Favorite Posts of 2013

2013-favoritesHappy 2014! I know some of you are back at work today (and those of you in the Northeast are wondering if the year’s first #snowpocalypse will send you home early) while some of you may feel that vacation is just starting: no more parties, no more traveling, no more commitments, just you, the couch and a pile of movies to keep you company.

So, whether you are bored at work, wishing you were home playing in the snow, or taking a well-earned break from an all-day LoTR marathon, I present to you: Favorite Local Kitchen posts of 2013. Enjoy!

cuketomfeta3-460-2Your favorite posts are determined by blog traffic over the course of the year and, as such, are heavily influenced by social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit and StumbleUpon. Once the social media snowball (10 points for seasonally appropriate pun!) gets rolling, it tends to take on a life of its own, so it’s little surprise to me that 2013’s most-clicked posts are quite similar to 2012’s. Lists from the earlier days of the blog, in 2010 and 2011, were much more influenced by the canners in our midst; still, I’m happy to see that basic canning instructions are holding steady and that the list includes some DIY favorites like what to do with citrus peel and homemade hand cream.

YOUR Favorite Posts of 2013

  1. Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad
  2. Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken
  3. Bone-In Chicken Breasts on the Grill
  4. Canning in a Boiling Water Bath
  5. How to Clarify Cloudy Chicken Stock
  6. The 10 Best Kitchen Tools You Don’t Have
  7. What To Do With Citrus Peel
  8. A Tale of Two Dutch Ovens
  9. Homemade Hand Cream
  10. Recipes Index

My favorite posts are subject to a much less rigorous selection criteria: my whim. These are recipes that were surprisingly successful, or ones that I made again and again (and again); posts that were fun to write, or for which the photography came out particularly well; recipes in which I surprised myself by nailing a technique on the first go, or turning a failure into a win. I hope you find some inspiration for your own kitchen adventures in 2014. Or, at the very least, 10 minutes of distraction for your day.

My favorites from previous years, subjected to equally rigorous criteria, can be found here: 2012, 2011, and 2010.

MY Favorite Posts of 2013

Cock-a-leekie soupCocked-up-a-Leekie Soup

I loved this fresh-and-funky chicken, leek & preserved lemon soup. Besides: I got to say cock-a-leekie about 100 times. #winning

jacket potatoJacket Potato

And more from across the pond: a traditional jacket potato. Walking down memory lane to revisit many wonderful trips to London was enough to make this post a personal favorite. Wonderfully satisfying curry-soaked potato was a bonus.

potstickersChinese Porkstickers

Mostly proud of myself for tackling homemade from-scratch Chinese dumplings. And the name “porksticker” makes me giggle every time.

Rangpur lime tequila barsRangpur Lime Tequila Bars

This was one of those surprising desserts that I wanted to make again and again. Clearly, I need a Rangpur lime tree.

meyer-salt-syrup-scrubMeyer Lemon: Citrus Salt, Simple Syrup, Powdered Pectin & Scrub

I’m just now using up the last of this Meyer lemon salt, and it still smells as good as the day I made it. Definitely making another batch with this year’s crop of lemons.

kami's-cakeKami’s Birthday Cake 2013

A new chocolate cake recipe, homemade wild blueberry jam, and four different colors of frosting (colored with blueberry jam syrup, natch) for the ombré effect. Who says I don’t love a good baking project?

napa-slawEarly Summer Napa Slaw

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made variations of this simple cabbage salad since the original post. It’s become a staple, and I’m converting cabbage haters all across the land.

indian-potato-ballsSpicy Indian Potato Balls

A failed dosa project turned into a delicious fried WIN. And, a clear favorite at this year’s Christmas party.

curry-potato-salad-with-basil-and-mintCurried Potato Salad with Basil & Mint

Another simple-yet-flavorful dish that I’ve made again & again this year. Makes me long for fresh basil season.

toolsThe 10 Best Kitchen Tools You Don’t Have

And, the only overlap on your list & mine, the Top 10 Tools you either want or already have and are indignant that I think you don’t. Fun to write, fun to read and fun to daydream about an even better appointed kitchen.

Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s to a 2014 filled with good times & good food.

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