Monday, December 27, 2010


i feel guilty.
all the time.

i feel guilty with my
family because i'm not
always available enough/
awake enough/
care-free enough
to be with them
at the drop of a hat.

i feel guilty at work
because i worry that i'm
not the fill-in-the-blank i could
be - because i'm not
tough enough, smart enough,
something enough.

i feel guilty with my friends because
i wish i was better at e-mailing back, texting
back, making regular plans with them, even
though i think about the people who are
important to me all the time and wish that
i was able to show it more with my actions.

and, i feel guilty about this blog.
i started it because i wanted - needed -
a place to be myself, through my
writing, my food and over time,
my pictures. and, it's true,
i did that for a while. but,
blogging, or more specifically,
building a community is not automatic
and i am guilty of growing
discouraged. and then, i moved, which
i've talked about quite a bit before.

i thought i could handle keeping both
going. i thought that even though i moved
an hour and a half away from my job,
and was waking up 2 1/2 hours earlier
than i used to, i would leave work earlier
i'd get home earlier.
but, that doesn't happen.
these past three months are unbelievably
hard to explain - with the exception of a mini
vacation, thanksgiving dinner and, later, a night
celebrating chanukah, i feel as if my life has been,
sleeping and working, with a tiny bit of cooking
and a few hours of glee and modern family
thrown in (we even gave up amazing race this year
for lack of time - if you know us, that's huge).

sometime in there, i realized
i hadn't been logging onto twitter and
that i had stopped reading the blogs
of the people i loved to read.

i have pictures on my camera
from thanksgiving that i haven't yet
downloaded - but will for this post.

i have been kind of striving for
getting by.

and i feel guilty all the time -
that i shouldn't have started this
blog, that i shouldn't try to keep
up the blog anymore,
that maybe i don't have
the level of commitment in me
that a good blog needs.

i worry that at this point,
when i write something, it's been
way too long and no one will care
to or remember, to check.

but, then, things happen.
two blogs that i read, recently
posted their first entry in months.
and, i realized - i don't think anything
less of them for their absence. i was
just excited to see what they wrote.
and, today, when needing a
cupcake recipe, i was so happy to
be able to refer to
my blog,
my diary (albeit a public one),
to find the one i was looking for.

so, it will be hard, but here's
my new year's promise to myself:
no, maybe less guilt.
and, to try to love this blog
for what it is: mine,
and hopefully yours a bit, too.

and in that spirit,
i am also going to make an effort
to try to post more often,
but in whatever way works
in the moment - small entries,
story-filled, or like this one,
a compilation of what's been
happening in my life.
my mom, sisters and i took a trip to disney world to celebrate my mother's 60th birthday. it was an all-girl trip: two double beds, two sinks that were crowded with makeup and hair dryers and what seemed like 50 different chargers for 50 different electronic things. we played the trip like adults - enjoying a delicious african restaurant one night, very good desserts after a somewhat rough meal on the last night, avoiding characters (for the most part) and using the last day to visit the food and wine festival at epcot.
the reason
over there
birthday, night 2
blair and erin
wine and food festival
cookies and cream gelato

a couple weeks later, on thanksgiving - i insisted on making two dishes. my family tried to dissuade me - i had worked a significant amount leading up to the holiday, but i hated the idea of showing up with a bottle of wine or store-bought pie. so, i hunkered down on thanksgiving morning with a significant cup of coffee and started chopping six pounds of kale and peeling and slicing pears.

this cooking experience was not without its faults: i accidentally spilled a healthy splash of milk into the onions that i was sweating, the kale almost boiled over about 5 times, the greens were too salty forcing me to rinse them and just when i thought i couldn't mess up anything else, caramel spilled onto the floor, the counter, my socks and the computer cord when i tried to flip the upside down cake. but, it was all delicious (ok, maybe the cake was slightly undercooked) and company was perfect as always.

creamed kale with caramelized pearl onions from bobby flay (i doubled this recipe and used significantly less butter when caramelizing the onions): this was a huge hit, but if you reheat, i caution you to do what i didn't do: heat separately on the stovetop and then add the onions just before serving.

pear and cardamom upside down cake from the wednesday chef: i loved the flavor of this cake, but it's true that it didn't bake all the way through, even though the top was golden and it seemed solid. i'm choosing to blame the cake strips that i used to prevent a domed top. think what you will.
creamed kale and caramelized pearl onions
upside down pear cake

thanks to our collective busy schedules, we celebrated chanukah several days after the holiday ended. i decided that i wanted to make the mushroom and pecan pate that i had spotted a month earlier. i was very nervous that my family wouldn't go for a pate, so i made the only decision that made any sense: i made a chicken pate, too. i needn't have worried. they were lovely and a huge hit.

tuscan chicken liver pate from food52: delicious and slightly unusual combination of flavors. next time, i would probably eliminate or significantly reduce the cheese, which i felt overwhelmed the the other flavors. i also would process the mixture for shorter amount of time - i think it was just a bit gummy.

porcini and pecan pate from food & wine magazine: this one is a great vegetarian alternative, but slightly flat for my taste. i ended up adding in a bit of olive oil, a little cayenne and extra lemon juice. next time, i think i would caramelize onions and toss them into the food processor before pureeing. i think this was the favorite.
clockwise: porcinis soaking, pecans soaking, portobellas marinating
mushroom pate with rosemary and pecans
chicken pate with sage, capers and anchovy

so that was my november and december.
i would like to believe
that i will post again
before the end of the year,
but let's be realistic.
it was only this crazy snowstorm
that gave me the excuse to spend
time writing,
on my couch,
in my pajamas,
with finally, no where
to go, or really no way
to get there.

so, with that, i want
to say, happy new year.
here's to hoping for more
time together in 2011.
snow day