Monday, January 6, 2014

My Year in Food 2013

After a few delays and many a power outage, I FINALLY bring to you my 2013 Year in Food!

Just like the song says, 'Another year over and a new one's just begun'. Like many years, 2013 had its ups and downs, but I can honestly say, overall, it was a good year. Not only did I get a new job and travel to Ottawa for training (my first time there), I also traveled to Toronto for my birthday to see a couple of amazing concerts (Beyonce & Jay-Z/JT - also my first time there), and my husband and I finally bought some camping gear and spent several days camping in Gros Morne (also my first time there!) To cap it all off, we spent a nice long Christmas vacation with both of our families, in two separate parts of the province. I have so much to be thankful for this year!

With that said, 2013 started off a little rough for my family, as we were forced to say goodbye to my Nan. Although I attribute my cooking skills to my mom, I like to think I've inherited a little bit of my Nan's cooking abilities as well. I have so many memories of Nan's food, and even though I wasn't a big fan of 'cooked dinner' as a kid, I did love her boiled puddings - in particular her 'plain pudding' - and of course her desserts! It was rare to visit on a Sunday, without an apple pie, or sponge cake - or both - for dessert! She grew the best veggies, made the best rhubarb jam and you couldn't find better bread - something she taught me to make back in the summer of 2012.

So as 2014 is upon us, I have a couple of things I want to make happen - I would like to prepare more of the snacks and breads I eat, I would like to cook without a recipe more often, I of course want to continue trying new foods and I definitely want to give my Nan's bread recipe another go! I am very excited for the food adventures to come in 2014, but without further delay, let's look back at what deliciousness 2013 had in store :) can see 2012 here!


2013 Food Highlights

I tried several new restaurants in St. John's:

Bacalao - Love
Shalimar Restaurant - Good, cheap alternative to India Gate
Get Stuffed - Cozy & Great
St. John's Chop House - Great food, dated Atmosphere though
Mama Soula's - Wasn't a fan, but I'm not big on greek food
The Annex Resto/Bar/Lounge - Tasty but expensive
Not really a restaurant, but visited Coco Cupcakes for the first time! Loved!
The Sprout - Best French toast I've ever eaten!
The Club - My current Fav Restaurant, in love with this place - the food, the drinks, the atmosphere - wicked!

I also enjoyed the deliciousness of several NEW food joints in the city:

Harvey's came to town!
Mary's Diner
The Works

I tried several new foods - many courtesy of my trip to Toronto this summer, while others were local or made in my very own kitchen!

Huevos Rancheros - Chez Food Diva
French Onion Soup - Chez Food Diva
Cheese Pie - Ottawa
Soft Shell Crab (in the sushi roll) - Kimchi & Sushi, St. John's
Octopus - Mama Soula's, St. John's
Tofu - Chez Food Diva
Pad Thai - Chez Food Diva
Falafel - Courtesy of Extreme Pita (made my own later)

Pho - Pho Hung, Toronto
Bibimbap - Guu Izakaya, Toronto
Mackerel - Guu Izakaya, Toronto
Gelato - Toronto
Proper Macarons - from a Queen Street Bakery, Toronto
Dim Sum! - Toronto
Cronuts! - Manna Bakery, St. John's
Wedge Salad - The Keg, St. John's
Chanterelle Mushrooms - from Costco, then prepared at Chez Food Diva

I’ve also attempted several new dishes in my kitchen, the more memorable include Julia Child's French Onion Soup (as listed above) and the Chanterelle Mushroom Pasta - others include:

This tasty Carbonara that made me realize how quick and easy it comes together
Hubby's Birthday Supper - Garlic and rosemary roasted lamb shanks with red wine reduction and buttery, pesto mashed potatoes.

Steak cooked over an open flame on our camping trip to Gros Morne!
I pickled for the first time ever using my great aunt's zucchini pickle recipe.

Homemade Marshmallows

I created a few recipes/creations of my own:

Baked Mini Creme Eggs
Enchilada Pizza
Deli-Wrapped Christmas Gifts

Played with some new kitchen tools:

Strawberry Slicer


Spiral Cutter

Crock Pot

Meat Grinder!

and concocted a few cakes I'm pretty proud of:

'Dino's in Space' Cake as requested for a friend's 27th bday! Assistance on this cake courtesy of a friend lol
My sister's cake with images of all her fav things!
A Monkey Cake for my friend
A joint effort by myself and my friend for our husbands Nerdy Thirty party!
A chocolate concoction for the chocolate loving friend who assisted me on cakes #1 & 4!

Other food highlights from 2013 included:

- forming a food group with friends to test out new/different restaurants around town (it's our one year anniversary today!)

- visiting my first legit food truck in Toronto (amazing!)

- visiting our local Farmer's Market for the first time! Check my write-up here

- developing a slight obsession with roasted bacon and brussels sprouts

- developing a slight addiction to Shrimp Carbonara

Annnnnd that's about it! Quite the year in food! I hope you enjoyed your Christmas as much as I did! And your year, for that matter! In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the adventures, and new foods, to come in 2014. Be sure to keep up with all the fun via my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course my Instagram! Have a tasty 2014 everyone!!

Food Diva

No comments:

Post a Comment