A Delicious Year in Review: 2009

A Big Thanks
Wow, I can't believe it's the end of another year. The post-holiday malaise has left me in a shell of dread for the upcoming cold months and limited vacation time. Though 2009 had it's ups and downs, all in all, it was a good year. After all, I got a brandy new day job, am married to the best husband of all time, and, oh yeah, I started this little ol' blog, of which I'm very happy and proud to call my baby.

What started less than a year ago as a way for me to ramble about my love for Manhattan and it's surrounding areas has grown into a bonafide web site with actual readers...something I can't believe is real. This is the most fun personal project I've ever embarked on. It makes me happy and excited every single day and I wish I could devote even more time to developing content. Over the last year with this site, I've taken an interest to things I never knew I liked or even loved for that matter - who knew that I'd be so giddy over receiving baking tools for Christmas? Or that my truly adorable Anthropologie apron would become one of my favorite wardrobe items? Or that I have a serious love of trying new restaurants and the food that's housed within them? Not me. And even more, I can't wait to continue learning about food - how it's made, where it's eaten - and passing on my new found knowledge to all of you. After all, when I started writing about food, I didn't know any more about it than anyone else. Sure, I've always liked it, but who hasn't? Exploring, learning and writing about food has been a wonderful adventure and I can't wait to continue it next year. So a gargantuan thank you to everyone who has read my articles, commented on them, and passed along this site to friends.

And while we're on the subject of how great you all are, I've never really had the chance to explain to you how much each and every one of you means to me and how I truly cherish each and every one of your comments and inquiries. Please keep 'em coming! So thanks again for giving me a reason to keep on writing and I hope you enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoy writing it.

Where we're going
So with that in mind, I hope that you'll continue to indulge me in 2010. Some big things will be happening around here very soon and I'm almost bursting with excitement to share the news. I think and hope that you'll be (almost) as excited and happy as I am with my big announcement, so please stay tuned! Part of the 2010 plans include even more food reviews, recipes, tutorials, event coverage, videos and lots of reader contests. This is also the part where I ask you, fabulous reader, what you would like to see more of on this site? It's always difficult to gauge what strikes a chord with you and what you come back for more of. I know what I love writing about...but what do you love reading about? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

So with all of that in mind, have a fabulous, fun, and safe New Year's Eve tonight and a restful New Year's Day! Meanwhile, you can catch some of my own personal favorite articles of the year below (the articles that qualify for this are the ones that I genuinely loved every moment of experiencing and then relaying the messages on to you). Did any articles strike your own particular fancy?

My Top Ten Personal Favorite Articles of 2009:
Yankee Stadium vs. Citifield: Baseball Park Awards

Restaurant Roundup: Mesa Grill

Suburban Dog in the City

Key Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes

Aruba Travelogue: How to do Breakfast Three Ways

Eating Through Madison Square Park

Before Oktoberfest, It's Italianfest Part II or How to do the Festival Circuit

Fall Treats: Apple Surprise Muffins

Turkey Day Recipes

Restaurant Roundup: An Otto-matic Favorite

Ringing in 2010

If you are at all like me, you've waited until the last possible moment to plan your New Year's Eve. And by waited until the last possibly moment, I mean even at this point you haven't solidified plans. I'm not sure if it's the big hype that more often than not doesn't live up to its promise or just plain old post-holiday exhaustion, but by the time New Year's comes around, I'm kind of already over it. Not to mention the fact that I'm kind of tapped out in the cash area and I'd prefer to spend any remaining money on holiday sales rather than one night at the bar (though by going out, it does give me a reason to purchase a sparkly little number for a night out on the town which probably won't be used again throughout the year). So that always leaves one question: what do to for New Year's Eve? Shaun and I rang in 2009 with a night on the couch, surrounded by champagne, hors d'oeuvres, and a viewing of The Dark Knight. To ring in 2010? It's anyone's guess at this point.

So my question to you is, how are you planning to ring in 2010? Are you hitting up a swank bar or lounge? Having a low key game night with friends whilst lamenting the downturn of Dick Clark's deteriorating health? Heading out for a chic dinner with your significant other? Taking in a late night viewing of Avatar 3-D (this one is high on my list)? I'd love to hear about your plans (and possibly steal some of your ideas!) so please do tell!

Holiday Unwrapped

And we're back! I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday. I saved some vacation time and took a few days off from my 'real' job for some holiday celebrating. This included, but was not limited to seeing family and friends, baking cookies, rocking red lipstick for the first time, watching the 25th anniversary of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame concert, viewing The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center and ceasing to sleep for a few days time. And let's not forget about the gift exchange. Shaun and I are so unbelievably lucky to have the absolute best families in the entire universe (no, really...they are) who know us oh-so-well and gave us gifts that just warmed our food-obsessed hearts. From good reads to gift cards to tools, we made out like the proverbial foodster bandits that we are. Here's the rundown:

Serving tray, Target; Good Eats: The Early Years, Barnes & Noble; Rachael Ray nylon bench scrape, Rachaelraystore.com; Bamboo spider, Sur la Table; Rachael Ray nylon 2-pc turner set, Rachaelraystore.com; Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food, Amazon.com; Magazine subscriptions, Foodnetwork.com, Realsimple.com; Entertainment Book 2010, entertainment.com; Sur la Table gift certificate, Sur la Table

Yep, it was a good year for the Humistons. Furthering our culinary knowledge and technique is something we love and receiving gifts to aid us in this food crush of ours is just the icing on the cake. I, for one, cannot wait to dive into New York City Food as well as test out my bench scraper. Apparently it's the only way to pick up chopped food from your cutting board - onions, veggies, you name it - for super simple transfer into your stock pot or skillet. And I know Shaun is just itching to break out the fryer and test out the bamboo mesh spider he's been wanting for ages. What can I say? It doesn't take much to get us going. The holidays were filled with many more gifts (both given and received, including the matching iPod Touch that we unknowingly picked out for each other), multiple family gatherings, and of course, indulging on holiday treats. I'm sad to see it pass us by, but am so looking forward to a fabulous, food-filled 2010.

So there's the food gift roundup - a peek at some of our foodster gifts we were so fortunate to receive and can't wait to enjoy now that our holiday travel has ceased. But my question to all of you fabulous readers is: What did you get for the holiday this year? Any food-related gifts that tickled your fancy? Please tell me that Shaun and I aren't the only food geeks out there and leave us some tales of good eats (and by eats I mean actual eats, products, gift cards, reading materials, kitchen tools and anything else of the sort).

Oh, and in case you're curious, the baking, red-lipstick-wearing, family time went something like this...

The butter cookie cutouts...a Christmas staple for as long as I can remember

Just a small sampling of the Cannon bakefest '09

Kimberly & me

Christine & me vampin' it up

Shaun & me at Christmas Eve dinner

Suburban, yet city-loving doggie Chloe trying her hardest to get some holiday treats from her stocking

My mom, sisters and me after The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center

And there's the roundup. Hope you enjoyed your holiday as much as we enjoyed ours!

PS - If you missed any of our holiday coverage, including foodster gift guides for all the food-lovers in you life, you can find it all right here.