My Favorite Recipes of 2009

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Craig’s sister Kristin and I joke that I should have a catchphrase, that when I meet new people I should declare, with mock-sincerity: “Food is my passion.” Ok, maybe you have to be there for that concept to be funny, but regardless, food IS my passion and this year I feel like my cooking is entering the realm of “he’s no amateur.” Sure, I had my doozies. Remember my burnt sticky buns? My flambĂ© incident? And yesterday, I made hummus for lunch in my blender and added way too much chickpea water so the result was rather pukey. But otherwise? I’m riding high on a wave of culinary competence. And these, my friends, are my Top 10 success stories of 2009. Are you ready? Let’s get cooking.

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My Favorite Restaurant Meals of 2009

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This was the year of El Bulli, the year of Barcelona, the year of Austin, Texas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. In other words: this year was a pretty extraordinary eating year for yours truly, The A.G., maybe my best eating year on record. I’ve gone through my archives and studied all the restaurant meals I’ve consumed and I have a team of doctors and the crew of A&E’s “Intervention” standing by, ready to escort me to intensive decadence therapy once I share with you my Top 10 Restaurant Meals of 2009. Are you ready? Starting at #10, here we go.

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Party Food

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Quick, rank the following from least important to most important, on the subject of “what makes a good New Year’s party”: a. food; b. music; c. decorations/lighting.

Many of us food lovers would like to believe that music and decorations rank less than food when it comes to a happy New Year’s eve, but now that I am the survivor of my very own New Year’s party–one that lasted into the wee hours and alienated us from our upstairs neighbors–I can say, with great confidence, the ranking goes like this: food is the least important, decorations matter more and music matters the most. (Actually, alcohol matters the most; but we’ll get to that later.)

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