Editor’s Choice: Emma’s Favorite Posts of 2009

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I love learning new kitchen tricks and discovering great ingredients to add to my pantry. It’s no surprise that most of my favorite posts from this past year fell along these lines!

How to Cook Beans: A Fast Fool-Proof, No-Soak Method – This has been the year for beans. Thanks entirely to Faith’s unflagging enthusiasm all year long for recipes with fresh-cooked beans, I am definitely a convert!

Ingredient Spotlight: Israeli Cous Cous – I’d never heard of this ingredient before this post, and now it’s a regular staple in my pantry. Perfect in cold salads, for a quick side dish, and in casseroles.

Basic Techniques: 8 Ways to Build Flavor – If I could distill my entire culinary school education and give it to you in eight simple tips…well, this would be it!

Is a $15 Can of Tomatoes Really Worth It? – I often think about this post (and send people the link) when I get into conversations about the merits of home cooking vs. buying things in the store.

Mastering the Frittata: Take One! – This year, the frittata went from being one of my most feared recipes to being one of my go-to weeknight meals. Thanks for all of your encouragement and advice!

Weekend Meditation: The Ambivalent Omnivore – I love all of Dana’s weekend meditations, but this one in particular has really stuck with me. Dana so succinctly sums up many of the issues and feelings I have about being a meat-eater in today’s food culture.

Salads for Dinner: 7 Additions to Make It Filling – I refer back to this post when I need some salad inspiration.

Ingredient Spotlight: Smoked Paprika – This was another new ingredient that weaseled its way into a good number of our dishes this year. Its sweet smoky flavor is perfect just about everywhere!

Cold-Brewed Iced Tea (and its companion Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee) – I really hate bitterness in my iced tea and iced coffee, so discovering this new (to me) technique for brewing both beverages for a smooth and slightly sweet flavor really changed my world.

How to Roast Any Vegetable – Sometimes it takes a post like this to make something click in my head: “Oh! Roast ANY vegetable this way! Recipe-shmecipe!”

The Kitchn’s City Food Guides – I really loved getting a sneak peek of the food scene at all these awesome cities! They made me want to jump in a car and head off on the interstate.

Hot and Steamy: A Visual Walk Through of Hot Water Bath Canning – This tutorial helped really calm my fears about canning.

Mix and Match Bagged Meals at Home – This is such a good idea, I can’t believe it never occurred to me before!

Lobster to Sweet & Sour: How to Make 6 Stir-Fry Sauces – This one is flagged for quick reference when we’re in the mood for a weeknight stir fry.

• Last but not least, I’m going to cheat a little and mention the several recipes we’ve published on the site that I’ve immediately craved and flagged…but have yet to actually make. Reminder to self: Make soon, for reals this time – Marking’s Bibingka, Olive Oil Granola, One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, Candied Sweet Potato Marshmallows, Kenny Lao’s Rickshaw Dumplings, and Borlotti Beans in Tomato Sauce with Creamy Polenta.

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Welcome to The Kitchn’s end-of-year roundup! We are rounding up some of our favorite (and your favorite) posts from the last year, including lots of recipes. We are also shaking out our reader mailbag, and giving you a few more great guest posts from our friends.
(Image credit: The Kitchn)