A Year of Yumminess on La Bella Vita

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 Salsa
In 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:

Pasta with Three Cheeses, Prosciutto and Peas

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)

.To end the year, I shared my family’s recipe for Italian Contucci cookies (biscotti) for Christmas.  Just wonderful dipped in your favorite coffee flavor!
Italian Contucci (Biscotti)

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!

Felice Anno Nuovo!
(Happy New Year!)
Your comments make me smile and I promise to get back to you. I may be slow at it because I get easily distracted by something brewing in the kitchen or hummingbirds in my gardens.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today! If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to my blog to receive e-mail notices of any new posts and recipes! I would love to follow your site back as well!

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  1. Roz, I seldom have a burning desire to eat at anyone else’s house. I know that sounds arrogant, but it has more to do with my food allergies than the fact that I’m a chef. With that said,
    I bet a trip to your place for a meal is wonderful! What time did you say dinner was?

    Happy 1st of January!

  2. All these dishes look fabulous, I am waiting on my new camera…it gets here on Monday

  3. Ciao! Wow! Looks like you had a great 2010. Have a wonderful New Year mia amica! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Happy New Years! I can see already that those “get in shape” resolutions are going to be challenged by the reading of this blog – my eyes gravitated right to that heavenly pasta and all of those scrumptious desserts! :-)

    Have a fabulous weekend!


  5. http://www.realmomreviews.net
    Following your blog! Please follow back!
    If you could follow me on Facebook, that would be awesome too!!
    Thanks for your time!

  6. Yum!! Thanks for linking up at my hop! I am following you now. And that food…delish!!


  7. Oh the food!!! It looks beautiful!!!!

    Just dropped by from the blog hop at Chubby Cheeks Thinks and now I’m following you.


    Happy New Year!

  8. Wow. What a year! I think I’m going to have to get some food now. You’ve made me very hungry :)

    Happy New Year to you.

    A Whole Lotta Love,

  9. Happy New Year Roz! Wishing you and yours health, happiness, and much love in 2011.

  10. Happy New Year!

  11. http://www.RealDadReviews.com
    Following your blog!
    Please follow back!
    If you could follow me on Facebook, that would be great!
    The Dad!

  12. I acquired a new camera this year too!!! Happy New Year and cheers to more posts and more friends!

  13. Happy New Year ♥
    Moltissimi Auguri
    per uno splendido 2011

  14. What a lovely list of awesome yumminess ~ Lookinf forward to following you in 2011!

  15. Oh, that food looks amazing!!!

    I’m a new follower and I hope you’ll stop by my blog and follow me too! Have a great day!

  16. I am in foodie heaven…lol Stopping by from Swinging By Sunday blog hop and so glad I did. Everything looks amazing, colorful and delish! Can not wait to start going through your posts and recipes, wonderful to meet and follow you :)

  17. What a sweet and savory year – I am so glad I found you. Happy 2011 – I look forward to seeing what goodies you have in store.

  18. how fun!! great blog and happy new year!

  19. Oh my gosh, my mouth is salivating!! I am a new follower from Swinging Sunday blog hop.

  20. MMMMM….looks yummy, especially the Strawberry cake…It’s my favorite.

    Happy New Year!!!

    Fellow Blog Hopper:)

  21. I can’t pick a favorite from this lineup! I have bookmarked several to try, especially the marinara and pestos! Yummmmmm!

  22. Stopping by from Sunday’s blog hop and am your newest a follower! you will hop on by to one my blogs!


  23. I can tell you why your readership grew…You have a fabulous blog, with fabulous food. I love it.

    I will be here with you throughout 2011 enjoying every blog post.

    Happy New Year!!!


  24. Wow what a beautiful line up!
    I hope you have had an amazing Holiday and have a fantastic 2011!

  25. Delicious and yummies. amazing post. Will come soon. Thanks and wishing you a very happy new year 2011.

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