Favorites of 2008

It’s the time of year when it seems like everyone is putting together their “best of” or “favorites” of the previous year.  Well, I have a little list of my own favorites I discovered in 2008….food, wine, cookbooks, and more.  What are your “favorites” you discovered last year?  Leave me a comment and let me know what things I need to try in 2009!  Happy New Year!
My favorite cookbooks I got this year: I’ve cut back considerably on cookbook purchases, but these I received as gifts and are great: 1. Mediterranean Freshby Joyce Goldstein. A beautiful collection of salads and small plates with great photography. 2. Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s by Deana Gunn & Wona Miniati. The perfect book for the busy cook—lots of yummy recipes using great short-cuts available at Trader Joe’s.
My favorite food-related tv shows: I don’t have a lot of time for the tube these days, but thanks to my trusty DVR, I still have the chance to catch up on some of my favorites after my little ones are all snug in their beds.  Ones that I found myself gravitating towards in 2008 were not on the Food Network, but instead on PBS.  Everyday Food is a great show featuring simple and straightforward recipes anyone can prepare, and America’s Test Kitchen gives tons of great tips and hints any cook will appreciate. 
 
My favorite new wine:  Luzon Verde Organic Jumilla Red Wine.  It is a simple red wine perfect for every night drinking…remember a glass of red wine a day is good for you!  Plus, it’s organic! At around $8 a bottle, you can’t go wrong.
 
My favorite new cheese & crackers:Cambozola—- a fantastic combination of Camembert and Gorgonzola. It looks like and has the consistency of a creamy Brie,  but the flavor packs and extra punch.  And on that note, Gorgonzola Crackers, both of which I found at Trader Joe’s. I serve them at every party!
My favorite new gadget:  The Bialetti Mukka Express stovetop cappuccino maker my husband bought me for Christmas.  It is just like the Bialetti “macchinetta” I blogged about earlier this year,but has the added attraction of a built-in milk frother for perfect cappuccini in under 5 minutes.  Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and you’re instantly transported to Italy (or Starbuck’s, whichever you dream about!). 

My favorite tip:  This is from my friend Elena in Italy, whose family was in the restaurant business.  If you have champagne left over, don’t toss it.  Put the handle of a spoon into the neck of the bottle and refrigerate.  I’ve had it stay bubbly for an entire WEEK!

The list isn’t long, but these are just a few things I thought were worth passing along!  I’m always looking for new food finds, tips, and discoveries, so tell me about your favorites!

Champagne photo by dotw.

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One Response to “Favorites of 2008”

  1. paula Says:

    Well, I will have to try the spoon in the
    champagne idea! Sounds simple enough and
    is a great tip! Thanks!

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