Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Prior Planning.....

It's a new year and at last I return to my poor neglected blog. I had no intention of taking such a long break, but sometimes circumstances conspire and things don't work out quite as planned. For example, I had planned to have a great visit with family, but I didn't plan the ferocious cold and and lingering case of laryngitis that resulted when germs from all across the country (well, really across two countries) got together. I had planned a few retrospective posts and a few predictions for the New Year; I didn't plan spending New Year's Day sleeping fitfully in the front seat of our car while Matt drove us home long into the night.

Apart from the fact that I sound like a Muppet (thankfully, a functioning voice isn't a required component of blogging!), I'm doing fine. Still, I find it a bit ironic that all this unplanned happenstance occurred at a time of year when planning is seen as the greatest virtue. After all, what are New Year's resolutions, if not plans for the year ahead?

You might think my experience over the holidays would turn me off to plans and resolutions forever, but you're not so lucky. In fact, I've even come up with a few for the blog - so if you're interested in what 2012 has in store for The Traveling Spoon, read on!

More vegetable-based recipes: I'm making this resolution as a result of a few requests, but also at the insistence of my own body. Weeks of seasonal baked goods (always my most popular posts) and a few years of marriage to a meat-lover has made me shelve a lot of the vegetable-based recipes I used to enjoy. I've decided that 2012 is the year to dust a few of them off!

A blog redesign: This one is near and dear to my heart, because I feel it's been a long time coming. While several of you have expressed a fondness for the Moroccan tagine theme, The Traveling Spoon is coming up on its one-year birthday and I think it needs a new look - something more modern and clean. Whether I (figure out how to) do it myself or hire in some talent is still up in the air, but you can expect a fresh new look sometime this year (and yes, I'm open to input!).

More Book Bites: My list of great books to review for the blog gets longer by the day - especially with the great crop of food memoirs and cookbooks that have come out in the past couple of years. I intend to step up my delivery of 'Good Reads' this year with a few more reviews. Recommendations are always welcome!

Better photography: This resolution has a few components, the first being to actually read my camera's manual. I've been getting by with my photos so far, but I know there's room for improvement - I already get lots of practice, so it's time to deepen my technical knowledge. At the moment, I do most of my photographing in natural light - which means snapping stills on my windowsill between the hours of 10am and 3pm (it's the only place and time that our little apartment consistently gets light!). Perhaps a white box or some artificial lighting is also in my future......

More travel tips: Believe it or not, the travel tips are one of my favorite parts of this blog! I love collecting and sharing unique tips, and think it's great that the smallest piece of advice can completely revolutionize the way you travel. That I don't share many is partly a function of audience (most of my readers come for the recipes - and that's a great thing!), but also because I'm just forgetful. However, this is The Traveling Spoon, so you can expect some more road-worthy snippets in the months to come!

More balance: If you've noticed, most of my resolutions are about 'more this' or 'more that,' but what it's really all about is balance. I'd like The Traveling Spoon to be a little more well-rounded in 2012 - whether that means featuring more Book Bites, sprinkling in a few more travel tips, or even just evening out the ratio of sweet-to-savory...which means I might have to actually use 'more recipes' for my cooking!

What did you resolve to do this year? What do you think of my resolutions for The Traveling Spoon?


  1. I'm so glad you're back. I can't wait to see your veggie recipes!

  2. I really enjoy reading your post as well as getting some amazing ideas about what to cook. I really like the background photo as well, but know what you mean when you want to change it up. I've resolve this year to become a runner and to eat more healthier items. So, I'm really looking forward to your veggie recipes. Thanks friend!

  3. Ashley - me too! I can't believe I haven't seen you yet :( But I think I should be better in a few days....

    AJ- thanks for the positive feedback. I'm trying to eat healthier this year too (not easy to do when you have a weakness for baking!). Maybe you can help keep me accountable! :)