Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Countdown: Best of Belle 2010 (Part I)

The holidays have come and gone, and jolly ol’ Saint Nick has already made his way up your walk-ups, through your fire escapes, and dodged your doormen to drop his pressies and make it back to the North Pole in time for New Year’s. I hope you all got what you wished for and kept warm inside, escaping from the snowy storm that arrived a day too late for a White Christmas, and a dollar too short to turn NYC into anything but a soupy mess–reminiscent of Campbell’s cream of mushroom–by the time I got back to The Big Apple. We did in fact have a snow-glistened Christmas in the Buff, but rather shockingly, while New York got lambasted with the brunt of December’s blustery blizzard, we got nothing but flurries during my week-long holiday at home. Between bouts of writing at Mamma’s (warming by the fireside, snuggled in bed with Mr. Mix, or sometimes, watching my brother play video games in the basement–just like the old days!) then back at my desk in my NYC nest, I managed to compile a list of the top 20 most-read blog posts I published in 2010!

Photo courtesy of Max Lau

With the year winding down there were a lot of stories, glories, heart breaks, and a few tummy-aches to reflect upon; there were experimental recipes, seasonal market reports, and tales of lust and love, blithely penned from the front lines of the food and dude crushes I pined after this year. I whipped together a spat of new, tediously detailed lists-to-live-by, cut a series of video webisodes featuring my Tribe and I feasting, cavorting and catering in concert, and pulled together three years’ worth of menus to compose the now complete collection of free to download Season-a-Belle Recipe eBooks, each offering original recipes from my home and catering kitchens a la spring, summer, fall and winters passed. While the trip down memory lane served me well, it was you, dear readers, who made these 20 tales the most read, most linked to and most popular of my posts this year. Starting from number 20 in a two-part series that begins below, enjoy reminiscing with the Best of Belle and Eat it Up!

Top 20 Blog Posts of 2010

Photo courtesy of Max Lau

20. A Worldly and Worthy Winter
Erin is not only one of my best friends, but the best business partner a girl could ask for. And she could not have done a better job recounting the worldly spreads we catered last winter! From New York soil to tea with the Brits and Asian stir-fry, the Dinner Belle continues to strive to serve the best foods possible–not only seasonally, but globally inspired.

19. The Daily News, The Yearly Beast
Celebrating my 32nd Birthday this past March–with a huge glowing cupcake tower and burgers galore–was just what I needed. Getting featured in The Daily News was the icing on the cake. The fact that this was one of the hit posts of the year: well, that’s the cherry on top.

18. Shame on Me
The fight to always have fresh, in-season foods that are not filled with nasty chemicals and sprays is destined to be an uphill battle. I may not always get my way when it comes to cooking the foods I know will be good for my clients, but it’s a fight I won’t give up on with my family and friends. Eating food that makes you feel good is a no-brainer, and it’s safe to say there was no shame in reading this post!

17. Aw Shucks! I’m Un-Clammed Up.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many hits my clams and man story got. Our summer rendezvous has led to months of great food adventures with a man that has proven to know his way around more than just seafood. Mr. Mixologist has been mixing things up ever since we met in that fated, boggy clam bed!

16. Doing it Right
There will always be moments we doubt ourselves, replaying the decisions we’ve made –“Did I use too much butter?” “Not enough salt…” “Too much mascara!” But at the end of the day, having confidence in yourself means knowing that if you stick to your guns, you’ll always end up exactly where you should be. I think that’s why everyone has their own version of Right.

15. Crush-a-belle: Ode to Avocado
In snowy January, the summer months seem like a distant dream. It’s hard to believe that we were once dying for an icy cold popsicle, like the luscious ones I made for Celest’s garden party last June. Concocting this avocado popsicle spiked with Cachaca proved to be a cooling summer hit!

Photo courtesy of Max Lau

14. Market Report: My Romance with Radish
Every now and then I crush hard on a recipe, veggie or imported cheese. Once I got a few brightly-colored spring radishes in my hand, it was a full blooming romance. This little root vegetable is like the perfect classic tote carrying all the right flavor.

13. Cheese, Please!
I have many loves in my life, but one will always be true and steadfast: Cheese.  A list that I loved researching and eating my way through, the Top 30 Best Cheese Bites Around Town was a hit simply because everyone loves cheese!

Photo courtesy of Paul Christopher Williams

11. Market Report: Iron Chef Challenge
Not one to shy away from either unique fare or a culinary challenge, my Iron Chef Mashup with Snotty  McSnobster proved that I could hold up my end in the kitchen, even when dealing with a mystery ingredient (in this case, fiddleheads!) en Flambé. Who doesn’t love to occasionally gloat in flaming victory?

To be continued

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2 Responses to “The Countdown: Best of Belle 2010 (Part I)”


  1. SUZY AFRICA

    WHO IS MR MIX hahaha

  2. Kim

    Hi there,
    Just stumbled upon your site through another friends FB page and I am so pleased I did. Love the wismical banter. The way you invite us into your life, like family. You can even feel the weater you traveled home in…nice experience. I will be coming back and bring friend with me. Can’t wait to try some of you recipes. My niece lives in NYC and I will be telling her all about you. She also loves to cook and bake so this will be a good place for her to review and try some new things…keep her busy. Glad you had a great Christmas. Hope your New Year is filled with blessings…see you soon…Kimi

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