Benefits of being a Foodie

Sorry I have not been posting, in fact, I didn't even realize how long it had been, but I have been totally caught up with preparations for and enjoying the holidays. Jefferson Lab shuts down for the time between Christmas and New Year's and so it is wonderful to not have to be anywhere unless you want to be. So what is new from Christmas?

Molly got a Wii fit for Christmas, so I am Wii-fitting doing yoga and trying to reduce my Wii-age from its current 44. I am really enjoying the yoga exercises and the strength-training is kicking my butt, but it is a lot easier to get in the fitness habit when it is actually fun!

We had a wonderful family Christmas with everyone but my daughter from Florida here (she is moving up here in a couple of weeks and so is saving her money for the move). There was a hole in our celebration, though we were on the phone constantly. Colleen loves Christmas, and so when she is around, she adds an almost child-like appreciation of all of our traditions and of each other. Katie and Gavin, Jr were able to make it, and both of their "significant others" shared Christmas with us as well, so we had lots of noise, food and fun over the holiday.

Anyone who works for Amazon might want to thank me personally for helping make this their best year ever! I did almost all of my Christmas shopping there and I consistently got outstanding prices and with Amazon Prime, two-day shipping for free- it is really the best way to shop for a busy working woman!

Being a foodie makes it so much easier for people to shop for you and I got a lot of things that will make cooking, eating and food blogging better and more fun. First of all, I got a new and smaller camera!! It is an Olympus FE-370 with 8 megapixels and 5x optical zoom. Even though my old Olympus digital takes great pictures and works fine, it is too large to pull out at a restaurant or shop and does not have the capacity to make videos. I am just learning how to use it, but my favorite feature is the culinary mode for taking food pictures!! Great for a person who is a better cook than photographer like me!! Mine is even that beautiful blue color (Bridget got a pink one!)

My daughter bought me a Gel pro mat to help minimize back and leg strain since we have ceramic tile in our kitchen. I consider this a luxury since they are expensive, but since many professional kitchens use it, and Katie got me the large one that covers the area from my sink to the stove. It feels like you are standing on a cloud and it looks great in my kitchen, almost like woven leather. It is nice to get something that you like but would never buy for yourself- a perfect gift! I also got tons of cooking related tools like a salad spinner (I know, can you believe I didn't have one?), bamboo salad "hands",three new cookbooks including Made in Spain by Jose Andres, a Finger Food cookbook that I have already cooked from (another post), and Turkish cookbook that has some great recipes. My sister in law Cindy, who is a frustrated chef and loves to cook, outfitted us with a paella pan and other goodies to support tapas night, including sangria and a sangria pitcher from La Tienda. She always gives the best gifts, and this year was no exception.

After a long day in the kitchen, when you need to relax, there is nothing like a hot bath and a little pampering. Bridget got me a Towel Spa that heats your towel while you are in the bath,which is a welcome luxury, and Molly got a pedicure set,and she has already given me a pedicure, which is really a luxury for me. So you can see that I have had a wonderful holiday and you know I will be sharing more with you, including some movies taken with the new Flip video recorder Katie got for her dad.

What great food items or special gifts did you receive this Christmas that you will not be regifting? And, to all of you who visit this blog, a very happy, and healthy new year, with lots of love and laughter, and friends and food to enjoy it with!!


veron said…
Happy New Year, Deborah! I have those gel pro mats...they feel so good under the feet!
I have been thinking of buying a gel pro mat for quite some time. How do you clean it?
Happy New Year and welcome back.
Deborah Dowd said…
Veron- Really great for those hours in the kitchen and I bet really valuable for a hard-core baker like you!

Ronnie-You just sweep it with a broom, and you can wipe it clean with warm soapy water. Even with kids and dogs (and spills), mine still looks brand new!
Tom said…
They make a big difference. I use them a lot for running.
Eugene said…
I might actually have to get one of those gel mats... my heels have been hurting lately (enough to keep me out of the gym), and I think it might be from working in the kitchen more than usual. Maybe I should learn to post/shoot the food faster, eh? ;-)
Deborah Dowd said…
Tom- I assume you mean the gel mats,not the Sangria pitcher as useful for running (LOL

Eugene- Beyond cooking, the prepping, and loading the dishwasher take a lot of time that can be hard on your feet and legs. This also helps whomever does the clean-up after the meal!
Donna-FFW said…
Thanks for your opinion on the camera, I so need a new one. It was fun reading of all your gifts. I am looking forward to delving into your blog:)
A blog worth reading on forward until the end! :) I really admire the wording in this blog, quite precise to the details but I just might change one or two things, never-the-less, bravo on well choiced words mate.. p.s.>> Thanks for sharing, I actually picked up some knowledge on this one :)
-Have an amazing day!
Sylvia said…
I got the Wii Fit and wasn't able to stick with it.. Any suggestions on how to stick with it? I just can't seem to stay focused. :(
Ananta Watches