The Very Best of Casual Kitchen 2013

Every year at this time I share the very best articles of the past year--and thank readers for joining the conversation at Casual Kitchen.

I can't begin to describe how profoundly thankful I am to you, dear readers, for reading, participating and being here. You've supported me by clicking through to the site, by making purchases at via the links here, and even by giving direct donations to Casual Kitchen. And along the way you've added thousands of thoughtful and insightful comments. Thank you. You're why Casual Kitchen exists.

So without further ado, here's the very best of CK 2013. Once again, thanks so much for reading. I'm grateful.

PS: Next week, I'll give YOU a chance to promote and share *your* best post of 2013. Stay tuned!!


The Best of Casual Kitchen 2013

10) The 4-Hour Chef: An Extended Review of a Terrible Book
Readers, what makes a writer credible? What makes us trust a writer enough to rely on what he or she teaches? This post explains why Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Chef was one of the worst--and least credible--books of the year.

9) The Paradox of Cooking Shows
It's hard to believe, but millions of people spend more time watching other people cook on TV than actually cooking themselves. How can this be? See also the intriguing debate in the comments.

8) How To Be Fooled By Expensive Wine
If wine experts are easy to fool, then regular wine-buying consumers are hilariously easy to fool. Read this post, and don't get needlessly separated from your money when you buy wine. Related: The Cork Debate: Does Good Wine Really Need a Cork?

7) The Current State of Individual Blogging
It's getting harder and harder to be a blogger these days, as your traffic stats, your earnings, and your ability to reach new readers slip increasingly out of your hands. This post explains two things: why I keep writing anyway, and why "Swiss Chard" teaches you everything you ever needed to know about search.

6) A 30 Day Voracious Reading Trial
I did a 30 day trial of intensive reading in August, and it turned out to be a life-changing experience. Here's why I did it and what I read. One of the years' most popular posts.

5) Consumer Empowerment: How To Self-Fund Your Consumer Products Purchases
Believe it or not, there's an easy technique you can use to get companies to pay you to buy their products. Oddly, there are exactly zero comments on this post--striking given this post's high pageview count. PS: See also how a reader tried to make me feel guilty for sharing the idea at all.

4) Did Newark Mayor Cory Booker Really *Try* With His Food Stamp Challenge?
Does a Stanford/Yale/Oxford-educated politician have an obligation to help others learn? I wrote this post after Cory Booker bungled a food stamp challenge, squandering an opportunity to teach the fundamentals of how to eat healthy on a small budget.

3) Ethanol Hurts the Poor
It's bad enough that our country's idiotic ethanol policy wastes more fossil fuels than it replaces. Worse, it also drives unnaturally rising prices throughout our entire food supply--hurting our very poorest citizens the hardest. This post explains why you should never support the use of ethanol as a fuel.

2) The Cure for Worry Porn
Have you noticed the explosion of alarmist articles and reports showing up everywhere in our media? It seems like there's a cancer risk or some other unnerving danger lurking everywhere these days: in our homes, in our neighborhoods--even in the linings of our canned food. This post destroys the entire edifice of alarmist worry porn. Several readers wrote in to thank me for writing it.

.... and the top post of 2013!

1) When It Comes To Banning Soda, Marion Nestle Fights Dirty
How I lost most of my respect for one of our country's most important food policy activists. Read this if you care that our food policy issues are debated fairly, rationally and honestly. By far my most widely read post of the year, and a post I was at first afraid to publish.

Best Recipes of 2013:
Readers, you might notice a common theme in 2013's recipes: E-A-S-Y. As always, I pride myself on bringing readers healthy, inexpensive and truly easy-to-prepare recipes. Enjoy!

Easy Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew -- Rich barley, tangy tomatoes and a mild hint of dried thyme make this hearty stew truly unforgettable.
Easy Chicken In Tomato Sauce -- A laughably simple and delicious recipe that costs as little as $1.25 per serving.
Easy White Bean Spread -- A healthy and hilariously inexpensive appetizer. This recipe is so easy I felt like a doofus for waiting so long to share it.
Easy Beet "Pesto" -- A striking pesto spread that's so good your guests will literally inhale it.
Easy Curried Chickpeas and Tofu -- You can make this flavorful recipe in under 20 minutes and for just over $1 per serving.

Honorable Mention:
The Risotto Blogroll: 20 of the Internet's Easiest and Most Delicious Risotto Recipes
What's the Link Between Dietary Cholesterol and Blood Cholesterol?
The Food Industry Should Only Sell Bad Tasting Food
Dispute This! Negative Self-Talk And Better Health
To Kill a Good Idea Part 1 / To Kill a Good Idea Part 2
Banning Food Advertising Won't Do What You Think It Will Do
The Extreme Reach Fallacy

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Anonymous said...

Like you, I retired from my day job. I would love more posts on your journey to make the best use of your time and structure it appropriately.

Daniel said...

Thanks for the prompt. Heh, "how to make the best use of my time" *has* been a journey for me--a journey I'm nowhere near completing. :) I'll see what I come up with on the subject.