My Favorite Posts of 2011

Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is treating you right so far. I should be taking down the Christmas tree and packing away all the holiday decorations for another year, but instead I’ve been fighting off a cold and working, working, working: crunching data, analyzing stats, writing up conclusions. Busy, busy, busy!

I got some fun, kitchen-related Christmas gifts that I can’t wait to share with you, including a potato leek gratin recipe from a new Christmas-gift cookbook, as well as all sorts of plans for the coming year. But until I squeeze some more time into my schedule, I’ll leave you with this: yet another top 10 list. Or, look at it this way: the first top 10 list of the year! Please don’t hurt me. A real, live recipe will be coming soon, I promise!

In no particular order, my top 10 favorite posts of last year. Enjoy!

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Cara Cara Chile Marmalada

There are so many things that I love about this post: from the almost-too-fun-to-say title (how many preserves can double as drag queen names, after all?), to the be-still-my-science-geek-heart experimentation with sugar and set; from the images that actually captured the glory of this preserve to the sheer deliciousness of the final product (I literally had to pry the last jar out of Tai’s hands to give it away for Christmas); but mostly the fact that many of you were inspired to try out your own chile-spiked marmalade concoctions. The discussions and online tinkering with this one were so much fun. And now I really need to round up some cara cara’s to make a batch for 2012!

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in (Butter)milk

Lousy picture: fabulous recipe. I wish I could tell you how glorious this simple recipe can be: unfussy comfort food, or fancied-up with exotic ingredients, this method of braising a whole chicken was an eye-opener that has now become a standard in my repetoire. If you eat chicken, I really, really recommend it.

Rhubarbaritas

Who doesn’t love rhubarb + booze? Obviously you all do, and I do too. Every single person to whom I served a rhubarbarita this year was surprised, delighted, and very nearly addicted, even those who don’t much like to drink, don’t like cocktails, had bad college experiences with tequila, etc. I’m definitely making more rhubeena this Spring!

Bite-Sized Spaghetti Nests

No top 10 list is complete with the magic ingredient: bacon. But in addition to the most-magical-of-pork-products, I love this recipe because I completely made it up, and it actually turned out to be more delicious, and even more adorable, than I thought likely. The best thing, though? So many of you commented on how you were going to try it out – to use up farmer’s market chard. Be still my locavore heart.

Cranberry Orange Rhubarb Popsicles

Rhubarb + booze. Again. Frozen into cute-n-tiny Ball jars. And just reading about a summer heatwave, and seeing that bright, orangey light in the photos, makes me feel a little less winter-frigid today. Sigh.

Spicy, Gingery Cranberry Chutney

I’m on my last jar of this chutney; in fact, the last inch at the bottom of the last jar. I’m kind of amazed that there is any left, seeing as I’ve been eating it for months, on sharp cheddar cheese and crusty homemade bread; for lunch, for breakfast, for a midnight snack. I so need to make more.

Corn Cob Stock

I love this stock: I’ve been using it so much more than I thought I would. I love that it is frugal, and thrifty, and one of those something-from-nothing recipes, food created from nothing more than water and “trash.” I love that it was a random suggestion from a friend that spurred me to make the stock and that since then, I’ve created several recipes that I think are better with corn stock than my beloved chicken. Mostly I love that so many of you had the same reaction when you saw this: how clever! Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll never toss a spent corn cob again.

Smoked Chicken & Corn Soup

One of those brilliant corn cob stock recipes. I dream of this soup. I’d like some today. Anyone want to come over with a spicy, smoked chicken? Please?

Crispy Pork with Rhubarb Sauce

Another Jamie Oliver recipe makes the list, and since I’ve only tried two of his recipes, and they were both fabulous, I should really consider getting one of his cookbooks, no? (I’m going to need a bigger house simply to hold my cookbook collection.) Really, I had sort of forgotten about this one, but I made sure to put it on my top 10 because it is so worthy of remembering. Come rhubarb season, I am all. over. it.

2010 Dietary Guidelines: Fat 101

I know: I promised you a full rebuttal of the USDA’s dietary guidelines. And I had so much fun writing to two posts on fat: doing the research, illustrating the concepts, translating the techno-babble into something a non-scientist could understand. And most of all, reading your comments, and reveling in your encouragement to keep on going. Sadly, I got hung up on cholesterol, a huge and complex topic, and got so bogged down in doing my research that the preserving season snuck up on me before I could complete the series. But never fear! Winter is upon us once more, and I may just find the time & energy to revisit the dietary guidelines. Only time will tell….

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6 comments

  1. Great list.I loved cranberry chutney you sent for Kate’s shindig….it does rock. As always, I want to eat at your house. Popcorn night or not. I love lists.
    But I can’t wait to hear the potato leek gratin and what kitchen gifts you got. I am still freaking out in joy over my sodastream and new All Clad pans.

  2. I just bookmarked the chicken too! He’s a cutie and fun to watch on TV but I’ve never made one of Jamie’s recipes before either. This one looks like a keeper!

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