The Very Best of Casual Kitchen 2015

We're finishing up Casual Kitchen's ninth year, and at this time each year I share the best posts of the past twelve months.

Once again, I'd like to thank you, dear readers, for your attention, your comments, your participation, and (of course) all of your support for my work here. I'm grateful.

Enjoy, and see you in January!


Best Articles

10) The Best Way to Save Money By Cooking From Your Pantry
A new and broader way to think about pantry foods helps you maximize cooking convenience and minimize costs.

9) Disease Mongering
You'll look at illness, healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry in an entirely new way after this post. One of the year's most trafficked articles and one I'm quite proud of.

8) Status Competition
This idiosyncratic and surprisingly popular post explains how Laura's 14 year old Honda Civic helped reduce status competition among her colleagues.

7) That Man Moved the Sanka!
Robert Cialdini's exceptional book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion offers an interesting historical example of how to manipulate buyers by using the mere appearance of authority. Know this marketing technique--and be a more empowered consumer.

6) The Scientific Study That Cried Wolf
How fear-inducing studies have become self-parodying, how they mislead us about danger and safety, and how they meet the media's needs and not our own. Bonus: a (very) brief discussion of the Denominator Fallacy.

5) "The Consumer Must Be Protected At All Times"
In which the 20th Century's best-known consumer advocate unintentionally reveals his contempt for everyday people.

4) A False Referent
It's likely that in some area of your life, you are someone else's false referent. Which means you have the power to change the default status environment in a significant way for those around you.

3) Restaurant Spending Now Exceeds In-Home Food Spending. But it Still "Costs Too Much" to Eat Healthy?
Don't try and claim, as you whip out your credit card to pay for your restaurant meal, that "healthy food costs too much" or "it takes way too much time to cook food at home." If you still think this, you haven't been thinking at all.

2) Why Can't I Find People Who Share My Values on Anti-Consumerism and Frugality?
There's a subtle and surprising reason why it's difficult to find frugal peers--and it has to do with being able to see what's not there. This post obviously touched a chord, as it went on to become CK's third-highest trafficked post of the year.

1) The Teacher Was Already There All Along
You know the saying "When the student is ready the teacher appears"? It turns out we've been interpreting it totally incorrectly. Here's how.

Best Recipes

In June, I did a one month trial of publishing a brand new recipe post each and every day. This was a big burst of posts in a short time frame, not typical of my normal editorial calendar (and quite possibly a burden to long-time readers accustomed to once-a-week articles), but this month of new recipes went over extraordinarily well. Readers really liked the series, and the pageview stats showed it.

Here's the link to the full archive of the entire month of recipes, and here are the top four favorite recipes as measured by pageviews:

Vinegar-Braised Chicken and Onions
Easy Lemon-Lime Quinoa
Sauteed Kale in Coconut and Lime Sauce
Seared Curried Scallops with Coconut Rice

Anybody curious which recipe got the least traffic? This one:

Green Apple Charoset

And then here are my favorite recipe posts of the year:

1) Simple Spicy Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet
You'll never believe something this delicious could be this easy to prepare.

2) Almost Meatless Sausage and Chickpea Stew
A hearty, scalable and protein-packed stew you can make in under 40 minutes for a mere 84c per serving.

3) Easy Crockpot Jamaican Chicken
Google's search algorithms decided this would be Casual Kitchen's the most trafficked recipe post for 2015. Thank you Google.

4) Spicy Crockpot Spare Ribs
Without a doubt, the best meal we've eaten at CK in the past several years. Hilariously easy too.

And finally:

5) Ten Healthy Recipes for Under $1 a Serving
Readers know I’m supremely partial to any recipe disproving the laughably false claim that "healthy food always costs more." This post offers ten of the least expensive recipes in Casual Kitchen's entire history.

Last of all, an Honorable Mention section for a few articles that I felt proud of but just didn't make the cut above:

1) Organic-Dropping
2) On Trusting Food Bloggers, Cookbook Authors and Their Recipes
3) A Primer on the Fasting Window and Intermittent Fasting
4) Desire Triggering

How can I support Casual Kitchen?
Easy. Do all your shopping at via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

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