2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 86 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 117 posts. There were 512 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2gb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 21st with 333 views. The most popular post that day was Whiskey Shrimp! .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, redactedblog.blogspot.com, twitter.com, jamesvanderberg.com, and peppersandarias.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for whiskey shrimp recipe the shanty, brooklyn plated, whiskey shrimp, whiskey shrimp recipe, and the shanty whiskey shrimp recipe.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Whiskey Shrimp! December 2009


Fettucini with Walnut Ricotta Pesto April 2010


Sunday Night Dinner! Beef Bourguignon, Homemade Baguette, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Haricots Verts December 2009


About Us October 2009


How to make Duck Confit February 2010


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Sweet Thursday – Chocolate/Pistachio Torte

Music: Would I lie to you – The Eurythmics

This was made with love for my dear friend Brian on his birthday.  He made a similar torte for James many years ago and I thought I would return the favor.  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe (and one I could actually follow!). I’m not a baker, we know this – but this came out soooo well! (and it was really pretty, although you’d never know that from the pictures).

What you’ll need for the Torte:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
What you’ll need for the Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • Make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; line bottom with parchment or waxed paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt butter and chocolate, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from pan. Whisk in sugar and vanilla, then eggs, buttermilk, and pistachios. Fold in flour mixture just until combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 60 to 70 minutes.
  • Let cool in pan 5 minutes; run a knife around edge, and invert onto a wire rack.
  • Remove paper, and let cool completely, about 3 hours. (To store, wrap in plastic, and keep at room temperature, up to 3 days).
  • Make ganache: In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer; remove from heat.
  • Add chocolate, and let stand 5 minutes; whisk until smooth. Let cool until mixture falls back in ribbons when lifted with a spoon, 2 to 6 minutes.
  • Set cake on a serving platter; tuck strips of parchment paper under edge of cake to prevent ganache from dripping on platter.
  • Pour ganache onto center of cake; using a table knife, spread evenly over the top and down the sides. Let set, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove paper from under cake; sprinkle top with pistachios.

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    Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, How to..., Recipes, Sweet Thursday

    Happy Christmas!

    We made some Christmas treats yesterday…our salted caramels but with Espresso Salt from The Filling Station (that Alex so kindly brought us from Chelsea Market for Christmas – Danke!).  Here is a little picture to show what a sweet gift they will make! Happy Christmas!

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    Filed under Brooklyn Places, Dessert, Kitchen Things, Recipes

    Escarole and Butter Lettuce Salad

    This was such a hit and so easy. We served it before our holiday dinner this year and I’ve made it twice since.  Also, from Bon Appetit. It was so pretty and festive!

    Citrus dressing

    1/4 white wine vinegar
    1/4 cup fresh orange juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
    1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
    1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
    1/2 cup of olive oil


    1 large head of escarole cut
    1 head of butter lettuce cut
    1 Granny Smith apple thinly sliced
    1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (about half a pomegranate)
    2/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

    citrus dressing

    • Combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients in small bowl.
    • Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.


    • Mix all ingredients in very large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

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    Filed under Appetizer, Greens, Salads, Sunday Dinner

    Sunday Dinner – Cocoa and Spice Slow-Roasted Pork with Onions (and some sides)

    Music: On Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz

    We held our annual Holiday party this last weekend.  The usual suspects attended with some new additions.  Next year I’m going to need more chairs! (or a bigger apartment?).  I spent some time with older Bon Appetit magazines and created a really lovely meal.   We made Cocoa and Spice Slow-Roasted Pork with Onions, Green beans with Pancetta and a Mushroom Potato Gratin.

    What you’ll need for the spice rub:

    1/2 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
    1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
    2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons coarse sea salt (preferably gray crystals
    1 tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • Stir peppercorns and coriander in small skillet over medium heat until spices are darker in color, about 5 minutes.

    • Transfer toasted spices to mortar and pestle and grind finely.

    • Place in small bowl; mix in remaining ingredients.

    • This can be made 1 week ahead.

    What you’ll need for the Pork:

    6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 pounds onions plus 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
    1 cup of  water
    1 7-pound pork shoulder butt with bone
    • Preheat oven to 300°F.
    • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
    • Add onions and sage; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté 10 minutes.

    • Add water; cover and cook until onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
    • Uncover; continue to cook until onions are beginning to brown and water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

    • Sprinkle spice rub on large sheet of foil. Roll pork in rub, pressing to coat (some of rub will be leftover). Set pork on rack in large roasting pan.

    • Top pork with 1/3 of onions; scatter remaining onions around pork in pan.

    • Roast pork and onions until onions are deep brown, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours.
    • Transfer onions from pan to medium bowl.
    • Flip pork and continue to roast pork until very tender and thermometer inserted into center registers 165°F, about 2 1/2 hours longer.

    • Transfer pork to platter. Keep onions aside and add to green beans.

    Green Beans with Sage and Pancetta

    What you’ll need:
    2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
    10 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
    Fleur de sel
    • Line baking sheet with several layers of paper towels.
    • Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes depending on size of beans. Drain.
    • Spread beans out on paper towels.
    • Cut pancetta into small cubes.

    • Combine pancetta and 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet. Sauté over medium heat until pancetta is crisp, separating pieces with 2 forks, about 10 minutes.
    • Add sage and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate.
    • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes.
    • Add pancetta mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl.

    From bonappetit.com

    Potato-Mushroom Gratin

    What you’ll need for the Gratin:
    5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    2 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
    1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for mushrooms
    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional for mushrooms
    1 1/4 cups (or more) heavy whipping cream, divided
    1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
    6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    12 ounces fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush 13x9x2-inch glass or oval ceramic baking dish with 2 tablespoons oil.
  • Cut potatoes into 1/8″ pieces.
  • Arrange 1/3 of potatoes, slightly overlapping, in dish.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour 1/3 cup cream over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layering 1/3 of     potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/3 cup cream, and 1/4 cup cheese 2 more times.
  • Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender, adding cream by tablespoonfuls if dry, about 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven; maintain oven temperature.
  • Sprinkle thyme and garlic slices over gratin.
  • Toss mushrooms in medium bowl with 3 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Arrange mushroom slices atop gratin around edge of dish.
  • Drizzle with 1/4 cup cream; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
  • Continue to bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and potato edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.

    Filed under cookbooks, Food Anecdotes, Pork, Recipes, Sides, Sunday Dinner

    Attention Clinton Hill/Fort Green/Bed Stuy residents!

    It’s almost here! Let’s help build it…

    Green Hill Food Co-op.

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    Happy Thanksgiving!

    from us to you!

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