Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best of the Pot 2010

(Word cloud created on Wordle)

So apparently I really like chocolate. And beetroot. But you knew that right?

A lot of things happened in 2010. Good and bad.

We started the year off by getting our first ever pet, a 6 week old kitten called JD. Good start to the year, right? I thought so. Another good way was to make copious amounts of this Guilt-Free Chocolate Mousse. It's virtually fat-free. Huzzah!

In February, TheHusband and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with a weekend in Paternoster, which prompted some experiments with bokkoms - a lemon-y risotto and some chili-laced tagliatelle. Bokkoms, it turns out, are delish. Even thought it took some convincing to get TheHusband to share in my bokkom frenzy. 

I went to the first ever SAFBC (now renamed to FBI - Food Blogger's Indaba) in March and with the help of Chez Pim, mastered Pad Thai. Which made me wonder why the heck I only tried it out now. But hey, you live and learn. 

In April I learned a bit more about Haiti for the month's regional recipe challenge and was so taken by the cuisine that I made not one, not two, but three Haitian dishes. Okay, so one was a sauce. Still. FYI - fried goat (or lamb if you're a wuss like me) is beyond-yum. Wait, actually no, I'm not a wuss. I purchased, prepared and ate warthog in April as well. So there. 

We took a midyear break in some hot pools with good friends in May, went to see superb one-man show, Rumpsteak, and I made this summer-y (huh? It was supposed to be cold in May) Orange & Goat's Cheese Tart sparked by an animated discussion about cheesesluts on Twitter.

June brought with it the start of my favourite season and I went all out in the food department. There were citrus-y cupcakes, Jamaican coffee brownies (warning: dangerously addictive!), Greek prawns with feta (okay and a few glasses of wine), a simple, yet deceptively tasty chickpea curry and for the grand finale a "local is lekker" tomato stew to celebrate my South African roots in honor of the Soccer World Cup. Isn't it sad that it's over?

July was birthday month, as in mine, and we celebrated by attending Madame Zingara's Love Magic Tour, a magical evening punctuated by spectacular food, fantastical costumes and insanely bendy gymnasts. On the eve of my 28th birthday we visited the in-laws and some awesome friends (*waves* to crazy peeps P&M),I made my first galette, took a bite out of the Big Apple,  and whipped up some cupcakes for the occasion.

We adopted a friend for JD in August, a beautiful black & white 6 month old kitty called Ellie and spent a gloriously chilly weekend on the West Coast visiting another set of friends (*waves* to pregnant fairy E & hubby D). We also found our first geocache - fun times! August was all about the sweet things in life - Chocolate Camembert truffles (I know that sounds odd, but honestly, they are ah-mazing!), Indian spiced hot chocolate and last but not least, milky, coconut-y, ultra-sweet Coquito. Now if you've never had any one of the aforementioned treats before, I suggest you rectify that situation immediately. 

September was birthday month again - this time TheHusband hitting the big 3-0 with a mafia themed murder mystery party, Guinness chocolate cake and a velvety Amarula chocolate cheesecake to mark the occasion. Yeah, you heard right - two cakes for the birthday boy. Hey, it's not every day you turn 30.  We also spent a long weekend at the end of the month with my mom and aunts in the picturesque town of Hermanus and I tried my hand at tempura. Who knew it was so easy to make? Oh, and I discovered the joys of clafoutis. Which I've made, with some variations in fruit, about another hundred times (give or take) since. 

The big move happened in October, when we packed up all of our crap stuff and settled into our first house. It was also our godson's first birthday, so we had the perfect excuse to get all giddy in a toyshop and gorge ourselves on the delicious chocolate cake at the party. 'Cause that's how godparents roll, mkay? And when little B is a bit bigger and he asks really nicely, I'll make him one of my favourite childhood treats too. Instead of *ahem* gobbling up the entire batch myself. 

Shaky knees was the name of the game in November when I was asked to speak at a food blogger's meetup. Sadly, this was also the month that JD died, the cause of many days of red, swollen eyes on both TheHusband's and my parts. I made gently spiced Chicken Lababdar shortly after which served its purpose as comfort food quite well, even though it couldn't bring back our beloved kitty. I also went on a massive beetroot binge, which I blame squarely on my veggiebox suppliers.

2010 ended on a high note - we adopted super cute baby kitten Sammy (JD's half sister, incidentally) and made pigs of ourselves with these ultra-chewy hazelnut and choc-chunk cookies. All washed down with breezy summer-y evenings, long hot days, splashes in the port-a-pool and bucket loads of this iced tea

All in all then, a pretty good year! So how was 2010 for you?


Kulsum on January 13, 2011 11:56 am said...

Welcome back Marissa :) Happy New year to you , 2010 looks like delicious year for ya but sorry about the kitten My pet fish died a few days ago as well and I can so imagine how tht feels!

Looking forward to delicious 2011 and tweets ;)

Marisa on January 13, 2011 12:24 pm said...

Ah, so sad to hear about your fish! Hopefully the rest of 2011 will be much better for you.

Wynand van Ellewee on January 13, 2011 4:10 pm said...

Sjoe! The chocolate mousse looks SO amazing, it's on my to do list!

Valerie on January 13, 2011 4:27 pm said...

Great post and gorgeous food! I don't care if I just got back from a run, I want some of the Indian spiced hot chocolate.

My b-day is in september too! The best month because it has the best of 2 seasons...I'm sure it's the same below the equator too. :D

Joanne on January 13, 2011 7:54 pm said...

Your year in food makes me swoon. Really. I'm swooning.

I'm so sorry about your kitty! But I'm glad you got a new cute little one to love. Here's to another great year!

arcadia said...

Dit klink na 'n baie goeie jaar vir jou! Hoop hierdie een is ook opwindend. Daai koekies van jou gaan my nou heeldag distract.

Marisa on January 19, 2011 8:29 am said...

Mission accomplished. :-)

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking on January 24, 2011 7:51 am said...

This is such a creative dinner idea! I love chicken but eventually run out of fun ways to dress it up for dinner. This will be perfect for next time! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

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