30 December 2011

Ciao 2011

 
The Chicks Who Wine

The one question posed to me more than any other is, "How do you do it?" Friends are referring to the fact that I work 6 days a week and still blog a couple of times a week, have time to cook up a storm in the More Than Burnt Toast test kitchen and still have a social life. To me the answer is simple. For the same reason that you do. Passion! I love to write about food, talk about food, and ultimately eat food! Even my social life revolves around food.

More Than Burnt Toast began almost 6 years ago as a means to share recipes with my daughter who was heading off to university. I had just returned from a 5 week sojourn in Greece and was overflowing with creative ideas and recipes that I needed to share. This was a life-changing vacation that altered my perception of food and how it should be enjoyed on a daily basis. I have always felt travel helps us to better understand and appreciate other people and their cultures. Nothing is more intimate, or more effective at breaking down cultural barriers, than cooking and sharing meals together. When you have 10 like-minded people from all parts of the world breaking bread at the same table magic happens. For 2012 I am in the planning stages of another 5 week sojourn to Italy. Part of the fun is in the planning.

In the classic movie Zorbas the Greek the main character sums it up the best, "On the coast I felt for the first time what a pleasant thing it could be to have a meal. We started eating and drinking, the conversation became animated. I at last realized that eating was a spiritual function and the meat, bread, and wine were the raw materials from which the soul is made."

A good friend of mine points out to me often that we write and blog because we have to! We have to because we feel the need to share and record our thoughts and we just can't help ourselves. Sure we experience the occasional writers block or we loose our mojo in the kitchen but because we are so passionate about what we do we always return with a new energy. It doesn't take much to be inspired by something we have read, tasted or a fleeting conversation. You are al a great source of inspiration in more ways than one! Truthfully I don't have enough time in the kitchen or enough daylight hours to share all that inspires me so there seems to always be something cooking here at More Than Burnt Toast.

Another year has come to an end, but before we send 2011 off with a bang it is time for me to take a moment to reflect on a few of the recipes that I have been inspired by this year on these pages. These are the recipes that if I were to ever write a cookbook would be a "shoe in".

Seared Scallop Chowder -

A recipe found on the Pike place Chowder website and never to be forgotten. It has haunted me for years and is exactly the flavour from the restaurant.

La Brea Bakery Bran Muffins -

 A recipe introduced to me by Barbara of Moveable Feasts. I will never make another bran muffin without this recipe.


 My own concoction reminiscent of all that is comfort food in the world. The jus is amazing!

Chicken Saltimbocca with Shaved Fennel Salad -

Taught to me at a cooking class at Bogners. Shave Fennel salad is my new Greek.



Double dipping never tasted so good for FOODalogue.

This recipe won me a trip to Eat, Write, Retreat in Washington DC, sponsored by Canadian Beef. A fantastic event!

I want to wish you all a healthy, safe and happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2012. Happy blogging!


You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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39 comments:

  1. Whatever the reason, I'm glad you decided to become a food blogger. I've used so many of your recipes and enjoyed them immensely. Now I'm off to get the bran muffin recipe and hope that I have the ingredients to make them for this morning's breakfast before the kids take off on their various adventures.

    Happy new year to you!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. Congrats on pumping out 5 years worth of recipes, experiences and new friends. Health & happiness in 2012!

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  3. Gorgeous recipes! Everything looks mouthwatering.

    Best wishes for 2012!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Congratulations on five years Val. You've featured some of your very best and of course they would be a shoe-in for any cookbook.

    Happy new year to you too.
    Sam

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  5. Five years, wow! Congratulations, knowing the time and effort that is required to cook and blog and cook and blog, it isn't a small accomplishment!
    You have featured some great recipes, today.

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  6. Congratulations on five years, wonderful recipes, and mouth-watering photography. May 2012 bring you all you wish for.

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  7. Congratulations Val! Your words spoken here are so true. I wish you another year of continued success and inspiration. Happy Happy 2012!

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  8. You do it so well..Good for you..Great photo at the top too:) Bravo and Happy new Year!

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  9. Looking forward to sharing more dishes in 2012~
    Ciao

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  10. I get asked that question all the time as well and my answer is the same as yours. I need to and I WANT to. Happy new year Val!

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  11. Val, in my opinion, your blog is one of the very best out there. You cook beautiful food and I have learnt a lot just reading from your experiences! I would LOVE to be sitting at your table for every meal you make! Not only because I'm sure its delicious but because I'm lazy. ha ha. I too get the same question about how I do it but all truth be known, I don't know how I do it because I am exhausted by the end of the day and that is about the only time I have time to make anything unless its a weekend and I'm home for that whole time. I guess its what you said for me - passion. I love food and I love making delicious food. Congrats on your many years of blogging and I look forward to more to come!

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  12. Dear Vall love your words and love your Blog and recipes, many times I think not follow with my blog but I need make and enjoy is all, sometimes more and others not, but still love make it!!Happy New Year dear Valli and lovely friend:)))

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  13. I'm so glad you have the passion, Val -- love that quote from Zorba. Have a happy celebration and a great new year!

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  14. Val - Congratulations on your five years. That's a lot of recipes and all these that you posted today are sensational. The trip to Italy sounds fabulous. Hope your 2012 is everything you want it to be.

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  15. Love you, your food, your heart and soul. I agree with the character from Zorba the Greek and I agree with you. We blog because we have to. Blogging saved my life, living in a non-food town. I can't not write. Looking forward to more food together. So jealous of 5 weeks in Italy. Happy New Year. Angela

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  16. I loved reading the personal story of why and how you came to blogging.

    Wishing you much happiness in 2012.

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  17. I spent 5 weeks in Italy several years ago and loved it. The food was incredible and while there we prepared food for a restaurant in Tuscany. It was a lot of fun.

    I'd love to read about your greek adventures. Can you post the link. My daughter and I were just talking about that being one of our next trips. Mediterranean food is so refreshing and healthy.

    Don't miss the Amalfi coast - its breathtaking!

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  18. Great work and great ideas to learn about some delicious recipes

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  19. Thank you for all the delicious-ness throughout the year Val! All the best for 2012!

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  20. Happy New Year, Val! May 2012 bring many more recipes and opportunities to share and enjoy them with friends.

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  21. The quote rings so true and I am ready to crack open a Greek cookbook! Congrats on a delicious 5 years - so glad you "need and want" to do this. Happy New Year - may 2012 bring delicious days and joys.

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  22. So.... That's why we do all this! I've wondered on occasion. 6 weeks - how wonderful. Have a wonderful New Year - in addition to your 5 weeks in Italy... Sigh....

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  23. Happy New Year Val! Looking forward to hearing all about your trip to Italy. What an awesome time that's gonna be! : )

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  24. I didn't know about the "birth" of More Than Burnt Toast. Sounds like that Greek trip benefited us all!

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  25. Happy New Year Val!!! Happy cooking and happy blogging :)

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  26. Blessings to you in the new year! Everyone of these recipes looks amazing! YUM YUM YUM!

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  27. Happiest of New Year's to you, dear Val! I'm so glad I got to meet you in this big ol' world. :-) Your recipes and adventures and most of all your attitude never fail to cheer and inspire me. :-)

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  28. A very happy new year to you Val. I don't know how you manage to maintain such a wonderful blog along with working so much. Thanks for all you do in this space.

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  29. Val, your passion for all things food clearly shows through your wonderful blog. You're a natural writer too! I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogging friendship and wish you many more years of 'passionate' blogging. Wishing you all the passion you can feel and enjoy in 2012! Hugs, Roz

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  30. And so...our friendships cemented - very cool no? Looking forward to sharing food and wine again with you this year.

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  31. Happy New Year, Val! Congrats on nearly 6 years of blogging, and I look forward to reading for many more!

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  32. I love your snowflakes - meant to tell you that last time I saw them! And you work SIX days a week??? Are you a realtor? Stop that. It is too much. How DO you do all that? :) Truly! We have had this conversation before. Your recipes look divine. Six year, too. No wonder you know everyone and everyone knows you. Persistence. Perseverance. Passion. Lots to be proud of! Happy New Year, valerie!
    XO

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  33. Amazing that you've been blogging for 6 years and when you work full time. That's commitment! GG

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  34. Happy New Year, Val.

    Please check this out. Bizzy the Explorer found something on your blog.
    http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/2012/01/bizzy-explorer-searches-for-eggs.html

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  35. Hello Val, Congratulations on 5 years of food blogging bliss. looking forward to learning about many more of your recipes in 2012. Take care, BAM

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  36. Val, it is always such a pleasure to stop by your place. The food, photography and company are always of the highest caliber. The writing ain't have bad either :-). I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that 2012 has only good things in store for you. Blessings...Mary

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  37. I think yesterday was year 5 for me as well. Hard to believe!

    You've got an exciting year ahead - fingers crossed for laughter, happiness, fine food, and wine!

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  38. I am curious of where you are going in Italy in 2012? Did you discover a good cooking school. Let me know.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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