A New Year With New Challenges Ahead...

Happy New Year friends! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season to end the previous year on a good note and are already embracing 2012 for all the experiences and memories that await you in the new year. As for me, 2011 has certainly been pretty eventful with it's share of ups and downs. Joel and I kicked off a new culinary group geared to moms and kids in the kitchen called, What's Cookin, Mama. Together we had so much fun hosting various food events and kitchen playdates. I also had a blast traveling to Texas and Alaska to work with various food companies including Frito Lay and Copper River Salmon. It was also a great experience to meet and hang out with fellow food bloggers in San Francisco for a food blogger convention later in the year.

Despite all these highlights of the past year, it was quite a bittersweet ending for our family which will definitely affect the years to come. While maintaining our personal privacy, any thoughts and prayers you can spare would be greatly appreciated. As a result, the upcoming year will have its challenges for sure, but I'm confident only challenges we can handle will be presented to us. Besides, it's all about attitude. With that in mind, I want to share this quote that I firmly believe in. Perhaps it will be something that you can apply to your own life to help put things into perspective in the new year for you...
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company…a church…a home.  The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act  in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." -- Dr. Charles R. Swindoll
Thankfully, there's also the kitchen. It's the place that helps me relax, be creative and feed those that are hungry, as we all know everyone must eat. I look forward to sharing more comforting foods and recipes in the new year, so stay tuned! I may not post quite as often as daily, since I've been working full-time while juggling a rambunctious toddler and other culinary projects the past couple of months... but I'll be posting nonetheless. The great thing is the kitchen I have now has much better lighting than my previous one and I can't wait to take advantage!

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful and happily delicious new year!


  1. Joelen, I am so sorry to hear about what is going on. You are in my prayers and you are SO right. Attitude is everything! You have had quite an eventful year in food!

  2. I hope 2012 brings only good things for you and your family. I think the quote on attitude is spot-on. I find it quite challenging juggling work and family, so I give you a ton of credit for blogging on top of everything else!

  3. I wish you the best. Successes without our cheerleaders are sad events. For just a minute whenever something good happens I want to call my father. Sadly I can't.

    Be the person they knew you were, each success is in no small part due to our loved ones and I am thrilled to be a small part of your following. Sounds like you have big plans, good luck with those


  4. Joelen,

    Happy new year! Best of luck and wishes to you, your family and blog. I look forward to seeing more wonderful content from you :)

  5. I came across your blog today and enjoyed it. Is it ok if we re-post some of your entries in our newsletter? I just think a lot of the food and beverage people who visit our community would like reading some of your posts, even though they are mainly industry professionals, they are still ‘foodies’. Let me know. :)