Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in Review: My Personal Favorites

Several of my favorite recipes of this year landed in the Top 10 Most Popular, but here are a few that are worth mentioning as well - they are some of our family favorites.  When I went through the archives of 2010, I had more than 10 that i wanted to include, and I managed to narrow the list down to 12.  I asked Joey to strike out two, but I was super sad by the ones he chose.  So I'm just going to feature all 12.  It's my blog and I'll do what I want. ;-)

I hope you all have a fun and festive New Year's Eve, and a Happy New Year!

Cajun Red Beans and Rice were a bit of a surprise hit.  I knew I would like them, but I didn't know we would love them as much as we did.  They are hearty, filling, spicy, and delicious.  I was actually really sad that I only made a half batch.  I'll definitely be adding these to the weekly menu in January.

How could I not include the Baked Fontina?  I have raved and raved about this recipe to anyone who will listen, and have already made it at least 3 times.  Bubbly, gooey cheese, garlic, and fresh herbs.  This is my ideal treat.

I'm including the Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Caramel-Swirl Icing because it is one of my proudest culinary feats.  I had never been happy with a layer cake before I made this one - I always felt like they were leaning, crooked, or the icing didn't look great.  But this one came out just as beautiful as I'd hoped.  It was also super delicious - moist, spicy, sweet, and rich.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.

I hate to use the term "life-changing" because it is over-used, but seriously - these Chorizo, Potato, and Mushroom Tacos were pretty life-changing.  A dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes, uses minimum ingredients, and is chock full of delicious and spicy flavor. This is my favorite weeknight dinner, and I'm pretty sure that it's Joey's as well.   Don't forget the roasted tomatillo salsa!

Sometimes a dinner is memorable because it's just awesome, and sometimes it's because of the memories that are associated with it.  Maybe I loved this Grilled Shrimp Gumbo Salad because it capped off one of the best summer days we had this year.  But I do know that it was healthy, quick, and delicious.  I plan to eat my weight in this again next summer - the leftover are perfect served chilled, so I think I'll make a big salad every Sunday and enjoy this for lunches throughout the week.  The fresh corn vinaigrette was also stellar, and makes a great dressing on side salads as well.

These Fig-Glazed Burgers with Red Onion Jam were another hit of the summer.  Grilled burgers glazed with fig preserves, then topped with red onion jam and meunster cheese, they are a super fun and gussied-up burger that can be enjoyed year-round.  Joey went so far as to say this is his new favorite burger, and I can't say I disagree.

I'm pretty sure I made this Mexican Corn Salad every week for the entire summer.  I've made countless variations on this recipe, from adding fresh diced tomatoes, to black beans, to avocado, to leftover grilled chicken.  Even though corn isn't in season, I may try this with frozen corn.  It's just too good to only eat in the summer.

We joined a CSA this year, and as a result we had zucchini, squash, and tomatoes coming out of our ears.  It's certainly a good problem to have, and I absolutely loved this summer vegetable gratin.  This is great as a side with grilled meat, or served on its own with a green salad.  This will definitely be in my repertoire for years to come.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad was so popular with my best friend that I renamed it "Tomatoes Emilie."  Sweet tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.  So simple, so delicious.  Even though I made this with height-of-summer tomatoes, Ina Garten says it is a great way to serve caprese salad with out of season tomatoes.  I haven't tried it yet, but I have a feeling it will make an appearance sooner rather than later.

This year was a breakthrough for me because I finally crossed over into the wonderful land of bread-baking.  Although I originally had several other breads on this list, when I narrowed it down I couldn't leave this Jalapeno-Cheddar Sandwich Bread off.  Cheesy, with just a hint of spice, this made the best BLTs ever this summer.  I'm pretty sure we ate BLT sandwiches for several nights in a row thanks to this bread.  In fact, I think I should make another loaf and use it for grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches this winter.

Wine coolers went from trashy to classy thanks to the Lee Brothers and their Strawberry Wine Coolers.  I couldn't resist turning them into peach wine coolers, and I liked them even more than their strawberry counterparts.  FYI, this recipe is also delcious when made with a mixture of summer berries, but this Georgia Peach can't turn down this particular variation. :-)

I've never been much of a fan of frying foods at home, but when we hosted a beer-pairing dinner, I really wanted to serve Fried Green Tomatoes.  Frying food wasn't so scary after all, and these had the perfect coating, perfect crispness, and were enjoyed by everyone.  These are traditionally southern food, but even those damn yankees love them too ;-)

Even though I love cookies, they aren't usually on my radar as far as "recipes to try" go.  However, these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies could possibly be one of my favorite cookies I've ever made.  Some say they taste like a Nutter Butter, some compare them to DoSiDos, but everyone loves them.  I took some to a friend after she had a baby, and she declared them to be the "best cookies ever."  I can't say I disagree....

Can you tell that I'm already yearning for summer produce?  I really really hate the cold weather, and it's pretty obvious that I love summer produce from this round-up.  Only 5 more months.....

I hope you all enjoyed my round-up, and I'm already looking forward to all the deliciousness that I hope to share in 2011.  Cheers to a Happy New Year!!!


Joanne said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Josie! I've been a lurker around here for a while and read basically every post. These recipes are some of my favorites of yours as well. Especially that apple cake. What a revelation.

Unknown said...

I love your choices, I am intrigued by them all. You have a lovely blog, keep it up in 2011

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the wine coolers made the cut. They were hits at both of the parties I served them at, and will definitely be making appearances next summer. So good that I hate calling them by the same name as those disgustingly sweet concoctions you buy in the stores.
I look forward to more of the same from you in 2011. Happy New Year!

Taylor said...

This is a great round up! I'm drawn to the chorizo tacos and definitely bookmarking it for a weeknight meal soon!

Josie said...

Joanne and Jennifurla, thanks so much! I really enjoy both of your blogs as well. Happy New Year!

Josie said...

Jaime, yeah they had to be on the list - I can't wait to experiment more with other flavors as well. They are so fun too.

Taylor - You have to try the chorizo tacos. They are seriously the best thing ever!

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes said...

Great collection, Josie! There are a few new and a few old that I've been wanting to try. Especially the tacos, shrimp salad, corn salad, and summer gratin. Oh, and the fontina! That's #1 on my list :) Hope you have a fantastic New Year!

Josie said...

Sarah, I recommend you try the fontina sooner rather than later. It is seriously the most fabulous dish ever. Happy New Year to you, too!

ashley said...

it all looks amazing; great year in review. can't wait to see what you cook up in 2011! happy new year!

Post a Comment