Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 of 2010

You probably have seen them on some of the other food blogs...."The Best of 2010" or "Favorite Recipes of 2010."  Being the creative person that I am, I thought I would jump on this bandwagon.  You know, the "everyone else is doing it so I will too" kinda thing.  Like I told you, creative.  :)

This blog has sort of evolved since its inception on March 29, 2010.  What started out as an adventure and challenge to cook my way through a classic Italian cookbook didn't take too long for Italian food to become a bit boring and a bit expensive.  After all, I love me a good enchilada! 

So, The Culinary Enthusiast evolved.  And evolution is good.  Because life is too short to limit my tastebuds to tomatoes, basil, and pasta (even though I am passionately in love with all 3!) 

This blog post is all about my Top 10 favorite recipes of this year (or 9 months, I guess!).  I didn't put my list in any particular order.  What is your favorite recipe from this blog?

I loved learning how to make fresh homemade pasta this year.  It doesn't get much better than that.  I loved how making pasta involved my whole family and loved sitting down together and enjoying a delicious meal.  I also loved that pasta-making sparked a sweet new friendship with Laura.

Margherita pizza is classic.  Simple.  Delicious. 

Of course, pasta makes this list.  And really, how does a pasta-lover with a pasta loving family choose just one?  I loved Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Garlic, and Parsley, and Linguine Carbonara, and Orzo with Sausage, Peppers, and Tomatoes.  All delicious.  All easy and simple. 

I mentioned earlier that I love enchiladas.  This year, I made several different versions, but this one is by far my favorite.  Coincedentally, it is also the easiest!  And the one I made for others the most as well!  Three cheers to America's Test Kitchen for Easy Chicken Enchiladas!  (I will make them again soon and post a new picture!)

Snickerdoodle cupcakes must make this list.  And really, they need to make your list!  Heaven meets Heaven.  You know?

This year I perfected (or at least, conquered!) yeast.  And I am so glad that I did.  My culinary world opened up exponentially with cinnamon rolls, yeast rolls, and fresh, homemade pita bread.  I haven't bought pita bread since!  If you haven't tried making pita bread, you should consider putting it on your 2011 Resolution list. 

2010 was the year of homemade ice cream for us.  With the addition of a new Kitchenaide ice cream maker, we cranked out several flavors in very short order.  Our favorite?  Coffee ice cream.  Knowing me, big surprise, right?!

Oh, I can't forget about spanakopita.  Buttery, flaky, to Italian food, ice cream, yeasted breads, coffee, it is the perfect food.  My kids loved it.

These lemon bars are to die for.  Sweet and tart at the same time.  I will be making these again and again.

Last but not least, my family fell in love with buffalo chicken chili mac.  I made it twice in about 2 weeks' time with the request to work it into the menu rotation regularly.  It made a lot, which was perfect for leftovers for a couple more meals. 

Now, as a disclaimer, it was hard to choose and limit myself to 10 favorite recipes.  Because this year, I learned to make cheese, learned to use the grill, cooked lentils for the first time, made oatmeal in the crockpot, made apple dumplings, and ventured a bit into the world of candymaking.  A lot of culinary feats were achieved in 2010!  (For the sake of ease on my part, I didn't include links to the above recipes.  You can use the search bar on the side for the recipes that are of interest to you).

I am looking forward to what 2011 brings out of my kitchen.  Truthfully, I'm not even sure how to speculate what I would like to cook.  But I know I'll be cooking, and I know I'll be sharing with you. 

But I wonder what you would like to see?  What interests you?  What are your thoughts about this blog design?  What works for you and what doesn't work?  I would love for you to leave a comment letting me know your thoughts about The Culinary Enthusiast.

Three cheers to 2010!  Three cheers to 2011!  Happy New Year!

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