Were your holidays merry & bright? Mine were, baby! As we come to the end of 2013, I look back … and I see you! You were here with me every single step of the way. A new cookbook (a revolution, even!), and a blog growing by leaps and bounds marked 2013 for me, and I’m jumping headlong right into the blogger cliché: I couldn’t do it without you. But even when I read that phrase on other blogs, I know it’s true. Whether the blogger writing it realizes the truth of it or not, it’s true as true could be. A blog is a partnership. A compact. You trust me to test and retest my recipes, to answer your questions (as best I can!), and to choose the right recipes to develop. To bring back the foods you miss the most, the ones you long to provide for your family and (hopefully) for yourself (you gotta take care of #1, no matter how many kids you have!). You take the recipes, and you run with them. You win contests with them (its own special satisfaction when gluten free beats gluten-y, hands down). You might fail sometimes, but you climb the learning curve, still, and wake up and climb it again.
These are the recipes and the pages on the blog that were the most-loved this year. Some of them surprised me (you still love the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that much?), but most of them didn’t, really. I might not have been able to predict their popularity when I first posted them (ask any food blogger worth his or her salt, and they’ll tell you the same–you just can’t really predict what will catch fire), but looking back, I get it. I learn from what you love, and what makes you just shrug your shoulders.
I will be back next week with all new recipes (gluten free champagne cake to ring in the New Year! make it alcohol free with ginger ale or sparkling apple cider). But for now? Let’s settle in and look back at 2013: A Year To Remember. LOVE YOU! *mwah*
[If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know the drill with the clickable collage, but just in case—hover over each photo for the recipe title, then click the picture to open a new window with that post and the entire recipe]
Here’s my 10¢ tour of these 12 gluten free recipes, why I love them, and why I think you loved them in 2013, too:
Old Fashioned Gluten Free Cornbread: I think that you and I both love this recipe for all the same reasons. You pin it all over Pinterest, too, and sometimes you leave comments like, “BEST cornbread ever, gluten free or not!” It’s that simple. Make it in a cast iron skillet, if you can, but just make it.
Soft Gluten Free Tapioca Wraps: Inspired by the Against the Grain copycat recipes, these soft gluten free wraps are made of just a few basic ingredients. Just be sure not to use poor quality tapioca starch/flour (the recipe won’t work!), and if your dough seems thin, let it cool! And please don’t yell at me about it?
Gluten Free Won Ton Wrappers: A perennial blog favorite, this recipe from my first cookbook is so versatile, no wonder it keeps coming up again and again. Use it to make gluten free egg rolls, gluten free crab rangoon, or even won ton soup (a personal favorite of mine). And for those of you who have written to me and asked if you could roll it thinner in a pasta machine, I say: go for it!
Gluten Free Cookies Recipes: This page of my blog’s visual recipe index is one of the most popular on the blog (alongside the gluten free bread recipes page). ‘Cause, well, who doesn’t love cookies?? And now that I have some Paleo recipes on there, too, there’s something for everyone.
Top Ten Secrets To Baking the Best Gluten Free Bread: Especially with the New Gluten Free Bread Book just coming out, you want to know the secrets to making the best gluten free bread! The first thing I baked from scratch when I started baking gluten free in 2004 was a carrot cake (it was *meh*). The second? Bread. It wasn’t delicious, but it was bread, and I’ve been steadily working on improving it ever since. Understanding the chemistry, and just rolling up my sleeves and failing failing failing and learning something each time. Looks like we have bread in common. :)
Gluten Free Red Cherry Licorice: Fun, right? One of the most gluten-heavy candies around, licorice is something we all miss when we go gluten free. Not any more! And even though you need a candy thermometer, I promise it’s super easy. Don’t like cherry? Try chocolate licorice.
Thick & Chewy Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: You love this recipe. You have good taste.
All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Recipes: Since this is mostly a gluten free baking blog, these all purpose gluten free flour recipes form the foundation of nearly every recipe on it. And since reader Ryan Hunt graciously agreed to let me post his Excel spreadsheet, you don’t even have to do any math any more! (Although, for the record, the math really is easy!) You can always use a commercial blend in my recipes that call for an all purpose gluten free flour (Cup4Cup and Better Batter are my fave commercial blends), but my Better Than Cup4Cup Blend is my hands-down favorite for most recipes, if you’re interested.
Gluten Free Puff Pastry: Most people, even professional food people, don’t make their own puff pastry very often. That’s only because it’s so easy to find ready-made puff pastry sheets in the freezer section of most grocery stores. But for us, we have to make our own. The good news? It freezes incredibly well, and it’s actually quite easy to make (that’s why this recipe is so popular – lots of step-by-step photos). I always have at least a half-recipe in my freezer. Just defrost it overnight in the refrigerator, and you’re minutes away from gluten free puff pastry cheese straws. Simply put, nothing beats the light and flaky crunch of puff pastry with pretty much anything on it. Guaranteed to impress.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipes: And, finally, the Cadillac of cookies. The chocolate chipper. It never, ever ceases to fascinate me, this most versatile of baked goods. From thin and chewy to thick and crunchy, and everything in between, the many recipes on this blog for the humble but proud chocolate chip cookie is worth the price of admission alone (it’s free – this blog is free, but still).