Top 10 for 2009

December 31, 2009 at 12:00 am 7 comments

Happy New Year

I thought it would be fun to wrap up the year with a Top 10 List of the Most Popular Posts of 2009 on SFTF.   I bet all the little blog posts out there in the world wish they could grow up to be on this list one day.  Okay, so I’ve had a little too much holiday punch, but the truth is that you lovely readers have really helped me this past year to hone my recipe instincts and broaden my creativity.  It has been wonderful sharing yet another passing of the seasons and their produce with you.   I do hope you’ll make a resolution to eat more local food in 2010! 

We’ll start from the bottom up…

 #10. Grandma’s Zucchini Bread

Oh, I’m so glad this made it into the Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2009 as it’s certainly in my own personal Top 10 Recipes of All Time List.  I love how moist and fragrant this loaf is and how much it reminds me of my grandmother

Zucchini + Bread


 #9. Tatties and Neeps (Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream)

A Scottish dish, this recipe came from one of my favorite new cookbooks in 2009, Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramely.  It’s a great dish for the deep dark days of winter ahead of us. 

Creamy and delicious


#8.  Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream

So fruity and the perfect way to showcase in-season strawberries, I couldn’t stop gobbling up this ice cream made with cold rich raw cow’s milk.

Scoop of Strawberry Please


#7. Organic Tzatziki Dip

Ah, this makes me miss summer and homegrown cucumbers so much!  This classic Greek dip is creamy and brightly flavored…how many days until spring?   

A Bite of Tzatziki Dip


#6.  Sweet Potato Cupcakes

I am so glad I made this Top 10 List as it reminded me about this amazingly scrumptious cupcake recipe!  So moist, so tender, so full of flavor!  And you can practically convince yourself that these are “healthy” enough to not dislodge any of your New Year’s resolutions to eat better. 

Sweet Potato Cupcake all dressed up


#5. Creamy Lemon Bars

A locally grown lemon in Pennsylvania is hard to come by, but when I got one from my little lemon tree, I put it to good use in these heavenly bars.

Lemony Hearts


#4.  Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks

A delicious breakfast dish that embraces the humble yet beautiful farm fresh eggs. 

Baked Eggs with Creamy Leeks


#3.  Chocolate Beet Cake

Popular when I first posted this recipe back in 2007, the pictorial make-over in 2009 and an online feature in Organic Gardening made this cake an even bigger hit.

Chocolate Beet Cake 


#2.  10 Steps to Gardening from Scratch

At number 2 is another list of 10…who knew you were all so interested in learning about gardening!? Oh, wait, that makes sense since you all love locally grown food as much as I do and nothing’s better than homegrown!

Four shots of seedlings


#1.   Chocolate Silk Pie

Though it is so silky and delicious, I still can’t believe this recipe I essentially goofed-up is the most popular recipe of 2009 on SFTF!

Frozen Chocolate Silk Pe


Entry filed under: Recipes. Tags: , , .

Multigrain Pumpkin Pancakes Pan Seared Cauliflower & Creamy Tomato Sauce

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Food-Fitness-FreshAir  |  December 31, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Sweet potato cupcakes…yum!! Happy New Years!

  • 2. stephanja  |  January 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I really enjoy your site and can’t wait to try sooo many of the recipes. I have to admit I only have looked through the sweet ones, but almost every one I plan on trying! I do a lot of baking for others and I am constantly searching online for new recipes… what really grabbed me about yours were that they don’t come across to me as “cheap tasting” recipes, yet almost all the ingredients I already have in my kitchen. All I really have to do is supply the fruit… which brings me to my question…I live in a zone where the ONLY fruit, literally, is available either in Walmart or similar stores. (Kroger is the best I can get.) I wont even get into how frustrating that is… One thing that I have never been able to find is vanilla beans and I recently found one at a vitamin store of all places. But they sell them for $5/pod…is that a normal price? At the time I need like 6 so I was a little disappointed. But like I said, they don’t really have that kind of stuff where I live so I don’t know how much to expect to pay for them. Is that a reasonable price? Also I was wondering if you or anyone in your area grow their own vanilla beans? I researched some online and pretty much everywhere I found made it sound impossible to actually have the plant and harvest pods. Im curious to know what your advice is..

    • 3. Jennie  |  January 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Stephanja –
      Glad to hear you are enjoying the site. I love the sweet recipes the best too…baking is really my passion, though cooking is a lot of fun too.
      I am not sure where you are located, but my guess is that you cannot grow your own vanillia beans as they only grow in tropical climates near the equator. However, there are plenty of options for buying them, even if you live in a place with few stores. I actually never buy my beans at a local store as they are very expensive ($5/bean is not out of the ordinary when you buy them one at a time). The best way to buy vanilla beans is online and in bulk. There are many sellers, but I would recommend two: Saffron Imports (because they are quite cheap) and Marx Food (more expensive but very high quality beans that I’ve taken to using now that I’ve tried them).

      Vanilla beans make a world of difference in baked goods and be sure to save the pods once you scrap them out… you can put them in a container of sugar to make the sugar taste like vanilla and then use that in baking or you can put them in a bottle of vodka and let them steep to make your own vanilla extract.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

      • 4. stephanja  |  January 7, 2010 at 12:25 am

        Hello again, and thanks for the reply. Ironically, I live in Texas and thought that the hot weather would be perfect for vanilla beans? I did read I might need to put them in an enclosed place (like a bathroom or patio) with a humidifier or something like that..but where I live is constantly constantly hot and humid. My husband is from Mexico, where most vanilla imports come from and what I read (i don’t know how accurate it is) is that there is a bee that lives and can only survive in Mexico and is the only bee that pollinates the vanilla flower and that is the only way vanilla pods are produced. I did read some people pollinating by hand when living outside of Mexico, but most everywhere I read kind of discouraged me by making it sound like something for experienced gardeners. I have never planted anything in my life. I think I will check out the places you mentioned, and keep looking into growing my own vanilla..but I think my first step will be to start with the basics of gardening lol. I loved the ideas you mentioned to do with the vanilla pods! I can’t wait to try it…I always have used vanilla extract and every time I see any semi-established chef or baker call for vanilla in a recipe they harp on how much better the actual pod and beans are than extract..which makes me anxious to use them. BTW People have been telling me I should sell your pumpkin truffles! Hah! I’m not interested in that, but that’s how popular they were! Although I did wonder why mine were almost completely white colored on the inside and yours in the picture were very pumpkin colored…

        • 5. Jennie  |  January 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

          Thanks for the follow-up, Stephanja! I think you’re wise to leave the vanilla growing to the experts in Mexico or elsewhere. I do know that the pollinating process is very complicated and, from what I understand, many of the vanilla beans that are grown commercially are actually hand pollinated by people so you can start to understand why this little pod is so expensive! I hope you will order some in bulk online…it might seem like an investment, but like every other chef/baker out there, I too believe having fresh vanilla in a recipe makes a world of difference! I will never go back to not using them. I still use vanilla extract occasionally for the moisture in batters that tend to be too dry (only the real stuff not the immitation kind), but even then I miss the flavor that only real vanilla beans can add.

          That’s funny that folks have been telling you to sell my pumpkin truffles. I’ve had a few comments like that too here. 🙂 Tempting but I don’t have the time to mass produce them. I would guess the difference in the color of the inside is that I use fresh pumpkin puree, not store-bought canned pumpkin…if you look at my post about making your own pumpkin puree ( you’ll see how vivid the orange is in the puree you make yourself. The addition of the spices should also darken the filling a bit.

  • 6. mangochild  |  January 7, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Great reminder of all that we’ve enjoyed over the past year. 10 gardening tips was a personal favorite, as a pretty new gardener. Happy new year!

    • 7. Jennie  |  January 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      Aw, thanks, Mangochild!! Glad you enjoyed another year reading SFTF! You’re one of my long-time readers so thanks for coming back again and again! 🙂


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