As everyone has made pretty clear by now, picking favorite posts from an entire year's archive is tough. And I'm just looking back at The Kitchn — I didn't even think about rounding up favorite posts from my favorite weblogs! There would be so much to choose from! As I did think back about this year here at The Kitchn, I decided to be very practical. I loved so many of our kitchen tours, recipes, how-tos, tips, good ideas — and as Sara Kate demonstrated, each writer here brings something deeply enjoyable to the mix.
So I decided to go with the visceral. Which posts grabbed me — which said, "Make me now!" What did I actually cook? Here's a musing little trip back through some of the posts that made their way into my own kitchen.
• First up, kitchen tours. I live in a rental but I am doing a little work to the kitchen. This light and lovely budget fix-up from Ashley Ann was so inspiring to me. Hard work and paint can go a long way! And for the future, when I have my own kitchen and a little extra cash, this kitchen inspires me to no end. Both of these tours are bookmarked!
• Cooking and hospitality extend past the kitchen, and I am always looking for ways to make my table more beautiful, so I really loved this practical tutorial on how to sew table runners and napkins from Sara Kate.
• I was really delighted with the recipes entered in the Quick Weeknight Meals contest this year, and my personal favorite recipe was this polenta with roasted vegetables. It's such a simple and elemental dish, but it struck me totally fresh. I just had never put those things together in that way, but suddenly polenta was on the menu every week for a month.
• One of the things that impresses me the most about Kathryn is her ability to immerse herself in a cuisine and just methodically, patiently, master it. I love all her posts on homestyle Japanese food, but this braised pork belly wins out. It's on the to-make list for January.
• Sarah Rae brought an energetic verve to The Kitchn's lineup this year and it's been a blast to see what she comes up with every week. It's really hard to choose a favorite post (that paper towel post was gutsy! And all that fried food, and the bacon fudge, and the sweet potato marshmallows...) but I have to say that I was really charmed by these vegetable bouquets, paired with recipes.
• Another thing that I love about working this group of people is their passion for what they write about. I had dinner with Mary last spring and she got very animated about the popular misunderstandings of sulfites in wine. So I was looking forward to this post from Mary ever since then! I also loved this cheese confession from Nora the Cheesemonger (guts, I tell you!) and this truly helpful post on whisky vs. whiskey from Nora Maynard. They are all posts I really enjoyed reading and have returned to.
• In the category of recipes-I-made-again-and-again: This plum crumble takes the cake. You guys, you have got to make this. It doesn't look like much, but it's total heaven. This, served with brown butter ice cream was my favorite dessert of the entire year. One other dessert from this year that went into regular rotation was Emma's recipe for rosemary-walnut brown butter cookies. Perfection. Oh! And how can I forget the chicken braised in milk from Jamie Oliver?
• One of my very favorite features this year was the Guest Post. We made a habit of inviting friends and fellow bloggers to to share their cooking with us here, and it's been so fun and interesting to see what they bring. It was hard to choose a favorite Guest Post, but I think that honor has to go to Art and that extra holiday ingredient: love. You might think (upon seeing the title) that this would be a rather sentimental post, but it's sensible, practical, and warm all at the same time. I absolutely loved this post.
• And one last roundup of recipes that I have bookmarked to cook and eat this month: quick-pickled cherry peppers from Joanna (I really want to do more pickling this year); Marking's bibingka, from Emily (I have made this and it is GOOD and completely, dangerously, addictive); and pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts, pancetta, and pine nuts, from Elizabeth. I am on a Brussels sprouts kick!
Well, that's my best take on favorite posts. Really, there is too much to choose from. Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support this past year! We write for you, and we couldn't do it without you.
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits.)