Each December when it comes time to look back at the year and select the best posts, my first instinct is to stomp my feet and say "no fair!" - there are far too many great ones to fill one little round-up post.
For me, the point of this practice of picking favorites (see, it already sounds evil doesn't it?) is two-fold; one is to provide you, our readers, with a summary of some of the best of the best most informative, entertaining, and beautiful content we served up over the past 365 days of The Kitchn programming, and the other is a practice of gratitude for the people who make this site run every day.
I started this little publication on a whim five years ago. Today we have nineteen writers aside from myself contributing to The Kitchn, and it is they who make it a far better publication than it ever was when I was the only one on the ship. So for that reason, I give you nineteen of my favorite posts of 2010, one for each.
Some of my Favorite Posts from The Kitchn
- Before & After: Kitchen Breakfast Nook Makeover - Faith probably wrote close to a thousand pieces for us this year and as Managing Editor, she touches just about everything that appears on TheKitchn.com. I love this post because it illustrates Faith's generosity (not even I have shown my kitchen in such detail) and the way she always goes the extra mile to give detail, with spirit, to the readers. I wonder how many people were inspired to makeover their breakfast nook after this post ran.
- Frugal Tip: Cheese Odds and Ends at Whole Foods - Fresh from the offices of Gourmet Magazine earlier this year, Stephanie Barlow joined our team to bring us food news and tips. All of her work is wonderful, but this tip was a favorite. It not only gives anyone who shops at Whole Foods a great money-saving idea, but it gives any reader, no matter where they shop, a way to think about interacting with their grocer.
- How to Prepare Artichoke Hearts - Emma Christensen is one of our longest-running (nearly three years) writers. She's also one of several formally trained cook/writers, so it came as no surprise to me that she had a lot of fun during our Home Hacks month in February, when we served up dozens of posts answering common (and some not-so-common) how-to questions in the home kitchen. This is a beautifully produced, in-depth post that answers the question that keeps so many people from attempting to cook artichokes.
- Selmilier Mark Bitterman: 5 Simple Truths about Salt - Based in Portland, Oregon, Leela Cyd Ross does a wonderful job covering the food scene in that city, and beyond. She's lucky to have salt expert, Mark Bitterman, nearby so when she suggested an interview with him, we jumped. The photos and the story came together beautifully.
- Browned Butter Butterscotch Pie - I know I'm not the first person to select this post, but I couldn't resist. When it ran, I got several emails saying how amazing it was and even a call from my own mother, asking "who is Nealey Dozier?" She's our new recipe contributor from Atlanta and she's bringing show-stopping southern-influenced recipes and great photography to our site.
- A Stuffing Smackdown: The Quest for the Perfect Recipe - Megan Gordon is another new writer on the team. What I love about her work is she brings a great personal voice; very grounded and very spunky. This was a lovely personal essay about her family's quest for the best stuffing recipe. It inspired a great exchange in the comments.
- River Café Wine Dinner: My Tribute to Rose Gray - Mary Gorman-McAdams writes about wine for us every week, and has since 2008. Those posts are always entertaining and informative. But when Rose Gray, owner of London's River Café earlier this year, Mary had a tribute dinner at home and wrote about it for us, and that story stands out to me. The piece is written from the wine perspective, but also offers an incredibly warm tribute to a luminary of the food world many of us mourned.
- How To Make a Quick, Vegetarian, One-Bowl Meal - Emily Ho, another contributor from the early days, writes from Los Angeles with a vegetarian, farmers' market bent, usually including some aspect of Asian cooking. I always learn something from Emily. This post offers a formula, not a recipe, for creating dinner in a bowl without meat. This is the kind of post that we hope encourages readers who are just beginning to cook to really jump in and not fear the process. This post got me really excited because Emily offered something so simple, yet so essential for new cooks (and new vegetarians!)
- The World of Woks - Kristen Lubbe writes wonderful pieces about kitchen design, products, and roundups. This story on woks is so clean and serves as a go-to post on woks. Lots of great suggestions in the comments, expanding on Kristen's list.
- After-Dinner Tipples: Digestifs - Nora Maynard always serves up something impeccably photographed and expertly-written. She combines her two crafts (writing and cocktail-ing) on TheKitchn.com each week. This was one of my favorites. The photo is stylish without being styled, and the text is sophisticated yet accessible. Nora is often responsible for getting me to think "now why haven't I been drinking such-and-such thing?"
- 10 Things To Cook That Will Make Your House Smell Amazing - Elizabeth Passarella always brings a homey, cozy feeling to everything she writes. I loved this round-up for the way it really tethered together everything we're about at The Kitchn and Apartment Therapy: being at home, using our kitchens, and finding pleasure in it all.
- Recipe: Coconut Ice Cream with Shiso Sugar - Rebekah Peppler, a trained pastry chef, always gets my sweet-tooth excited with her posts. This one I find particularly appealing, from the recipe concept to the photography.
- Strange Symbiosis: The Fig and the Wasp - Anjali Prasertong scours food news for us each week, bringing stories about stories. What's nice about this aspect of the blog is that readers converse with each other in the comments. It's like a mini-book group for food stories. I loved this story and the extra information Anjali brought to it.
- A Twist and a Surprise: Armenian String Cheese - Nora Singley is our resident cheese maven. She always has something to teach, even if it's just about a common cheddar or Parmesan. Often, she introduces unknown cheeses. This post felt like a combination of both approaches. No matter which cheese she profiles, I always want to try it.
- Kitchen Tour: American Academy in Rome - Jill Slater started doing kitchen tours for us as an extension of her work with House Tours on Apartment Therapy. This one really stood out to me: she got herself into the American Academy in Rome, a place I'd heard of but never visited. Through Jill's tour, I felt like I was right there.
- The No-Mixer One-Bowl Cake Recipe - Sarah Rae Trover always has some witty idea, some twist on the regular and this post is no exception. She cuts to the chase, but manages to make me giggle along the way. Plus, the post is über-useful.
- On Not Freaking Out - Dana Velden writes the Weekend Meditation, which is usually a narrative piece about some contemplative aspect of cooking and eating. Reading it is always an important part of my week. This is one I need to read over and over.
- Kitchen Tour: Dawn's "One Girl" Kitchen - Liz Vidyarthi covers kitchen tours for us in NYC. I loved both the story and the photography in this one.
- 5 Ways to Find More Counter Space - Regina Yunghans seems to be on a tear to help people use their kitchens more, and so her posts get my seal of approval. That's what we're all about, after all. This post is short and sweet, and got the readers talking. What she did was genius; she went through the Kitchen Tours in our archive and pulled out all the great ideas for expanding counter-space within them.
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits.)