Happy New Year! (Thank You, Blog World #8)

Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays have been full of good food, quality time with friends and family, and plenty of rest. After spending 5 lovely days in western Virginia with my in-laws for Christmas (where my phone does not get reception, and I more or less stayed off of the internet), my husband and I ventured to Texas for 4 days with my side of the family. Two Christmases, two parties, and countless football games later, I feel incredibly blessed at the amount of love that has been shared in the past two weeks.

And we have not gone hungry! Casey will be sharing some of our delicious meals tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Nicoise Salad

As we do on the first day of each month, it is my turn to say Thank You. First, I have to say thank you to all of you, our readers. We have been blogging for about 8 months now, and it has been such fun to share our stories and our food, and to have the support of all of you who read our little blog. Thank you for visiting, reading, and commenting.

Here are a few of the bloggers who have inspired me in the past month. Since it is January, the time of new year’s resolutions, my “thank you”s come with goals for myself.

Thank You, Blog World…

…for reconnecting me with the written word.

In the past two weeks, I have read 3 books, two of which have been written by bloggers!

WrittenTogetherCover_REVISED_sidebar

Shanna’s book was incredible. I couldn’t wait to read it once I purchased it (as in, I had to force myself to do work because all I wanted to do was read). I love her writing style, the recipes she shared, and of course, her story.

IMG_0658

My brother-in-law gave me Jenna’s book for Christmas, and I read the whole thing on the plane from Virginia to Texas! I have always toyed with the idea of going to culinary school one day, so I loved hearing about Jenna’s experience. When I got home, my mom had already been planning to bake banana bread, and I just had to try Jenna’s recipe, which included blackstrap molasses, an ingredient with which I am currently infatuated (more on this later).

DSC_1512

Husband approved, I will be making this bread again!

When I was in elementary school, I used to dream of being an author when I grew up. I have always loved to read and write, but I have not done nearly enough of either in recent years. My new years resolution is to read and write more often. Maybe one day I will write a memoir of my own… but for now, journaling will suffice. I often “write” in my head, but this year, I am going to make an effort to get my thoughts down on paper when the “writing mood” hits me.

…for teaching me about the nutritional value of ingredients.

I used to think that “nutrition facts” meant the amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates, or protein in a certain food. Sarah and Gena have shown me that nutrition is really so much more.

DSC_1563

Casey and I scouted out some not-so-typical ingredients so we could enjoy Sarah’s Superfood Haute Chocolate together yesterday. I really love the way she explains the health benefits of the ingredients. This was my first time tasting Maca Powder, and I can’t wait to find more creative uses for it.

DSC_1564

From Gena, I recently learned about the iron-packed goodness of blackstrap molasses (which I used in my gingerbread cookies!). I can’t wait to try her Raisin Almond Balls.

My new years resolution is to take time to learn more about the ingredients I use when I cook. Sarah’s library will be a great starting point, and I already have an Ayeurvedic cookbook and a “Food Dictionary” to consult. I hope you will enjoy learning about ingredients, too, as I share what I am learning with you in my posts.

You can check out our past 7 months of Thank You posts at these links:

Hope your 2013 is starting off well! What New Years Resolutions have you made for this year?

-L