The Best Recipes of the Year

We asked about the recipes that knocked your socks off, and you answered. Here, the most outrageously delicious fudge, cakes, weeknight pastas, warming soups, and special occasion roasts as recommended by Shine readers. Here's to a delicious 2012!

Mushroom tacos: Jack called the mushroom tacos he made this year "a new diet staple."

Try it: Poblano and mushroom tacos

Or try: Zucchini, corn, and potato tacos

Pork roast with white beansPork roast with white beansPork Roast: "The first time I cooked a pork roast by it's final resting temperature instead of it's cooking temperature, I realized that pork can stay pink inside...and that not-overcooked pork is glorious." Amen to that, Bookluva.

Try it: Pork Roast, Eggplant, and White Beans


Fish chowderFish chowderCatfish chowder: Judy loved this stew, cooked with a leftover baked potato and "the holy trinity," (which we can only assume is onions, bell pepper, and celery. With really fresh fish, this sounds like a beautifully simple supper.

Try it: Hearty fish chowder

Pasta with butternut squash and lambPasta with butternut squash and lambPasta with butternut squash and lamb: When it comes to weeknight dinners, I'm all about the one-pot meal. This pasta recipe sounds fancier and more complicated than it is; it's basically pasta and meat sauce with lots of unique twists. Cilantro keeps things vibrant, but warming cinnamon, hearty ground lamb and butternut squash make this super cozy for a cold winter's night.

Try it: Multi-grain pasta with butternut squash, ground lamb, and kasseri

Or try: Lamb and eggplant ragu

Chicken and gnocchi soupChicken and gnocchi soupChicken and gnocchi soup: Joni L wrote that she discovered "this delicious soup recipe this year using gnocchi, something I had never cooked with before. I make it using milk instead of half and half and it is delicious." We think this sounds like a perfectly cozy winter meal.

Try it: Chicken and gnocchi soup

Or try: Chicken and gnocchi with squash

Short rib raguShort rib ragu

Short rib ragu: You know that oft-touted entertaining advice about reheating something made ahead of time? Well, it works. I've never been as relaxed or happy a hostess as the night I served this short rib ragu (and I've seldom seen my guests so delighted).

Try it: Short rib ragu

Or try: Country beef short ribs over Gorzonzola polenta

Chocolate mint cakeChocolate mint cake

Chocolate mint cake: For those of you who go bananas for Thin Mints, we see why Sabyna thought this cake was a winner.

Try it: Chocolate mint cake

Or try: Chocolate mint bars

Rocky road fudgeRocky road fudgeRocky Road Fudge: This reader-submitted recipe sounds like one for the books: Put 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 can condensed milk in microwave proof bowl. Keep watch on it as it cooks. Stop and stir often. When it is just about totally melted take it and stir to complete creaminess. Then add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir. Add 1 cup salted party peanuts. Stir. Add 1 cup mini-marshmallows. Stir. Then add an additional 1 cup each mini-marshmallows and peanuts and stir. Pour it into a 9-by-9-inch greased pan. Refrigerate. When hardened it is ready to eat...Yum!

Or try: Simple fudge

Cranberry cobblerCranberry cobblerCranberry cobbler: Jeffreyt turned his leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce into a cranberry cobbler. We say: oh, yes.

Try it: Holiday cranberry cobbler

Or try: Gingered cranberry-pear cobbler


Peppermint and white chocolate cream piePeppermint and white chocolate cream pieWhite chocolate peppermint red velvet cake: Peggy wins the extreme baking creativity prize! She got "really crazy" for her family holiday party when she baked up a "2 layer cheesecake and layered it between 3 layers of from scratch Red Velvet Cake" adding layers of cream cheese frosting. Crazy, maybe, but also crazy delicious.

Try it: Layer a red velvet cake with a white chocolate cheesecake.

Or try: Peppermint and white chocolate cream pie