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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

15 "Would Be" Blog Posts of 2015

15 "Would Be" Blog Posts of 2015
While many people are looking back and sharing their favorite or most popular posts from the past year, I like to look back and scoop some of the things up from the cutting room floor instead. Sometimes they wound up on the cutting room floor because the recipe didn't work out like I wanted it too and I need to revisit it later. Sometimes I just got too busy to share it with you. Other times I just thought the photos weren't good enough.

I dusted off 15 ideas from the past 12 months that I thought would be worth looking back at. I hope you enjoy a little peek at these outtakes!

1. Drinks are often the posts that hit the cutting room floor. Mainly because I struggle taking good photos of them. That's exactly the reason this Black Manhattan never got a post of its own. I was playing around with Amaro Averna when I made this. Want to make one? I used this recipe.
Black Manhattan Cocktail

2. I had every intention of these "4 B" bars being blondies, but once you add a banana (or pumpkin) to baked goods, they take on a texture all their own. I prefer gooey blondies, and these turned more cake-like...and I never really warmed up to them enough to share them as Banana Bourbon Browned Butter Bars.
Banana Bourbon Browned Butter Bars

3. I went on a major bubble tea kick earlier this year. I seriously love those chewy little orbs. I remember this Ginger Peach Bubble Tea being a favorite of mine...what I can't remember is why I never shared the recipe. I think it was because I only got one good picture. That seems like a poor excuse now.
Ginger Peach Bubble Tea

4. Bubble tea recipe numero dos that I did not share. While I used black tapioca pearls for the previous one, I used the pastel rainbow pearls for this one. As you can see, they got hidden under the murky green of this Minty Matcha Bubble Tea. These pretty pearls deserve a really light drink so they can show off.
Minty Matcha Bubble Tea

5. After reading About A Girl earlier this year, a novel mostly set on a gorgeous Hawaaiian island, I craved "tropical" food something fierce. Two things the book inspired me to make were the Frozen Pineapple Daiquiris that I posted about on my book tour stop and a batch of tender, slow roasted, fall-apart Kalua Pork. I love the flavor lent to the pork by the banana leaves it is wrapped in—it reminds me of Puerco Pibil!
Kalua Pork

6. I had high hopes for these Rosemary Potato Pocketbook Rolls, but it turns out they were just sort of "meh". So-so flavor. Horrible oven spring. Boring at best.
Rosemary Potato Pocketbook Rolls

7. I told's yet another drink that didn't make the cut. I received a complimentary bottle of Jeremiah Weed Sarsaparilla Whiskey several months ago, and I did something super original with it. I added it to non-alcoholic sarsaparilla. Ground-breaking, right? Okay, definitely not. But this Boozy Sarsaparilla Soda was far too delicious for its own good. With notes of vanilla, caramel, wintergreen, and licorice how could it not be?
Boozy Sarsaparilla Soda

8. Hey, guess what? I made pizza with Papa John himself. True story. In June I had an awesome press trip to Louisville, Kentucky where along with a handful of other bloggers, I spent the day talking to and learning about Papa John's from founder John Schnatter. I was thoroughly impressed by the man, the company, and history of it all. This may still get a blog post to itself because I have so much that I'd love to share with you!
Making pizza with Papa John

9. It was all downhill from here for this Braised Cabbage with Red Apples that I made at the beginning of apple season. You know what I'm talking about. Cooked red cabbage is basically just a pile of deep reddish-purple "stuff". We ate it with pork chops. It was tasty, but nothing to write home about.
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

10. Everybody's favorite virgin drink is all grown up. This Dirty Shirley is an alcoholic spin on the classic Shirley Temple. 7-Up or Sprite, grenadine, and some Cake Vodka combine to make a drink that's just as easy to drink as the one you grew up on. And yes, extra maraschino cherries are still a must.
Dirty Shirley cocktail

11. At the end of summer, my neighbor loaded me up with more than 5 dozen ears of freshly picked sweet corn. We happily ate it until it was coming out of our ears, but I also made some of THE BEST Homemade Creamed Corn. Like, ever. It was the darkish, semi-fuzzy photos that stopped me from sharing it. But I'm betting you'll see this recipe on the blog in 2016 because it's just too amazing not to share.
Homemade Creamed Corn

12. These are labeled muffins, but basically they taste like (and have a texture like) cake. Not that that's a bad thing, but not exactly what I envisioned when I made these Shoofly Muffins from Brunch at Bobby's. I'm a big fan of molasses and spice, so I enjoyed these...actually we all did. Again, I wasn't thrilled with the pictures enough to share it.
Shoofly Muffins

13. I had what I thought was a clever idea—use my Rolling Stones Special Edition Crystal Head Vodka in the crust of a Brown Sugar Pie. Brown sugar being a nod to the Stones song, of course. Unfortunately the crust stuck to the bottom of my pie tin like crazy; I literally had to scrape it off. But I managed a few sort of pretty pieces. I topped them with a bit of cranberry sauce and a fat dollop of whipped cream...then proceeded to let something fall directly on top of them before I was able to get a picture. The pie was ugly. The styling was ugly. I knew my head wasn't in the right place that day...and I should have just revisited the idea later. But I didn't. A better name for it would have been "Wasted Time" Pie (of course then it would have been the wrong band...that would be The Eagles. Or Skid Row, depending on who you ask).
Brown Sugar Pie

14. When I first saw this affectionately named Hubba Hubba Apple Cake, it was over at The Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine. She adapted it from Gina DePalma whose mom has been making it for nearly 40 years (she thinks it probably originated from a 70's women's magazine). I made it for my grandpa for his 90th birthday back in October since apple cake is is favorite...and then watched and smiled as he finished a gigantic slice. I've made the cake another time since then, as well. I can see why it's been a DePalma family favorite for so many years. (I should note that I do not peel my apples - I mean, why!? I also added cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves to the cinnamon-sugar mixture.)
Old-Fashioned Spiced Apple Cake (aka Hubba Hubba Apple Cake)

15. You know those little "50 Recipes for Something or Other" inserts in the center of Food Network Magazine? Well, I've been slowly making my way through some of the recipe ideas in the one featuring cranberries from the November 2014 issue over the last year. I thought that the Cranberry Marshmallow Krispies Treats sounded like a fun addition to this year's Christmas baking. Let's just say that they weren't. I won't make these with fresh cranberries again because they just have too much moisture. These were a soggy mess after a few hours. They tasted like cardboard (or how I imagine cardboard would taste). Boo. I think they'd be good with dried cranberries, though.
Cranberry Marshmallow Krispies Treats

Let's raise a glass (I have plenty above to choose from) to both the ups and the downs in food and drink as we look back at 2015. Wishing you a prosperous (and delicious) new year!