More snow fell on Iowa City today, and the weather put me in a mood to cook, and to think about cooking. Luckily, today is also the last day to be part of the 2007 Foodbloggers’ Recipe Collection (which is why I’m going back on all that big talk about how I was done blogging for the year…), so it all worked out well for me. You know, the snow. It worked out well for me. And that’s about the last time I’m ever going to say that.
I had a slow cooker simmering chili all day, prepared with frozen hot peppers acquired at the farmer’s market in September, and with roasted Mexico Midget and Yellow Pear (both ripe and green) tomatoes that I harvested just before the hard freeze back in October.
At lunch, I whipped up a batch of tandoori lamb chops. I did not personally ever meet this lamb, but it came from Farmer Mark and Barbara’s farm, where it frolicked happily before giving itself up to the cause of good eating. I have been trying to track down a picture of the cute little lamb, but have come up empty-handed so far.
All this thoughtfulness about food made it that much harder to select my favorite recipe of the past year. I was able to narrow it down to a list of three: Rosemary-Artichoke Hummus, which has graced the table of so many of my own and others’ parties since I stumbled on that combination over the summer; Warm Green Tomato and Apricot Salad, which I can’t wait to make again when the seasonal timing is right; and Mac and Cheese Like You’ve Never Tasted Before.
All three recipes have their merit. The mac and cheese recipe is one of the most sought-after recipes on my blog, and for good—nay, great—reason. The salad is awfully unexpected and, therefore, even more delicious. And the hummus? Oh, the hummus. I seriously eat that stuff with a spoon…no pita required.
But a choice must be made, and so…I’m going to go with the mac and cheese. It was the first recipe of the year, and remains a winner with its comforting, gooey goodness. It satisfies the palate of vegetarians and carnivores alike, and can be served to the pickiest of eaters without fear that they’ll turn up their nose. It makes no amends for its complete and utter unhealthiness, but I maintain that there’s a time for salad and a time for carbs. When that time for carbs comes around, I hope you’ll consider Mac and Cheese Like You’ve Never Tasted Before. Your taste buds and endorphin receptors will thank you for it.