I know, your thinking you just read this post. But you didn't. That last round up was trusty old google letting me in on my most clicked, my popular and most beloved posts from 2011. What I didn't talk about was MY most beloved posts from 2011. Sure, the last one's made the fans happy, but let's be real - this is my blog after all. So here is a much more thoughtful (as in I have to get ready for work in 15 minutes) post about my cooking experiences through the last year.
11. Did someone give Kita a deep fryer? Yeah. Yeah they did. I think I shoved everything I could in that bad boy for at least a week too. My saddest moment was when nothing happened to that peep, but I got my revenge. However this, this deep fried layers of fat kid friendly pasta plated on a simple white sauce with a drizzle of extra chunky marinara on top. Oh yeah, that was heaven. I suggest you say Screw it to Jenny Craig and indulge on some deep friend wanderlust immediately.
10. This bread was the moment I knew I had 'gotten it'. Yeast recipes are a science, but on top of that, I believe, they are about practice. Once you get a feel for bread, I think you've pretty much got 99% of it figured out. This challah was the moment I knew I had that feel and bread has been easy ever since. (Even the ones I've screwed up.) 😉
9. I love those recipes that freak people out. (You'll see that a little later too). But this one sounded awesome to me. Savory kielbasa cooked in maple syrup on top of some cheddar infused waffles. Oh Hells and yes. It may not be as cute as French toast, but it's 10 times better. My inner meatatarian was happy. You like me better when my meatatarian is happy.
8. Photography tips from me? Yeah, this is not a great post on picture taking. But it's real. As I was going back and cataloging my posts for the year, I re-read this and where you probably will curse me for not giving you an earth shattering photography epiphany, you will know that I didn't lie to you and may leave feeling a wee bit better about your own skills.
7. My post featuring my Caramel Apple Cake left me dumbfounded. It was a disaster from the ground up. I didn't hid it either. In the pictures you can see caramel dripping everywhere (ok, now that I think about it, maybe I should have snapped a shot of my kitchen). The cake was a mess, fell apart while being photographed and you loved it. I got so many tweets and comments on this post I was cracked up. This one showed me to not be afraid to show me at my worst.
6. Seriously, Delicious. I have nothing more to say about this one. Go make it. Now. Then you can come back here and thank me.
5. On top of being pretty damned tasty (and you all should know by now I hate breakfast) this was the first time I looked back at my pics and thought that maybe I can take a decent picture. There was just something about this set that I really really loved (clearly as I actually included a gallery for this post for you to flip through). It made me want to feel like that about my pictures all of the time. It made me elevate my camera skills and learning. I hope to keep this up in 2012, unless those crazy Mayan's were right.
4. This had to be one of the most ridiculous sandwiches ever. Up until I made this one, I believed all sandwiches should come together quick. No thought or preparation, maybe an extra butter knife but nothing complicated. This required onions to simmer forever, a 24 hour prep time and then cooking, cooling, a sauce, toasting and more. And you know what. I polished off the first sandwich on my set for the shot leaving nothing but crumbs behind. I had to make a whole new sandwich just to take pictures after I was done gorging myself - that's how good these were.
3. This spiral cake is one of those posts where even Oprah could have raved about it and it wouldn't have been 'big enough' in my eyes. Cakes weren't something that, before running a food blog, I would have never imagined making just because. This cake was neat though, different, awesome and shiny with its vertical layers. It's number three on in my pics because even though it wasn't perfect, this cake let me believe I could 'bake it pretty' too. My thing has always been (and will probably always be) savory. But dang, when I put my mind to it I can make a decent cake.
2. The Manwich. A pulled pork grilled cheese with a layer of macaroni and cheese piled on thick with a few slices of bacon, onions and some extra cheese nestled between to slices of bread, toasted to perfection on my panini press. Just the stuff heart attacks are made of. My inner fat kid always tells me to go big or go home, so I did. This post cracked me up. I knew going into it I was going to get some shrivel noses held high in disgust and that there would be some people too real to not hold back on their excitement. What I didn't know was that Tastespotting would give it a shout out on their facebook page inviting thousands of other readers to tell me just how disgusting an idea this was too. Now, in the privacy of my blog, let's be honest - unless you're a vegetarian you have problem had some leftover pulled port and mac and cheese that went amazingly together. Heck, there's not much I wont stir into our leftover mac and cheese. Add a little bacon and some bread as a simple vessel to get it all a parting on my tastebuds and I'm one happy camper. Sure, this doesn't scream healthy. It isn't something I advocate eating everyday - mainly because leftover pulled pork doesn't last that long in this house. But this is my blog and if my inner fat kid wants to party hard, I'm going to let it. I promise that little caged beast has been up to no good that its just dying to share with you soon.
1. This spicy Italian sausage holds a place near and dear in my heart. It makes me warm and fuzzy in ways that should bother me on some primitive level. It makes me smile in a way that would make most men run for the hills. But to me, it was like some ancient trial I had to pass in order to move forward in my culinary adventures. As if my ancestors sat and watched me from afar admiring my bravery and tenacity as I proudly shoved meat through a grinder, cleaned natural hog casings and gleefully prepared them to be filled with perfectly seasoned pig parts. Gently I filled the casings, being sure to section and twist evenly and inspecting each link for imperfections. For those of you who have yet to stuff your own sausage, I tell you to go try it and you will understand what I am talking about. Once you get your first whiff of hog casing, there is no going back. You put your big kid boots on, roll up your sleeves and never look back. You will come out of it a bigger better person. Or at least with one hell of a sausage.
Thank you once again for enduring my random thoughts, recipes and one too many pictures of my pets (for those of you that follow me on Facebook). I can not say how much I have grown to love this little space among the millions on the interwebs. I feel like one shiny star among the billions not even counted yet. But I have had thousands of reasons to feel like my star sparkles a little brighter from time to time.
I can't wait for 2012!