I am truly overwhelmed with your gracious response to my reimurgence from my cybercave! Thank you so very much. :)

Well, a year has passed. It’s one of those situations where so much has happened that you can’t think of anything, you know? Like when you see someone you went to high school with and once you get past discussing where you work and whether you are married or have kids it kind of taps out. I’m sure I’ll remember odds and ends as time goes by.

In the more recent past (read, the last two weeks) those of us in the Pacific Northwest have been battered by Artic Blast 2008. No, sadly, I did not make that title up. I personally would have named it Average But Debilitating Snowfall That Almost Ruined Christmas, but whatever. What it amounted to was real winter weather, Midwest style, in a region otherwise unprepared for it. We had snow, ice, freezing rain, the whole shabang. What we didn’t have were enough plows, salt, or snow shovels. In our community of 30 homes, one person had a shovel. As a Minnesotan, I was pretty disappointed with myself. But I was pleased with my giant container of sea salt from, where else, Trader Joes. My second post in and already a Joes plug! I can’t help it, I love them! I used the sea salt to salt the ice off of our porch and it worked perfectly.

We didn’t have a shovel, but we needed to get out of our house. Desperate times call for innovative answers.

Kris Shoveling Snow

Being that Portland screeches to a halt when there is weather, I spent most of the last two weeks telecommuting. Telecommuting is beautiful on two fronts- 1.) I get so much more done because the only distraction I have is throwing a sparkily pompom ball for Ravi to fetch and 2.) because my work-from-home computer is a laptop, I can work and throw together some baked goods at the same time.

Such as this Chocolate and Vanilla Cream Pear Galette. This has been one of my absolute favorites so far.

Chocolate and Vanilla Cream Pear Tarte

Chocolate and Vanilla Cream Pear Galette

Favorites for what you might ask? Well, if you’re going to twist my arm I’ll tell you. I was contacted by a publisher this fall about publishing the recipes from my old book for reals, but updated and expanded and with tons of new recipes (50+). How can a girl say no to that? We are still hammering out the title, but in the meantime I have been baking like there’s no tomorrow and it’s been a blast.

The road to diabetes is no doubt paved with cookies, cakes, breads, pies, and all sorts of goodies. I’m trying to start some damage control, and I need to clean up our food habits to compensate for all of this. It’s been difficult, as I’m also working and going to school when I’m not baking, so convenience has been key and Jim is still mastering how I like my instant oatmeal. Any superfast healthy food suggestions that are also cost-effective?

Is there anything cuter than little kitty footprints in the snow? Linus is from Minnesota, too, and the snow was calling him, so on the first day of snow, we took him out for a little stroll.

Linus Paw Prints

This isn’t terribly eventful, but it’s pretty darn cute- a video Jim put together of Linus exploring the freshly fallen snow while Bindhi plans her revenge from inside the house.

I hope the last day of the year ends on an upswing, sending you into 2009 on a high note. This is going to be a tough year for everyone, I think, but cookies and community will see us through!

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0 Responses to Wow!

  1. Vegetation says:

    Awww Linus is too adorable! I love the music to go with his explorations! And yum to the galette!

    Easy, cheap and nutritious for me is anything I can throw in the slowcooker 😉

  2. jessy says:

    Linus Welcomes Winter is just too cute! totally made me smile this morning! (the paw prints in the snow were the best!) hooray for kitty awesomeness!

    that’s fantastical news on publishing your recipes & a lot of new ones, too! no wonder you’re crazy busy! baking + working + school! whew! that’s a lot!

    as far as convenience (and healthy) foodz stuff goes – i do a LOT of cooking on sunday afternoon (or whenever you have about 3 hours – if you can ever score 3 hours of free time!). i cook up all kinds of beans for the week, a big ‘ol batch of brown rice (or bulghur, barley, millet, etc.) – then i bake a loaf of whole wheat bread for dan’s sammies & a fun loaf of bread for “soup ‘n bread nights”. while everything is do’n its thing cooking that’s when i get a chance to tear up greens for sauteing, chop veggies, etc. (then i just toss them into container for use later that week) all the prep work that makes throwing a meal together sooo much easier. beans & rice dishes are easy to make and change up a good bit, and soups can be your best friend, too. they’re so tasty, inexpensive, keep you warm, and most of them freeze well! w00t! roasted veggies taste great the next day, in salads, on sammies, etc – and they’re also easy to make – so we make them in big batches, too. hmmmmm, i think that’s all my brain has left here for thinking @ 7AM – but if i come up with any more healthy & fast ideas i’ll let you know!

  3. bex says:

    with that impressive fur coat it’s not wonder Linus loves winter. Our cat is a short hair so he doesn’t like winter but he hates using the potty inside more so he endures it (it just might take a couple tries).

  4. Veronica says:

    Oh, Linus is precious. Congratulations with the upcoming book! That’s fantastic news! I wish you all the luck with that along with school and work.

    The PNW was most definitely not prepared for this. I grew up here, but I’ve never experienced weather of this degree. Ironically, the snow really put a damper on my holiday traditions indeed. But, all is well, and that is what we can be grateful for. :)

    (I love TJ’s.)

  5. Vegyogini says:

    Happy New Year and thanks for the kitty love!

  6. Courtney says:

    Ha ha…how much snow did you actually get?! As a Minnesotan, I have to say, I am always dismayed when I see on the news that other states virtually close down for something like a measly 6 inches of snow…come on! 6 inches?! That is nothing! As you know, schools, work, governments, etc. here don’t even blink at something like that! You should probably invest in a shovel, though… :o)

    Congrats on the new cookbook–that is so exciting!

    I hope you have a safe, WARM, and happy new year!


  7. ruthie says:

    OMG Linus is so cute.

    Here are some healthy ideas to offset the sweets: http://sustainable-shire.blogspot.com/2007/10/finally-our-menu-plan.html

    Much love and nice to see ya again. :-)


  8. Tracy says:

    I loved the video of Linus in the snow! I must admit, as much as I liked seeing the snow, I think I will stay right her is sunny AZ!

    Congratulations on the new cookbook! I am so proud of you!

    Take care,


  9. krispycheks says:

    We got about 1.5- 2 feet here. The problem is that it snowed about 8 inches, then we had freezing rain, then we had more snow. That mixed with nothing getting plowed except the highways and a few major streets, no salt, etc meant that we literally couldn’t even get our cars to move. It was ridiculous.

    Thanks for the food ideas, Ruthie and Jessy. Great ideas, now I need to actually plan ahead. :)

  10. Sandy says:

    Hey there! What a cute video! Love and miss you!