The Rest of the Best of 2013

Ok, I confess, I really enjoy writing these year-end posts. Yesterday, I continued the ritual of writing up all the books that I read in a given year; here are The Books That I Read in 2013. Now it’s time to dig into the rest of the best, posts that shined in specific ways (best cake, best comments, best use of chickpeas) that didn’t make sense for any of my other round-up posts. You’ll also find out which movies, TV shows, albums, and plays Craig and I enjoyed the most this year. Away we go!

The Best Slice of Cake That I Ate This Year:
The 7-Layer Coconut Pecan Cake at Bottega in Birmingham, Alabama

Most Memorable Muffins:
Marion Cunningham’s Last Word in Nutmeg Muffins


Best Sandwich That I Ate This Year:
The Captain’s Daughter at Saltie (pictured at the top of this post)

Favorite New Cocktail:
The Kingston Negroni

Weirdest Thing That I Ate That I Actually Enjoyed:
Burnt Brioche with Homemade Ricotta and Blueberry Tarragon Jam at SQRL

Best Cheese Plate:
Bar Covell (I had it multiple times!)

Best Hot Dog:
The Ultimate L.A. Street Dog with the Big Gay Ice Cream Guys


Biggest Culinary Break-Through:
Charcoal Grilling

Recipe You Probably Didn’t Make But Really, Really Should:
Sweet and Spicy Pickled Peppers

Favorite Original Recipe:
Braised Chicken Thighs and Cauliflower with Olives and Capers

Favorite Recipe Re-Discovery:
Marcella Hazan’s Immortal Tomato Sauce


Best Chickpea Post:
Cook A Pot of Chickpeas, Eat For A Week

Weirdest Grapes:
The ones that taste like cotton candy

Dessert That I Made The Most Often:
Al Di La’s Chocolate and Pear Cake

Prettiest Meal of the Year:
Lunch on the beach on Rottnest Island in Australia. I mean, come on.


Best Post Suggested By Friends:
10 Big Pots of Food You Can Make To Eat For A Week

Favorite New Kitchen Fixture:
My pot rack

My Biggest Cooking Disaster of the Year:
Disgusting, Inedible Curry

2nd Biggest:
Chocolate Cups


3rd Biggest:
Caketastrophe 2013

Most Popular Post That I Wrote This Year:
The Best Brownies of Your Life

The Post That No One Really Reacted To Even Though I Thought It Was Really Good:
Mystical, Magical Curry Leaves

Another Post Like That Only This One Involved Flying For 18 Hours and Using All My Hotel Points:
48 Hours in Sydney


Most Comments on A Post:
Do Any Young People Eat Cottage Cheese?

Most Agonizing Confession:
My Paper Towel Problem

Best Dinner That Didn’t Look So Hot In The Picture But Everyone Loved It In Real Life:
Chicken and Hummus Together On A Plate with Pita


Best Celebrity-Scandal Related Recipe Post:
Reese’s Criminally Drunk Blondies

Worst Celebrity-Scandal Related Recipe Post:
Miley’s Tongue Cookies (Though, funny enough, my friend Kyle actually interviewed Miley and showed her this post! She said the cookies looked good.)

Favorite Revelation:
My cake stand is also a punch bowl


2nd Favorite Revelation:
How easy it is to make corn tortillas

Hardest Letter I Had To Write:
Dear Ina

2nd Hardest:
Whatever, Martha

Most Controversial:
An Open Letter To The New York Times Magazine Food Section

Saddest Attempt at Pescatarianism:

Angriest Group of Commenters:
People Who Salt Their Food Without Tasting It First

Most Articulate Group of Commenters:
The ones on the post about the coffee shop that doesn’t offer sweetener

Most Exhausting Thing I Tried To Do This Year and Failed At:
Weekly Top Chef Cartoon Recaps

Most Exhausting Thing I Tried To Do This Year And Really Stuck With For Several Months:
My Clean Plate Club Podcast

Grossest Post (At Least Based on the Lead Image):
I Ate Bugs at Billy Kwong



Favorite Food Movie That I Watched This Year: Babette’s Feast
Favorite Movie Movie: Much Ado About Nothing
Craig’s Picks: Mud, The World’s End, 12 Years a Slave (with the caveat “I haven’t seen Inside Llewyn Davis yet.”)


My picks: (Note: many of these albums didn’t come out this year, I just discovered them this year.) Paul McCartney’s Ram, Janelle Monae’s The Electric Lady, Lou Reed and John Cale’s Songs for Drella, Rilo Kiley’s Under The Blacklight, Neko Case’s The Worse Things Get, Steve Martin’s and Edie Brickell’s Love Has Come For You, Leonard Bernstein’s On The Town, The Sundays’ Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, Joe Iconis’s Things To Ruin and Taylor Swift’s Red.
Craig’s picks: John Grant’s Pale Green Ghosts and Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City.

My pick: Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin
Craig’s pick: Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue

My pick: Orange is the New Black (still haven’t finished it, I’m savoring it!)
Craig’s picks: Breaking Bad, Enlightened

My pick: Fun Home
Craig’s picks: The Flick, Fun Home

And that’s it for round-up posts in 2013. I promise!

9 thoughts on “The Rest of the Best of 2013”

  1. It makes me sad to think most people probably didn’t make the sweet and spicy pickled peppers, which I adore so much that they have become a constant in my fridge. I even went out and bought a new gasket for my grandmother’s old Le Parfait jar so that they could have a home befitting them. Seriously, people: make them!

    (Side note: If you haven’t tried Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce or the Al Di La pear and chocolate cake, make those, too. Both are super simple and get so many compliments.)

  2. Re:the best dinner that didn’t look so hot but everyone loved it: I thought that was so good, I made it a sandwich at my business and it was a great hit.

  3. dinner tonight was Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce on some pasta–truly love that stuff! and the pickled peppers? fabulous! i have the pears. i have the chocolate. i have to find the time to make the cake. this has been a lovely food year. thanks so much!

  4. Benjamin Balling

    The Ina snub was rough. I’m not seeing the problem with the chicken and hummus picture, just looks like good food!

  5. Thanks for this list- I am going to try to make the peppers, sauce and pear cake THIS WEEK! For the record, my FAVORITE post was the bagels. The day I read that started the big bagel experiment that lasted for almost 2 month! For a family of 4 that does not really do bread/carbs for breakfast (I insist on protein in the AM so my kids stay alert in school) we ate bagels like they were going out of style! I was a rock star for that 2 month period.
    Your blog is my favorite of ANY blog that is out there. You ALWAYS manage to put a smile on my face and for that I will….
    Always be grateful and ALWAYS come back for more!

  6. I’m glad to find another “Much Ado About Nothing” fan! I don’t know many others who happened to see it. Also, I find Fran Franz weirdly attractive.

    I also approve of Craig’s Vampire Weekend album pick.

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