Monday, December 30, 2013

My Favorite Recipe Blog Posts for 2013 (some of these were yours too)

This post takes a look back at my favorite blog posts for 2013 for each month. I hope you enjoy this look back as much as I did.

Boef bourguignon

January: Boef Bourguignon

Even though I wrote about several great bread recipes last January, this recipe is my January favorite for three reasons: First, the flavor is amazing. Second, it brings back great memories of a wonderful evening we had with great friends. Third, It took two days to prepare and was crazy complicated with lots of hands on time, but represented a challenge I had always wanted to complete. Did I mention that it was so worth it?

General Tso's Chicken

February: General Tso's Chicken

This was the second dish I'd ever prepared in my wok, the first being this Asparagus, Leek, and Pea Stir Fry. This was very tasty dish. The chicken was so good, and like any good Chinese take-out, made a great breakfast the next morning. This is also my first post besides the Hokkaido Milk Bread to get a lot of extra attention, especially on Pinterest. Woo hoo!

spicy parmesan and herb grissini

March: Spicy Parmesan and Herb Grissini

These grissini are so addicting. They are crunchy, spicy, and cheesy. I was particularly proud of these because I had attempted them before and was less successful. They actually require running the dough through a pasta maker, which made me happy to justify yet another kitchen gadget purchase. 

March also was the first month in the short life of this blog that one of my photos and recipes, the Crescia al Formaggio, was stolen and passed off as someone else's on the Internet. I found it on his blog, his Facebook page, his G+ page, and his ScoopIt page. I found out this practice is pretty common and a lot of not so nice people do this. I learned a lot about digital copyright "take down" notices. Now, whenever I recognize someone else's content on another person's page or site, I let the owner know. 

Pain à l’Ancienne Baguettes

April: Pain a l'Ancienne Baguettes

Besides the fact that these baguettes are delicious, airy, crunchy, and wonderful, there are a couple of other reasons why I love these so much. First, this was the first photograph that I submitted to Tastespotting and it was accepted. Yay! Second, this recipe was originally posted by Yvonne, The Bitter Baker, who had adapted one of my posts to create these baguettes. She has a such beautiful blog. I was so flattered to see that she created these wonderful baguettes from my ciabatta post that I had to try making them myself. 

slow cooker baby back ribs

May: Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

My grandsons LOVED these ribs, and when they love my cooking as much as they loved these, I get so much pleasure. That is reason enough to choose this as my favorite post for May. This post also garnered a lot of attention on Pinterest, and continues to pop up from time to time as a re-pinned post. 
Oh... and these ribs are so easy to make.

Pure Levain Country Bread

June: Pure Levain Country Bread

Have you ever made a loaf of bread that you were so proud of that you could not keep walking back into the kitchen to admire it (and frankly, stick your face into it for the wonderful aroma)? This bread was the one for me. This was the first loaf for which I tried using Ken Forkish's method. The dough is 80% hydration, and is 100% leavened by starter/levain. Oh, and this was the first (and only) photograph I submitted to Foodgawker, and it was accepted! Yay! 

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

July: Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This was a difficult decision, because there were a lot of tasty posts last July. I think I picked this one because it takes raisin bread to a higher level with the use of starter and a high hydration dough. It's also just plain delicious and makes a wonderful breakfast toast. Maybe next week my July favorite would be these Cornmeal Sables (they are so pretty!), but for right now, the raisin bread it is. 

August: Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Tartlets

I had a hard time choosing between this recipe and the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Both are amazing. The pulled pork continues to be one of my most popular posts. This photo above went a little crazy on Reddit. Reddit? I haven't spent any time there, but I've heard you are supposed to share other people's posts over your own at a 9:1 ratio (don't quote me on this), so thank you kind soul who shared this. I just like it because it's so sophisticated and flavorful. I had to make both caramelized onions and a balsamic reduction before even thinking about assembling these little tarts. I felt so fancy when I was done. P.S. They were goooooood. 

Overnight White Bread

September: Overnight White Bread

I chose this bread as my September favorite for two reasons. First, it has such an amazing structure and flavor, and I am really enjoying learning how to work with such high hydration sticky dough. Second, we took these loaves with us on vacation at a beach house in central California where we stayed with dear friends for a week. We spent the time talking, laughing, cooking, eating, and mixing some of the best martinis and G&Ts with Counter Gin and Q Tonic. We made toast with this bread every morning, and even used it instead of hamburger buns when we barbecued. These friends are such a comfort to me. Awesome memories. 

French baguette

October: The French Baguette and the Un-Massachusetts Roast Beef Sandwich

What I love about this post: I finally conquered my nemesis, baguettes, with the amazing baking by hand technique and dough temperature management. I learned to slow roast tomatoes and pickle red onions. I also learned how to slow roast a fairly inexpensive cut of beef, producing juicy roast beef that is pink from edge to edge. I also got to participate in a virtual "book tour" for this amazing new book, Baking By Hand: Make the Best Artisanal Breads and Pastries Better Without a Mixer.

Bittersweet Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tarts

November: Bittersweet Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tarts

I love this post because of a number of reasons, not the least of which was that I had to carry this tart all over the house and yard chasing the evening light in order to get a decent photo. Even more significant was that Mr. K said "you have outdone yourself. This is amazing." I love that my sister noticed the 45 year old Royal Worcestershire Regency Green china. Those were the days, registering for "fine china" and "everyday china." I also love that my bread baking friend Ron Photoshopped this picture on Facebook to depict a bite taken out of the tart. I'm still not thrilled with this photo, but I was thrilled with the dessert. In fact, it was not an easy month photography wise, with daylight savings time going away. 

Thai cabbage salad

December: Thai Cabbage Salad

My second choice for December was these seriously good sandwich cookies, but in the end, this salad was my favorite. It is crispy and delicious, and the dressing is amazing. There's nothing sentimental about why I love it. I just can't seem to get enough of it. The ingredients stay crunchy so you can make it in advance, and it just feels healthy eating it. 

So there you go! These are my favorite blog posts for 2013. 

Thank you so much for visiting my little space and making my day. You lift my heart. xoxo

11 comments:

  1. Some great recipes here Karen - no wonder your General Tsao's Chicken got so much attention, that photo is dynamite! Happy New Year to you!

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  2. Reading this makes me feel like I should get out of bed and make something.

    {hand reaching for coffee, still not making the move…}

    Love this recap! What a year you've had - glad to have followed along…

    xox

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    1. Don't move a muscle! I'm so happy to have found your blog too. One of the best out there people!

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    1. Same to you! I've so enjoyed reading your blog this year.

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  4. My favourite recipe from your blog is probably the overnight white bread, but my favourite photo hands down is the pure levain bread - food porn in the best sense of the term. Happy new year!

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    1. I'm with you on both! I should really take more time on my photos like I did on that one. The white is one of my all time favorites too. Thanks!

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  5. Thank you; I enjoy your posts very much indeed and in 2014 intend to follow your guidance and attempt sourdough. All while I explore London with Bradshaw's Hand Book to London, 1862. I look forward to your posts in 2014

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  6. Great round up, of course I am always in love with bread posts, and all the breads you picked were amazing!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Sally! And thank you for getting me to finally try a Chad Robertson bread! Happy New Year!

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