2017 photo highlights | LivingLou.com

While 2017 definitely had its challenges (doesn’t every year?), in general, I feel like it was a pretty good year for me personally. I spent the year trying to focus on positivity, and while it wasn’t always possible, just having positivity be top of mind was a game changer. This is something that I’ll carry with me through this year and beyond as it has become such an important force in my life.

That’s not to say that everything was happy and blissful all the time. The summer in particular was exhausting, as I juggled and struggled with a few different things. But, as with every year, we work through those months and moments and end up growing and learning from those more challenging situations.

There were big moments throughout the year; I moved to my first apartment in the spring and started a new job in the fall! There have also been a ton of developments with my blog, and a few things that I’m already working on for 2018. One of the biggest new opportunities was becoming the daily recipe contributor to Metro News which is a daily newspaper across Canada.

This year I’m focusing on being more present in my life, to focus and take in moments, to remember them and remember the things that I might otherwise forget. This is a challenge for me, as I’m always forgetting things and rushing from one thing to the next and moving a million miles a minute, but I’m ready to slow down a little and be here. 2018 is going to be a big and important year, I’m turning 25, and something feels different about it, and I’m not sure what it is, but I just know there are good things to come.

Here’s to another good year, and to finish it off the top 10 recipes of 2017.

Make a budget-friendly and simple slow cooker chicken noodle soup for a healthy dinner. | livinglou.com

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup 

This is one of the easiest ‘set it and forget it’ slow cooker recipes, and is perfect for the frigid temps we experience last winter (and are experiencing right now!).

A quick dinner recipe for peanut chicken stir fry with a creamy coconut peanut sauce, broccoli and red peppers. | livinglou.com

Peanut Chicken Stir Fry

When I made this recipe, I knew it would quickly become a favourite. Such a simple recipe that is loaded with flavour, and makes uses of ingredients you likely already have on hand.

The ultimate crispy baked buffalo chicken wings. | livinglou.com

The Ultimate Crispy Buffalo Wings

Five ingredient Buffalo chicken wings? Say no more! These are a favourite even when there isn’t a sporting event to watch.

An authentic recipe for juicy Greek chicken souvlaki with garlic and lemon juice. | livinglou.com

Greek Chicken Souvlaki

I can’t believe how many years it took me to perfect and share this recipe. I grew up spending my summers in Greece and this souvlaki recipe is 100% authentic and exactly what you’d taste at a taverna by the beach.

Chewy chocolate peppermint cookies are the perfect easy drop cookie for the holidays. | livinglou.com

Chewy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

I can’t believe these made it into the top 10 already! These cookies are to die for and the perfect recipe to bookmark for next Christmas.

This recipe for tomato tortellini soup with kale is so easy with basil and veggies! | livinglou.com

Tomato Tortellini Soup with Kale

Ah, comfort food at its best. I’ve been obsessed with this soup recipe ever since I posted it last year. It’s a throwback to one my mom used to make when I was growing up.

S'mores rice krispie treats with chocolate and graham crackers are the ultimate easy dessert. | livinglou.com

S’mores Rice Crispy Treats 

I was totally surprised that this made the top 10, but then again, it’s the perfect campfire style treat for the summer!

A gooey grilled cheese sandwich made with caramelized onions, green apple and horseradish. | livinglou.com

Caramelized Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese

Oh grilled cheese! I didn’t post any grilled cheese recipes on here forever because I just thought they were too basic, but this recipe with caramelized onions, apples and horseradish is so incredibly decadent and delicious.

These chicken lettuce wraps come together in 20-minutes and are super light and healthy with ginger, lime juice and smoked paprika. | livinglou.com

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A healthy dinner in 20 minutes? Yes please! I’m not surprised that this made the list–this was a recipe that I developed while I was doing a bit of a light ‘cleanse’ and it’s so good. Definitely on the rotation in January.

Quick Mexican-inspired breakfast quesadilla recipe. | livinglou.com

Quick Breakfast Quesadillas

It took me a while to get on the breakfast quesadilla train, but honestly, I’ve been on this kick all year. It started during my early 5am mornings at my old job, I’d make a quesadilla before I headed out the door and snack on it around 9am.

And there you have it, the top 10 recipes for 2017! Thank you for joining me for another incredible year and I’m so excited to see what happens in 2018.

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