2010 Food-In-Review

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2010 was a great year for food, beginning with indulgences carried over from our New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day continuing with great meal experiences at home and abroad, and it closed with some of the best things we and our friends have ever eaten.

A few highlights from 2010:

  • Hot, Sweet, and Sour Chickpeas with Eggplant – we’ve made this one a number of times in 2010, and it’s relatively easy to throw together with just a few key ingredients – but is complex enough to taste like something special.
  • Almond Cake – We made this probably a half dozen times after discovering it all in a few months. It’s just so good.
  • Dark Maple Syrup – one of our favourite discoveries at the farmer’s market last year was this amazingly dark maple syrup. We’ve realized since that you can’t even get dark maple syrup at the grocery store – so it’s a great excuse to make it to the farmer’s market.
  • Couscous with Broccoli and Walnuts – 2010 was the year Mark Bittman’s cookbooks came into our lives, and this recipe almost instantly became part of our regular rotation. So, so simple to make and really quite fulfilling.
  • New York Trip – in February we made a trip to NYC, and the research we did on places to eat paid off in a big way. We had some great meals, and now have some great places to recommend to others!
  • Limoncello Cheesecake Squares – We need to make these again. Really yummy.
  • Banana Bread – not really a highlight of 2010 because we’ve been making this for a few years now, but we finally got around to blogging about it.
  • Pesto and Goat Cheese Macaroni & Cheese – This was not only an amazing meal, but one of our best days of 2010. After having Matt over for brunch, we decided to cook a meal and bring it over to our friends Rick & Carina’s place.  The highlight was definitely pesto and goat cheese macaroni & cheese – the perfect example of when three awesome things unite to make one incredibly tasty dish.
  • Chocolate Ravioli – We actually watched the episode of Giada’s Everyday Italian where these were made, but didn’t think much about them until trying to come up with a dessert idea for dinner with friends.  It was remarkably simple and really, really tasty.
  • Homemade Baguette – We’ve been making bread for years with the aid of our bread machine but have grown more and more curious about making loaves without the help of modern technology.  Baguettes are a complicated, timely process but vastly rewarding.  We’ve only done this a few times, but hope to do a lot more of it in the future.
  • Le Creuset – Although our inaugural recipe wasn’t anything to write home about, we were thrilled to add a Le Creuset Dutch Oven to our kitchen arsenal.  It looks gorgeous and does a great job with slow cooked dinners.
  • Spanakopita – We love Greek food and successfully made a delicious spanakopita that was nearly as good as the ones we’ve had in restaurants.
  • Coconut Layer Cake – This cake was delicious, but INTENSE.  Luckily we made it shortly afterwards in the form of mini cupcakes.  This was about perfect as you get bite sized morsels of amazing flavour without the crazy overload of a big slab of cake.
  • Bialys – Another awesome bread item made without the bread machine.  Bialys are a memory from Adam’s childhood that are extremely hard to come by in Toronto.  We’ve only made these once but will definitely be making them again.
  • Jams – We had a goal this summer of making enough jam to last the year.  While we won’t know if we accomplished that until the year is up, we were happy to end up with strawberry, raspberry and cherry jams that all turned out wonderfully.
  • ITALY – What an incredible experience.  We posted about many of our food experiences, beginning here.  We will continue to dream of truffle pasta until our next trip.
  • Macadamia Nut & Caramel Sundae – Sometimes a stressful work week warrants an indulgent dessert to end it off.  Mmm….
  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies – Since we bought too many macadamia nuts for the above, we had an excuse to make one of our favourite types of cookies.  Mmm again!
  • Homemade Veggie Burgers – Since store-bought veggie burgers are so expensive and not always the greatest, we have constantly sought out the ultimate homemade variety.  The search is over – this is it.
  • Super Intense Garlicky Tomato Sauce – Rather than saving up all of our tomato sauce for a canning project at the end of the summer, we opted to freeze it in batches as ripe tomatoes came in through August and September.  We tried a few different recipes, but this was by far our favourite.
  • Ottawa Trip – More great food experiences in another great city
  • Hidden Treasure Cookies – From the outside, these look like little more than chocolate cookies.  Inside, however, is a nice surprise – peanut butter!
  • Eggplant Parmesan – Growing up, we felt like eggplant parmesan had to be fried and slathered with an absurd amount of cheese.  But after experiencing this dish in Italy, we realized that subtlety of the flavours actually enhanced the experience.  This is a “lighter” recipe for eggplant parmesan, but one that is still quite satisfying.

Many highlights proving that 2010 was a great year for food. It will be interesting to see how much cooking (and blogging for that matter) we will do with a baby on the way – but we’ll do our best to not to let our foodie sensibilities fall by the wayside!

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