A couple of my blogger friends have published posts according to the 7 links project. I was intrigued and decided to do so myself. Happy new year!
1. Most Beautiful Post: Crazy for Hummus
I know it seems crazy that I would consider a post on hummus to be one of my beautiful, but it just is. I received so many e-mails after I posted this recipe saying how delicious the above photo looked. Frankly I was surprised to hear that so many others share the hummus love.
Hummus is so incredibly versatile - it goes on sandwiches, with pitas, on tortillas, with crudite. Or even just eaten plain out of the tub with a spoon. It's protein-packed and if you make it yourself, you can creatively experiment with dozens of varieties.
Not only does the meal above (hummus spread on tortillas with grilled shrimp and topped with cubed feta and tomatillo salsa) look light, refreshing and scrumptious; but this was also the only food I could consistently stomach for a period of time. You would think that the dark days of subsisting pretty much only on blended chickpeas would turn me off of this foodstuff forever, but that's not the case. In fact, I think I love it even more as a result. Once, I even dreamed about it! During that time, it made me feel stronger and if it's possible to be indebted to a dish, this is a clear example.
In my opinion, Taim makes the best hummus I've tasted to date.
I also had to include La Belle France. Every time I revisit or catch a glimpse of this post, I'm nostalgic for Paris and my time there with my friends. Never to be forgotten, it was one of those fabulous travel experiences - full of culture, amazing food and great shopping! A good friend visited the new Laduree outpost on Madison Ave and bought me a beautiful array of Technicolor macaroons for the holidays. What a treat!
2. Most Popular Post: Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos
I only, only wish this was my own recipe! What a coup that would be. Two friends even e-mailed me their dinner photographs after they made this dish.
If you haven't made it yet, I strongly urge you to do so. The play of the smoky and sweet grilled salmon against the tangy cucumber and red pepper relish - all topped with a spicy cream and crunchy cabbage is unparalleled. The soft corn tortilla is the perfect soft bed to hold all the juicy and flavorful ingredients.
I go through phases where I make this a couple times in a short period of time and then decide to try some new meals. But I always go back for more.
3. Most Controversial Post: Bean and Chicken Enchiladas
I really loved reading Nina Planck's Real Food: What to Eat and Why. This book came out a couple of years ago and I remember bending my husband's ear about the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef over lunch, probably much to his chagrin. But most of the philosophy holds true. Eat well by eating real, authentic and natural food. Also - everything in moderation.
For awhile, I was trying to lose weight by dieting. This never works. I'm sorry, but it doesn't. At least not for me. When I want to shed a couple of pounds, I kick up my exercise regime and substitute nourishing liquids for meals. For breakfast I'll have yogurt and a banana. For lunch, a protein smoothie. And for dinner, soup or stew. I'm always satisfied and it just works for me. Again - I want to reiterate - everyone is different.
When I posted what I'd made myself this burrito for dinner (no-fat tortilla, low-fat cheese, non-fat baked beans) a friend pinged me, cringing at that thought that I was eating low-fat and non-fat food, all of which are artificially altered and probably even more unhealthy than the real thing. I totally agreed.
We all have our methods and routines. I won't ever judge someone else. But for me, real food will always be the answer.
I'm thrilled at how well these posts have been received, despite the fact that someone once asked me if my marriage was in trouble. No, it's not! Sometimes I end up eating alone as a result of busy schedules. And most of the time, I do cook for myself.
I want to try and focus on more Table for One recipes this coming year. Stay tuned! And of course - if you have any suggestions for recipes, please leave a note in the comments section.
5. Most Surprisingly Successful Post: Forgiving Pork Tenderloin
It's always nice to know that other people mess up in the kitchen. We all do, some of us more than others, and we're in good company.
Despite the lackluster photography, this post has received the most hits and reads. A juicy and savory pork tenderloin never disappoints. Pair thick slices of tenderloin with mashed potatoes or a creamy combo of potatoes and celeriac root. Homemade caramelized apple sauce is always welcome. And the bonus is that you can use the leftovers to make cubano sandwiches the next day!
6. Most Neglected Post: Easter Menu for BGSK
Click-thru posts aren't always successful and sometimes they get lost in the shuffle. I was really pleased with this holiday menu I created for Big Girls Small Kitchen, and in particular, this Parisian Fruit Tart.
Instead of making pastry cream, sometimes time-consuming and always a little tricky the first time, my recipe calls for whipping together mascarpone, apricot jam, orange zest and sugar. The puff pastry "crust" is bronzed as a result of lots of egg wash and creative scoring. And the fruit glistens with some of the leftover jam. It's easy (I promise!) but looks as if you spent hours on this dessert. Or like you at least have a pastry degree.
7. The Post That Makes Me The Most Proud: Hot Chocolate Video
I made this video with my uncle. In it, I feature my Irish Hot Chocolate recipe, fitting for this time of year. I'm a huge fan of Irish cream whiskey and the combination of creamy hot chocolate, creamy booze and creamy chopped chocolate is not to be forgotten any time soon (at least not for me!) Notice a favorite theme? I do love creamy food...
I hope to do some more cooking videos in 2012 as well. Maybe one of my Vodka Sauce, amongst others.