Wondering what whetted the appetite of StarTribune.com readers this year? Look no further. Here are this year's most popular recipes — and they're all worth revisiting.
Not just for breakfast
Taste contributor and author Meredith Deeds' Italian Sausage, Pepper and Parmesan Skillet Strata struck a chord with readers — more than 90,000 clicked to read about a breakfast casserole so good, it deserves to be promoted to a dinnertime staple. With the holiday season still in full swing, it's a perfect time to revisit the recipe. Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? Find the recipe here.
The annual Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest is a perennial favorite with readers, and our 20th anniversary issue was no exception. Our winning baker, Stephanie Steinwedel of Minneapolis, created Maple-Roasted Walnut Delights to take this year's top prize. But we're all winners, because we now have more than 100 recipes in our cookie finder. And although it's technically a holiday cookie contest, we'll keep baking many of these gems all winter long. Find the recipes here.
Thanksgiving with a twist
Readers proved they are ready to break with holiday traditions — or at least contemplate doing so — with our series of recipes that added a twist to traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Taste contributor and author Beth Dooley proposed turning stuffing into muffin cups, Meredith Deeds made an unforgettable French Onion Potato Gratin, plus we had variations of Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, biscuits and pumpkin spice latte pie — all recipes that don't need to be confined to one holiday. Find the recipes here.
A showstopping potato salad
Once the end of May hits, everyone is eager for summer — and grilling season — to start. And what's a barbecue without potato salad? This version, from Meredith Deeds, has a touch of acidity, spice and sweetness (as well as a very important ingredient), but Deeds encourages you to be the master of your own potato salad and add your favorite mix-ins, too. Find the recipe here.
Minnesota explorer Will Steger is known for a lot of things, cookbooks hadn't been one of them — until now. Taste reporter Sharyn Jackson talked to Steger and his niece Rita Mae, who released "The Steger Homestead Kitchen: Simple Recipes for an Abundant Life" this year with co-author Beth Dooley. The book weaves stories about Steger's adventures around simple and sustainable recipes. Read the story and select recipes — including one for Mom's Gingersnaps — here.
In praise of Tater Tot Hot Dish
There are plenty of opinions to go around when it comes to the unofficial state dish. But tastes and times are changing as people put their own spin on the classic casserole, wrote Taste editor Nicole Hvidsten. Seafood Tater Tot Hot Dish can be a decadent treat, with not an ounce of cream of mushroom soup in sight. And Gov. Tim Walz won the 2014 Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Off with his Turkey Trot Tater-Tot Hotdish. Go ahead, try them. Find the recipes here.
Savoring summer recipes
No matter the occasion, when there's food involved, we like to have options. Ahead of the July 4th weekend, we combed through cookbooks from the first half of the year to give you a full buffet of suggestions, from meatless burgers and side dishes to mango dessert tacos and a cast-iron cobbler. Is it too early to start planning for picnic season? Find the recipes here.
A cheesecake like no other
Meredith Deeds turned heads this fall with this recipe, which will change the way you look at cheesecake. The Spanish-style dessert — Basque cheesecake — tastes like a cross between cheesecake and crème brûlée. The texture isn't dense like a standard cheesecake, and the process of making it is different, too. Find the easy, impressive and incredibly luxurious recipe here.
All eyes on brunch
Spring puts a little skip in our step, and so does brunch. With the help of both local and national cookbook authors, we curated a menu that takes you from mimosas to dessert. One of the great things about brunch is that it's good all year long, so if you're looking for ideas, by all means take a look at these recipes. (You'll just have to adapt the brownie recipe that calls for Easter candy.)
A heavenly take on pie
If you haven't heard of Angel Pie, you're missing out. The simple recipe has a meringue base in place of a traditional crust, and is a throwback for a spring gathering, with the bonus that it's gluten-free. Rachel Swan of Pie & Mighty made her Grandma Lu's Lemon Angel Pie an instant success. "I think the reason why this pie fell off the radar is that it takes time and practice, and we don't have that anymore," Swan told reporter Sharyn Jackson. If you happen to have a little of both, find the story and recipe here.