Top Posts of 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve, y’all!

I know, it’s been a while.  I have taken a much needed break from blogging for the Holidays, and now I’m in desperate need of a vacation from my vacation.  Isn’t it always that way?  I was going to go ahead and give y’all some updates from our Christmas, but I’ve unfortunately run myself into the ground and headlong into a full-blown cold.  Coughing, low fever, the works.  So, I thought an appropriate post for today (which involved very little work on my part) would be to recap the top posts on Oysters & Pearls for its first year in existence.

So, without further adieu, here are your ten favorite posts on Oysters and Pearls for 2013.

Oysters & Pearls Favorite Recipes of 2013

1. Baked Shrimp and Grits

Baked Shrimp 'n Grits, via Oysters & Pearls

This post is pre-super-fancy camera, is a super simple mash-up of a baked cheese grit recipe with shrimp on top, and I was completely taken by surprise when it tore through Pinterest like wildfire.

2. Baked Buffalo Shrimp

Baked Buffalo Shrimp | Oysters & Pearls

Y’all love shrimp!  This is also one of my favorite recipes of the year, and I was pretty proud that I basically came up with it myself.  Of course, since I made it up, it involves a liberal amount of Crystal hot sauce and lemons.  This is one we have repeated many times throughout the year, and I anticipate we will for many years to come.  It’s a good one!

3. Bakery Style Buttercream Icing

Bakery-Style Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

In my quest to figure out how a certain Florida-based grocery store whose name rhymes with Clublix makes their oh-so-delicious buttercream icing, I did some googling, some reading, and some recipe testing, and then settled on this particular recipe.  It makes a sturdy and delicious buttercream icing that is perfect for any sort of cake and takes color really well.  It seems lots of you have enjoyed this one, too!

4. Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

Easy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This is our go-to homemade ice cream recipe.  I came up with it after reading approximately 1,000,000 of them, and it is the perfect quick and easy ice cream recipe.  No eggs, no cooking, no problems. :)

5. Savory Pumpkin Dip

Savory Pumpkin Dip Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I can’t take the credit on this one (except for growing exceptionally delicious pumpkins ;) ).  Gimme Some Oven’s savory pumpkin dip recipe was delicious all on it’s own.  I just had a glut of pumpkins and her recipe fell into my Bloglovin box at an opportune moment.  I’ve been making it ever since!

6. Seminole Pumpkin Butter

Homemade Seminole Pumpkin Butter Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

This recipe turned out to be the sixth most popular of 2013, and for good reason.  It’s delicious! I especially like it spread over a toasted English muffin with a wee bit of cream cheese….  What’s your favorite way to use it?  Because it seems that lots of you were making it this year!

7. Vegetable Beef Soup

Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe  | Oysters & Pearls

This is another recipe I based off of my mother-in-law Nancy’s recipe and an all vegetable one I used to make a lot.  Wheat isn’t really into meatless anything, so I’m adapting.  Anyway, feel free to leave the meat out of this one, if that’s your thing.  Either way, the more veggies, the merrier!

8. Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes

Lemon & Vanilla Cupcake Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

This was the most popular baking recipe (outside of the Bakery Style Buttercream Icing recipe) of the year.  This is my absolute favorite flavor combination (lemon + vanilla), and includes a very old family recipe for an ah-mazing lemon cheese (aka lemon curd).  I’m glad y’all liked it, too!

9. Chicken Tacos & Jalapeño Hot Sauce

Jalapeno Hot Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Chicken Tacos with Avocado | Oysters & Pearls

Ahhhh.  This post holds a special little place in my heart, both because it made it on to the Huff Post Taste, and also because our delicious little taqueria is now closed.  I’m so glad I was able to ask our waitress how to make their signature green hot sauce!

10. Harris’ Grandmother’s Dill Pickles

Pickles in Antique Masons | Oysters & Pearls

This is a recipe passed to my husband, Wheat, from his friend, Harris.  Wheat fell in love with Harris’ grandmother’s dill pickles, and asked me to make them with the recipe he was given.  Now we both love Harris’ Grandmother’s pickles!  Fair warning: they are about as dill-y as they come, and they’re extremely addictive.

And because I couldn’t resist, I had to give some love to some of my personal favorite recipes from 2013.

1. Spicy Pickled Okra

Spicy Pickled Okra Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

This is my absolute favorite pickled okra recipe.  It’s perfectly spicy, but with plenty of dill.  I find that too often, pickled okra has too much of one while ignoring the other.  You can adjust the amount of spice by changing up what type of pepper you use.  And they’re divine in a bloody mary, of course!

2. Charleston Okra Soup

Charleston Okra Soup Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

One of my new favorite ways to eat one of my favorite vegetables: okra soup.  This one was pretty popular with y’all, too, but it didn’t make the top ten, so I felt inclined to share it with you again.  It’s vying with pickles as my preferred method of ingesting okra.

3. Coconut Creme Pie

Coconut Creme Pie | Oysters & Pearls

I made this pie back on Father’s Day for my Daddy, who is a huge fan of coconut creme pie.  This earned a very hearty stamp of approval from him, in addition to another one from my self-proclaimed hater-of-coconut husband, Wheat.  I’d say that’s a wrap.  Make it.  Even if you think you hate coconut.  You will not regret it.

4. Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Strawberry Cupcakes | Oysters & Pearls

This recipe was pre-fancy camera, too, so I had updated a picture later on with another batch.  They are so good I made quite a few batches of these every time I found pretty strawberries.  A friend commented that the icing was like “eating strawberry clouds.”  Do I need to further convince you?

5. Bouchon Bakery Blueberry Muffins

Bouchon Bakery's Blueberry Muffins | Oysters & Pearls

Best. Blueberry. Muffins. Ever.  There’s no contest.  Thomas Keller is a ridiculously reliable source for fussy and mind-blowing recipes, and this one is no exception.

6. Tangy Shrimp Salad

Tangy Shrimp Salad | Oysters & Pearls

When the Barefoot Contessa speaks, you listen.  And when you don’t have all the ingredients and feel like going your own way, you can do that, too.  This was a wildly successful abomination of Ina Garten’s Shrimp Salad.  You’re welcome.

7. Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Homemade Bi-Rite Creamery Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

This ice cream requires some prep work, and some planning ahead, but it’s worth every minute.  It’s thick and creamy and everything you want in a chocolate ice cream.

8. Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream  | Oysters & Pearls

It’s got fruit in it, so basically you can eat all you want.  Write that down.  You’ll need that rule when you taste this ice cream.

9. 14 Layer Lemon Vanilla Little Layer Cake

lemon little layer cake 9

Again, my favorite flavor combo.  This time, it’s lemon cheese sandwiched between 14 little layers of vanilla cake, with a vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream icing.  Heaven, I tell you.

10. The South, in Bowl Form

South in a Bowl | Oysters & Pearls

Hugh Acheson hasn’t steered me wrong, yet.  This adaptation of his collard green soup was a hit in our household, and I know your family would love it, too!

And that’s a wrap for 2013, y’all!  I’ll be back in 2014 with more recipes, plus Christmas shenanigans and life updates, but I just want to say THANK YOU!  Thank y’all for following along this year, thank y’all for your comments, suggestions, recipe links, and everything else.  Meeting y’all, whether in real life or through the internet, has made the blogging experience so much fun and worth every minute I spend doing it.

And tonight, y’all be safe, don’t drink and drive, arrive alive, click it or ticket, and all that jazz.


Until Next Time

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4 thoughts on “Top Posts of 2013

  1. outdoorsdownsouth

    Great photography. Great writing. Reading your blog is always a treat! Happy new year and I’m looking forward to lots more wonderful stuff in 2014 (including a recipe for making duck not taste like liver.)


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