Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Top Ten Recipes of 2009 from Kalyn's Kitchen (plus Ten Honorable Mentions)

favorite recipes of 2009For the past two years I've had fun picking my favorite recipes of the year. I picked one recipe per month month when I did The Best Recipes of 2007 and The Best Recipes of 2008, but this year I had good intentions of narrowing it down to a top ten list. I looked through the monthly archives, picking a few recipes that I remembered fondly, and when I was done saving bookmarks, I had 39 favorites! It was nice to notice how many of the recipes I picked had a personal connection where the recipe or cookbook had been recommended by a reader or another blogger. I'm not going to try to sneak all 39 recipes into this list, but I think I'll mention a few others after my top ten list.

I'm not trying to rank the ten recipes, but let's start with the Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew recipe (pictured above) that I got from a reader named Paula. I love red lentils and chickpeas, and I thought this was a perfect use of those two ingredients.

When my friend Tom from Culinary Types sent me a great cookbook called From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, the first recipe I tried was this Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts, and it turned out to be a complete winner!

This Southwestern Bean Salad with Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Peppers, and Cilantro was something I came up with after I ran into an old friend at a party and she described her favorite salad to me.

When I saw a recipe for chickpea soup on The Pink Peppercorn, I knew I would like it, and adapted the recipe a little to make my version of Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Soup with Garlic, Sumac, Olive Oil, and Lemon.

It was my friend Trudy who told me about brussels sprouts roasted with pecans, and when I mentioned it on Twitter, Sean from Hedonia added the idea of tossing the cooked sprouts with some gorgonzola cheese to create the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese I recommended for a Thanksgiving side dish. I loved this so much I gobbled it up when I tested the recipe, and have been making it ever since.

This Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin that I made with some of my garden produce was inspired by a slightly different spaghetti squash gratin I found at Daily Unadventures in Cooking. I've noticed a lot of other bloggers are making variations of this dish too.

It may have been mostly the two little gratin dishes I bought at a thrift store that inspired me to make Tuscan Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Red Onion, Garlic, Parmesan, and Herbs, but the recipe was adapted from one I saw in Fine Cooking Magazine.

A reader named Robin sent me this recipe for Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill. Not only did I love the recipe, but it's also being featured in an iPhone application of strawberry recipes, produced by the California Strawberry Association and scheduled to launch January 26.

This recipe for Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling was adapted from one I saw in California Sol Food, a great cookbook I got as a gift from Alice Q. Foodie when I met her in San Diego in 2008.

Finally, these Grilled Salmon Packets with Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic, Thyme, and Saffron was another find from Fine Cooking, a magazine where I always find good ideas.


Ten More Honorable Mentions from 2009:
~I finally made Zucchini Carpaccio (Raw Zucchini Salad) with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese, and although I've seen recipes for this in many places, it was the one from Sidewalk Shoes that gave me the nudge!

~A lunch I shared at Old Jerusalem Restaurant with Lydia from The Perfect Pantry inspired me to make Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Dressing. I could eat this salad every day in the summer!

~When I bought a big bag of vidalia onions my friend Pat was selling for a fundraiser, one of the good things I came up with was Marinated and Roasted Vidalia Onion Rings with Parmesan.

~I saw the recipe for Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp on many different blogs, but it got adapted into Spicy Roasted Green Beans and Shrimp when I made it myself.

~You don't have to hear anything more than Spicy Cilantro Peanut Slaw to know that I'd like this salad, inspired by one I saw on The Kitchn.

~Another Fine Cooking find was these Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce that I liked so much I ate them several days in a row!

~These Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups were something I created when my garden produced a lot of big zucchinis all at once.

~It was chard, also from the garden, that inspired Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese.

~I experimented for weeks to come up with a Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread Recipe with Bulgur Wheat, Oats, Bran, and Flax Seed Meal, and this one was the happy result.

~Finally, when a reader named Lori sent me a recipe for Fattoush (Lebanese "Crumbled Bread" Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips), it was something something I made over and over and I fell madly in love with the spice called Sumac.

What Have I Missed?
I confessed I had 39 recipes picked as "favorites" so you know I haven't mentioned all the recipe ideas I loved this year. Choosing favorites is so hard, but if you're a regular reader and I missed one of the recipes that you liked most, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.
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33 comments:

Maria said...

Great list. I don't know how you chose, all of your recipes are the best. Happy New Year.

Karina Allrich said...

That is quite the recipe list. It is almost a cookbook! 2009 was a very tasty year at Kalyn's Kitchen. Wishing you many more. Happy New Decade!

Bron said...

Oh yum Kalyn, these are some of my favourite recipes now too, I especially love the Chickpea with sumac soup and Spicy Peanut coleslaw... so good!
Happy New Year, 2010 is gonna rock!

Nicole said...

Hi Kalyn- My husband and I started following your blog about a year ago when we decided to do South Beach for New Year's. You helped transform our pantry with ingredients I never thought I'd use, and we've had a lot of luck with your recipes.
Karina's comment made me wonder... have you ever considered putting together a cookbook? It's something that would be relatively easy since you document things so well with photos. Personally, I prefer using your blog, but there are plenty of people that I could think of to give a book to as opposed to sending them to a website. They'd make great gifts, and websites such as blurb make it easy to create. Plus, they have the option to sell from their website.

WizzyTheStick said...

All of these are great but I must confess that chickpea soup is calling out to me.

C(h)ristine said...

I <3 that spaghetti squash gratin. i make it ALL the time, it is SO good. and in this economy, very recession-friendly too.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

What a fabulous list -- and I must mention how great your photographs are! These dishes are just popping off my screen. A few are ones I've already bookmarked, and now I'm going to add a few more.

Barbara said...

Kalyn all look terrific...and healthy. Happy New Year. I hope twenty ten is a wonderful year for you.

Pam said...

I love your recipe roundups!

Pauline said...

I almost forgot how delicious and "easy" the Grilled Salmon Packets with Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic, Thyme, and Saffron was, I will have to do this one again----soon. Thanks for the reminder, need to try some of the other recipes as well. Thank you!

Emsmom said...

Hi Kalyn,
I've been following your blog since I was looking for a recipe for Hoppin John several years ago, for New Years. I found your Hoppin John soup and have been a big fan ever since. I have directed so many friends to your recipes and check out each recipe myself. Your blog is one of the first places I go when I'm looking for a new recipe, and I have many many printed out to use over and over. Just wanted to send out a huge thanks and wish you a very happy 2010!
Mary

Kalyn said...

Thanks to everyone for the nice comments about the recipe faves. It's so fun to hear from people who have tried a recipe or been reading for a while.

Em's mom, I'm making that Hopping John Soup this year for a party on New Year's Day!

Cate said...

WOW each and every recipe on this list looks like something I would love (well, except the ones with meat...but whatever).
I am so excited to try Paula's Lentil and Chickpea stew - it's on my menu for next week!

Christie said...

I love the butternut squash and Italian sausage recipe you had earlier this year. I've made that several times since reading about it.

I'd really like to try that Hoppin John soup now that someone mentions it. Happy New Year!

mommy4life said...

must have missed some of these the first time thru. I will definitely be coming back here to this post.....

Jessica said...

Those Asian Lettuce Cups are definitely on my list of 'first new recipes to make in 2010', they look awesome. Happy New Year!

heidi leon said...

Kalyn, I'm so happy to see that many of your favorites are also the ones from my list like the Southwestern Bean salad and the Tuscan Baked Eggs;I prepare them least once a week!.

Thank you for sharing your love and enthusiasm for healthy eating. Wish you a rocking 2010.

Trudy said...

I made the "TOP 10"? What an honor!
Trudy

Joanne said...

Thanks for reminding me of all these recipes! I have bookmarked almost all of them actually. It would have been impossible for ME to choose.

Happy New Year!

A Year on the Grill said...

It was indeed a very good year

Lea Ann said...

Great list, and it all looks wonderful. Those Tuscan eggs just jumped right off teh page at me, I'll be trying those. Good idea for an end of the year post. Thanks Kalyn

JulieM. said...

Don't forget the Double Mushroom Soup. Was that from 2009? It is the best!!! Happy and healthy New Year.

FabFrugalFood said...

There are so many great ones in 2009 . . . how can they be narrowed down???

We made your fruit salad with fresh dill many times over the summer - I just can't make fruit salad anymore without it!

ulirula said...

I am so glad! Best site - delicious receipes. Thank you!

Johanna said...

happy new year - love seeing these lists - and I am in admiration at you narrowing it down to 10 dishes with the amount that you blog - I confess I tried to do a top 12 and just couldn't.

Kevin said...

What a great roundup of tasty and healthy dishes from 2009!

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Kayln, I am curious if you have a recommended "getting started" shopping list and recipe guide ... I your site! I love it so much, that I am ALL OVER the place with what to get, what to try first, how much to buy. Just curious ... :)

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I do have a post about Getting Started on the South Beach Diet but nothing like a shopping list or menu. I believe you can get that type of thing on the official South Beach Site, which you have to pay to join. I work hours and hours every day on the blog already, and don't want to spend more time making menus, and wouldn't have any idea what to recommend that everyone would like anyway.

The information about South Beach can all be accessed from a spot in the right sidebar that says "South Beach Stuff." There might be some other helpful information there.

Mrs. L said...

Yummy sounding recipes all! Many on my bookmarked list. Maybe this is the year I actually cook all these bookmarked recipes!

Kalyn said...

Mrs. L., that's how I feel about my own list of bookmarks too!

Marisa said...

Wow! I can see why you had a hard time deciding. Every single recipe that made the cut looks absolutely amazing.

*And she scurries off to bookmark them all*

Kalyn said...

Marisa, thanks! Hope you have fun trying some of them.

Biryani Recipe said...

Strawberry Spanish Salad Recipe is awesome. Your blog is superb. I am very impressed your posting style. Thanks for sharing.

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