The Top 12 Posts of 2012

It’s been a big year on the blog: a name change, domain change, design change, and the whole nine yards! I can barely even remember the old Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy! But the spirit remains: the focus on all things simple but real, and, of course, cheap frugal.

So many new friends have joined us along the journey, and I am so delighted to have each and every one of you here to help me figure out this delicate balance between authentic and simple. So for new friends and old, here’s a quick backward glance over this past year as we head into the promise of the new.

The posts listed below are the most popular ones this year based on my traffic statistics. In other words, readers visited these posts more than any others on the blog. So that means they must be good, right?

The Top 12 Posts of 2012 on Authentic Simplicity

pumpkin soup 12. Pumpkin Soup

This kind of tickles my funny bone, because I made this pumpkin soup exactly once. I liked it and everything, but I haven’t had the desire to make it since. The honest truth is that I really like my soup to have stuff floating in it – you know, like meat, and noodles, and vegetables, and all that yummy stuff. When I eat a bowl of straight pureed soup, I sort of feel like I haven’t actually eaten anything. I keep thinking I’d like to make this soup as an accompaniment to a meal (like maybe with sandwiches) but I haven’t done that yet. Maybe one day!

11. Don’t Throw Away Those Sweet Potato Peels

It’s kind of my mantra: wait, don’t throw that away! You can still use it! Even for the homely old sweet potato peel. These make a yummy snack, let me tell you. And this I have made more than once.

10. Easy Protein-Rich Snacks

Upon embarking on my low-carb diet, I found it tricky to have high-protein snacks available in between meals, so I made this post so I would have a quick reference whenever the munchies hit. It’s come in handy more than once!

9. Gluten-Free Vegan Samosas

This is another one-hit wonder. I made these gluten-free vegan samosas for the Secret Recipe Club, and *I* enjoyed them thoroughly, but they weren’t such a big hit for My Certain Little Someone. Since I have no need to eat gluten-free vegan anything, there’s no way I’m going to go through the effort of making these purely for my own enjoyment. Maybe when he’s older, we’ll give it another go. Actually, maybe not, since he is no longer wheat-free. Well, anyway, you can enjoy these, because although they require quite a bit of effort, they are quite yummy.

8. Clean Your Oven Safely and Naturally

In the interest of full disclosure, that is not my oven in the picture. I wish! My oven is clean, but it ain’t that clean. I’m glad this post made it to my top ten, because I want everybody to know that cleaning your oven without exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals is totally do-able, and frankly, easier than the chemical-laden alternatives.

7. A Little More Mexican: Pork Carnitas

Whenever I buy a pork roast, I always think of this pork carnitas recipe first, and nine times out of ten, this is what I do with said pork roast. I can’t help it; it’s just so yummy!

6. Frosting Without Powdered Sugar: Fluffy Coffee Frosting

This one is an oldie but goodie: I originally posted it back when I was on Blogger! Seems like forever ago, but really was only a couple years. Anyway, this twist on the old-fashioned 7-minute frosting is delicious and much more nutritious than other powdered-sugar-full frostings.

5. Pickles 3 Ways: Fresh-Packed Pickles

I referred to these instructions earlier this summer when once again embarking on my pickle-making adventures. Turned out just as well the second time! The easiest ever way to make canned pickles.

  4. Decadent (and not so decadent) Indulgences: Cream-Cheese Frosting

Yet another oldie, and yet another non-powdered-sugar frosting. This cream cheese frosting boasts honey and a small bit of sugar as the only sweetener. And it’s delicious!

3. How to Get Canning Supplies for Cheap or Even Free

Canning doesn’t have to be expensive, as I explain in this post. I share my favorite strategies for purchasing all the needed canning equipment on the cheap!

2. How to Make the Most of Your Grocery Budget Dollars

Once-a-Month-Shopping (grocery shopping, that is) is something I am quite passionate about, mostly because it is the number one tool in my grocery budget toolbox and saves me LOTS of money on food every month. This post explains the nuts-and-bolts of the process, but I highly recommend (naturally!) getting my eBook for even more info and other money-saving tips.

And…. drumroll please….

The number one visited post this year was:

1. No Butter? No Eggs? You Can Still Make Cookies!

When I originally wrote this post, I had no idea that it would become BY FAR the most visited post on this entire blog. It gets almost twice as much traffic as the runner-up, and for good reason. This recipe is reliable, flexible, easy… and delicious! These cookies always turn out no matter what I do to them, and we eat the entire batch in a day or two. Every single time. And yes, this is one I make a lot. I won’t tell you how often because you really don’t need to know how often I eat cookies. But this one’s a keeper.

Come back on Monday to see my own favorite posts from this past year!



  1. Wow! Great posts, Anne! :-)

  2. You always have great recipes Anne! I need to make those cookies!

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