This may not be the countdown that Ryan Seacrest is going to be broadcasting on New Year’s Eve, but I think its far more entertaining and less likely to involve awkward celebrity moments. I thought I’d end the year with a simple countdown of the posts that you guys liked the most. I used my page statistics to get the ten recipes that had the most traffic over the past year. I’ve also thrown in a top five of my favorites from 2013. Here they are in a dramatic and suspense filled countdown…
10. Lunchbox Pizza: This pizza that I created for Little Guy’s lunches has gotten a lot of traffic since I published it at the end of the summer. This is Hubby’s favorite post from last year. He’s eaten a lot of it and still considers it his favorite; that’s big!
9. Chicken and Dumplings: My grandmother’s chicken and dumplings is the dish I make the most often at home for my family. The second anyone of them has a sniffle, the chicken dumplings shows up on the dinner table. I’ve updated her recipe to include whole wheat flour but the flavor is still all comfort and love.
8. Chickpea Fries: I worked on the baked chickpea fries as a series of posts I finished before I started blogging again after the twins were born in 2012, but I waited until last January’s bean month (no I won’t do that to you again) to post it. They make the number eight spot on the list for a reason. Their crunchy texture and love of any dip make them loved by everyone from toddlers to picky grown-ups.
7. Pickles: These two recipes for small-batch refrigerator pickles are easy, fast and delicious. Thanks to help from the fantastic site punk-domestics, these beauties got a lot of traffic.
6. Baked Corn Dogs and Pimento Cheese: This post is slow-loading because I hadn’t started shrinking my pics for publishing at that point, but contains two recipes that are classic comfort food favorites. My baked corn dogs are are healthy alternative to the state-fair version.
5. Baked Potato Tots: This recipe is easy, it’s delicious and it’s low in fat and calories. It’s also a lot like the famous freezer version. A lot of other people loved it too, making it the 5th most popular post last year.
4. Chili Tamale Pie: I LOVE this recipe. It’s homey, hearty and great for winter, ball games and family dinners. Best of all I make it with leftovers. PERFECT! Y’all seem to like it too. That’s cool.
3. Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf: It’s a very rare recipe that is actually better in its gluten-free version. I took the recipe I’ve used for years for turkey meatloaf and made a gluten-free version using cooked quinoa. It’s crazy good and pretty popular too.
2. Vegetarian Boston-Style Baked Beans and Brown Bread: Another hit from my bean month. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. They are delicious and they are great for a very cold night. Not only are they pork-free, but they are vegetarian and vegan as well. Also included in the same post is a very old-school steamed brown that is full of whole-grains. When paired with the beans its a delicious meal, and the brown bread is yummy toasted with butter and jam for days and days after the beans are history.
Okay, now I need someone to please give me a little fingers to the table drum roll. The most popular recipe from 2013 was…
1. Texas Chili: A bean-free Texas chili was my way of ending last winter’s bean month. It’s an easy version that doesn’t use dried chilies and is less spicy than a true Texas chili. Since the recipe is based on a Robb Walsh recipe the flavor is all Texas. This recipe was linked to by Luisa Weiss from The Wednesday Chef. That helped propel it to an easy number one spot.
While the top ten maybe your favorites, my favorites are posts that struck a cord with me. Either the recipe was one I really liked, or the post was one I connected to.
5. Eating Green and Climate Change: This guest post is a wonderful post that I don’t think nearly enough people saw. It explores the everyday ramifications of climate change and how it will affect your daily life. It was written by my dad (AKA The Science Desk).
4. Roasted Plantains and Mango Painkillers: We hit the vacation jackpot when we had to weather the Blizzard of ’13 in Turks and Caicos after our flight was cancelled. This post tells the story of my Father-in-Law who spent the Blizzard of 1978 stuck on rt. 128 for days on end and his karmic retribution of the Blizzard of ’13. Oh, and there are rum drinks too!
3. Peanut Butter Meringue Pie: Aunt Lula was a wizard with a pie. The recipe for this, her signature pie recipe, was lost with my own grandmother’s passing two decades ago. Since then I’ve worked to get the recipe right. This is the fruit (or peanut butter) of my labor of love.
2. Alabama Red Barbecue Sauce and Barbecued Beef Brisket: Everyone has that great cook in the family that refuses to document their recipes. These two posts together make up the story of my father’s barbecue which is unlike any other I’ve had but purely regional in origin. It’s origin dates back to 1950’s Fayette Alabama and a yearly town-wide barbecue.
1. Chocolate with Cherries: Yes, this is one of my favorite recipes, but I love this post because of the story behind it. It’s not only a great recipe but a stolen moment that led to my favorite piece of writing from the last year.
So that’s it! After my last few weeks, I’m also eating lean and mean again. Even my New Year’s celebrations are lighter than usual. I am whipping up another batch of pomegranate, cinnamon and orange peel reduction for the Winter Solstice Cocktails, and then we are celebrating with several light recipes.
Here’s what’s on the menu:
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Cooking Light – I hate most fat-free dairy products, so I use all light cream cheese and light not fat-free sour cream in the recipe. It makes a huge amount so always half it.
- Mini Corn Bread Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce – These are great because they are salty and sweet (I do add extra Old Bay).
- Crispy Ginger and Garlic Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps – I love these with ground chicken instead of turkey and a little sesame tahini in place of the peanut butter.