Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2006 Favorites

Before I plunge headfirst into the New Year, I am taking a quick look back over some of my favorite food-related things of 2006. Do you think I'm dead wrong and don't have a clue what I'm talking about? Let me know, or better yet, share your own "Best Of" list.

I am receiving all your comments over email notification, but due to my recent conversion to the New Blogger, they are not appearing in the comment sections of my posts. I will respond through email while I send good vibes to the lovely people at Blogger so they can fix this bug (isn’t that what beta is for?). Thank you for reading in 2006… I can’t wait to see what the New Year will bring.

Favorite Cookbook: Spice by Ana Sortun - I love her fresh, personal and inspired take on Middle Eastern food, as in these Lentil Kofte with Pomegranate Salsa. The book explores how spice is used in both basic and unexpected ways to create food that will leave you ready for a night of dancing, as Sortun puts it. Most of the recipes are realistic for the home cook, but unlike anything you will find in other cookbooks. If you find yourself in the Boston area, you must visit her restaurant, Oleanna, in Cambridge.

Favorite Food Show:
Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie - I dare you to watch this and not start planning your next food-focused vacation. This fascinating show focuses on a particular theme in each episode, such as “H20,” "Italy" or “Anatomy of a Meal.” As you can see, the topics are quite varied, but each episode offers a view into the lives, homes and businesses of people who are passionate about food. My husband does not watch food shows short of the occasional Iron Chef (and only the Japanese version), but he’ll watch this.

Favorite TV Chef:
Julia Child - Granted, Julia is no longer with us, but I could not come up with an American TV chef among the living who I want to shower with accolades right now. Feel free to weigh in with your own opinions on this. There’s quite a few I enjoy; I even tivo Nigella Lawson. Still, so many of today’s food shows are so over-produced, over-choreographed and just plain grating, that I long for simpler times when Julia was on public television and a show on the Food Network did not guarantee cookbook sales in the hundreds of thousands. Please read about Julia’s humble beginnings in her charming and compelling memoir, My Life in France, written with her nephew, Alex Prud'Homme. It was one of the literary and culinary highlights of my year.

Favorite Post:
The Frittata - This is one of my first posts that generated a good amount of comments, telling me I must be doing something right! Learn to make one frittata, and you will have a dish for any meal, with any ingredients you have on hand. There are plenty of ideas in the post, as well.

Favorite Recipe: Fig Pizza - I've made this one so many times, and it is always sweet, salty and deliciously special. Scroll through this epic post containing three fresh fresh fig recipes and start counting the days until the summer fig season!

Favorite Food City:
I love Boston! - Mike took me on a long weekend to Boston for my 28th birthday in October. I went to college there, met my husband there and ate some of the best meals of my life there. Check it out here and here.

Favorite New Technique: Canning - I did it for the first time, and what did I preserve for the long, harsh Florida winter? Figs, of course!

Favorite Food Magazine:
Gourmet - I read a lot of food magazines. I am sitting amidst piles of them right now. When I first started reading Gourmet several years ago, it didn’t do much for me, so I let my subscription run out. I recently took it up again, and I have not failed to go into a rapture with each new issue over a stunning and unexpected photo, a humorous essay, a fascinating person or a recipe that I have to make or I’ll burst. Gourmet is worth it for the photography alone, but I really love the heartfelt, infectious enthusiasm for all things food.

Favorite Dessert: Creamy Butterfinger Pie - Borrowed from Ana of Cookie Madness, this recipe got me out of my baking rut.

Favorite New Toy: My Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker - Originally purchased because we needed to make this fresh fig gelato, we were quickly inspired to create this fabulously creamy peanut butter ice cream too.

Technorati Tags:


Anna said...

Glad you like the pie!

Now I need something to get me out of my baking rut ;).

Kristen said...

This is a wonderful list of bests... took me to a few places I hadn't been before. Thanks for sharing it.