1. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, we more than made up for our lack of snow accumulation in Pittsburgh last year. We had two significant snowfalls within four days, and I couldn’t have been happier. There’s nothing more relaxing that watching the snow fall quietly to the ground, and then enjoying the pristine white view for days to come. I hope we have more days like this!

2. Right after Thanksgiving, my mom and I sat down and made a list of all the holiday recipes we had hoped to make before Christmas. We fell far, far short of our goal. We only ended up making about one-fourth of the the recipes on the list. Although, to be fair, a couple were made more than once ;-)  How did you fare with your holiday baking list? Do you have any secrets for getting everything done?

3. The day after our first snowfall, I saw two buck prancing through my Chief Culinary Consultant’s backyard. Luckily, they were slow enough that I was able to grab one good shot of the larger one. I grew up having deer pass through my backyard, but I’ve never seen a buck, and never so close to the house! Such a beautiful animal…



4. I see an awful lot of New Year’s resolutions floating around the web. Please tell me I’m not the only one who hasn’t made them. Maybe I should set “goals” – that seems like something that could be more doable. I do this this approach that Ree took, using the letters of the word to define broader objectives and then more actionable goals. Although the words “goals”, “objectives” and “actionable” give me nightmares about my previous corporate, cubicle life. I’m not sure I could do that either. I need to work on this.

5. If you have made some New Year’s resolutions and they have anything to do with adopting a healthier lifestyle, check out The Healthy Living Manifesto. I’d imagine that adopting any number of these could help you work toward your goal (more detailed information on each one in link)…


6. Last year, I posted my 2012 Foodie Resolutions. While I didn’t do a separate post this year, there are definitely some kitchen and food-related tasks that I hope to accomplish in 2013:

  • Make sourdough bread.
  • Expand on my canning experience and begin preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Make fresh, homemade pasta and sauce and keep in the freezer for easy dinners.
  • Master sfogliatelle once and for all!
  • Continue experimenting with more ethnic dishes.

What about you? Do you have any food or kitchen-related goals for this year?

7. I have been craving a new pair of boots and Mom-Santa generously gifted me with a Nordstrom gift card for such a purchase. I’ve been eyeing up Sorel boots for the winter, but can’t decide between the Tofino Boot (on the left) or the Joan of Arctic Boot (on the right). Do any of you have either pair? Reviews? I like the Tofino, they would match my new winter jacket, although the Joan of Arc boots look more heavy duty, but have heard they can be a little clunky. I have short legs, so that plays into my decision as well. If you have either pair or have tried them on (neither were in stock at my local Nordstrom the other day), I’d love to hear your thoughts!


8. The NHL is still locked out, and I’ve been missing my hockey fix. As part of my Christmas gift, Chief Culinary Consultant-Santa gifted me with tickets to the Three Rivers Classic, which was a college hockey tournament held over the holidays at Consol Energy Center here in Pittsburgh. We got to watch a double-header of Robert Morris University vs. Penn State and Miami University vs. Ohio State. It was great to watch some hockey at the arena, get my token souvenir cup, and even better that the hometown team, Robert Morris, ended up winning the entire tournament!


9. I’ve really fallen off of the reading wagon, and badly. I’m hoping to do more reading in the coming months, although I haven’t checked out any fiction books in a long, long time. What was the best book you read in 2012? I’m going to start a to-read list!

10. TGIF! I hope you’re all recovered from any New Year’s Eve shenanigans!

Elephant face plant