cake-topIt’s time to break out the cake topper and celebrate: Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of our first post here at Capital Spice!

In the past year, we’ve had some surprising firsts:

-Our first shout-out in a national publication (thanks, Whitney!)
-Our first threatened lawsuit
-Our first (and second) experiences buying food from the backs of vehicles
-Our first official freelance gig

We’ve also found a very welcoming and supportive community of fellow foodbloggers and reporters throughout the DC metro area (as well as in Denver and Minneapolis).  You can find most of our favorites among the links to the right – if you haven’t checked them out already, take a look!

In honor of our one year anniversary, we’ve gone back through our archives to figure out what has really caught your attention over the past year.  Not surprisingly, Top Chefs and the Next Food Network Star dominate our top five, and some of our more adventurous cooking experiences round out the top ten.

The Top Ten Most Viewed Posts of the Past Year:

10. Ray’s Hell Burger – When it comes to DC’s burger wars, Washingtonian’s recent brackets were rocked by the early departure of Michael Landrum’s 10-ounce offerings.  We couldn’t even wait a week before checking them out for ourselves last July.

9. Pulled Pork on the Big Green Egg – The Big Green Egg is a unique smoker/cooker, and it has a fiercely loyal following.  Each of our attempts at cooking on the Egg have been well-received, but our pulled pork shoulder has been the biggest hit to date.

8. Watching Top Chef with Carla Hall at Good Stuff Eatery – What an amazing experience!  Not only were we sitting a few seats away from Carla as she watched the judges’ feedback on her great performance in the Top Chef All-Stars challenge, we also got to watch her surprise her husband with her prize – a pair of tickets to the Big Game for him and her stepson!  Reason #75 why we love Carla (and we bet you do, too).

7. Homemade Half-Sour Pickles – You hear a lot about  people with a Sweet Tooth, but it seems like plenty of people with Sour and Salty Teeth have found our attempt at homemade quick pickles using a recipe we found on the internets.  With pickling becoming increasingly popular, our post has been a resource for quite a few do-it-yourselfers.

6. Smoked vs. Roasted Turkey – Our ‘Fakesgiving’ feast gave us a chance to pit two halves of the same brined turkey against one another to see which resulted in the better bird.  By smoking one half on the Big Green Egg and roasting the other, we had two options that all of our guests eagerly tore into.  The winner?  Elizabeth’s butternut squash turnovers, a huge hit at the party and among readers.

5. Winter Restaurant Week 2009 – Sure, there are plenty of places to go to find the list of establishments participating in Restaurant Week.  And DC Foodies have definitely established themselves as the go-to source for participating restaurants’ offerings.  But we’ve carved out a niche as the people willing to take the time to plot out all of the participants on a Google Map, providing another useful resource as you plan your attack.

4. Granville Moore’s Teddy Folkman on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay – We’ve admitted it on more than one occasion…we’re total Teddy fans.  The telegenic chef with the tiny kitchen earned plenty of props for his moules frites last year, and now he’s poised to win more than just the title of “DC’s Most Crushable Chef” when he competes on The Next Food Network Star starting in June.

3. Inauguration Hours – There was plenty of interest surrounding the City Council’s plan to allow restaurants, bars and nightclubs to maintain extended hours during inauguration weekend, but there weren’t a lot of places for hard information on which establishments would be participating.  A quick call to ABRA and another one of our signature Google Maps later, and Capital Spice became the go-to source with links from the City Paper, the Washington Post, and NBC4.  Score one for the nerds!

2. Top Chef’s Spike Comes to DC – Posted the week of the Season 4 finale, our interview with Spike Mendelsohn and Mike Colletti got plenty of traffic from Top Chef fans who were still eager to learn more about the ‘bad boy’ chef even after he had been eliminated.  The advance buzz surrounding Good Stuff Eatery didn’t hurt, either.

1. Our Pre-Season Interview with Top Chef Finalist Carla Hall – She was sweet, local and just a bit sassy.  How could we not root for her as Top Chef Season Five got underway?  Even so, we couldn’t help but get even more excited as she started to really turn it on in the home stretch…and with each new victory, Top Chef fans came to check out our interview to learn more about the woman who made “Hootie-Hoo!” a national catch phrase.  Truth be told, we’re still rooting for Carla!

Thanks to everyone who’s come to check us out over the past year – and please keep coming back!