Archive | January, 2012


4 Jan

Foods I cooked for the first time

  • Breakfast: yeasted waffles
  • Appetizers + soups: arancini, bruschetta*, gazpacho, split pea soup
  • Meats: beef and broccoli, beef and guinness pie*, chicken w brown sauce, chicken empanadas, inside-out pupusas, meatballs*, pot roast, pulled chicken, whole chicken, wings
  • Seafoods: crab cakes, fish tacos, salmon cakes, scallops
  • Veggies: fried okra, spinach w pine nuts, squash dumplings*, stuffed mushrooms
  • Sides, sauces and extras: carbonara sauce, cranberry sauce*, dumplings (chicken and dumplings), latkes, pepitas*, polenta cakes, tortillas
  • Desserts + baked goods: apple tart, baklava*, blueberry pie, bread pudding, brioche buns*, clementine-chocolate chip buttermilk scone*, maple cookies, pumpkin pie

Places I visited

  • San Francisco bay area: 5
  • Napa Valley: 3
  • New York City: 2
  • Las Vegas: 1

Michelin-starred restaurants I tried

  • Gary Danko
  • Fleur de Lys
  • Boulevard
  • La Toque

Notable ailments I experienced

  • Concussion: 1.5
  • Pink eye: 2
  • Stress fracture: 1
  • Fractured pinky: 1
  • Ever-bleeding finger: 1

Lessons learned

  • I need to love with more than my heart knows how, so that regrets and excuses are not an option.
  • Blood relatives will always love me
  • My best friends may share meals, emails or adventures with me, or we may rarely talk at all, but they will never ever desert me.
  • Health is fragile, not something that I can earn or buy. I need to listen to my body.
  • Training and persistence pays off. I can now swim breathing every nine strokes (versus every three strokes) and run a nine-minute mile (versus a ten-minute mile).
  • It’s okay to spend money to have fun. In the end, money always works out.
  • I can create amazing design work if I put my mind to it. Winning three design awards for one project is proof enough.
  • Everyone has things that can hold them back in life. It’s not always obvious, but when it’s made known, it’s good to help them tackle it head on.