Weekend Reads: Font Drama, Violent Chess & Star Echos

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about hard work paying off. About powering through difficult moments (hell, weeks and months!) and coming out on the other end better and stronger. It’s happening at work right now, and I’m starting … Continue reading

Top Recipes Of The Year & My NY Resolution

I’m pretty obsessed with analytics and all the fancy numbers and feedback I get from WordPress. Mostly because I love seeing what recipes or posts you guys love, but also because I just really enjoy all the numbers. It makes me positively giddy.

I took a look back at 2011 to see what posts were the biggest and baddest and here’s what we came up with:

  1. The Perfect Cheesecake Crust, which goes with…
  2. Goat Cheese Cheesecake
  3. Crinkly Lemon Cookies
  4. Mascarpone Pancakes with Blueberries and Lemon Curd
  5. Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce & Grilled Chicken

I’m really thrilled to see my obsession with goat cheese paid off. I’m a little embarrassed that the cookies are made with boxed cake mix, but whatever, you know, they taste so damn good. And I love that my travels to the beach and St. Louis were represented in the top five posts, too. As anyone who loves food knows, traveling and eating your way through a city can not only give you loads of inspiration but also bookmark memories through taste.

After I took a look back, I took a look forward into 2012 and thought about New Years resolutions. I set resolutions in both 2010 and 2011 and 2010 was pretty successful with 2011 being pretty disappointing. Resolutions are all in good fun, I know, but let’s get real – me not buying any new cookbooks was a really silly goal to set.

So this year I decided to go for more of a mantra/motto than a list of resolutions:

Don’t talk about it, be about it. 

What do you guys think? Basically, instead of keeping a list and not checking it all the time, if I want to pursue something, I’m just going to do it. Now. If I really want to learn something, cook something, go somewhere, meet someone, I’m just going to send the email, do the google search, print the recipe and get on it already.

What are your resolutions for the year? How do you plan to keep your resolutions?

PS – My very first blog post was Christmas Candy Cane Cookies. And they mmmmight be my favorite thing on this blog still.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

One of the things I wax poetic about most is that someday I want to have a house (preferably in a place like this) where I have a huge farm table (preferably one like this) and an open door where friends and family are welcome to come over any time to eat, have a glass of wine and talk or hang out. I love the idea of having a full house and, even more, I love the idea of feeding people really good food.

I’m an overachiever only child type though, so I often let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Why am I waiting for this magical house in the middle of nowhere and a farm table that will likely cost me a lot of money? I have an apartment. And a perfectly nice coffee table.

So a couple of Sundays ago I decided to make that goat cheese cheesecake, send a mass email out and invite people over. For about four solid hours I had people coming in and out of my place, eating cheesecake, drinking wine and having a generally great time. Old friends met new friends, I caught up with everyone and folks seemed to enjoy. (Added bonus: it forced me to clean my place and make sure my laundry was up and out of the way.)

Last weekend was the third or fourth installment of my Sunday Open House and I made a crap ton of cookies. Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies, Cranberry Cake and these lemon ricotta cookies. All three were a huge hit, but people swoon annually over these Giada cookies. Yeah. I said it. Giada. Judge me if you will, but not only are these cookies easy but they’re tasty!

I didn’t modify anything in the recipe, it’s perfectly fine as is. But if you wanted to get fancy you could substitute the lemon for any citrus fruit – orange, lime or even grapefruit if you really wanted to. Not really grapefruit, I think that sounds pretty awful actually.

Do you guys entertain much? How about you city dwellers…are you entertaining in a studio apartment with total disregard for spatial limitations? Any tips or tricks for me? I’m hoping to keep this up into the new year. It just feels so good to have people I love around…stuffing themselves silly with my food no less!

Recipe for the lemon ricotta cookies after the jump!

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DC Tweeps Contest Results

Says it all. Didn’t win. It’s okay though. It was an honor to be nominated as my friend Tia and I like to say. Thank you again to everyone who voted! I appreciate it!

PS – I did not go jump off the google tubes. And Olga, yes you could have my clothes.