So, I'm going to outline a few of my favorite (material) things from the end of 2010, in no particular order.
- Tommy Bahama Pineapple Cilantro Candle. This is always on my list of favorite things. I keep this candle (small travel size) in my suitcase. It makes every dumpy hotel smell a little better and reminds one of home. If you haven't been exposed to this candle (or my guest room), do yourself a favor and buy one. It's a refreshing little treat that adds a lot of benefit during the winter months -- reminds me of the tropics.
- Chocolove Almonds and Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate. I was first exposed to this on a coach flight from LAX to ORD this year. I love this candy bar. It's rich dark chocolate (55% cocoa) will quench your chocolate cravings. The addition of sea salt works to cleanse the palette and intensify the chocolate flavor. These candies are a bit difficult to find -- you can order online, which is what I recommend. If you want to give an acceptable equivalent a try, go to Ghirardelli and get the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt bar. The almonds are much smaller and are basically just dust -- which is disappointing, especially compared to Chocolove. Go try it.
- Food Magazines. I've been more diligent in reading my food/recipe magazines. I love to cook, but never end up using the great recipes in my magazines. I find a recipe that I love, so I save the magazine, but never know what recipe was in that magazine or if I'm looking for a specific recipe I never know what issue the recipe was in. I've started pulling the recipe from the magazine and keeping it in a separate folder -- it's not the most efficient way to store these new recipes, but it's better than the alternative. Once I actually use the new recipe I make the decision to either throw it away (if it wasn't good or was too much work for what you get out of it) or I write the recipe down on a card and put it in my recipe box -- and then toss the magazine article. This keeps the clutter down.
- Port Wine. I never really liked port until I spent a few days in Porto, Portugal this past September. I really like this beverage partnered with dessert or just as an after dinner/conversation drink. Quite nice. The US stuff is less than ideal. If you can find Kopke Reserve just pick it up. They have a great selection of very old ports and newer bottles as well. All that I've tried have been really amazing. It is tough to find in the US, but not impossible. Buy it.
My list isn't comprehensive nor is it really focused on something specific -- just a few things that were on my mind lately.
Happy New Year.