The Best of 2012, a series of top five lists

2012 was another good food year for us in the Ginger Kitchen. Though we didn’t cook as much as we usually do because of hectic schedules, we still managed to create some winners.

Here are some stats from our year of blogging:

  • We blogged 77 times and had 16,000 views.
  • Facebook remains our top referrer, with Twitter and Pinterest coming in second and third respectively.
  • Folks from 107 countries visited our site.
  • Our top commenters were Sara, Andy, and Wendy.
  • The busiest day of the year was December 28, with 437 views.

Thanks for a great year. To ring in the New Year, here are our top five dishes, followed by our top five desserts, and top five Recker-mendations.

Top 5 Dishes

1- Sweet Potato Dijon Veggie Burgers with Avocado

Spotted first on Pinterest, this “burger” was a real crowd pleaser and we’ve made it several times since. Beef tends to sit like a rock in my stomach, so this lighter alternative was a welcome addition to our line up this year.

sweet-potato-burger

2- Salmon Bulgogi with Bok Choy and Kale

Every once in awhile, I throw together a simply scrumptious dish. I count this Salmon dish as one of my great successes in the kitchen this year. I especially love when a dish incorporates fresh veggies and herbs from our garden. This one uses chives and bok choy from out back.

salmon

3- Gouda Bacon Burger with Avocado

Jon whipped up this one from his own imagination while grocery shopping and it had fallen off my radar until now. I think I need to ask him to make this again soon! The combination of tangy dressing, crunchy onions and smooth avocado is simply heavenly.

gouda-bacon-burger

4- Thai Shrimp Curry

We tend to prepare many Asian inspired dishes, but this one is my favorite from this year. Packed with spices, this dish leaves nothing to be desired. It’s simply perfect in my book.

thai-shrimp-3-19-12

5- Creamed Chicken with Corn and Bacon over Polenta

Last but certainly not least, this comfort dish wowed me when Jon made it. Though it’s a bit labor intensive, it’s worth it in my opinion. The tender chicken and creamy polenta, coupled with the savory spices and bacon, give it an A+ rating.

polenta-3-18-12

Top 5 Desserts

1- Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

My love/hate relationship with Jon’s baking continued this year. These were definitely hard to resist- soft, chewy, chocolatey… so, so, good.

brownie-cookies

2- Maple Ice Cream with Walnuts & Raisins

This is one of many ice creams we made this year as we experimented with different flavors. This is one of my faves. The sweet, creamy base is delicious, and the toasted walnuts and raisins complement it well.

maple-walnut-ice-cream1

3- Red Velvet Cake Truffles

I’ve long been fascinated by the rise in popularity of  cake pops and cake balls (I hate this name- that’s why I call them truffles). I assumed they’d be too difficult to make, but I tried my hand at them and absolutely love making them. They aren’t as difficult as they look and the result is always pleasing. I shared these with a handful of folks and received rave reviews.

red velvet cake truffles

4- Oatmeal Scotchies with Coconut and Orange

Jon took oatmeal scotchies to a new level when he added orange and coconut. You must try these. Really. You won’t regret it.

oatmeal scotchies

5- Cinnamon Raisin Stuffed Baked Apples

It’s amazing how simple some dishes can be. This one is no exception and the result is mouthwatering. Add this to your list of dishes to impress dinner guests.

baked apples

Top 5 Recker-mendations

1- Banh Mi Barista

2012 will be a memorable year if for no other reason than Banh Mi Barista opened. At first bite, I knew it would become a favorite, and not a week has gone by since that I haven’t stopped in. If you haven’t tried it yet, I encourage you to do so immediately. They are continually expanding their menu and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013.

Banh Mi Barista viet-special

2- Dig IN- A Taste of Indiana (Recap)

Easily one of my favorite culinary experiences this year, Dig IN was so much fun. I was chosen to be a Gastronaut and gained early entrance into the event. Though it was hot and grew increasingly crowded as the day wore on, we managed to try most of the dishes we had our eye on. I can’t wait to do it again in 2013.

8-duck-pie

3- Cerulean

Because Cerulean is located at Winona Lake, we don’t get to enjoy it nearly enough. I am glad Jon and I made a trip there this summer. The place offers such a unique dining experience- the perfect place to spend an afternoon, sharing food and enjoying the company of friends.

cerulean

4- Friday Nights at Old Crown

Old Crown continued their Friday night dinners and we’ve gone several times. It’s definitely the best $15 meal you will find in town- and the menu changes every week, which is exciting. You never know what will be served, but there’s always something impressive and delicious. If you plan to go, call ahead for reservations- the place fills up quickly.

old crown halibut

5- Eddie Merlot’s- Dinner Menu and Lounge Menu

We enjoyed our experiences at Eddie’s so much, we blogged about it twice, featuring the Lounge Menu and the Dinner Menu. If you haven’t been to Eddie’s in awhile, we recommend you try it soon. If you think it’s a little too rich for your blood, check out the Lounge menu. It’s affordable and loaded with good food.

Eddie's Elk

Heading into 2013, our focus will turn towards our fledgling gourmet ice cream business and you’ll soon see more posts about that. The format for the blog will likely change as well. Stay tuned, and thanks for all of your support this year. Happy New Year foodies. Thanks so much for being a part of our year.

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