When I started this blog back in 2009, I had no idea where it was really headed, or if anyone would even read it for that matter. I figured I would blog about things that interested me, mainly gardening, food and cooking, and nature. Now I do make occasional forays into travel and crafts, and I also share pics and stories about our cats from time to time, including a birthday song for Ace on his first birthday. So with all that in mind, I am still somewhat surprised that my most visited page for both 2015 and 2016 has nothing to do with any of the above things!
Without further ado, the #1 visited post for 2016 is Coffee Infused Oil. When I first made this, I had visions of using it to make soap, lip balm, and lotions. We’ve made a hand soap with it, though I haven’t posted the recipe here yet. And I’ve used it in lotions, though I haven’t really settled on a recipe for that either. But my favorite thing to do with the coffee oil is make Coffee Lip Balm with it.
And speaking of lip balm, coming in at the #2 most visited page for 2016 is my recipe for Homemade Coffee Lip Balm. I make it all the time for me and my wife, and we occasionally give some to friends. When we went to Colorado back in the fall of 2015, we found a coffee shop that had killer espresso, and I brought back some of the coffee beans to use to make infused oil for lip balm.
The #3 most visited page this year is another thing that gets a lot of use around here, Homemade Paprika. I’ve been experimenting with different strains of peppers to use for paprika, and I’ve found several that suit my taste buds and also do well here in my garden. Dulce Rojo, Feher Ozon and Boldog make great mild paprika, and for hot paprika I had good luck with growing and using the heirloom Leutschauer Paprika Pepper here in 2016.
#4 is another popular item here, my Vitamix Freezer Tomato Sauce. The high speed blender has surely changed the way I preserve tomatoes. No more dipping the tomatoes in boiling water to loosen the skins, or running them through a food mill. These days I cut the core from the larger tomatoes, but other than that I just pop them in the blender and process them until they are well-blended and the skins have disappeared. After that I cook them down to the desired consistency, and they wind up in tomato sauce and Homemade Tomato Paste.
Coming in at #5 is my post about using frozen squash called From Freezer to Fork: Squash. I wish I could say I had dreamed up a bunch of wonderful recipes using frozen squash, but that’s really not the case. We use most of it in soups, and a bit of it in side dishes. Probably my most creative use is the Chocolate Zucchini Smoothie, which came in at #18 on the 2016 most visited pages.
Rounding out the top ten are my recipes for Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake and French Green Clay Soap, plus recipes for Easy Refrigerator Pickled Garlic and Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread. Coming in at #10 we finally have a gardening post, my experiments with determining How Hardy Is Lettuce. The answer to that one is “pretty hardy”, and I’m guessing whenever the temperatures start dipping the folks are curious how their lettuce will hold up. My advice for them would be to cover the lettuce if possible, and by all means wait for it to thaw naturally before harvesting it! If you harvest while frozen it will thaw to a mushy mess, but if you let it thaw naturally before harvest it should be fine.
I hope you have enjoyed a look at what others have been visiting here on my blog in 2016. Let me also take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year in 2017! I will be back soon with a recap of my favorite veggies and fruits from 2016.