The Best of Casual Kitchen 2014

Every year at this time I share Casual Kitchen's best posts for the prior twelve months.

And as always, I would like to thank you, readers, for all your support. Thank you for clicking through to the site, for doing your shopping at Amazon via the affiliate links here *, and most of all, thank you for reading and participating in the conversation. You are why Casual Kitchen exists.

With that, let's get to the very best of CK 2014!

* A quick public service reminder: the easiest way to support my work here is to use the links to Amazon on this site to do your shopping (you can find them on the right margin, or in the postscript at the bottom of every post). Amazon pays me a modest affiliate commission on any and every item you buy--at zero incremental cost to you. This is the ideal way to support bloggers you follow!

Top 10 Best Posts of 2014

10) The Tragic Tale of Peat Village
My personal favorite post of the year. An allegory about how certain elites seem to know so much better how we should live--and worse, how they seem to think their own rules don't apply to them.

9) Consumerism and Modern Pseudovalues: Some Thoughts
Intellectually, we all know that buying things cannot bring lasting meaning to our lives. So why do so many of us keep acting otherwise? PS: If you think life is about dying next to a large pile of branded consumer goods, do yourself a favor and don't read this post.

8) A Cup of Morning Death? How "Big Coffee" Puts Profits Before People
I'm not gonna lie: I was proud of this parody of the entire litany of unethical rhetorical techniques the Food Babe and others use to impose paranoia on consumers (see also my post on the Subway yoga mat controversy for an all-too typical example). At the rate we're going, we'll soon instinctively fear any ingredient with more than four syllables.

7) What Happens Once You've Cooked a Recipe 100 Times?
In short, five amazing things happen. And each makes cooking easier and more enjoyable than ever.

6) Consumers: Pay For Your Own Brainwashing! (Or Don't)
Companies love it when we pay extra for their familiar branded products. But how did that "feeling" of familiarity get there? This post shares a rather ugly, hidden truth about branded consumer products.

5) The Six Core Principles of Healthy Inexpensive Cooking
This popular series is an articulation of CK's central philosophies on consumer empowerment, frugality, and how you can feed yourself healthy food on very little time and money. Honestly, I should have written this years ago.

4) MORE! Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes at Casual Kitchen
The original Top 25 Laughably Cheap Recipes received a ton of linkbacks and has probably brought more readers to Casual Kitchen than any other post. This all-new list offers yet another collection of easy-to-prepare recipes, most of which cost less than a dollar a serving. Enjoy!

3) Expediency and Treadmill Effects
Clearly, I should have thought up a more eye-grabbing title, but this was an important consumer empowerment post discussing how we're subtly lured into more expensive "solutions" than we actually need.

2) Tips vs Strategy
How to choose an information-gathering approach that actually helps you, rather than protects your ego. Bonus: A life with a lot less snark and condescending remarks.

1) The Broken Food Pyramid
This post should make you very humble, not just about government dietary guidelines, but about most of the things we think we know.

Bonus! Top book-related posts at CK in 2014:

Jayson Lusk: The Food Police
Dr. Lusk was exceptionally generous with his time to both answer provocative questions and offer readers here a bonus book list of recommended reading.

Art De Vany: The New Evolution Diet
I pay this book the highest compliment when I say it significantly changed how I think about diet and health. This post, intriguingly, was my second highest trafficked post of 2014, behind The High Cost of a "Feeling" of Safety.

The Heart of the Plate
In short, the best cookbook of the past few years. Mollie Katzen takes vegetarian fare and makes it simple, honest, delicious--and available to anyone. An excellent resource.

Finally: Honorable Mention!
Here are a few posts I'm really proud of, but they just didn't quite make the cut:

How to Keep a Fitness Training Journal
Things are Important Before They're Important
Create Your Own Food Myths for Fun and Profit!
Meat-Eaters Ordering Vegetarian: Polite? Or Phony?
The Illusion of Control and How It's Used Against You

Once again, readers, I thank you for reading. See you in 2015!

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