I've been reading The Kitchn for a long time — far before I started writing for them. The main reason? The amazing and always fresh, always inspiring content. So it was especially tough to choose my favorite posts from this year, but here are a few that make me smile and that I've referred back to again and again. And of course, a few of my favorite blog posts and websites from around the web. Happy reading, cooking, and baking!
My Favorite Posts from The Kitchn
- Professional Kitchen Tour: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams - I loved reading about Faith's tour of Jeni Britton Bauer's ice cream production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio. Right about the time that this was posted on The Kitchn, I was building up my own food business and Faith's post has such great, rich information on small businesses and how one woman in particular has carved out a place for herself in this competitive world. From creating new flavors to writing business plans, this post is a great read for anyone interested in small businesses and how they tick (or, perhaps, you just love ice cream)!
- Browned Butter Butterscotch Pie - Not long after I began writing for The Kitchn, I heard we'd hired another writer who would be covering Southern recipes. Why hello there, Nealey Dozier! Virtually every recipe Nealey posts I end up bookmarking — there's something about simple down-home recipes with a history that I'm really drawn to in my own kitchen. And pie happens to be my thing, so this old-school recipe for butterscotch pie is right up my alley. It's a cinch to put together and doesn't have that far-too-sweet quality of many other butterscotch pie recipes. This one's a keeper all year-round.
- Kitchen Tour: Joanne Chang's Casual Loft Kitchen - I thought long and hard about including this post because I thought maybe it'd be nice not to have two kitchen tours in such a short line-up, but this one really rocks. I went to graduate school in Boston and Flour Bakery literally got me through some dark months, so it was such a treat to get to take a peek inside owner Joanne Chang's home and hear about what inspires and challenges her in the kitchen.
- 20 Summer Cocktails with Fresh Herbs - Late August of this past year brought a memorable heat wave to the Bay Area; I remember sweltering away at my desk writing an article for a local magazine. I popped on over to The Kitchn for a bit of distraction and inspiration and saw Nora Maynard's fabulous post on summer cocktails using fresh herbs. Let's just say my work ended there for the day. I've referred back to this post many times since - Nora gives some great links for drinks using expected herbs like, say, mint but also many cocktails using innovative flavors including cilantro, dill, and lemon verbena.
- No-Knead Pumpkin Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze - I admit it. I didn't make these. But I dreamt about them long and hard and ended up printing the recipe and putting it in my trusty "Must Make" recipe binder. These will happen. I love that you can make them ahead and allow the rising to happen as you get on with your life. I'm a firm believer in not relegating pumpkin recipes to the month of November, so I'm still looking forward to whipping these up soon on a crisp weekend morning. Thanks for the inspiration, Emma!
My Favorite Posts from Around the Web
- Food Loves Writing is one of my favorite food blogs largely because Shannalee T'Koy is such a darn fine writer. She manages to weave in personal narrative, travel stories, and anecdotes about life while talking pot roast or pie crust. I love that. This year I was especially fond of Shannalee's travel posts, in particular, her post on North Carolina. I have a strange obsession with the state even though I've never been and this post only helped fuel that. If you ever need travel tips that are heavy on the food/dining advice, turn to Shanalee's posts.
- The blog Sweet Amandine is another dear, dear favorite of mine. Jess lives in Cambridge and takes a mean photograph that captures the tenor of a day, an hour, a moment. And her posts are so beautifully written so it was tough for me to choose one to feature here today. I ended up choosing a post she wrote in October entitled In the Name of the Cookie about her cousin's wedding and the ever humble Mexican wedding cookie. There's obviously a recipe for the cookies there, but it's so much more about love and giving and fabulous red shoes on your wedding day. If you haven't stumbled upon Sweet Amandine yet, you're missing out.
- Ah, Eat Make Read. You make me so happy. You like to celebrate a Friday with a good strong cocktail, you write a literary food magazine that I've fallen for, and you bake. And take great photographs. What more could a girl ask for? I first discovered Kelly Carambula's blog while searching for a seasonal cocktail recipe and now I often find myself back there often for cocktail inspiration. Virtually every Friday she features a new tipple from the recent Boozy Eggnog and Fig Cocktail No. 1 to the Ginger Old-Fashioned, there's something for everyone. Kelly uses lots of seasonal ingredients and works in little tales of NYC life and turning the big 3-0.
- Canal House's website: I'm breaking the rules a little bit with this entry because it's not necessarily a post, but I'm absolutely smitten with Canal House. If you're not familiar with these quarterly little cooking publications, they feature simple, seasonal recipes and stunningly spare photographs. And their website is like nothing I've ever seen. It's quirky, informative, and insanely creative. They currently have pages on music they're loving,and a great travel list with ideas on where to eat and what to do when in a variety of their favorite spots. It's all about food in a periphery way and it's utterly impossible to describe. Check it out. I think you'll like it.
- This year there certainly wasn't a lack of posts dealing with the 'Best Cookbooks of 2010'. Google that phrase and you'll find hundreds. But I found David Lebovitz's list to be spot-on this year, so his post had to make it into my "Best Of." Many of you already know David's blog, and are familiar with his story of living, baking, and writing in Paris. The reason I love David's blog is his wry sense of humor and authoritative suggestions on Parisian dining, coffee, bakeries, chocolate — you name it! So I listen when David says something is good, and I agree wholeheartedly with most of his cookbook suggestions; I've either flipped through them or currently own them. From personal narratives to baking books or books on ethnic cooking, he nails it here.
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits.)