December 22, 2006

Tastes of 2006 - The Recipes

As 2006 draws closer to a close, I find myself reviewing the many dishes that have emerged from my kitchen (only a fraction of which I've succeeded in capturing in these pages). In "Tastes, Part II" I reflect on some of the recipes I've tried -- and the inspiration behind them.

Some people believe cooking for one or two people is more effort than it's worth. I'm glad I at least occasionally made the effort:

  • In February I rediscoveed how delightful it can be to spend a day or two in the kitchen with someone you love.
  • Sometims a little self-indulgence when you're sick is the best medicine of all.
  • In an attempt to recreate a Kentucky Fried favorite, we tried out this recipe. Interesting, but not what we were looking for. Back to the drawing board.
  • Who needs takeout? Proving that food elitists we are NOT, nachos and beer are the perfect accompaniament to a Friday night at home with the remote control.
  • After a month of out-of-town eating in March, I was eager to play a little Whole Foods roulette -- and quite pleased with the results.
  • And I'm proud of this springtime solution for using up leftovers.
Google This! With a virtual cookbook library at my fingertips, I've drawn inspiration for weeknight dinners from all over the Internets:
  • Last spring I committed to a month of "eating locally" from ingredients sourced within a 150 mile radius of home. In the process I learned a lot, and discovered some sensational recipes I know will be "repeaters" in my kitchen. Halibut Olympia was just one of many new favorites.
  • I reminded myself that just because a recipe doesn't turn out pretty doesn't mean it doesn't TASTE great when I made a Ginger Scented Pear Cake I found during a web search for pear recipes.
  • Emeril may be an annoying furry little troll, but his recipes have never failed me. July's Black Cod with Basil Cream Sauce was simple and satisfying.
  • Black Cod was a recurring theme on my menus this year. My favorite sprintime preparation was Sablefish with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce. Simple, satisfying, sexy AND scrumptious.
One of the most rewarding things about creating in the kitchen is sharing the output with friends and family:
When I found myself searching for inspiration, I could count on my fellow food bloggers gave me the energy I needed to get back in the kitchen and try something new.
  • It's probably the Iron Chef fan in me. I love the challenge of working with a set of prescribed ingredients to come up with a recipe. I did it twice this year. The Monthly Mingle challenge for October was to create a recipe using zucchini and sage. Taking inspiration from another blogger, I made a Roasted Zucchini Soup with Fried Sage that turned out to be one of my favorite recipes of the year. In July I took a couple ears of corn, a handful of pinenuts, a tablespoon or two of coriander and with a little internet reserach, created Coriander-Scented Coconut Creamed Corn. Say THAT five times fast!
  • A call for autumn inspired salads prompted me to pull out an old favorite: my 1000 Calorie Salad. A fair amount of effort, but worth it.
  • Surely you've heard of Sugar High Friday? Jennifer the Domestic Goddess created this tribute to sucrose and her sisters -- a monthly opportunity to indulge in the sweeter side of the kitchen. Indulge I certainly did. For July's international ice cream social, I pulled out the ice cream attachment to my trusty kitchen aid and made Meyer Lemon Gelato. Sans-oven, my surprise for September was that Sugar High Friday became Sugar High Monday -- but my Ginger Spice Cakes with Pumpkin Pastry Cream were a hit at the office. And decided that truffle-making really belongs in the hands of professionals.
  • October 16, 2006 was World Bread Day, and the food blogging world celebrated with a momentus bread bake-off coordinated by a blogger in Germany. My contribution: focaccia.
  • Over the course of the year, my food blogging friends in Australia introduced me to one of my newest inspirations: Donna Hay. I eagerly jumped on the bandwagon and "Hay, Hay, it's Donna Day" became one of my favorite monthly events. I braved bruchetta. Spawned some Sassy Savory Tartlettes.
  • The holiday season brought a Festive Food Fair, for which I dusted off my dad's recipe for Persimmon Fruit Cake.

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wheresmymind said...

What a very good way to end the year!

peabody said...

Happy New Year, gread round up.