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I’m participating in a group blogging project entitled This Year’s Most Popular Recipes. While I’m not usually one to quibble much about semantics, this would have been a correct title, had I posted it in December. I didn’t. Hence, this is actually ~last~ year’s most popular recipes: the 10 recipes that got the most clicks for the year 2016. You can find the main post over on The Jenny Evolution, where you’ll also find links to the blogs of all the other participating bloggers. Chances are, you’ll find lots of great content through this series.
What does “most popular” mean? Well, it’s kind of like the popular kids in high school: whatever garners the most attention is deemed the most popular. (Now, everyone knows that the popular kids were not necessarily the highest quality friends you could make. So, there’s an element of “buyer beware”, in chasing after the popular.)
So, terms of this series of recipe posts, “Most Popular” COULD mean that it’s a really excellent recipe. It could mean the blogger took a really great picture, or used a really good title (think click bait) or paid careful attention to make the post easily found by search engines: we call that “good SEO” – good search engine optimization. Or it could mean that someone really well known shared their link, which caused a lot more people to share that link. OR…it COULD mean, that it is ALL of the above. Whatever the case, for better, or for worse, here are my 10 most clicked on posts for 2016.
I’ll start with number ten, and work my way to number one. Because I am a professional writer, I know how to build SUSPENSE!!!! No doubt, by the end, the suspense will be killing you. (wink) 😉
10. How to Use Leftover Ham: Pasta with Peas, Ham, and Cream
I was surprised and pleased by how well this post did, but my friend Hannah, who is an excellent cook, has added it to her family’s notebook of family favorite recipes, due to how easy it is to prepare, and how delicious it is. It comes with links to some great information on buying and using a Honey Baked Ham Bone for 3 different meals, so don’t miss this one! Frugal, delicious, and fast!
9. The Salad to Bring When They Ask You To Bring a Salad
This one got a lot of views in part because I know how to title a recipe, and it really is what it proclaims itself to be. Plus, my friend Melissa shared it, and told all HER friends how much she loves it, and when Melissa talks, people listen. (Except for the neighborhood kids, who tend to not listen to her so much. But she keeps trying.)
8. Seven Smart Tips for Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This one got clicks because I titled it well, and I titled it well because, guess what: I needed every single one of these tips to get the perfect, roasted, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, beautifully flavored and easy to clean up Roasted Sweet Potatoes (with maple and thyme…OMGeee, so good!) They’re heavenly, and a show stopper of a side dish.
7. Peach Pit Jelly
This one got clicks because first of all: it’s unique. I’d never heard of it before, till my friend Heidi told me it was something her family made. I researched it to find a recipe that looked good to me. Food waste is an issue whose time has come! And, in my book, frugality never goes out of style. If you can use parts of your food that you’ve never used before, and produce such a delicate and delicious jelly, why wouldn’t you? My friends fell in love with it, when I served it to them on biscuits. Its popularity caused my friend Angie, who was interacting on a preserving/canning website, to realize that the jelly everyone was talking about came from HER *that* Susan Williams. And since her son is a movie star, I’m pretty sure that makes me famous. The photography on this one is outstanding, so hat’s off to Lindsey Williams for gorgeous pix, and for helping me make it!
6. Flu-Fighter Soup: Chicken Soup with Greens and Garlic
I’m delighted with the success of this recipe. I did a lot of research on what it is about chicken soup that makes it “Jewish penicillin”, and then researched other vegetables and aromatics that also have scientific evidence to prove that they boost the immune system. Then I came up with a chicken soup recipe that combines those foods. One night, while talking to my friend Anne about the recipe, the name Flu-Fighter just popped into my head! (And if you know me, you know I love word play.) This soup is soooo delicious, you’ll want to make it all winter long. I find myself CRAVING it!
5. Spaghetti and Venison Meatballs
I think this recipe has done really well because it’s frighteningly delicious (thank you, Mario Batali and Kristen Davis for your inspiration), it’s unique, and also because more and more people who are eating venison harvested by hunters are looking for recipes that go beyond simple farmhouse methods of breading and frying. They’re looking for recipes fit for a gourmand. I’m hoping you’ll keep coming around this year, because I plan on doing many more venison recipes. It’s organic, with no added hormones, and sustainable. And when cooked correctly, it’s fabulous: every bit as good as beef, and lower in fat, and higher in protein. So spread the word, and tell your neighbors: *That* Susan Williams has really great game recipes!
4. Slap Yo’ Mama Butt Rub
Can I name a recipe, or what??? 😀
This little gem came from a story my sister told me, and then me running into a similarly named recipe on line. It is hands down our favorite spice rub, and we use it all spring, summer and fall, on chicken, pork, and venison. I changed it up from the original recipe to incorporate one of my favorite spices, smoked paprika. You do NOT want to miss this!!!!!! It will help you take your grilling game to the top, and then over! Pinterest loves this one. It’s at the top of my Pinterest Post list, for most pinned. With a name like that, who can resist?
3. Easy Cranberry-Orange-Apple-Walnut Relish
I never dreamed that when I added this little piece of no-cooking-involved family tradition recipe that this would be the recipe of all recipes, but it is. Though out all the years I’ve been blogging, since 2009, this post has garnered more clicks than any other, and I owe it all to YOU, Mom! I know you’re smiling smugly in heaven right now, so take a well-deserved bow. You’re the best!!! It probably didn’t hurt that I used the word “Easy” as the first word, either.
2. Semolina Sesame Artisan Bread
I’ve always been a bit of a bread hog, so I shouldn’t be surprised that my number 2 and number 1 recipes are both about bread. Other people love bread as much as I do, and unless you have celiac disease, how bad can something be, when Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life. This bread comes with a story from my childhood, and there is just something about the flavor of semolina flour and sesame seeds together that is marvelous. I love this recipe, and apparently, so do lots of other people. The beautiful photography didn’t hurt one bit.
1. How to Make Sourdough Bread
And finally, I owe this year’s most popular recipe to my dear ex-neighbor Marjorie, who although she has moved, has most assuredly not been forgotten. A couple of years ago, she re-gifted me some sourdough starter that she’d purchased. I think she kind of blanched and pulled back in horror when she realized that it took some dedication to keep it alive! I conducted months and months of sourdough baking to get this recipe right, and I’m very proud of it. It’s the fourth in a series of 4 posts I did on sourdough, so if you’ve ever thought you might want to embark on such a baking journey yourself, I tried to include every single detail I researched. I did the work, so you don’t have to. But read all 4 posts, to really understand the process. They’ll help, I promise!
Saturday 4th of February 2017
Always looking for new recipes. Thanks! b
Saturday 4th of February 2017
Thanks Susan...I pinned several of these!
Saturday 4th of February 2017
Thank YOU, Pam!
Friday 27th of January 2017
You had me at maple syrup vinaigrette....but I wish I had done the relish during the holidays.