2012 started with me breaking my hand mixer by mixing the thickest chocolate cheesecake batter in the world. It was a delicious mishap. As you can see in the photo above, the beater blade broke off before I even added the cocoa to the batter, but I kept mixing with just one blade anyway. Confession: I cannot believe this happened in January – a year ago! I still have not replaced that beater blade and when I need to use my hand mixer I use it as is. One blade. Everything takes longer, but for some things it is still easier and more efficient than doing it by hand. So if anyone out there wants to send me a replacement, I’ll take a hand mixer in red to match the rest of my kitchen.
2012 is the year that iPhonetography Friday began, with a special Super Bowl edition. I attended my first trapeze class and instantly fell in love with the art! My mom went with me and was amazing! I found a local Farmer’s Market with awesome vendors that is close enough to drive to when my walking-distance one is closed for the summer. I made the teeny tiniest soft pretzel. I should really get to sharing that recipe with you all. I traveled to Colorado with my mom to visit my brother and his family. While there I got a first-hand lesson in high-altitude baking. My cupcakes sunk! They were still tasty, just a bit mishappen. Through my job as a recipe developer I have learned a lot about testing and developing recipes, and about food styling. I get to play with colors and patterns often and am tasked with developing recipes like chocolate doughnuts and homemade chicken nuggets! Yes, I also have to (get to!) taste everything we make at work.
I had the cutest Valentine in 2012. My godson, Jackson, came over to visit me and bring me a handmade Valentine on Valentine’s Day. I also had a fun, girly day of getting dressed up! I cannot believe how much Jackson has grown since February. I swear he is bigger, older, and more developed every time I see him, even if it’s only been a few days. He is the cutest little boy ever and I want him to stop growing up now. Thank you.
If I were to categorize the photos in my phone by subject, I’m not sure which would be on top: Food or Cats. I definitely love my cats to the point of maybe being a crazy cat lady and I photograph them. A lot.
I gave blood for the first time ever in my 29 years. My mom’s church held a blood drive in honor of this little guy. He and his family have worked and prayed so hard to beat leukemia and they are such an inspiration and encouragement to everyone they know. If you never have, or even if you have before, go give blood! Save a life!
I graduated culinary school in 2012. Culinary school was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned quite a bit, met some awesome people, and seriously increased my kitchen skills. I would encourage anyone who is interested in the culinary industry to go to culinary school and really focus on your studies. Of course, getting a job in the industry and getting real world experience is always a wonderful way to get starter. Either way, there are so many jobs to be had and so much diversity in the culinary world. I say join!
My Marine sister came home to visit in June. I took her to a piano bar and got them to bring her up on stage and sing to her. She was embarrassed, but I know she had fun. Then I played photographer as she tormented our mother by making funny faces instead of just sitting still and taking a nice photo for once!
My friend and neighbor got a puppy and I named him Errol (yes like Errol Flynn, but really for the Weasley’s owl, Errol in Harry Potter). He actually asked the entire internet via Twitter for name suggestions, but it was one of my twenty suggestions that made the cut. yesss! I have taught him a trick that I like to call Meerkat, where he stands up on his hind legs with his nose in the air and his front paws dangling down. He is also my walking partner. We are getting in shape together and discovering my neighborhood.
I traveled to Biloxi with my dad and grandparents. I met tons of cousins for the first time and learned so much about my family history. We then stayed at my dad’s house in South Carolina for a few days where we got to spend time with my cousin, Candace and her three beautiful daughters. We got matching lollipops at Cracker Barrel. The girls were in bad moods by the end of lunch and somehow the lollipops did not cheer them up, but I made them take a photo with me anyway! We went to Mount Airy (Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show) and got locked up in jail! I met my grandmother’s best friend of 60-something years.
I got to partake in a cookbook photo shoot. This was so much fun! So much work, but so much fun. I learned so much by watching the professional photographer, food stylist and prop stylist. They’ve been doing this for 10+ years so they really know their stuff. Working on a cookbook was such a neat experience and I am so glad I got to do this. I also visited the Hollywood Farmer’s Market for the first time. It is amazing, guys. If you’re ever in or near Hollywood on a Sunday, definitely make the trip to the market. You can fill up on just the samples of produce that are available.
I taught Miles how to read recipes. Like I said: Crazy cat lady.
Mom and I went to Temecula for an olive oil tasting. It was so much fun and I am still enjoying the oils and vinegars I purchased there.
I made lots of cheese plates in 2012. Lots. Lots. Don’t worry, I have a post in the works that is all about cheese plates. I love cheese. Have I mentioned that before? My cheese drawer is the only thing that is regularly stocked in my kitchen, and always full to the brim. Hmm maybe my chocolate drawer is equally stocked.
During Christmas time my mom and I found these adorable toppers in the $1 bin at Target. My family were good sports that day and wore their toppers all night at family dinner that Sunday. I wore mine to greet my sister at the airport and help get her in the Christmas spirit. She was really happy and totally not embarrassed at all. I went to my aunt’s for our annual cookie baking day (this is the second year we’ve done it, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s an annual thing from now on.) My cousin came in from Vegas to bake with us. Family time is good. This sort of thing should happen far more often.
I entered a decorating contest in my apartment building and won! My sister was able to come home for Christmas. We went to the Museum of Natural History and she humored me by taking a photo in a flower with me. What a nice sister. She is my only sister so she better keep this up! Like I said before, I love my cats. So let’s end this post with lots of photos of them. The final photo is what working from home looks like in my house. 2012 was a good year and I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store. Happy New Year!