Gastronomical Sovereignty to She Eats: 2013 Best Food Blog Posts

It’s insane how much we grow in a year, isn’t it? When I look back at all my posts over the last year, it amazes me how many things have changed. Ass not included…. although that’s certainly grown in its own right.

Note to self: Maybe start setting New Years resolutions to exercise more.

The first year I did this “best food blog posts” round up I was blown away by how much my food photography improved; Last year I learned the importance of making a blog plan. This year, well…  It’s been a big year of growth both personally and professionally. Figuring out how to balance that (read: not let it consume my every waking moment) has been interesting. And while ohksocialmedia crept up on Gastronomical Sovereignty like a cheap thong, with your help, a little re-evaluation and a bottle of Jack Daniels, I managed to get her under control. And then, She Eats was born (enjoy it Mom – it’s the only birth I plan on ever going through. JK, JK. But seriously. This is it.)

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly! Okay, maybe not the ugly – no one needs more ugly in their lives. Bring on the pretty! And tasty! And absolutely sinful! Because let’s face it, sin is so damn good. Especially when it involves the best food blog posts of the year!

I’ve included the posts that seemed to get the most reaction from you, the ones I loved the most, and of course, those poor little posts that I think deserve more attention than they received. Happy 2013 everyone – let’s ring in 2014 with a bang! Here’s to my – and your – best food blog posts of the year! And what better way to start us off than with one of the most incredible drinks I had the pleasure of consuming this year….


Your Favorite: Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off (RaspberryLove Margaritas). Evidently, you like me naked. Me too. Plus, these margaritas are kind of insane in the membrane. So good.

My Favorite: Cheesy Oozy Baked Butternut Squash & Roasted Cauliflower. Nothing gets me more excited than cheesy roasted vegetables. Except being naked. Give me a glass of raspberrylove margaritas and a bowl of oozy veggies and you have yourself one happy lady!

Show Some Love: Ambrosial Apple Pie (Guest Post from my Brotha’ from the same motha’). I love when other bloggers grace me with their fabulousness and guest post. But I get down right giddy when people from my “real life” pick up the torch. Especially when they’re my little “big” brother (he towers a full foot over me!). BTW – he makes the best apple pie you’re ever gonna eat.

Raspberry Tequila Margaritas Recipe -


Your Favorite: Greek Nachos. In this post I asked you what your favorite bar snack was. And you answered loud and clear. Nachos!

My Favorite: She’s Got Skillz – Soft Boiled Eggs. It’s all about game! Or in this case, skills! There are some basic skills we all need in a kitchen to create incredibly tasty & new dishes – one of these, is how to cook an egg properly. Put an egg on it!

Show Some Love: Chanterelle & Leek Risotto. Dudes. This risotto was dreamy like Joseph Gordon Levitt. And probably just as expensive too. But so worth it. Some things, are just worth trying. And in this instance, those things worth trying were fresh chanterelles. And Joseph Gordon Levitt.

Greek Nachos Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Caramelized Onion Duck Fat Poutine. C’mon. What’s not to love about this? For reals. Except maybe the heart attack that may come with it. But after you mow this, it’ll all be worth it.

My Favorite: Caramelized Apple Cinnamon Pot de Creme. There was nothing more exciting than quitting my job at the multi-national corporation. Except apple cinnamon dessert. In tiny mason jars.

Show Some Love: Cinnamon Baked Apples. I told you I like apples and cinnamon. And this recipe was super easy, super peasy and super awesome. Pair with ice cream for the most luscious (and simple) fruit dessert!

Caramelized Onion Duck Fat Poutine Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Bourbon Soaked Cherries Tiramisu. Five words: Chocolate. Boozy cherries. Coffee. Cookies. And you clearly agreed. Which is why you and I are solid. Fist bump.

My Favorite: To Pick Up or Deliver, That’s the Question. Moving to Toronto from Victoria was a slap in the face when it came to accessing real food. It was a shocker. It rocked my world. In a bad way. And this post was my realization that just because I live in a major metropolitan city, it doesn’t mean everything I could ever want is at my fingertips. Evidently.

Show Some Love: Cinco de Mayo – Sriachi Fish Tacos. These were an assault on the senses – bright, fresh and super colorful and healthy. You’re gonna love ’em.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries Tiramisu Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Peaing All Over the Place (even in the risotto). We all get excited over the first Spring vegetables – especially when they’re juicy & bursting Spring peas. Even if it did come with a little TMI….

My Favorite: Fresh Corn Cakes with Citrusy Avocado Goat Cheese Salsa. Heaven in the form of an appetizer or vegetarian friendly main. For reals, you want this. Be sure to use fresh corn off the cob though or you’ll end up with a flavorless, soppy mess.

Show Some Love: Post Cinco de Mayo (the Canadian Way): Snackin’ Caesars. When you think Canada, you probably think of hockey, beavers and bacon. …..We may need to work on our National symbols… But you should also think Caesars – the Canadian hangover cure and breakfast boozy drink from coast to coast!

Fava Bean Pea Risotto Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Garden Gimlet. Summer in a glass. With gin. This bad boy was even featured on NoshOn.It and quoted as being “farmer fresh”. Word.

My Favorite: Zeppole (Italian Donuts). You all know I like my carbs. I like ’em even better when they’re fried, pumped full of fresh Summer berry compote and rolled in sugar. As I said in the post, you are seriously going to lose your shit. They’re that good.

Show Some Love: Canned Horseradish Root (aka Chemical Weaponry). I like to can. Nay, I love to can. Actually, I love having all the canned goodies once the canning has finished. It’s like my own little Doomsday Prepper sweatshop! Let’s just say this: When the world finally ends, I’ll have an endless supply of horseradish for caesars and as I discovered (fairly painfully), a pretty potent chemical weapon.

Gimlet Recipe - Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: The Best Things in Life Are Tiny (Cucamelon Bruschetta). I was so excited (and perplexed!) when I found these little gems at the market. They looked like tiny watermelons! Evidently, you were too. This recipe got the most hits out of almost any other post on the blog this year. I’d love to see what you’ve done with your cucamelons! (that’s what she said)…

My Favorite: Cajun Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa & Fresh Rocket. I don’t buy a lot of imported produce but when I do, they’re typically avocados and mangoes. I love em! This super quick, super simple, super healthy & super delicious recipe has made it into my weekly rotation now and I hope it does yours too!

Show Some Love: Inspiration – food & recipes. It’s no secret that living in Toronto has been a challenge food-wise for me. In this post I revealed I was feeling less than inspired. And because I can always use more inspiration – as I’m sure we all can – I’ve included it here. Let’s help each other be inspired.

Cucamelon Bruschetta Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Crispy Baked Leeks = Good (Crispy Kristy = Not). I got one mother of a sunburn this Summer – worst of my life. Luckily, sunburned leeks turned out okay. More than okay. They were awesome. You can pretty much put these on anything.

My Favorite: Roasted Cauliflower & Fresh Corn Risotto. Corn makes anything taste good. So does risotto. So this was a win-win by any stretch of the imagination.

Show Some Love: Marinated Mozzarella. It’s true – the photography sucks for this one. But these made for such an incredible appetizer one day and vegetarian main the next, they deserve some extra love. It was also my introduction to pink peppercorns which I’m now obsessed with.

Crispy Baked Leeks Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Classic Cheesecake with Fresh Berry Coulis. Evidently I’m not the only one who loves cheesecake. And rightfully so. This cake was so velvety smooth, elegant, creamy and light all at the same time – it’s pretty darn impressive.

My Favorite: Beer Braised Chicken Thighs. Beer and thighs – the two go together in ways only your gym membership understands. And I’m glad for it. At least the chicken’s lean. Plus it’s loaded with fresh seasonal veggies. Nothin’ wrong with that.

Show Some Love: Pan Seared Duck Breast with Oozy Borlotti Beans. This recipe, while the photography didn’t exactly pan out, deserves some serious love. Perfectly seared duck breast, home-style borlotti beans and preserved lemons make this dish a winner in my book. And my mouth. You can bet I’ll be making this again.

Classic Cheesecake Recipe with Summer Berry Coulis - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Cheesy Spicy Bacon Poppers. I don’t care what anyone says – bacon is delicious. And it really does make everything better. Judging by the amount of hits this recipe got, I’d say you agree! Mow down, my friends. Mow. Down.

My Favorite: Fall Dessert – Apple Cinnamon “Noodles”. Does another apple cinnamon recipe surprise you? It’s Autumn, c’mon. Everything is gonna have apples. Or cinnamon. Or both.

Show Some Love: The Delicious Food Show – A Food Festival Survival Guide. October was a busy month for me festival-wise. One of which was The Delicious Food Show where I got to rub up against Chuck Hughes, meet Martha Stewart and eat more than my fair share of street food. It was a good month. And after picking up a few things (lessons, mainly – not pounds… okay, maybe pounds too), I thought I’d pass them on to you!

Cheesy Bacon Poppers Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Fresh & Healthy Veggie Friendly Tacos. These are in the weekly rotation for me, and from what I hear, you as well! These bad boys come together so quickly and are so simple – yet refreshingly bright in flavor and feel – they’re just perfect for Winter. Plus they’re vegan and for those of you who know me, I don’t cook vegan too often. Frankly, that was just a bonus. If you’re looking to lighten up your seasonal plate, these are what you want.

My Favorite: Incredible Fall Fruit Crumble. Yes, there are apples and cinnamon in these. But there’s also pears and almonds – life doesn’t get much better than this.

Show Some Love: Top 10 Lessons I Learned At the Food Blogger Online Summit. I was so incredibly honored when I was asked to speak at this year’s Food Blogger Online Summit, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was. But speaking was just part of the deal – I also learned a ton from all the other amazing presenters (and even attendees!). Here are my top 10 lessons I learned – hopefully they can help you in your blogging efforts!

Healthy Vegetarian Taco Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -


Your Favorite: Saucy Slow Braised Stew. I love meat. It’s the Albertan in me. And so do you! At least you love your pastured, low cost meat. And when we’re filling up on sweets and treats and everything made of sugar and spice at this time of year, a homey, savory, hearty dish like this appealed to you. Word, friends. Word.

My Favorite: The 2013 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Reveal: Classic Vanilla Glazed Sugar Cookies. I look forward to this cookie swap every year and while I’m not much of a baker, I think I did pretty damn good this year. Mason jar shaped cookies? Awesome. (Plus the cookies were gosh darn tootin’ good!).

Show Some Love: Cinnamon Sugar Cookies with Caramel Drizzle & Sea Salt. These are probably some of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten. Plus I got to tackle making caramel which has been on my cooking wish list for ages. Scary? Yes. Delicious? Hell yeah. Totally worth it. This post also got a ton more comments but they were lost in the transfer from Blogger to WP – let’s make up for that, shall we?

Saucy Braised Stew Recipe - Best Food Blog Posts of 2013 -

Which was your favorite post this year? What did you love most about this past year? What would you change? What do you plan to do differently next year? Can you share your favorite posts from your favorite blogs below? So many questions! Cheers to you all & happy New Years!

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious
    December 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    GAH! I’m drooling. These all looks so amazing, I can’t even begin to pick a favorite. Going on a little pinning spree now… 😉

    Happy 2014! Can’t wait to see what else you’re cooking up. 🙂

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 31, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Oh yay Lauren!! Thank you so much! Happy holidays – have a fabulous New Years Eve dear friend!!

  • Julie @White Lights on Wednesday
    December 31, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    OMG! A cheap thong and Jack Daniel’s made my whole day. I swear, if we lived closer you would totally be my hetrosexual life mate Kristy. 🙂

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      HAHAHA! We can still be heterosexual life mates Julie… we’re long distance life mates 😉

  • Anna (Hidden Ponies)
    December 31, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I love the way you did this round up – that saucy stew is one of my faves, and family guest posts can’t be beat. I’m moving about an hour out of Toronto to teeny little Orangeville where I’ll be living with my parents for a few months with my 3 littles while my hubby is in Ottawa…crazy, right?! I’d LOVE to meet you – I’ll be back in BC by summer too!

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Ooooooh!! So close! For sure – if we can make it work, we’ll definitely hook up! Worst case scenario, we’ll have to wait till we’re both back in BC. Good luck with the big move – I’m sure it will be an amazing change!!

  • Kirsten
    January 3, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    I really like how you did this round up–a little of this, a little of that, a little of the other. Well done! I’m so pleased to see some of my favorites on this list (like the leeks, still on the To Do list though my farm share leeks are in the freezer awaiting further instructions) as well as see some posts I must have missed the first go ’round.
    Thanks, and Happy New Year!

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      haha, I feel like I’m chasing you around the blog!! 🙂 Love it!!

      Oooooooh… Do leeks keep their structural bits when freezing? You could always make a leek and onion ragout out of them – it’s one of my favorites! A definite go-to.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    January 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    So much deliciousness and hilarity all in one place. I made fried leeks last month and they’re a new favorite. Crispy, crunchy, breaded leeks. I love them, and now I will have to try your baked (and I assume much healthier) version.