I wanted to do a blog around Thanksgiving but I didn't get around to it. I will take the opportunity now to reflect not only upon what I am thankful for, but also the good things that have happened over this past year, and some of the joy experienced this
Time always finds a way of just slipping by. If we aren't busy with one thing it's another. We need to take time stop and appreciate what we have, or what's the sense of having it?
This year has been a pretty good year. It was my second year having left the work field to return to college and it was quite an enjoyable year for learning. You, as fellow cooks, can understand why: I am a culinary student. I have never looked forward
to attending classes as much as I had this past year. Learning the methods and whys and hows of cooking makes throwing dishes together much easier. I still love following recipes, too, of course!
This year had lots of great motorcycle riding. Mostly too and from classes, but it made my hour-fifteen commute as enjoyable as attending the classes themselves. I love the sense of adventure and freedom from riding. It also puts you in better touch with
Speaking of being in better touch with surroundings, I am thankful to live on the edge of beautiful state forest. Trees, birds, deer, and even the bugs. There's plenty of wildlife to appreciate, and on a warm day, I love to sit on the swing in my yard
and read a book or magazine and drink homemade lemonade while facing the woods. Ahhhh.
This year saw an amazing turnaround for my health. Some of you know I suffer with psoriasis. I went from being about 85% covered in February down to 2% by mid-summer. For the first time in years, I donned a bikini and enjoyed swimming in the fresh water.
It felt great!
After almost 9 months of trying, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. We will be welcoming a little girl in a few short months and couldn't be more excited! I'm sure I'll blog about it when she arrives, if I have time! I look forward to being
a new mom, busy and tired and all.
I was lucky enough to go to Allrecipe's 15th Birthday Celebration and meet some fellow friends and AR staffers. It was such a fun time! Aside from meeting some of the people I had been talking to from AR for a while, we had a great time at AR HQ, exploring
Seattle, and eating lots of tasty food! We had a blast!
I attended my first AR Round-Up! In SoCal at Baking Nana's, I got to reconnect with friends I 'met' in Seattle and make new ones as well. More than friends, these people feel like family to me and I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life!
My family lives on the other coast, so I don't see them as often as I'd like and the holidays are usually hard for me because I miss them. This year, my parents came out to visit before Christmas and we had our own little holiday celebration. We went shopping,
caught a movie, made tasty food, and my husband and I surprised them by taking them to a 3D ultrasound. It meant a lot to have them here for part of my pregnancy, and for them to see me sporting this big belly. Can't wait to see them again when they come
out to meet their grand-daughter.
That husband I've mentioned? He's a heck of a great guy and I'm thankful to have him a life with him. We celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary with past year, and have been together for close to a decade. I couldn't find a better match if I went through
a whole book. (Yuk, yuk, yuk.)
Lastly, as I sit here typing this and eating piece of fudge after piece of fudge, I made some tasty goodies this holiday season and can't get them out of my head so I figured I'd share a few. Here's to a love of food!
First, this fudge I'm inhaling...it was my first time making fudge that actually turned out. And it's so good that after making it for goodie trays for Christmas as one of the Allstar activities, my husband asked that I make it again ASAP. This is the
second batch in about a week. It's supposed to be made with dark chocolate morsels, but I used semi-sweet since hubby isn't much a fan of dark chocolate (although I am). This is some addicting stuff!
Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge
A goodie tray isn't complete without some cookies. This was another Allstar activity. I find some real keeper recipes that I normally wouldn't bother with because of required activities and this is one of them. Not going to lie, there are plenty of stinkers
too. I'm usually not a fan of white chocolate, but this is an exception. Other people were adding dried cranberries to theirs so I split the batch and made some with and some without. After baking up a tray of each, I added cranberries to the original batch
after all. I also used a little more zest than called for. These will be made again for sure!
White Chip Orange Cookies
So this is a super-tweaked recipe that I first tried as written a few months back. It was an Allstar assignment at the time for
Cherry Chocolate Shortbread Cookies. Now, I love chocolate and I love cherries (see fudge, above), but it wasn't my favorite as a shortbread. The shortbread itself was very good, so I went back to the recipe and added chopped pecans to the dough in place
of the cherries and chocolate and added a whole pecan on top. Now that's a perfect shortbread in my opinion! If I knew how to submit a custom version without redoing my review, I would. Following the recipe, I just omitted the chips and cherries and added
1/2 C of chopped pecans. Maybe it was 3/4 C. Top with a whole pecan before baking and skip the chocolate drizzle. Yum.
I hadn't had these things in years. Another Allstar activity, I made them thinking they wouldn't get eaten. Wrong! I quite enjoyed them, and they seemed to be a hit on the goodie trays. I'm not a fan of adding the marshmallows as the recipe calls for
though. Personal preference!
I hope the holidays and this past year have been good to you all! I look forward to cooking and sharing with you this next year! Aside from my growing family, I look forward to growing a better garden in which to enhance my cooking this year. A safe and
happy New Year to you! Cheers!
[I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador
(a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Adventures in Lissa's Kitchen! The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely
the sole opinions of *~Lissa~*.]