Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blog Crush: Deb from Smitten Kitchen

If you're ever looking for a popular, successful, and beautiful food blog to follow, I think most people will recommend the same blog. Like lifestyle blogs (is that what this is?!?), food blogs are a dime a dozen, and they're not all so pretty. But one of the best is Smitten Kitchen, written by a detail oriented home cooking genius named Deb. 

An example of the beautiful photography on Smitten Kitchen. 
My book club has developed a habit of making Smitten Kitchen recipes for most of our book club get togethers, and when we get together it's pretty common to hear someone say, "oh, did you try the recipe she posted last week?" Her sweet recipes are always flawless, and savory treats are not half bad either. Doesn't the salad above look perfect? 

A few weekends ago I was walking past The Book Cellar, a charming independent book store in my neighborhood, and a sign in the window caught my eye. Deb was coming to the Book Cellar with the newly released Smitten Kitchen cookbook! She was going to be signing the book and doing a little meet and greet, and I immediately set to emailing my friends and changing my work schedule so I could attend. One of my favorite bloggers ending up a few blocks from my condo was something I just couldn't skip!

I guess I wasn't alone, though. The crowd that gathered was pretty insane! We got there about 30 minutes before the signing was scheduled to begin, and got in line to get our books. After about a half hour, we had purchased the books, and had our letters that assigned us to a slot for getting the book signed. We were letter P, which was a looooong way from the beginning!  So, what do you think we did?

We went for a drink!  Actually, first we went for a pastry and some coffee, and sat outside for a while. But as we saw the slllllooooooowwwww pace of the line, we decided we had more time to kill. A couple of our husbands were hanging out at a bar across the street, so we decided to join them for a while. While it did take forever to actually get our books signed, I really enjoyed spending a Sunday afternoon just relaxing and hanging out with some good friends! It was a good excuse to just slow down and catch up on our lives, and the guys got to talk for hours about guitars and other music-related topics. So everyone was happy!

Finally, it was our turn. Deb was so friendly and gracious, even though she'd already been signing books for a couple hours. Her book is full of beautiful pictures and approachable, appealing recipes, and I'm excited to dig into it. At the moment Joe's stashed it out of my reach, since it's technically a Christmas present for me!  I can't wait to try some of the recipes. If they're anything like her lovely blog, I know I'll enjoy the results. Congratulations on your success, Deb! 

Friday, November 23, 2012


I've been avoiding blogging lately, but what better time than the holidays to get back into it? So, here I am. I swear, I'll be more consistent for a while now! Most of my time at work is spent in front of a computer these days, so it takes extra motivation to sit in front of the computer at night, too. Yet I spend all evening playing around on my addictive iphone, so I should try to channel a little of that time wasting into something more productive, like blogging. AmIright?

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable day surrounded by friends and family. I spent the first part of the day at work, trying to sell a few more turkeys before it was too late. Not my dream holiday, but I kept reminding myself that I do really like my job, and this is just part of the trade off. Then it was off to meet Joe at his parent's house, for the classic Turkey dinner, plenty of drinking, some card games, and a nice relaxing evening. I missed my family, all together in Colorado, but was happy to be with the newer additions to my family that I acquired when I said, "I do". I ate too much and got a  little tipsy, so I'd say that's a successful holiday!


I've spent a lot of time during the last few months thinking about all the things that I am thankful for. There's a glaring hole in my life at the moment, one that's taking far too long to fill. Joe and I are desperate to start a family, and as the months pass and nothing happens, it's easy to get marred down in emotions like bitterness and jealousy. But when I stop and think about it, I still have so much to be thankful for.

More than anything in the world, I'm thankful for that cute guy I met on the first weekend of college 11 years ago. It turned out he would be my rock, and the most loving, supportive, fun husband I could have ever asked for. When everything else seems to be going wrong, Joe always tops my list of things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for amazing friends, here in Chicago and spread across the country. I am so lucky in the friend department, and don't take this for granted. And my family, also scattered in many states. My family makes me who I am, and loves me despite my teeny, tiny, practically nonexistant flaws. I miss them every day, but I am so grateful to know they're always just a phone call away.

A beautiful condo in a city I adore. A healthy body and a love for exercise (most days!). Travel to far away places, especially warm places with sand. Warm coats and hats during a Chicago winter. A kitchen full of food. A paid off car. Paydays on Friday, and finally being at a place where we're not worried about money. Tasty restaurants and well stocked bars within walking distance from my house. My fancy new camera. Some small things, some bigger-- just a few of the little things I'm thankful for in my life.

Most days, that's enough. And when I'm feeling especially down, I can also give thanks that 2012 will be over soon. This year was by far the worst year of my life, and I'm eager to put it behind me. I feel hope for 2013, that it's a year full of as many good memories as this year, without the bits of heartache scattered in between.

And I'm thankful for this silly little blog. If nothing else, it's a wonderful place share my thoughts. Thanks for reading... I'm thankful for you!