It started with the marriage of my little brother. His amazing wife, and future patron saint, Anh, is Vietnamese, so I made a coconut galaktoboureko to merge Vietnamese and Greek flavors for the rehearsal dinner.
Then I went to Greece for a month, where I skied on Greek soil for the very first time and had the best moussaka in my life at Taverna Louizdis in Voulagmeni (Athenian beach town).
I came back to Southern California to live with my Significant Parental Units in Huntington Beach and did my usual animal-product free (vegan) Greek Orthodox lent fasting. Then my beloved car, newly licensed as "NTOMATA" (Greek for "TOMATO") got totaled on the 405 Freeway by a Prius. I escaped with just muscular injuries. The car saved my life. I decided to go car-less for awhile and have been car-free since.
I flew to Boston to visit one of my best friends, Judah, who was just finishing up his last year of medicine at Harvard. We ate cannolis then I took the train to Manhattan to visit some friends where I had a baby shark revelation at Stamatis in Astoria.
I celebrated my 100th blogiversary.
I got deflowered at Ludobites 4.0 and then returned later in the summer for 5.0 with my favorite dish from both episodes being the Crab Coronet with Corona Granita from 4.0 (shown below).
I conducted an olive oil cake smack down for the LA based Eat My Blog charity bake sale to raise money for the LA Food Bank. The winning recipe was not made by a celebrity chef, but by someone in North Dakota.
My friend, Diana, and I found brussel sprouts, dessert, and pizza better than Mozza in the OC.
I finally (located, purchased...) ate an Ostrich egg!
I got summoned to sketch nude models whilst drinking champagne for Art Works in Hollywood. I think this was so they could write on their website "Sketching Bananas with Banana Wonder." Proof is here.
I attempted to bring "Opa" back by making an Ouzo cupcakes with vissino cream cheese frosting and pistachios as a competitor in the exotic, novice category for the OC Cupcake Camp. I did not win, but I was still very happy with my unique flavor combination.
I made cheese for the very first time.
I conducted an empanada smack down. Results at the end of this post.
Then I moved to Portland for grad school. I love the Pacific Northwest:
I put on an epic seven course olive oil tasting menu for my friends,
Made gnocchi for the first time and had a burger after 11 months.
I turned 30 and organized an Ugly Sweater Dive Bar Crawl to celebrate.
I finished off the year in my new - old (since I moved back after going to undergrad in Portland) with homemade limoncello and plumcello that I had started making in Huntington Beach. Sadly, I didn't finish off my bucket list (failing to eat durian, chicken feet and poutine). I will be adding these plus more to my 2011 challenges!
Happy New Year! All the best in 2011!