Flavorful Journeys Best of 2014 – By Popularity

I love New Year’s Day.  It’s a chance to reflect on the past year and celebrate experiences to come. In that spirit, here are the 10 most popular posts on Flavorful Journeys from 2014:

Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

1. Homemade Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

You can’t go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs, especially when everything—from the pasta to the sauce—is made from scratch! This dish takes some time to make, but it’s totally worth it!

Chocolate Truffle Tart Slice

2. Chocolate Truffle Tart

This chocolate truffle tart was my first recipe post of 2014. I wanted to bake something that would set the mood for the year, and this indulgent treat proved the perfect choice! read more

Chocolate-Raspberry Glass Cupcakes

Chocolate-Raspberry Glass Cupcakes

Chocolate-Raspberry Glass Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love its spookiness, as this allows me to embrace morbid concepts in fun ways. For example, these chocolate raspberry cupcakes play on hyelophobia, or fear of glass. The sugar glass–its jagged edges covered in red food coloring–looks very much like broken shards of glass smeared with blood. The buttercream icing with red swirls further plays on this theme.

Chocolate Raspberry Glass Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

Glass Cupcakes Topped with Buttercream Red Swirl read more

Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate-Sriracha Ganache

Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate-Sriracha Ganache

Coconut Cupcakes with Chocolate-Sriracha Ganache

I love cupcakes, but not as much as my sister Sadie. She’s a cupcake fiend! She visited me in Miami over the Fourth of July weekend, and there were two things that she absolutely had to do before leaving Miami: go jet-skiing and make cupcakes.

Jet skiing was an adventure—at some points I wasn’t sure that we were going to survive! I’d never driven a jet ski before, and at first it was scary. It’s easier to steer at high speeds, but to go that fast is intimidating. So I started out really slow, which made my steering horrendous. read more

Butterfly Cupcakes

Butterfly Cupcake

After being invited to my first baby shower, I decided to bring a striking, elegant dessert. I thought about making these fondant cherry cupcakes, but ultimately opted for something new. I discovered these beautiful butterfly cupcakes on Annie’s Eats and instantly fell in love.

The butterflies look quite realistic, and their outspread wings give them dimension and the illusion of flight. They’re gorgeous perched atop the colored buttercream icing. Even better, the butterflies are pure, delicious chocolate! read more

Fresh Cherry Cupcakes with Fondant Icing

Fondant Cherry Cupcakes

This was my first experience decorating with fondant and it was a blast! These fresh cheery cupcakes with fondant icing may look intimidating, but they’re actually quite easy to make. Upon returning to Chicago some of our friends invited us over for afternoon tea. Beyond thrilled at discovering more people who enjoy having tea, I started to plan what to make. It dawned on me that as much as I love tea, I needed (ok, more like wanted) a cookbook purely dedicated to afternoon tea recipes.

I discovered The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book by Antony Wild and Carol Pastor. It’s a beautiful book with gorgeous photographs and detailed instructions. It’s interesting to note the differences between British and American cooking terminology, such as self-raising flour for self-rising flour, plain flour for all-purpose flour, bicarbonate of soda for baking soda, icing sugar for confectioners’ sugar, cornflour for cornstarch,  wholemeal flour for whole-wheat flour, sugarpaste for fondant, etc. Luckily enough, the book has both the English and American terms. read more