Happy Friday!

Are you there, readers? It’s me, Cara.

I don’t usually post when I don’t have a recipe to share, but I felt like saying hi today and spreading my joy. Why am I so joyful? It’s Friday. That’s enough for me!

Just because I’m not sharing a recipe right this moment doesn’t mean there’s not a whole lot of foodie activity going on in my head and I wanted to give you a little taste of that.

I’ve been blogging for almost three years now, which makes it a bit harder to keep coming up with new and creative recipes. But lately I’m on a kick, and I’ve committed myself to blogging two, good-quality (I hope!) recipes per week. This means I have a lot of time to think about what I’m going to make and how I want to present it in terms of story and photo. Hopefully this will translate into more enjoyable reading and inspiration for you!

Don’t worry, sometimes there will be “bonus” posts. For example this weekend, I’m going to be guest-blogging for the first time. It’s a fun topic and I will let you see as soon as it’s up! I’m also thinking ahead for Passover. In the past, I’ve never actually gotten around to blogging before the holiday. How useful is that to my readers? Probably not so much. So I’m planning to roll out some Passover-friendly specials to help you prepare for the holiday, if you observe it. And for those that don’t observe, don’t worry – most of these will not be strictly Passover-specific, just meals that don’t contain wheat, barley, oat, spelt, and rye that you could enjoy any time of year.

I have another announcement. No, don’t get any big ideas. Here it is: I am no longer going to be using the “healthy” tag I once had. (Yup, it’s all gone.) Why? Well when I first started blogging, I was interested in healthy food, but over the years it’s really developed into a passion. This is not to say I eat healthy all the time. I still make more indulgent creations for special occasions like holidays and dinner parties. In the beginning, I’d share these on my blog. Lately, I haven’t been doing that, because I really want to make sure my blog has a specific, unique focus to keep you engaged. I want this to be a place where you’ll come to find a healthy, different, and delicious dinner idea. There are plenty of other fabulous bloggers out there to find your dinner party or dessert sensations! I won’t promise that you’ll never again see those things here. Maybe there will be a time I just can’t resist. But for the most part, I want to continue to develop what I think I’m best at, and challenge myself to keep improving on that. Therefore, I don’t need a “healthy” tag because you can be assured that 99% of what’s here is healthy. If anything, I need an “unhealthy” tag!

Now for fun, I want to share a couple upcoming events that my fellow Massachusetts foodies may be interested in. First, there is the Worcester Wine and Food Festival on Monday, March 1st. Be sure to click the link to the Facebook Group and check out pictures from last year’s event – it looks like serious business! Last year’s was held at the Hanover Theater. This time around, they are moving to the DCU Center so I can only imagine how big this is going to be. According to the Facebook page, we can expect to nibble on goodies from all of these Worcester-area favorites:

Baba Sushi, The Bean Counter, Black Diamond Coffee, Bocado, BT’s Smokehouse, Cabot Creamery, The Citizen, Coral Seafood, Dino’s Ristorante Italiano, Edible Arrangements, El Basha, EVO, Good As Gold, Haiku, India Cafe, The Jewel Box, The Melting Pot, Mezcal, Not Your Average Joe’s, Old Sturbridge Village/Oliver Wight Tavern, On The Rise Bakery, Peppers Fine Foods Catering, Peppercorn’s, Piccolo’s, Polar Beverages, Publick House Historic Inn,Savor, Snapple, Struck Catering, Sweet, Sweet Blazes, Tastings Caterers, Tribeca, Webster House Restaurant, Willy’s Steakhouse Grill & Sushi Bar

And of course, there will be plenty of wine! You can buy your tickets here, and check out the pictures from last year’s event over at the Facebook group. My only gripe is that it’s on a Monday night and I really like to keep my big splurges to the weekends – not to mention, I can’t imagine it’s all going to sit well in my tummy on Tuesday! But I think I can make an exception.

Second, I heard an ad on the radio this morning for the Boston Lamb Jam. Lamb Jam?! Heck yes, I’ll jam for lamb! This is being held on March 7th at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. It sounds like attendees will get to taste loads of lamb as local chefs compete for bragging rights on the best lamb dish. Oh, and the winner will get $1000 to donate to a charity of his or her choice. There will also be beer and wine pairings. Is it possible to eat too much lamb? I think not! I can’t wait to see, smell, and taste all the different preparations.

Let me know if you think you’ll make it to any of these events!

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9 Responses to “Happy Friday!”

  1. 1

    Elina — February 19, 2010 @ 6:12 pm Reply

    You've been blogging for 3 years? Wow, good thing I finally found your blog. Love it! :)I don't think I'll be able to make it to these events, but they do sound fun.

  2. 2

    Stephanie — February 19, 2010 @ 8:01 pm Reply

    I really love the direction you are taking your blog:) I've always loved your blog of course, but I love that it will have a specific focus. I admire your blog so much because you are so creative! I know what you mean on posting more quality than quantity…thats what I'm aiming for too…most weeks anyway:)

  3. 3

    Kim — February 19, 2010 @ 9:10 pm Reply

    I really enjoy your blog…and definitely enjoy the fact that you do post healthy, creative recipes. I love to cook, but I run out of ideas so frequently and it doesn't help that I married a meat and potatoes man. lol Speaking of which, you wouldn't happen to have a fresh, healthy take on any kind of southern cuisine would you? This week I am trying your Black Bean Tortilla Casserole, and those black bean brownies. Since I post a food log, I'll be posting this and will make sure to link it back to your blog for people who want to see the recipes. Thanks for what you do. :)

  4. 4

    Kim — February 19, 2010 @ 10:55 pm Reply

    Hi Cara, thanks for your comment on my blog. :) I like Trueblood too. I've read all the Sookie Stackhouse novels. If you haven't read them, they are even better than the show IMO. As for southern cooking, Louisiana style cooking is pretty different than North Carolina cooking…I like the idea of gumbo but can't get past the okra part.lol We're famous for our barbeque (pit barbeque and it doesn't have to be pork). Other foods you'll see at potlucks are fried chicken, potato salad, collard greens usually cooked with some kind of fatty meat, green beans cooked with some kind of fatty meat, macaroni and cheese casserole, cornbread, biscuits, cobblers, banana pudding (huge favorite lol),fried squash, fried okra (they really like fried vegetables around here)…basically a blood sugar and artery clogging nightmare. I really liked your take on macaroni and cheese w/ pumpkin and I'll be trying that one very soon. Actually, it was that recipe that made me want to ask you if you'd ever consider experimenting with southern cooking b/c you cut sooo much fat out of that recipe and put a bunch of healthy goodness into it..I've been trying to do that for years and it did not dawn on me to use pumpkin! I've been trying out different ways to make bisuits whole grain over the years…but I always end up with bricks. lol I made potato salad the other night and thought to myself, there's gotta be a healthier way to make this stuff. Sorry I'm writing so much, but I really like how you take what could be a coronary catastrophe and turn into something healthy…I'm really trying to get ideas on how to do this with southern cooking (mostly for my husband). Personally I love trying new things, but my husband can be kind of picky…he loves soul food and I do too but I just can't make those foods taste the "southern way" b/c to do so would be unhealthy in a big way. lol I am fortunate that he's open to trying new things at least a couple times a week. :)

  5. 5

    Cara — February 20, 2010 @ 12:01 am Reply

    No worries, Kim! I was poking around on your blog trying to figure out where you were from, but I didn't find it so thanks for the clarification. And the ideas! Have you ever used cauliflower in place of potatoes? Like cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes? That's one of our favorites, but I've also had a cauliflower salad in the summer that is much lighter than potato salad. I don't have a specific recipe in mind right now but maybe it's something you could play around with. I am still months away from barbecue season!

  6. 6

    Kim — February 20, 2010 @ 12:49 am Reply

    I've done cauliflower for mashed potatoes, but I haven't tried with potato salad…I just may try it. :) Thank you for the idea and yeah…I can't wait until it's barbeque season (although I do admit…we have barbequed a few times this winter) lol. Take care!

  7. 7

    Elina — February 21, 2010 @ 1:54 am Reply

    Hey, if you were thinking of attending the lamb jam, I thought you may interested in this deal (only $20 for tickets!) – https://www.buywithme.com/boston/deals/404-lamb-jam

  8. 8

    Cara — April 5, 2011 @ 1:22 am Reply

    No worries, Kim! I was poking around on your blog trying to figure out where you were from, but I didn't find it so thanks for the clarification. And the ideas! Have you ever used cauliflower in place of potatoes? Like cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes? That's one of our favorites, but I've also had a cauliflower salad in the summer that is much lighter than potato salad. I don't have a specific recipe in mind right now but maybe it's something you could play around with. I am still months away from barbecue season!

  9. 9

    Kim — April 5, 2011 @ 1:22 am Reply

    I really enjoy your blog…and definitely enjoy the fact that you do post healthy, creative recipes. I love to cook, but I run out of ideas so frequently and it doesn't help that I married a meat and potatoes man. lol Speaking of which, you wouldn't happen to have a fresh, healthy take on any kind of southern cuisine would you? This week I am trying your Black Bean Tortilla Casserole, and those black bean brownies. Since I post a food log, I'll be posting this and will make sure to link it back to your blog for people who want to see the recipes. Thanks for what you do. :)

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