The Most Popular Recipes of 2015

A belated Merry Christmas to you all. Did you have a nice day? Mine was spent with my parents, siblings and their partners at my brother’s place in Wagga Wagga. We had a traditional Aussie Christmas lunch consisting of crabs, cold prawns and cold ham with a couple of salads. Too hot for hot food here!

Can you believe that 2016 is almost upon us? I’m not going to lie, 2015 has been a good year. The blog definitely took a bit of a back seat to our travelling, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of it all in January.

I feel like we’ve been a bit disconnected lately, so I thought I’d give you a little summary of what’s been going on around these parts lately. In August, Iain and I packed up our life in London and shipped it off to Australia. We took the long route to get there, travelling for eleven weeks to East and Southern Africa and the Seychelles and Dubai. We arrived in Australia in late October not ready to settle in yet, so we stuck around just long enough to witness my brother and his beautiful wife get married before jetting off to South-East Asia for five weeks. We had an amazing time there, and made it back to Australia just in time for Christmas with my family. Somewhere in between the two trips I did two weeks work for my old company and Iain managed to find a job.

Now that we’re back, our priorities are finding somewhere to live in Sydney and me finding a job. It’ll still be a little while before we have a proper routine, so I can’t promise that blog posts will be regular straight away, but I’m not going to be AWOL for an extended period again.

The Most Popular Recipes of 2015 | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

And now it’s time for one of my favourite parts of the blogging year – the top posts of 2015. It’s always nice to look back on the year and see what’s been popular. While a lot of my older posts have had more views throughout the year, this summary is of the most viewed posts that were published in 2015. Once again I was surprised by how many savoury recipes made the list. Maybe because my personal preference is usually for sweet stuff, I wrongly assume everyone else feels the same. There are also a couple that did a lot better than I would’ve expected because the photos weren’t as good as I would’ve liked. I’m just grateful that my posts are being viewed at all and am super pleased to see some of my personal favourites on the list as well.

Before we start, you can view the most popular recipes of 2014 here. Right, off we go…

10. Homemade English Muffins – these were so much easier to make than I expected. Sure you can buy a packet in the supermarket for 80p, but I think everyone should try making them from scratch at least once in their lives.

Homemade English Muffins | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

9. Kingston Biscuits – This is the first appearance in the list from my Australian Biscuit Series. I’m so stoked that three of the five posts from the series have made it to the list this year. I had so much fun testing out my favourite Aussie biscuits and you guys obviously loved them too.

Kingston Biscuits | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

8. Asian Pork Fillet/Tenderloin – This recipe is one of those ones that looks like it should be a lot of work, but is actually surprisingly easy. As long as you remember to take your pork fillet out of the freezer the night before so it can soak up the incredible marinade you’re going to pour on it the next morning. Definitely haven’t forgotten to do that before.

Asian Pork Fillet/Tenderloin | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

7. Iced Vovo Biscuits – This is one of the ones that surprised me. I shot the photos in really bad light, and couldn’t edit it away, so just had to put them up as is. I’m glad they were popular, because the recipe is awesome, even if the photos aren’t.

Iced Vovo Biscuits | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

6. Wagon Wheel Biscuits – Quite possibly my favourite recipe in the Australian Biscuit Series. The biscuits are sooooo good and have a freshness to them that makes them better than the originals any day. Also, no plastic wrapper taste. Woot!

Wagon Wheels | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

5. Café-Style Banana Bread – I’m so happy that this one made the list. Banana bread is one of my favourite cakes and this one was incredible. The crunch and that high top. Man, how can you resist it?!

Café-Style Banana Bread | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

4. Chicken Tinga – Oh my god, I love this recipe. This is one that will be appearing on our dinner table for years to come. The flavours are amazing and it’s so easy. I even tried to make it deep in the heart of Namibia. For 16 people. On a camp stove. It wasn’t as saucy as it should’ve been, but it turned out alright.

Chicken Tinga | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

3. Eggs Benedict – Nom nom nom nom nom. Every time I look at these pictures, I start craving Eggs Benny. Man, I was so freaking proud that these turned out well. With everything you hear about poaching eggs and Hollandaise sauce being a massive mission to get right, I was just glad to have some success. These were particularly popular around Valentine’s Day, which I think is so sweet!

Eggs Benedict | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

2. Prawn Saganaki – Oh boy, the flavours in this dish are so good, you really should go and make it right now. Feta, tomatoes, prawns and parsley, what more could you want?!

Prawn Saganaki | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

1. Soba Noodles with Stir-Fried Vegetables – The ingredients list for this recipe might look long, but it basically entails making a sauce, stir-frying whatever veggies you’ve got on hand and mixing everything together with some soba noodles. Getting the noodles just right requires a bit of practise, but once you get the hang of it, you’re set.

Soba Noodles with Vegetables | Close Encounters of the Cooking Kind

Here’s to 2016!



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