Happy Holidays & A Happy New Year - With A Culinary Recap and Some Resolutions

Another year is coming to an end and we want to wish all of you a very happy & delicious holiday season! It's the time to enjoy many wonderful seasonal treats, to slow down and review the past year and make plans for the new one to come.

Today we want to share our culinary highlights of the previous year and our resolutions and plans for 2013!

Sun



Favorite restaurant experiences 2012
Here are my 4 picks for 2012:
1. Grace (Chicago): Curtis Duffy, the very person who was responsible for earning the title as "Best Restaurant in America" for Alinea while working there as Chef de Cuisine went off and started his own restaurant called "Grace" this year. Its one I've been looking forward to try and we've finally been able to get a spot this week. Why am I picking a restaurant I haven't even tried yet? Because I'm that confident that I will love it. I used to go to "Avenue" for special occasions when Duffy was working at "Avenue" but it no longer exist. Since the first time I tried Duffy's brilliant creations, I've decided I would follow him where ever he goes!
2.Cho Sun Ok (Chicago): This is a hole in the wall Korean restaurant on the North side of Chicago that has been serving authentic Korean food for over 30 years. Their good food is very consistent as is their slow service. They seem to be continually understaffed. The dish they are known for is called " Cha-dol-bae-gi" grilled beef on a hot stone pan. The house is pretty packed almost 7 days a week and normally you will get a table after 10 to 30 minute wait.
3. Longman and Eagle (Chicago): One of the best restaurants I have tried this year. A little bit on the loud side for me but the food is excellent! The location is a bit off the main area of Chicago (Logan Square) but the tone and personality of the restaurant (with its upstairs boutique hotel) is a great addition to this up and coming area.
4. Juvia (Miami): This beautiful roof top restaurant with a fantastic view is definitely worth your visit when you are on Lincoln road in Miami. This is one of those modern,  beautiful, clean lines, with up beat ambiance that Miami is known for. The food might not blow you away but go for the view! Cuisine: Peruvian/Japanese/ French

Favorite new recipes 2012
I'm picking the ice cream with grilled fruits as my favorite recipe this year which will be posted next month on savorychicks.com. It is enhanced and flavored with ginger and rice vinegar with sprinkle of sea salt and drizzle of honey. It really makes you look at ice cream dessert in whole new way. Make sure to check out this recipe in January! I guess this makes it 2013 favorite then...

Resolutions for 2013
I'd like to find a way to "Be and Live" in the present. I find it very hard to do. I always catch myself thinking about the past or the future, filling my head with worries and anticipated troubles which gives me great deal of anxiety. In the mean time not being able to enjoy and appreciate the present moment.

Secondly I'm going to try more recipes in 2013! When you feel tired or the weather is nice outside, your preferred option is eating out but It's also so much fun trying new recipes and discovering new tastes! Each successful new recipe, I go to sleep with smile on my face :). Happy Cooking!


Shirl


Favorite restaurant experiences 2012
Manresa: I never thought lettuce soup could be so rich and flavorful.  This kitchen is all about treating vegetables with respect, bringing out the star quality in them on every plate.
Jaleo: It's fun! It's loud! It's good food! And they have the best Sangria I've ever had.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon: Yes, I've mentioned L'Atelier in the past. And I will probably do it again in the future.  Quality ingredients in experts' hands make for outstanding meals year-in year-out!

Favorite new recipes 2012
2012 has been a busy year.  I haven't had as much time to explore new recipes as in the past. Making quick and simple meals is a way of life.  I can tell you, though, my favorite menu this year has to be the classic combo of Slow Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.

Resolutions for 2013
I hope to get back to a more organized schedule in which I can find time to be in the kitchen more and explore new recipes.


Marjan

Favorite restaurant experiences 2012
San Shi Go- Newport Beach....I will write about it soon!

Favorite new recipes 2012
Anja's berry tart

Resolutions for 2013
Peace


Anja


Favorite new recipes 2012
Definitely my two summer favorites: tomato peach salad and berry tart. Both full of summer flavors.

Favorite restaurant experiences 2012
Usually my favorite restaurant experiences happen on vacation when traveling to my favorite cities (Los Angeles, Berlin, Barcelona, Miami) or sunny islands. This year, however, I have to say that no restaurant from all my trips really stood out. Instead I think the two restaurants that made my year more delicious were my two lunch choices in Luzern (Lucerne) where I work. Luckily, I have people working with me that appreciate great food and take the time for a nice lunch instead of a quick sandwich. So, every week I get to have great sushi at Kaiten (probably among the top two or three Swiss sushi places) and freshly made pasta at Geissmatt. If you ever happen to visit Luzern (Lucerne), give these two places a try!

Resolutions for 2013
I hope that in 2013 we will finally be successful in our so far fruitless house hunt. For two years now we’ve been trying to buy a little farm where we have more space and will be able to grow our own produce. This year we found our dream farmhouse, but fate or destiny didn’t want to give it to us. The farm was sold to another family, which left us frustrated and disappointed. I hope that 2013 will be our lucky year – the year we find our farmhouse!

Culinary wise I will continue my journey to healthier eating. For years now, I’ve tried to make better choices year after year, slowly improving my family’s diet. Here in Switzerland we tend to eat a lot of wholesome, homecooked food. I buy mostly organic and try to support local farmers as much as I can. We rarely eat meat, and switched to wholegrain pasta last year. However, I feel there is still room for improvement. I also want to eat more thoughtful - really experiencing and enjoying every single bite of my food (a great read in that regard is Charles Eisenstein's "The yoga of eating") - and more resourceful. Though I always try not to buy or order too much food, I still find myself leaving part of my dish at restaurant plates, throwing out leftovers or vegetables gone bad here and there. Given the shocking number of more than one third of all edible food that is thrown away every single day (and I am afraid that number may be even higher in other countries), I truly believe we all should make an effort not to waste any food. I started turning stale bread into homemade breadcrumbs and croutons (great with salads or tomato soups), and will find more ways to use EVERYTHING that makes it into my fridge or pantry.

Happy New Year!

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