Friday, January 3, 2014

Simply Cooked's Best of 2013

Most Popular Posts

My most visited posts this year were all posts written before this year. I'm a little surprised that the top five are not more recent ones. But there are some classically helpful posts in this list, and that is what visitors to Simply Cooked are looking for (and finding!).

How to Cook Perfect Quail's Eggs

The largest amount of searchers come to Simply Cooked looking for instructions on how to hard boil perfect quail's eggs. This post was visited more than 90,000 times in 2013, which is more than double the visits for any other post.

Light Box for Food Photography: Step-by-Step

The post giving instructions for how to build a light box was written in 2010, and was my first widely popular post. It was also a turning point for my photography since with better lighting I was able to take much, much better pictures. If you don't yet have a light box, make one soon.

Five Clever Ways to Use Leftover Rice - Including Brown Rice Pie Crust

Using up leftover cooked rice is a common problem, and this post was my third most popular this year. In addition to brown rice pie crust, you can use your leftover rice to make pancakes or add it to struan bread.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

What's so great about this cauliflower soup? It is extremely thick and creamy yet is made with milk.

Pan-Crisped Devilled Eggs

Devilled eggs are a great appetizer or party snack, but pan crisping them takes them to a whole new level. It's extremely simple but effective.

Most Popular Posts Written in 2013

Cauliflower Hummus

Dips made of vegetables were a favourite of mine this year because they are an easy way to eat a healthy snack. Cauliflower hummus tastes better than regular hummus and is very simple to make.

Pumpkin Custard

Pumpkin custard is similar to the silky, smooth filling of pumpkin pie. As a bonus, it's gluten-free and grain-free.

Apple and Cinnamon Mini Cake

Here's a single serving dessert or breakfast that takes just minutes to make. It's sweetened only by the apple yet tastes like dessert thanks to the natural flavour of coconut flour.

Riced Cauliflower

I have been eating fewer and fewer grains over the course of 2013 and this recipe helped a lot. It's much more tasty than rice--it's just tiny cauliflower pieces sautéed in butter. Yum.

Bean Sprout Salad

I was surprised to learn that I like bean sprouts when they are blanched. The brief dip in boiling water much improves their texture and makes this simple salad into a really nice side dish.

Most Used Cookbook

This year my food goals were to eat fewer grains, especially wheat, and eat less sugar. I was hugely helped by Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. The aforementioned pumpkin custard and cauliflower hummus are both from Practical Paleo, and I also made and blogged about pumpkin and cranberry muffins (which are grain-free, of course!). The book is only half cookbook, though, the other half is a thorough rationale for eating no grains, sugars, or legumes. Sanfilippo outlines variations of the paleo eating style for people who would like to heal their guts, make athletic gains, or lose weight, among many other goals.

Practical Paleo spurred a small change that has been a big help--making and eating sauerkraut. I have been motivated this year to improve my digestion, and particularly to lessen the severe bloating I experienced. Eating sauerkraut has helped that immensely, I believe, by filling my gut with good bacteria. In the past, live yogurt really bothered my tummy and brought on bloating. In the last few months I have been eating just a tablespoon of sauerkraut a few times a week to gradually introduce some bacteria. Now I am much better able to tolerate both the sauerkraut and yogurt, and my overall digestion is hugely improved. I only get some bloating now when I stop eating in a paleo way and slip back into grains or sugar.

I'm talking about my most frequently used cookbook of 2013 in order to participate in the Kitchen Reader in December 2013. Do you want to join us? We are a group of bloggers who read and review food-related books.

What was your most used cookbook of 2013?

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