Wow, it’s been three years for ‘la bella vita’ as of this past October, and here we are once again at the end of another year! Time truly does pass by quickly, doesn’t it? I know that all of us in the blogging world enjoy looking back at our original blog posts and seeing how our blogs have ‘evolved’ over time. I know that ‘la bella vita’ has certainly transformed since it’s beginning in 2008. And what a unique and wonderful community of friends I’ve made in these three years!
This end-of-the-year post is my annual compilation of your ‘favorites’ that you’ve commented on the most and have also prepared in your own kitchens (the ultimate compliment). I have to agree with you, these are wonderful recipes, with some that were entirely new and some that are tried and true family recipes. I hope you enjoy this ensemble of good eats from 2011.
January, 2011‘s chill of winter, as usual, always presents opportunities to heat up the oven to prepare delicious recipes. For us, this oven-baked pork roast created by the late Craig Claiborne back in the 70′s when my passion for cooking sprouted, is simply perfect. Dripping in a garlic-thyme-lemon-olive oil marinade, this Roast Pork with Garlic and Thyme never fails to warm us up with super flavor!
In February, 2011 we were still experiencing some serious winter weather here in the South. However, since winter is the premier, peak growing season for citrus I created this special Italian Blood Orange Polenta Olive Oil Cake with a sweet mascarpone filling, then drizzled with honey. This is a less sweet and heavier-crumb cake that is perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea any time of the day.
In June, 2011 you’d probably find me frequenting our local farmer’s market for fresh, local produce that wasn’t growing in my garden on the acreage. I have absolutely no berry plants, so I always buy locally grown berries for a more intense level of flavor. You loved this Blackberry Cobbler with Sweet, Tender Biscuits. This is the quintessential summer dessert!
During July, 2011 I traveled to Iowa for my annual summer visit with my parents and other family. I brought a huge box of perfectly vine-ripe tomatoes for everyone to enjoy. My mother used some in a delicious batch of cold Gazpacho that was thoroughly enjoyed during the heat of those summer days!