With New Year’s right around the corner, it’s that time of year I like to call “Countdown Season.” During this time, radio DJs prepare their countdowns of the year’s top songs, fashion writers make their “top” lists of the best dressed celebrities and food bloggers compile their most popular recipes. And of course, there is the ultimate countdown – the 10 seconds before the big ball drop in New York City.
I’ve always been into “top” lists and countdowns since I can remember. I often get distracted reading a “top” list on the Internet instead of what I’m supposed to be doing, such as writing a blog post for example. Ahem…OK, you caught me. I am also completely obsessed with radio countdowns, like OCD obsessed. Really. If the radio announcer is about to declare the number one song right after the commercial break, how on earth can I go on unless I know what it is? What? I’m late for work? But I haaaaaave to know! I can’t go through the entire day not knowing. Yeah, it’s that bad.
In fact, it was even worse when I was a kid. I used to plan my weekends around special radio countdowns that happened all year long, not just at New Year’s, like “Best Summer Songs of All-Time.” My friends would ask me to play but I couldn’t bear to miss one minute. I used to sit in front of the radio with my L.A. Gear tape recorder ready to hit the record button when my favorite songs were played. The radio stations would play the countdown numerous times throughout the weekend so if I missed a song, I would be prepared for next time.
I remember one countdown like it was yesterday. It was a countdown called “Time Machine Weekend.” Each weekend, a countdown of songs from one specific year would be featured. This one in particular was for songs from 1984. I guess this is the part where I should tell you how fascinated I was with 1984 as a child. Since four was my favorite number, I just decided on New Year’s Eve 1983 that 1984 was going to be my favorite year. I even declared this to my parents as we sat in our 1982 Mustang “L” admiring the holiday decorations in the old A&P parking lot. I have no idea why I remember this but I’ll move on.
I continued my love for 1984 through middle and high school, which is when I started collecting quarters from 1984. I would exchange my quarters for “1984 quarters” with my friends at lunch or when we went out. Even my parents and family members had to give me their “1984 quarters.” Then in 11th grade, we read the novel, 1984, by George Orwell and I became obsessed with that too. I even made a poster for extra credit titled “What Really Happened in 1984” which featured photos and articles of 1984 events. I also taped a “1984 quarter” to it.
So, now that you can see how much 1984 meant to me, it should not surprise you that this 1984 countdown was the highlight of my weekend. I sat in front of that radio making sure not to miss a beat. I remember waiting to hear “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. It was the last time the countdown would be played before the weekend was over. I knew what number the song was and when it came on I pressed the “record” button and started running around the house screaming for joy. Then I realized I pressed the wrong button. It didn’t record. I was devastated. All those hours waiting by the radio. All the fun I missed with my friends. It was for nothing. 🙁
Now thanks to the modern technology of 2015 and our paid subscription to Spotify, I can listen to “I Want to Know What Love Is” and any other 80s song my heart desires any time of the day. In fact, I think I’ll put on my “80s Explosion” Spotify mix while I prepare this countdown of Watch Learn Eat’s Top 10 Recipes of 2015.
And here we go in true radio countdown fashion…
10. Coming in at number 10, we have a contender for your New Year’s Eve appetizer table. This creamy White Bean Dip nicknamed “Italian Hummus” features the flavors of lemon, parsley, rosemary, garlic and Romano cheese. Served with crackers, pretzels, pita chips or fresh veggies, this dip is sure to please your party guests!
9. Up next, we have a delicious dinner option you can enjoy with your sweetie or with the whole family. This Tomato-Basil and Chicken Sausage Risotto is a hearty main course perfect for any time of the year.
8. What recipe countdown would be complete without some form of chocolate chip cookie? Taking the number 8 spot, we have Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups which are topped with a creamy chocolate frosting for a totally tubular treat (sorry, the 80s music is taking over my brain).
7. Number seven brings us to an easy weeknight, one pan dinner – Rosemary Lemon Chicken. This dish infuses the classic combination of rosemary and garlic with tangy lemon.
6. Taking the number 6 spot, we have Creamy Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes. Find out the secret to making them creamy without dairy by listening to the whole song, err, I mean checking out the recipe.
5. Our halfway point brings us to our most “pinned” recipe, Oatmeal-Coconut Pecan Cookies. Oats, pecans and sweet coconut baked on a buttered cookie sheet, um, I think I need a snack break…
4. Landing in at number 4, we have Cake Mix Cookies and Cream Cupcakes. Part homemade, part box mix with a delicious, chocolaty surprise at the bottom. Got milk, anyone?
3. In at number 3 is our Pumpkin Risotto, a delicious autumn dish made easy using canned pumpkin.
2. Pumpkin also takes the number 2 spot with our Pumpkin Pie Hummus. This dip mimics the flavors of one of fall’s most popular desserts and is topped off with crunchy cinnamon sugar toasted pecans.
Just moments to go until we reveal our number 1 recipe of 2015. We’ll announce it after this quick commercial break…
Watch Learn Eat would like to thank all of our readers for a wonderful 2015. We thank you for supporting our blog and look forward to a totally rad 2016.
And now back to our show. Drum roll please…
1. Making its way to the top of our countdown of the best recipes of 2015 as reported by Watch Learn Eat’s analytics is Slow Cooker Vegan Chili. Starring butternut squash, this chili has held the top spot since its debut in October.
There you have it – Watch Learn Eat’s Top 10 Recipes of 2015! Brought to you by Sherri and Gregory Hall, and of course, Google Analytics. Happy New Year! See you in 2016! 🙂