A Fresh Coat of Paint Recipe

Happy New Year to everyone. Wishing each of you a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

I spent the better part of the past ten days carefully placing everything in my kitchen into moving boxes. Every plate. Every mixing bowl. Every single quirky, mismatched baking pan. I know some of you might be sad to see the yellow cupboards go, but I've been ready for a more neutral-toned kitchen for quite some time. And so the painters arrived on a Monday. And by the end of day Wednesday, Christmas Eve, my kitchen was cloud white. And by 3 a.m. Christmas morning I was too sick with the stomach flu to set foot in it. I missed Christmas (and the better part of the following two days) entirely.

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It was a rough way to send off 2008, but I'm feeling a lot better now. I suppose the upside of it all is that I had some time to think about the coming year. Time to think about how to make it meaningful and fulfilling. I flipped through a few old journals and notebooks, trying to remember what resolutions I've made in the past. And while it turns out I'm not big on resolutions, I seem to express many of the same sentiments year after year. To make an effort to see more of the world I live in. To make an effort to collaborate on projects with interesting, innovative individuals. And to spend more time with my family. These are the big themes for me.

As far as the minutiae of day to day life? I do my best to walk not drive, eat healthy, shop local, go jogging, try new things, meet new people, be kind, turn off lights, say yes more often than I say no, help others, read, and drink lots of water. I succeed a lot of the time, and I fail a lot of the time too. I do the best I can on any given day, any given moment. Ten years ago I was doing very few of these things, yet somehow, little by little, they have all become part of the fabric of my life.

One of the first things I want to do as we start another year is to thank you. I feel very fortunate to have this site as a creative outlet. It has helped me grow as a cook, a writer, as a photographer, designer, and as someone who has always been curious about the ways technology can intersect and enhance the creative process for individuals. I'm continually surprised and delighted by what you bring to this site - your comments, ideas, suggestions, your emails to me, the photos you post. I hope you continue to come visit in the coming year with your good ideas, good feedback, and (because there are plenty of times we need it ) a bit of good humor.

Wishing each of you a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year, Heidi

I'm curious - what are your resolutions, or what are you focused on as we head into 2009?

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Hi Heidi! I just wanted to say...I'm new to your site. LOVE it!!!! I've tried several of your recipes and even bought your cookbook. Our resolution is to go back to eating healthier! Seems like the holidays bring lots of "white stuff" and other naughty food! UGH!!! Sorry to hear you were not feeling well over the holidays. But it's good you're feeling better :) I wanted to know...how else can you post comments about recipes and what-not??? This is the only time I've ever been able to find the option to respond??? Thanks so much and take care of you!


Hi Heidi, I gave an "Awe!" when I saw the picture of your kitchen. I have had your Super Natural Cooking book and read your blog for years... such cute style and yummy food! ;) My husband and I will be moving up to SF at the end of summer, and to see a beautiful kitchen in the city gives me a kind of giddy-excitement that I will have one as well someday soon!!! Who knows, maybe I'll run into you at the market sometime! Any-who, your kitchen is great... like a clean palette for testing and tasting new and yummy recipes! Happy New Year!


Dear Heidi, I make resolutions on my birthday instead of on New Years and so far am doing pretty well. I resolved to take my passions for cooking and baking to a higher level, to try to never make the same thing twice (this one's hard), to teach myself sophisticated bread and other baking techniques, to use up what's in the cupboards/fridge before going out to buy more, to ensure my dogs are sufficiently exercised (a real challenge in Midwest bitter weather), to say "yes" more than "no," to be more positive, and to gradually make my house nicer without blowing a lot of money doing so. Thanks for all the energy you put into your website. You inspire me greatly and help my resolutions bear fruit. May 2009 bring all you desire.


Happy 2009 to you, Heidi. And thank you for updating this exceptional blog and serving as an inspiration to all your readers. Wishing you all the best in the new year :)


Wow - love the white!! One of my resolutions is to eat more vegetables and fruits. :) Happy New Year to you!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

Heidi, I am so glad that you are feeling better and getting stronger. The photos of the kitchen are fantastic. You are starting the new year with a fresh perspective and you are sharing with your readers your resolve for a happy and healthy life. Thank you for your wonderful contributions! One of my resolves for this year is to draw our food especially the veggies from our CSA. Happy New Year!


My only New Year's resolution is to take more photos!

Bob Aman

Hi Heidi, I'm a huge fan of white---great choice! You alluded that you were a different person ten years back, and I'd love to hear more of that story. What were you like then? How did you change? What inspired you to change? -JJ HS: Hi Mama - not so much a different person. More like the same person just living a different life. It's a long story, but in short I wasn't very happy, and I think one of the main problems was that I wasn't really in control of how I spent my time. One of the things I did was set out to change that.

Mama JJ

Happy New Year Heidi, I am happy that you are starting the New Year off feeling well again. I had a wonderful white cabinet kitchen once with lovely soft green and rose walls with tons and tons of huge windows, sun streaming in all the time. Hurray for you on your gleaming new surroundings while enjoying your favorite spot in your home. It is lovely. I found your site several months ago and have shared the site location with so many of my friends from around the e-mail world. I enjoy everything from reading about your adventures to including your fantastic recipes into my favorite cookbook drawer full of e-mail printouts. May God Bless you and yours and have a truly wonderful, healthy and happy New Year. Beverly Jane

Beverly Jane

The white will be a wonderful foil for your beautifully colorful cooking! My New Year's resolution is very similar to yours - to live a meaningful life...originally I vowed to "do something" everyday to accomplish this, but as I sit here recuperating from surgery, holding my daughter, I realize that sometimes living a life of meaning means recognizing the meaning in what you are already doing! Happy New Year and thanks for contributing to my quality of life with this wonderful site!


Heidi, there are 2 things that warm my heart when I read your blogs, actually more than that. One, your name is Heidi, the same as my youngest and she too is a baker by trade, and loves photography. I read your articles and it warms my heart to hear all that you are doing and sharing. As far as a resolution/s, the biggy is to get organized and clean out/get rid of stuff I haven't used for a couple years. The other is to go see Heidi, who lives in Portland, Or. a couple times this year. I need my Heidi hugs. I miss her so much. Even though she came down after Christmas for a couple of days, it wasn't enough for either of us. Blessings to you. Mama Shar

Sharon Shute

Sorry you were sick. I had the stomach flu a few weeks ago, and my other half had it Christmas day also. It wasn't fun. 2008 was a big year for me. To start with, I bought my first house. I learned what a healthy diet really is and as a result I lost 20 lbs. It all began here, when I saw your beautiful photos enthusiasm for this kind of eating and I realized that healthy doesn't mean boring or tasteless. I was also inspired to start my own food blog and to start receiving deliveries from an organic delivery service that buys from local farmers and puts fresh produce on my doorstep every week. A lot of things have changed since last year at this time and for that reason, I set my expectations for 2009 pretty high. I want to continue eating healthy and maintain my new weight, buy local when possible, keep up with my blog, improve my food photography and writing, exercise more, and start fixing up my kitchen. Thank you Heidi for this site and for the inspiration you provide us all. I think I speak for most people when I say that as long as you are here, we will visit.


I have made many of your recipes in '08 and had varying results (mostly my forgetting some crucial ingredient or not having the right food processor for the job) but I must say that 101 Cookbooks is part of my New Year's resolution. I want to create better balance in my life and eating smaller quantities of highly nutritious foods - the incredible ideas I find here - are a big part of that. I may not be making a seaweed salad any time soon, but I love your adaptations of fudge, spinach casserole and many other comfort foods. I would love to see more of those types of foods here in your blog. Glad you are feeling better and congrats on starting the year in a fresh kitchen.


Your post to-day is an inspiration to us who enjoy your site. Great job on the kitchen. Glade to hear your feeling well.


A friend from church turned me on to your sight. Thanks. I am a vegan and I am allergic to soy, dairy, wheat, as well. your obtions for one thing and another are so great. It is hard for me to go out to dinner or to some one's home for dinner and just accept just any thing to eat. I usually bring food to share to gatherings and most people really enjoy what I cook because of the seasonings and how I roast most of my vegies and I have made up a real fun rub for them that this Christmas I bottled and gave as gifts. It was a hit. Glad you are better and keep up the great work. Susan


Heidi, sorry to hear of the illness however I am glad you are feeling better! With that I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year~ Reading the comments it makes me smile to see the impact you have had on so many people. THANK YOU! I would like to join the chorus when I say that your decision to grace us with your presence has made my days (and nights even!) all the more spectacular. Many a dish from a recipe of yours has been greeted with happiness and amazement. Kitchen looks fantastic; a wonderful blank canvas for you to continue to paint the delicious and beautiful dishes that you so artfully create. I look forward to a new year with them in it! Again THANK YOU!

Peter D

I discovered your site in the fall of 2008, and have fallen in love with it. It is such a great resource! One of my New Year's resolutions is to eat healthier, and with 101 Cookbooks, it's going to be a fun and tastey year! Thank you.


I want to take these few minutes to say what a difference your recipes have made in the way I cook and look at food. Today for brunch we had garlcky greens with a poached egg as suggested by one of your readers. Also made the bulghur with pomegrantes and celery this week just to name two recent recipes. And to start the new year I gave my daughter a gift of maing a Kiva loan on the 101 cookbooks team. Many thanks for all you do and share and wishes for a new year filled with love and light.


Happy new year Heidi. I hope you feel better now. I like the white kitchen. I like everything white. As for 09, I hope to improve my photography and my excercose routine. I also want to incorporate more of my Brazilan roots into my cooking, as it seems to be healthier than the american diet. happy 09


Happy New Year and best wishes! Thank you - 101Cookbooks was a big part of the inspiration to start my own blog. Your photographs and recipes are wonderful. Hungry Desi has become my creative outlet from lawyering, has encouraged me to go even further in the kitchen and allows me to share my love for cooking and eating with others. It's been a lot of fun learning about the foodblogging community and a lesson in technology, blogging and photography. I feel your pain on being sick over Christmas. I just blogged about my awful cold that I caught on Christmas Eve - still haven't been able to fully shake it off. I think it wanted to see '09. Thanks also for your reflections. My resolution for the new year is to slow down and maintain perspective - to remember to enjoy the little things, family and friends w/o letting work and the daily grind get in the way.

nithya at hungry desi

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