Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Busy Year!

I've accomplished a lot this year! When I look back through my archives, I am simply amazed. And I also realize how wonderful blogging truly is, that I have a chronicle of the past year. I can go back and remind myself of the things we did, the recipes we tried and I have subsequently forgotten about, and the things that didn't work so well. I'm going to go through and highlight one or two things from each month.

January 2006: One of the things I discovered in January was the art of braising. I started with economical chicken parts, and moved on to discover pot roast, a true star in braising. This recipe clearly stands out, as does this recipe from Sara Foster for Pot Roast. I also began playing around with cake, and really worked on my technique in cake-baking.

February 2006: Well, the clear standout here was my foray into catering. I learned so much from that one experience, it was wonderful, and although I still need to work on my quantity, I am looking forward to doing it again sometime. Shortly before the wedding, how could I do a year in review and not mention Cheese Sandwich Day. The day when food-bloggers united against a food writer who dissed a few of our own.

March 2006: March started the beginning of my Wednesday Weigh-Ins...nothing's changed yet, but maybe 2007 is the year for me? New to the month, I mastered the pastry Pate de Choux and made my own cream puffs. I also began my year-long quest to trim the grocery budget. I'm still not where I want to be, but I am much more conscious about how much I'm spending and where I'm spending. March was also a difficult month for my family as we said goodbye to a Matriarch. But I do know that Grandmas has just celebrated the best Christmas ever! (And I'm also excited to see that spring made it's entrance mid-March last year)

April 2006: April found us enjoying spring completely, and finding one of our favorite meals ever. I also learned that I really like lamb, and I discovered the most amazing brand of coffees. The month wrapped up nicely with a caramel apple zaniness, that I don't know if it will be repeated.

May 2006: In May I discovered the versatility of ricotta cheese. I also mastered a couple of new cakes thanks to Martha, and the blogging world fell in love with asparagus.

June 2006: June, of course, brought gallons and gallons of strawberries. I discovered grocery shopping through Amazon, and a continued love affair with the farmer's market.

July 2006: July I posted about my favorite cookbooks, which are still my favorites. In between camping trips and vacations, I did manage to squeeze in a little cooking, including these fantastic refrigerator pickles.

August 2006: Well, I can't mention August without mentioning the other wedding this year. I sampled fried green tomatoes for the first time, and just thinking about them is making m drool!!! Andy mastered the smoker this summer and homemade salsa made an invasion.

September 2006: September brought on the blog-world's Things To Eat Before You Die list, the first day of school with a Laptop Lunchbox, and the most important discovery of Indian Cuisine.

October 2006: In October I learned the art of bagel-making, and discovered the best Chicken Cacciatore I'd ever prepared. Oh! And how could I forget to mention my absolute favorite brownies that I discovered.

November 2006: In November I discovered the beauty known as a soft-boiled egg. I also learned that I really want to learn how to make hard candy, and do candy sculpting. Thanksgiving was also a rousing success, and I think I've become the official Thanksgiving host for my family- what an honor!

December 2006: Well, technically it is still December. Yet, it's been a long month, and during this past month, I conquered and simplified Pierogi-making, and A Menu For Hope raised over $58,000 dollars. Chocolate invaded, and I discovered the best ginger cookies ever.

Next year? We'll see what fun it brings! Stay tuned!

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