovers of our Slow-Roasted Spiced Pork Shoulder from last night. (not really like pulled pork like I hoped – for tacos – but still delicious)

Tuesday: Barbecue Chicken Thighs (in the slow cooker) with rice and veggies 

Wednesday: Venison Chili and cornbread (Trevor is a hunter and got a deer this fall so I’m trying to integrate it more into our weekly meal plan – anyone have a great chili recipe???) 

Thursday: Pork Chops with Apple Sage Stuffing Cups (I pre-made a lot of these a few weeks ago so I just need to defrost and reheat the stuffing) 

Friday: Winging it from the freezer or take out