July 1st

Today starts the second half of 2009 and I’ve got big plans. New month, new projects, new challenges, new joys.

Last night I made risotto for the first time. It was wonderful, even if Matt called it “slimy rice.” He loved it too. I’ve now conquered the school of grains at epicurean school, with risotto serving as the thesis. I passed.

Parmesan risotto and vegetables

First time making risotto

I still think if given the chance to start over career wise, I’d go to culinary school and become a baker. Maybe I’d own a small bed and breakfast or a winery. I love cooking for others and the joy of learning new things in the kitchen never wavers. This weekend I’m going to try red velvet cake from scratch, perhaps topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh blueberries for a 4th of July treat. I am looking forward to pulling out my cookbooks, finding a clean apron and digging in. Plus, it has a theme, and you know me and themes. If there is a way I can come in costume or celebrate the mundane to make everyone else laugh, I’ll find a way.

Ballerina fabric

Fabric for a new project

Varigated yarn for a new knitting project

july 1 026

There are new art supplies too. Soft ballerina flannel that will soon be transformed into a quilted surprise. And there is something about variegated yarn that makes my heart skip a bit. The warm beautiful colors flowing from one shade to another — it’s like a sunset in your hands. I cast on a new project last night, finding a meditative state in the repetition.

Getting my Spartan on

Gimme a B-O-O-K!

Photos by Amanda Nemec

And finally — please stop worrying about me. I am embarrassed now to have shared the way I have here; I do appreciate the support and your kind words but I don’t handle being a source of pity. Trust me when I say, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to feel awful for me. My life is pretty damn good.

So, thank you. While I’m really not outside acting like a mentally handicapped cheerleader this week, I will again soon. My spirit is here, in check and I’m fine. I once was and will so again be a giant, goofy dork who loves nothing more than to make fun of herself.

Cheer on,


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32 Responses

  1. Kelli, don’t forget how awesome YOU are. You are doing such great/fun things, keep it up. Oh, and I love your new site ;), looks great.

  2. Did I hear Red Velvet Cake? My mom and dad make the best from a recipe from my grandma and possibly farther back than that. It even requires an entire bottle of red food coloring–crazy eh? Enjoy!

  3. Ditto — you’re AWESOME! Happy 2nd half of the year to you.

  4. You go girl! And, your new format looks fantastic.

  5. I love your site’s new look!! Do you have a recipe for the peanut chicken pasta dish from Community Dinner? Thanks!

  6. A new fiscal year, a new blog look, same wonderful Kelli.
    Happy Wednesday!

  7. Love the new blog look and the risotto looks delicious. I think my husband would be happy with “simply rice” for almost every meal.

  8. Can’t wait to see pics of the red velvet cake. Like the new look of your site too. Cheers to a new month!

  9. Julie July 1, 2009

    Love the new look of the blog!!
    ROCK ON GIRL!!!!!

  10. Tina in Duluth July 1, 2009

    I love the new look! The pictures of you are fantastic, too!

  11. LOL love the jumping pictures, too cute.

  12. Big smile here. Love the jumping pics, the new blog look, your yarn and fabric for new creations and your passion for cooking and feeding people. I would have loved to have owned a B&B. I would still like to. One never knows. :-))

  13. Your risotto looks fantastic. I love that stuff – I bet it wasn’t nearly as hard as you thought it would be, was it? Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in mind for that pretty yarn, either!

  14. LOVE the new look Kelli! Glad to hear your doing better, and I think you’d make a wonderful chef/baker/B&B woman!

  15. The new site is awesome. I love those pics of you. The photographer must’ve been pretty skilled to catch you mid-air or maybe it was the jumping that was hard–I don’t know, I’ve never photoged anyone that way but it’s way cool.

  16. Great new look for a great lady. Happy to know you are feeling better. You are one special person:)

  17. Kelli~I’ve read you for a long time and enjoyed your blog so much. While I am so very happy you are okay…I’m saddened that you chose to use the reference “mentally handicappped cheerleader”. This was unexpected coming from the little I know of you from reading your blog. 🙁

  18. Oooohohoho…set a place for me…I’m coming over right now for some of that yummy deliciousness! Oh wait…I live a state away…guess I’ll just continue to sit here and wipe the drool off my laptop.
    By the way, I’d be first in line to stay at your B&B. You should do it!

  19. Jeanie July 1, 2009

    giant goofy dork.

    ((Hee hee hee))

  20. You rock! Risotto is amazing and is right up there with couscous, but I think I like risotto better. Trader Joe’s has a really good one too!

    LOVE the cheerleader photo!! Fantastic! Keep on smiling!

  21. Carolyn July 1, 2009

    I love your new blog format, Kelli, and I really enjoy stopping by here and seeing what you are up to. You are such an inspiration to so many people, so don’t you forget that, OK??!!! BTW….that red velvet cake sounds super yummy….we used to have a neighbor that made it for her husband’s birthday every year, and she used to invite us over….geez that cake was delicious!

  22. This risotto looks so good I’m drooling just a little bit (though I just had dinner) !

  23. Debbie July 2, 2009

    Your new blog design looks great! I can’t wait to see what you will make out of your new fabric and yarn! Do you know that I have never had red velvet cake?

  24. Cindy July 2, 2009

    Love the new blog and love your enthusiasm. It’s never too late to pursue a dream….I say if you want to go to culinary school, find a way. Maybe there’s a way to combine your love of cooking with your love of helping others? Love the new look on your site.

  25. Nice pictures, who took them? Hmmmmm?

  26. Love then new look! And those pictures are classic.

  27. Wow, you’re a really cool lady. I found your site looking for a Billy Gibbons type cap. Reading some of your posts made me forget all about the cap. Wishing you the best!

    Jim from Chicago

  28. great site re-design, great risotto, great craft projects lined up – sounds like your second half of 2009 is going to be fabulous!

  29. What a relief! This site looks so refreshingly different from the rest of the blog-world! Great pictures as well. I was just plannig to upgrade my old camera, and I might now consider the Rebel! The food looks, well, very appetizing! Did you use the Rebel to take your mid-air snap as well?! I just chanced upon your blog today. I might end up a regular now!

  30. I made Risotto for the first time a month ago or so and I’m loving it. It’s my new gluten free answer to saucy gooey italian food sans the pasta!

    I LOVE the new look – it’s beautiful, refreshing, happy, and definately reflective of your spirit!