Well, here we are again. Another year gone by and I honestly didn’t see it coming. Seriously. Where did the time go? They say that time flies when you’re having fun. If that’s true, then 2010 must have been one helluva nonstop party. Too bad I can’t remember it!
I don’t usually make a lot of New Year’s resolutions. Been there, done that. I find that I usually break most of them by the end of January, and then spend the rest of the year beating myself up over it. Who needs that kind of pressure? I mean, I know that I’m never going to hoof it to the gym at 6:00 a.m. three times a week. Almost everyone who knows me, knows it too. So why set myself up for failure? Instead, I try to set a few goals that I want to achieve, and work toward them in small, realistic increments. I probably won’t be making many any pre-dawn visits to the gym. But, I might take Bella for an extra walk around the block from time to time.
The past twelve months have been a mixture of bitter and sweet for me. I’ve had some wonderful new opportunities come my way, like my gigs writing for Edible Sarasota Magazine and the Tampa Tribune. I’ve also had some not so wonderful things happen in my life, but I won’t bore you with the details. A new year is on the horizon and that means a fresh start and a world of possibilities. I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be my year. I can taste it! And, I hope you’ll all come along for the ride.
The slideshow below features my favorite SGCC recipes of 2010. I’ve chosen one from each month. Some may be familiar to you and some may be new. I hope you enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.
February: Candied Bacon-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
May: Piece Montée
June: Chiles Rellenos
July: Bing Cherry Sorbetto
August: Sweet & Spicy Wickled Okra
September: Homemade Refried Beans
October: Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
November: Turkey Cutlets alla Milanese
December: Russian Tea
Before I wrap up 2010, I’d like to leave you with a recipe for a great little snack to enjoy while you sip your champagne tonight. My Sweet and Spicy Pecans are absolutely addictive and a breeze to make. I included containers of them in my Christmas gift bags this year and they were a huge hit. The beauty of this recipe is that you can adapt it in many different ways. I used brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and smoked paprika in my version, but you can use less sugar to make the nuts more savory, or switch up the spices however you like. Not only are these pecans an incredibly delicious nibble, they can also be added to salads, veggies and lots of different baked goods. Banana bread or apple muffins with spiced pecans, anyone? Mmmm!
Thank you so much, dear readers, for your continued support of SGCC and of me. I truly value each and every one of you. I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. May 2011 bring you all you ever dreamed of.
See you next year!
Sweet & Spicy Pecans
1/4 cup dark-brown sugar
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 pound pecan halves
1 egg white, room temperature
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Whisk sugars, salt, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne together in a bowl and set aside.
Beat egg white, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces together until foamy. Add pecans, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated.
Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are dry and crisp. Be careful not to burn the nuts!
Remove baking sheet from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, break up any nuts that have stuck together and store in an airtight container. The nuts will stay fresh and crunchy for at least two weeks.