The PGEW Top 10 of 2010 – The Best Menu Ideas

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I. Thinking of PGEW about Top 10 of 2010 – Menu Ideas

I’m not one to usually follow the herd (unless chocolate is at the endpoint), but because this year has been so….. dramatic, and it’s the end of the year and the end of a decade, I thought it’d be fun to hop on the Top 10 of 2010 – Posts bandwagon. I usually like to do recaps during my blog anniversaries, but it’s also cool to see what’s happened in the actual calendar year.  It was bittersweet to read through some of these posts, but I love every single one of them – and apparently, so do you!  Here are the Top 10 of 2010 – the PGEW favorites (and some honorable mentions) from 2010.*  Enjoy!

II. Lists of PGEW Top 10 of 2010 – Menu Ideas

10. Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake Shots

Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake Shots

I absolutely adored this dessert shot recipe, and so did many of you, So I place it in 10th of Top 10 of 2010! Caramel coffee & “whipped cream” flavored cheesecakes with ooey-gooey caramel topping served in shot glasses for a miniature dessert version of a favorite coffeehouse drink. What’s not to love?

9. Baked Eggs, Ham & Asparagus in Tomato Cups

Baked Eggs, Ham & Asparagus in Tomato Cups

If I was omelet-focused in 2009, I was way more baked egg-obsessed in 2010!  These make use of one of the main ingredients as the actual serving receptacle, making for a lovely, unconventional presentation that is also deliciously edible. What do you think when it was ranked 9th in the Top 10 of 2010?

8. Red Quinoa, Apple & Cranberry Cake

Red Quinoa, Apple & Cranberry Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

The 8th rank in PGEW Top 10 of 2010. PFB might have left me a bit morally conflicted, but it certainly brought out the uber-creative in me.  The demand for this recipe was overwhelming, and so was my palate’s demand to continue tasting it.  I love it because it’s gorgeous to look at, delicious to savor, and healthy/filling enough to not only last awhile but make you feel a wee bit less guilty about having cake.  Woot!

7. Honey Glazed Roots & Sprouts with Pan-fried Garlic

Honey Glazed Roots & Sprouts with Pan-fried Garlic

My first recipe of 2010 and a huge reader favorite!  Much like the Hearty Mushroom & Potato Soup recipe of ’09, people keep coming to PGEW for this recipe alone, which means I must have done something right!  Nay, I know I did.  One can never go wrong with fresh, local produce, good quality olive oil, and plenty of garlic. This is the reason I place it in 7th rank in the Top 10 of 2010.

6. Pineapple Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette

Pineapple Quinoa Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette

This 6th rank in the Top 10 of 2010 really surprised me.  Not because it’s not awesome, because it totally is, but because I just had no idea how popular it was!  I am a stats junkie and am usually aware of what folks like the most on PGEW, but somehow this one missed my radar.  It certainly made an indelible impression on people’s palates though, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.  It was one of those I-have-really-random-ingredients-now-what-do-I-do recipes and a truly delicious dish.

5. Cookies & Creme Cheesecake Dessert Shots

Cookies & Creme Cheesecake Dessert Shots

You folks sure do like desserts, don’t you?  No worries, so do I!  Here is one of the most popular desserts Top of 2010, and one of my favorite kitchen mistakes-turned-awesome recipe EVER.

4. Fiesta Corn & Potato Chowder

Fiesta Corn & Potato Chowder

What’s not love about this soup?  Easy to make, filling, tasty, colorful, and super inexpensive to make.  Might have been late in the year, but you folks ate it up (so to speak), and so it gets the 4th rank in the Top 10 of 2010 spot in the countdown.

3. The “Spanglish” Sandwich

The “Spanglish” Sandwich

I did not invent this sandwich.  Thomas Keller, the greatest chef around, happened to do so.  But it’s so genius in its simplicity and so absolutely sexy to experience from assembly to consumption, that it was not only featured in a movie, it was recreated in Poor Girl’s kitchen.  I would marry this sandwich if I could.  Try it and you’ll feel the same way the taste of 3rd ranked dish in the Top 10 of 2010.

2. Poor Girl’s Beef Stew

Poor Girl's Beef Stew

This post always makes me choke up a bit.  I was so devastated to have lost that temp assignment right at the beginning of the year, and that unfortunate event seemed to color 2010 a bit gray for me.  But as I said after making the announcement, when life gives you lemons, make beef stew.  This dish is hearty, flavorful, and ridiculously comforting for when you’re in the depths of despair or just really cold.  And all of your comments of encouragement & support were doubly comforting during such a rough time.  I bared my soul to you and you all responded with kindness & care.  That and a killer beef stew make this one of my favorite posts – the 2nd in the Top 10 of 2010.

1. Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

Finally, the first place in the Top 10 of 2010 from PGEW. It links new readers to PGEW every single day.  It made the Foodbuzz Top 9 and a couple of other photos/recipe sites.  It is the header photo for this website because it’s so darned beautiful.  But most importantly, it’s incredibly delicious.  People who didn’t think they’d ever eat Brussels sprouts write to me regularly to tell me that this salad changed their minds.  Apparently, even kids like it, and that’s no small feat considering the sprout is right up there with the poor lima bean as everyone’s least favorite vegetable!  The combination of flavors, textures, and colors makes this one of the most aesthetically pleasing and delectable dishes I’ve yet to create on this blog.  And it shows that basic ingredients combined with a bit of creativity are always the best recipe for eating well on a minuscule budget.

III. Honorable Mentions…

Picking only ten posts was HARD, so here are a few more recipes, posts, and features that definitely made an impact in 2010:

  • Poor Girl on SNAP Parts I & II – My personal journey through unemployment and the food stamp/general assistance system.  PGEW is not just about the fun recipes, it’s about a real person who is going through what a lot of folks are going through during this recession.  It’s tough to talk about, but putting a human face on these issues makes it easier to open up, brainstorm, and support each other during difficult times.
  • Luxury Dinner Party: For the Love of Chocolate – I’m tellin’ you, PFB made us really think outside the box!  I loved my Pu-pizza post just as much, but this one will always hold a special spot in my heart as my first “real” dinner party and one of the best examples of how Poor Girl – and her guests – can eat so well.
  • Thai-Style Sticky Rice & Mango Dessert Shots – I turned my favorite Thai dessert into a dessert shot!!!  I love how beautifully tasty this one is.  Perfect for summertime entertaining, so be sure to bookmark it!
  • Blueberry-Lemon Clafoutis – I finally discovered how wonderful blueberries can be and became OBSESSED, I tell you!  From crepes to juice to smoothies, I couldn’t stop putting blueberries in everything after going berry-picking this summer.  This clafoutis recipe is simple, tasty, and showcases this gorgeous berry perfectly.
  • Summer Veggies & Quinoa with Cilantro Pistachio Pesto – Seriously?  Nuff sed on this one.  Cilantro pistachio pesto may be my most favorite pesto EVER, and you can slather it on everything, including fresh summer veggies!
  • Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Cheese on Grilled Sourdough – Grilled cheese sandwiches rock, but grown-up grilled cheeses are even better!  All of us loved this one, and now I think I must have this for lunch.  🙂
  • The $25 Shopping Cart series – Always a PGEW favorite!  I go to different stores during “scary week” with $25 in hand and see if I can grab enough versatile ingredients to make some good food that’ll last a couple of weeks until the next payday.  Many of you have gleaned inspiration from this series and emailed me with your own awesome shopping experiences, which makes me so proud!  If this is the only way I can help folks make the most of their food dollar, then I’m a happy camper.
  • The Anthony Bourdain review – I <3 Bourdain and his snarky, pork-loving travel/eating show, but never thought I’d actually be able to experience his rants in person.  That all changed this year when he stopped in Sacramento during his No Reservations tour!  Though I didn’t get to meet him, that two-hour lecture/comedy-show/snark fest was one of the highlights of my food year.  A lot of folks dug my recap so much it encouraged them to go see Bourdain themselves in their own towns!  I dig this review a lot.  I hope you do, too.
  • IFBC (International Food Blogger Conference) – I’ve been to some other foodie festivals, but IFBC 2010 stood out as the best one, hands-down.  It was fun, informative, and full of great food.  It also gave me the opportunity to visit Seattle for the first time and make some new, fabulous friends that I cannot WAIT to see at the next IFBCs!!!

Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me!  I hope you all have a fun-filled, safe New Year’s Eve, and wish you all the best in 2011.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And don’t forget the Menu Ideas in Top 10 of 2010 from PGEW…

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