Hello again everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday season; not too hectic, plenty of time with family, and way too much food. I had a pretty solid one myself, even with the usual frantic pace that makes up every December. And like so many other folks, the imminent arrival of a new year makes me look both back at the closing year and ahead to the new one. So I thought I’d talk about a few of the foodie-related topics from the blog this year, whether they held major significance or if my feelings have changed about them.

I started off the year doing one of my favorite things in life – baking. I wanted to try my hand at something new, so I ventured deep into babka territory, the traditional Jewish sweet bread that combines two things that make life so much better – chocolate and bread. And while I was somewhat reticent about bread making, it turned out to not be as stressful as I expected. In fact, it turned out so well that I wanted to taste babka wherever I came across it, and to fine-tune my babka-making skills. It does take a decent amount of time and effort (and space) to make it happen, but nothing worth having was easily won.

In the spring I did a post about a fruit that really doesn’t get much attention, but in my humble opinion absolutely should – the date. The sweet-but-slightly-nutty flavored fruit of the date palm, these things are just magical, not only for flavoring, but for your health as well. It’s natural sugars allow you to get the sweet treat you’re craving without putting your body through the tough paces that come from having to break down processed, refined sugar. I included a recipe for date bars that highlighted the natural creamy caramel flavor they provide, and it was a dessert I will definitely make again.

I guess I really can’t do this post without discussing the obvious: 2017 was the year I was diagnosed with breast and lymphatic cancer. July 24 to be exact. That was a Monday. I was at work when I got the call. And from that moment to this one, I kind of have to toot my own horn a little bit for the way I’ve handled it. It will definitely change your life (on every possible level), but you can’t let it run your life. You just have to put the screws to it and keep going. I posted about my diagnosis in July, and I plan to do another one when this is all over. As far as treatment goes, I am about halfway through, and things are going better than I expected.

More recently, I admit that my posting schedule has been somewhat spotty. And when I say spotty, I mean it’s not nearly what it used to be. I feel bad that I keep blaming on the chemotherapy, but dude – it’s chemotherapy. If you’ve been through it before, you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t been through it before, I’ll never be able to adequately explain it to you. But I digress – one of my posts that I did manage to get up was a review of one of the slew of new restaurants that opened this year. The difference with this one is that it is actually in my neck of the woods, which doesn’t happen too often. Jason’s Deli  is off of Nicholasville Rd. near Trader Joe’s, and is focused on classic deli-style food and service with a healthier twist. Tbh, I did go the first week they opened, and like any brand spanking new place, they had a few kinks to work out. I have since tried some carry out food from them and it was great, so I still hold my good opinion of the place and plan to keep supporting them. Lunch at Jason's Deli

I also had a bit of a moment this year, which kind of planted a seed in me that hadn’t always been there. It started with the whole #metoo movement and the firestorm that has swept our society in recent months. I have never considered myself a hugely political person, but I do consider myself a feminist — even though I spend quite a bit of my time around men, it doesn’t diminish my love for my girls (all of them), and I am always over here quietly rooting for the ones who are working hard and just trying to achieve their dreams in this life. So I touched on the harassment sitch in one of my monthly “What’s On My Plate”s, and since then, the combo of news, social media statements made by friends/acquaintances and my own mental stream have made me far more involved than I had been before. I have another post coming soon that will basically be dedicated to this, but let me just say here that I support my ladies 1000%, and as I said before, never hesitate to speak out. It’s the fear that has kept this whole business in the dark for so long, and it’s time to root it out and wrestle it to the ground like everything else we women do in life! And if you didn’t know, now you know.

Yeah this post was a bit all over the place, but it was a year-in-review type thing, and if you know me at all you know that’s how I do things anyway. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have thoughts on anything I said above, or if you’re a regular reader (bless you!) and think there was a post I should have mentioned but didn’t. I hope all of you had a productive, happy year, and will continue to slay all the dragons in the year to come!