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a love letter to 2008

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01 January 2008

a love letter to 2008


Dear 2008,

Even though you are only a fledgling of a year, a mere few hours old, we’re already quite fond of you.

Yesterday, we anticipated your arrival by walking around Greenlake with friends from here and there. The sun set yellowy against grey skies around 4:30, or just a smidge later. That’s one reason we like you — the new year means the slow subtle shadings of the return of light. Later, we ate a leisurely dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, at the totally un-hip hour of 5:30. We wanted to eat our creamy polenta with wild mushroom ragu in peace, not jostling with other folks at the bar. But still, the place was packed. People sure do gather in excited clumps and inebriated groups to celebrate your arrival.

After a quick stop at the warm-lit home of dear friends to say hello, we drove home, hours before the drunken rush. You see, we are nothing close to fashionable. This was the first year in nearly a decade that the Chef didn’t have to cook at a restaurant for New Year’s Eve. I kept asking him, “Do you want to do something spectacular?” But he just looked at me and said, “I can’t think of anything more spectacular than being snuggled up with you.”

Oh, 2008, I sure am happy we could welcome your arrival together.

curtains at Tea's house

But actually, I fell asleep for a couple of hours before you could come. There was a South Park marathon on. The Chef didn’t mind my slumber. He woke me up twenty minutes before you appeared. We kissed and hugged, mumbled Happy New Year in each other’s ears, and watched fireworks on television. (They didn’t work so well in Seattle. They stopped and spluttered off the side of the Space Needle. Kind of embarrassing, really. I hope you don’t take it personally.)

For decades, I ached for a way to ring in the new year in some exciting fashion. A raging dance, a party thronged with fabulous people, a handsome man to sweep me across the floor and dip me down for a dramatic kiss at midnight. That never did happen. Does it for anyone? (You must grow tired of all the expectations people have for your arrival.) I never knew that happiness at the stroke of midnight meant holding my husband, while wearing his pajamas, in our bed with the sheets that should be changed, kissing and falling asleep ten minutes later.

Oh, 2008. You are my 42nd year on this earth — I’ll be officially 42 in August – and I can’t tell you how happy I am to meet you. Every year that I have met in this life, I love even more. Each year is more forgiving, a little kinder, a lot sloppier, and far more filled with joy than the year before.

shauna and the chef at imagine ii

However, I have to tell you — you’re going to have to work hard to outdo 2007.

2007 was, in an imperfectly spectacular fashion, the most dramatic and fabulous year that either one of us has ever lived.
I mean, just the big events alone are enough to astound me. In 2007, we:

Sent the manuscript of my first book to the publishers

Celebrated every month’s anniversary with great food

Edited the manuscript of my first book in 14 days, cutting 7000 words in one day

Traveled down to Arizona for the Chef’s father’s 80th-birthday party

Started the first of a round of dizzying publicity with a food fight photo shoot

Tested recipes so that people across the country could enjoy the food along with us

Worked on the last edits, cuts, changes, and questions for the book and let go of it

Found our new home and moved into that beautiful space, gleefully

Changed the venue for our wedding two weeks before the date

Married each other

Lived in Italy for 11 days on our honeymoon, gladly eating and loving

Stared in amazement at a beautiful newspaper story with photographs of ourselves and recipes we created

Flew to New York for the publication of my first book

Visited Portland, Chicago, and San Francisco, in a whirling daze of events

Appeared on television and the radio and laughed through it all

Watched the Chef’s restaurant swell with grateful customers after all the publicity

Soldiered through a bad infection and exhaustion to find ourselves at the holidays, grateful and grinning.


the Chef in Gubbio

There is no question —we have been dazzled by this year. Never, in our lives, has a year been so dramatic, so action-packed, so public and filled with love. We adored meeting each and every one of you. Your faces are emblazoned on our hearts.

But you know what, 2008? We really wouldn’t mind if you were just a bit quieter than 2007 was. Or even a great deal quieter.

Oh sure, we’re still going to be doing events for the book, traveling places to meet people and have the chance to read and cook and teach. In fact, here on this first day of you, 2008, the Chef can barely contain his excitement. Tomorrow, a mere two days into 2008, we are climbing on a plane, early in the morning, and heading to Colorado.

We will be spending days in the Chef’s hometown, visiting with his family. He’s so excited to show me the place where he grew up — ask him where he is from, and he’s likely to immediately say, “Breckenridge!” — that I don’t see how he’s going to sleep tonight. When he thinks about walking me around the town, crunching our boots in the snow, and meeting his friends on the sidewalk, he grows a little teary.

2008, you have been much anticipated.

(For those of you in Colorado who are reading, here’s where we will be.

Saturday, January 5th, 2 to 4 pm: Whole Foods in Lakewood. We’ll be teaching a cooking class together.

Whole Foods Market
444 South Wadsworth Blvd
Lakewood, CO 80226

Monday, January 7th, 7:30 pm: Tattered Cover on Colfax. I’ll be giving a reading and answering questions.

Tattered Cover on Colfax
2526 East Colfax Avenue at Elizabeth Street,
directly across the street from the East High School and the City Park Esplanade.

Please come out to see us. We’ll both be beaming.)

And we will be in Los Angeles the first weekend of February, with plenty of events I will share later.

We can forsee plenty of great stories already.

i love winter light in seattle

However, as grateful as we are for all these opportunities, we would both love some more ordinary days, some quiet moments by the fire, some long mornings with nothing to do.

And mostly, I would love months that are not already planned. Everything arrives as a surprise, but many of our surprises came on schedule this year.

2008, are you already bombarded with fervent, earnest promises, people vowing to change today?

I’m not going to bore you with that. We all know that locked-knees resolutions often fall by the side of the road by the end of this month.

Instead, I like the fresh start of your arrival, the chance to look at the last yea and gently nudge our minds into creating what we might like of our lives.

baby carrots

This year, I would like to learn how to sew. Seriously, I have no idea. I can’t even put a button on the Chef’s coat when it falls off. Home economics in the seventh grade scared me off. But more and more, I like the moments of my life where I can use my hands. I wish that Amanda lived closer —I would bring cookies and ask her to show me how to start, and she wouldn’t make fun of me. But if anyone has suggestions of books I could try? I’d like that.

With our large yard, and the richness of Seattle soil, I can’t wait to start gardening for the first time in my life. This summer, we planted our first herbs in terracotta pots, and we were hooked. (Plus, our landlord is a master gardener, and he loves to share his knowledge.) Fresh arugula, perhaps potatoes, rainbow chard, baby carrots — my mouth is watering at the idea of that fresh produce. But I also want to start gardening because I really know nothing about it.

It’s good to try something at which I am no good. Failing is good. Faltering, and not knowing, and fumbling with my fingers until it feels more natural — that keeps me alive.


That’s why, this year, I’d like to learn how to make:

Homemade marshmallows
Beef bourguignon
A kick-ass yellow curry with chicken and potatoes
Really great gluten-free biscuits
Sea salt crackers with sorghum flour
Pim’s pad thai
Gluten-free Dutch babies
Custard, plain and simple

You know, the Chef knows how to make most of those, without even needing a recipe. But me? I want to learn them on my own. I want my hands to know how to make the foods that move me, without looking over my shoulder and saying, “Sweetie, how do you do this?”

the island - artichoke

Who knows what our lives will be like at the end of your tenure, 2008? We have no way of knowing.

Mostly, though, I want to be open to it all. I do know that I want to walk around in wonder, allowing myself to be surprised. With the Chef holding my hand — and laughing with me at the most ridiculous asides — I know that I will be fine.

I keep singing these lyrics to “Mushaboom” by Feist today:

“I’ve got a man to stick it out and make a home from a rented house. We’ll collect the moments, one by one. I guess that’s how the future’s done.”

the heart in Buddha's hands

Dear 2008, we are in your hands. Please hold us safely. We promise to appreciate you.


At 3:06 AM, OpenID vegeyum said...

Oh your photos are hauntingly beautiful. I will come and teach you to sew if you promise to provide me with food. Can I sit at that table and chairs with the sun shining through? Or in front of those windows with the curtains?

At 5:12 AM, Blogger ~Kat~ said...

I too am on a quest for great things in 2008, a nest-like home for my little bird children, a cozy back office for my husband and I to create in, and yes, some kick-butt GF biscuits would be lovely for me... mine go all flat and tasteless.
I had a goal to learn to knit, was down and out a few days with a bad back and finally taught myself by fooling around and watching knitting demos on Y?ouTube. I have no doubt that you will learn to sew.

At 5:22 AM, OpenID redactedrecipes said...

Lovely. I hope your 2008 is everything you need it to be.


At 5:55 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

Peace, health and great moments in the new year. We celbrated the "western New Year" hosting a dinner for all of our Tibetan friends which was great fun! I am turning 50 at the end of the month. To celebrate my freind Raghavan Iyer (famous Indian chef) is coming to my home, to teach my friends how to cook indian food. If you were not headed to LA I would fly you here myself to learn how to make that yellow curry dish. And, if you want a simple but lovely beef bourguigon look at Ina's in her Barefoot in Paris book. It is a simple, do ahead version that we enjoy regulary. The secret of course is good beef and a good wine. Enjoy your time in Denver. GO SLOW.

At 6:05 AM, Blogger Jecca said...

over at
on Grace's guest blog, there is a video showing how to make marshmellows. Very helpful and highly entertaining.

At 6:13 AM, Blogger Tiff said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog during 2007. It was one of my greatest discoveries.

I had a New Year's Eve party at my apartment, and one of my good friends' boyfriends (and now one of my good friends by association) is allergic to gluten, egg whites, soy, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts. I made food that he could eat, and he ate all night without getting sick. It made me feel wonderful, and I probably couldn't have done it without reading your blog and your book (your book was wonderful, by the way; I pre-ordered it on Amazon).

Thanks for everything, and a healthy, safe, and prosperious new year to you and the Chef.

At 6:53 AM, OpenID cindc said...

Sewing is great, but I would love to see you take up knitting. It seems more your style, anyway, and you can take it with you when you have to travel.

At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! I made some biscuits that were rated yummy by a non-celiac.

The recipe is on my blog:

It still needs a little tweaking, IMHO.

At 7:19 AM, Blogger The Good Eatah said...

I, too would love to learn to sew! I enrolled in a beginner's sewing class here in Boston. Perhaps there's something like that around you?

Beautiful words and photos, Shauna. You wrapped up your past year wonderfully. I've been a fan for quite some time -- looking forward to what 2008 brings you!

At 7:22 AM, Blogger MasGrandeQueJesus said...

Homemade marshmallows!

I've made it a point to learn how to make them this year, too. You see, I got my folks a chocolatier for Christmas, and had planned on picking up some "gourmet" (is there a more ridiculous term for a marshmallow?) marshmallows, but balked at being asked to pay $20. For marshmallows!

Unfortunately, time ran out and I was too intimidated to use a candy thermometer, so we ended up spiking the first batch of hot chocolate not so much with individual marshmallows, but with the congealed, sticky chunks leftover in The Bag of Marshmallows Time Forgot, long buried under old pasta and a leaky bag of cornmeal.

It was still delicious. It derserved real marshmallows.

Thank you for your beautiful post, I hope 2008 gives you and The Chef many more stories and memories.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger VeggieGirl said...

what a whirlwind of a year you've had - I wish you and Chef nothing but the best in 2008!!

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous La Niña said...

Hey Shauna-
I'll teach you how to knit!
Have a great trip to Colorado- and a beautiful new year....

See you soon!
Safe travels-
La Niña

At 8:53 AM, OpenID shawntesalabert said...

Happy New Year! About 8 weeks ago now, I discovered that I am gluten intolerant. I resigned myself to despair until a friend forwarded on your website. You see, I LOVE food. Tastes, scents, textures, memories...and I thought all of this would come to a crashing halt. But thanks to your website - and your amazing book, which my mother so kindly bought me for Christmas - I'm realizing that gluten was just getting in the way of all the other great foods in the world. THANK YOU!!!! I hope to make some of your events here in LA in February!

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Gaile said...

Happy New year Shauna. I wish I lived closer - I would love to teach you to sew. I am sure with your creative soul you will pick it up quickly - check out the classes at Stitches on Capitol Hill - they seem like incredibly fun helpful folks whenever I've been there. I wanted to tell you too that my love gave my your book for a holiday present, and I was thrilled to tears that he thought of it. See, your joy and love just keeps spreading outward into the world. Thank you!

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Lissilulu said...

I love the way you welcome the new year.
i am going to wrack my brain on a book that will help teach you to sew...wont be hard you are a smart woman...and not in the 7th grade any longer. :o)
wish i were a tad closer--i live about two hours southwest of you.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Happy new year to you, Shauna & chef! I've been following your blog but hadn't yet posted. I just had to share that my sweetie and I rang in the new year in gluten-free, dairy-free decadence with Tiramisu Cupcakes from the cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It was the best gluten-free baked thing I have EVER eaten. HEAVEN! The book has two gluten-free cupcake batter recipes that can be incorporated into their dozens of decadent recipes. YUMMMMMM!

At 9:45 AM, Blogger SouleMama said...

Happy New Year, you two! I cannot wait to see what 2008 brings you!

And gosh, you know I'd be there in a heartbeat - sewing machine in hand for some lessons in exchange for some wine/tea/cookies and a chat around that table, my dear. There's just that pesky continent in the way!

In the meantime...what about Bend-The-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol? Do you have a machine already? Let's chat.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Delilah said...

yay, 2008. oooh... my cousin lives in Breckenridge now and is getting married there this summer. so, i get to visit!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Molly said...

Oh, my friend, what a gorgeous post. I loved every word. Especially this: "Every year that I have met in this life, I love even more." Yes, yes!

Have a wonderful trip today. How about a walk next week? I promise not to let chicken stock get in the way. ;)


At 10:36 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

Thank you for this post! It's just what I wanted to say too.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger k said...

Hi - new to your blog but looks like you offer many possibilities. I'm not strictly gluten-free (yet) but as part of a new hope to heal my partner's health issues we are trying gf and dairy-free for at least a month.

Look forward to seeing what the new year brings - love the photos and words you provide.

PS - If I were closer by I'd also happily teach you to sew!

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Girl Friday said...

Just wanted to wish a fellow Leo an early birthday wish. This year is the big 4-0 for me so reading your blog today and realizing that I have much to be grateful for (instead of worrying about turning "that age"). Thank you and happy new year!

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shauna! :-)

I was given your book for Xmas. Please, please write more books!! I loved it. My 12yo celiac daughter loved it.
I finally feel inspired to cook and to actually enjoy cooking. My family is grateful!! ;-)

It was also very inspiring reading about your journey to diagnosis. It is very similar to my daughter's. After much testing, but never for celiac, a friend mentioned another friend with a newly diagnosed daughter that sounded so like mine. I marched into that Dr's office and demanded testing for celiac. He said the tests were too expensive - I said my daughter's life was pretty valuble too. He gave in and she tested positive. I have a different, energy filled, vibrant daughter that I never knew existed.

Come to New Zealand and cook for us!

~Michele in New Zealand~

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Lacey @ The Road is Life said...

Every time I read a post of yours, I feel like I am reading a letter from a dear, old friend. I love the vulnerability and human-ness of your writing. I am always so touched by the amount of love you have for everything you do.

I like how you wrote "lived" in Italy-- for that is when one has truly traveled-- when the experience is living and not just observing.

Your New Year's sounds perfect! I did something similar--but mine was an Anthony Bourdain marathon (he also served as my man to be in love with).

I can't wait until you try that gluten free Dutch baby-- I was just telling someone how that was my favorite breakfast that I'd get at the Pancake House as a kid... I am curious to see how a gluten free version will turn out.

Happy New Year!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger shinyruby2 said...

*wipes tears from eyes* Oh I love love love yr blog. What a glorious post and amazing goals.

Well done on a fab 07, and enjoy the shiny new possibilities of 08. You deserve them.


At 2:52 PM, Blogger Dkswife said...

Damnit! How wonderful! :)

I am also looking forward to 2008. My dear husband and I have had way too much sorrow in 07.

Take care!


At 4:13 PM, Blogger Carol Kicinski said...

Happy New Year Shauna (and the Chef). Your post was beautiful as always. I hope 2008 is everything you wish for.

I make marshmallows every year during the holidays and give as gifts. I posted my recipe on my blog although they are really very simple! Here's the link in case you are interested.

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After diving into your book and your journey with Laurel's kitchen, the best GF biscuits are Laurel's Stratford Hall Biscuits (from the original Laurel's Kitchen, not the updated version). Just use half tapioca flour, half whatever GF mix is on hand - but no guar or xantham gum. I thought you might enjoy a flashback to Laurel and the gang.

Thank you, again, for sharing your joy,


At 8:41 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I picked up your book tonight at the library and am enjoying it so far (I have a few online friends with Celiac's, and I just really enjoy to read about other peoples' lives). When it comes to sewing, start simple. I've sewn a few things before and it's not as hard as you might think it is. I like "Bend the Rules Sewing" (look for it on Amazon) and any kind of sewing encyclopedia (check the thrift stores!). For inspiration and help, will keep you going for eons.

The biggest thing is to just jump right in and do it. It took me four hours to learn how to thread my sewing machine. After that, I sewed a cape for my son's Halloween costume, then a rice bag, a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, etc. You can do it! Just don't talk yourself out of anything. Mistakes are made to be learned from, after all. :) Good luck!

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Lynn Barry said...


At 8:31 AM, Anonymous EB said...

What an absolutely amazing post. I hope this year brings you only more amazing things.

Best of Wishes for the New Year to You.


At 9:28 AM, Blogger Nava said...

My best wishes for you and chef in2008. If by any chance you have any book tour in Canada, Montreal would be a great opportunity in summer to live, enjoy and feed your tummies and eyes...and who knows, maybe I can meet you. You know, you are one of the celebrities of my world, that I like to meet in person! Happy 2008.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Gluti Girl said...

OH the biscuits. Yes. My daughter is missing biscuits so bad. I need to know, no I must know how to make good gluten free biscuits.

I can't live without a home garden. At the very least you must have tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, hot peppers, rosemary, parsely and basil. It's so much fun to have a garden!

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

What beautiful thoughts for the coming of the new year! I am sure there are both calm and exciting times ahead for you and the chef! And sewing- if you have a machine, head to the fabric store, pick a quick and easy pattern and just dive in. It is a lot like cooking, you can start just by following a recipe!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Ceri said...

Happy New Year!
Last year I learned to make firm custards from this post

Hope you have a joyous time with all the learning you do.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger Lily said...

i. heart. your. post.
and your blog. :)
happy '08!

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Brooke (or Whimsy or HP) said...

happy new year! i hope you find a way to make GF dutch babies! i'll experiment with it too and pass on my findings!!

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Mumsy said...

Oh, my goodness! Yes, the New Year will be an adventure....for me. For the last 10 months, I have come to realize I may be gluten intolerant. My daughters gave me books for Christmas...yours and a recipe book for gluten-free. Being in my mid 50's, the possibility of being diagnosed a late onset gluten intolerant person is a bit daunting. I've not had symptoms my entire life until this past year. My mother was diagnosed as having late onset lupus at the age of I'm thinking late onset autoimmune diseases may run in my family????

So my journey has just feel better and eat better.

Anyway, thanks for the book...and for the blog now that I have found it!

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't claim to do a lot of great things gluten free, but I can make a mean Dutch Baby (my boys call them puffy eggs)!

Heat your cast iron skillet in a 425 oven.

Mix 4 eggs, 1 cup of milk, and about 3/4 cup gf mix (I use sorghum, tapioca, and potato starch), a little salt, a little sugar, and some vanilla (I cook by feel...). Whisk well. Let sit while your pan gets good and hot.

When your pan is ready, put 1/4 cup butter in the pan and swirl around to coat the pan, give your batter a final mix and pour in. Close your oven and DO NOT PEAK! In about 15 minutes, take a tiny look to see if it is browned to how you like it. You may leave it in longer if you like it crispier.

Serve immediately with maple syrup.


At 10:37 AM, Anonymous glutenfreeforgood said...

Oh my gosh -- it's already January? What happened to December?

Welcome to Colorful Colorado! I'll see you tomorrow (I hope) at Whole Foods. If not, Monday at the Tattered Cover.

Have fun in Breckenridge and if you need anything (a ride to/from the airport, a place to camp out, good GF snacks), don't hesitate to holler.
Melissa (from GIG in Richmond)

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Jaye said...

Dear GFG,
You totally rock! I came to your blog to talk about Tom Sawyer Gluten Free Flour. I wanted your opinion. Perhaps it would work for the biscuits? With a bit of Xanthum Gum?
But I found so much more. Your love letter to 2008 is fantastic! What a wonderful outlook you have on life. Thank you!
Re: sewing. Why not join a quilt guild and join up with some people that would teach you to sew. I would love to teach you (I already have a class), but I am not in Seattle except for a few times a year.

All the best and thank you for your fantastic letter.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Jaye said...

Re: sewing again. ;-)
I learned to sew and quilt at local adult schools. Good price and good information. The teachers really cared about their subject. I did have some background from hanging around the women in my family. Someone said you should learn knitting because you can take it with you. I have a handpiecing project that I take with me. Take a look at directions for the Flowering Snowball block at

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Kath said...

YAY!! You are HERE! Welcome to CO :-)

See you Monday...enjoy our beautful state this weekend!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Petite Planet said...

What a heartwarming, inspiring post! I sure hope we make it to meet you somewhere on your trip to Los Angeles! And I agree, that photo of the table by the window beckoned me intensely...

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

For true love, South American style, look no further than Mark Bittmans's recipe for arepas (in The Best Recipes in the World).

Cheese. Butter. Corn. All wrapped up in little golden pillows of oozing love. It doesn't get much better than this.

I bake them rather than fry them. They seem to stay together better that way. And when all is said and done, drizzle a bit of hot pepper vinegar on top for a bit more complexity.

Oh, and make extras for an inspired breakfast.

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Mango Power Girl said...

Love the shot of you guys in Central Park...

I just wanted to say that you write so beautifully, it is actually relaxing to read your posts. You are an inspiration and even so more being a local :) Too bad I missed you at the book signing the other day at Univ. bookstore, but there will have to be another time. Compliments to the Chef - have enjoyed some of his cooking at the restaurant and my husband & I were in awe!

Hope you have another wonderful year ahead! And, I am sure you will make a kick-ass yellow curry ;)

At 8:10 PM, Blogger lwc said...

Thank you for yet another beautiful positive post. Cannot wait to see what the new year holds for me and for you. I look forward to trying new recipes, viewing beautiful pictures of your garden and making a trip down to the Chef's restaurant.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger terry said...

lovely, as always.

happy new year to you and the chef!

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Angela Moll said...

Happy New Year to you and the Chef!

If you are in the lookout for a sewing machine, you might find this post useful:

After a little practice sewing if you like to make garments check out "Sew U" by Wendy Mullin. Good explanation of basic garment construction.

Thanks for sharing your writing so generously with all of us.


At 9:49 AM, Anonymous alison said...

excellent post - happy new year to both of you!

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous laura said...

Oh Shauna...the way you capture beauty and life in words is truley wonderful. These words you write have begun to inspire my own life. They ring with a truth and amazement for those things which are most meaningful...the reason we exist. Thank you.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger faradayflux said...

I just wanted to say that I love your blog (and your book... I just finished reading it)! Even though I do not have to live gluten-free, I still gain a lot from your amazing writing and insight into the joy of food. I am on my own road to learning how to truly appreciate food, and reading about your journey has helped me along in the process. Thanks for sharing with everyone. I for one have learned a lot.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Tay said...

*tears streaming down my face*

your posts always have this effect, dear Shauna. So far, 2008 and I are feeling kind of awkward together. Especially as I look towards Febuary and radiation.

Your post lifted my spirit and was so infused with love and warmth, like the best kind of hug.

Thanks for being here, being you.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

I made the most amazing Marshmallows for the holiday -- I turned them into rocky road fudge and they were the best thing I ate all christmas (though the standing rib roast was a very close second).

Good luck on achieving all your goals -- here's to a wonderful 2008!

At 3:06 PM, Blogger swirlingnotions said...

That is so lovely, Shauna. I always feel like I just want to sit down and continue the conversation after reading your posts, so it's tough to comment on just one aspect. But I'll pick one. Gardening. My sweet husband and I planted our first garden 7 years ago after being city dwellers for decades. Now, I can't imagine not having a garden. But that first year, everything was so, so new. I had seedlings all over my house with lamps running all day long (I planted too many seeds--I mean, they're so SMALL--and then couldn't bring myself to get rid of the seedlings just because there were too many of them . . . how could I?); I cultivated with much love a weed that I was sure was a pepper plant (it formed a pod that looked like the seedy core of a pepper and I actually started "educating" my friends about how peppers grew from the inside out . . . so humbling in retrospect); and my husband and I started a tradition of our daily "garden walk" that we now share with our daughter. You are going to absolutely love your garden, Shauna. Enjoy. Happy 2008!

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Brianna said...

Lovely job at the Tattered Cover this evening. So nice to meet you!

At 1:04 AM, Blogger mel said...

Dear Shauna, a very happy 2008 to you and Dan!

I can't remember if I have commented on your blog before, but don't think I have. You've been an inspiration to me for many months. Thank you!!

And recently, a friend told me that your blog gave him new inspiration to live again - he was so so down before. For that I can only say thank you again, so much, even though I have never met you.

Have a wonderful day and know you are touching lives as far away as New Zealand :-)

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Jilloc said...

Here's our GF dutch baby recipe:

Preheat oven 475. Place 6 ramkins on cookie sheet with 1 tsp butter in each.

Meanwhile mix batter in blender:
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup GF flour
1 tsp vanilla

Remove ramekins from oven and spread butter on bottom and sies. Divide batter evenly between ramekins - sprinkle in choc chips if desired. Bake 10-15 mins until puffed and brown.

We love these! and use the same batter for crepes if we don't have time for dutch babies.

hope this helps with one of your goals for 08.

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Cakespy said...

How wonderful! A wonderful year and love letter to the new one. I love your attitude and lust for life! I can't wait to see your homemade marshmallows. Sugar Bakery has great ones in Seattle. Tres frenchie and tres yummy.

At 2:54 AM, Blogger Victoria said...

Well, this post got me so choked up, it almost (almost) leaves me speechless. As I was reading and scrolling down, I thought "Oh, this picture looks like Central Park." Then I continued to scroll down and came across the mosaic from Italy. So that's the word I have for you in 2008 - IMAGINE. In 2008 and every year thereafter may all your dreams come true.

At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Gluten Free Natacha (France) said...

I would like to wish you a happy new year! "Bonne année 2008" in french!
Natacha, Paris, France

At 5:33 PM, Blogger One Food Guy said...

What a nice letter to 2008, here's to a great year!

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

I was waiting for a prescription to be filled and I saw your book. I love it! I have had migraines since I was 10 yo and recently I have developed "tummy trouble". Yesterday I felt really lousy. Friends have told me to try going gluten free, but my friend with celiac doesn't eat what I would consider real food. So, I have been really reluctant to try a gluten-free diet. Now after reading your blog,(I have the book on reserve in the library), I am giving it a try.

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous karen said...

Shauna -- I wish I'd read your 2008 letter sooner and realized you'd be in Denver! I was just there myself reconnecting with some dear friends that I made when I lived there (I moved away almost 2 years ago). If I'd realized you were going to be there I would have recommended that you and the Chef visit Savory Spice Shop. It's full of sights and sounds and tastes that are out of this world (and mostly gluten-free since they don't use fillers!). Mike, Janet and their staff are good people!

Have a wonderful and gluten-free 2008!!

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

Oh my goodness, everyone. Thank you, thank you, so much for this outpouring of kindness. I'm blown away.

We're finally back from Colorado, after a marvelous time with family and snow. It has been such a joy to real all these suggestions and well wishes.

I'll keep you updated on all the new successes and funny failures as I can this year. It promises to be another extraordinary one.

Thank you.

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous EvieB said...

I am going to Breckenridge with my husband and daughter, Feb 2008. Where shall we find the best gluten free cooking, or even a spot to buy some snacks? We'll be staying at the Village at Breckenridge.
ALSO, I recieved your book as a Christmas gift! Just started to read it and I can relate to your journey. I was diagnosed as a Celiac at age 44, about 9 months ago. What a joy the discovery and recovery is! I have adjusted and embraced the new flavors.

Fill me in about Breckenridge. It is such a lovely town.


At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Shauna. Samara Dotson passed along your name. I'm trying to get the word out about a gluten-free baking class we're having here at the new Whole Foods Bowery in New York City. friday, january18th 6:30p.m. 9:00p.m.
(interactive class)
gluten-free with flair
Join Chef Karen Morgan, Whole Foods Market bakery guru, as she creates sweet masterpieces minus the gluten. This class is perfect for those looking to embellish their gluten-free repertoire or home bakers wanting to add to their dessert portfolio.
Instructor: Karen Morgan $55
On the menu: Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie, Fruit Crisp, Anti-Bread Pudding
Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

I can be reached at

Thanks for helping to spread the word! We really want this class to be a resource for the community who needs it!!


At 1:14 PM, Blogger kitchenmage said...


Happy new year! My only resolution for this year is to make more time for friends - like this woman in Seattle I keep meaning to get together with for lunch. *grin*


At 1:51 AM, Blogger ChiliLady said...

Just wanted you to know – I love your blog! It’s very interesting, I love to read it!
Please visit mine (my everyday glamour) too, maybe we can link up? Take a look at it and leave me sum comments there, I would love to hear your opinion
Hope you’re okay,
Chililady from Austria
PS: sorry for this spamming

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Daniel Trebbien said...

What a wonderful letter and how creative! I have never seen a letter to a year and after reading yours, it seems so intuitive and gorgeous.

I wish you and Chef the best.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger AXRS said...

I am glad I have stumbled upon your blog. It is great to see such ingenuity and intellect that culminates into a precious love-letter to 2008.

I look forward to catching up on your blog as time progresses and being able to see what new journies you take us on.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Julie said...

There is something so refreshing about this blog. I have read a lot of different things and I don't find a lot of things that just give me that refreshed feeling. So I guess in a way I want to say thank you.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Jaye said...

Some how to videos on sewing. I haven't watched them, but hopefully they will be helpful.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Erin S. said...

Happy New Year Shauna. It was great to meet you in 2007 and I wish you the best of luck in 2008. 2007 is quite a year to top but if anyone can do it, you can.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Pieces Of Me said...

I very much enjoyed reading your blog. Your pictures are wonderful! I particularly liked the one of the two of you over the imagine monument for John Lenon. It reminded me of the day just this past december that my fiance proposed to me and we took a trip to central park and saw that monument for the first time.

At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its wonderful to see somebody so happy. i cant even explain the warmth that i feel after reading your entry. may the happiness continue!

p.s. - this is the first time i have read your blog - it was recommended to me by my editor for its writing style.
Aarti, India

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Jaye said...

I have still been thinking about your wish to learn to sew. Click here: and this will do a metasearch for everything related to 'quilt.' What comes up is how to videos on various aspects of quilting. Click here: and you get the same deal, but for sewing, starting with how to sew on a button. Hope it works!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger svalleygirl said...

your blog was beautiful. my life is so different, yet the spirit of my sentiments about 2008 are sooooo similar.

you inspire me to write more deeply on my blog (not on blogger, on vox right now). i also voice blog, which is really interesting.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your blog, Shauna! I'm a mad foody coeliac (thats how we spell it in the UK!) who loves cooking, traveling and most of all eating. I'm off to Spoleto next week and would like to know the restaurant in Norcia that you went to. I went to Umbria 5 years ago and had such a great time, I'm going back. I'm really impressed by your positive attitude to your diet- go sister
Any bright ideas on how to lose some of the 3 stone I've put on in the last 10 years?


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