When I started this blog in July 2005, I had no intentions for it. I simply created it as an example for my Writing Camp students. I posted pictures, rants, things I thought were interesting. I was really enjoying writing online...until December of that year, when my in-laws discovered my blog and got mad about my "12 Days of (things I hate about) Christmas" posts. All hell broke loose and so I started censoring everything I posted.
In 2006, my marriage collapsed and I moved out of our new house in December of that year. I didn't want to share what was happening with the world, so I rarely posted.
Then, in April, as I was reading Julie & Julia, I was inspired to begin my own cooking project. I was living alone again after 7 years of marriage and needed something to occupy my time. I had always loved to cook. I read cookbooks cover to cover. I collected recipes from magazines and the Internet. I decided to challenge myself to cook something I'd never made before, at least once a week. I would write about it all on my blog.
Except for a brief lapse this fall when I was overwhelmed with teaching 6 college classes, I have been successful with my challenge. I have many other things that I want to cook, but I am happy with what I've tried so far...the things that turned out well, and even those that didn't.
So, for my "best of," here are my favorite things I've cooked for the first time (in no particular order):
1. Potage Parmentier - My first "new recipe" is still my favorite. It was simple, but not easy, and comforting. I've made it several times since.
2. BLT Cheesecake - So full of bacon and cheese, so rich, so naughty.
3. Spanakopita - This labor-intensive recipe is the one I'm most proud of.
4. Soft Boiled Eggs - While it doesn't take a genius to soft boil an egg, I love the lazy ritual of eating one, complete with my pretty antique egg cups!
5. Fried Green Tomatoes - I ate A LOT of these this summer.
6. Red Velvet Cupcakes - My first homemade cupcakes & the reddest thing I've ever cooked.
7. Blue Goose Pie - I am not a baker. Most of the time, my baked goods don't turn out so well. This pie, however, was so tasty and easy that I made three of them this summer.
8. Curry Lime Chicken Wings - This recipe is from Tyler's Ultimate cookbook, and like everything else in that book, these are spectacular.
9. Eggs Benedict - This is another thing I am very proud of...my first hollandaise & poached eggs, both of which turned out perfectly.
10. Caramelized Onion Toast - I crave salty, crispy foods, so this toast laden with onions, anchovies, and olives really hit the spot!
11. Spiced Pear & Caramel Trifle - While I've made trifle before, this is the first one I invented. And it's by far the prettiest thing I've ever made.
12. Cheese Souffle with Lobster Sauce - The most perfect meal I've ever cooked.
Looking back at my posts, it's no wonder I've gained 20 pounds in the past 8 months!
Here are my favorite posts:
- Pesto: A Recipe in Haiku
- Bad Boozey Brownies
- "...tastes like summer, and death."
- This is just to say
- Port Club
- Foodie Fieldtrip
- Insatiable Macaroni & Cheese
Finally, here are some pics--some good, some not--I never got around to posting: