A professor from my journalism school posted a link on Twitter the other day that was really thought-provoking. It was a blog post about questions to ask for yourself about the last year. Yes, perhaps it is something that's written in some form or another every year, but honestly, it made me realize what a wonderful year I've had. The most amazing thing I did in 2011? Get a new job and move to a new city. Am I happy about where I am in life? Completely. I have some amazing friends, many of whom I got to see during the holidays even though they live far, far away. I got to make plans to visit them in 2012. I got to see both of my stepsiblings for Christmas, even though they live in Canada. And as a whole, I'm really happy where I am emotionally and mentally. So 2012, bring it on. Let's make it even better. /end typical year-beginning/year-end post.
I'm not the type of person to really go for the whole big New Year's Eve out sort of thing. But one of my best friends, Tara, has her birthday on NYE, so I celebrated at her house with her family. That included bringing my customary bday gift of cupcakes, which this time was a margarita cupcake. And despite not being kid-friendly for all the little ones running around, I'd say these were definitely a hit. They're basically a lime cake brushed with tequila and then topped with a lime-tequila icing. Pretty good alcoholic treat for NYE!
I've been a little low on energy since the holidays ending. I was busy with family and friends for basically two weeks straight, so my baking was relatively basic, including these brown sugar chocolate chip cookies. Simple, yet always a hit. They always seem to disappear rather quickly at work.
Among the kitchen items I asked for for Christmas (how great is an immersion blender, seriously? Or is that just me being a dork?), I found something awesome on a sort of scavenger hunt Cathie sponsored. She loves to thrift, so on Christmas Eve, she gave each of us kids a $5 and told us to thrift and find something awesome. One of my finds? A baguette pan for $2.75. Not too shabby, especially for something I assume was given to the thrift store because whoever donated had no idea what it was. So on a recent trip to Aunt Betty's, we made a couple baguettes from one of her old bread cookbooks that came out perfectly, even with those little dots on the bottom, which are from the perforations on the pan. What a great find!