Year’s End Cooking Round-Up

I started writing a blog at this URL in late September 2008, but I committed to making it a food blog in the beginning of 2009. Looking back over the past 12 months I was surprised to find that these were the Top Ten viewed posts of “From Kirsten’s Kitchen to Yours.” It’s an interesting mix!

The most searched recipe is Kombucha, which apparently gets searched and viewed often. (when I google myself, this is one of the first sites to surface!) I attribute it the gorgeous photo which makes this so enticing. Kombucha is one of those drinks that you either love or hate. And if you’re in the loving camp you quickly learn how to make it since at $3 plus for 20 oz, it’s a pricey addiction. And, no, that is not a typo, it is an addiction, particularly because the “well-being” its promoters tout is real, hence my subtitle the elixir of life!

Corn Chowder is one of those homey dishes that highlights the simplicity of ingredients cooked well. Combine corn, cream and potatoes with salt and pepper and butter and you’ll have satisfied eaters coming back for more. You can make this with or without canned corn but don’t skimp on the cream, it is what makes this soup a cut above the rest.

This is an easy breakfast that is so satisfying, modified from my favorite restaurant from grad school. Poor potatoes have gotten such a bad rap for having carbohydrates in them (do not get me started on that rant, you will have to kick the soap box out from under me!) Rants aside, fried potatoes are one of the greatest foods in the world and topping them with scrambled eggs and cheese is frosting on this savory lover’s cake. Using a mixture of colorful potatoes just ups the ante (and the variety of vitamins).

My two passions in life are food and film so when they collided in the movie Julia and Julie, I was in foodie/film heaven. This Bruschetta in honor of Julia and Julie was a no brainer, particularly since August is the month of ripe and luscious tomatoes in the U.S. Bread, tomatoes and olive oil; how can you argue with that?

Salmon Cakes, made from fish out of a can were a revelation. It was only recently that I looked beyond tuna in a can and tried crab and salmon. I used to think salmon was only for fancy meals out or special dinner parties. But discovering the great taste packed in this can was so exciting. Now, I always have a can or two in the pantry since it is so easy to make.

My first Indian dish on the blog, Bengali Masar Dal Soup was inspired by No Croutons Required and its monthly challenge of soup and salad recipes. October’s challenge was to cook from your pantry and I was thrilled to use up my red lentils that had been following me around for a couple of moves (this year I moved four times, a record even for me!) It was great fun being part of a blogging challenge and it introduced me to several new sites that I currently follow, a real bonus to getting to cook great food!

This soup,Thai Carrot Ginger Soup was a staple at Just Food Co-op, the first co-op I worked at. People would rush in the store hoping it was available, buying it in bulk (until I wised up and began offering it refrigerated). It’s one of those soups that has just enough exotic flavors – ginger, coconut milk, cilantro, lime – to conjure faraway places but is really homey and comforting with the sweet potato and carrots as the base. I think of it as the perfect winter soup since its rich color is so inviting and a nice break from the blandness of other creamy colored comfort food (mashed potatoes, mac and cheese) that people naturally crave in the colder months.

Broccoli is king of the green vegetables in my house (although Kale is definitely Prince). I can eat it with anything but this is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. Garlic Lemon Broccoli satisfies my love of garlic and the zip from the lemon is almost a whisper of sour that I adore. It is an elegant enough preparation that it has graced the table at dinner parties as well as served as a meal unto itself. I often leave the broccoli spears whole which makes a prettier presentation at the table. Do not think to gild this lily with some grated parmesan cheese, the lemon juice needs to stand alone.

Having a sour tooth does not lend well to dessert making, so it is not surprising that my most popular dessert posting was from a guest blogger. Apple Crumble is simple and delicious, letting the ingredients speak for themselves. I particularly loved the oatmeal in the crumble portion which added a nice crunch. But I think the best part was having someone else cook this for me, what a treat!

Last but most certainly not least is Cauliflower Gratin which is my reigning favorite dish of the moment. I have always loved cauliflower, raw or cooked, but this dish took me to new heights of rapture. It was tender and creamy and crunchy and buttery, all in one bite. Best of all it was easy and quick and fairly healthy as gratins go. If I lived alone I’d probably be eating it every day for at least a week with no one around to witness my obsession!

Thanks for joining me this year and hope you enjoy what’s to come.


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3 Responses to Year’s End Cooking Round-Up

  1. Toni says:

    This was a fun re-cap to read. I'm planning on making the garlic lemon broccoli tonight and the cauliflower sometime next week. πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful New Years holiday!

  2. Ah, I'm glad you did this, it reminded me of the Bengali Masar Dal Soup that I so want to try! This is a great idea to recap the year in recipes. How did you determine the popularity of your posts if you don't mind me asking? Is it based on number of comments or is there a way to tell how many hits each gets? πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for being such loyal followers, it really is lovely! Happy new year to you both. Sarah, i track my page hits at google analytics, here's the link, you should sign up. That's how I knew the number of hits.

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