My New Adventure

Guys, I have some super exciting news. The lovely ladies over at COOP have asked me to become their newest food contributor! I couldn’t be more honored or thrilled!  I am lucky to be working with such creative and inspiring women!

My introductory post can be found here.  And many many thanks to Hooton Images for the amazing photographs!  Here are a few of my favorites:

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2013 In Review (Thanks for a great year, readers!)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


This is Thirty-Four

Yesterday was my 34th birthday.  I received a card from my husband which revealed to me that 34 years is 12,419 days.  So often we only think about birthdays in the context of years.  What did we accomplish in that year?  Are we better or worse off than the year prior?  Did we live up to our expectations or fall short of our destination?  But his card got me thinking in terms of days.  To me, days are much more manageable than years; I can better handle the expectations of a given day rather than the enormity of an entire year.  I can enjoy my small successes, ponder my missteps, and consider that if I am so lucky to get another day, how might I improve?  How might I make the day of another person better?  Or sometimes, I think about spending the following day simply enjoying the gift of being alive.

Are we too hard on ourselves?  Do we forget that our days are limited?  I think sometimes the answer is ‘yes.’  Perhaps we take for granted that another year will pass, we’ll have another birthday, and life will go on.  I’m not trying to be a downer here – my point is to be grateful for each individual day we are allowed, and to spend those days doing for others and doing for ourselves.  I don’t “live each day as though it’s my last,” but instead, I try to just be the most authentic “me” on that particular day.

I spent my 34th birthday being grateful for my husband, my family, and my lovely friends.  I spent it feeling proud of how far I’ve come in accomplishing my personal goals.  I spent it reflecting on the mistakes I’ve made, knowing I’ll make more, and I’m okay with that.  I spent it eating wonderful food with my dear husband in this great city I call home.

I thought about 12,419 days.  Sunrises and sunsets, the change of the seasons, miles traveled, apartments and houses, parties, classes, books read, walks taken, hugs given, tears shed.  I am so, so grateful for all the days.  Thanks to those of you who read this blog.  No recipe today, just reflection and gratitude.

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Sweet honey cornbread and black coffee for my birthday breakfast.

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Restaurant Review: Railcar Modern American Kitchen

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Photo credit: Ryan Soderlin/ The World-Herald

From time to time, I will write restaurant reviews for the Omaha World-Herald.  I really enjoy doing it; I get to try new restaurants and share my thoughts with readers of the newspaper.

Most recently, I reviewed Railcar Modern American Kitchen.  You can read the review here.  Chef Jared Clarke makes one of the best burgers I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  Check them out if you get the chance!


Our New Orleans Experience

Last week Scott and I spent five days in one of our favorite cities, New Orleans.  We went with two of our closest friends, Sarah and Matthew.  It was their first time to the Crescent City, but Scott and I have had the pleasure of visiting many times.  It was a treat to spend time with them, enjoying all the wonderful food and drink that New Orleans has to offer.

And eat and drink we did!  Scott and I were so excited to introduce some of our favorite places to Sarah and Matthew.  Of course, we hit up Café du Monde for beignets and café au lait.  We also visited The Napoleon House for a muffaletta sandwich and a Pimm’s Cup, The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel for, what else, a Sazerac, and we ate fresh oysters shucked by Thomas at Pascale’s Manale.

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Harvest Cafe & Wine Bar (Omaha, NE)

Twice now, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Omaha World Herald as a correspondent writing dining reviews.  My second installment is a write-up on a lovely restaurant called Harvest Cafe & Wine Bar.  If you live in the area, be sure to check it out!


Thanksgiving for Two

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a huge deal with my family.  I recall wading through a veritable sea of aunts, uncles, and cousins just to get to my grandmother’s world-famous (well, Grand Island famous) sage stuffing.  There was nothing I wanted to eat more than that stuffing.  In addition to the stuffing, there were the usual suspects: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, homemade dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and always a pumpkin pie.  So.  Much.  Food.  Leftovers for days.

But things are different now.  The cousins have grown up, moved away, and started families of their own.  My brother is now married with two sons, and splits holidays between he and his wife’s families.  I guess I always knew the time of huge family dinners would eventually end, I suppose I just didn’t want to accept it.

On occasion, Scott and I will join my family for Thanksgiving dinner, but not this year.  We’re sticking around Omaha and will be spending the holiday with one another.  It’s bittersweet – preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us, as this will be our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.  We are now our own family and we can start our own traditions.  I love him very much and am thankful for all he has brought to my life, so I want to make sure this dinner isn’t just like any other dinner I might make any other night of the week.

He requested turkey this year, but I’m not ready to cook an entire bird just for the two of us, so I’m opting for an organic, bone-in turkey breast.  I’m planning to brine it overnight and slow roast it to achieve the perfect juicy tenderness.

I’m sure I’ll come up with some interesting sides and of course, a dessert.  Maybe we’ll even pop open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

For those of you cooking for two, go crazy.  Get creative. Prepare something extra special, decadent, even.  Be thankful for the special person in your life, sitting across from you at the table, toast to one another, and dig in.