While going through our analytics to compile AOC’s popular posts that were written in 2014, I couldn’t help but create another list with our top 10 posts of all time, since a few of these popular posts were surprising to me and the others are true AOC classics. I will be celebrating 6 years of blogging in February (!) and this list is a reflection of where I started, how I’ve grown, and what you like that has helped grow and steer the blog during that time. It’s a great way to see of some of the classic posts that represent all you’ll find at AOC if you are new to the blog, and maybe be reminded of these oldies-but-goodies if you’ve been hanging out awhile here.
Either way, I hope you’ll scroll through the list and then chime in through the comments – did your favorite post make the list? If not, which past recipes, diy projects, crafts, stories, etc. would make the list if YOU were making it?
1. How to Freeze Green Beans Without Blanching. This post has brought such huge numbers to the blog for the past two summers – prime green bean season – that I’ve dubbed myself “green bean queen” to friends and family. There are worse claims to fame, ha! In my original post (we’ve also made a video on this process) I asked others to rebel with me against the conventional wisdom that says the beans have to be blanched – and, boy, have I found out the world is full of rebels. 😉
2. Unbelievably Soft 100% Whole Wheat Rolls. This is actually the recipe I thought would be #1, since it’s from my first year of blogging. You know when you’ve made something for years and people ask all the time about it and – as I’ve written and mentioned in the video tutorial for these rolls as well – even said they dreamed about it? Yeah, these rolls. This and a few other recipes are what I’d consider “pillar” content for AOC.
3. Soft, Easy Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread. I’m glad to see this is so popular – this and our classic pantry basics like ketchup and mayo are what helped me first realize I didn’t have to be dependent on stores for these staples. I didn’t even know it was possible to make some of them and bread seemed like it was just for special occasions. This recipe? It’s easy enough to make weekly and soft enough to make everyone happy, which has resulted in this happy statistic: I haven’t regularly bought our family’s bread at stores for more than five years. Booyah.
4. The Original Brown Kraft Paper Floor (DIY Alternative to Wood Flooring). I’m super proud of this project and thrilled with how it’s been received – it’s been featured in a national magazine, picked up and expanded on by other bloggers, and inspired a video update. It is another of our ‘pillar’ content since it illustrates perfectly our diy, budget-conscious and imperfect sensibility. And how you can be surprised by beauty within these limitations.
5. How To Freeze Snap Peas without Blanching. I’m not ashamed to tell you this post was completely inspired by the success of my green bean experiment and resulted in another easy method that we like just as much as the harder blanch-first method. Making things easy? That’s a major goal of mine which I’m happy to share with you!
6. Roast and Freeze Beets. Yeah! There really are beet lovers out there like me. I just don’t get beet naysayers – they are so sweet, especially when roasted. Yum. I couldn’t find anything about freezing them when had a bunch to process, so I did an experiment and was pleasantly surprised when they turned out fantastic! Let’s all get the word out about beets. 🙂
7. Home Canned Pizza Sauce. Surprise! Only one year old, I had no idea this would be so popular and you all needed a good canned pizza sauce. I had actually been meaning to photo and write this up for years – seems like I should act sooner, huh?
8. How to Make Flax Warming Pillows (and why Flax is the Best Filler). Using flax in homemade heat pads was a revelation to me – so much nicer than grain-based fillers – and super popular with customers and family when I made them pre-blog, so I was pretty sure they’d be well received (the video tutorial we made of this even made the best of 2014 list). Because this a a useful, easy & inexpensive homemade gift, I consider it to be another of our signature projects.
9. Homemade Garlic-Mint Insect Spray. This is the newest post that made the all-time popular list – it’s only 6 months old at the time of writing! But holy cow, this stuff is amazing (as the photos prove) so it went a little viral for me and continues to do well. I just hope anyone with insect problems pins this for the gardening season, as it really is awesome.
10. Easy Slow Cooker Cheesy-Garlic Scalloped Potatoes. Super surprise!! What? I guess I didn’t know scalloped potatoes were that popular (Brian actually doesn’t care for them…but I do, ha!) since I had no idea this would be on our all-time list. I threw this post up in 2013, reusing old photos from a post I had done years before for another blog – um, yeah, I think I need to update these photos! Oh, and the recipe? SO easy and good, I don’t make scalloped potatoes any other way anymore.
Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement – I really would have given up writing for the blog a few years ago if it wasn’t for the comments I get regularly letting me know that our recipes, projects and tips are helpful, inspiring, and even life-changing for you. You guys make it all worthwhile!
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