2012 Niblets: A Year of Memories in Food Porn

Happy 2013 everyone!

I know I've been away for a while--the holidays kind of got the better of me and my time.

I have spent the last couple of weeks knee deep in my food pics. I recently came to the realization that my food photos were a bit out of control. Not to say at all that I'm planning on cutting back on documenting all the delicious things I eat; however, the pictures from most of 2012 had piled up and were in sore need of editing and archiving. Thus, for the las two weeks I've been on what turned into a culinary trip down memory lane and it looks like 2012 was a very delicious year.

I thought I'd kick of 2013 by recapping some of my tastiest memories of the past year.

We did a good amount of traveling last year. We kicked off the year with a decadent trip to Argentina that was all about the food and wine. (It eventually all got documented on this blog, starting here.)

The most indulgent of our meals was a multi-course meal at Patagonia Sur.

Rib eye with chimichurri and Patagonia Potatoes
Rib eye with chimichurri and patagonia potatoes -- the potatoes added really beautiful texture to the steak.

I could eat their humitas forever.

In Mendoza, the steak at Bodega aa Azul gave Patagonia Sur's a real run for the money.


The street food in Argentina can't be discounted either. There were countless of empanadas and few choripanes as well.



Greg and I also took a trip to the Low Country (which will be written up eventually-- I swear!) You can imagine that we got some good eats down south. My favorite meal of the trip, however, hands down was at Poogan's Porch in Charleston.

Southern fried chicken
Southern fried chicken

In the fall, we took another road trip up the Catskills. My favorite meal from that weekend was at Miss Lucy's Kitchen. This carrot cake was just amazing.

  Carrot Cake

At Christmas, we went down to Florida to celebrate with my family. There's lots of food at the holidays of course, but we had to make sure to hit certain bases. My buddy Anto took us to Miami Beach to Moises Bakery to get Venezuelan empanadas and cachitos--rolls stuffed with ham.

Empanada de Pollo
Venezuelan-style chicken empanadas

Cachitos at Moises Bakery
Fresh cachitos

We took our treats down to the beach to enjoy. They were so good that we found ourselves in a scene out of The Birds as we were forced to do battle with some very aggressive seagulls. We won. No bird is taking my cachito.

I also took two trips each to San Francisco and LA. Those write ups are coming soon though.

New York has some amazing food of course, and we definitely had our share of it. Greg and I had some romantic dinners out. We celebrated 12 years together with a dinner at Salumeria Rosi. Everything we had at this tiny place was delicious, and among my favorite dishes was these porchetta sandwiches, which were a lot like an Italina riff on Cuban sandwiches. I could have made a meal out of them on their own.

Porchetta sandwich

At the beginning of December, we took a day off from all the Holiday craziness and had a Holidate, which included a full day of events.  As part of this slate, we treated ourselves to a beautiful lunch at A Voce in the Time Warner Center.  They make some beautiful pasta preparations that are really out of the common way.

Corzetti pasta coins, marinated mussels, preserved tomatoes, chilies
Corzetti Pasta Coins with marinated mussels, preserved tomatoes, and chilis.

The bomboloni are a must for dessert.

Bomboloni alla Toscana

For his birthday, Greg got his favorite NY burger at The Spotted Pig.

The Spotted Pig Burger v1

And for mine I got fried yard bird with mace gravy at Red Rooster Harlem.

Fried Yard Bird dark meat, white mace gravy, mashed potatoes, bread and butter pickles.

We live in the decidedly yuppy Upper West Side. There are lots of high end places and there are also plenty of neighborhood mom and pop joints. However, a few more interesting options in the middle price points have started to open up. Our current favorite is probably Jacob's Pickles. 

Shrimp and Grits
I LOVED  their spicy take on shrimp and grits

Sausage Gravy Smothered Chicken: buttermilk fried chicken
Greg can't get enough of their sausage gravy smothered fried chicken on a biscuit.

I aslo avail myself of our proximity to the UWS location of Luke's Lobster . . . often.  I get cravings for these more than probably any other food in the city.  I think I might need one now.

Lobster Roll in Fall

Of course, there was lots of eating out with family and friends. Barbuto in the West Village became a regular spot to meet up with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and we had some big family brunches here.  When we couldn't get enough of the pollo al forno and the crispy potatoes, we started going with friends as well.

Pollo al forno w salsa verde

Crispy Potatoes V@

There was a lovely afternoon tea with girl friends at Tea & Sympathy:

Tea time goodies

I know David Chang has been all the rage for an age now, but I think it's with good reason and I'll go to a Momofuku location any chance I get. I love the food. There were friends' birthdays and girl's nights at Má Pêche, and several dinners with old friends at both Noodle Bar and Ssäm Bar. The pork buns are always a must, but here's one of my other favorites from Ssäm bar.

spicy pork sausage & rice cakes – chinese broccoli, sichuan peppercorn
Spicy pork sausage & rice cakes – chinese broccoli, sichuan peppercorn

In addition to all the eating out, I also got the chance to go to some fantastic food events with some amazing food.

Candied Bacon
Candied bacon at a Whimsical Brunch for the Food Network NY Wine and Food Fest.

Smoked Salmon Loin
Smoked salmon loin at Blackberry Farm brunch, also Food Network NY Wine and Food Fest.  More on those here.

During these events, I sometimes got the chance to meet some amazing chefs. Like Michael White, for example.

Me with Chef Michael White

I got to meet Alton Brown at the top of the Empire State Building!


I also met Thomas Keller at a book signing. Me being me though, I tripped into him as I walked up to take this picture. 

Meeting Thomas Keller

There was some good food and drink at home too. I've posted quite a few on the blog, but here are a few more.

 I started the year playing with the ISI Whip I got for the last x-mas and made a bunch of foamy cocktails. This one was made with eau de vie. They're a little dangerous because it's so easy to down them, but they're also super pretty.

Eau de vie foam

We had some very lovely dinner parties, if I do say so myself. 

Mushroom risotto topped w crispy shiitakes
Mushroom risotto with crispy shiitakes.

In May, my culinary school buds Anna, Pam, and I "catered" our friend Julia's baby shower. She had a gorgeous, happy baby girl.

The spread

During the holidays, as per usual, I became a cookie baking machine.

Waiting for the cookies to cool v1
Chocolate chip cookie recipe here.

The Cookie Spread

I took a batch to my book club's now annual cookie exchange. When it come to cookies, these girls throw down.

We're really blessed in that we also have many friends and family with culinary prowess who are willing to share their creations with us. Here are just a few of delicious things friends treated us too. Thanks guys!

Ian's Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Ian's Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Peppery Bulgarian Steal
Raia's Peppery Bulgarian Pork with Onions

Maile's Won Ton Cups
Maile's Won Ton cups

Paella by Annie
Annie's Paella

key lime pie by my friend Allison w. fresh whipped cream and blueberries
Allison's Key Lime Pie with Blueberries

Nima's Meat roll
Nima's meat roll

Pastry Treats by my friend Jane
 Jane's decadent dessert trio

Pulled Pork sandwich by Greg
Greg's pulled pork. 
My hubby knows how to work a pig.

My sister-in-law Hillary's Pecan Pie

Leftover pernil sandwich
Last but not least, Pernil--the roasted pork leg Venezuelans traditionally have for Christmas. My mom's is the best.  Even more than the actual roast on Christmas day, every year I dream of the sandwiches made from the leftovers the next day.

So many delicious memories, but I'll leave off with my very favorite food memory of 2012.

Despite all the good food, sometimes NY can be exhausting. It's a crazy race all the time and it definitely sometimes makes me pretty agro. Then just at the point that you start to wonder 'Why the hell do I deal with this shit?' something amazing happens and you think 'Ah, this is why.' I had one of those beautiful moments that will stick out as a favorite memory for a very long time. I was out with my culinary school mentor and another friend one night. The cocktails were fantastic and drinks ran into dinnertime. We set out to find a place to eat, but it had to be nearby because it had started to rain. We dove into DBGB and prayed they had a table. We were seated and had great food and wine.  A gentleman at the table next to us suddenly stood up and started playing the violin. He was amazing; so much so that the management actually turns down the music and asks him to continue. It turns out that he's a world class violinist out celebrating his son's graduation with a large party. He continues to play. He ends up serenading our table. Amazing. As if the night could not get better,  a friend who worked in the pastry kitchen at the time was on that night, unbeknownst to us. She sends out dessert after glorious dessert.  At the end of that night, I was riding high.

That's a night that can only happen in New York City.

ICE CREAM SANDWICH for two (or three) - vanilla toasted brioche, dark chocolate ice cream vanilla marshmallow, candied almonds

Here's to many more amazing food memories in 2013!
To food, drink, and life!

We're off to a good start . . .  we started the year off with lobster.

New Year's Lobster w White Wine Butter Sauce

For more food porn on a regular basis, you can always follow @NibblingGypsy on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

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