Here we are friends, at the end of another year, and the beginning of another. So much to look back on, so much to look forward to.
There were ups and downs, tears and laughter, loss, love, travel, work, music, sports, firsts, lasts, and oh, was there food and beer!
I was fortunate to experience some really cool crap and thought I’d share just a few of those moments before hitting you with today’s festive bubbly recipe.
Frozen Bikeless Bike Tour for breast cancer in Baltimore. Savion Glover at the Strathmore. Logged in some serious time at auctions searching for rusty gold. Went to opening day at the Jake. Visited the National Zoo. Had a super kick ass 30th birthday with some amazing friends in D.C.. Broke a tiny bottle that shattered, cut my leg, and landed me in the Emergency Room. Traveled to NYC with my Pops. Enjoyed Lombardi on Broadway where I met Sam Bradford. Took my first trip to the new Yankee Stadium. Became obsessed with Instagram. Discovered Untappd. Visited Camden Yards. Went to Savor. Purchased my first car. Witnessed our dog give birth to inbred puppies. Tried to grow hops. Had an amazing beer photo shoot with Patrick Onofre. Floated down a river with my dear friends. Saw A Perfect Circle with my brother and sister-in-law. Took my first trip to Boston. Went to my first Sox/Yankees series at Fenway. Visited the family in Vermont. Took calligraphy and cake decorating classes. Took a trip to Cleveland. Had a serious kick ass time at the kick-off to Baltimore Beer Week. Went to my first game at M&T Stadium. Saw Les Miserables with my Mom at the Kennedy Center. Got to see New York City dressed up for Christmas. Saw Chicago on Broadway. Became obsessed with Pinterest. Logged a crap ton of miles. Visited 14 breweries – Long Trail, Yuengling, Otter Creek, The Alchemist, Vermont Brewery, Magic Hat, Zero Gravity, Spring House Taphouse. Stoudts, Ithaca, Harpoon, Great Lakes, Brooklyn, Lancaster and the fabulous new Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland. Cooked my face off. Took some chances and leaps of faith. And most importantly, felt incredibly blessed.
While I’m only highlighting the more major and positive aspects of the past year, it was actually a very difficult year. One that I would not have gotten through without the immense love of my friends and family, and the faith and hope that come from belief.
Along with all that’s happened to me I’ve had the immense pleasure of seeing this site have over 1.1 million hits this year. That’s just incredible. I can’t thank you all enough for all of your comments, support, traffic, and encouragement. I can only tell that you my commitment to bring you good quality recipes, a few laughs and some inspiration is stronger than ever. I started this site with one goal, to get people cooking and sharing good food with the people in their lives, and I’m ready to take that love to the next level. Next year is gonna bring some serious changes, all for the better, so please stick around.
On to the bubbles. I’ve recently become a bit of a champagne lover. I’m thinking that between the bubbly and the beer, I’m just a sucker for carbonation.
This recipe comes for the original hostess with the mostest – Martha. On my last trip to New York I had the best salad I’ve ever enjoyed at the Meatball Shop, which is an odd thing to say. Who the hell orders a salad there? Well not usually me, but I was headed to the Brooklyn Brewery, so I was trying to be mildly kind to my waistline. This delightful little salad had beets, nuts, vinaigrette and lovely little kumquats. I’m making it a personal mission to these fruits a starring role in my diet.
This is sweet but not overly, different, fun, and festive. Dive in dear friends, and have an amazing, safe and magical New Years! Here’s to a kick ass 2012!
1 pint kumquats, pricked a few times with a pin
1 cup sugar
1 bottle chilled Champagne (Prosecco, Cava or a nice Sparkling White will do)
Kumquat zest, for garnish
Place kumquats in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Drain immediately. Repeat twice.
Add sugar and 1 cup water to drained kumquats in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat immediately, and let kumquats and syrup cool completely.
Spoon 2 kumquats and 1-2 tablespoons syrup into each Champagne glass. Top off with Champagne, and garnish with kumquat zest.