Favorite Recipes of 2011

Bye bye 2011 – the year filled with various fruit-filled desserts, homemade pizzas and plenty of roasted chicken recipes. Throughout this past year, I definitely learned many new tricks including how to make pie pastry dough from scratch (and cut and assemble lattices for pies), how to properly clean and prepare a whole chicken for roasting and how to properly make quinoa, just to name a few!

In order to celebrate 2011, I just wanted to list a few of my favorites:

Strawberry Shortcakes

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread


Homemade Oreos


Roast Chicken With Chickpeas,
Tomatoes, Olives and Thyme


Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust


Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With
Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Chicken Piccata


Blackberry Peach Crumble


Baked Macaroni & Cheese
With Garlic Bread Crumbs

Pumpkin Cake With
Cream Cheese Frosting

I am already excited for 2012: hoping to experiment more with pomegranates, mustard (yes, Epicurious predicted it to be a Top Food Trend for 2012), avocados and I would like to make homemade Pho. Join me in my adventure!

Cheers!

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Poached Eggs in Marinara Sauce


Usually, breakfast is one of the most simple meals of the day. After all, shouldn’t it be? Unless it is a weekend, most individuals opt for cereal or something that requires little effort in the morning.

However, this past weekend, a friend and I decided to try a recipe from The New York Times health section: Eggs Poached in Marinara Sauce. At first glance from the picture in the article, this recipe just looked pretty, well, interesting. All the more reason to try it, right? Well, at least our ambitious cooking minds convinced us so.

Basically, in theory, this recipe is quite simple, but the perfect egg execution is essential to this dish’s success. It took a few rounds of botched poached egg plates before we got it just right. The key in all of this? After heating up sauce in a small saucepan, use a ladle to make a “pouch” in the center of the pan to pour the eggs into and make sure to pour the egg in very, very slowly while making sure the yolk plops into the saucepan last.

In addition to the eggs and sauce combo, we totally negated the healthy aspects of this meal by adding green onions, cheese and avocado slices and  toasted bread with a mixture of olive oil, garlic and oregano beneath melted mozzarella cheese. Oh, and what breakfast meal wouldn’t be complete without bacon?

Although this did take a lot more effort than the standard breakfast, the end result tasted delicious. And, even though to some it may not look the most appetizing, I promise that it is — I completely recommend it!

Cheers!