Three years ago I resolved to write. And eat. And photograph. And share.
I put myself out there, not knowing who or what I would find. Not knowing where it would lead me.
Not knowing that I had stumbled into a world as amazing and supportive and magical as this.
Not knowing that I would find all of you. That you would hold me up and support me and help me grow.
Everyone always says they have the best readers. But I know for sure that I'm the one who's right. You make me laugh and smile and give me joy every.day.
When everything else sucks...
When I have to spend six weeks locked up in my room studying for the biggest most important exam of my medical career.
When I get broken up via text message and go on bad date after bad date after bad date.
When I find out I've fractured my pelvis yet again a week before my third marathon.
In the end. It doesn't suck. Because I have this. And you. (And chocolate cupcakes.)
So to everyone who reads this blog. Everyone who has commented. Everyone who has lurked, silently. Thank you for making this amazing.
2011 was kind of a crazy year.
I kicked off the year by flying to Florida to run a half marathon, hang out with Mickey Mouse, and slurp purple kool-aid, all in the name of curing cancer. It was pretty awesome.
I ate lots of soup. And more orange vegetables than any sane person ever should. And an apple a day. Every day. Because you really aren't allowed to be a med student without at least one obsessive compulsive tendency.
I stopped eating meat. And 99.9% of all fish (spicy salmon rolls and smoked salmon are my two major exceptions). You stuck with me even though you love your bacon and burgers and steaks. You didn't accuse me of having "vegetarian-itis", unlike my mother yesterday who said it vengefully and accusingly as we were leaving my brother's apartment. (No mom, it's not a disease, it's actually a way to feel more alive and energized. And if you ate a vegetable ever, you'd probably realize that.) Shaking it off. Vegetables. I love them. End of story.
I went to San Francisco three times. To see my best friend. To vicariously run a marathon. To eat. And meet. And mingle.
I went to Boston twice. To actually run a marathon. To eat Afghani food and cookies and creamy parsnip pasta with some of my favorite Boston bloggers. To fall in love with that city all over again and remember why I need to move back. Someday.
I was asked to write a weekly post for a pretty awesome chef who's not only a rockstar in the kitchen but also an activist whose goal is to revitalize Harlem and stop child hunger throughout the world. I, of course, accepted.
I met some of my favorite people in real life. Turned some virtual friends into real life friends. Went apple picking and road tripped to Beantown and attended a vegetarian blogger Thanksgiving of epic proportions.
I went on good dates and bad dates and totally mediocre dates. I online dated, I gave up on men, and then I online dated some more.
And I ate. Lots.
All in all, yeah. It was crazy. But also delicious. And, though it had its moments where I was sure the world was ending. I'd say it was pretty awesome all-around.
Thank you. Again. For being a part of it.
What's in store for 2012, you ask?
There will be more healthy delicious food. More crazy indulgent desserts.
Less self berating. Less overeating.
More eat.live.be-ing. More active living.
More pumpkin. More smiles. More kisses. More hand holding.
More skinny jeans. More confidence. More kindness (to ourselves and to others).
More inspiration. More ridiculousness. More happy.
Those are my resolutions. Let's make it happen.
To kick off 2012, I highly recommend you make this chowder. Sweet from the roasted butternut squash, apples and onions and salty from the bacon (whether meat-free or otherwise!) it's a figure friendly dish that will leave your tastebuds and your belly satisfied.
As for the GIVEAWAY. Is one of your resolutions to get more organized? Then I have to recommend that you check out Eat Your Books. It's a website that I discovered last year and that I use at LEAST once a week for menu planning purposes. Basically, Eat Your Books has catalogued and indexed THOUSANDS of cookbooks by recipe type, ingredients, ethnicity, special diet, and meal/course. All you do is tell Eat Your Books what cookbooks are in YOUR library and then, when you're trying to figure out what to make for dinner, search for ingredients that you have on hand. Eat Your Books will then present you with the recipes in the cookbooks that YOU own that contain those ingredients. I know that at this point in my life, I have way too many cookbooks to be able to go through all of them looking for a specific recipe, and Eat Your Books has proven to be a great tool for getting around that.
Recently, Eat Your Books has also started indexing blogs. And, thanks to requests by Eat Your Books users, Eats Well With Others is going to be indexed!
The nice folks at Eat Your Books have also offered to extend a FREE lifetime membership to one of my readers. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what your favorite cookbook of 2011 was (and make sure that I have a way to contact you!).
For extra entries, you can do any of the following, but make sure to leave a SEPARATE comment telling me that you did so:
Tweet about this contest with a link back to this post. Include @joanneeatswell and @EatYourBooks in teh tweet as well.
Follow @EatYourBooks on Twitter.
Follow @joanneeatswell on Twitter.
Like Eat Your Books on facebook.
Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and "Bacon"
Serves 4, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
- 1 butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut (about 1 1/2 lb)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 4 tempeh bacon slices, chopped
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- Heat the oven to 400. Spread the squash, onion, apples, bacon and garlic in a deep roasting pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper spray with cooking spray. Roast, stirring every now and then, until the squash, onion, and apples are tender and browned and the bacon is crisp, about 45 minutes.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Stir in the sage and water and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom. Transfer teh contents of the pan to a large pot or Dutch oven and set it over medium heat.
- Add the stock and cook, simmering partially covered, until the squash, onion, and apples break apart and thicken and flavor the broth, about 25 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.