Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! The Best of 2009

It's going to sound cliched, but where did the year go?  As 2008 was winding down to 2009, my friends and I were at a dive bar, drinking 7 & 7s out of plastic glasses and were cooing over a lady-obsessed chinchilla.  (Yup - only in Minnesota will you find ladies with chinchillas hanging out in their shirts ...)  I remember enthusiastically kissing my then-fiance at midnight and exclaiming that for New Years Eve 2009, we'll be married and oh how wonderful that will be.  And yes, 2009 has found me happily married, but instead of kisses at midnight, 2009 winding down into 2010 found me asleep on the couch, drooling and snoring when the ball dropped.  No kisses for my wonderful husband.  But since I had thrown an epic party complete with homemade macaroni and cheese and some of my liquid apple pie, all was forgiven.

Anyway - so many of my blogging friends posted this type of "Best of 2009" roundup yesterday and during this week - as always, I'm a day late, but the thought is there:  Here are what I consider to be my best recipes from 2009.  These are the recipes that made me think "damn, I need to make that again" when I went back in the archives to look at all the culinary messes I made this year.

Thank you to everyone who continues to read my blog, for my fellow cooks who continue to encourage me and to my awesome husband who can now tell me specifically what a dish is missing and who does the dishes for me.  My love and best wishes to all of you in 2010!

January had me on a soup kick and this particular one was comfort in a bowl - Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup.

February: The recipe for Butter Almond Cake came from one of the most unlikely places - a debt reduction blog that I subscribe to, but don't be fooled - frugal can be synonymous with decadent.


March: My husband and I happen to love Indian food, but it's not always a practical choice for our wallets. This is my buddy James' recipe and while it may not be the most authentic Chicken Curry that you'll find, it's enough to make my husband and I happy.

There were recipes in April, but April was the month that husband and I got hitched and his co-workers pitched in to buy me a KitchenAid mixer. While I don't use my KitchenAid every day, it is one of my favorite kitchen tools in the whole wide world.

May brought Blueberry Lime Margaritas.  Oh May was a great month indeed.

In June, I had a craving for some comfort food - Mama Casserole fit the bill.  This dish is something that my brother and my father wouldn't eat when we were growing up, so on weekends when Mom and I were holding down the fort, she'd make a pan of this dish.  I found myself making many of my family's tried-and-tested recipes in 2009. 

Get-togethers and grilling parties were the order of the summer during the month of July ... I ended up getting a reputation at one particular event as "the girl who cooks with booze" for these Margarita Cupcakes.  They are tequila-laced perfection in a baked good.

August: Rosemary Ranch Kabobs - these became my go-to dish for this summer.  Anytime we had friends over, anytime I was hungry for chicken, this was the dish that I turned to. It is so amazing, I'm ready to fire up my grill pan right now for some of these.

September:  I could have lived without the garden of mint in this salad (that or I need to work on my knife skills), but this Orzo Salad from Giada DeLaurentiis is an elegant side dish for any party and would work well for a week's worth of lunches.

This Pumpkin Beer Quick Bread was part of a #GreatHallowTweet in October that was organized by my friend Renee at Flamingo Musings.  I ate this bread for a week's worth of breakfasts after Halloween - it made for some good mornings.

November:  For some odd reason, I've been slightly obsessed with making snacks out of nuts lately and these Chipotle Roasted Nuts are now part of a larger repertoire that I've been hauling out for parties.  Very easy and very good.

December:  This is another Giada DeLaurentiis dish - Farmer's Pasta. I've been slightly obsessed with the combination of pasta, bacon and cheese this year - so much so that I think I'll need to cut back on this combination in 2010, but this dish is stellar good.

Happy New Year, my friends!


RJ Flamingo said...

Happy New Year, Shelley! Loved this retrospective & bookmarked several. :-) Thanks for the shoutout, too!

Wishing you and yours the best of everything in 2010! ->Mwah!<-

Elle said...

What a great round up! Everything looks so good and makes me realize--it's lunch-time!

Unplanned Cooking said...

I really enjoy these best recipe round-ups. Unfortunately I haven't been blogging long enough to put one together, but hey -- I'll make it a resolution for 2010 :).

Anonymous said...

I just found you this year, and am so glad I did...I sense great things ahead for 2010!