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I thought I would do something I’ve never done before, and instead of writing a recipe, I’d take a look at what 2017 dished out for me and take stock of everything while I prepare for 2018.    2017 was better than 2016 and I’m anticipating 2018 surpassing 2017.  

Here are some of the positive highlights, some related to cooking, others not so much:

  1. Finally updated my picture of myself on the website, (not totally cool with it though). This was something I wanted to do and kept putting off thus keeping a nearly 7 year old picture up there for way too long.   So that was a major checkbox marked off in 2017!   High-five for the little successes in life!
  2. Made promises of doing more updates and recipes only to within a month or so get full time employment with a job I love.
  3. Actually used the word “sexy” referring to a recipe.  I think people on TV sound so stupid when they use this term, but one of my meals really was deserving of the term.  I don’t recall what recipe it was.  But it was that totally awesome!
  4. Learned never to put promises in writing and probably never admit in writing I used the term sexy for one of my meals.
  5. Finally got a clothes washer that actually rinses out all the soap (it’s a Speed Queen and I totally recommend it)  We’ve gone through two brand new washer in less than 5 years with these awful high-efficiency ones.  There is NOTHING efficient about them if you are attentive to soap residue in your laundry.  These are known to last 15-20 years.  
  6. Got employed full time and learned by running my own business meant doing a lot of self-promotion which I despise.  Good thing to know!  I much prefer being an employee.
  7. I’ve pretty much mastered my Philips pasta maker except for the penne.  I tried it once and have been gun shy since. My confidence in cooking is going up even more as I’ve made amazing lasagna and pasta dishes with it.  
  8. Started exercising regularly!  Well… regularly for a few months, fell off the bandwagon then just got back on.  I can tell a difference, but my goal is lose that “flab” I realized crept up on me when I saw a video of myself. 
  9. Fell in love with reading the Bible daily.  Started when I first lost my job but I get such a comforting peace.  I can tell a difference in my mental and spiritual disposition when I get even 20 minutes in.   
  10. Realized I love my simple Christmas tree.  
  11. Thought I was going to have to get surgery to adjust an issue with my jaw which would have meant having it wired shut for at least 6 weeks.  Fortunately it’s not an issue that requires breaking my jaw, but possibly braces in a few years.  That means my husband doesn’t get to enjoy 6 weeks of silence from me -poor guy!
  12. Made it through the year without a whole house generator after all. 
  13. Made Italian lemon cookies for the first time with my sister-in-law which was awesome.  We made over 80 of them!  I’ll be sure to post the recipe at some point. 

Not so great highlights:

  1. Had to go back to not making this website my top priority, but considering I’m getting a paycheck now, I’m not at all complaining!  In fact, I’m noticing that working on the site is more relaxing without the old pressure I used to put on myself.
  2. My facebook following still stinks.  Please follow me on Facebook if you don’t already and want to get my updates faster… unless you don’t want to then whatevahh… I still love ya!
  3. My email subscriber count seems to remain around 900, I just can’t seem to get to 1k, but I’m hopeful!
  4. I didn’t win the lottery.  That’s the only type of gambling I do. 
  5. Still didn’t fully complete our kitchen renovation from the end of 2015.  Was hoping it would happen.  If you notice in my videos with the white cabinets there is a big space between the fridge and the cabinet.  That’s supposed to be a narrow shelf we have yet to build.  
  6. My tomato plants didn’t do great in pots on our deck (no in-ground garden), but produced enough to make a few batches of sauce for the winter.

My goals for 2018:

  1. More recipes and writing without the pressure of feeling like I have to do a video.  I love the videos b/c I know people like to watch them and I can actually prove how easy some of this cooking really is.  But it takes time and is often the reason I push it off.  So, I need to get over that.  
  2. Learn healthier recipes.  It’s so hard!  Especially with Italian recipes, or at least the ones I know.  So this means really doing more research and testing b/c I refuse to put up recipes that don’t have flavor.   
  3. Make fried cauliflower, but it just seems pointless to take something so healthy and then fry it with egg, flour and cheese.  I need to get over that too.  I’ve been talking about this for over 3 years now…. come on already…
  4. Revisit my thick pizza dough recipe and create more variations to share with everyone
  5. Be more diligent with Pintrest, it’s such a great place for cooking ideas!
  6. Buy a good set of pasta bowls.  Even though I have a dedicated page to sell them I still haven’t purchased my own set yet. I miss the ones we used when living with my parents for awhile.  I honestly just simply keep forgetting. 
  7. Learn better techniques for taking pictures of my food with my Canon.  I love photography and I really want to get back into it as a hobby anyway. 
  8. Start using our meat grinder.  I talk about how awesome having one is, but I just procrastinate and don’t cook with beef enough to ever do anything with it. 
  9. Read more.   My spelling is getting awful and I would like to thank the internet and auto-correct for reversing my brain’s ability to know how to spell correctly.  Books go through an editor so the grammar is usually correct, plus I think it’s just mentally healthy. 
  10. And maybe…. just maybe…. start taking learning Italian again this year if I have time.  

I think that’s it – I encourage you to do the same thing as above.  To my surprise despite all the hard times I’ve had over the last year, I’m glad that my list of positive highlights is still far longer than my negative list.   

I wish you the best New Years.  Please be smart and safe and keep your feet on the ground and your eyes to the heavens!

God Bless,