I’ve never done a Best of any year before, because to me it’s extremely difficult to pick “the best” in anything. I like everything, but I don’t usually love something (except for eggplant of course). For me to love something, it has to be extra special and I think this year there are a few that I really loved and would like to share it with you guys. Also this happens to be my 400th post, so I wanted to make it a little special.
2010 was really a very eventful year for me: Buying our first home, moving in and organizing everything as per our taste took a lot of time; a lot of time away from the blog. Family visit this summer was one of the Best family times we had this year; again lot of time away from the blog. But then came the Best time for the Blog in the month of November with Vegan Mofo and I was able to post 22 posts which is unheard of for Cook’s Hideout in 2010.
Best Vegetarian restaurant: We stopped by Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, NJ one weekend, just because we were looking for Chinese restaurants in the area and this was the first one that came up on my Iphone search. We were pleasantly surprised how flavorful each dish was and thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate there. They had some killer Kung Pao Chicken dish (all veggie, of course) and the Spicy Hunan dumplings were to die for. We’ll definitely be going there frequently now.
Best Dish in a Restaurant: I’m partial to eggplant dishes, but this Baingan Mirchi ka salan (Eggplant-Chili gravy curry) that we had at Moghul restaurant in Edison, NJ is probably the best salan dish I’ve ever had in my life. The eggplants were creamy and just melted in your mouth, chilies tasted spicy, but not fiery hot and the gravy was so smooth and delicious. I’m actually on the quest for the perfect salan dish now.
Best Dish I made/ tried: This has to be Rasmalai that we made for ICC. Even though it is a time consuming and involved recipe, loved the end result.
Best Ingredient tried: My newest favorite ingredient is “Almond Butter”. I love it so much that I’m thinking of adding it to everything I cook, be it dal, subzi, rice, anything (I don’t add it to everything, but the thought definitely crosses my mind). It’s perfect for making creamy pastas & curries without adding cream and tastes super yummy on toast too. I buy 16oz. Trader Joes Almond Butter for $4.99 and that’s the best deal I found in town (beating even Walmart).
Best Picture(s): I love both these pictures:
Best Kitchen investment: This has to be hands down my new KitchenAid Stand mixer. I got the most basic model for $110 ($199-30% discount-$20 Kohl’s credit-$20 Mail-in rebate+7% NJ Tax) and I love love love how easy life’s got and how many things that can be done when your hands are free from holding a mixer. This is money well spent for me.
Best Pants I bought: Now this is totally off from the kitchen, but I wanted to mention about these pants from Coldwater Creek since I absolutely love them. They are knit denim, they look like regular denim pants but they are so comfy that you could wear them the whole day. A must in everyone’s wardrobe, I’d say.
Well 2010 went by quite fast as any other year, but I do have lots of good memories of it to remember for years to come and made quite a few good friends both online and offline. Hoping that the New Year brings lots of joy and happiness to all of you.
To end the year the old year and begin a New Year on a sweet note, here’s Almond cake I made recently from David Lebovitz’s blog.
The only change I made to the recipe is to use 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites (to replace 2 whole eggs). I don’t think this changed the texture or the taste of the cake, it was still very moist and extremely delicious. The top cracked a little bit making it look very rustic.
Wish you all a Very Happy & Prosperous New year. Enjoy!!!
Sending this over to Srivalli @ Cooking4allseasons for her "Best of 2010" event. Thanks Valli for reminding.