(top to bottom) 1. poached egg on toast (scd & gfcf) 2. apple cobbler (gfcf) 3. flourless apple pancakes (scd & gfcf) 4. honey sweetened marshmallows (scd & gfcf) 5. flourless peanut butter or almond butter chocolate chip cookies (gfcf) 6. banana tarte tatin, or banana upside down puffed pancake (gfcf) 7. roasted bell pepper egg in the basket (scd & gfcf) 8. gluten-free puff pastry (gf) 9. peach melba spoom (scd & gfcf) 10. new orleans style shrimp (scd & gfcf)
A New Year is on our doorstep. Tomorrow it is 2011. I’ll be taking that day off in blogland, but first I’m taking this moment now to reflect upon this year, appreciating all the good things which includes you, Dear Readers, and all my blogging friends who have made my blogging journey that more of an adventure. Truth be told, I’m feeling slightly nostalgic. Last year at this time, I was having camera issues (the camera was on its way out) and I was posting nearly every day.
I’ve grown from that awkward moment of just staggering out a paragraph or two about the recipe, sometimes barely so – sometimes not sure what to say – before launching into the recipe to writing fluidly and knowing what to say, or at least most of the time. There are still days when I’ll stare at the blank screen and not do anything, or I’ll type out a whole lot of fluff for the sake of flexing my muscles before I delete it all; days when I just want to post the recipe without further commentary but somehow find a way to still say something.
This year I hosted a blog event. I’ve made friends. I feel like I keep on repeating myself, but it has been – and continues to be – a whirlwind of an adventure. For the longest time I didn’t share much about myself or insert my character because I thought that the focus should be more on the food and less about me, but I’ve learned that part of what makes food blogs – and any blog, whatever its area – fun to read is the personality and voice behind all those words, as well as fun to write. My primary focus is still the food, though I am learning to being open and sharing more about myself in the process.
Now, for my Top Ten. Since I couldn’t really get into picking my top ten (or twelve) cookbooks of 2010, simply because I didn’t read that many cookbooks actually published this year, I’m opting for what I do know. This year, my criteria for my Top Ten are if it’s a favourite with family and friends and if I’d make it again. Next year, if I do this again, maybe I’ll go with stats or hey! more fun: I’ll have you all vote for the top ten favourites. How’s that sound?
Z’s Cup of Tea 2010 Top Ten
- Poached Eggs SCD & GFCF – Probably the most exciting – and easy – thing I taught myself to do and learned around the end of this year.
- Apple Cobbler GFCF – A sure family favourite, I sually end up making two now because it seems no one can get enough plus people’s preferences for the dumpling-like topping (without xanthum gum) versus the biscuit version (with xanthum gum).
- Flourless Apple Pancakes SCD & GFCF – Easy and fast to make, another all-round favourite. They could also be made as latkes.
- Honey Sweetened Marshmallows SCD & GFCF – My second mastering of making marshmallows without corn syrup and without sugar! All done without a stand mixer, too.
- Flourless Peanut Butter or Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies GFCF – The first chocolate chip cookies to debut on Z’s Cup of Tea. As well as being a cinch to pull together, they also make great make-ahead cookies: portion the dough for cookies and freeze, baking later for when need be or bake and freeze, storing in a freezer bag or Ziplock.
- Banana Tarte Tatin, or Banana Upside Down Puffed Pancake GFCF – Glorified banana pancakes or like a banana cream pie but in pancake form and without the fuss.
- Roasted Bell Pepper Egg in the Basket SCD & GFCF – To me, this trumps the version made with a piece of bread with a hole in the middle. It easily makes a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner – you may end up having more than one, it’s that good!
- Gluten-Free Puff Pastry (hoping to make a dairy-free version!) GF – I made Helene’s (Tartelette) gluten-free puff pastry for the first time and it was magnificent. It made the best pie crust my family’s ever had, way better than any wheat one. Fundamentally easy, the difficulty – and challenge – lies in the technicality and precision that is required to make puff pastry.
- Peach Melba Spoom SCD & GFCF – A notch up from sorbet and possibly more elegant, spoom is a dessert made with fruit with beaten egg whites folded in and still bursts with a bright fruitiness that ice cream simply cannot convey. This one is made with peaches and raspberries.
- New Orleans Shrimp SCD & GFCF – A fairly quick seafood dish that’s spiced with Mexican chili powder and paprika and a dash of cayenne, this is great served over rice or quinoa. A garnish of cilantro adds a burst of refreshing contrast to the mild heat of the shrimp.
Of course, as I compiled this list several other recipes popped up and came to mind – flourless chocolate cupcakes, angel food cake, flognarde, almond olive oil cake, trifle….really, too many to compile into one, narrowed down list. What were your favourites of 2010? I’d love to know.
After the New Year long weekend, I’ll have a special announcement to make. For now, though, it’s time to relax, possibly stay up till midnight to greet the New Year – then maybe sleep in and wake up to the smell of breakfast and coffee. To look outside and see a brand new day ahead.
See you in the New Year!