It was the year of the road trip for me. Look out, Bourdain! I love being a food tourist!
Gastronomic Galesburg. I visited a place I've visited pretty much every year for my whole life. But this time I was there to experience more than just my family (though I love them and love seeing them!!). I had to find out what G-burg ad to offer. Turns out, a lot!
"Epic Roadtrip '09" Tour of the Mid-South. I traveled to Nashville, Birmingham and Memphis with my friend Eric to both follow the band The Damnwells, and to get our bellies full of good southern food.
Chicago BlogHer. A fantastic road trip with some phenomenal females and fellow bloggers. Complete with a trip to Hot Doug's, which warranted it's own blog post!And did I mention, we got Tattoos? Mine's a clove of garlic. And I still am in love with it.
This was the year that I was lucky to start hanging out regularly with my new besties http://www.barbaricgulp.com/2010/01/best-of-2009.html, Kelli and Annie. We started to call ourselves the Food Blog Mafia, and going out to some of the best eateries St. Louis has to offer. Those chicks are good times. So much fun, so smart, and so passionate about food. Love you bitches!!
Kelly's birthday weekend- We started this off with dinner at the Chef's Table at Monarch. The food was unbelievable, as was the company. Read all about it in this post by Kelly herself.
Prix Fixe menu at Acero- Kelli recaps the experience in her new weekly column the Novice Foodie. Another awesome night out!
Overall, it was a big year for St. Louis food bloggers.
Fame & Glamour
Meeting the Forking Fantastic girls- Zora and Tamara had sent me their cookbook for me to review, my first ever experience with doing a solicited cookbook review. I love the book, and these ladies' style, so when they came to town for a book signing, I jumped on the chancce to go meet them in person. Fabulous gals, to be sure. Can't wait to make it up o New York and attend one of their famous Sunday dinners!
An afternoon with Rick Bayless- Schnucks Cooks Cooking school brought Rick Bayless in to do a short class and sign books. I have long admired Chef Bayless, so it was really exciting for Kelly and I to meet him! And we learned stuff, too!
The Debut of Skank Ham! I started putting out a web comic, Skank Ham. She's a ham, who smokes, and has some very interesting friends.
I'm a published writer! I was asked to write a feature for St. Louis' awesome food magazine, Sauce. I wrote about roasted garlic. Yum!
I'm on TEE-frickin'-VEE!! I was asked to go on a local talk show to give a review of the movie Julie & Julia. Boy Howdy was I nervous, but I think I did alright. Perhaps 2010 will see "Iron Stef TV" posts?
Big Scary Projects
I like to challenge myself as a cook. My new sassy-single lifestyle doesn't make for much time to cook these days, so often times when I had free days in 2009, I did it up big.
Tamales. This was my second time making tamales. Time consuming, but not all that hard, and completely worth it, as I had frozen leftovers for months afterwards.
Turducken!!! My biggest project of the year. It was scary, sweaty, ridiculous, and DELICIOUS!
Nonna's Fig Cookies. My favorite cookies ever. A taste of my childhood. A taste of Christmas. A taste of family. Mine did not turn out as pretty as Nonna's, but they tasted right. I talked to her the other day about it. My cousin printed out the post and gave it to her. She called to congratulate me, then informed me that she lets the dough set up in the fridge overnight. This part was not on the recipe card, and wopuld have helped me work with the sticky dough better. Eh. Next year.
What I consider the tastiest dishes I made in 2009
Birthday Sandwich -oh yeah, I turned 30 this year! This is how I treated myself. Dark Chocolate, brie and basil, grilled on some good bread. Foodgasmic.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with ham and walnuts
Vintage Cookbook bavarian stew - there were gingersnaps in it. crazy! but really good!
Momofuko Pork Buns. Okay, Kelly did most of the work. And the blog post. But she let me help! And good gawd were they yummy.
See? What did I tell you? AWESOME year, 2009. 2010, you have a lot to live up to. I have faith in you, though. Happy New Year!!