Katie Stew

A rich, simmering blend of my favorite things

Home again


Hello there Stranger.

It’s me. It’s been awhile.

I think the hardest part of coming back to the blog is knowing how to start. It has been just over a year since I posted anything. That is hard to wrap my head around. ANYTHING! A little bit of procrastinating here and there followed by long patches without inspiration and then not knowing how to restart. And here we are. A year.

A year used to feel like a long time. But it seems the older I get the faster the time flies. I understand what that means a little better now. So much has happened in the last year!

One of my dearest friends had her first child and we recently celebrated his first birthday. It has been such a joy to witness that experience for people that I love.

The presidential election happened. Yeah, that was a thing. I was all excited on election day. I had made myself something special for dinner, braised short ribs in wine with buttery noodles. I was going to drink wine and watch the first woman be elected president. And that didn’t happen.

I have not had short ribs since.

The world feels upside down and backwards in a lot of ways. I keep thinking that any day now I’ll wake up from the Twilight Zone that I’ve been living in. But, each day the sun rises (kinda. I do live in Seattle.) and I move on as best as I can. I find it interesting to talk to people about how they are coping with reality these days. I went through a few months (not totally out of them yet to be clear) where all I wanted to do was watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and home improvement shows. I still can’t listen to Democracy Now anymore. I used to every morning. Other coping tricks I’ve heard: Romance novels, Hallmark channel movies, news blackouts.

I participated in the Women’s March in Seattle. It was a great experience to be with so many other people, showing our support to each other and to causes that we care about. It felt good. I just wish that it had been more.

Summer has arrived in Seattle. I have been a little obsessed with my garden. I’ve been putting in a lot of hours outside trying to create the oasis that exists in my mind. My roses are in bloom. I planted a cherry tree. Jasmine is growing up my fence.

I’ve been working. Cooking. Creating new dishes. But interestingly, the thing that has made me most inspired with food lately has been a diet.

Did she just say diet!?

I did. I know. I don’t even like that word. The connotations are so negative. But, I decided a few months ago that I needed to be healthier. When you work with food every day, turns out it is easy to pack on a few extra pounds. I know! Shocking. But, when I decided to buckle down and do something about it, I knew that most diet plans wouldn’t work for me. I like food! I’m a chef! I am certainly not going to start drinking meal replacement smoothies or any such nonsense as that. So, I made myself a list of things to focus on to make more reasonable food choices. And so far, success.

Also, a friend pointed out the importance of “cheat days” to me. So, I will be good all week long, follow the diet, and then on Sunday, I can have whatever I want. Most Sundays, it is fried chicken for lunch and a cheeseburger for dinner.

I’m just trying to find some balance.

With the food limitations that I have placed on myself, I have found a number of great new recipes that are healthy and delicious. I look forward to sharing some of them soon.

So, I’m back. Here I am. Home again. Here we go. I’ve done the hard part. Now let’s cook.

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