Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review: My Personal Favorites

When I make and blog food, I don't typically post a recipe unless it is truly a success.  So really, I do like most everything I blog.  However, inevitably some recipes will be more popular than others.  Usually I can predict which will be hits.  The chicken enchiladas, tortilla casserole, and s'mores cupcakes were easy to predict.  However, some of my most favorite dishes haven't seemed to be as popular as I might have anticipated.  Here are my personal favorites that didn't land in the Top 10.

In no particular order...

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas are such a fantastic dish.  These were seriously so tasty.  I love pretty much anything containing mushrooms or goat cheese, and the cranberry-pecan salsa is a nice sweet contrast to the salty-earthy quesadillas.  I bought The Pastry Queen Christmas just before the holidays, but I plan to use it throughout the year.

My most recent post, Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites. They are utterly addictive and quite frankly, the perfect snack food.  As I said in the original post, I'm making them for New Year's Eve, and I'm going to freeze some to eat while we watch the Orange Bowl.

Yet another hit from The Pastry Queen, Creamy Chicken Lasagna is easily one of the most decadent dishes on my blog.  I really can't say enough about it, so I'll just say you really should make this... when you have an extra 2000 calories to spare.

If I was forced to choose, I would have a hard time deciding between the seafood risotto and Risotto Marsala.  The sweet Marsala wine pairs beautifully with the earthy mushrooms and creamy risotto.  A quick, one pot meal that is a nice alternative to traditional Chicken Marsala.

When I asked Joey if he had any suggestions for this list, his first answer was "that chipotle pork with oranges."  When I made it, he said it was his favorite pork tenderloin that I've ever made.  Just so you know, the official name is Orange-Chipotle Glazed Pork Tenderloin.  The sweet-spicy combo is delicious, and the glaze is to die for.

When we had a version of this fun and whimsical dessert at a restaurant in Greenville, I immediately knew I would have to try and recreate the Arnold Palmers at home.  I used Dorie's rich, buttery, Lemon Tart, and I created a recipe for Firefly ice cream.  A raspberry coulis rounded it out, and this is one of Joey's favorite desserts.  I can't wait to make it again next summer.

Easily one of the most unexpected dishes I have made, Red Wine Spaghetti is one of those recipes where the sum is truly greater than its parts.  Simple noodles boiled in red wine, then  tossed with a simple sauce of oil, wine, walnuts, and Parmesan.  But the result is something much more complex than you'd imagine. 

I first made these Goat Cheese Bruschetta on a whim one Friday afternoon.  While Joey preferred the more traditional tomato one, I was blown away by the combination of strawberries, goat cheese, and basil.  I made them often after that, toasting a few slices of bread, and enjoying my new favorite snack.  My mouth is seriously watering just thinking about them, and I  can't wait for strawberries to be back in season so I can continue the obsession.

Oatmeal-Raisin Ice Cream is another unexpected hit.  This was the first recipe I tried from Dave Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, but it certainly hasn't been the last.  I love the combination of the cinnamon ice cream base, whiskey-soaked raisins, and the oatmeal praline.  I finished off most of this on my own, and really, I'm not at all ashamed.

And last but not least, Chipotle and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes are such a fun twist on the classic.  I served these with the Orange-Chipotle Pork Tenderloin above, and Joey fell in love with me all over again, haha.  One of the reasons I'm including them in this list is that the possibilities are endless when it comes to fillings.  There are endless variations just waiting to be created. 

Well, that's it!  My personal favorites of the year.  I hope you've found something you enjoy on here, and I hope to continue sharing great recipes in 2010 and beyond!


Cate said...

I am definitely going to try those quesadillas! I've heard so many good things about red wine spaghetti (but it always seemed weird to me), I may as well give it a shot too. Your photo of it is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This all looks fabulous. I really want to try the Arnold Palmer pie when summer rolls around.

You've done such a great job with your blog - it's hard to believe you've only been blogging for 6 months! Can't wait to keep reading in 2010 - Happy New Year!

Teresa said...

I made the Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadillas for lunch today and they were incredible! You have a beautiful blog. I'm glad I found it today. :-)

Josie said...

Teresa, I'm glad you found it too! Thanks for reading :-)

phillip flintstone said...

these are so tempting and delicious, i love tacos one of my favorites - Ruger 1022 Parts

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