This Page

has been moved to new address

a love letter to the world

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
/* Primary layout */ body { margin: 0; padding: 0; border: 0; text-align: left; color: #554; background: #692 url( top center repeat-y; font: Trebuchet;serif } img { border: 0; display: block; } /* Wrapper */ #wrapper { margin: 0 auto; padding: 0; border: 0; width: 692px; text-align: seft; background: #fff url( top right repeat-y; font-size:80%; } /* Header */ #blog-header { color: #ffe; background: #8b2 url( bottom left repeat-x; margin: 0 auto; padding: 0 0 15px 0; border: 0; } #blog-header h1 { font-size: 24px; text-align: left; padding: 15px 20px 0 20px; margin: 0; background-image: url(; background-repeat: repeat-x; background-position: top left; } #blog-header p { font-size: 110%; text-align: left; padding: 3px 20px 10px 20px; margin: 0; line-height:140%; } /* Inner layout */ #content { padding: 0 20px; } #main { width: 400px; float: left; } #sidebar { width: 226px; float: right; } /* Bottom layout */ Blogroll Me! #footer { clear: left; margin: 0; padding: 0 20px; border: 0; text-align: left; border-top: 1px solid #f9f9f9; background-color: #fdfdfd; } #footer p { text-align: left; margin: 0; padding: 10px 0; font-size: x-small; background-color: transparent; color: #999; } /* Default links */ a:link, a:visited { font-weight : bold; text-decoration : none; color: #692; background: transparent; } a:hover { font-weight : bold; text-decoration : underline; color: #8b2; background: transparent; } a:active { font-weight : bold; text-decoration : none; color: #692; background: transparent; } /* Typography */ #main p, #sidebar p { line-height: 140%; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 1em; } .post-body { line-height: 140%; } h2, h3, h4, h5 { margin: 25px 0 0 0; padding: 0; } h2 { font-size: large; } { margin-top: 5px; font-size: medium; } ul { margin: 0 0 25px 0; } li { line-height: 160%; } #sidebar ul { padding-left: 10px; padding-top: 3px; } #sidebar ul li { list-style: disc url( inside; vertical-align: top; padding: 0; margin: 0; } dl.profile-datablock { margin: 3px 0 5px 0; } dl.profile-datablock dd { line-height: 140%; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #8b2; } #comments { border: 0; border-top: 1px dashed #eed; margin: 10px 0 0 0; padding: 0; } #comments h3 { margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: -10px; font-weight: normal; font-style: italic; text-transform: uppercase; letter-spacing: 1px; } #comments dl dt { font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; margin-top: 35px; padding: 1px 0 0 18px; background: transparent url( top left no-repeat; color: #998; } #comments dl dd { padding: 0; margin: 0; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


14 February 2008

a love letter to the world

sugar cookie from Sensitive Baker

Dear lovely, quixotic world,

I take you for granted, sometimes. Certainly, I exult at all the tastes that excite me (like this sugar cookie from the Sensitive Baker in Los Angeles, which Sharon and I ate in the parked car before we even drove away). I’m overtaken by the beauty you offer, the sudden flashes of sunlight on the trees to my right, or the first daffodils beginning to show their yellow buds at the base of the tree, outside the pharmacy, down the street. These moments stop me. They take me out of myself. For an instant, I appreciate you, my heart unfurling from its winter position into openness, again.

But still, I forget you. I walk through the day, focused on the next task ahead, and I forget to say just how much I adore you. How can you be so enormous and expansive as to include smoky chipotle enchiladas, spicy bipimap, and lemongrass soup in one place? All at the same time, people are hunching upon your dirt, eating lotus root dumplings or teff porridge or cornmeal mush with ham mixed in. I lose myself, in my small world. You are much bigger, and more important, than me.

Love really isn’t the word for this.

the pink banked up

Today is Valentine’s Day, although I’m pretty sure you don’t really care. All around us are banks of bouquets in pink paper, lacy hearts, boxes of chocolates, and cold red roses. Oh gad, I hate this holiday. So manufactured. I used to tug against this day because I didn’t have anyone with whom I could share it. What other day can make people feel so bad about the state of their lives?

But even now that I have someone, the one who makes me giggle every morning, I still don’t like this day. What a hustle of sales pitches and guilt trips. There’s this ad that plays on Seattle radio incessantly these days, a damned diamond commercial. Some dorky woman is recounting the story of how her dopey boyfriend became much better in her eyes when he gave her a diamond ring. “He put it in the microwave?” her incredulous friend asks.
“I know! I almost ate it!”
(Remind me not to eat at these people’s houses.)
Worst of all, both women are in awe of this man’s ability to buy a diamond ring, when he was so obviously a nincompoop in their minds. “Your Brian?!” she asks.
Yes, because nothing makes a relationship better than gazing at your loved one through the gauzy dazzling haze of a diamond ring.


(This morning I turned to the Chef and said, “Man, I’m a cheap wife. I already owned my engagement ring, and our wedding bands cost $18 each. You certainly didn’t have to struggle.”
“I know,” he said. “Sweet.”
And we both grinned.)

I don’t think diamonds are beautiful. There’s already so much beauty for the waiting.

red flecks on sign

Just outside the restaurant this afternoon, a cadre of no parking signs stood at attention. Exasperated drivers glanced at the entire bank of spots blocked to them, and they grimaced visibly through their tinted windows. But I was walking, already slower. The sun felt warm on my shoulders. I stopped to look.

Lean in close to anything, and it’s gorgeous. The flecks of red, the scuffed white patches, the dirt smudges, the scratches landing down — there’s an entire world in there.

Right now, that looks more beautiful than a bed strewn with roses.

(And no thorns.)

That’s the thing about you, dear saturated, satisfying world — you are always giving.

red shoes on cement

Later, when I was trying just to notice, I looked down at the sidewalk. This woman had just hunkered down in a seat outside the bakery, her cup of tea steaming. Before she turned her face to the sun to drink some in, she looked at me with my camera pointed down at the ground.

She laughed at me, quietly. I must have looked ridiculous. Why would anyone take a photograph of the sidewalk?

Why not?

Look at all those lines, the dark patches, the angles leading toward the street, the store, the path ahead. Who says this isn’t worthy of our attention?

Besides, I was really trying to capture her shoes, the ruby-red-gilded-maraschino-cherry-raspberry-in-summer shoes.

Look what you offer, you expansive, absurd world. That shoe, the table leg, the shadow? A perfect triangle. Everywhere, symmetry.

there are too many of these

We have too many of these around, though. Do not enter. Stop. Go away. Cease and desist. Don’t trespass. Don’t fence me in.

Why are we making so many rules?

Maybe, my dear and mostly unfathomable world, it’s because you don’t have many. It occurred to me today — when I was walking around open from the sunlight on my head and the camera to my eye — that you are always saying yes. Yes and yes and yes and yes.

And not yes to any particular decision, based on morality and pleasure. But yes to everything. Yes to birth and death, war and negotiations, bloodshed and laughter, summer and winter, crocuses poking up through dog poop and candy wrappers to glance up at the sun. Yes to this minute and this and this and this one. You just keep giving. And you don’t expect anything in return.

I think, today, of a line from a Theodore Roethke poem: “Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.”

Maybe we write up rules for what love should be (“He’d better get me a really good present,” I heard someone say today.) because deep down, if we admitted it, we’d have to say: we just can’t do what you do. We don’t know how to say yes to everything, every minute, no matter what happens. We’re afraid of your power.

I stand in awe.

handprint on heart

So, my ridiculously silly and unceasingly gorgeous world, I know it’s a fallacy to keep saying “my world.” Forgive me. I’m human. I’m trying to understand. Although, it seems to me that when I stop asking questions and searching for answers, everything makes sense in a place without words.

But I’m still using words.

You know what’s funny, you yielding and barbaric yawp of a world? I know that half the people reading this expected me to write an impassioned love letter to the Chef for Valentine’s Day. After all, it is our first one being married. And I do love him, deeply.

But we don’t like Valentine’s Day, to be honest. He’s been working like an overheated dog all day, preparing food for people with special reservations who need this meal to mean everything to them. (I’m sure it will be fantastic.) I’m home alone, the sound of the dishwasher running in the kitchen. That was my present to him. I did the dishes. We love each other, and learn from each other, every day. We don’t need this one, in particular.

Besides, yesterday was a kind of valentine for us. We were in the New York Times, in a piece called “I Love You, but You Love Meat.” (That doesn’t describe us.) It was about couples who work through different food needs in the midst of a relationship. We were happy to participate, and to share our story. But if I needed any confirmation that you are a surreal and surprising world, yesterday morning I turned on the computer and saw our faces staring back at me on the New York Times website. My oh my.

So this isn’t another love letter to the Chef. Those are more private these days.

And besides, what I have learned, these past two years of loving him, is that love only expands outward. I didn’t truly know how to love before I knew him. Now, loving him only makes me love the moments as they arise, no matter how they look, more and more and more. What a shame it would be to love only one person, in the midst of this panoply and cacophony of human beings and little objects of attraction.

You’re teaching me how to love everything, oh world.

Thank you. You have my love, as long as I am breathing.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


If you live in Seattle (or nearby), and you have the time, please come by Queen Anne Books on Tuesday, February 19th.

At 6:30 pm, I will be reading from my book, answering questions, and hoping to meet many of you. This reading is particularly dear to my heart, as I used to live in Queen Anne, and this was my bookstore. In fact, Queen Anne Books is where I bought my first gluten-free books, as well as sustenance reading when I was sick.

I'm so excited to be there. And I might just be bringing treats with me too...

lobster tail


Isn't it funny, that the lobster has become such a symbol of luxury and gourmet gluttony, when it was once considered so humble?

Still, it is good. And tonight, the Chef made lobster risotto for the menu at the restaurant. And if I'm lucky, he might just bring home a little bit for me. That's the only present I need: him home with me, the two of us eating together.

For the lobster risotto, follow the same general directions as we specified for the artichoke risotto, which is here.

However, be sure to omit the artichokes. Add one teaspoon of saffron with fresh herbs to the onions when you are simmering them.

At the end, when the risotto is ready, add pieces of poached lobster tail to the risotto.

And it probably all tastes better with this shrimp stock, as well.

6 ounces shrimp shells
1/2 carrot, small chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, small chopped
2 celery stalks, small chopped
2 cloves of garlic, small chopped
2 tablespoons thyme, finely diced
2 tablespoons tarragon, finely diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
water to cover

Add all the ingredients into a large stockpot. Simmer on medium-low heat for one hour. Strain.

Use this stock to make the risotto, and that lobster taste will burst out even more.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger mamasitamaya said...

Thanks Shauna. In my yoga class today, during relaxation, I asked the mommies to focus on all their blessings- children, family, home, people that love them, and the gift of having others to love. I agree that V-Day is WAY over the top- really cheesy and pretty much a mockery of what love is really about. But I did get my husband a nice gift this year- a small box of chocolates from Theo (have you been on the tour yet? I was great!) that we shared while trying to guess at each flavor together. Simple pleasures shared are always the best.

At 11:22 PM, Blogger Hannah said...


I'm feeling very depressed today and I feel like I've fallen into the Valentine's Day trap. I wish I had the transcendant feeling that you are describing. I wish I could rise above and appreciate simplicity, but I'm tired and stressed and I have a two-year-old who I feel like I have nothing to give.

I feel tapped. I want luxury and love and fluff. I want to be pampered. I feel like I am empty and sad, and I know it's wrong to want someone to fill that up, but there it is. It's really sad, pathetic that the self-love is so lacking that I am left grasping and lonely even though I know I am loved. I feel resentful and cranky that I didn't get an e-mail or e-card or love letter or idiotic box of cheap chocolates.

But your post is inspiration, and I will aspire toward it.

Please forgive the venting. I'll probably get over it by tomorrow. Well, except for the self-esteem issue, which I will slog through in counseling for umpteen number of years...



At 4:05 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

Hi Shauna, beautiful post after a hard day of awful news in Illinois! I can't wait to try the lobster risotto. I did make the seared scallops a few days ago dusted in the lovely forbidden rice we got in Chicago, very tasty! My siblings got together for my 50th and gave me a vitamix! HOT DAMM GIRL, this machine is unreal. I have made two soups, that were like velvet after blending and the smoothest smoothies ever. It was the most thoughtful gift ever, and there are 6 of them so no one went broke!

At 5:20 AM, Blogger Adele said...

Congrats on being in the Times! I love that you share your storey so unselfishly and openly to the world. It's relaly wonderful.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger cookworm said...

Thank you, Shauna. I'm glad to see others with similar views on Valentine's Day. It seems so silly to have to keep explaining why we choose not to participate, and why it doesn't mean we are bitter curmudgeons who don't love each other!

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Tori said...

My sentiments exactly on the useless holiday that is Valentine's Day. Working at a major chain bookstore (Borders) I've watched for the past two days as frazzled men wander the aisles, thumbing the spines of books and wandering aimlessly through stacks of Valentines Day Cards.

When my boyfriend got home last night and sat down on the couch I was happy for him to be home and happy that he didn't produce a useless card and a piece of jewelry. Instead, he and I worked in the kitchen together to make a meal and feed each other, that's all I wanted.

P.S. Since you missed Sting and The Police last year in Seattle due to your travels I thought I'd pass along that they are playing again with Elvis Costello in July, this time in Vancouver, WA. Perhaps you can get a cooking class set up in PDX around the same time and come see all of us again.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Tiffany said...

My husband and I love each other wonderfully, beautifully, completely every day.

Yet, when I came home from work yesterday, I was thrilled and touched to find a perfect single lily...and a spotlessly clean apartment. An extra "I love you and express it by giving you what you need" on February 14th.

It's become cool, almost trendy, to hate Valentine's Day. Sure, it's commercialized, a "Hallmark holiday." I still smiled when I passed the florist delivering flowers to someone in my office building yesterday.

Not everyone is as good as the chef or my husband at expressing love daily. If Valentine's Day encourages a spouse or two to express emotions otherwise kept in check, I can't hate on the holiday.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love when you said, "We don't know how to say yes to everything, every minute, no matter what." I've been wallowing in bed all week, depressed about our never-ending winter and morning sickness. What I really need to do is say yes right now. This is the last time I plan to be pregnant so I need to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Wendy said...

You don't know me. I'm just a girl from Greenwood who reads your blog. Last summer I saw you and the Chef at the University Farmer's Market. I was so excited - I'd spied a celebrity! You were photographing tomatoes, Chef was standing near with a box overflowing with produce. You caught his eye and blew air kisses to each other. It was such a sweet moment of tenderness. I realized that every day is Valentine's day for you. I considered approaching you to say hi and tell you how much I enjoy your blog, but as I always do when I see somebody famous, I give them their privacy.

Just this past Tuesday night, I was walking though Madison Park with a friend, and we strolled by Impromptu. I recognized Chef through the window, chatting with customers at a table. I grinned knowing they were certainly complimenting his fantastic food. Recognizing the two of you gives me a sense of community, even though I don't know either of you!

At 8:59 AM, Blogger XT said...

Beautiful post, just beautiful. Thank you, again and again and again.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Great post. I think I've often felt guilty about not being fond of this day of "love", thinking that it somehow made me less loving. I just don't like obligatory giving in any form---I want to give because I know it will bring joy (to myself and the receiver, hopefully), not because the marketing gods persuaded me to buy something. It was nice to read thoughts along the same vein. Yesterday when several co-workers asked what my husband "got me", I replied, "We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day that way.". They looked at me as if they were devastated----that I didn't "get" something to prove my worth or his love or something.....wouldn't I rather have something more real and less commercial anyway?

thanks for the thoughs

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Samantha said...

Lately when I read this blog I feel like you've lost your edge. The uplifting stuff is nice sometimes, but if every post is about appreciating life, your readers will get bored. I know this reader has!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Jenna said...

Great writeup in the Times the other day - congratulations!

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

I SO was looking forward to the Lobster risotto at Impromptu last night. My partner and I were not only celebrating v-day but also our 5 year anniversary. We normally don't celebrate either of these occasions (we are both annoyed by the commercialism of v-day!) but this year we had a yummy GF restaurant to try! Sadly, it turned into our worst valentine's day ever. After ordering our bottle of red wine at Impromptu last night the waitress went to get it and then decided to ask for our ID. As a 33 year old woman with a 37 year old partner, I am usually flattered to get carded since it so rarely happens these days, but as I went to get my wallet out realized that I forgot my ID. Apologizing to the waitress and telling her that I was fine without any wine, I went back to deciding what to choose for dinner. To my horror, the waitress tells us that we have to leave! Leave, not go home and return with ID or just not consume alcohol but leave the restaurant. ON VALENTINE'S DAY! I honestly can't imagine a worse experience. I will keep reading your blog but I am still reeling from the night and how disappointed we both were about the whole situation. We ended up going to thai food and trying to make the best of it. The worst part would have to be that my present was your book-- and my partner was hoping that the Chef would sign it for us after I opened it. I guess the one bit of good news is that we got to sample chef's food at the PCC cooking class Monday night. We were the couple in the front row that night who's mouths were watering hearing you describe the lobster risotto and feeling smug becuase we had booked our reservation at Impromptu weeks before.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger melissa said...

I think, today, of a line from a Theodore Roethke poem: “Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.”

for some reason that reminded me of the last piece in fantasia 2000, stravinsky's firebird, with the accompanying animation... don't know if you've seen it, but it's deeply inspiring. like you. ;)

in any case, I agree very much about the holiday. my husband and I had our 14th one together yesterday and we didn't do a darn thing. I'm making something extra special on sunday for dinner, but *shrug* whatever. it's a silly holiday. we've never been big on it.

the nyt article was a good one, and congratulations.

have a lovely weekend, shauna.

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

One of my co-workers has a husband who's a teacher. His students asked him what he and his wife were doing for Valentine's Day, and the teacher described the quiet night they were expecting to spend together at home. "Man, Mr. ___, you gotta step up your game!" the kids replied.

"Step up my game?" he responded. "A week from now, when your girlfriend is having a hard week and is feeling beaten down, that's the time to get her flowers. Why? Because you noticed she had a bad week. It's not whether you can be nice this one day of the year; it's whether you can do it as well the other 364."

I like V. Day just fine, but I say amen to that. :)

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Lola said...

As I read your post, it occured to me that you might connect with the writing of Donald Miller. He lives in Portland and expresses things as beautifully as you. Check out Blue Like Jazz if you have a chance.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger rebelgirl7 said...

Hi Shauna, I have almost finished your book and thank you for showing others how fantastic being gluten free can be! I am also celiac and stopped eating gluten in 1995 at the age of 25. I feel like I am very fortunate and blessed to cook foods from scratch. I am going to try your cauliflower and asparagus recipe tonight, infact. I made a beautiful Bok Choy dish last night (GF of course) It is on the epicurious site and is called Shanghai Bok Choy.....highly recommended. Also, if you are interested, I have a fantastic Carrot Cake recipe (to die for)
Well wishes to you, go girl!

At 1:34 PM, Blogger dean said...

Such a warm slice of positivity and of you.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Shauna said...


I would love a yoga class that ends that way. Good work.


I'm so sorry. I've been there before, on other Valentine's Day. I think that's why I like it so little now. Even though I'm clearly in love, I know how it makes people feel bad. But it will improve.


A vitamix! Damn, I'm jealous! And happy, happy birthday, my friend.


Thank you so much.


You're welcome. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I espouse love. I just dislike the obligations and expectations.


That's a powerful image, of people wandering the aisles, desperate for a good present. And I'm sure you and your boyfriend made an amazing meal together.


Good on your husband! I agree with you. We could all use the nudge to appreciate each other. But if you look at Hannah's comment, you'll see why I still cringe at Valentine's Day.


You're welcome. I'm reminding myself, too. And good luck with your pregnancy.


Your comment made me laugh and cheered me. My goodness, me a celebrity? Come up and say hi next time. We'd love to meet you.


You're welcome, again and again.


I think the key phrase there is "got me." Ack! That's okay. You know what you have.


Well. I write what I write, what emerges, urgently, for me. Lately, I've been focused on appreciating. And given the choice between appreciating what I have and having an edge? Oh, you know what I choose. Reading this site is your choice.


Thank you. It was so lovely and surreal.


I'm so sorry about what happened to you. The Chef asked me to say this for him: unfortunately, that really is restaurant policy, in all of Seattle. The liquor control board is really cracking down in Seattle. There was a bar downtown that refused service to a 100-year-old grandmother. It seems frustrating, but it really is out of their hands. Please contact me to see what we can do for your visit next time.


That shrug is about right for us too. We're in the special position of him being a chef. I dropped him off at the restaurant at 11:30 in the morning and picked him up at 11:30 at night. That isn't the best day to make special plans. I like the unexpected pleasures, anyway.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook,

I say amen to that as well. Maybe that's why I don't like Valentine's Day anymore. It seems so 14-year-oldish!


thanks for the recommendation!


Yay! I'm so glad I could help. And I'm all for carrot cake....


Thank you. yes.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Allison the Meep said...

Risotto! How wonderful! My husband and I went out for a nice lunch together while Julian was in preschool and we found the greatest little place in our neighborhood...and we both had risotto!

I like your philosophy on Valentinte's Day. It's so important to make every day an expression of love instead of huge gestures that involve lots of money. My currency is love! Man, I'm such a hippie.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Julia said...

shauna, this is so beautiful. thank you for posting this. i saw you two in that article and thought it was very cool (also, i randomly knew another couple that was profiled- the kosher vegetarian and her boyfriend- double cool). i agree very much with you on the whole valentines day thing. this was the first of three that my partner and i celebrated. we celebrated by cooking and eating a very slow meal together and it was the best date i could have asked for.

and what an amazing poem. this is the second time in as many weeks that i've come across this one on a regularly read blog and i think it's my new favorite. thank you so much for your beautiful words, always.

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Tay said...

Dearest Shauna,

Mary Oliver. "you only..." it's a great line in my best loved poem of all time. When Is used to teach teens, I always read it to them.

A beautiful post, a joy to read. You are such a gift to this world. And to me. I've had a rough week, my second week of radiation treatment. Always such a sense of comfort when I visit you here. A post that feels like a good strong *do* you do that?

Sending one back your way, with gratitude.


ps. i never answered your email but not for lack of affection. more so an abundance of cancer. if you and Danny come to Portland, i'd love to see you for a stroll or something.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Shauna, I love this post.

At 10:15 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

So nice of you to respond to everyone.

Very unnecessarily dedicated of you.

Anyway, excuse my depressing comment. I am feeling better now. I just have to be melodramatic now and again. I think I'm mostly sleep-deprived and tense and having a toddler that demand so much attention (though I love her dearly) just highlights my need for time to myself.

Thanks for the great blog!



At 1:58 PM, Blogger Aran Goyoaga said...

That's a beautiful post and I'm going to try that risotto for sure. I just posted a gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe on my blog that I'd love for you to try. No self promotion here, just think that you'd love it! I love your writing. I look forward to your new posts everyday.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Jennifer (she said) said...

Thank you for such a wonderful letter Shauna. I spent Valentine's Day in San Antonio, away from my husband and son, but it was still good, because I was totally totally little kid-like in love with the sunshine. I live in Michigan and left it in snow and single digit temperatures. I was so grateful for a chance to eat up the sun and blue skies and warm breeze on Valentine's Day. What a gift the world is indeed. And I am learning not to need long trips across the country to appreciate it :-)Reminders like yours are most welcome. That Mary Oliver poem - it has been my fav for years and years. It always seems to fit.

I read the rest of your book during my flights. I was starving by the time I got to San Antonio and extra starving by the time I made it back to Michigan. I don't really suggest it as a good read for anyone who hasn't pre-packed food for travel via airports/airplanes but I loved having the time to read it and let your words sink in.

My husband pulled up the article this morning. I looked at the title and was just about to share your story about the man who wouldn't date because of bread when there you were (or rather, there were your words)!

Thank you for your thoughts and beautiful lines...

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Adventure said...

Ugh, I despise that commercial. "Wonder when I'll get one of those." "A diamond?" "No, a husband like Brian." I hear that every day when driving to work and it drives me crazy!

My GF boyfriend and I live on Queen Anne and we look forward to meeting you on Tuesday!

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Unbalanced Reaction said...

I love your pictures. This was the first valentine's day I've had in a looooong time with someone I actually (gulp!) love, and your post captured the day perfectly.

At 8:02 PM, Blogger rebelgirl7 said...

Carrot Cake Recipe as promised

Preheat oven to 350
Grease 13 x 9 pan with a little butter.
2C gluten free baking flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2C tightly packed grated carrots
1C crushed pineapple
1C chopped walnuts
1C sweetened shredded coconut
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup olive oil
2C sugar
2 tsp Vanilla

1 8oz package cream cheese
1 stick of softened butter
3 C confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
In a seperate bowl combine carrots, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs for one minute. Add oil and sugar to eggs and blend well.
Add flour mix and blend well. Add vanilla and carrot mix. Pour into pan and bake 50 minutes at 350. Remove cake from oven and cool completely.
To prepare icing, combine cream cheese and butter and blend until smooth. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar. Beat and spread over cooled cake.

Most of the innocent people I have fed this cake to have no idea it is gluten free.
Shauna, your rosemary/garlic chicken was fantastic!

At 3:44 AM, OpenID smileyfish said...


Thank you for providing me with inspiration, affirmation and motivation as I feel my way through the early days of gluten-free living.

Here's a little something I hope will inspire you in return: my G-F wild rice & mushroom risotto

Best wishes,

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Musiq Mayneack said...


i've been checking out your blog for a while now and i must say. it has a real down home - down to earth feel. i really like that!

you've inspired me to start my own blog. let me know what you think about it please! i'm must a newbie!

your fan,
Rusty J

At 11:27 AM, Blogger The Wooden Spool said...

Hi! I'm so glad I stumbled upon your awesome blog! I have been off of wheat for about eight years now, after a lifetime of low energy, stomach problems, rashes, you name it! I feel so much better...your story is much like daughter is now off of wheat and feeling so much better as a result....thank goodness I love to cook! I love your story, and your blog is very helpful. I am going to purchase your book!!! Thanks for your inspiration and story~ Best wishes, Laurie

At 12:35 PM, Blogger aquard said...

Shauna --

I think you'd really like the book Outside Lies Magic by John Stilgoe. It's about really looking at things and seeing the beauty (and sometimes rationale) behind things that we often might overlook.

Great post.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Wheatless Foodie said...

As always, a beautifully written post. The time you take to present your thoughts and recipes is greatly appreciated.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

I am totally with you on the pressures of Valentine's Day. It is so much better to show love and affection in small ways, every day. A handmade Valentine, a sweet note, breakfast in bed, a backrub at the end of a long day, those are the things I really value!

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Peabody said...

Lobster risotto...fabulous!

At 11:53 AM, Blogger la fourchette said...

my favorite poem... in the whole world. i'm a big mary oliver fan.

welcome home!

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Devorah said...

Yesterday was my one-year gluten-free anniversary. I celebrated with a small dinner with a few friends and made your apple pear cobbler for dessert-- it was delicious! Thanks for all the great recipes and encouragement. All the best to you!


At 4:38 PM, Blogger stepmomof2 said...

Hi, I recently found your blog and wanted to say "thank you". I officially got my diagnosis from the doctor today. I have Celiac disease and I have so much to learn. I read your book and loved it. Keep up the good work!

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Childlife said...

This was a really lovely post! I love the way you look for and find inspiration in every day things : )

And congrats on your new book! I'm off to read the reviews and place my order! I don't often comment, but I love your recipes and insights.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Cakespy said...

What a lovely celebration of life, love and FOOD! You always inspire me through your writing! Though I am bummed I missed you at QA books--I live only a few minutes away!

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I agree with you about Valentine's day. We went to see a friend's band play and had a couple whiskeys. It was perfect.

P.S. You looked adorable in the Times. I freaked out when I saw it. I started jumping around and shoved it in my fiance's face and said, "It's HER, it's HER! Shauna! The gluten free girl!" Your recipes and outlook have really helped us help his dad - celiac, too - and we're so grateful to you for your bubbly personality and the way you share your life. I was thrilled to see you looking back at me that morning in the paper.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Mike D. said...

Is that a cane in the picture with the red shoe? Perhaps a cane used by blind people??? Just wondering what that was......

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna,
I've been cruising the aisles of a huge international grocery in Indianapolis, searching for gluten free ingredients. I ran across water chestnut flour. Have you used it in any of your cooking experiments? I still think of all my cooking and baking as experimental. It's like my whole life is a science fair project these day. I'm learning a lot and eating well!



I didn't get any of those valentine things either. So I made tapioca pudding with farm milk that had a cream line. It was all the comfort I needed. Try it!


Post a Comment

<< Home