The chorus of Eminem’s 2002 hit, “Without Me” seems fitting right now. And, not just because I’m regularly, especially musically, stuck in that year. I’ve just been absent from this beloved space for quite some time. In an attempt to spare you from excuses I’ll just say, life happens. Sometimes it’s wonderful—like an annual trip to San Francisco for Outside Lands Music Festival or a family vacation in Aruba—and other times it’s dreadful. Either way, we adjust and keep moving. We push through the bad with hope and determination, never fail to give thanks for the good, and appreciate perspective gained throughout it all. At least that’s what I’ve been trying to do these last four months.
So, here I am.
Back again (catch my drift?).
Ready to give this yet another honest, and hopefully regular, effort.
Despite my travels, I’ve cooked quite a bit. In fact, more than I realized until I scrolled through my photos. Seriously, my phone is comprised of 8,000 photos at this point: 40% food, 30% my nephews, 30% selfies. Sue me. Or, if you’d like to go the much more enjoyable route, take a look below at what I’ve been up to in the kitchen.
I’ve baked more bread—can’t let that sourdough start I’ve been feeding for nearly have a year go to waste! I’ve celebrated the end of summer with a peach and nectarine (a first for me) cobbler. In fact, these last few months have been filled with quite a few food firsts. Like, a confetti double chocolate banana bread—my silly Sunday afternoon take on a Smitten Kitchen favorite—a vegan dinner followed by a vegan friends dinner featuring delicious spicy margaritas and my first vegan carrot cake. It was all delightful, but what can I say, I like my animal products.
I patted myself on the back for a fig and almond galette as it turned out quite well despite the fact that I made it in the midst of an ugly eye infection. I poached (apricots) fruit for the first time, and put them on everything like greek yogurt and toast. I made classic favorites like spaghetti bolognese and mini tiramisus. I did quite a bit of meal prepping with roasted veggies and grain salads. My favorite, however, was using the rest of my (non-poached) apricots in a spontaneous but incredibly delicious tart with more almond and crushed pistachios. So good. Then, inspired by Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” I whipped up a batch along with potato salad, sweet tea, and a confetti cake.
Then, there was more bread, which was a great binding for a steak sandwich with a side of a classic chocolate cake. True to form, I got sick (I typically do in between the seasons), and ate soup for weeks, or least it felt like it.
By the time fall arrived I was beyond ready to bake some pies, after picking apples with the most precious nephews in the entire world, of course. Not to mention, a gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free pumpkin bread, because it’s nice to change it up every now and then!
Even when I step away from the stove, I’m (preferably) surrounded by music every second of the day. Thanks, in part, to work, and also because I can’t imagine life without it. As for what I’ve been listening to lately, two playlists mostly. One to drive and (endlessly) think to. Another to run to, and (necessarily) remind myself of my power, potential, and the good days ahead, even when I don’t know what they’ll be filled with.
So, I give you, PCH and BAMF. Also, know as Pacific Coast Highway—because there’s nowhere else I’d rather drive and think—and Bad Ass Mother *sorry mom*—because I am, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of such facts.
Coming next: A recap of my first and perhaps favorite Thanksgiving dinner that I cooked alongside my sister and my favorite songs and albums for 2017.
Cortney’s back, tell a friend!