My Favorites from 2010

Sunset on 2010

For me, the last day of the year is a day of reflection spent looking back at the year through photos and words pondering all that went right and all that went wrong. One inevitable consequence of this kind of retrospection is puzzling over how a whole year slipped by since popping open a bottle of bubbly one winter ago. Miraculously, as I look back through 2010, so much has happened, I can hardly believe it’s only been 365 days! Yes, it’s been a very full year, and before anyone accuses me of being full of horse excrement, I’ll tell you why.

Gigs

I wrote for Readymade and Tablet Hotels. I styled and photographed food for books and product packaging. I created 10 recipes for Good Bite’s Weeknight Meals: Delicious Made Easy which will be on store shelves in Fall of 2011. I spoke at Techmunch, Foodbuzz Festival and Blogworld Expo. I showed up on Grill It! With Bobby Flay. I’m sure I’m missing stuff here, but you get the point, I kept myself busy.

Project Food Blog

When I first joined Project Food Blog I was skeptical. Skeptical about Foodbuzz’s motives, skeptical about how far I’d make it and most of all, skeptical about its benefits. I was was wrong. Not only did I have the honor of making it to the final round of three, I met dozens of awesome food bloggers AND I learned a lot about myself and my blog in the process.

New places

One of my life goals is to get to a place where I can spend at least half the year travelling. I’m one of those people that learns best by doing, and I can’t think of a better way to learn about other cultures and food, than by immersing myself in them through travel. I spent an incredible 48 days travelling, including 28 days spent abroad. I launched a new blog to talk about my adventures outside the kitchen. I visited 7 states and 6 countries in that time and as I get ready for my frist trip in 2011, I have to say I’m looking forward to another year of great experiences to share with you.

New friends

This year was a good year for making friends. Between both trips to Orlando (Pillsbury Bake-off and Orlando CVB), both trips to Vegas (Uncork’d and BlogWorld Expo) and the trip to San Francisco for Foodbuzz Festival I feel incredibly privileged to have met so many awesome people. Then there is Twitter, I’ve been on it for a while now, but I don’t think I really “got” it until this year. My Twitter peeps (you know who you are) span the globe from London to Tokyo and Sydney to Bonn and while I may not have met all of you in person, I hope to fix that in 2011.

Quitting my day job

This was far and away the biggest change for me. It not only represented a pull away from a scheduled 10-6 day, it also represented a big financial shift (a euphemism for being broke), and for the first time in my life I didn’t care. 2011 will be the year that determines whether I can continue doing what I love or if I’ll need to go back into an office, but having taken the leap I can’t ever say I didn’t try.

To close this year out and get 2011 started off on a tasty note, here are 10 of my favorite meals from this year (in no particular order).


Pappa al Pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro
Simple, comforting and filling without leaving you feeling heavy. It’s good in summer with fresh tomatoes and good in winter with canned tomatoes.


Chocolate Truffle Tagliatelle

Chocolate Truffle Tagliatelle
If you can get over the silly name, this is honestly one of the best pastas I have ever made. It’s one of those dishes that just popped into my head one day, I made it, and it was just as I’d imagined it.


Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
I normally post the 10 most popular posts for the year. This year, the only post that would have made that list is this one. This fried chicken recipe was my sixth most popular post this year and I’m glad the word is getting out because it’s awesome.


Baby Octopus in Tomato Sauce

Braised Baby Octopus
I think this was vaguely inspired by something I ate in Barcelona. The octopus turns out super tender and garlicky and the sauce is best mopped up with a hunk of bread.


Buta Kabuni

Buta Kabuni (braise pork belly and turnips)
Buta Kakuni is my favorite preparation for pork belly, and using turnips (kabu) was originally a play on words that turned into a delicious variation of the classic.


Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow)

Gai Pad Krapow
I rarely make a dish more than once, partially because I need to keep developing new content for the blog, but I also bore of food very easily. This is one dish that was made more than anything else in my kitchen this year because it’s ridiculously simple and absurdly delicious.


Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs
This really simple one pan breakfast (and variations there of) has been a regular staple on lazy Sunday mornings all year long.


Pasta Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana
Of the classic pasta sauces, Sugo alla Amatriciana is by far my favorite. My version takes it back to its roots, using guanciale, the most addictive of all cured pork products.


Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh
I had this dish for the first time on my way out of Singapore and I’m so glad it was as I was leaving, otherwise I would have had this for every meal while I was there.


Kedgeree

Kedgeree
This has been one of my comfort foods since the first time it was served to me in Australia as a kid. I’ve made it ever since, and finally got around to posting my version.

  • http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com/ the indolent cook

    Great journey, great list. Happy 2011! :D

  • http://www.shelvialoveridge.com Shelviaw

    i’m new here – found u through ur honey sweet potato recipe – what an awesome blog :)

  • http://www.dinnersanddreams.net Dinners & Dreams

    Your pappa al pomodor is fantastic, Marc. Happy New Year! Btw, I am loving the first picture.

    Nisrine

  • http://inthekitchenwithkath.com Kath

    This is the most interesting reflection on 2010 that I’ve read! You had a remarkable year. I have no doubt that 2011 will be even better for you. I feel fortunate to have discovered you through Project Food Blog. Now I can’t wait to try Basil Chicken, Bak Kut Teh, and Sugo Alla Amatriciana with guanciale!

  • http://www.beautyandthefeastblog.com Shy

    Lovely blog, congrats on all your success…keep it going in 2011!

  • Bunkycooks

    It has been quite the year for you! Congrats on all the great things coming your way and I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011! Maybe we will get to meet this year. ;)

  • Prerna@IndianSimmer

    What an awesome round up that is for a New Yr gift!!
    Wish you a very Happy 2011 !

  • http://theyearinfood.com Kimberley

    What an adventure. Here’s to an epic 2011!

  • Shanon

    some really delicious recipes! i saved the chocolate pasta to make for my chocolate loving husband on a special occasion. happy new year!

  • Rhonda

    What a year for you, so brave to quit your job and do what you love. I really hope for success for you. The recipe’s what can I say? Beautiful and perfect! Will that suffice?

  • http://iamafeeder.net Jackie

    You’ve had one heck of a year, Marc. So happy to have made your acquaintance and so looking forward to seeing you in a few months! Happy New Year, buddy.

    Jax x

  • http://goodyfoodies.blogspot.com/ Baby Sumo

    Lol I cant believe bak kut teh is in yr Top 10 fav meals. I eat this like once every week. :P Anyway u shd try getting the Eu Yan Sang BKT sachets when you’re in Asia next… it’s one of the better ready pack ones I’ve used.
    Happy New Yr!

  • http://twitter.com/FarmgirlGourmet Heather Scholten

    Wow Marc! What an amazing year you had! I look forward to seeing your career take off. And thanks for sharing!

    Happy New Year!
    Heather (Farmgirl Gourmet)

  • http://foodalogue.com Joan Nova

    Significant accomplishments to be sure and good for you to take that leap and follow your bliss. I wish you much luck — and maybe we’ll meet on the road somewhere. I also plan to cram in more travel in 2011.

  • Sharlene

    Happy New Year!! I think that Fried Chicken is next on my list of things to try of yours.

  • Stefania

    Happy New Year ♥
    Moltissimi Auguri
    per uno splendido 2011

  • Vicky

    what an incredible year you had. I wish you only continued success in 2012.
    The Specialty Fine Food Show will be in Washington this year…are you going?
    Hope you visit Toronto one day soon. It should be on your list. (Im biased).
    Cheers,
    Vicky

  • info@foodcreate.com

    “Happy New Year ! your comfort foods looks wonderful wow good luck to you !! :)

  • http://www.noobcook.com noobcook

    happy new year! love your food blog and wish you continued success in 2011 :)

  • Becca Menig

    My dear friend Antonio Gattini, opened his Dallas restaurant Momo Italian Specialties in the 1980s. His Tagliatelle al Cacao was the first (and only) homemade pasta with cocoa that I’ve eaten. Tossed in a cream sauce with Gruyere cheese and peas, it is divine.
    Thanks for the memories with your Tagliatelle. I wish you many more wonderful dining experiences in 2011. Let us hear about all of them.
    Becca from3906.blogspot.com

  • http://oliepants.wordpress.com/ Susan

    Happy New Year! Your food as always looks delicious and I’m so excited about the ‘quitting the day job’ part!! I know you will be successful doing what you love to do! :)

  • Beth

    A travel blog? I’ll have to check that out! Congratulations on leaving your day job. Sounds like there’s lots in store for you in 2011.

  • http://geometricdelights.wordpress.com Luyi

    These dishes look so decadent. Your photography and writing are incredible.

  • tasteofbeirut.com

    You are such an interesting person and I enjoy reading your blog so much; can’t say I love fried chicken but I can see it is America’s fav and your recipe looks incredible.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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My Favorites from 2010