's Sites We Love Saveur Magazine has listed The Skinny Gourmet among its "Sites We Love"

I've been having a great time checking out Nashville's high end dining on the cheap thanks to Groupon. Have you tried it yet? Its awesome. I don't know why I ever hesitated.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Skinny Gourmet's Best of 2007

I recently discovered that some bloggers are putting together a year’s end review of the best recipes, and are inviting bloggers to submit their best recipe from the past year. I thought this was a fun way to commemorate a year in food, so it got me thinking. I have different favorites for different reasons. Food can be a favorite because it is delicious, because it reminds you of a wonderful time, because it is unique. After a bit of a walk down memory lane, I narrowed my choices down to two of my favorite original recipes from this past year and then put it to my friends, the tasters.

I like my espinacas con garbanzo because it is a delicious, healthy recipe that transports me to a trip I took with my childhood best friend to the south of Spain. With a little tinkering in my kitchen, I was able to recreate the taste. I like the fondue I created for my friend’s going away party. It was a mouth-watering combination of cheeses and spices that had people scraping the bottom of the bowl for every last bit. And while I'm thinking of warm comfort foods, how could I forget my baked potato soup, with a touch of local Chicago microbrewed beer that makes the taste outstanding. This was a recipe I first created last year but will make again and again. A serious contender for recipe of the year, but I really want to showcase a recipe that is particularly unique to my site, and really demonstrates the Skinny Gourmet philosophy.

I have favorite essay moments from this blog as well. I had fun ranting a little about airport gourmet and fru-fru coffee. I loved remembering my first experience with Seattle's famed Pike's Place Market. I recalled the first time I learned how to really truly make rice and realized that making food is as much about learning about yourself through a ritual that connects you to woman across the world as it is a means to nourishment.

But the best recipe of the year has two contenders. Both come out of an affair with food types that preoccupied me this past summer. First, I had a prolonged obsession with all things meringue, where I made two or three meringue recipes a week in my determination to master the art. The pavlova with brandied peaches and chai custard sauce was perhaps the most showy result of that experience. But out of that experiment also came a fabulous original recipe for chocolate orange meringues that I will make again and again, and so it is definitely a contender for best recipe of the year.

Second, I devoted myself to the art of gourmet picnic as part of my long-time joy in Chicago’s favorite summertime tradition: outdoor music concerts at Ravinia. For my many trips to listen to music at Ravinia I immersed myself in efforts to make delicious, healthy and portable food. Out of that experiment my personal favorite was the asparagus and blue cheese bruschetta. The taste combinations are so different and unique that it is an experience that I still recall vividly months later. That, to me, is the hallmark of a good recipe.

So I put the question to a few of my friends who have served as tasters in this food blogging adventure. The asparagus and blue cheese bruschetta was a hands-down winner. My husband’s eyes lit up when I mentioned it. He made a mmmmmm sound that might have come from his stomach or his vocal chords, “That bruschetta was pretty awesome.”

So the Skinny Gourmet recipe of 2007 is asparagus and blue cheese bruschetta, both because it was a fabulous original recipe but also because it epitomizes the Skinny Gourmet Philosophy: it achieves a huge taste by combining a smart indulgence—a small amount of high quality cheese—with fabulous and naturally healthy asparagus.

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