2010 brought a lot of ‘growth’ to this little ol’ blog, “la bella vita” in both content and presentation. My family and friends log on and read it quite often for not only traditional family recipes, but new recipes as well. My readership grew from 100 followers in 2009 to over 700 in 2010, both through google, email subscriptions, and other blog groups. I am just amazed at these wonderful people and how they have written about enjoying my recipes, whether my own or adapted from other sources.
So for this annual review, I’m going to start right there: with some of my best recipe posts. Here goes!
The most popular recipes of the year that were logged on by both followers and passing-by-visitors were:
Garden Fresh Marinara Sauce
Strawberry Layer Cake with Strawberry Cream Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting
Sweet Cherry Tomato – Basil Pesto Sauce on Farfalle Pasta
In January, I made several lifestyle changes to live more healthfully, including what foods to include in my nutrition. I lost 20 pounds from those changes. Here was one of my favorite healthy recipes:
Terrific Tabouli: Wheat and Herb Salad
In February, I was thrilled to have my Guacamole recognized as one of the top 2 guacamole recipes on FOODISTA. Since I’m not much of a self-promoting blogger, I didn’t ask others to vote for my recipe, and was pleased to rank as the second best guacamole without a single vote!
Roz’s Awesome Guacamole
Also in February, I began to overcome my fear of preparing authentic risotto. By so doing, this has become one of my Italian cooking pride and joys. This is food from the foodie gods!
Creamy Risotto with Lemon, Asiago Cheese, and Rosemary
Finally, in February, I was introduced to Nigella Lawson’s cooking style and philosophy through the “I Heart Cooking Club” group. Since I adore trifles, this Italian-Anglo trifle by Nigella was perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Very Berry Romantic Anglo-Italian Trifle
In June, I welcomed my new best friend into my life: my new Canon EOS Rebel Tlicamera. My sister, Kelly, and daughter, Lauren, both have one and highly recommended this camera brand and model, as well as other professional photography bloggers that I follow. What an incredible camera it has been that has enhanced my photography and inspired me to continue to learn more about beautiful photography, both for my blog and my family’s life overall.
My gardens began to bear fruit and vegetables in June as well, including bushels of both green and red tomatoes. Here was one of our favorite Italian/Southern recipes that impressed everyone:
Fried Green Tomatoes with Fresh Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella
Crusted ‘Ahi Tuna Katsu Pupus, Yellow Curry Sauce and Fresh Mango SalsaIn July, it was off to our annual trip to Hawaii where we always try and dine at one new restaurant that receives rave reviews. This year we enjoyed Thai cuisine at Singha Thai in Honolulu from which this outstanding appetizer recipe was shared by the chef due to its popularity among fans:
In the grueling heat of August, the “Cake Slice Bakers” group chose to bake a sweet and cool, chilled cake. The traditional Latin cake, Tres Leches Cake, was perfect and delightful, which we will make over and over again! I have always wanted to make this cake and am so glad that this foodie blog group chose it!
Tres Leches Cake
Returning to my Italian favorites, this pasta was simply to die for! Even with a new focus on healthy eating (more often anyway), once in a while one must give in to temptation. This was my downfall and was worth every calorie and feelings of guilt:
In September, another fabulous cake was selected by the “Cake Slice Bakers”group. This was simply superb and was baked by several of my blog readers who unanimously agreed on it’s sweet perfection for autumn when apples are in season!
Apple Caramel Cake
Because I love Thai food only second to Italian cuisine and continued to try to incorporate more healthy, yet delicious recipes into my lifestyle, I created this magnificently yummy Thai cucumber salad that I could literally eat the entire bowlful!
Roz’s Thai Cucumber Salad That Tops Them All
October and autumn compelled me to prepare several traditional Italian recipes with fresh figs and prosciutto. They were delightful!
Gorgonzola Stuffed Fresh Figs with Honey Drizzle
The chilly days of November inspired my mother, who along with my father are staying with us, to cook up huge pots of our years-old family recipe, of the famous Tuscan soup, Pasta Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) Soup. I never tire of this classic.October and autumn compelled me to prepare several traditional Italian recipes with fresh figs and prosciutto. They were delightful!
Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup)
For 2011, I know that I’ll continue to post with the same theme that I’ve focused on for the last two years, that being all of the various ways in which we can be inspired to live life more beautifully, whether that be from my cucina (kitchen) to yours, through trips and traveling, or through fresh vegetables and flowers in my gardens!