Finalmente… the temperature has shifted and just like the autumn leaves watermark the moist ground with an earthy impression, spring’s flower tickle our joys, brighten our days and invite afternoons of lasting fragrances. I’m particularly excited about the new season for many reasons, most of which I’ll sprinkle throughout upcoming posts. In itemizing the various anecdotes to share this morning, it hit me. I’ve been back in DC for 10 months to the day. I never thought I’d make this move at this stage in my life, but I’ve learned to accept and welcome the change. As much as the move to Atlanta altered my life and career as I know it, relocating to my hometown has enhanced my complete existence. Everything has changed. I’ve moved on from relationships, leaving the man I love behind; rekindled an old flame all to be burned; reconnected with old friends, inserted myself in my nephews and nieces school lives, started trapeze and love Pilates and yoga on a regular basis, allowing for a much healthier diet, have willfully parted with material things I had in storage (a huge victory in my mind) and most special, I see my parents every day.
Those are personal accomplishments and moments I’m thankful for. But there’s the professional side. Flanboyant Eats was born in Atlanta and we enjoyed tremendous growth. After almost exactly 7 years, it was time to go. I had exhausted everything there was for me to do and see. Regretfully, I didn’t tally off everything on my busy agenda. Thankfully, it’s only a 75 minute flight away.
With the move, though, came a clear epiphany of this new stage. I’ve pondered the exchanges and engagements and realize everything I’ve done to date has positively affected this blog, my work in the kitchen, and my passion for entertaining my friends and sharing with you the amazing things I’m blessed to do. The private moments with extraordinary chefs like Emeril and Robuchon have steered my imagination into the wildest pairings on my plates. Press trips expand my consciousness of the world and those living in it. Stateside trips are equally engaging and I learn something new. Even the crazy amount of product reviews I do has a fun arm to it. I get to play around with trinkets and such that can make our experience in the cocina so much better. And I love passing it along to you.
So while all those field trips and R&D days are super focused and I’ll continue to do them, the transition has offered some gigs I couldn’t have imagined. It was as if the universe was begging me to see where the next step was going to take place and was just waiting for me to leap. Within one week of trying to settle in, I started filming for Chic Rebellion. And the developing recipes for Publix with its crazy distribution number, and then… and then… Sargento and Tabasco started occupying my head space and spinning my creative wheels.
The most beautiful aspect of this new season are the bigger than big changes to the blog and my professional work in general. My goals are bold and clear. Ideas are being planted. Projects are being watered. And my portfolio is blooming to be manicured.
While the ebb and flow of understanding where I’m supposed to be and go is still in motion, I’m looking forward to the immediate jaunts in the books. I’ll share as they are designed but I’m particularly excited about the awesomeness springing out of my trips to Australia and Fiji. I met people. Really cool people. And those people get it.
I’ll focus and allow those things to take their rightful place. But the food awareness and recipe development must continue. As Sargento and Tabasco continue to shine in my kitchen and others make their way to my table (wait til you hear who’s joining the crowd!), I’m reassessing and redesigning my approach to sharing my food and life here on Flanboyant Eats. It’s not crystal clear today, this very moment, but it’s coming. I’m thinking tho, it’s crucial I implement a more timely schedule of posting — I mean, one year to share an international trip is no bueno, right?? Or, a consistent timeline of specific food themes. #FlanFridays does well and I love the process. Because of it, I’m thinking of rolling out a similar themed day… #SaladSundays. Why? Well, in my effort to maintain a healthy diet that makes my fitness activity more efficient, I’m watching most everything I eat. Most. I’m still having issues with cookies. And crema in my café. And I don’t like tradtional leafy salad. At all. So yeah, I’m thinking about that. 52 ways to enjoy salads….
Which brings me to this one I made a while back. I loved it then and still admire it. It’s the absolute perfect way to bring in spring! Vibrant, colorful, light, smooth, fragrant, tangy and a touch of sweet! I could not think of a better way to kick off my seasonal diet. If I haven’t committed to Salad Sundays, at least I know I have a slew of salad recipes I can personally go back to. But, if there’s something you’d like to me explore and create, by all means, dime! I’m pretty excited about a new way of eating my way through work…because it really is a challenge. But I’ll do it.
During the food and wine festival in Myrtle Beach almost 2 summers ago, I visited Brookgreen Gardens. Next to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, it’s the most beautiful place I’ve seen in a decade here in the States. Wow. Though the visit was a zip through, “you only have one hour to see it all!” kind of deal, I managed to stop and ponder. The landscape and plant life was stunning. Things I’d never seen before. The trees are breathtaking, each one having a very distinct physique. I’m working on a detailed write up, it was so pretty.
The gardens popped up in my head this morning when I saw the forecast for almost perfect weather all week. As certain as the groundskeeper had to tend to the gardens during a gloomy winter, making sure each existing flower, plant, tree, etc… had sufficient food and energy, as certain they’re adjusting and ready for the changes spring has brought. Because not every flower will bloom the same way it did last year.
And just like that, I had my espresso this morning while admiring the new cherry blossom which just bloomed in front yard!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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AVOCADO & EDAMAME SALAD (ENSALADA DE AGUACATE)
- 1 Haas avocado, cubed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup edamame or soy beans
- 1/4 cup corn kernels
- 1/4 cup red onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp. peanut oil
- 2 tbsp. juice from fresh lemon
- 1 tbsp. dill, minced
- s/p to taste
- pinch of paprika
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Garnish with a bit more sprinkles of dill.