Let me start off by saying this: 2011 was a great year.
*I turned 30.
*I got the best bunny in the entire world, Little Omar.
*I traveled to Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
*My niece, Jubalee, was born in July (and she’s perfect and beautiful and the best little chunk of a baby).
*I finally got to dine at a Thomas Keller establishment (Bouchon in Las Vegas).
*I dyed my hair ‘ombre’.
*I planted my first real garden (thanks to the raised garden beds my husband built for me). I grew: squash (delicata, spaghetti, zucchini), chioggia beets, tomatoes, shallots, carrots, chives, arugula, kale, chard, peppers, and cucumbers.
*I was asked to join the board of the Montavilla Farmer’s Market. (And I accepted, of course).
*I finally got on the Harry Potter bandwagon. I read all the books and watched all of the movies this year, and I’m seriously kicking myself for not reading them sooner.
*In June, I celebrated 2 years of marriage to my best friend.
This is us, looking celebratory (!):
So, yeah, I’d say it’s been a fantastic year.
As for 2012? I’ve got a whole lot to look forward to…
*Hosting the PDX Food Swap (The next one will be in March, 2012!).
*Working with the Montavilla Farmer’s Market, specifically working to help reduce food insecurity through the Everybody Eats program.
*Eating at DOC in Portland – it’s been on my list for ages, and somehow I’ve not had a chance to eat there.
*Taking on new freelance writing gigs, in addition to expanding my wedding coordinating and events business. I have some exciting things in the works!
*Traveling to Europe with my love (The plans are still tenative, but if I write it here, that means we have to go!).
*Planting & growing an even more successful garden!
*Disneyland! (We’re going in January. I’m a total sucker for Disneyland.)
*Vegas in March with a couple of my favorite ladies.
*Trying new things, cooking new things, and learning new things.
I’m exciting to grow and change this year. I’m excited for whatever life throws at me. I’m thankful for all that I’ve been given, and I look forward to the new year with a sense of hope and excitement. God is good.
Lastly, I thought I’d share a festive cocktail recipe that is perfect for ringing in the new year. It also happens to be my favorite cocktail of all time: The French 77.
The French 77 is a variation on the classic cocktail, The French 75. The French 75 was created in 1915 at a bar in Paris and the drink was originally made with gin, champagne, simple syrup, and a lemon twist. The name hails from the fact that the cocktail was rumored to “have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun”.
The 77 doesn’t differ much from the 75, but the one slight change makes all the difference (in my humble opinion). The 77 uses Elderflower Liqueur (St. Germain) in place of the simple syrup. The St. Germain adds a sweetness that isn’t too sweet. It’s slightly floral, without being too overpowering. It’s perfect. The cocktail is smooth, balanced, and goes down ridiculously easily. And yes, it certainly has the kick of a French field rifle. This cocktail packs a punch (in the best way).
So, Happy New Year to you and yours! I plan on celebrating with a French 77. Maybe you’ll join me?
The French 77
Note: The drink is often served in a champagne flute, but I like to serve it in a smaller classic cocktail glass.
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz St. Germain (Elderflower liqueur)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces Champagne (or sparkling wine)
1 small strip lemon zest
Shake together gin, lemon juice, and St. Germain with ice. Strain, and pour into a cocktail glass. Pour champagne float over the top, garnish with lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Makes one cocktail.
Happy New Year, y’all!