Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011: Readers' Choice

2011 was a big year for my culinary adventure. Thanks to a lengthy job search and the fact that The Price is Right only comes on once a day I learned how to cook in my sister's kitchen. This journey went from vegetarian to meat filled and all the way back to vegan again with some detours in baking as I tried to build as many skills as possible.
Sgt. Mixxypants played a vital role.
I've made a lot of recipes and taken over a lot of kitchens (including finally getting one of my own) along the way, and I think the personal growth is pretty evident as the sophistication of my cooking (and picture taking) has increased immensely over the course of this blog's life. Thank you to all my readers for sharing your interest and for encouraging me to keep trying new and most importantly delicious things. Readership has jumped greatly over the past several months, so please let me know what y'all want to see (hit the too quiet comments up!). From what I can tell so far, baking and New Orleans cuisine are a hit (along with steady viewership from vegans).

Now presenting the most viewed posts of the year:

10) Maker's Mark Cupcakes
The ultimate adult cupcakes were quickly devoured at one of our parties. Try the cinnamon bourbon cream cheese frosting for a delicacy you won't soon forget.

9) Petit Fours
My farewell to Los Angeles was perfectly captured by guest poster and the world's greatest baking partner (slash baking teacher) Jenny. We bake together. We die together. Bad bakers for life!

8) Hot Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes
There's no better way to fight the cold winter than with a glass of hot chocolate and these delicious marshmallowy treats.

7) Beer Pairing Night: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
The Five Arm Brewery along with some help from Saint Arnold's made for one of the most fun and tasty nights of the year.

6) Red Beans and Rice with Sweet Cornbread
This cheap and delicious dish was perfect for the NFL opener. Luckily I worked off all the calories thanks to my miles of nervous pacing during the Saints game.

5) Shrimp Étouffée
My hometown cuisine proved popular again with this wonderfully creamy meal. Also, check out the vegetarian version.

4) "Blue" Velvet Cupcakes with Blackberry Curd & Limoncello Frosting
These cupcakes may not have turned out the color I intended them to be, but there surely were the highlight of Maconda's bridal shower (or at least I assume by how they had disappeared when I returned).

3) Scallops with Sweet Beer Sauce

It was roommate love at its finest with rich scallops and risotto that set the bar high for the rest of my Texas adventures.

2) Cherry Pie
After years of treating ourselves to House of Pies, Robin and I made a cherry pie to rival anything they put on their oven racks.

1) Kaya Toast
Perhaps it was the tagline: the greatest thing you'll ever eat, or maybe it was the kind tweet from Street Chef and Owner Susan Feniger that helped propel this to the top of the list (and gave me possibly the greatest moment of my life) with almost four times as many views as any other post.

Stay tuned for my list of top recipes later this afternoon (as soon as I can narrow it down from 15 to 10).

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