Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year In Review

I don't think I got around to doing one of these posts last year, but I have a little time, so I figured it would be a good time to recap the year. Instead of doing a Top 10 posts or something like that, I just want to talk a little about my year and then tell you what recipes from 2009 I've been making over and over again. In any event, Happy New Year from Joe and me! I hope you all have a wonderful 2010 and eat lots of delicious food!

From January through April, I was in school, hard at work but still managed to cook quite a bit. For Lent, I became pescatarian and really enjoyed finding creative ways to eat mostly vegetarian while still keeping my husband happy. By Easter, I think Joe was impressed, though he said he did not want me to do it again this year. In March, we visited Savannah and Atlanta on our Spring Break and had a wonderful time, even though the weather was unseasonably cool.

In May, I started my Clinical Pastoral Education, working as a chaplain for hospice. It was so much more exhausting than normal school work that I rarely cooked anything new. The fortunate thing about the summer was that Joe was finally finished with his intern year of residency, so we were able to travel a bit on the weekends. We especially enjoyed our trip to the Louisville-area to visit friends in July. That was also what sparked the idea for our Bourbon Trail Adventure!

In August, somewhat to our surprise and amazement, we bought a condo and moved. Although I had a much bigger kitchen, school hit me really hard this semester. Our new place is also conveniently close to many restaurants that we wanted to try, which led to a decrease in my experimenting and trying new dishes. For my 25th birthday, we had a marvelous local, sustainable dinner at Delvin Farms. In November, my niece was born, and Joe and I had our Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience (Part 1 and Part 2). After my finals and papers were turned in, my dad and I drove to Austin to visit his granddaughter and my niece. We also ate a lot of Tex-Mex. Then my parents and Joe and I drove to Charlottesville, VA for Christmas to be with my grandparents and other family.

It's been an exciting year. I'm halfway finished with graduate school. We bought our first property. Our cats and parents are healthy. We are so fortunate to be living in a great location in a great city with wonderful friends and vocational opportunities for both of us.

Having a food blog is interesting because it's difficult to tell what I actually make repeatedly, what goes permanently in the kitchen repertoire due to taste, ease of preparation, or, more likely, a combination of the two. So now is the time when I'll tell you what I made in 2009 that I make repeatedly. They aren't necessarily the BEST meals I made, but they are my kitchen staples.

Black Bean Burrito Bake
Soba Salad with Feta and Peas
Tomato Basil Soup
Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
Quinoa Soup with Avocado and Corn
Oatmeal Breakfast Clafoutis
Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers
Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Mango-Agave Sorbet
Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables
Ham and Cheese Corn Muffins