Showing posts with label milestones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label milestones. Show all posts

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Year, New Baby, New Kitchen....Happy 2012!

Which will come first, the baby or the kitchen? That was the question I posed via twitter and facebook on Friday, December 9, 2011. At that point, the only thing cooking was the bun in the oven.

Five days until the due date!
The kitchen renovation was slowly approaching completion and the due date of December 14 was close. Well, the baby beat the kitchen! The little guy arrived two days early and we’ve spent the last six weeks as a family of three! The visitors are gone and we’re starting to figure out a daily routine of our own. Thankfully, the kitchen is also completed (minus a few finishing details). Even though I don’t have a lot of time to devote to cooking – I am trying to squeeze in as much as I have the time and energy for (babies are small, but exhausting).

So while I get in a little cooking (and hopefully blogging) in short windows of free time, here is a look at the kitchen renovation and completed look! We’re still waiting on the back splash and the molding. Those should be done in the next few weeks.

Our house was built in 1954 and had one owner before us. They redid the kitchen in the 70s, judging by the dishwasher that was here when we moved in. The kitchen was functional, but not really designed for the way we cook & live. Not nearly enough space for books, appliances, pantry items, and all my kitchen gadgets. And a pretty terrible floor too!

We asked my grandfather, an architect, to put together a kitchen design for us that had storage, counter space, and a functional layout for us. We also did not want to knock down any walls. So with those instructions he drew up a few options for us to consider. Once we settled on the design, we headed to pick out all of the cabinets and goodies to fill the space

Our style is what you might call transitional. We love arts & crafts and craftsman. I like the the look of the 50's (my idea for a diner look didn't make the cut). So we designed a look that works for us aesthetically and functionally. We've been enjoying it so far - and can't wait for the absolute final look!

Here are some views of the new space. The photography isn't my best work - but I'm doing in as much as I can when the little man naps!

New cabinets and relocated range

Real bookshelf! With a small fraction of my books.
The book selection will rotate!

Double oven for more cooking adventures

Now the trash and recycling are hidden - and a
normally useless corner cabinet is utilized.

Counter depth fridge

Open workspace!

Pantry & specialty sized storage

New hardwood floors - oak to match the rest of the house

Material - Quartz
Color - Stellar Fire

Wood: Cherry
Style: Mission

Hardware, Lights, and Faucet:
Oiled Bronze (almost black)

GE Profile double oven, counter depth fridge, and microwave

Happy 2012! Hope to be back here soon - all depends on how the little man naps :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

L'Shana Tova - Here's to another great year!

It's that time of year again - time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next! Tonight brings the start of Rosh Hashana and as we move into the year 5772 there is a lot to celebrate.

While things posts might not have been appearing as frequently on the blog, it's been a busy summer and fall at Good Cook Doris. After taking a few classes and then applying, I was officially accepted into the Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program at Boston University. This fall I'm taking my first class as an official student - Culture and Cuisine of New England. I'm excited to find out what New England cuisine is (if there is such a thing!).

This summer we also took a food-filled vacation to Vermont, Montreal and Maine for my mom's birthday (more posts to come soon).

There were trips to farmers markets, Sunday trips to the icy cold waters of the Atlantic, a trip home to St. Louis for a delicious visit, and two meat-filled summer cookouts with our new smoker.

The fall has brought even more excitement! We are in the midst of a total kitchen and bathroom renovation. We've taken everything out and are preparing to put in our new cabinets, floors, appliances and more! The progress is being documented and I will post progress reports as we go along. Here is a look at the Good Cook Doris kitchen that I've been cooking in for the past five years.

Here's a look at what is underneath!

And last, but probably most exciting about the upcoming year is another new addition coming to the Good Cook Doris kitchen.

If the picture doesn't give it away, in December the hubby and I will be welcoming a new member to the Good Cook Doris team! We are waiting for the arrival to find out if the newest addition will be a boy or girl. Either way, we expect (and hope) that the little one will share our love for food and cooking!

While we are microwaving and slow-cooking in our makeshift kitchen, stay tuned for more vacation eats, take-out tips, and some reposts of some fall favorites!

To celebrate the new year, here are a few fall posts for you to enjoy. L'Shana Tova!

Apple Kugel Muffins

Cranberry Apple Fritters (for Local in Season)

Will Drive For Food: A Fall Food Adventure

Kosher with a Kick: Pick up Kosher Wines at the Urban Grape

L'shana Tova to those of you celebrating!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Time to Celebrate 31!

Last year we celebrated my birthday in the beautiful city of Seville, Spain. We had a wonderful trip and ate a lot of delicious food. 

For today's 31st birthday post, I'm sharing some of my favorite food pictures that I took during our trip. Enjoy! And don't view on an empty stomach. 

Churros con chocolate y cafe con leche

Plato variados por tres euros

Al dia siguiente, plato variados por cuatro euros.
Te gusta mucho aceitunas.

Cervaceria 100 Montaditos

Cheers to another great year! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back to School: Thinking about Food

Winter break is over and I've headed back to school for another semester. After taking a year of MBA classes, I decided to follow my passion for food (some might say obsession) and take classes in the Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in Gastronomy program at Boston University. The Gastronomy program is not culinary school – it’s a program about the study of food – food business, marketing, culture, history, tourism, and more. My classmates came from many different backgrounds: food enthusiasts, career switchers, professionally trained chefs, and other food industry veterans.

Last semester I took an introductory course, Understanding Food: Theory and Methodology. Each week we explored ‘food’ through a different liberal arts discipline. These ranged from philosophy to art history to archaeology to sociology. With a little dose of theory thrown in the curriculum helped me to understand the different lenses through which you can study the broad subject of food. Going from thinking about accounting problems to contemplating the globalization of corn was quite a switch! While it was challenging, it was a thought-provoking and enjoyable semester. How can you be unhappy when your assignments include a cookbook analysis, observing farmers markets and writing a research paper about a topic of your choosing related to food?

Charles Square Farmers Market

I spent a lot of hours working on my final paper. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a great start for not having done a research paper in at least 10 years! I combined what I was already doing regularly, visiting farmers markets and interviewing vendors, with some academic research for a paper discussing female food entrepreneurs and the Boston farmers market scene. I typically visit a farmers market 1-2 times per week in the summer and biweekly in the winter. Through my observations I was intrigued that most of the non-farm food vendors were female owned and managed. I started thinking about why this was the case? Was it something about the Boston market scene? Something about the women? The nature of the food business? There were a lot of angles to consider. I reached out to a number of these women who graciously agreed to answer questions about how they got into business and their experience at Boston area farmers markets and in the food industry. I won’t bore you with all 30 pages of my paper and exhibits, but I will work on an edited version to share on the blog.

Chatting with Atlas Farm on the last day of the Copley Square Market

This semester I am enrolled in another class, Anthropology of Food. I am fascinated by how people think about food, how it defines cultures, and its role in society. Do you ever think about how much food likes/dislikes can tell you about someone? And how people readily share this information? You wouldn’t normally tell a casual acquaintance about health issues or personal secrets, but you’ll readily share your food preferences (which can reveal a lot about you, I think!). The class will look more broadly at what food can tell us about human culture and society. From food centered life history to globalization to social structures, the class will look at how anthropologists approach these topics along with the necessary methodological tools.

Some of the assignments include conducting an interview and writing an essay on a food centered life history, observing a food related environment and analyzing the experience, and researching, preparing, and presenting a dish based on one of the course themes for our final class.

It is going to be a lot of work, but it will be engaging, challenging, and I think enjoyable! My blog posting frequency will likely decrease with the increase in homework, but I will do my best to keep to a regular schedule. I’ll try to sprinkle in learnings from my class along with regular recipes and features.

Thanks for your continued support and readership. I’m looking forward to a great 2011!

P.S. Don't forget to enter for a chance to win Chobani Greek Yogurt! Winners will be announced on Healthy Snack Wednesday! Enter here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010: Full of Family, Friends, Food, and Fun

Looking back, 2010 was kind of a blur! The hubby and I were busy all year, in a good way. And we both turned the big 3-0!  Every month was filled with visits and adventures with friends (new and old) and family.  We attended a total of 5 weddings (and celebrated one engagement).  Between the hubby and I we traveled to 10 states and to Spain.  Of course every adventure was accompanied by delicious meals - both home-cooked and restaurant cuisine.  We sampled local specialties and visited farmers markets in every place we could.

As Good Cook Doris celebrates 2 years of tasty posts, here's to a 2011 filled with even more delicious adventures!

Before the recap, here is the overdue announcement of our first Good Cook Doris giveaway winner! Congratulations to Joanna from The Hungry Crafter who said...

"I think what every man should know can be summed up in two words: "Yes, dear." One of the first things I taught my fiance. Now if I win this book, I can teach him something else ;)"

I hope your fiance enjoys this book and cooks you some delicious meals!

Good Cook Doris' 2010 Recap

The year started by celebrating Tim and MaryBeth's engagement and bundling up for the BU v. BC hockey game at Fenway Park.  Shortly after, our newest nephew came to visit from sunny LA (with parents of course).  Just look at how happy he was to be in the freezing Boston winter!  We celebrated the one year anniversary of Good Cook Doris and continued to create new dishes in the kitchen.  Winter Market season kicked off in the suburbs and we were able to buy local foods year round.

February and March
Always the longest short month of the year in New England, typically full of snow and gray days. My February was brightened with a 30th birthday surprise! While I was in on the party planning for my big birthday, I was not in on the special surprise. The hubby surprised me by arranging for my mom to come in for the party!  I thought that was all, but when he picked me up at work the next day my brother was in the car too.  We had a wonderful weekend together and they cooked a fantastic Spanish feast as a preview of our trip to Spain.

Our Spanish adventure was a combination celebration of our 30th birthdays and our 5th wedding anniversary. We started in Madrid with a day trip to Toledo. After eating our way through Madrid, we jumped on the train and headed south to the beautiful city of Seville. We enjoyed the architecture, people, food, and pretty much everything about the trip.  Thanks to recommendations from a friend we visited local favorites, saw lesser known museums, and explored different neighborhoods in each city.  One unexpected highlight was the Roman ruins outside of Seville in Italica. The amphitheater was the third largest in the Roman Empire! There were original tile floors, a bread oven, and outlines of most of the buildings in this ancient city.

Despite not eating jamon, we managed to eat a lot! From the Mercado de San Miguel with aceitunas and queso to the leg of lamb at Botin (oldest restaurant in the world, est. 1725) we enjoyed the local cuisine. Some places we even visited twice - like Chocolateria San Gines for churros con chocolate and the market for huge plates of pickles and olives.  

The month of March finished off with a trip to Kansas City to surprise my oldest friend Mara for her 30th birthday! Her husband asked me to fly in to surprise her, how could I say no? Our moms were sorority sisters in college and we were born exactly 3 weeks apart. She grew up in KC and I grew up in St. Louis, but there were a lot of trips back in forth. And there were often matching outfits.  In honor of our matching fashions during our elementary school years, I brought along outfits for us to wear for the birthday weekend.  During the trip I also got to spend time with my aunt, uncle, cousins, and their cute dog Sam.  

In April we took a quick trip to St. Louis to visit my grandmother and family.  The rest of the month was busy finishing up class work and projects around the house.  The hubby has been working at his job for over seven years, which meant an 8 week sabatical.  He used his time off for our trip, to paint the bedroom and bathroom and take a class to learn how to lay ceramic tiling. This summer I'm looking forward to a freshly tiled back porch.

May marked the start of summer farmers market season in Boston with the opening of the Copley Square Farmers Market and the SoWa Food & Produce Market. I started my weekly visits to Copley and was excited to get to know some new vendors this year.  Mara came to town for a visit and we explored the SoWa market on its first day of the season. Our friend Avi threw a gourmet dinner party and we dined in style and caught up with some of the hubby's old friends from college.

May also marked my return to running. After running the Disney Marathon in January 2008, it would be fair to say that I have not laced up my sneakers very regularly.  Thanks to my unexplainable ability to win contests on twitter, I "won" two entries into Boston's Run to Remember. I picked the 5-mile option and signed up my dining partner Renee to run with me.  We survived the race and celebrated with ice cream!

In addition to seeing all my old friends, I also got to meet some of my favorite bloggers in person at a wine tasting hosted by Michelle and Megan. It was the first of many delicious meetings over the summer and fall.

The celebrations continued in June! The hubby's parents bought him a cake that suggested "3" more than "30", but it was just as delicious.  We hosted a backyard party with lots of delicious meat and good friends. While the 80's trivia game proved too challenging for those of us born in 1980 we still had a blast.  

This year I am honored to be the president of my sorority's Boston Alumnae Chapter. I represented our chapter at the International Convention held in sunny Orlando.  It was an amazing experience with over 800 women, both alumnae and collegians gathering together for a week of fun.  Of course I had to take a quick detour to my favorite park - Epcot.  I flew straight from Florida to New York for wedding number #1 of the season. We met up with family from all over the country for a fabulous celebration.

No surprise - July was full of more fun! We hit the road and headed south to Westport, CT to see our LA family who was visiting for a wedding. All of the MA family headed down too. It was quite a party!  Our nephew Sammy was a perfect beach baby and we also toured the aquarium and downtown Westport.  On the way home the hubby and I stopped for my first trip to the drive-in (in Mendon, MA).  Later in the month I joined my mom and brother for wedding #2 of the season in St. Louis.

Tomatoes! My little tomato plants that I bought on the first day of market season grew into tall, healthy plants covered in little green zebra tomatoes.  But before I could harvest them all, some furry creature (or hungry neighbor) took them all. Not to worry, they eventually came back.

I met up with my Boston blogger friends for a wonderful restaurant week dinner at Sportello. A fun bonus? We got filmed for a promotion with Southwest Airlines!  A lovely foodie from Philly did a 'dish trip'  on Southwest - flying to Boston for one day to take in the cities best dining.  We were her dinner stop before she headed back home. While our dinner is just a quick toast on the video, you can see some of my new friends in the earlier parts of the video.

Local in Season hit the market scene in August at the Roslindale Market. I joined Jon and Michelle for the Tomato and Zucchini day at the market. It was a lot of fun chatting with farmers market shoppers about local food and sharing the Local in Season message.

September was jam packed! The LA family headed east again for Rosh Hashana and a beautiful wedding  of Josh's cousin (#3 of the season).  The wedding was on the pavilion at the Museum of Science looking out onto the Charles River.  The following weekend we packed up and flew south to Virginia for Tim and MaryBeth's big day (#4 of the season).  Their wedding was a blast - held at a winery in Virginia Wine Country.  The weather was spectacular and we had a wonderful time toasting the newlyweds.  As a bonus, we got to stop and see two other good friends on our way back to the airport.

One thing that is different about my gastronomy classes is the amount of reading!  I spent a lot of hours reading about the sociology, philosophy, and anthropology of food this fall.  It was fascinating and I'm looking forward to another class this upcoming semester.  When I wasn't reading, we were out enjoying the beautiful fall weather.  We started the month with wedding #5 of the season, one of the hubby's high school friends. Renee and I laced up our shoes and met up with our sorority sisters for our second race of the year, the Tufts 10K.

I spent a day in the glorious sunshine at the first annual Boston Local Food Festival with Local in Season. The crowd was huge and it was wonderful to meet so many readers and local food companies. That's where I met Joanna, the winner of the giveaway!

November marked the end of the 'summer' market season. I closed out my share at Atlas farms and started to get ready for a big Thanksgiving in St. Louis with my family.  This year almost everyone came into town and we stuffed ourselves with Turkey day favorites, White Castle, Frank and Helen's (best hamburger & onion pizza anywhere), and more.

We followed our family Thanksgiving trip with a visit to the hubby's parents in Columbus. We had a low-key weekend full of delicious eats.  I posted a recap of our dining adventures and couldn't figure out why my traffic was so high. Turns out the market we visited and a number of the vendors posted links to my post on their sites! What a wonderfully supportive food community!  Next time you're in Columbus, be sure to visit them all!

I spent a lot of hours working on my first research paper for the gastronomy program. I am working on a shorter version for the blog - while it was a fascinating topic I don't think that you all want to read my 17 page paper! I researched Boston area farmers markets and the increasing participation by female food entrepreneurs. Since I spent a lot of time at markets this season it was a fun topic to research. Thanks to the lovely food entrepreneurs who helped provide insights and information for the paper.

There could be no better way to end the year than with family and friends! We spent Christmas Eve with my sister- and brother-in-law and our three nephews. I will admit, it's hard to answer questions about why Santa doesn't go to Auntie Lara and Uncle Josh's house too.  I just hope we aren't the ones to blow Santa's cover.

Christmas Day we packed up half a dozen KO Catering and Pies frozen meat pies and a few sausage rolls and flew to DC to meet up with Mara and her Aussie husband Mark.  We spent four days touring the historical sites, eating at unique local eateries, and taking it all in.  Thanks to my twitter friends for all of the delicious food recommendations. There will be a separate post on our DC dining.

Here's to a fabulous 2011! Happy cooking to all!  Cheers!

A few fun blog facts for 2010, in honor of my second blog-a-versary!

How many visitors?
4,559 Unique Visitors
9,821 visits
16,283 pageviews

Where are they from?
80 Countries
52 States (thanks Google analytics)
The country with the longest average visit time: Switzerland

How did they find the blog?
14% Direct visitors
Top Referral Sites:
1. Facebook
2. Twitter
3. Foodbuzz
4. Blogger
5. Hootsuite
7. Google
8. Refrigerator Soup
9. Foodie Blogroll
10. Local in Season

Top Keywords in Search Engines (excluding Good Cook Doris)
1. Slow braising roast beef
2. Comida de Espana
3. Quick Friday night dinners
4. In the kitchen where I'm cooking where its good for me -- this one is my personal favorite (it resulted in 30 page views!)

Top Content
1. Main page
2. About Us
3. Not Such a Simple Stew (Project Food Blog entry #2)
4. Reading List
5. Good Cook Doris' New Adventures (Project Food Blog entry #1)

Thanks for joining me on my adventure!


Related Posts with Thumbnails