Wednesday, December 26, 2007

And Time Goes By...

You've been a good year, 2007. A new city and a new kitchen yielded 120 posts on One Hot Stove during this year. It was *really* hard to choose my favorite 10 recipes of 2007. I rarely post a recipe here unless I've enjoyed it very much- so the "deliciousness" criterion really is of no use here. In the end, I have featured the recipes that have the highest "keeper recipe" score. After all, the life of a food blogger is a constant quest for the next recipe to cook and eat and blog about. The keeper recipes are the ones I keep coming back to, ignoring the urge to look for something new and different.
BestOf2007

So here they are: My Top 10 Recipes of 2007, in no particular order, with notes about the highly subjective reasons I chose to include them.

1. Microwave Sabudana Khichdi
khich6

This is our breakfast when I am feeling indulgent. I left the old skool stove top method behind this year and switched to the microwave. As several comments on that post will tell you, it just works really well! I took the advice of some readers and started soaking the sabudana for only 15-20 minutes, then draining and laying it out for 1-2 hours. The resulting khichdi is simply perfect (which can be a miracle when it comes to sago khichdi). For being able to standardize and simplify a favorite dish, this post makes it to the list.

2. Granola
granola2

This is a great example of how a blog event will push me to try something that has been idling on the to-do list for a while. Madhuli's "Oats" theme got me to start making granola at home on a regular basis. Within a few months, I had abandoned the usual recipe and switched to a new favorite no-oil granola recipe. I now make it every couple of weeks with a different combination of nuts and sugars and dried fruits and store in the jar for the easiest breakfast ever. For saving me calories, time and $$, this post makes it to the list.

3. Summer Rolls
roll5

Lots of salad vegetables, herbs and grilled tofu all wrapped up in a neat bundle and dipped into a mouth-watering sauce. What else can I say? These summer rolls are bursting with health and are perfect for lunch-boxes, taking on trips and picnics, as crowd-pleasing appetizers. For being incredibly versatile, these rolls make it to the list.

4. Kati roll
KatiRoll2

My love for street food is no secret. I won't say that I buy/make paneer often, but when I do, this kati roll is what we crave. After some experimentation, I hit upon this recipe that hits the spot. For satisfying my street food cravings, this post makes it to the list.

5. Pizza
piz3

My idea of the perfect Friday night, when we are quite tired from a hectic week and ready for the weekend: pizza and a glass of wine. Up until last December, we picked up the phone and ordered one from the neighborhood pizzeria in NYC. Something tells me that it is going to be difficult to find decent pizza in St. Louis. Now I make my own and feel a lot more empowered :D For reducing my NYC homesickness, home-made pizza makes it to the list.

6. Falafel
falafel

To be fair, this is a combination of the two above foods: a street food and a NYC staple. This recipe for falafel is always a big hit whever I make it, and it led me to explore other delicious recipes based in Middle Eastern cuisine, such as lubia polo, hummus and kibbeh. For inspiring me to explore new cuisines, this post makes it to the list.

7. Mustard greens
Greens5

This recipe, along with this one, was significant to me for one reason: it taught me that a few select flavorings are the best way to make the main ingredient shine. I think this is going to be my next endeavor to improve my cooking skills: to think carefully about the ingredients in a dish and ask if each one of them really has to be there. What does each ingredient contribute to the dish? For provoking me to think about the "less is more" principle of cooking, this recipe makes it to the list. And also because I have used it to make countless bowls of delicious greens to nourish us with.

8. Vegetable Biryani
biryani1

This is just a standardized way of making vegetable biryani in a way that makes way more servings than I am normally accustomed to making. I grew up eating this biryani for Sunday lunch and it is just really special to me. For being a sure-fire way of feeding a crowd, this post makes it to the list.

9. Chocolate Cake
bcake1

Three days after I made this cake, some of the trimmings (from making the layers) were still in my fridge. When friends stopped by with chocolate cupcakes from a trendy local bakery, V and I did a quick taste test- this stale cake versus the fresh cupcake. No contest; this cake was far tastier even when it was three days old. For giving me a classic reliable chocolate cake recipe, this post makes it to the top ten. I can't wait to use it to make a Black Forest Cake, with home-made cherry filling.

10. Buttercrunch Candy
bccandy1

This year gave me a bounty of gifts from the kitchens of family and friends- fruitcake and cookies (thanks, Madhu), biscotti (thanks, Rebecca), plum chutney (thanks, Mark), peach jam (thanks, Terry kaku)...to name a few. With this candy recipe, I now have a go-to recipe for making my own favorite treat to give as a gift. For being a wonderful gift from the kitchen, this post makes it to the list. And also because it was quite a big deal for me to get over some hesitation and learn to make candy at home.

Other highlights of this year for me were: the A to Z of Indian Vegetables series/event that just kept me on my toes for a few months. This year, I am going to go back and try cooking some of those delicious vegetable dishes that were sent in for that event. It was incredibly enjoyable writing those posts. I also thoroughly enjoyed hosting RCI: Maharashtra and writing that massive round-up. Hosting events, and participating in events remains one of my favorite blogging activities :D This year, I also started writing a monthly post for the Daily Tiffin (Thank you for the opportunity, Meeta). It has been fun to write about topics that are not as food-centric as the ones on this blog.

Every home cook has different aspirations- one might want to learn to make spectacular dishes for entertaining, and another might want to focus on lower-calorie cooking. I have realized this year that my goal is to put a tasty and nutritious dinner on the table day after day after day. To a large extent, I feel good about what I have managed to go this year: make vegetable-centric dinners, to rely on pantry staples, minimize waste and to keep a wide repertoire of simple, one-dish meal ideas on hand. Next year I want to do more of the same. I want to increase the presence of vegetables, beans and whole grains in our everyday meals, and still devote some time to making foods such as desserts and deep-fried foods that may not necessarily be the pinnacle of healthfulness but are meant to be enjoyed once in a while to mark special times. I enjoyed the pilot run of "project of the month" and the "flavor of the month" in December (hope you did too) and plan to continue those on a monthly basis.

I can't thank *you*- the readers of this blog- enough. Your feedback, and suggestions and encouraging comments, help me grow and strive to do better. If there is anything specific you would like to see on One Hot Stove, I am all ears. When someone leaves feedback about a recipe- whether it worked or not, what variations they tried- it helps everyone who wants to try that recipe in the future. To all those who take the time to share their thoughts, please know that you are appreciated.

Any food bloggers who would like to write their own Best of 2007 are invited to send me the permalink of their post by December 30th for inclusion in the round-up.

To all my dear fellow bloggers, readers, friends, family and well-wishers- I wish you every joy and success in the year 2008. And for all of us, I wish for a world that is peaceful and just, with nutritious food to fill every tummy.
phataka

Happy New Year!

39 comments:

  1. Lovely post, N! I'm sure it was tough to zero in on 10 recipes but you did it! :)
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Nupur ! Wonderful post :) I like your top ten list ...Wishing you and your family a great year ahead ! Happy Holidays !!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Nupur,

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your website and your attitude to cooking. Whenever I go grocery shopping, I end up buying the same veggies - zucchini, squash, spinach, green beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, capsicum, cauliflower... period. Is there any one that I am missing? Would love to include more vegetables in our diet.

    lov,
    Lakshmi

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh man,

    I looove your blog just as a lot of people do..I'm sure it must've been hard for you to pick just a few from many...I missed the Kati rolls post so will definetley have to try it..looks delicious :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice compilation of recipes Nupur..:) Loved the post..Wishing U and ur family a very happy and joyous New Year!

    ~ Siri

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful post Nupur. I have always loved your posts and the thought that you put towards the food you buy and cook.

    I now try to think about where the food comes from and how it effects the environment and the people who help bring it to us. The food we eat, in a way, defines our lifestyle.

    A very Happy New Year to you and your family !

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome write up! Man! our tastes gel ;-) The first recipe was what I had tried in the first few months of being in the US,
    I had enough time to experiment the new gagdets that were now under my disposal.

    The 2nd and 3rd recipes are the ones that I have tried from your food blog. and have now become staples in my kitchen.

    A very hapy new year to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy New Year to You, Nupur!

    ReplyDelete
  9. happy new year to you!! This year has been especially rewarding since I discovered food blogs!!!:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wonderful writeup Nupur! The sabudana khichidi is special to me since it 'introduced' me to your blog and can I say I am addicted. And now I can cook it properly too!
    Most of your recipes regularly feature in my kitchen. I also have to thank you for inspiring me to organize my refrigerator, food is no longer lost in there.

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Love and a belly rub for our dear mascot Dale.

    ReplyDelete
  11. nice post nupur happy holidays

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nupur - That was a lovely post...Liked reading it.. Kati rolls - i love it too, will try it soon your version!
    Happy Holidays & a Very Happy New Year to you & your Family.

    ReplyDelete
  13. a lovely recap! have a fantastic 2008!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that your favorite recipes of 2007 are ones that are from all around the world. Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nupur, Yours is one of the early blogs which inspired me to strat my own. There have been numerous recipes that I have tried out from your blog, but the one that stands out is Falafel which was a huge hit at my home.
    Wish you and your family a Happy New year..

    ReplyDelete
  16. I came to your blog today to get a recipe for - (can you guess?) - microwave saboodana khichadi! and was delighted to see the link right here. It's really tough for me to choose 10 recipes from your blog as I enjoy them all. but i am most partial to ur microwave saboodana khichadi. i think it's the best maybe i am little unfair to the rest of equally superb recipes. probably because, i can actually make this khichadi now without the gooey mess. I just love it. and that's what for the breakfast today!!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR & HAPPY BLOGGING, NUPUR!:-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely lovely post Nupur! I believe all the recipes on your blog are winners and keepers! :)

    Here is wishing you the best of everything in the new year!

    - Roopa

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Nupur,
    You sure must have had a tough time choosing 10..ur blog is such a treasure trove :)) Love the post..and wish u a VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR 2008.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Nupur...it is always a pleasure to stop by at ur blog as there is something interesting posted. You are definately one of the few bloggers who has a good mix of cuisine...i wish you and your family a very happy new year and am looking fwd. to the coming yr for even more phenominal entries from 'one hot stove'....

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Nupur,
    WOnderful round up - glad that I got to catch up on some of your super posts i've missed like the microwave khichdi - i've just recently perfected the stove top PLUS steamed method from mom - would love to learn your method too...will try and post a round up soon to enter your round up of 2007!
    Wishing you a great new year ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nupur you have a fascinating blog and cook up so many innovative dises besides giving foolproof methods for our indian favorites like pav bhaji, undiyu and sago khichdi (listing some I've tried from your blog). Thank you!! Wishing you and V a fabulous New year ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nupur, I have become quite addicted to your blog. Have tried out a few recipes as well !
    Hope you have a wonderful new year, will look forward to new entries ....

    ReplyDelete
  23. Vani, well, some recipes just stand out in my mind :) Happy New Year to you too!

    Chhaya, Happy holidays to you too!

    Lakshmi, thank you so much for your sweet words :) About the vegetables...the ones you buy would depend on what is available to you depending on where you live, where you shop and the season. I would say...keep an eye out for any vegetable that looks new to you, buy it and try it out. I have found some great new favorites just by taking the plunge and bringing them home. Good luck!

    Komal, thank you so much for your encouraging words!

    Siri, Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year too!!

    Priya, All the things you mention...I am slowly trying to incorporate them into my consciousness so that I can make intelligent choices. It is a slow and ongoing process for sure :) Happy new year to you too, my dear!

    AA_Mom, glad to know that some of these recipes worked for you :) Happy new year to you and your family too!

    Anna, Happy New Year to you too :)

    Smita, Happy New Year! Yes, food blogs bring a lot of joy to my life too.

    Namita, you have been such a supporter all these months. It means a lot to me! When Dale heard you saying "belly rub" he immediately rolled on his back with four paws sticking in the air :D Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year ahead. Hope all your wishes and dreams come true.

    Sagari, thanks :) Happy Holidays!

    Seema, thank you for the wishes. Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year ahead!

    Nags, thank you :) Wishing you the very same!

    Kalva, thank you :)

    Lydia, you noticed LOL yes, my favorite part of this year has been discovering lots of new dishes from all over the world.

    Kamini, so glad you enjoyed the falafel...that recipe really is a great one. Happy New Year to you and your family too!

    Meera, LOL that microwave sabudana khichdi has become a favorite for lots of people, and I am so thrilled it works for you too! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead too! Your blog was one of my favorite new blogs this year :)

    Roopa, you are too kind! Thank you for the sweet wishes. Wishing you a wonderful new year too. I hope 2008 brings you all the good things you want!

    Anu, what a nice thing to say! Wishing you a very Happy New Year too!

    Rajitha, thank you, my dear :) My best wished for a wonderful new year to you and your family too!

    Nandita, well, if you perfected the stove top method, then don't bother with the microwave :D wishing you a wonderful year ahead too!

    Laavanya, so nice to know that some of those recipes have worked for you! Thanks for the feedback, Laavanya. Wishing you and your family a great year ahead too!

    Manali, Thanks :) Wishing you a wonderful 2008 as well!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nupur--A lovely post! You're right about how hard it is to find decent pizza in St. Louis. And after finding a great slice on a New York trip, I'm less enamored of Chicago pizza too. Something I read recently gives me hope, though. Apparently deep dish is losing ground popularitywise here.

    ReplyDelete
  25. dear Nupur, that is such a tempting and varied collection of recipes :)
    Look forward to more of exciting recipes in 2008! Best Wishes for the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Nupur,


    http://chefatwork.blogspot.com/2007/12/year-that-was.html

    this is the link to my round up. Thanks for hosting this lovely event when we bid adieu to 2007.

    Wish you all a happy new year!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great to see the top ten recipe list, Nupur!..
    I have not tried many recipes from other blogs so far except one which has been a Great hit in my home!..This has become a part of our "once in a couple of weeks" menu...
    ...and thatz the perfect recipe of Bombay street food-Pav Bhaji!!!

    Thanx a ton to have shared the same.Nowadays my little ones sneak into your awesome place and push me to make the authentic north Indian foods too..:D

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Nupur,
    I think its the first time I'm leaving a comment here. U have a wonderful site and ur write-ups are beautiful. Nice work with the top 10's. Happy new year to u !!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thats such a sweet post Nupur. I love your blog because it reminds me of my aunt's cooking. I absolutely loved her cooking(she is a Deshpande, and makes pakka marathi jevan at home). Wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy New Year Nupur! This is a great post and I've enjoyed reading your blog. I also wanted to mention that one of my favorite things from this year was seeing you speak at the BlogHer Conference. I really enjoyed hearing your story. Thanks again! ; )

    ReplyDelete
  31. Terry, I have never understood the popularity of the doughy deep dish pizza :D NYC pizzas have spoilt me for life!

    Richa, Wishing you the very best for the coming year too! :)

    Raaga, added your link to the round-up! Thanks for participating :)

    Bharathy, so glad to know that you liked the pav bhaji recipe :) that is probably the most popular recipe from this blog! You won't find any authentic North Indian foods here though :) but there are some incredible blogs that are out there for different cuisines of North India.

    Maya, thank you so much for the kind words! Happy New Year to you too!

    Shilpa, yes, we never forget those who lovingly make delicious food for us. Wishing you a wonderful new year ahead too!

    Anali, thank you so much for saying that! It was wonderful meeting you in person :) now I have a glimpse of the person behind the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nupur, what a good idea! I so enjoyed your review and your thoughtful comments on each dish. I wrote up my own pale imitation. :) Here's the link:

    http://champaign-taste.blogspot.com/2007/12/favorite-dishes-2007.html

    Looking forward to more great dishes from you in 2008! And I echo your sentiment: May everyone everywhere be able to enjoy great food and plenty of it.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy new year! Maybe we'll meet sometime in 08! :)

    here's my 07 roundup...hope I'm not too late...

    http://chairmanstef.blogspot.com/2007/12/07-year-of-ironstef.html

    ReplyDelete
  34. New Year wishes to you and yours!! Thanx for the lovely roundup... Its nice to have a collection of all the good recipes in one place.. :) gr8 job!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I visited your blog for first time today and enjoyed reading this post. Now I am trying to catch on some of your previous posts.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Forgot this..
    Naveen varshachya hardik subhechaa

    ReplyDelete
  37. nupur.. my fav of ur list is the katti roll.. love street food at its best.. it really makes a place memorable, doesn't it?happy new year to u!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Dear Nupur,

    YOur round up read well, and most of all inspired me to wake up and bake that delicious looking chocolate cake you have so fondly made....It turned out to be a sweet new year gift for all of us...:-)..thank you

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to say hello!