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Friday, December 30, 2016

10 Most Popular Recipes of 2016

These were the 10 most popular recipes posted on All Roads Lead to the Kitchen in 2016.
In just over a month's time, this little space of the web will be celebrating its eighth anniversary. It's been so much fun sharing recipes with you, learning a little more about writing and photographing food as the years have gone by. I also love checking out which posts were your favorites each year, since it helps me decide what I should create more of the next year!

When I scoured my analytics to see which recipes that I shared in 2016 were the most popular, I thought it very cool that of the top 10, half of those were recipes that I created to accompany a work of fiction (like a movie or television show - no books in the top 10 slots this year). Since that's a pretty accurate representation of the recipes I love to create and share with you, it brought a huge smile to my face.
Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paprika Roast Chicken over Mamaliga | Bram Stoker's Dracula

Paprika Roast Chicken over Mamaliga | Bram Stoker's Dracula
Welcome to the final installment of the All Vampire Book and a Movie Challenge for 2016. Our December challenge was what could probably be considered THE vampire story of vampire stories, Dracula. While there have been many retellings of Bram Stoker's tale, the movie we watched this month was the '92 Francis Ford Coppola version starring Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, and Winona Ryder.

The movie - Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992):

Oh, the movie...the dreaded movie. I'm just going to go ahead and say it—I hate this movie. I didn't like it the first time I saw it so many years ago, but decided to give it a chance after I'd finished the book. That just made me think even less of the over-sexed, over-boobed, bastardization of Bram Stoker's original work. I thought the acting was horrible (sorry Keanu, you're pretty and all, but) and the screenplay was so far off from the original story that I don't know how they could still get away with calling it "Bram Stoker's" Dracula.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tortilla Española | Gilmore Girls

Tortilla Española
Tortilla Espanola
Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday coffee klatch, where I discuss and create recipes inspired Gilmore Girls. Last time I talked about A Year in the Life, episode one (Winter), and today I'm talking, unsurprisingly, about episode two (Spring). So, without further ado, here are my thoughts. I'd love to hear what you thought about this episode in the comments below.
Saturday, December 24, 2016

Recipes inspired by the movie Krampus | #FoodnFlix

Recipes inspired by the movie Krampus | #FoodnFlix
I had a lot of fun hosting this month's edition of Food 'n Flix. When I chose Krampus as our movie, I thought it might create a bit of a buzz, and lead to differing opinions. But I also couldn't wait to see the inspiration and creativity of the submissions—and they definitely did not disappoint.

When I host an edition of Food 'n Flix during a month that contains a holiday, if possible, I try to choose a film that fits the theme. We've done a couple of classic Christmas movies in the past, like Elf, A Christmas Story, and Christmas in Connecticut, but we delved into the darker side this year with St. Nick's partner (and punisher of the naughty), Krampus.
Friday, December 23, 2016

Homemade Peppermint Mini Marshmallows | Krampus #FoodnFlix

Homemade Peppermint Mini Marshmallows | Krampus #FoodnFlix
It's December, and that means it's time for a Christmas edition of Food 'n Flix, where, along with a talented group of bloggers, I create a recipe inspired by a chosen film. Since I'm hosting this month, I created the challenge, asking everybody to create a recipe inspired by the 2015 horror-comedy, Krampus!

While the original legend is definitely pee-your-pants scary, I didn't personally think this PG-13 movie was scary at all. A bit dark and creepy in parts, but not scary. I actually own a copy and have seen it several times, the most recent time my 12 and 14 year olds watched it with me. While I did see my youngest jump once, they both agreed that while they'd never want to be face to face with the Krampus of lore, the movie  itself was just creepy. But hey, my kids grew up with Orcs and Dementors, so...
Thursday, December 22, 2016

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
Growing up in the Midwest, I've drunk my fair share of hot cocoa. I mean, there's nothing like coming in from a hard day of trudging up a snowy hill (after the fun sliding down part) over and over again, or building a snow fort, or having a snowball fight, to a mug of steaming chocolate. It's a winter time staple!

But the thing is, ours always came from a round, lined cardboard canister of Swiss Miss. Well no, sometimes we had the boxes with individual packets. And I won't lie, I always liked the kind with the crunchy, dehydrated marshmallows. Or, if somebody didn't get to the bag, we'd pile on soft mini marshmallows—and that was good, too.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Creamy Ham and Greens Noodle Soup | #Reames #HomemadeGoodness

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Reames®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Creamy Ham and Greens Noodle Soup | #Reames
Creamy Ham and Greens Noodle Soup | #Reames
Everybody has those certain triggers that spark up a feeling of nostalgia—sites, sounds, smells that transport them to another place, another time. For me, at this time of the year, when heavy snow blankets the world outside my window, it's the welcoming smell of a roast, a ham, or a bird cooking slowly in the kitchen.
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hearty Ham and Split Pea Soup for High Tea | #AslansFeast

Hearty Ham and Split Pea Soup for High Tea | #AslansFeast
Hearty Ham and Split Pea Soup for High Tea | #AslansFeast
This month the Fandom Foodies are heading into the kitchen to create with the fantasy world of Narnia as inspiration. Narnia holds a special place in my heart because when my oldest son (now in college) was 7 or 8, just after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie came to theaters, we bought The Chronicles of Narnia (the complete chronicles in one big book).

Since he'd gone from being an only child for 4 1/2 years to having two siblings in short order, I was looking for a way to spend quality time with just him. So, every night, we sat down and, starting at the beginning, read The Chronicles of Narnia out loud for at least an hour every night. This was actually my first time reading it, as well, and both of us fell in love with C.S. Lewis's magical world, and our stolen hour together each night when we stepped hand-in-hand into the wardrobe.
Saturday, December 17, 2016

(Almost) Nigella's Black Bean Soup

(Almost) Nigella's Black Bean Soup
Although I'm the first to say that I make and eat soup year-round (there are so many great summer soups!), cold weather, snow and ice has hit us hard lately and I've been in even more of a "gimme soup" kind of mood lately. But that works well since I've also had a lot of bones and carcasses from roasted meats to use for making stock lately, as well.

Like a lot people, I love using ham stock or a ham bone to make rich, meaty black bean soup like this crockpot black bean soup. This version from Nigella Lawson is a bit of a break from the norm, though. It utilizes the broth, juices, and ham bone left over from making her Coca-Cola Ham, which results in a bean soup that is a little sweet and unexpected.
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Giant Chocolate Chip Raisin Einkorn Cookies | #EinkornExperiment

Giant Chocolate Chip Raisin Einkorn Cookies
Giant Chocolate Chip Raisin Einkorn Cookies
I'm pretty excited to announce that this month kicks off a new project I'm embarking on with my friend Lora from Savoring Italy. Together we'll be experimenting in the kitchen with the oldest wheat known to scientists*—Einkorn.

We both have our reasons for wanting to learn more about this grain whose wild form has been traced back tens of thousands of years, mine being several. I'd read that einkorn was a nutritious grain that contained higher levels of protein and essential fatty acids, and that it was easier to digest than modern wheat. Since its nutrients are better absorbed, people wth gluten sensitivities are often able to consume einkorn without the belly and digestion issues (although it's not recommended for people with celiac disease or those who have allergies to wheat or gluten).
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tater Tot-cos | Gilmore Girls

Tater Tot-cos inspired by Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Winter)
Tater Tot-cos inspired by Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
It's coffee klatch Wednesday! Sorry I missed a couple of weeks, but life threw me a couple of curve balls recently. So, let's talk A Year in the Life. Although I've watched all four episodes a couple of times, I'm only going to discuss one episode at a time. Here we go!
Sunday, December 11, 2016

Slow Cooker Ham Stock

How to make ham stock in the slow cooker
If you're making a ham for the holidays (or anytime), don't throw away that bone before make a batch of ham stock. You could do it in a pot on the stove top, but if you have a slow cooker or crockpot, why not let it do all the work for you—set it and forget it!

Add the bone (I like leaving a little bit of meat attached) to the slow cooker insert along with a few veggies and herbs, plus water...then cover and leave it for at least 18 hours, but up to 24. Then you simply strain it and it's ready to use in soups, stews, and other comforting dishes to sustain you through the cold months.
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Slow Cooker Christmas Ham

Slow Cooker Christmas Ham
Slow Cooker Christmas Ham
To be fair, this ham can be made any time of the year, but I think it fits the holidays perfectly with the red, tart lingonberry jam and the scent of allspice and cloves. The best part is that the ham itself cooks up nice and tender in the slow cooker, all by itself, freeing you up to do other things with that much coveted resource—time!

A jar of lingonberries, some honey, and a little bit of warming spice are mixed to make a beautiful and festive glaze. One thing that you might notice missing is whole cloves. While I adore clove-scented ham as much as the next person, I don't adore having to pluck picking them (and usually missing a few) of the cooked ham.
Monday, December 5, 2016

Caramel Shortbread Squares, guest post by author RaeAnne Thayne

Caramel Shortbread Squares

Winter Holiday Recipes (and reads!) even with #TLCBookTours

Please help me welcome bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne to the blog today as part of the Winter Holiday Recipes (and reads!) event with TLC Book Tours. RaeAnne will be introducing her new release and sharing a recipe inspired by her latest Haven Point book. Plus, enter for a chance to win a baking-inspired prize pack further down in this post!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Join us in the kitchen with Krampus | #FoodnFlix in December

Join us in the kitchen with Krampus | #FoodnFlix in December
It's December and this month I'm excited to be hosting the current edition of the Food 'n Flix club right here on All Roads Lead to the Kitchen with my movie pick and challenge for those who wish to participate, the 2015 Christmas Comedy-Horror film, Krampus!

As folklore has it, in Germany, Austria, and many Central European states, St. Nicholas and Krampus were partners. On the eve of St. Nicholas Day the two would work together, St. Nicholas would fill the boots of the good children with fruits, sweets or other treats, and Krampus would kidnap the naughty children, often beating them, and drag them away from their homes.