COFFEE AND A PEN

So, I’ve decided to keep the name "Coffee and a Pen" as the official title of this new section of my blog where I reflect upon the past week and list a few of my favorite inspirations that have come my way by chance – mostly through Twitter. Throughout the week, as I come across links, I email them to myself if I’m away from my computer and then look through them at the end of the week. With everything that goes on during the week, one has a tendency to forget all of wonderful inspirations that come our way. In a sense, this is my timesheet – a way to look back and see what inspired me on a particular day. It might be a bit different than other “favorite” lists, but I like it that way.

Happy Saturday morning! Grab a cup of coffee on this fine Saturday morning and get your pen (or keyboard) and get ready to jot down (or click) a few inspiring and interesting links. By the way, the first photo was taken seven days after the photo for my first post of “Coffee and a Pen”.

On Sunday, I came across a link to this post out of sheer coincidence as I was reading Kerianne’s post (it happened to be one of the comments that I clicked on for no apparent reason). I’m glad I did because both of those posts are a reminder to cherish even the ordinary day, to capture the moments you think might not be perfect or “photo worthy”, and to remember that the day will come when the house will no longer be a noisy mess.

Monday found me looking at this post from Tara at seven spoons which then led me to read this , which then led me to discover a Danish photographer and a Canadian photographer.

Tuesday was the first day of Spring and my oldest daughter’s first visit to the dentist. She had chipped her front tooth over the weekend (it wasn’t too bad, but still baffles me how she did it) and we went to have it checked. The dentist told us it wouldn’t affect anything and thus would not recommend doing anything about it – unless, of course, we really wanted to have it smoothed down. We didn’t since it’s one of her front teeth which will most likely fall out in the next six months to a year anyway. She did, however, have her teeth cleaned and was most excited about getting to watch cartoons as she laid back comfortable in the dentist's chair. Her little sister was excited when she heard of her older sister’s experience and now asks me on a daily basis when she can also go to the dentist.

I came across an interesting video about balancing eggs and a new site with these colorful eggs.

I also discovered wonderful cupcakes I hope to make soon, a Moroccan pantry staple (and another recipe for them ), and finally a new blog with an inspiring weight-loss story.

On Wednesday, I found another new blog and a recipe for ricotta gnocchi. I've gathered quite a few gnocchi recipes in the past three weeks.

Thursday was another visit to the dentist…this time it was me. Honestly, I cannot remember my last trip to the dentist (perhaps 20 years ago?), but it must have been after a similar unpleasant deep cleaning which scared me away. That, and shying away from x-rays due to the fact that I was either pregnant or trying to get pregnant for the past six years. For some reason, I was asked if I’d like to watch the Food Network. “Sure”, I replied. As I discovered, no amount of distractions - even if it was a cooking show, lessened the sheer discomfort of a very sharp object picking away at my teeth. On that note, I would hardly consider Sandra Lee’s half-baked (aka semi-homemade) show anything worth watching. Whipped topping?! Cool Whip is not real. How difficult do you think it is to whip up real cream? You’ve already lost any credibility as a serious cook in my eyes. If only Alton Brown was on…

Speaking of ranting… a rant by Michael about food bloggers overdoing a “cook along” type of blogging (make recipes from one cookbook, then blog about it) led me to comment on that, which then led me to realize that no matter what the profession there will always be someone who feels the need to “put others down”. I was planning on writing my commentary on that, but wrote this instead on my views of the world of food blogging and food photography.

Then Molly posted this about doing your own thing and not worrying about anyone else (yes, I've talked about this before). Finally, more inspiration from Keri...I can relate to much of what she says in the three parts of this post.

Friday was a busy day getting hubby ready for his week-long vacation of hiking somewhere in a San Diego desert with a childhood friend from Germany who now lives in San Diego. No surprise, it was one of our typical "wait until the last day and throw everything into the suitcase" type of packing. Nonetheless, I had time to discover a new word, piffle, from Michael, and Heidi's recipe for Cottage Pancakes. I actually found this one before, but came back to it so I can make it next week for the kids in the hopes that they will eat cauliflower.

On the way to the airport, I came across a new recipe for dutch babies from Bibberche. Thank you Lana for my very first #FF on Twitter! :)

The highlight of the girls' trip to the airport has always been getting to ride on Papa's suitcase. Yesterday was no exception. The other highlight of the day was when Papa pulled a large bag of Haribo gummy bears, left over from his last trip, out of his travel bag and gave it to the kids. They devoured those in no time. Sagey didn't even care if one fell on the floor. Yeah, icky, but I didn't catch that until it was too late.

After that, we drove to Whole Foods for dinner and a few groceries. The kids and I were really hungry and they wanted to eat rice and bean soft tacos from the taco bar - and a large Snickerdoodles cookie for each. We sat outside where all the birds watch your every move and even steal the food directly from your mouth (yes, that actually happened to Sagey last year).

After the kids went to bed, I found a new recipe for Sesame Pancake Sandwich Bread and an amazing food photography studio.

When you say that nothing interesting happened during the past seven days and nothing too inspiring came your way, it's most likely not true. Take a moment each day to jot down (or bookmark) that link, take a photo of an "ordinary" moment, and cook a new meal from a link that someone on one of your favorite social media sites happens to mention. Savor those moments...savor your life.