Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe my 2.5 week vacation from school is already over. I had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends and feel lucky to have had such quality time with those I love. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen which was really relaxing. Some of the highlights were making peanut brittle with my friend Heather and experimenting with a no-knead walnut bread (goes nicely with butternut soup) on Christmas Eve. Alex and I met up with my good friends Jessica and Jeff at Hog Island Oyster at the Ferry Building in SF and feasted on oysters, clam chowder, and grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s one of my favorite things to do in San Francisco and we had a blast. My cousins and I had a German-themed feast which included my dad’s boar sausage slowly simmered in beer. Who knew I liked venison! My friend Wei hosted a tasting party where she set out an array of chocolate, olive oil, cheese, red wine, apples, and cola and we had to guess the brand/type of each. I actually wrote, “uninteresting” on the Valhrona piece. Now I know I have cheap taste in chocolate! This last week I made an eggplant parmesan and a lasagna bolognese for 16 people after a gorgeous day skiing. It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked for so many people and it makes me want to start another supper club sometime soon.

Santa brought me a slow-cooker and a new yogurt maker (my old one died last month) so I’ll be trying some stews, soups, and breakfast options in the next few weeks. If you have any recipe ideas, please send them my way!