Top Holiday Ideas of 2012

Chocolaty Melting Snowman
'Twas a season of cooking (with apples and pureed pumpkin), decorating (with natural elements), and crafting (with felt) on We've gathered the top 15 holiday projects and recipes of 2012 -- we bet you'll find a familiar idea or two.

Top Fall Recipe: Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is always a favorite with our readers but add in pumpkin and you've got a big winner. With over 8,000 Pinterest pins, this recipe was also tops on social media.

Top Fall Outdoor Decoration: Juniper-and-Bittersweet Rake Wreath

The adjectives readers used to describe this fall wreath: adorable, inexpensive, and so cute. You especially loved the recycle idea of it; opting to show off an outdated or broken wreath instead of tossing it.

To make the wreath, simply tuck dried juniper and bittersweet betwen tongs of a rake and add a natural raffia bow at the base.

Top Fall Baking Recipe: Crumb-Topped Apple Slab Pie

Better Homes and Gardens readers love apples! And when it comes to fall baking, they loved this apple-packed slab pie. Looking to jazz it up? Readers suggested serving it with pumpkin ice cream and caramel sauce. Sounds delish!

Top Outdoor Halloween Decoration: Stacked Pumpkin Message

Forget spooky -- this Halloween you went for elegant with these stacked pumpkins. The less-than-frightful display was a top Facebook "Like" as well. It was also part of one of our most popular days for the 100 Days of Holidays program.

Top Halloween Pumpkin Stencil: Frankenstein's Face

The #1 pumpkin stencil of the year was this bolt-head buddy. He beat woodland creatures, smiling faces, and dog breeds for the best of the season.

Top Halloween Recipe: Black Cat Cupcakes

We traditionally have more dog people than cat people on, but here kitties reigned supreme. This Halloween cupcake decorating idea was a huge favorite.

To get the look:

  1. Frost your favorite cupcakes with chocolate frosting and top with a generous amount of chocolate sprinkles.
  2. For eyes, cut a 1/8-inch-thick slice from two yellow gumdrops. Stick a short piece of shoestring licorice to act as the cat's pupil.
  3. For ears, cut chocolate candy bars into triangles.
  4. For whiskers, cut shoestring licorice into 1-1/2- to 2-inch lengths and arrange. Pipe on a frosting nose.

Top Thanksgiving Side Dish: Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mmm…we wish we'd been invited to all the Thanksgiving dinners that included this side dish favorite! A smart toss-in-the-slow-cooker solution to the big feast, this eight ingredient recipe gains punch from chicken broth with roasted garlic.

Ever wondered how to deep-fry a turkey? We help you pick the right oil for frying and figure out how much oil to use, so you'€™ll get the most delicious turkey for your family'€™s dinner.

Top Thanksgiving Video: How to Deep-Fry a Turkey

Get out the fryers -- you were up for something different for your Thanksgiving feast. Our #1 video of the Thanskgiving season was this deep-fry a turkey segment. Check it out so you can master the bird next year!

Top Winter Recipe: Creamy Chicken-Broccoli Bake

One of our readers said this about this favorite winter bake: "My four boys absolutely devoured this!" We're so glad it feeds a crew (the recipe serves 12).

Top Holiday Party Appetizer: Endive Chicken Boats

When it came to Thanksgiving, make-ahead was key. This highly rated chicken appetizer features Belgian endives as the base. Finger food rules!

Top Indoor Christmas Decoration: Fir Bundles

Nature-inspired decorations ruled this holiday season. And when nature was paired with small-spaces, the response was overwhelming. This simple bundle of fir, berries, and twigs tied with baubbles and matching ribbon was a winner.

Top Holiday Food Gift: Cake Pops

Cake pops were a huge trend last year and the love continues. These 12 recipes for cake pops (bridging tastes from Chocolate Mint to Lemon Cream) were a huge hit, specially when gifted in a decorative tin.

Top Handmade Christmas Gift: Felt Christmas Tree Crafts

Pretty felt ornaments that work with anything (added to canisters for the kitchen, hung on the tree, or looped over a doorknob) were your favorite handmade gift of the season. Inexpensive materials make it do-able in multiple.

Top Christmas Centerpiece: Sweater-Wrapped Votives

These petite (and cheap!) beauties adorned many of your Christmas tables. Some users commented that they wanted to make them more traditional with red and green Christmas sweaters -- great idea! To make, simply cut off the cuff of an old sweater and wrap around a glass votive.

Top Christmas Cookie: Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

These cookies dominated the cookie voting this holiday season. Melted vanilla candies and peanut butter cups provided most of Frosty's facade; the cookie is a basic brown sugar and peanut butter base.

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