(Late) New Year Wrap Up: Off to a Great Start!

It didn’t even occur to me to do a very special post for New Years till I was reading EVERY other blog in blog-land and saw that EVERYONE was doing one. Top 10 lists. Top 11 lists. Most influential lists. Most scary lists. Most sexy lists. And even a most-unhappy-people-you-meet-in-the-comments-section-of-year-end-lists list. Seriously. So, while I contemplated not doing a list simply because everyone else was doing one, in the end, my need for social assent – and thus acceptance and validation – won out. Yeah, yeah. If everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would I?
The following are my top month-by-month posts for 2011. I’ve included the posts that seemed to get the most reaction from you, the posts that I loved the most, and of course, those poor little posts that I think deserve more attention than they received.
So, prepare yourselves. I now present for your viewing pleasure… Gastronomical Sovereignty: A Year in Review!P.S. I do apologize for the often blurry and awful photographs. I’ve learned a lot this year with respect to photography, most of which has been in the last couple months or so – apparently holding the camera still, using lots of natural light, and eventually ending up with a great camera (i.e. January) = better pictures. Who’d a known? 
my favorite: Jamon Croquettes – Two words. Fuck yeah.
your favorite: Truffled Wild Mushroom RisottoOozy rice with fresh vegetables? Apparently, people like this kind of thing.
show some love: Habas Con Jamon (Bbroad beans with jamon) – It’s not the dish’s fault I didn’t know how to take pictures last January. I know we eat with our eyes, but don’t hold it responsible for the visual lack of culinary lusciousness – make it! Your mouth will thank you… side note: will be remaking and re-photographing once the little guys come back into season next Spring/Summer.
my favorite: Portobello PiccataCrunchy, almondy, and generally healthy. Sort of. This is my go-to when I don’t know what else to make. And it works as an incredibly impressive and filling veggie friendly main.
your favorite: Garlicky Oven FriesQuick, tasty, with loads of garlic. Comfort food at it’s finest. Again, photography was not my strong suit in the early part of this past year…
show some love: Reasons to Grow Food – A witty, accessible, and inspiring commentary on the reasons why some of us grow our own food by Susan Gregory Thomas, aka Broke Ass Grouch.
my favorite: Truck FarmA guy. A truck. Some seeds. And a fucking brilliant idea.
your favorite: Home-Made Yummy Cabbage RollsAffordable, delicious, and who doesn’t need a cabbage roll recipe to deal with all the cabbage that comes in the CSA week after mid-Winter-season week?
show some love: An “Ethical” Eater’s AddressTo meat? Or not to meat? That is the question.
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my favorite: Panko Herb Crusted Halibut with Leek & Onion RagoutFresh fish, citrus, and the ooziness of the ragout just makes my little mouth sing! Topped aboard a couple pieces of home made polenta – pretty much my favorite meal. Ever. Well, it comes in at a close second anyhow.
your favorite: A trio of restaurant reviews! I couldn’t figure out the stats for each one individually but they were all uber high. So: Pure Spirits Oyster House; Enoteca Sociale; and Luma. All in Toronto, Ontario – all fabulously fantastic.
show some love: Rosemary, Grilled Peach & Endive SaladIf you like BBQ, fruit, and fresh buffalo mozzarella, dig the crap in!
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my favorite: Home Baked Mac & Cheesethe only meal to beat out fish and polenta. For reals.
your favorite: It Sure Aint No Picnic… YetNot much of a post… But it spawned comment after comment and hit after hit. Apparently everyone loves a clown picnic! …I don’t love clowns. They scare the shit out of me.
show some love: Incredibly Fresh Fish/Seafood TacosHoly heaven! After the pure torture of having to touch live spot prawns, these little doozies were more than worth the trauma. Flavourful, refreshing and oh so Summer.
my favorite: Progress Thus Far…A video. Showcasing three beds of growing edibles. From my front yard to you.
your favorite: Galette Disaster 101It’s funny when people fall down. Even if that clumsy stumble is an absolute disaster of a dessert… cruel bitches. JK everyone, JK.
show some love: Pommes Frites with Balsamic Reduction & Lemon SaltA great big punch in the face… of flavor…which is what you deserve after Galette disaster. These take a bit of time to prepare but are so, very, tasty.
my favorite: Fried Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese & BasilA summer treat! Golden and crispy while the inside gets all warm and mushy and fabulous. We chowed down on these fried little gems for weeks while they were available!
your favorite: Wine Wednesday: For StartersThe first in the Wine Wednesday series; a vocabulary collection to help us talk about vino. I’m so happy we can talk about vino.
show some love: Seared Duck with Cherry Wine Reduction – Cherries, red wine, duck breast & fresh herbs. Do I really need to try to convince you that this was an excellent dish??
my favorite: Golden Plum & Blueberry Snack CakeI ate it all in one sitting. Enough said.
your favorite: Change is a Good Thing… Right?We all suffer from the devil we call “change” from time to time… And we’re really fucking good at supporting each other too.
show some love: Oven Baked Panko Zucchini SticksFresh from the farmer’s market squash = good. Especially if you crunch it up and dip it into a homemade marinara sauce. Holla!
my favorite: Leek & Cabbage ScallopDoes cabbage get any better than this? Tender, slightly sweet, totally savory and a great main for a veggie-friendly dinner.
your favorite: CSA Week #1The yellow box! I don’t know why I didn’t think of sharing our CSA goodies with you sooner. But now that I have, it seems people really dig seeing what’s not only in season, but also what you can get (and do!) with entirely organic, local, seasonal, happy produce!
show some love: Stolen Fruit CrumbleThat’s right. I stole that fruit! And it was so sinfully delicious, I’d do it again! Use what you’ve got handy and in season and you’ve got a fruity, light dessert that begs to be topped with full vanilla fat ice-cream. Oh yeah. 
my favorite: October was a good month for the blog. I started figuring a lot of shit out and got the opportunity to create some pretty fabulous dishes. So, a trio of favorites that I just couldn’t decide between: Mission Dinner Party: Success! – thanks to all the lovelies that made it so!; Grilled Fennel Salad with Stage Bacon, Apple & Blue Cheese Slaw – obviously.; Use-What-Ya-Got Vegetable Bake – a low cost, high flavor & nutritious veggie friendly main or side for a meat plate.
your favorite: SRC Reveal (Shhh, it’s a secret!): Baking with Avrilmy first Secret Recipe Club challenge! What did I make? Follow the link to find out!
show some love: Film Friday: A New PerspectiveA 17 minute video with Michael Pollan. If you don’t know who Michael Pollan is, click here. Because you should. Or, just watch the video. This guy knows his shit.
my favorite: Balsamicy Winter Braising Greens with Raisins and AlmondsA dish that got just about everything but the kitchen sink thrown in it…and that was only because it is glued down. Are sinks glued down? Balsamic is a fabulous way to brighten up any dish, in my opinion. And it adds a touch of sweetness to what are often otherwise, very bitter greens.
your favorite: SRC Reveal: A Taste of Home CookingI was worried at first that this dish was a little on the heavy side but you guys loved it! Cheesy with tomatoes and pasta – what’s not to love?
show some love: In a Pickle? Then Pickle!I really believe that on the path to food sovereignty and self-sufficiency, we have to start taking back control over our “processed” foods as well as our fresh. Hence, canning and pickling! Besides, pickled beets are a close second to Summer strawberries in salads and come Winter time, when strawberries are few and far between, beets = good!
my favorite: Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Coriander, & Almonds I may love this dish because it’s a flavor punch and pure texture joy to eat… Or I may love it because it comes courtesy of Jamie Oliver… What?
your favorite: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Reveal: Chocolate (Andes) Mint CookiesWho doesn’t love a cookie? They’re our favorite foods evidently. They do have their own food group, don’t they? And at Christmas time, chocolate mint is where it’s at.
show some love: Celeriac Pomme Pureefor two reasons. First, I made quite a server’s rant about how to behave in a restaurant. It’s helpful to you and to the wonderful (or not so wonderful) people who bring you your food and drinks. Second, although it’s been done more than a few times before, this puree is sweet, salty, and just the right amount of savory to pair with pretty much any meat dish you can think of. Why wouldn’t you want such a versatile side in your culinary arsenal kit?


Happy New Year my darlings! It’s been a great one – I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us. I hope you enjoyed this little year in review – even if it is 2 days late. Oops! Whatever, I’m making a fashionable entrance! And THAT’S how it’s done!


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