The Best of 2017…

My favorite photos of 2017: strawberry chia jam, corn and crawfish pie, red beans and rice, low country boil, sweet peppers, blueberry merk’s coffee cake, pesto three ways, Florida cranberry (hibiscus).

Change is necessary. Change is inevitable. Change is scary

The discussion of change almost seems a contradiction: how can something so normal and ever-present bring about such anxiety and stress? Change means evolving: evolving into something different–and hopefully–something better. Many look to a new year as a time of welcome changes: a new diet, a new fitness routine, maybe even a new relationship. For me, change comes in the form of a new job. After 9 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I’m going back to work. I’ve kept my toes wet in the nursing pool for the past 5 years, so I’m not completely rusty; but nevertheless, I am both excited and anxious at the thought of re-starting this chapter of my life. My biggest challenge will be finding a new kind of balance; one that coexists with a full time job.

Another transition has slowly been taking place over the past year: I have altered my diet to include meat and fish again. I was a vegetarian for six years and for much of that time, I felt better than I ever had. But gradually over the past year and a half, I haven’t felt the same: I’ve almost felt…imbalanced. I started gradually adding back those things I omitted all those years ago and started to notice differences: subtle at first, and then quite obvious. Not much else has changed–except now I like a little meat on the side of my veggies…

What I’ve learned over the course of this food journey is that no matter what you eat–or don’t eat–it is all about the quality and quantity of the foods you choose. As far as the food on My Veg Table goes, I will keep the recipes veg-focused; I still believe that veggies are just about the healthiest things on the planet. But, know what I post will be flexible to make with or without meat and either version is delicious.

What hasn’t changed is that I’m still reading, still writing, still traveling and still cooking. And…I’m still compiling my favorites list throughout the year.

Here is the 2017 Annual List of Favorites:

Favorite Food magazine: Bon App├ętit
Favorite non-food book: The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Favorite cookbook: Food Swings by Jessica Seinfeld
Favorite local restaurant: Lolita’s Wine Market
Favorite MVT savory recipe of 2017: Red Beans and Rice
Favorite MVT sweet recipe of 2017: Blueberry Merk’s Coffee Cake

2017’s travels took us on an old-fashioned, touristy road trip to Key West and all points in between. Over the summer, we stayed in the Georgia mountains and popped over to Chattanooga, TN for a day. My son has now officially visited 14 states. My annual trip to Pennsylvania ferried me over to my 28th state: Delaware. The next 12 months are going to be a great year of travel, with the Grand Canyon already slotted for March and a Christmas trip to Pennsylvania. Now to decide on a summer trip…

2018 is going to be a year of many journeys; both physical and emotional. My posts may not be as plentiful as in the past, but know that it is not for lack of interest, but merely for lack of time. Once I find the delicate of balance of family, work, creativity–and cooking, you all will be the first to read all about it. Happy New Year, all!

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