Oh Valentine’s Day, I’m never sure what to think about you. On one hand, the idea of a day for lovers to express what they mean to each other is kind of endearing. On the other, it’s usually filled with expectation, obligation and for some, disappointment. I have pretty much nixed V-day because I really don’t enjoy any holiday that brings with it expectation and obligation. No flowers, chocolate or fancy restaurant reservations are needed for me!
That said, I DO like to cook something special to tantalize cupid’s cute little pot belly… Hey, any excuse to cook something delicious and special is a good excuse for me. Besides, if you have a sweetheart, the best way to show them how much they mean to you is to cook something with love.
If your family is anything like mine, Christmas is all about the food. To me, celebrating the holidays means rich savory dishes followed by decadent desserts. My mother’s family back in Indiana gathers at around 11:00 am for the all-day eat-a-thon which usually includes enough food to feed a small country. The soiree can go late into the evening with singing, playing games and, of course, more eating! There are always plenty of leftovers for everyone to enjoy later, too. This year, M and I have traveled to the cold from sunny California to partake in the events. I’ve prepared by doing some extra hard workouts the past few days!
The Holidays are a stressful time of year. Family visits, gift buying, traveling, traffic, unpredictable weather… All while still trying to keep up a normal schedule. It always seems to creep up on us every year too. Once Thanksgiving arrives I barely have time to enjoy the celebration before I’m in the throws of preparing for the winter holidays! Still, it is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends and remembering those important in our lives.
This year, I had an amazing opportunity to attend the PMA Fresh Summit along with 30 other food bloggers. What is that, you may say? Well it’s only the world’s best expo for fresh food and produce! Thanks to the Idaho Potato Commission, I received an all-access pass to attend the educational sessions on Friday and experience the expo floor of the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday. I have never seen such beautiful produce, impressive booths and displays and delicious food preparations all in one place. It was definitely a delight for the senses.
I’m not really known for keeping things simple. I like to say that I’m simple and uncomplicated but that’s not really true. I have a tendency to overthink, overshoot, over-plan and over-worry. In fact I will go to great efforts just to make something appear basic and elementary when in fact it isn’t! This is quite often the case with cooking. Our culture is becoming increasingly gourmet. Now I am a huge supporter of this because it means people are broadening their horizons, trying new things, and enjoying them! However, there is something to be said about true simplicity.
I was super excited to take the October Unprocessed Challenge. I rarely take on a challenge for a couple of reasons. 1) I don’t really like to subscribe to fads (especially when it comes to food) and 2) I tend to bore easily and I don’t generally stick with one thing for very long. Something about the October Unprocessed Challenge really grabbed me though. This is not about a fad diet, not about going [insert whatever]-free. This was not about being vegetarian, vegan or carnivore. This is about something that we could all use a little more of – education.