OK -- this is my longest post to date:
So much has happened in two years -- the length of time I have managed this blog.
I recall that I introduced this blog as an experiment -- I had joined a food challenge group and felt this would be a great way to document history. While the group no longer connects to challenge one another with a weeky ingredient, I continued on with the blog.
It filled me; the blog nurtured in a way I didn't expect and didn't realize was possible.
Over the last two years I have experienced much in life -- and in the kitchen.
I've earned a master's degree and began work toward the doctorate (with plans to defend my proposal in a few months).
Friends and loved ones have drifted away.
And I have met some other amazing friends -- some of you locally, some hundreds of miles away and others across the digital transom.
I have traveled throughout southern California, to Chicago, Illinois and Vancouver -- a city I have wanted to visit for years.
I have become an aunt to a lovely, lovely little girl.
Then there is my work in the kitchen.
I have learned -- finally -- how to make luscious salads, curry and sushi.
I make a mean BBQ and an assortment of marinades and rubs. I now know how to butterfly meat.
I can finally fry catfish.
I feel I will soon perfect the soft boiled egg.
And I can easily prepare dishes that call for upwards from 10 ingredients without heaving over while reading the recipe.
And so much more.
Along the way, I've learned a few important things:
A chef in the kitchen is ideal. A chef an a sous chef -- that's good, too. But more than two cooks in the kitchen and chaos ensues.
Patience is one of a cook's best virtues.
Treat your knives as you would natural hair -- with love, attention, patience and care.
Do not underestimate the power of broccoli.
A turkey breast is freakin' huge!
Onion and garlic are key for adding much needed depth to many dishes.
Frozen vegetables are not the enemy.
Honey and brown sugar are decadent on beef and chicken.
I look forward to what's to come with this blog, and with life.
Making simple bread and cheese is easier than the general cook might assume.
A colorful, balanced plate makes or a happy eater.
Salt can be and should be substituted when possible.
Thank you for reading! ...and enjoy the photos, which represent some of my favorite foodie moments over the last two years.
...pears poached in red wine and cinnamon which, after the reduction, is syrupy sweet.
...prosciutto wraps. They make a wonderful appetizer, especially when stuffed with feta.
...boiled eggs with salt, pepper and feta -- a midnight snack and guilty pleasure.
...one of the "challenge items" for work -- monkey bread (I take suggestions from office mates and make dishes to share with the office about every other month).
...that time I forgot to add the ginger.
...that time my mother warned me: "You are putting the biscuits too close together. You're just going to have one big biscuit."
...part of the culinary love note to Nancy.
...one of the food/photography parties. Great fun!
...one of my all time favorite photos -- my poached black figs.
...a new method for cutting and cooking potatoes. They are called hasselback potatoes.
...a must-do: Pampered Chef party.
...my cure for sickness.
And a few more:
...a wonderful birthday gift from my mother -- this beautiful and powerful blender.
...making ghee for the very first time.
...fire roasted green chilies? A must!
Alex, once my kitchen companion.