The Year in Review–On to 2015!!

Well, it’s been another big year. You know those “major” life events–the ones doctors say cause intense stress and which are a detriment to your health if you “bundle” them? Yeah. Had a few of those.

  • Near-death experience. Almost kicked the bucket January 2. Scariest few seconds of my life. Obviously, though, I’m not quite dead yet.
  • Graduating. I’m a doctor! Woohoo! AND–gotta brag about this one–guess what 0 equals? The amount of debt I have after 11 years of college.
  • Moving. This was truly an inner circle of hell. Deciding what to pack, store elsewhere temporarily, ditch. Plus the whole “box up my whole life and move it across various state lines” thing. Oh, and saying goodbyes. That always sucks.
  • Traveling. Because in addition to moving I thought it would be wise to spend 2-3 months of the year living out of a suitcase (mostly for work, occasionally for pleasure).
  • Starting a new job, with responsibilities I have never had before, in a new town, where I knew no one. Restructuring social networks, establishing new work connections, making sure that I’m positioning myself well for the next job (as the one I currently have is temporary).
  • “The usual drama”. This includes dating (if that weren’t so depressing, it would be really funny), ex-ing certain toxic people out of my life, engagements, divorces, births, deaths. Never a dull moment.

But now for food! What were the TTENG trends of 2014? For starters, there were more non-food posts this year (in part because so much time was spent away from kitchens). Ironically, those posts did really well in terms of daily hits, added followers, etc. Makes me wonder as this was meant to be a cooking blog. Maybe I would be better off just posting mixtapes.

Anyway, again to food! It appeared to be the year of the panini. We had the spinach and artichoke panini, the pork and berry panini. There was also more seafood to be had, in particular mussels (see traditional French or coconut French-fries version). But, did TTENG meet its goals? According to last year’s roundup, the new food ideas for TTENG to tackle in 2014 were:

  • Cocktails
  • Themed-dinners

There was precisely one item under each category this year. Specifically, we had the blackberry vodka concoction and the Holy Grail bunny hop. So…pretty weak. What should we try for this year? Here are some of my ideas:

  • Salads. It sounds lame. But that might actually make it an interesting challenge. To make a salad irresistible…hrm. And it’s something I need–never have I eaten more like a college student than in these first few months at the new job.
  • Foods that keep well/reheat well. Again, seems really boring. But one of my problems with cooking is I HATE eating the same thing more than a few days in a row–i.e., I loathe leftovers. It was one of many reasons why in graduate school I had so many dinner parties (and I’m not joking on that one). Need to take a big girl pill and get used to a microwave. If I want to try a “theme”, maybe try specific ingredients. Like…I don’t know….try three different dishes in one week all using quinoa. Something like that. But I’m hemorrhaging money with my current methods.

What do you think, readers? What should the culinary challenge of 2015 be? What do YOU want to cook this coming year and why?

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