Another year has come to an end. It feels like 2014 has absolutely flown by. I started the year in Australia, and am finishing the year in Australia. I’m so lucky to be able to fly to the other side of the world two years in a row to spend time with my family. And escape London’s cold winter weather!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones and are getting ready to welcome 2015 in style. We’ll be having a picnic in a park overlooking Sydney Harbour and watching one of the best fireworks shows in the world.
Now that I’ve been blogging for an entire calendar year, I thought it was time to do my very first round-up of the most popular recipes on this here blog. It’s been super exciting to see what’s been popular this year. I was surprised at how many savoury recipes made the top ten, as I would’ve thought that more of the sweet ones would’ve taken the cake (see what I did there?!).
So, without any further ado, I bring you the ten most popular recipes on Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind in 2014.
10. Creamy Prawn & Mushroon Linguine – This is one of my favourite dinners ever. Over summer, I think we ate this almost every week. It’s soooo good and I’m really glad it snuck onto the list. Oh geez, I want some of this right now!
9. Turkey Meatballs in Tomato and Mozzarella Sauce – Melty cheese is the greatest, isn’t it? These baked turkey meatballs are chock full of spices and simmered in an Italian tomato sauce. And real mozzarella. Nomnomnomnomnom!
8. Fried Rice – Anyone who doesn’t like fried rice it mental in my honest opinion. I mean, c’mon, soy sauce. Geez, I love that stuff! Plus this dish has the added bonus of containing at least a few of your five a day, right?!
7. Prawns in Garlic Beer Sauce – BEER! I wasn’t a fan until this year, now I’m even cooking with it. This dish surprised me with how tasty it was. I didn’t know what to expect, because apart from stews, I’d never made a beer-based sauce. The beer flavour is really subtle, but all the other ingredients in the sauce go together perfectly and make this one really tasty dish. Make it!
6. Piñata Cake – This cake! It makes the perfect birthday cake. I can just imagine the faces on all the little kiddies at a birthday party when this cake is sliced into and out pours all of their favourite sweets and treats. With so many layers, it will serve a tribe as well. Another recipe that can be adapted really easily. Use your favourite cake recipe, your favourite frosting recipe, your favourite lollies/candy. So many possibilities.
5. Passionfruit Curd Cake – This is the kind of cake you want to have lying around when a friend pops over for coffee and a chat. It’s an easy butter cake with delicious passionfruit curd swirled on top, giving it a beautiful tang with every bite.
4. Cranberry & Pistachio Granola Clusters – These things are addictive! In every bite you get crunch from the oats, you get a slightly salty nuttiness, and the burst of sweet, dried cranberries. The perfect snack.
3. Spinach & Parmesan Orzo – This is such a simple dish, it’s great to quickly throw together on a weeknight and perfect for anyone who partakes in Meatless Mondays. Parmesan, spinach, a hint of chilli and pasta shaped like rice. I like to call it a cheat’s risotto!
2. Chicken Pad See Ew – The only dish I ever order in a Thai restaurant can now be made quickly and easily at home. Thin slices of tender chicken, in a sweet soy sauce, combined with Chinese broccoli, egg and tasty rice noodles.
And the number one most viewed recipe on Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind in 2014…
1. Blueberry Lemon Slice – This is one of my favourites from the year, so I can understand why it was popular. Juicy blueberries with a lemon tang and a buttery crust and crumble topping. How can you go wrong? It’s also easily adaptable to include different fruits depending on what’s in season.
Here’s to 2015!