I never wanted to have a food blog. Because I have so many other things to talk about? Not really. I’m not sure why I avoided it for so long, but the reality is that food is one of my passions and, if I may write it out, it’s one of my gifts as well.
Now, on the weekend of my 29th birthday, I’m going to claim it and declare that I am a food blogger. I write about other things as well, but I find my center in the kitchen or at the table, so it’s time to just let it happen and write it out with purpose.
To celebrate, I’m bringing you part two of the birthday posts: 29 of the best things I ate this past year!
– Salted caramel pots de creme. Another one of those things that I always imagined making, read about and compiled recipes. I served this at an IF:Table in the early spring and it was divine.
– Lemon raspberry tiramisu. I’m going to blog this one because it was clean and simple and everything I love about summer desserts. Another IF:Table win.
– Grilled halibut. On a little bed of foil, seasoned just with salt, pepper, EVOO and lemon.
– Americano with whipped cream. Order it at a fancy breakfast, make your own at home. Treat yo’self, girl.
– Salted caramel drizzled cheesecake with gingersnap cookie crust. I dreamt this one up for a Christmas party that I catered and I’m keeping it in my back pocket for the future. Look for this one to be published this fall.
– Cream puffs. All praise for the inventors of pate choux dough! It’s an easy pastry shell to make for those who are comfortable in the kitchen. Filled with homemade whipped cream and topped with chocolate, they’re made for a party.
– Eclairs. They’re one of my all-time favorite pastries that I almost always order at French bakeries and coffee shops, so I had to try making them at home. Not only did I have success in recreating them for a crowd this year, I piped white chocolate football laces on them for the Super Bowl and my team-in-law won so they’re lucky charms too!
– Roasted turkey legs with apple cider barbecue sauce. A fun alternative for the holiday season that calls for repeating.
– Slow-roasted turkey–it’s become my new method for Thanksgiving!
– New Years Day Brunch was a hit! I can’t wait to do this again.
– Avocado and Mango in salad; topped with steak and it’s my best copycat restaurant from our favorite steakhouse.
– Thick-cut bacon at Echo and Rig. Order this and you will never look at bacon the same way again.
– Affogato at our local gelato shoppe (seen in the title image here).
– Gringo tacos … you don’t know until you know. Might as well mention the blood orange margaritas and carne asada fries, which are also consistently satisfying at our favorite local Mexican food restaurant.
– Cara cara oranges. We were obsessed with them in the spring when they were seemingly in season at the market. Salads, margaritas, straight up. We popped those babies like they were candy.
– Sunset dinner at George’s at the Cove in La Jolla. We meant to go to happy hour in the bar area, but ended up on the terrace and at the last-minute decided to splurge on the regular menu (which was totally reasonable). I had some of the best fish tacos ever.
– After that dinner, we drove to Little Italy for coffee with whipped cream and desserts.
– My husband became known as Grill Master to our friend’s parents because he made perfect steaks at her house. They recently gifted him a personalized apron and it is awesome.
– For our friend’s birthday, Sean grilled carne asada and I blended margaritas. We were mixing and grilling for people and it wasn’t our party but it was totally fun.
– Cotton candy. Oh my gosh I forgot that I actually love cotton candy in all it’s whimsy sweetness.
– Every time I bake, layer and frost a cake, I can’t help but think to myself, “I still got it.”
– The goat cheese and roasted pear crostini I made for Rachell’s shower.
– The sushi at Point Loma Seafoods made with real, fresh crab. It’s so good.
– The way I craved coffee and burgers when I re-watched the first couple of seasons of Gilmore Girls (reminiscent of the way I craved them when I read Rum Diary back in ’08). So one night we had to get Five Guys and watch a few episodes, and of course in those reruns they didn’t even talk about burgers. Go figure.
– When Shake Shack opened two minutes from home and we discovered it’s better than … I won’t say it.
– The lemon chantilly cake from Whole Foods. I started 28 with it, and Sean went hunting multiple store locations for one to celebrate a recent success.
– All the champagne brunches. They never get old.
– Last night (that counts!) we celebrated my birthday at happy hour at one of our favorite restaurants. We shared multiple small plates and I had a delicious gin cocktail, and it was everything I love about dining around a table.