Wet My Whistle Wednesday

Thanksgiving is my second favorite day of the year behind Christmas Eve Day. Parades, turkey, family boardgames, more turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie, gravy, sweet potatoes, beautiful fall weather, Dallas Cowboy's football, and the official countdown for Christmas beginning, makes this the best day ever.

A lot of you remember (and have graciously reminded me at our shows throughout the year!) that last year was, in fact, my most accomplished Thanksgiving Day due in large part to the amazing miracle of wearing maternity pants for the big day. And truly, you can put away a ton of food when you have an elastic top attached to your britches. Lord don't ever let me sit through Thanksgiving without maternity pants again.

For me, holidays revolve around food. I love my family. I really do. But even if I were to be stranded in an airport or a different country away from my blood relatives; if I could simply be served a platter of turkey, dressing, gravy, pie, and a pair of maternity pants to change into, I am quite sure I'd still be the happiest person alive.

(That is, of course, after I placed a call in to the relatives).

To that end, this year I am happy for food. Thankful for good restaurants. Grateful for new cities where local artists create bliss in their kitchens! And happy that I get to eat a little bite here... a little bite there... and a few more bites in between. So for those of you who have fed me delicious meals this year, thank you. And for those of you who will feed me in the future...I love you. I really do.

These are a few of my favorite finds from 2009:

Cindi's, Dallas (Must try the homemade Chicken-N-Dumplings.)

Quartino's, Chicago (They import their cheese from Italy and make all their pastas in-house. Hands down the best restaurant we found all year!)

Maria's Pancake House, Warsaw, Indiana (The biggest 5 egg omelet in the country. I promise. Oh, and it comes with 3 pancakes. Can you say, heart attack?)

Flying Star, Albuquerque (Handmade pastries, New Mexico wines, organic salads, all nestled at the base of the mountains. Beautiful. You can sit there for hours.)

Crema, Nashville (The best espresso drink and quiche in the city.)

Tao, Las Vegas (Go with friends, dress cute, and eat some of the best Asian food served in the country.)

Andy's Frozen Custard, Branson Missouri (Pumpkin concrete custard. Heaven in a cup. Enough said.)

The Dripolator, Black Mountain North Carolina (Amazing drip coffee. And even better muffins. We sat at this coffee shop every single morning for a week straight.)

Beechers Handmade Cheese Company, Seattle (You can watch the cheese being made at this waterfront store located next door to the original Starbucks. The macaroni and cheese might be the best thing you ever eat in your life. I wanted to swim in it after we finished eating a bowl, yep, I wanted to swim in their macaroni and cheese.)

Mikes Pastry Shop, Boston (I have written about this place before, and I will write about it until every person that loves pastries has visited. Cream puffs. Canoli. Best. Thing. Ever).