2010, How Sweet It Was

I hope 2011 has gotten off to a sweet start for everyone! It is certain to be full of new discoveries and adventures for me, with travels near and far.  We’ll be home in Zürich, bouncing around Switzerland and going beyond the borders to wherever the train may take us.  Perhaps heading to more exotic destinations too.  And let’s not forget all the adventures in the kitchen. Many food bloggers have been compiling their “best of” lists and sharing their favorite travel and food experiences of 2010, which naturally got me thinking too. It’s fun to browse through photos of past trips and recall memorable tastes that demand to be recreated.

What are your travel and food highlights from the past year? Here are some of mine…

BelizeFestival de Ballons, Château-d

2010 felt the warmth of the sun (and the people) in Belize – recalling the places where I (almost) swam with sharks and tasted way more than just rice and beans. A repeat visit to Chateau d’Oex’s hot air balloon festival still feels like yesterday, as I visualize little bursts of color filling the otherwise white sky, the snowy mountains making for a picture perfect backdrop. The event is simply spectacular, and may even oblige an annual trip to the Gruyère region.  Ok, so the region’s meringues with famous double cream might have something to do with that too. I remember staring up at the sky, yet again with mouth open, at the Swiss Patrouille’s Air Show in Emmen, a celebration of 100 years of aviation in Switzerland – beyond fascinating, although deafening without the proper ear protection.

I had a taste of fish & chips and sticky toffee pudding in London, not to mention rugby-sized meringues and excellent chocolate.  Plus it was a simply brilliant experience to be a speaker at Food Blogger Connect, meeting fellow food bloggers from the UK and beyond.

London & OttolenghiChur, SwitzerlandSwiss PatrouilleBelize

There was plenty of chocolate in Paris too (quoi de neuf ?!), a much talked about Paris-Brest, the arrival in the capital of one of France’s best chocolatiers and my annual visit to the Salon du Chocolat – the latter certain to top the “best of” list year after year.  2010 was all about chocolate with caramel and salt, a trend I wouldn’t mind carrying over to 2011. I was lucky to spend time with Ballenberg’s chocolate maker Marius Bürgisser, as well as with the quirky Denise Acabo, known for her pig-tails and stellar chocolate shop in Paris’ 18th arrondissement. And what would the year be without plenty of cookies and dates? (Answer: not sweet enough.)

London chocolateLa Pâtisserie des Rêves, Paris, FranceBallenberg, SwitzerlandFranck Kestener, Paris, France

Speaking of dates, the year’s biggest baking success was my tahini date shortbread, making Mayssam Samaha’s list of the year’s top desserts. That’s one recipe I have repeated numerous times (Mayssam too!) and will continue to bake in the upcoming year. And thanks to a freezer full of rhubarb and raspberries from last summer’s markets, I have also been enjoying bright rhabarberberry crumbles. After the 500th tweak in my ever-evolving recipe for granola, 2011 may just be the year I set it in stone… and share it here too. Stay tuned for that. And last but not least, I’ll keep baking from Ladurée: The Sweet Recipes, my English translation of the cookbook published just a few months ago — certainly a favorite project of the year for me.

Bateel DatesTahini Date ShortbreadFreshly baked cookiesLadurée Sucré: The Recipes

And now, time to look ahead… an already bursting folder of recipes labeled “to bake” keeps growing, while my travel list gets longer and longer. Where to this year? Only time will tell… Will it be Sicily? Rome? Lebanon? San Sebastian? Zermatt?  Southeast Asia?  Croatia?

What is on your travel agenda or wish list for 2011?

23 Responses to “2010, How Sweet It Was”

  1. Tweets that mention 2010, How Sweet It Was | MyKugelhopf -- Topsy.com says:

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  2. Juls @ Juls' Kitchen says:

    Kerrin, happy sweet new year!
    I’m happy to share with you my 2010 food and travel highlights!
    I cannot start with anything else but London and FBC10, my “highest highlight” of the year, without any doubt!
    A week in Provence and Camargue, discovering small villages and delicious food, comes strictly second!
    As regard food, I should mention a mind-blowing amaretti white chocolate! 😉
    What about this 2011? I wish more and more! Remember that Tuscany and torrone are always waiting for you!

  3. Denise says:

    great post and photos as usual! I published my own ‘best of 2010’ a few days ago.
    I’m looking forward to another year of great reads here on mykugelhopf!

  4. mayssam says:

    Lebanon!!! Oh and Montreal too!! And definitely New York! Keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll be in one of those places at the same time in 2011 so we can go on some very sweet journeys together! Beautiful post K. and thanks for the mention! I think it’s time to bake a batch of those cookies again, it’s been a few weeks… 🙂

  5. Kerrin says:

    Juls, happy new year to you !! And wow, love those highlights, thanks for sharing ! FBC all the way. And Provence, what’s not to love ?! White chocolate with amaretti, where ever did you find that ?! haha ! Tuscany and torrone….. ooooh must add that to the list too !! =)

    Denise, thank you so much ! Looking forward to checking out your “best of” too.

    mayssam, you know how much I dream of going to Lebanon. Et bah oui, Montréal chez toi aussi ! Un jour…. ! =) Hope our paths do cross – and what a sweet collision that will be ! Here’s to another batch of shortbread, I’ll be making some when I get home too… miam !

  6. valentina says:

    This is a lovely post. Happy 2011 sweet Kerrin!! I welcomed 2010 at the beach, in Bahia. i love being at the beach in Brazil all dressed up in white – this is probably the only tradition that I only religiously follow. I jumped 7 little waves..and made a wish for every single one. I followed that by throwing a white flower in the sea to Iemanjá. I was in a very bad place personally and there was a lot of sadness and a total lack of hope. Comes 2011 and I welcomed it again in white back home.This time bang in the center of Brazil.under a lot of rain. But the immense sadness that sat on my shoulder in 2010 was not there – wonderful feeling. 2010 evolved nicely despite its sad beginning and the fact that I ended it in Brasilia, my home town, meeting up with old and new friends was just spectacular. I drink and toast to this new year. I’ll be working on a book..and cultivating the good friendships I’ve made. Thanks for this wonderful internet spot that is your blog. Having met you in 2010 I can give this blog a ‘real’ voice.. wish you every tiny bit of happiness and realization. tintin!!!

  7. Wendy says:

    I have loved following your travels and smiling at your finds throughout 2010! Looking forward to what 2011 brings us all! I will once again be visiting Zurich to see my dear friend Jane so we will once again be pursuing some of your great recommendations in the region!

    If you desire an Asian getaway… we have a guest bedroom in Singapore waiting for you!


  8. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    What an amazing year!!! I was reading through your round up and thought “surely this is not all in one year?” You certainly have packed a lot into 2010. Multum in parvo, in fact! (The nickname for my favourite dog breed – one day I will have one!!

    All the best for more sweet adventures in 2011. I look forward to reading each any every post that you share. I feel like I’m traveling and tasting alongside you!

    p.s. Must try that shortbread soon, and can’t wait for your famous granola recipe!!! 🙂

  9. Kerrin says:

    valentina, I am certainly raising a glass high to you, and toasting to a happy, healthy and uplifting year. Thank you for sharing above. I am saddened to read about such a difficult period you had, but thrilled to know that you have already started the year on a wonderful, positive note. May that only continue, and may each and every one of your wishes for 2011 come true. Obrigada again minha amiga.

    Wendy, thank you so much ! I hope you and Jane have a fabulous, fun and delicious visit together in Zürich. Plenty of sweet spots here on the blog to inspire you both. And thank you for the invitation to Singapore, so appreciated. All my best for 2011, we’ll see what it holds in store for us all…

    Julia, it certainly was a full year – for you and me both ! And this post only touched upon the highlights ! 😉 Lots more ahead in 2011, so I sure hope you are ready for all the travels and tastes to come, of course you are joining me along the way !! Oh, and a pug for the Mélanger trio ?! How fun !

  10. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    2011 for me will start with some celadon green inspiration. Something close to your heart in 2010, for sure. 🙂

    P.S. A pug, yes! Impressively quick research skills! 😉

  11. Meeta says:

    yes 2010 was a lovely year for you, me and us! it brought us together and for that i am thankful!

    2011 will hopefully bring a lot of travel my way – hoping norway again, vienna, dubai, italy, london all look set for 2011 and the spontaneous ones on top of this! let 2011 begin!

  12. Kristina says:

    Wow, looks like you had a great year… hope 2011 will be at least as good!
    I have been to Belize a couple of years ago – I loved it! Will never forget snorkeling at the reefs at Caye Caulker! Amazing!
    I also started the travel list for 2011 – already booked flights to Marrakech in March, I am soo excited!
    Viele Gruesse, Kristina

  13. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday says:

    I went hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire which was absolutely amazing. It’s somewhere that I would love to go again.

  14. Kerrin says:

    Julia, celadon green did you say ? Hmmm, what ever could that be ?! [tee hee] Can’t wait to see the sweet results chez toi. Oh la la, I can hardly wait. And the pug – definitely had to look that up. Love research, you know that ! 😉

    Meeta, I could not have said it better. 2010 was all about food, travel… and friends. More of all of that to come in 2011. And for you, Norway again ?! Oh you must be so excited. Vienna, Dubai, Italy and London too ? Not too shabby. Where’s Switzerland on that list ??? 😉

    Kristina, thanks ! 2011 is going to be fantastic, I just know it. And with a trip to Marrakesh already on your calendar, sounds like it will be for you for sure ! I absolutely love Morocco, really hope to get back there soon… Have an amazing trip !

    Samantha, hiking in the White Mountains, sounds magical !! Enjoy – again and again ! =)

  15. jkiel says:

    2010: we discovered that British food is NOT as horrible as everyone seems to think!
    2011? Not sure what destinations are in store… yet! still pondering all the choices (both location-wise AND food-wise!)

  16. Jeanne @ CookSister! says:

    Oh what a lovely year you had, sweetie! So lovely to have been able to share the fabulous spice weekendat CookSIster HQ with you, Sporty! Bring on 2011 – I’m hoping to get to Chamonix, South Africa, Singapore, Munich, Greece, Weimar and Italy (maybe twice!). Hope we get to meet up again soon and you know of course you & O always have a place to stay in London, right??

  17. Lani says:

    Thank you for reminding me what a fabulous year you have had and best of all to share all these adventures with you. I did have a great sweet start to the New Year! Desserts from Locanda Verde, cookies from Peels and my own rocky road candy. I look forward to a year of travelling to places that will open my eyes to new and exciting places. Would love to bike thru parts of Spain and of course, France.

  18. Jenn says:

    Kerrin I loved reading about all of your exciting travels and tastes last year, it definitely was a sweet and flavorful 2010! My year started with moving here to Suisse and falling in love with the Alps, Swiss bread, cheese, cured meats, and chocolate 🙂 For 2011 I hope to explore a bit more outside of Suisse as well!

  19. Sari says:

    What a sweet recap of 2010! I’m dreaming of most of the places mentioned here. Specifically Paris is on top of the list. It may sound unbelievable, but I’ve never been there yet. I’m not sure what our plans for 2011 are yet, but hopefully Australia will make it to the list of my accomplished travel dreams.
    Wishing you a very sweet new year!

  20. Emma says:

    Honestly, my travel and food highlights have mostly come from your website (and yourself) this year. My one food-based trek away from home took me on a scavenger hunt of Boston and Cambridge, thanks to your helpful suggestions and recommendations. Also thanks to you, 2010 became the Year of Chocolate for me – not too shabby! Sweet sweet 2010:)

    I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration you’ve given me – keep up the terrific work (because who doesn’t like being inspired?). And my best wishes for continued travels and success in 2011!

  21. Kerrin says:

    jkiel, haha ! Really ?! What British food did YOU taste ? 😉 No need to have 2011 plans just yet, fun to let things happen spontaneously too as the year goes on… But what are you considering ? Do tell.

    Jeanne, it certainly was a great year, I mean, hellooo it involved a weekend at CookSister HQ as you said !! =) Thanks for the open invite. But um, if we come, it doesn’t look like you’ll be there very much. That’s some travel list – is that for 2011 ? Or 2011-2014 ?? 😉

    Lani, mmm what a sweet start indeed ! Locanda Verde and Peels were two of my recent highlights in New York City too. Already can’t wait to get back to both.

    Jenn, thank you so much. Your 2011 was my 2008 – when I too just arrived in Switzerland and fell in love with everything around me ! And there is still so much more to discover… You’ll have to let me know when your travels bring you to Zürich of course !

    Sari, thank you ! And a most wonderful, sweet new year to you too ! So, you haven’t been to Paris ? … Yet ! 😉 And wow, Australia ?? That is quite a trip, exciting to even think about it ! Enjoy all the fun travel planning !

    Emma, love it ! Love that I can take you on my travels with me. And I also love that 2010 was the Year of Chocolate for you !! What will 2011 be ? The Year of More Chocolate ? =) Thank you thank you thank you for your fantastic comment above. And… you’re most welcome !

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