Kittens in the kitchen? Puppies in the pantry? Okay, so maybe it's not so unexpected that those posts were popular this year. But we did see a few out of-the-blue hits, including a post about black chickens, an idea for a picnic table with a gutter, and a clever tip to help you determine whether or not an avocado is perfectly ripe.

TOP ROW
• 1 Kittens in the Kitchen! A Cuteness Break for Your Post-Holiday Tuesday Morning
• 2 Puppies in the Pantry! The Dogs of The Kitchn's Kitchen Tours
• 3 The Best Trick Ever for Separating Eggs
• 4 The Do-Not-Freeze-These-Foods List
• 5 Outdoor DIY Wine Cooler Idea: A Picnic Table with a Gutter!

BOTTOM ROW
• 6 The New Baby Taco Box
• 7 What's The Deal with Black Chickens?
• 8 Freeze and Preserve Fresh Herbs in Olive Oil
• 9 How To Determine Whether an Avocado Is Perfectly Ripe Inside
• 10 Why You Should (Almost) Never Use Your Oven's Self-Cleaning Function

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Welcome to The Kitchn's Best of 2012 roundup!
From December 17 through January 1 we are rounding up some of our favorite (and your favorite) posts from the past year.

(Images: See linked posts for full image credits)