Catching up

I had the best of intentions when I first posted to this blog back in November of 2014. I was really going to start. That being said, I realized that it’s okay to start fresh.

Where to begin. I suppose where I left off might be appropriate. 2014 was nearing a close and had been overflowing with firsts for me. Scott and I were married in May, had a fantastic reception at our home in August and then flew off to Europe for two full weeks of honeymoon adventure in Paris and Switzerland in September. Sounds like a fairytale when I write it now. 2015 was also full of life events. Some wonderful and some not so wonderful.

Scott and I took a scenic road trip to Banff in February over Valentine’s Day weekend. What a beautiful place. The mountains, no matter where I go in the world, are what feel like home to me. Perhaps that’s it. I felt the same way being in Switzerland and again when we stayed in Driggs, Idaho in June.IMG_2861

I saw Chicago for the first time and am so excited to go back this coming June. What a great city!

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We welcomed a new niece, Cecelia Kay. She was quite the surprise with two older brothers.  And she loves her momma! IMG_2969

We celebrated my mom and Aunt’s 60th birthday at cozy cabin on Georgetown Lake. We’ve never seen so much snow in April, but what fun time we had cooking meals and snuggling up by the fire. There were camping trips, road trips, weekends with family and weekends at home.

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And in the middle of it all, we lost someone very special. My cousin had battled with congestive heart failure for close to eight years. He was flown to Salt Lake the first week in June and passed away the first week of July. While I am grateful he’s not suffering, his loss has affected me in a way I don’t quite understand. He was older and we never quite saw eye to eye in our world views I suppose, but in spite of those things I loved him immensely. He would tease me so and I miss his laugh and I miss the way he loved my sister’s kids and I miss his music.

I would be lost without the love of my family as we navigate this first year without him. It is bittersweet to leave 2015 behind, but there is so much to look forward to and be thankful for.

All the while, I find myself coming back to my kitchen again and again. 2015 was a year for new recipes. My copy of Date Night In got quite the workout, especially the Hemingway Punch (which by they way, is delicious made with blood orange juice and very pretty too). And Hippie Bowls from Bowl+Spoon were a hit in this house where it’s hard to disguise a vegetable on Scott’s plate. We substitute chicken for the tofu and pepitas are great alternative to the spicy sunflower seeds.

Bittersweet chocolate brownies made an appearance more than once, topped with peanut butter icing or whipped cream, strawberries and fresh mint.

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I took my culinary adventure on the road and had my first taste of Chicago deep dish pizza as well as real (to die for) Magnolia Banana pudding (It’s good for breakfast too).

We had a most amazing dinner at a little Bistro in Driggs, Idaho where the chef gave me his recipe for a tangy tomato jam (excellent for lamb burgers and oven-roasted potatoes).

As 2015 drew to a close, we added a Golden Retriever puppy to our family. This completes our zoo.

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Somewhere amidst all of these adventures and goings on, I attempted my first soufflé. An Earl Grey flavor (recipe from Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen). It was not spectacular by any stretch, but it won’t be my last attempt. Christmas (well, my mom) brought me a beautiful Artisan KitchenAid. So far, this little beauty has taken part in pizza dough (more Date Night In), Almond Flour Pancakes (Food52) and a sinfully delicious Rum Cake (Pinterest-inspired).

This brings us to 2016, where a new year offers up so many possibilities. I’m anxious to spend more time in the kitchen and share my passion with you.

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“oh sarah”

“I can hear my Aunt Sylvia with laughter in her voice as she tells me about the latest antics of Jude, my very sweet 4-year old nephew…”

“I can hear my mother happily enjoying my latest recipe, or even just my telling her about it…”

“I hear my younger sister (soon to be mother of 3) telling me to stop being so dramatic about something…”

“oh sarah” they say…

They are my inspiration. They are my joy in life. They are my family.

And so, I begin (or rather, continue) this journey. For so long, I was so close to them. And now, a few hundred miles away, I’ve begun a new chapter in life. Together, with Scott and our zoo (3 very silly cats and a sweet Golden Retriever). They are still with me. Encouraging me. Teasing me. Loving me…

I find happiness most often in the comfort of my kitchen. Much of the time, I say “I would so much rather be home cooking or baking something.”

So for now, between work and (online) school, I try my best to carve out little moments to escape to my favorite room in the house. Scott wishes these moments were much more frequent of late. And honestly, so do I.

I would so much rather be attempting my first soufflé rather than writing a response to a discussion about the Interpersonal Divide. Speaking of, I really do have yet to attempt my first soufflé. All in good time I suppose. Perhaps that’s how I’ll celebrate finishing the semester.