Here’s to Good Eatin’ in 2010!

Happy New Year Friends! :)

Alas, the whirlwind of holiday festivities, coupled with a long bout of the flu, has kept me away from blogging. But, I’m baaaaacccckkkkk and ready to kick in 2010!

At the close of 2009, I experienced an “Out-of-Body-Baking-Frenzy”. I kid you not….I was a baking machine and I was sure my better-half was going to have to hide the butter and sugar to keep me out of the kitchen!

Below are a few snapshots of evidence from my craze:

Caramel Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting © Photo rights reserved.

Fixing up some Caramel © Photo rights reserved.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting © Photo rights reserved.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark...Somehow I ended up making over 5lbs. of it! © Photo rights reserved.

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies dipped in Ghirardelli Chocolate © Photo rights reserved.

Grinding up the Macadamia Nuts © Photo rights reserved.

Prepping a Raspberry Coulis © Photo rights reserved.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Cookie Crust © Photo rights reserved.

Luna's Dessert Platter: Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies with Toffee Chips, Milk Chocolate Brownies, and Molasses Cookies © Photo rights reserved.

I needed an intervention. Seriously. :)

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I caught the “ickies” quickly after Christmas which put a pause on my culinary experiments. However, the recoup time gave me the perfect excuse to plop on the couch and catch up on some serious Food TV.

One of my most anticipated shows during the holidays was the Super Chef Battle of Iron Chef America that first screened on January 3rd.

Iron Chef America Mario Batali & Emeril Lagasse took on Iron Chef America Bobby Flay & White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford for this 2 hour battle. The Secret Ingredient? ANYTHING from the White House Garden. As charged by First Lady Michelle Obama, these duo teams were asked to create 5 dishes that featured healthy meals to inspire America.

Upon their return to Kitchen Stadium, the chefs were shown various ingredients displayed on the altar– all grown/harvested within 100 miles of the Stadium. Local, fresh ingredients—-my kind of battle. Unfortunately, that’s when things kind of took a turn.

First off, where was the Chairman??? He was MIA from such an important “Super Chef Battle”? And although the beloved Alton Brown filled in and got to sit and taste the dishes with the judges, it seemed quite odd that Mark Dacascos (yes, the Chairman’s true name) would not be present. Perhaps some R&R was needed after his stint on “Dancing with the Stars“?

Speaking of the judges……this leads me to the next “whhaaat???” moment of the show. The panel consisted of Nigella Lawson, Jane Seymour, and Natalie Coughlin. With the exception of Nigella, seriously—Jane Seymour and Natalie Coughlin? Don’t get me wrong, this is no disrespect to Actresses-turned-Jewelry-Designers or Olympians but this is a Super Chef Battle! I was hoping for a Hubert Keller or better yet, a panel consisting of the old school Iron Chefs! That would be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Nope….no such thing.

As for the rest of the battle….it turned out to be pretty “meh”. Perhaps my expectations were set high since the word “super” was in the title (hey, I’m impressionable like that) but overall, it was a “C+” television experience for me.

But—-No Fear, as 2010 is shaping up to become an epic year for “good eats”. With San Francisco’s Dine-About-Town just around the corner, coupled with several new recipes and cooking gadgets I have yet to try—-my kitchen and tummy will be quite busy.

So with that, dear friends, I hope your holidays and New Year’s Festivities were joyful and delicious! :)