I like to kick off each year by taking a look back at the best moments, recipes, things I ate, places I traveled, and events I attended the year before. Here we go!
The Best Moments:
1. The biggest thing that happened in 2015 was leaving 9-5 my job so that I could work for myself full time. It has been wonderful, and although I am still constantly busy, the transition was easier than I had expected. Sure there are ups and downs, and a little uncertainly sometimes, but Charles is really supportive, and it is a joy working with Erin on the Windy City Blogger Collective.
2. Being on the cover of Crain’s Chicago Business. I still can’t believe that this happened!
3. All the traveling. I barely left Chicago in 2014, but that changed in 2015. We vacationed in Puerto Rico, I visited Southern Living in Birmingham, I went home to Maine for the Kennebunkport Festival, we celebrated our third wedding anniversary in Kohler, we went back to Maine for an August wedding, we ate our way through Kansas City, then we headed to Europe for 15 days, I went back to Kohler with some blogging friends for Kohler Food & Wine, I took my Mom to Napa and Sonoma, we went back to Maine again for Thanksgiving, and ended our year with Christmas in Munich.
4. Creating menu items for Burrito Beach and Trenchermen was really fun. My chicken quinoa bowl was on the menu at Burrito Beach last winter, and in November I created the Wednesday $10 burger and beer special for Trenchermen.
5. My 1000th Blog Post! This little site hit a major milestone in the beginning of 2015. And I celebrated with a giant stack of funfetti pancakes.
The Best Recipes:
1. My recipe for Quiche Two Ways is the all time most popular recipe on this site. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare.
2. This Creamy Parmesan Pasta with a Poached Egg was one of my favorite creations.
3. And Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Pie was a huge hit at my pie party I threw for Maya’s birthday.
4. Mexican Corn Salad is a fun side dish that tastes like summer.
5. And Caramel Doughnuts are a special treat.
The Best Things I Ate:
1. Brunch at the Wisconsin Room at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin – this was a hard decision to make, but the outstanding Sunday Brunch at the Wisconsin Room is my #1. They have creme brûlée french toast, perfectly poached eggs benedict, an insanely good cheesy potato hash, prime rib, and a huge display of desserts.
2. Uovo in camicia con fonduta at Tra Arte e Querce – we tried this cheese soup with a poached egg and freshly shaved truffles after our truffle hunting adventure in Piedmont.
3. TimeOut recently named Osteria Langhe one of the top twenty Italian restaurants in America, and I think that their pastas are the reason. Both the plin and Tajarin Tartufo Nero (pictured above) are exceptional.
4. The burger at Char Bar in Kansas City rocked my world. The meat was a mix of ground beef and brisket that was topped with gouda, bacon, mayo, and caramelized onions. It somehow captured the best parts of burgers and bbq and combined them.
5. The house-made Nutterbutters at Avec were so good that once they were gone, I ordered another round.
The Best Places:
1. Nice – This little city store my heart, and I think it is my life goal to find a way to move into Le Negresco.
2. Piedmont – Food and wine are two of my favorite things, so this pick shouldn’t surprise you. The countryside in Piedmont is stunning and everyone is so friendly. Also, we stayed in a castle.
3. Napa & Sonoma – It was fun taking a girls trip with my Mom, and as I just mentioned, I love wine. (I will be telling you all about that trip this month).
4. San Juan – Sunshine, pastel colored buildings, and incredible food in a city that just oozed personality. I need to make a point to go back.
5. Chicago – Seriously, Chicago was extra magical this year. Maybe it was the fact I got to set my own work schedule during the summer, but it was the best summer ever. And look at how pretty the city was!
The Best Events:
1. I attended several food festivals this year, but the Kohler Food & Wine experience combined a luxurious vacation and a top notch food festival. The thing that makes Kohler Food & Wine stand out is that as the chefs do their cooking demos, you get to try samples of what they are making. Plus I met Jacques and Claudine Pepin who couldn’t have been nicer.
2. The James Beard Awards dominated an entire weekend. Chicago welcomed the “Oscars of Food” to the city for the first time and it seemed like everyone threw a party. The star studded event included tastings from some nominees and winners after the awards were handed out.
3. Lollapalooza makes the number three spot because I got to listen to bands that I love while I ate. Seeing Paul McCartney live is something I will never forget. I also won’t forget the bacon mac and cheese cream puffs from Cream Puffs of Doom.
4. My girl friends and I went to Chicago Food + Wine and loved it. It was this festival’s first year and I really liked the low key atmosphere and the short lines for the tastings. Did I mention that there was a build your own pie station?
5. Windy City Smokeout combines beer, bbq, and country music. It was one of my favorite weekends of the summer, thanks in part to the bbq nachos that Bub City created.
That sums up 2015. I hope everyone has a wonderful new year!
Sunday 3rd of January 2016
Ok how are you still so tiny?! Such a great year for you Kit! I have loved following along on your journey. Happy New Year!
Wishes & Reality