When I started this blog a year ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I did it on a whim, you see. In all likelihood because I was sitting in my parents' house. Bored. On New Year's Day. I was probably hungry at the time. Perusing food blogs. When all of a sudden, I thought, "Hey, I can do this."
If I had been someplace fantastic and tropical, like Fiji or the Bahamas, or if I was stuffed from having just eaten a three-course meal at one of New York's many fine dining establishments, none of this may have happened.
It's amazing the things that are left up to chance.
And I could go through all of the various permutations and combinations that would have lead me here (or not). But it would be an exercise in futility. Because in the end, it all comes down to one.
As such, this blog has been a whirlwind adventure. It has introduced me to so many amazing people - my fellow bloggers - who have supported and encouraged me at every step of the way. I am so lucky to have encountered all of you. Thanks for everything.
It has also spurred me to get creative in the kitchen. From dabbling in yeast to making my own gnocchi to deciding to make 12 different winter squash recipes in 12 weeks, I have taken on projects that I would have never dreamed possible before the blog. Cooking has really become my muse. I want to taste the world. To eat everything. So thank you for joining me as I continue to do so.
2009 was a great year for me. I graduated from college, started at an MD/PhD program, ran my first (hopefully of many) marathons, qualified for the Boston Marathon, moved back to NYC, went on a fabulous cruise to the Bahamas with my best friend (love you Tiffany), made so many new friends, made a lot of fantastic memories with my family, and ate a lot of great food.
Here's to another year full of health and happiness. I look forward to sharing it with all of you!
But in order to fully appreciate the future, we can't forget our past. So here is a round-up of some of my favorite recipes of 2009.
First up, we have my adventures with yeast. I never thought bread baking would be part of my repertoire. But there is something really soothing about sticking your hands into a mound of dough. And then slapping it against the table as you knead it into oblivion.
My favorites of the year: Whole Grain Challah with Cranberries and Orange Zest, Light Brioche Burger Buns, Swedish Tea Ring, and Cinnamon Raisin Bagels.
Pasta recipes by far outnumber any other type of recipe on my blog. I am a pasta fanatic. I should really enroll in some kind of 12-step program. Because my obsession is bordering on unhealthy.
Instead, I will just present you with my favorite recipes of the year. And thus, further enable my addiction.
Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce, Caramelized Sweet Potato Garlic and Rosemary Mac and Cheese, Pumpkin and Pine Nut Linguine, Homemade Gnocchi, Classic Italian Lasagna, Caprese Pasta Salad, Butternut Baked Ziti, Shredded Piquant Pork and Red Bean Pasta
And lest you think all I EAT is pasta, here are my favorite non-pasta main dishes of the year.
Buttercup Chili, Crockpot Pulled Pork, Eggplant Caponata Over Creamy Polenta, Chicken Marsala, Cilantro-Jalapeno Hummus, and Sultan's Delight.
Finally, in addition to 2009 being the year that I discovered yeast. It was also the year that I discovered dessert. What's the point of running if you can't eat a piece of cake afterwards, right?
Old-Fashioned Blueberry Cake, Carrot Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies, Chocolate Mousse Pie.
So, again, Happy New Year to all of you.
Happy birthday to my blog.
And because no birthday is complete without a slice of cake, I am going to leave you with this Frozen Maple Mousse Pie with Chocolate-Maple Sauce that I made for Christmas. It was heaven on a plate, actually.
You should make this. Now.
Although it does require a candy thermometer and bringing maple sugar to 237 degrees. So you may want to wait until you are NOT hungover before trying to make this. Just a suggestion. From a future medical professional. Think about it.
Frozen Maple Mousse Pie with Chocolate-Maple Sauce
Serves 12, adapted from the NY Times
1 1/2 cups oreo crumbs
1 cup maple sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix crumbs with 1/4 cup maple sugar, the salt and the butter. Press into bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie plate. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Bake chilled crust 10 minutes, cool to room temperature, then place in freezer.
2. Beat egg whites until frothy. Place all but a tablespoon of remaining maple sugar in a saucepan, add 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil and cook until mixture is 237 degrees on a candy thermometer. Continue beating egg whites until softly peaked. Then, beating all the while, drizzle in all the maple sugar mixture and beat until egg whites are firm and glossy. Beat in 4 tablespoons maple syrup. Refrigerate.
3. Whip cream until stiff. Fold into egg white mixture. Refrigerate separately until cookie crust is cold. Spoon mousse in prepared cookie crust, smooth top and freeze 4 hours. When frozen, cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
4. Melt chocolate on low heat. Whisk in remaining maple syrup and vanilla. Place in a container, cover and refrigerate.
5. Do not thaw pie for serving. Dust top with remaining tablespoon maple sugar and serve. Spoon some chocolate sauce over each portion.