Which Food Stories Tempted You Most This Year?

For Better Or Worse

Is there another Kitchen Window story from the past year that stands out to you? Share it in the "Comments" section below.

Whether you loved them or hated them, the Kitchen Window stories you viewed the most in the past year featured a nutritional gamut — from bacon-flecked desserts and creamy cheese sandwiches, to earthy lentil stews and vegetarian fare.

The most-clicked Kitchen Window stories of the past year are listed below — along with one honorable mention: A 2007 feature on a Southern staple (pimento cheese) was the third most-viewed in 2009! Click the headline or the photo to revisit each of these stalwarts.


1. Bacon Gets Its Just Desserts

Susan Russo for NPR

Noting a bacon dessert craze that has taken hold around the nation, San Diego food writer Susan Russo offers recipes for bacon-laced cake, cookies, fudge and more. While some people said bacon should stay in its rightful place — on the breakfast table next to scrambled eggs and toast — or shouldn't be eaten at all, others agreed that combining sweet and salty flavors has always been delicious. Think kettle corn and chocolate-covered pretzels. Chocolate-Bacon-Peanut Bark isn't such a stretch, is it?


2. Grilled Cheese Gets An Update

Susan Russo for NPR

Russo also claims the No. 2 spot on this list with her versions of the classic American grilled cheese sandwich. For decades, the sandwich remained relatively unchanged: One bite of warm, gooey cheese nestled between two crunchy, buttery slices of white bread recalled the simpler days of childhood. Now there's a whole new world of designer grilled cheese, with an array of cheeses and breads, plus fresh vegetables and herbs, fruits and spreads.


3. A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

Stephanie Stiavetti for NPR

Because holiday meals traditionally are laden with flour-heavy foods, the season can be tough for people who are living a gluten-free lifestyle — or who are cooking for gluten-sensitive guests. But San Francisco Bay Area food writer Stephanie Stiavetti says it's easy to leave out wheat products and still have delicious favorites like cornbread, stuffing and pie. Her recipes include a gluten-free flour mix to try as an alternative in any dish that contains flour.


4. Back To Basics: Good For You, Good For The Earth

How we eat — and certainly what we eat — has a real impact on our bodies and the Earth. To mark Earth Day back in April, Kitchen Window featured author Mark Bittman, who says eating like a vegan until dinner can protect your health and help save the planet. He recommends sticking to plants during the day then indulging at night — but with restraint. He calls it "Vegan Before 6," or VB6, and if you'd like to try it in the new year, these recipes can help you get started.

Mark Bittman for NPR

5. Lentils: A Legume For The Ages

This story featuring a lucky legume was a hit almost a year ago. Comforting, versatile lentils are quick enough for weeknight cooking — as a meal or as a hearty side — and will keep you well fed all winter. But as Fort Lauderdale-based writer Julie O'Hara notes, they are especially good this time of year because they're believed in many countries to ensure prosperity in the year to come.

Julie O'Hara for NPR

Honorable Mention — Pimento Cheese: It's A Southern Thing

The blend of cheese, mayonnaise and sweet peppers known as pimento cheese is so ingrained in Southerners' lives that they don't realize others don't share their passion. Well, this story from two years ago was among the most-clicked Kitchen Window articles this year, proving that plenty of people are passionate about the creamy orange spread. NPR.org producer Wright Bryan shares a recipe that's been in his family for 30 years — and readers share their own pimento memories.

Wright Bryan for NPR

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