The Best of 2007


I’m a day late for a post like this, but I’m still in Seattle, my laptop computer screen is fried and I’m using a total stranger’s computer. (My friend is housesitting and she said I could use the house’s computer. If you’re reading this and you’re on vacation and wondering if it’s YOUR computer I’m using, don’t worry: all the porn will be deleted and the virus I accidentally downloaded only destroyed half your hard drive.)

So, 2007. What an eventful year it was: my first book was published, Craig shot his first feature, we moved in together, Lolita got a new bed, and Britney’s little sister got pregnant. 2008 is looking pretty exciting so far, but before we dive into the New Year, here’s my very idiosynchratic list of the Best of 2007.

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The Best Cookies Of Your Life


Diana and I are in love. No, not with each other, but with these chocolate chip cookies, our first apartment baking project that won raves from everyone who tried them. “These are seriously the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made,” said Diana. “These cookies are so good,” said Craig. “Meow,” said Lolita.

Of course, these cookies come to us from Our Lady of All Things Perfection, Miss Martha Stewart and her latest (and seriously awesome, in the Biblical sense) baking book: “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.” As she says in the recipe’s introduction, this recipe has a higher butter to sugar ratio which makes the cookies thin and crisper. When I was younger and more naive that description would’ve turned me off from a recipe: I like my cookies chewy. But the thing is, if you make them well, they come out chewy in the middle and crisp on the outside. These cookies resemble professional cookies more than any other I’ve made. And maybe, if you don’t tell anyone, I’ll post the recipe after the jump. JUST DON’T TELL ANYONE!

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Best Bites from Two Years of Food Blogging

I am not a sentimental person, but I am a person who likes lists. And after two years of blogging, perhaps I should make a list of the favorite things I’ve eaten since I started. These will be specific things. So dinners at Babbo don’t count; it’s a specific dish that stands out in my memory. These will include things I’ve cooked and things I’ve eaten at restaurants. I’ll do this by scanning my archives instead of finishing the 9 pages I need to finish writing for tomorrow. That’s how much I love you people. I’m making you a list at the expense of my education. Ready? Here we go.

The Best Things The Amateur Gourmet Has Eaten Since Starting His Blog [in chronological order]

Apple Cobbler from Saveur Magazine [1/2004]

Fried Chicken at Watershed in Atlanta [1/2004]

Cheeseburger and Foie Gras Milkshake at Blais in Atlanta [2/2004]


Tomato Sauce from the Babbo cookbook [3/2004]

Crab fritter at Bacchanalia in Atlanta [4/2004]

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from the ice cream maker cookbook [4/2004]

Toasted Coconut Doughnut at Dunkin’ Donuts [4/2004]

“Peach Melba”/Molard Duck “Foie Gras Au Torchon” Frog Hollow Farms Peach Jelly, Pickled White Peaches, Marinated Raw Onion, “Melba Toast” and Crispy Carolina Rice at Per Se [5/2004]


Pumpkin Bread from Epicurious [5/2004]

Turtle Ice Cream from The Barefoot Contessa [5/2004]

The Veal at Aria in Atlanta [5/2004]

Katy’s nectarine pie in Atlanta [5/2004]

Nectarine, Apricot, Ginger Jam from Mes Confitures [6/2004]

Pasta, Pesto & Peas from The Barefoot Contessa [6/2004]

Biscuits at The Silver Skillet in Atlanta [6/2004]


Biscuits from Cook’s Illustrated [6/2004]

Biscuits at The Flying Biscuit [with apple butter, of course] in Atlanta [8/2004]

An everything bagel with scallion cream cheese and Nova Scotia salmon at Murray’s Bagels in New York [8/2004]

The turkey sandwich at ‘Wichcraft in New York [8/2004]


Thai Jewels at Spice Market in New York [9/2004] [note: from here on we make the presumption that we’re in New York, unless indicated otherwise]

Spontaneous Ricotta Cheesecake Baked in a Coffee Mug invented by me via the Chez Panisse Cookbook [9/2004]

Vanilla Bean Loaves from “Cooking For Mr. Latte” [9/2004]

Burger at The Burger Joint [10/2004]

Butternut squash soup with homemade marshmallows and sides of pumpkin seeds, some kind of croutons and huckleberry puree at Daniel [10/2004]


Chicken soup at The 2nd Ave. Deli [10/2004] [Sidebar: I will miss you 2nd Ave. Deli! You had the best chicken soup in New York.]

Pumpkin Cake from Epicurious [10/2004]

Beet salad at Balthazar [11/2004]

Fruit-stuffed waffle with creme brulee topping at Norma’s [11/2004]


Almond cake from “Cooking for Mr. Latte” [11/2004]

Gingersnaps from Chez Panisse via Feeding Dexygus Seconds [12/2004]

Olive Oil Gelato at Otto [12/2004]

Latkes from Epicurious [12/2004]


Cookies and Cream Cheesecake from Wolfgang Puck [12/2004]

Tomato Sauce from Marcella Hazan [1/2005]

Salad of beets, smoked halibut and blood orange at Palena in DC [1/2005]


Lemon Sabayon Pine-Nut Tart from The French Laundry Cookbook [1/2005]


Blueberry Apple Kuchen from The French Laundry Cookbook [1/2005]

Kadjemoula from “Cooking for Mr. Latte” [2/2005]

Meyer Lemon Bars from Hessa & Contessa [2/2005]

The Pumpkin Salad & The Gnudi at The Spotted Pig [2/2005]


Penne a la Vodka with Pancetta at Pepe Rosso [2/2005]

Truffled Egg Toast at ‘ino [3/2005]

Ginger scallion noodles at MomoFuku [3/2005]

Pastrami at Katz’s [3/2005]

Doughnuts at Doughnut Plant [3/2005]


Almond-Crusted Duck at Jean-Georges [3/2005]


The lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar [3/2005]

Rugelach from The Barefoot Contessa [3/2005]

Pumpkin lune at Babbo [3/2005]

Lamb at Hearth [4/2005]

Orecchiette with Pancetta and Broccoli from The River Cafe Cookbook [4/2005]


Lamb souvlaki at Snack Taverna [4/2005]

Cuban Sandwich at Havana Chelsea [5/2005]

Daniele’s Piadina at Daniele’s Piadina [5/2005]

Kitschy Kitschy Coconut Cake from “Cooking For Mr. Latte” (retitled by me) [5/2005]


Pizza at Grimaldi’s [5/2005]

Lamb Porterhouse Chops at Bar Americain [5/2005]

Lunch sushi platter at Tomoe Sushi [6/2005]


French Onion soup at Blue Ribbon [6/2005]

Canadian bacon at Peter Luger’s [6/2005]

Steak at Peter Luger’s [6/2005]

Sundae with schlagg at Peter Luger’s [6/2005]


Pappardelle with Morels and Thyme at Babbo [6/2005]

Seafood Risotto at Trattoria alla Madonna in Venice [7/2005]


Grilled fish at Orhan in Dubrovnik [7/2005]

Greek Salad at Archipelagos in Santorini [7/2005]

Greek Salad I made myself when I got home from Europe [7/2005]


Everything we ate at Il Terrazzino in Monaco. I know that’s cheating, but this is one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. Click the link to see photographic evidence. [7/2005]

Hamachi Tartare Topped with Wasabi Tobiko; Ginger-Coriander Emulsion at Le Bernardin [8/2005]


Pasta Fiori with tomato concasse, thyme & rosemary at Cafe Gray. [8/2005]


Watermelon salad with feta and mint leaves from Paula Deen [8/2005]

Roast suckling pig at Prune [8/2005]

Chicken adobo at Cendrillon [8/2005]

Duck Salad at Wondee Siam II [9/2005]


Heirloom Tomato Salad at The Union Square Cafe [9/2005]

Corn soup with salsa from Chez Panisse Vegetables [9/2005]

Caesar salad from The Barefoot Contessa [10/2005]


Beet salad at Deborah [10/2005]

Rocky Road from “The Great Book of Chocolate” [10/2005]

Chicken Soup from Joan Nathan [10/2005]

Bacon and egg risotto at Craft [10/2005]


Tarte Flambe at August [11/2005]

Mushroom soup from The Balthazar Cookbook [12/2005]

Caramel Corn from The Craft Cookbook [12/2005]

Macaroons at Laduree in Paris [12/2005]

Steak frites at Chez Omar in Paris [12/2005]


Mister H Mogador at Pierre Herme in Paris [12/2005]

Fallafel at L’as Du Fallafel in Paris [12/2005]

French toast at Au Gourmand in Paris [12/2005]

Pot Au Feau at Chez Paul in Paris [12/2005]



And that, my friends, is what I call two years of eating well. Who knows what the future holds for our tastebuds? Keep on reading as we continue the adventure.