Retro Sundays

I created the Retro Sundays series to help newer readers easily navigate the very best of this blog's enormous back catalog of content. Each Retro Sundays column serves up a selection of the best articles from this week in history here at Casual Kitchen.

As always, please feel free to explore CK's Recipe Index, the Best Of Casual Kitchen page and my full Index of Posts. You can also receive my updates at Twitter.

This Week in History at Casual Kitchen:

Thai Pasta Salad (July 2007)
One of CK's all-time best summer salad recipes. This dish is unusual, easy to make, and it contains a balanced mix of protein, carbs and veggies. One of the most popular of my 25 Best Laughably Cheap Recipes of Casual Kitchen.

All-Time Least Popular Posts of Casual Kitchen (July 2008)
The five posts at CK with the highest bounce rates, lowest time-on-page metrics and least pageviews. Good comedy value for readers accustomed to my more recent (and much better) writing.

Beef and Beer Stew (July 2008)
An exceptional stew recipe that's easy and surprisingly inexpensive. Inspired by the Wall Street Journal, of all places.

If It's So Cheap to Cook at Home, Then Why is My Grocery Bill So Huge? (July 2009)
When people spend a lot more than they planned to at the grocery store, it makes cooking at home seem much more expensive than it really is. But take heart: grocery store cost overruns can be easily avoided with a bit of awareness and a couple of good habits. Read this post to see how.

How can I support Casual Kitchen?
If you enjoy reading Casual Kitchen, tell a friend and spread the word! You can also support me by purchasing items from via links on this site, or by linking to me or subscribing to my RSS feed. Finally, you can consider submitting this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to bookmarking sites like, digg or stumbleupon. Thank you for your support!


Cynthia said...

I really love the retro Sunday post. It lets me find all sorts of things I missed by not finding you sooner!
Thanks again.

Daniel said...

Thanks so much for the feedback Cynthia, and I'm happy you find this series useful.

These "retro" posts don't get a lot of comments, but they do get a lot of traffic. Many, many readers are clicking on these articles, so I'll be sure to keep it going.


wosnes said...

I love the retro Sunday posts, too.

This week I particularly liked "If It's So Cheap to Cook at Home, Then Why Is My Grocery Bill So Huge?"

Thoreau said, "Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes." I beware of all recipes that require ingredients I don't typically keep on hand -- especially those that are expensive, that
I can't buy in small amounts or that I'm unlikely to use in other recipes. I frequently have to remind myself that I don't need to cook every recipe I see that sounds good!

Daniel said...

That's a great insight Wosnes, thanks for sharing.

I often see many cooks (and food bloggers too) constantly wanting to try more and more complex and fancy meals with more and more expensive ingredients. Once we've mastered the basics, it can be tempting to take it to an extreme and show everybody we can do more and more and more.

But you're right, you don't have to cook everything. Thanks for the thoughts.

And love the Thoreau quote, that's a keeper.


wosnes said...

Over the last 15 years or so, I've read a lot about various traditional diets. Most of the reading was with health in mind, but I've also enjoyed reading about the culture. I noticed something that was actually glaringly obvious: home cooks in those traditional societies don't cook foods from other cultures. In fact, they rarely cook with anything outside their own community or region.

It made me wonder how much variety I need in my own diet, not only in ingredients, but also in different cuisines.

I was born, raised and still live in the Midwest. I like the foods I grew up eating. I'm also very fond of the foods of the Mediterranean, especially Italian, Greek and Lebanese. I keep basic ingredients for those on hand -- and many overlap. I don't keep the more "exotic" herbs and spices, such as sumac or fenugreek, etc. I don't use them often enough to warrant having them in my pantry. I do keep some basic ingredients for Tex-Mex/Mexican and Asian dishes, but if a recipe calls for something I don't have, I may omit it, substitute if I can, or just not make the recipe.

wosnes said...

Oh, another tip for saving money at the grocery. This comes from Clara's Kitchen by Clara Cannucciari: "Walk when you go to the grocery store. Because if you don't have a large car trunk to store things, you'll be forced to buy only what you can comfortably carry, which is most likely all you need."

Obviously it's not possible for many of us now, but it's certainly something to think about!

Daniel said...

Wosnes, these are exceptional ideas. Thank you for sharing.

And regarding walking to the grocery store: even the people who claim it's impossible for them to walk can still apply an aspect of this tip: instead of using a cart, why not try using the smaller handbaskets?

This could be a great tip for impulse-purchase prone shoppers. If you don't have room in your basket, you won't buy it.