Saturday, January 4, 2014

Welcome, 2014!

Happy new year!
I've never been someone who gets sad around the end of the year but by January 1, I am ready to kick the holidays to the curb and move ahead. We took down our few decorations yesterday and put our Christmas tree out this morning. Our street is littered with them, waiting for pickup. Someone drew a chalk outline around one.

2013 was a good year. We were both gainfully employed and enjoyed good health. We went to Paris, which constituted our one major trip, but I also visited my sister in New Jersey, and we had a fantastic getaway to Santa Cruz in May for our 8th anniversary. We spent the end of the year in Kentucky with the husband's family and got a good dose of Southern life (and food: beer cheese! jam cake! bourbon balls and Hoppin' John!).

We also ate quite a bit, and quite well, at home. In fact, in looking through my iPhoto library, it seems I have a lot of new recipes I made in 2013 (and 2012, gulp!) that I never posted about. My posting frequency has dropped off rapidly over the years: 101 in 2009, 90 in 2010, 48 in 2011, 26 in 2012, and a measly 16 in 2013. My cooking hasn't dropped off, though, and there are a lot of things I've wanted to tell you about.

This chicken tagine, for example, is something I have been making for close to a year, at least once a month. You can find the original recipe here, and I recommend you do. It is absolutely delicious, studded with salty Castelvetrano olives and chewy prunes and finished with lemon juice and mint. We love it chez Hungry Dog. It's great with rice, mashed potatoes, or creamy polenta.

As for 2014, I'm not one for resolutions, but I do have some things I'm interested in doing this year. For one, I'd like to take another art class. I bought all those supplies last fall and they're sitting forlornly in the hall closet. I even have some brand new wood panels awaiting my clumsy brush strokes.

Also, I probably won't do this if history is any indication, but I really want to work on my French. The next time we go to France, I'd like to be a little better at conversing. Seeing how fast time flies, our next trip will be here before we know it.

Speaking of, we are planning two trips for the year: Hawaii in the spring, and possibly Spain, or a Spain/Portugal combo, in the fall. Stay tuned.

And finally, the husband and I have started to think, very seriously, of getting another dog.  So many sweet pups need homes, and I think Soph would like having a little dog friend.

We'll see where the year takes us. I'm sure at the very least, there will be some good food involved, and I'll try to be better about posting here at The Hungry Dog.

Cheers to you all for the new year!


  1. Happy New Year, my dear! So good to hear you are well and happy and thinking of adopting another pooch! We had a good 2013, too, all except for the very end. If you are interested and on Facebook, I have been following "Humans of Paris", which has both French and English subtitles for their photos of people in Paris. I try the French first but can resort to the English if I don't understand the French. Just a little (almost) daily French lesson that I enjoy. Like you, I'm always hoping to improve my French. And, if you don't want to post about your cooking, how about showing us your paintings and talking about that process? I'd love to see them.

  2. i must encourage you to get another dog--there are so many that need loving homes! happy 2014. :)

  3. Hey, glad to see you blogging again, too! It was so much fun to have dinner with you and Danny at Frenchie this fall, and I hope we can do it again before 2 years have gone by! That said, don't skip Portugal if you plan that trip to Spain. We absolutely loved Lisbon and would go back in a heartbeat!

  4. Zoom: Thanks! I will check out Humans of Paris on FB.

    grace: It's looking pretty likely..

    camille: I really do want to go to Portugal and your endorsement seals the deal!

  5. The tagine dish looks great. Do you actually have the tagine crockery to make it in? I don't so wondering if it would just work in a braising pan? Also, if you go to Spain, you definitely need to go to Madrid (such a civilized city) and then take the bullet train (just a 2.5 hour ride) to Barcelona. I loved that simple train ride. Happy new year!

  6. Ben: No, I don't have a proper tagine...I just do it in a big pan and it works just fine! We are definitely going to Madrid--and hope to get back to Barcelona if we can. That's cool the train ride is so short.

  7. Happy new Year! May 2014 be everything you hope for-

    We are also planning a trip to Spain in the summer. We may have to compare notes :-)

    I am hoping you post more this year, I so enjoy your blog.


  8. Can't wait to hear about all those things! Spain and Portugal! I hope you can make it to both!

    Happy New Year :)

  9. Velva: We MUST compare notes as our trips come together!

    Jessica: Me too! Happy new year to you as well.

  10. Great to read that you're back to posting recipes and thoughts! I'm excited for a possible Portugal/ Spain combo trip for you two. We are happy to share recs. And a second dog would be great. You have a knack for finding good dogs :)

  11. Aw, thanks Ash--I have to agree that we get the best dogs, Django Barksdale being the exception, of course! Definitely want to get your Portugal/Spain recs.