Best of 2013

December 30, 2013

Chung's Best of 2013

2013 was the year I entered a new decade of life, discovered my love for Sichuan food in the kitchen, dabbled with Photoshop and went bonkers over DIY crafting but also continued my love affair with cupcakes and baking. Here are a few of my highlights from the year:

Best Meal: I can't help but keep thinking about my visit to Little Goat in Chicago over the summer. I ordered the most extravagant plate of French Toast I have ever encountered. It was complete with fried chicken, sweet onion brioche, strawberries, a hidden egg and bbq maple syrup. The combination of salty sweet was perfection but this dish may be a one-per-lifetime-deal. But oh-so-good! 
Craziest Meal: On the 30th birthday during a quick lunch outing with friends, I ordered a salami sandwich tucked between two pieces of GARLIC BREAD. Why haven't I heard of it before and why isn't this taking the country by storm like the cronut? Cheesy, greasy, garlicky and a super gluttonous dish. This definitely is a one-per-lifetime sandwich but totally yum. (Head over to Cafe 59 in Allentown and see if it's on the specials menu).
Best New Eatery: Ever since going to the West Side Bazaar for the first time this summer in Buffalo, I have frequented it a few more times. I can sample ethnic foods from Burma, Thailand, Ethiopia and Peru all at a reasonable price. Everything I've eaten has been super tasty and I can't wait to go back again. 
Best New Kitchen Gadget: I really love my Noodler since it's made making zucchini noodles so much easier and the clean up is super easy too. 
Best Purchase: Not totally food related but my new running shoes really changed my life. I no longer run with pain in my legs and ran my first race in over a decade. Since I'm exercising more, it gives me license to eat more, right? (I got my feet fitted at Fleet Feet. Highly recommend doing the same!) 
Best New Cooking Project: I guess pickling isn't exactly cooking but I pickled a few times this year and love it. But I've always had a love for vinegary, salty things and now I can make them at home! 
rhubarb pickles!
Best New Baked Recipe: I can't get enough of these Gooey Cinnamon Bars. They're totally buttery deliciousness! 
Best Unexpectedly Good Recipe: I didn't know what to think if I baked with black beans but these brownies actually taste like a normal brownie. 
Best Cupcake: Out of the 24 cupcakes sampled this year on my cupcake hunting, about half of them were pretty decent. As for the best cupcake of the year, it was a very close race but I immediately fell in love with the Boston Cream Pie cupcake from Sensational Bites in Chicago. The runners-up: Holler Back Girl from Sugar Sweet Sunshine in NYC and a Devil's Food cupcake from Amy's Bread in NYC. 
Happy New Year and here's to more eating and adventuring in 2014! 

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