2010 A Year of Change and Growth

So much has changed since this time last year. When the year began Sydney was a senior in high school, my husband was still the CIO for CRI, and I had just began dipping my toe into the pool of blogging, (What a big pool). I can honestly say I did not understand this new “blogging world.” The first few blogs lacked structure, the stories were dry, and the pictures I posted were grainy, dull, and the styling was boring.

All four of these pictures were shot with a sony point and shoot, in haste, and I was pretty “green.”  It wasn’t as if I never had taken a picture before, as I previously shared in How baking composed my journey through photography.., I owned a Hasselbald H-1 and used it quite frequently. My brain cells stopped working when I switched to Digital photography (very humbling).

All four photographs were shot with my Canon eos 1ds mark iii. The two on the left were placed inside an Interfit studio tent, and the two on the right were placed on a Manfrotto table top using softbox lighting. Yes, my learning f-stops, aperture, and food styling was quite an experience.

As I became more engrossed with the blog, baking, and photography world my family was changing also. Sydney and I were blessed to spend many hours together over the summer, but the inevitable was going to happen: college, she was leaving home in September for Illinois. Though I knew she would leave, I was not properly prepared for the emotion that would accompany her departure, (may I add neither was she or my husband).

January 2010 started off as a wild ride, the company my husband worked for closed, Sydney was working on a four month senior project, that took her and I to France in March 2010. Her project was on The Culture of Food between France and The United States. I was contemplating beginning  a blog at this time too. By the end of March DF was the CIO of a new company (gratefully in the Denver area), Sydney and I left the next morning for our ten day Paris trip.

She was taking a five day class in which she would learn about the markets and restaurants, as well as wine tasting, baking, and cooking. I used the time to visit as many markets, boutiques de pâtisseries and bistros I could find. I was mesmerized with the colors, smells, tastes, and the people. The Parisians were kind and helpful. My husband claims it was a miracle I actually did not remain in France, I must admit my love for my family is greater than my love for all else.

The first day in Paris

I walked to the market daily for fresh fruit

Our girl’s vacation was not only educational for Sydney, but myself as well. I fell in love with French Macarons; however the class (which had one space open) held at Ecole Ritz Escoffier disappointingly I was unable to register due to travel issues (I am still disappointed). The class ended the afternoon of our departure date and try as I might, the airlines could not give another flight until two days later, I would not be home for Easter. The very next day when we arrived home I began to teach myself the art of the french macaron.

Anyone who has ever tried to create this beautiful tasty gem knows the heartache involved. I would have domes without feet, feet without insides, and as I called them, the dreaded “pimple people” macarons. Finally in April 2010 I created macarons I could be proud of and my husband was no longer plummeted with macaron mistakes!

I would like for a moment to thank DF and Sydney for their continual support and understanding during a month of daily watching me try to conquer les macarons!

In June 2010, I designed Sydney’s favorite flavor macaron a delightful Strawberry-Rose Macaron with a light Strawberry Créme filling, and I never stopped designing new and exciting flavors from then on!

By the time August crept around the corner, I was busy buying college extra long twin sheets for Sydney’s dorm room bed (the question I have is why can’t the sheets be the common regular length?), and preparing Chocolate Babas piped with White Chocolate Créme Mousse for Sydney’s college picnic.

As crisp fall air approached I began diving “head first” into the land of HTML and digital photography, though I learned a plethora of techniques and valuable information, I had only scratched the surface. I posted an entire blog dedicated to the information I had learned. Thank you all for the wonderful responses to “My Journey “(for short). I have learned extensively more knowledge since then (I will be posting all about that soon). I realize even with my newly found knowledge there is a plethora more to study, I can bet I will never learn all there is to know on this subject, nor would I want to.

Halloween 2010

During the end of October I was working more with photoshop c5, Dennis had only taken two days off since starting his new job in March, and Sydney disclosed she would be transferring to the University of Colorado! She had fallen love with Chicago, but alas she was 300 miles south of Chicago in Galesburg, no love there; (Besides she missed the unique weather only Colorado can offer). While she broadcasted her news, both my husband and I parentally went through all the logical questions. I honestly was elated, but I needed to be in “mom” mode, I did not want my delight to influence her decision. She had already applied and been accepted prior to announcing anything to us. It probably goes without saying she will be going to the University of Colorado!

Beating egg yolk batter

By November I had my trustee sous chef home, DF turned 46, his birthday was earlier in the month and DF”s birthday week went into full throttle. My blog was renovated, I had a specific look in mind and after much explaining DF was able to code the template/theme. Many thanks go to him, for his patience; he must have shown me 20 different designs prior to reaching the vision in my head. I do love the new look! He also to my great surprise added a PHOTO GALLERY where not only could I have my pictures in a 3-D gallery and slide show, but other bloggers could post (with a link to their blog, web, or e-mail) their wonderful photos!

He is a trooper!

Oh my Gosh it was now Thanksgiving, time flies too fast, from this moment on the rest of year becomes a whirl wind of baking, photo shooting, creating more recipes, seeing old friends, shopping, and of course endless parties. Each year Christmas seems to arrive faster and faster, Santa must have a turbo jet by now!

I blinked, maybe half a blink, December was already HERE. I love this time of year, not for the commercialism, but beauty and wonderment. Sydney and I wrap and delivered  presents and goodies to the battered women’s shelter for the children who need to feel as special as they truly are. We baked for the endless dinners I hosted, the clients who had ordered goodies, the people who are dear to us, and our own Christmas dinner. I had promised my family, who have been entirely patient I would not take photos of our family christmas for my blog. It was a special time of family bonding and they did not want to share it with anyone else. WE did have one of the most amazing Christmases since Sydney was little.

As I am finishing writing my last post for 2010 and my first post of 2011, I cannot help reflecting that when the year began I was “blogger challenged,” frustrated with the thought of reading HTML and being able to photograph my food so it had a “WOW” factor. I am still learning, but I feel as if I have at least one foot on ground of this blogging world. My hope ( I don’t make resolutions, that way I cannot let myself down) for 2011 is to continue the bond with Sydney as she enters adult hood, remember to not take my marriage for granted (feed the marriage, as it is a living entity), and be able to give back to all of you with well written, knowledgable, beautiful styled food, and dazzling photos and posts in this blog.

I just looked at the clock, it is almost 4:00 am, but can we pretend I finished 4 hours and 1 minute ago? This most likely will not posted till mid morning of the 1st day of the new year. My proof reader, Sydney, might just impale me if i woke her now. Besides, I am sure she would be much too tired to read this..she arrived home around 2:30 am and went straight to her bed.

Dennis and I rang in the year with a lovely Taittinger Rosa



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