Your Favorite Posts of 2011

Ah, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Designed for sleeping late, playing with new toys, eating leftovers, watching bad TV, and the occasional day at a nearly empty workplace. And, lest we forget: top ten lists. Books, movies, music, photographs‘fascinating’ people (Really, Barbara? Really?) but also science blog posts, weird life-forms and of course, the top ten weirdest top ten lists. Apparently, there is nothing that makes our hearts go pitter-pat at this festive time of year more than a nicely ordered list, complete with bullet points and snarky asides.

So, to fuel the listy-love: two top ten lists. Your top 10 favorite posts of 2011 (based upon the most popular posts, in terms of traffic, in the past year) are presented below. Stay tuned in the coming days for my top 10 favorite posts of the year (based upon nothing more than my wacky whim). Enjoy!


Number 10: Preserving Apples

Preserving continues to grow and apples are a perennial favorite. Apple bourbon butter, apple pectin stock and curried apple chutney were also popular posts this year; the apple pectin stock popularity makes me really happy, because it shows that people are not only putting up, but looking for homegrown, local alternatives to commercial ingredients like pectin. Huzzah!

Number 9: Canning Carrots

Down from No. 1 last year, canning carrots is still popular, but I must admit: I’m happy that the recipe I’ve never made is no longer tops on the list!

Number 8: Preserves

The new preserves index saw quite a bit of action this year which is so nice to see: it was a lot of work to put together, so it is gratifying that people (beyond myself, of course!) find it useful.

Number 7: Canning in a Boiling Water Bath

Despite the rumbles you hear out there that canning is over, knitting is the new canning, etc., canning & preserving is still growing in popularity, in my opinion. The number of questions that I get on individual posts would convince me, if the number of canning & preserving posts on this list did not!

Number 6: Sour Cherry, Balsamic & Vanilla: Syrup & Leather

This one is kind of funny: although maybe a neat idea, why, you ask, would a recipe for using too-long-macerated, severed-fingertip-eque sour cherries in a flavored syrup and a fruit roll-up be widely popular? Well, I’m not actually sure, to tell you the truth: it may have been the word “leather” in the title, or it may be that the world has been waiting for a good sour cherry edible undies recipe, but the recipe got linked on a couple of (apparently quite popular) fetish sites and lots of traffic came my way. I often wonder whether they were thrilled or disappointed to land here: the optimist in me hopes for thrilled.

Number 5: Homemade Hand Cream

I think this post needs to give a nod to Pinterest: this recipe got linked time & time again as people surfed the Web looking for unique, homemade holiday gifts. And of course, I should give a nod to the original recipe at A Sonoma Garden. Homemade body scrub was a popular post as welll this year, just missing the top 10 list at number 11. I love to think of all the homemade beauty products out there this year!

Number 4: Recipes

The new recipe index has been busy, which is again, gratifying. Nice to know that I’m not the only one trolling its contents, whether for a big holiday party or simple Wednesday night dinner.

Number 3: Rhubarbaritas

Booze + rhubarb: how could it not be popular? I love that this recipe reached so many people, especially as it showcases the genius of Tigress along with my own special ability to add booze to, well, pretty much anything. This recipe got Stumbled several times over the summer and it was always fun to see the big spike in traffic from the StumbleUpon peeps.

Number 2: Chinese Orange Chicken

Homemade Chinese take-out, adpated from the popular FoodGawker recipe. FoodGawker and Tastespotting were responsible for a lot of traffic to this post, as well as Gourmet Live, but I sort of giggled at the time: deep-fried and full of non-local citrus is not exactly representative of my cooking style nor my blog. But, I must admit that this recipe is delicious and a keeper, even if it is hardly the way that I cook day to day.

Number 1: Bone-in Chicken Breasts on the Grill

America loves it’s chicken, no doubt about it. And America loves to grill: I think one of the things that takes you beyond the average burger-and-dogs weekend warrior to Grill Master status is really good, juicy, tender, bone-in chicken barbeque. This one is up from number 5 on last year’s list (maybe because I finally replaced the squint-inducing photos) and just goes to show you: never underestimate the power of truly good chicken BBQ!


  1. I love to be able to review your year this way — including your gorgeous photos. And I still want to make that hand cream. But, like last year, I mostly sit here mesmerized by the way you make it snow on your blog. I usually hate things that move around on the screen, but this is so relaxing! Thanks for all your good work, Kaela. Happy 2012 to you.

  2. How did I totally miss that rhubarb post!? I have some languishing in the freezer and I haven’t figured out what to do with it. Combining it with alcohol? Sounds like the best idea! And I will say that I bumped up your stats on those recipe pages. Time and time again, you’re one of the blogs I consult when I’m looking for a recipe, especially a preserving recipe.

  3. Love it! Great list! I also love the traffic from fetish sites! I get a lot of hits from people googling “smelly girls” leading them to a post when the chickens were still living in the basement. Surprise! =)

  4. Pingback: Top Posts of 2011 | Grow & Resist

  5. Pingback: The 11 Most Visited Articles of Last Year « Well Preserved

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