I cannot believe I've been doing this for so long! Less than a year, I know. But 100 posts?!?! And most of them recipes?!?! And most of them (well, some of them) are actually delicious, I would make this again recipes?
That's quite an accomplishment, don't you think?
I keep stressing the amount I've grown in the past year. If you look back into the August, 2011 archives, you can compare my original posts with where I am now, in terms of actual cooking skill, variety of foods made, photography, and writing. I don't think my family (outside of my mother and sister) understand how important this is to me, how much I love food, and photographing food, and writing about food.
I'm no longer that finicky eater who refused to try anything new. Now I adore creating new dishes, experiencing new flavors, surprising myself and others. So to celebrate my 100th blog post, I'm going to count down my ten favorite recipes I've made so far!
#10: Flatbread pizza with arugula, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and truffle oil
This one is a great representation of how much my tastes have matured since I began this crazy blog adventure. Lets look back to August and see what my first pizza post was...oh, right. Spaghettios pizza. *gag*
Nowadays I would much prefer a gourmet flatbread, topped with fresh veggies, bright colors, and rich flavors.
#9 Arugula and grapefruit salad with shallot vinaigrette
This one was a pleasant surprise. Again, the colors were stunning and bright, and the flavors came together perfectly. This is my go-to summer salad.
And this coming from the girl who refused to eat anything green until senior year of college...
#8: Ginger cookies
These thick, chewy, spicy cookies are out of this world. And more than that, they are symbolic. You see, I started working at the University of Rochester 3 months before I started this blog. It was there that I met Kevin, my boyfriend. But at the time I was dating someone else, and so to me Kevin was just that cute guy with the beard who made unbelievable ginger cookies.
Well, it's been just about 6 months now, and he's become the best cooking sidekick a food blogger could ask for. And he shared with me his recipe for these amazing cookies. awww
#7 Taco bites
These little bites were one of the first things I made without a recipe, and they were one of my most successful posts, thanks to reddit. They also gave me so much confidence, by showing me that it was ok to go off book sometimes. Granted, I've had many mishaps by doing this, but I tend to have the most fun. And creating a recipe can be as simple as making a taco and sticking it in a mini, crispy wanton wrapper.
#6 Matzo ball soup
This is another symbolic recipe for me. It represents the love and support I've received over the years from the Buran family, who have acted as my personal cheerleading team for my entire life. They've encouraged me, pushed me, and have been there for me. And they've done a great job at feeding me.
This matzo ball soup was the thing I looked forward to the most about holidays, and I'm so thankful to Marilyn for sharing it with me (and you!)
#5 Pasta with roasted butternut squash, sage, and creamy pumpkin sauce
This one is a autumn dish, there is no doubt about it. But it was so incredible that I'm almost hoping summer hurries up so that I can buy more pumpkins and make this again! Every bite was like creamy, pumpkiny heaven. It was another experiment for me of mixing together different flavors in new combinations, and I have to thank Tracy for the phenomenal recipe!
#4 Grilled lamb chops with tangerine rosemary rub
This one was just...yeah. Expensive, choice cut of meat, grilled to perfection and topped with a bright and savory citrus rub. Perfect for spring and summer, and definitely a meal to impress people. It's gorgeous looking, tastes like happiness and rainbows, and it's surprisingly simple.
#3 Chardonnay white bundt cake with chardonnay glaze
This one was the first successful cake I had baked from scratch. It had pudding to keep it moist, bread flour to keep it fluffy, and Chardonnay to keep it boozy. Then you add the glaze (laden with even more wine), and it seeps into the cake, infusing it with even more sweetness, and giving it a little bit of a crispy crust. You find yourself wanting to grab handfuls of it and shove it in your mouth, it's that good.
#2 Biscoff cupcakes with chocolate ganache center and biscoff buttercream
This one is actually sort of an amalgam of multiple recipes. I took the biscoff cupcakes and added a ganache filling and brain frosting, but then scrapped the brain frosting for the original biscoff buttercream (though I was super proud of how cute they looked with the brains!). The result was an amaaaaazing cupcake. It's my go-to thing to bake, and I've made it 3 separate times since posting the original recipe.
People will love the biscoffy goodness, and the chocolate filling is a nice surprise. It also makes you look like a very skilled baker, when really, filling cupcakes isn't that hard. And when you stop to think about how biscoff sort of tastes like teddy grahams...you're basically eating a chocolate covered teddy graham, in cupcake form!
And finally, my favorite recipe from the last 100 posts is....
#1: The best damn veggie lasagna ever. Seriously. It's amazing.
Believe me, I'm more surprised than you are. I know that my tastes have matured a lot in the past few years, but the fact that my single favorite recipe, the one I think about making the most, the one I wish I could eat for lunch and dinner every day is one that includes about 7 different vegetables, is something I'm still coming to terms with.
I season it liberally with cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and chili powder to give it a bit of a bite, and the way that the veggies are diced (very small!) and cooked (sauteed and then simmered in tomato sauce) renders them soft and indistinguishable from one another. What that means is you can make this to please everyone. I have fed it to people who hate mushrooms, people who loathe onions, people who absolutely cannot stand peppers...and they all devoured it.
It's hearty, decently healthy, and incredibly addicting. I am going to make it this 4th of July weekend for my family in New Hampshire, and I am literally so excited to eat it again. And I think when my relatives see me making two huge veggie lasagnas, they'll finally realize that I've changed. And that this is the new and improved Sarah.
Of all the recipes I've posted, which one has been your favorite? Let me know in the comments!