In many ways, 2016 was a pretty tough year. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that as we all seem to be on the same page about this dumb excuse of a year. 🙂 But in other ways, this year was big for me. I really found my passion in school–bilingual education–and my mental health improved by a billion. I feel almost as balanced and stable as I did pre-teaching, just way more jaded. But I can deal with that. I got not just one but two jobs. My nephew can finally say my name and recognize me. My boyfriend brings a lot of joy and adventure into my life. The initial work of my thesis has gotten a lot of praise. I even learned a good chunk of Spanish!
Oatmeal-wise, this year has challenged me as I have fallen in love with experimenting with unique ingredients and sophisticated flavor combinations, yet I also want to keep my recipes easy, quick, and inviting. I wish all my recipes could be made with five ingredients, and I don’t want to scare anyone off with my persimmons. 🙂
As usual, I have assembled the top recipes from the year for us to reminisce together!
1. Fan Favorite Recipe
These German Chocolate Cake Oatmeal Bites, much to my surprise, received more views than all other recipes from 2016. I did not see that coming!
2. Pinterest Queen & 3. Best Baked Oatmeal
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal: This recipe was the most popular pin on my board “The Oatmeal Artist.” This isn’t an exact science, considering it all depends on what day and what time of day I pin the recipe, but regardless, this was the one that gathered up the most repins! It was also the most-viewed baked recipe of the year.
4. Best Steel-Cut Oatmeal & 5. Best Savory Oatmeal
Savory Citrus Arugula Steel Cut Oatmeal: For the second year in a row, I have reserved steel-cut oats primarily for savory recipes, meaning this category gets combined. This recipe was inspired by a quinoa salad. It’s savory, but also bright and zesty! They also happen to be my favorite photos from the year. <3
6. Best Non-Porridge Recipe
Salted Pretzel PB2: After the German Chocolate Cake Bites (see above), this was the next most popular non-porridge recipe. I approve! This topping is salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy, and (most importantly) versatile!
7. Chocolate Oatmeal of the Year
S’mores Oatmeal: I went all out for my blog’s 4th birthday, finally splurging on the tricky vegan ingredients to make this s’mores-themed oatmeal. You all approved, making it the one of the most-viewed chocolate oatmeal (after the aforementioned German Chocolate bites and Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal).
8. Herb-acious Oatmeal of theYear
Rosemary Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal: This year I went nuts for fresh herbs. I made my position known right from the start, posting this popular recipe on January 6th. I AGREE. IT IS SO GOOD.
9. Best Overnight Recipe
Dirt Pie Overnight Oatmeal: Inspired by the dessert of chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreos, this overnight recipe made many of very nostalgic for our childhoods!
10. Most Popular Guest Post
Valentina’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownie Baked Oatmeal: Not surprisingly, the brownie baked oatmeal contest was a huge success this year and gave us all some amazing recipes. Based on page views, Valentina’s was our favorite! Runner Up: Lyndsey’s Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownie Baked Oatmeal with a Shortbread Crust!
11. Most Viewed Oatmeal Enthusiast
Meet Tyler!: These bright, bold, and beautiful photos captured the most views in 2016. Thank you to all my OE participants, and I can’t wait to continue this series in the future! Runner up: Meet Sandra!
12. Most Liked on Instagram
This Pumpkin, Brown Sugar, and Fig Oatmeal barely beat out a few close competitors to be the most popular post on IG this year.
13. TOA’s Recipe of the Year