I’m currently reading the memoir of chef Marcus Samuelson, and something he wrote has really got me thinking. He wrote about chefs having a signature dish – “one you create or execute in a way that becomes forever associated with you.” Thinking about the food I regularly cook for my family, I realized that I really don’t have a dish that is uniquely mine. I want a signature dish and I’m now on a mission to find it.
Here is the short list of dishes that I’m considering:
5. Spaghetti carbonara
My signature dish will probably end up being some sort of gnocchi dish. I feel like I have more ways to make gnocchi uniquely mine than either lasagna or enchiladas. There are many ways to cook risotto, but I love the way I cook it – with lots of blue cheese! The blue cheese keeps my family away from the deliciousness, but I’m okay with that. More for me!
Gnocchi can be used in soup or as a substitute for noodles in macaroni. I will do a little gnocchi research and probably search Pinterest for a little inspiration. Then I will start experimenting with some dishes in a quest to create my signature dish. I will post the recipe once I have perfected my dish and received my family’s approval.
Do you have a signature dish? Leave a comment telling me what it is.
On a roadtrip with my family, I drove past a road sign that indicated that Sour Lake, Texas was 11 miles away. I joked with my husband that I wouldn’t want to live in a place called Sour Lake. A couple of hours later, we came upon a sign for Plaquemine, Louisiana and my husband asked me if I’d rather live in Plaquemine.
While I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, I am solely judging these towns by their name. I have nothing against either town, and I’m sure they are both lovely places to live. I just find the names of the towns to be unappealing and yet a little amusing.
Knowing there had to be other towns with humorous names, I decided to do a little digging. Here is my Top 15 list of Places I Don’t Want to Live (based on name alone!).
- Toadsuck, Arkansas
- Slaughter Beach, Delaware
- Sopchoppy, Florida
- Waldo, Florida – I could just imagine meeting someone and telling them I was from Waldo. “Where’s Waldo?” they would ask. That would get old.
- Grimes, Alabama
- Grosse Tete, Louisiana
- Licking, Missouri – Who’s doing the licking?
- Nag’s Head, North Carolina
- Coward, South Carolina
- Yellville, Arkansas
- Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania
- Eek, Alaska
- Between, Georgia – I imagine the conversation about telling where you live goes something like an Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” act.
- Blandville, Kentucky
- Boring, Oregon – This place does not sound fun.
While I was looking at maps and names of cities and towns, a few names struck me as curious:
- There seems to be as many states with a town called Baldwin as there are Baldwin brothers. And there are a lot of Baldwin brothers.
- There is a town in the state of Wisconsin called Wyoming (which is also the name of a state). It could be quite confusing to tell someone that you are from Wyoming when you are actually from Wisconsin.
- California is home to a town named Zzyzx. What is that about?
- Fifty-Six is the name of a town in Arkansas.
- Pennsylvania has several names that I find funny – Forty Fort, Hop Bottom, and Moosic (which sounds like a Sandra Boynton book to me) are my favorites.
- Florida is home to a town named Howey-in-the-Hills. I’d like to know more about this Howey guy.
- We all know of Paris, France and Miami, Florida, but are you familiar with Paris, Idaho or Miami, Arizona? People might get excited to hear that you live in Paris until you tell them that you live in Paris, Idaho.
- I also wonder about the feelings of the single people living in Romance, Arkansas. Or the extraordinary people living in Normal, Illinois.
While I started off thinking that these were places that I didn’t want to live, I’m now very curious about all of these places and kinda want to visit them all!
My oldest daughter loves animals, especially giraffes, so we took her to a drive-thru safari park to celebrate her birthday. The park is home to a wide range of animals including zebra, gibbons, buffalo, camels, and ostriches. The giraffes are in an enclosure that allows you to walk up to feed them.
Kora took a piece of lettuce and held it up for the giraffe. He lowered his head down and then he stuck out that long tongue! Kora nearly freaked out when she felt its tongue take the lettuce from her hand.
As I watched the giraffes, the phrase ‘never ceases to amaze me’ came to mind. It’s true – giraffes never cease to amaze me. This was not the first time seeing a giraffe up close and personal, but it might as well have been. Every time I see a giraffe up close I am taken aback by how large they are. I find myself just staring at the animals in disbelief and awe.
I started thinking about other things that never cease to amaze me. There are too many to list all of them here, but I will list a few:
Sunsets – My favorite sunsets are those over the water. I love the brilliant colors of the sky and the reflection in the water as the sun sets.
Mullets – The hairstyle, not the fish. When I see someone sporting a mullet, I am always amazed. I saw a kid with a mullet in the grocery store the other day, and it made my day!
Dolphins – Anytime I see a dolphin swimming alongside our boat I get super excited. Watching them swim and surface near the boat is thrilling.
American Ninja Warrior – It is unbelievable that these athletes can complete the physical challenges they are faced with on this show. It is amazing what the human body is capable of doing.
I’d love to know what never ceases to amaze others. Please leave a comment letting me know what you find amazing.
Happy New Year!
It’s a new year and I’m excited! I love the idea of looking at the new year as a fresh start and a time to think about personal growth.
When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, there seems like there are two different camps. There are the people who know their resolutions are going to wind up broken by February, so they think “Why make them?”
Then there are the people who are so optimistic that it doesn’t matter how many resolutions they have broken in the past, they make a list and truly believe that this is the year. This is my camp. I love love love resolutions.
I enjoy making lists so making resolutions is another chance for me to do something I love. I start casually thinking about the upcoming year around Thanksgiving. Some years I reread Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project” for inspiration. This year, however, I’ve just been thinking about what’s going good in my life and what improvements I’d like to work on.
I’m using a little notebook to keep track of my goals. I made a simple checklist for the things that only need to be completed once a month. For example, I want to make sure that each month I take a picture of my husband and me with our two girls.
Each month I will make a checklist for the goals that need to happen more frequently, whether daily, weekly, or somewhere in between. One daily goal is to do a cartwheel everyday. I don’t want to wake up one day and find that I’m too old to do a cartwheel. I feel that if I do a daily cartwheel, I will always have the muscle memory to do a cartwheel.
I made resolutions to grow in all aspects of my life – I want to improve my physical health as well as challenge myself mentally. I want to improve relationships with friends, family, my spouse and my children. I have career goals and blogging goals.
My list of resolutions is most likely impossible. But I’m optimistic and I’m going to give it a shot. You’ve heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” That’s what I’m doing – aiming high! I am confident that I will start off strong and that a few weeks in, life will get in the way. That’s why I’ve set a monthly alarm on my phone to remind me to review and reassess my resolutions. I’m hoping this will help keep me on track.
Whether I keep or break my resolutions, I believe that 2017 is going to be an amazing year. I hope you have an amazing year too! Here’s to 2017!