Happy new year! I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and wonderful 2010! 2009 was a pretty fabulous year for me. I think it all started when I got the lucky coin in the first vasilopita (Greek New Year’s bread/cake) I made. In 2009, my husband and I bought our first home and our first car (yes, it’s true, when you live in the city you can actually be 28 and carless), and got the wonderful news that we were expecting our first child.
Like most years, 2009 was also a pretty great year in food. This year, I decided to leave you with a list of items deemed popular by readers (primarily based on stats, and partially based on emails and trackbacks), as well as a list of my personal favorites. You’ll notice that a couple of the items overlap. If you’ve only recently become a fan of this blog, you may have missed some of my personal favorites, so hopefully you get some inspiration from the recap. Even if you’ve been a reader for quite a while, hopefully these lists will remind you to make some of these things soon! And, if you need even more inspiration, feel free to check out my favorites from 2007 and 2008, too!
(You’ll have to excuse some of the formatting in this post. WordPress and I are currently in a fight, triggered by my post disappearing completely and me having to go back to older version–which thankfully did not disappear–to try and finish up this post.)
Your Favorite Recipes
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Mongolian Beef
- Farfalle with Chicken, Mushrooms, Spinach and Ricotta
- Pork Chops with Balsamic-Maple Glaze
- German Chocolate Cake
- Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese
- Huli Huli Chicken
- Chicken Gyros
- Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
- Chicken Parmesan Burgers
My Favorite Recipes (in chronological order)
Nutty GranolaEver since making this granola, I haven’t gone back to store bought, and I can’t imagine I ever will. This recipe is both healthy and flavorful, a great addition to your favorite yogurt (or, just eaten by the handful, my husband’s method of choice), and the perfect snack for nut and granola lovers.
Pot Roast with Root Vegetables. Perhaps it’s a little vain of me to say that this recipe—not only my first time making a pot roast but my first time eating a pot roast, is one of the best posts of the year. But, I don’t care because this pot roast is good. It’s everything a pot roast should be (or, everything this not-quite-American-girl thinks a pot roast should be): tender beef, flavorful vegetables, and just all-around comforting.
Bolognese. This recipe, my first foray into cooking a Nigel Slater recipe each month, is incredible. The combination of the vegetables and the mushrooms with the pancetta and red wine makes this dish so delicious and comforting. And the cream! Don’t forget that, of course. The smell of this as it cooks is torture, but the long wait (and the fact that it’s fairly easy to throw together) is so worth it. It’s definitely my go-to bolognese.
Bison Burgers with Goat Cheese and Pinot Noir Onions. A burger recipe that combines my favorite cheese with my favorite wine varietal, atop flavorful and lean buffalo meat. You really can’t go wrong.
Chicken Patties with Rosemary and Pancetta. Another Nigel Slater recipe (and the one most requested by Tom). These patties are so flavorful and comforting. They’re a breeze to throw together and the rosemary and pancetta make them almost breakfast-like, but in a totally more indulgent way.
Orzotto.I’m a huge, huge fan of barley. I just love the texture and the fact that it’s so good for you certainly doesn’t hurt either. Combine that with one of my favorite ingredients in the world–mushrooms–and you’ve got a delicious, comforting vegetarian main or side dish. This take on risotto uses barley instead of rice and is so nutty and fabulous. I use this same recipe with arborio rice, too, for a traditional risotto, and it never disappoints.
Chicken Gyros.With tender grilled chicken and creamy, garlicky tzatziki, you really can’t go wrong with these gyros. While the stuffed poblanos have the most views (and have certainly garnered their fair share of emails and trackbacks), the amount of times I’ve seen this particular recipe on other blogs is astounding, and enough to give me the warm fuzzies. I’m so glad everyone loves this spin-off of the Greek’s most popular sandwich as much as me!
Chicken Parmesan Burgers. I’m fairly certain this is also the second most popular recipe on my blog, at least in terms of how often others have made it and blogged about it or emailed me to let me know they love it. This is precisely what it sounds like–a burger form of chicken parmesan. Easy to make and healthy, this is a great weeknight meal that I’ve gotten a ton of feedback on. It seems everyone from picky husbands to toddlers loves these burgers.
Arni Frikase (Lamb Fricasee). A popular Greek dish, this comforting food includes stewed, tender lamb and greens with a tangy and creamy avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce.
Savory Waffled French Toast Stuffed with Brie and Bacon. Oh, bacon, how I love thee. This savory version of waffled French toast is so fun and so good. I don’t really feel the need to explain how you could ever go wrong with bacon, cheese, bread & a custard mixture.
Jicama Slaw.If you haven’t tried jicama yet, I urge you to try it. It’s starchy, a little sweet, and perfectly crunchy. It’s a great way to add some ooomph to your usual summer and picnic salads, and here’s just one example, with a really great roasted poblano dressing.
Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Goat Cheese-Marsala Sauce. I’m starting to think I’m a bit of a wino with all these dishes that have it as an ingredient. Hmm. Well, wino or not, you will like these pork tenderloin medallions. Tender and lean pork topped with a sweet sauce that is just a bit tangy & creamy from the goat cheese. And again with the mushrooms!
German Chocolate Cake. I don’t want to urge you to leave my blog or anything like that, but if I were you, I’d get off my ass and make this German chocolate cake ASAP. This is the best German chocolate cake I’ve had and my husband agrees.
Patates Fournou (Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes). One of my favorite side dishes. The combination of the lemon and oregano, and the crispy outside with the fluffy inside of these potato wedges will make them one of your favorites, too.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. This cake is a snap to make, fluffy and delicious, and wouldn’t be out of place for a summer dessert or at the brunch table. You can top it with any seasonal fruit and it will be just as delicious and beautful.
Breakfast Chicken Sausage Patties. Herby and just a little sweet, these patties are perfect on their own or as part of a much healthier breakfast sandwich.
Mongolian Beef. Talk about take out fake out. This dish is easily as good as the ones served at my local Chinese restaurants and uses ingredients you mostly have on hand. The beef turns out so flavorful and the time it takes to cook this is minimal, making it an even better dinner option!
Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn. Part soup and part chili, this is a healthy & flavorful addition to your fall and winter comfort foods repertoire.
Red Chili Chicken and Rice with Black Beans.This recipe actually surprised me by how good it was. Don’t get me wrong, I have complete faith in Rick Bayless, but with a list of ingredients so short and such an easy to whip up meal, this dinner really delivers.
Cheesecake Ice Cream with Candied Cherries. My first recipe from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop and what a hit it was. You really can’t go wrong with a recipe that turns your favorite dessert option into an ice cream. This ice cream is creamy, tangy, sweet, and delicious.
Apple Blondies with Maple Glaze. Just a slight addition/twist on the standard, easy to make blondie makes these bars absolutely perfect for fall. Sweet, cinnamony, ooey, gooey blondies!
Moussaka.It’s funny that one of the meals I feared the most as a kid would end up being a favorite, but that’s exactly what’s happened. You really can’t go wrong with anything that is topped with bechamel, and the spicy meatsauce, that lends so much flavor to the eggplant and potatoes certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
Lamb Meatballs with Tomato and Yogurt.This meal pretty much encompasses everything I love: lamb, Greek yogurt, tomatoes, and comfort food. The meatballs are perfectly spiced, the yogurt perfectly creamy. I can’t wait to make this again.
Cinnamon Ice Cream. This is actually the third David Lebovitz or Lebovitz-inspired recipe in this roundup, but what can I say? When you make recipes this good, they end up on best-of lists. This ice cream is a perfect complement to your favorite fall desserts, or on its own. The cinnamon taste is just perfect and not overpowering. I have no doubt this will become, at the very least, an annual recipe in our household.
Arni Giouvetsi (Lamb with Orzo).How could I leave one of my favorite dinners ever out of a list of favorites for the year? I can’t! This meal is easy and rustic, but don’t let that fool you because it’s also quite tasty.
Roast Duck Breast with Potatoes and Pancetta. I certainly both started and ended my year with a bang, thanks to Nigel Slater and his fabulous recipes. This dish manages to be both rustic and rich. The combination of flavors (including one of the best flavors on earth, duck fat) is just perfect.