Culinary Highlights: 2010 Edition

Something happened in 2010 – maybe it was the mortgage, maybe it was the market…okay fine, mostly it had to do with moving out of Casa del Yeo – but I cooked more in my life this year than I ever had in the past, and relished every minute of it!

We finally nailed homemade pizza this year!

My tendency to organize everything, it turns out, fits perfectly with meal planning, so besides getting great meals, I know I am reaping satisfaction from the start of the very process itself – bookmarking recipes, learning what is in season, developing shopping lists, and ensuring a speedy turnover of produce.

We cooked more seasonally this year, and weren’t afraid to buy unfamiliar produce – like pea tendrils

This is not to say I’ve given up eating out by any means (though I know the balance of our food budget shifted this year) – I still enjoy trying new restaurants, and revisiting old favourites, but there’s nothing like preparing and enjoying a home-cooked meal with a loved one at the end of the day.

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried lentil soup – one of many soups I made this year

Anyway – thanks for bearing with me this year, as I continue to seek great eats in Edmonton – both outside our home and in our own kitchen!

Here are some of the other highlights for me in 2010:

  • The most exciting thing for Mack and I this year was buying our first condo. A well-designed kitchen was a deal breaker, and though it may not be very large, I love the kitchen!

Housewarming

The spread at a housewarming party for friends

  • It was important to both of us that the condo be located downtown; the fact that it happens to be right where the City Market is situated only made everything easier. It also enabled me to write a weekly update of the market this year.

Doesn’t the summer seem forever ago? (photo from week 5)

  • We were also able to get out to visit a few farms this year, including Riverbend Gardens and Bles Wold Dairy. I know it isn’t for everyone – but I do like seeing where my food comes from.

Riverbend Gardens

Janelle Herbert (and her two children) of Riverbend Gardens in their never-ending squash patch

Bles Wold

With cows at the Bles Wold Dairy

  • There’s also nothing like farm-to-table meals, and in 2010, we had not one, but two such glorious meals at Madison’s Grill.

A duck and goose trio at a Farmers’ Market Dinner in January

Wine at the 2010 PMA International Wine Makers Dinner in April, where we learned the true brilliance that wine and food pairings can be

  • That wasn’t the end of sumptuous multicourse meals – I can’t forget the off-menu extravaganza courtesy of Chef Tony Le at Lux, or the Chef Judy Wu’s wonderful showcase at the Wild Tangerine.

Espresso Bison Shortrib with Truffled Bacon Corn

Espresso shortrib with truffled bacon cream corn at Lux

Smoked Duck Breast

Jasmine tea smoked duck breast at the Alberta Backstage Culinary Dinner

Delux

Made with Nathan’s Famous hot dogs!

456

Soup dumplings at Shanghai 456

  • Sometimes though, food tastes best after a long day’s work – it certainly felt like that when Maria and I were finally able to relax and have a bite at the Wild Boar and Beer BBQ we organized in August.

Wild Boar & Beer BBQ 2010

Maria and I

The People’s Choice winner, made with goat cheese, brie, prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, served with a tomato compote

Heritage Festival 2010

Mack loved this perk of being a judge – the keys to a golf cart!

MoCupcakeYEG

Linda’s winning Stud Muffins

  • Mack and I did do some travelling this year – we visited San Francisco in September (I have yet to blog about it). It was my first time visiting a winery, and it’s a no brainer to say what was Mack’s favourite moment – meeting Chef Hubert Keller!

With our favourite Top Chef Master

Cheers!

I’m looking forward to what 2011 has in store for us already!

5 thoughts on “Culinary Highlights: 2010 Edition

  1. Thanks for the great information and updates on the food scene, both local and from your travels. I enjoy your writing so much that I have made the link to your blog part of my home page, and I make sure to check every day or so for your new column. I live vicariously through your exciting experiences, and look forward to continuing to follow you through 2011. Happy New Year!

  2. What a wonderful year you have had, Sharon. So many triumphs and changes and culinary delights.
    Bravo!!
    It is so ironic to hear some people put down those of us that care about where our food comes from in such a passionate demeaning way. I cannot imagine doing that. I know that so many are not aware of what is happening with our daily food, and am compelled to inform and educate (it is the teacher within ) – and continue to learn! Yet, I would never criticize others for choosing another path….
    Loved the review!!!

  3. Colleen – thank you for your kind words, and for reading! Happy new year to you as well!

    Valerie – in posting this, I was able to remind myself of how grateful I am for a wonderful year, and for a partner that supports me in all that I do! Thanks for always reading :).

    I agree with you – we do need more on the education and awareness front. Then, as you say, people can make their choice, consciously, whatever it may be.

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