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Opening the vault: The Top 12 recipes of 1985

December 19, 2009 |  4:59 pm

The L.A. Times Test Kitchen tests hundreds of recipes each year before they are deemed fit to print. So coming up with its Top 10 or so recipes of the year is no easy task for the Times Food staff.

Fights break out. Cookbooks are thrown. There's spatula slapping. Actually, there's none of that. Everyone is asked to put together a list of their favorites -- no matter how long that list may be -- and thoughtful deliberations begin there.

While the jury is out on the Top 10 recipes of 2009, we're taking a look at the best recipes from the last 25 years. We're starting with 1985 because, well, that is as far back as our on-line library archives go. (Unfortunately, not all of the older recipes have photos. Today, we make it a point to include a photo with every recipe.)

Taking a trip through some of these recipes is a trip within itself. Way back then, we didn't bother with things like calorie counts. Recipes seemed simpler. And it appears Southern California's love affair with Mexican food was on the rise.

What were we eating in 1985? Nachos, chianti pesto, buttermilk cinnamon coffeecake, oatmeal coconut muffins...

Keep checking back for more vintage recipes as we unearth them. And if you have a favorite recipe that we've run in the last 25 years, please let know about it. Whether you want us to track it down or you just want to tell us why it continues to be a mainstay in your cooking repertoire, we'd like to hear about it.

And if you have a photo of an L.A. Times Test Kitchen recipe that you've made in your kitchen, we'd love to see that too. You can leave a comment here, or write to us at food@latimes.com

Bon Appetit!

--Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch

Photo credit: Royal Sonesta Double Chocolate Cake, one of the Top 12 recipes from 1985. Click here for the recipe. Photo credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times