Top 12 Posts of 2012

A 4:30 alarm yesterday morning marked the end of my holidays, signalling that it was time to take my mom and my boyfriend to the airport to catch their respective flights home, and time for me to get back to work after two weeks dedicated to visiting, catching up on sleep, and eating. And with an exciting year ahead of me, I can’t wait to start sharing new recipes, tips and adventures with you guys. But before I get into what 2013 holds, I want to take a moment to look back at the last year. So today, I’ve got for you the top 12 posts of 2012: four each of the year’s most popular recipes and tips, and four containing some of my favourite photos and stories from my food-related adventures in Italy and a bit closer to home.

recipes-text.jpg1. Fast Food, FoodHappy-style 
My two fast food-esque recipes of the year — a veggie-packed eggwich, and a simple but strangely addictive fried egg rice bowl — manage to provide the rich, salty, savoury and speedy qualities we covet in fast food, but can still be considered reasonably healthy. Next time you’re thinking of heading for the drive-thru, try one of these guys instead.

2. Speedy Chana Masala
If the number of times a recipe is “pinned” is any indication of its tastiness, then this speedy curry is the best thing I made last year (runner up: a pizza that makes brussel sprouts taste good). This post offers up a bit of everything: a recipe, a language lesson, some nutritional information, loads of photos, a few tips (including one on how to diversify your spice collection without going to the store) and a good dose of silliness. 

3. Gram’s Coffee Cake 
In all the years since my grandmother first showed me how to make this cake — a simple but delicious single layer, apple-studded, cinnamon-swirled coffee cake — I’ve never seen another recipe like it. It’s a keeper!

4. Bruschetta: 5 Quick and Tasty Toppings
Essentially five fast recipes in one, in this post from my summer in Rome, I share with you guys five quick topping ideas that’ll help you turn a simple slice of bread into an amazing piece of bruschetta. As I learned in Italy, don’t underestimate the power of bread as a base for a good meal! 

tips-text.jpg1. Yogurt: 5 Reasons Why You Should Pick Plain
If you read one post, make sure it’s this one! Here, I fill you in on why plain yogurt is best — for your health, your wallet, your cooking, and more — and share with you two tasty recipes that’ll help you easily transform plain yogurt into fresh fruit-based varieties. Trust me, you want to convert to plain!

2. Quinoa: A Quick Guide
Everything you need to know about quinoa — what it is, how to cook (and pronounce) it, what to do with it, and more — in one easy to read post. 

3. Back Away from the Pricey Cookbook: 4 Reasons to Head to the Library Instead
Find out why an inexpensive library card should be your next kitchen investment!

4. 5 Quick & Tasty Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin
With the holidays over, you may find yourself with extra canned pumpkin kicking around. From pancakes to dumplings, this handy post will help you make the most of this delicious and healthy squash!

photos-text.jpg1. Update from Rome, with Nutella
Major Roman monuments, tiny historic dictators, and some of the best coffee I’ve ever consumed, all together in this post documenting my early adventures from my summer in Italy.

2. Two Tuscan Adventures, with Recipes to Come
Landscapes, fresh tomatoes, and loads of cheese. Sounds like a good five minute photo-escape to me!

3. A Million Little Gelati
A summary of my Italian summer in 21 teeny photos of gelato, snapped in seven different cities around the country. Best viewed with ice cream on hand!

4. From the South: Sweet Tea
With piles of snow on the ground, this sun-filled post from my travels in North Carolina will help you put winter behind you for a few minutes (the summery, southern iced-tea recipe won’t hurt either!)
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And there we have it, friends — some of the most popular, helpful and photogenic posts of the past year. I hope you enjoyed reading along, today and through 2012, as much as I enjoyed sharing with you. See you next week, when I’ll pass along a new recipe, for a new year!

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