Champagne Wishes and Kangaroo Dreams

New Year’s Eve 2010 was much different that our usual. We haven’t had a NYE just the two of us in ages. It was a nice change of pace after the Family Circus at Christmas. We decided that instead of spending a load of money on (likely) sub-par food and driving with the drunkards that we’d stay in (big surprise) and cook something new but not crazy-involved. We started with a glass clink.


Ever since eating the panzanella at the Tasting Kitchen, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of re-creating this dish. I found a couple of recipes but in the end I really just free-balled it. And you know what? It wasn’t half bad.

Panzanella with squid, beans, eggplant and fennel.

It was actually pretty delish. Hubs and I were shocked it turned out so well on the first go. We also made the lemony-garlic kale salad that we are currently in love with and a potato-leek soup.

Kale salad with lemon and garlic.

Potato and leek soup with dill.

I finally got to use the immersion blender to blend up half the soup (hubs wanted some potato chunks left in the soup). I gotta tell you, if you don’t own an immersion blender, buy one and I dare you not to have fun with it. Luckily I didn’t make an enormous mess but I sort of wanted to. What a fun and crazy machine. I started thinking up ways to use it on other things than just soups–chai latte anyone? It’s on my to-do list.

My NYE meal.

Our one mistake for the night was thinking that a movie we were waiting to watch would be good. It was not. Maybe it’s because The Kids Are Alright got so much hype or maybe it’s because we have to be contrarian sometimes but we just did not like the movie. The actors were great–don’t get me wrong. But the story…or really lack-thereof…was pretty poor. We just didn’t feel like we cared about the characters. Plus it had that swarmy kind of L.A. feel that has turned us off with other movies in the past. It’s hard to explain unless you live here for a bit. I’m sure some people (or many) would disagree.

I'm not alright with this movie.

Something that was different this year is that I didn’t and seemingly couldn’t come up with any resolutions. It’s not like I’m really a resolutionist anyway, but I like to set goals for myself. After some soul-searching (which I admit I was avoiding), I came up with the desire to work on cultivating my relationships. I have a tiny, but lovely, network of friends and family. To be honest,  I don’t really see much of my friends. I probably keep myself too busy on purpose sometimes to avoid “having” to schedule a lunch for example. It’s sad but unfortunately, it is true. And I really do want to have some people in addition to my family that I can truly count on and have fun with. This isn’t going to be easy for me. For so many reasons I’m too overwhelmed to even say.

G'day, mate!

I can’t come up with much of a segue except to say, so what about those kangaroo dreams? While I admit to being a total weirdo, I’m not really having dreams about kangaroos. It’s more of a metaphor for my upcoming trip to Australia. We leave a week from Monday. Excited? Me, too. More details to follow!

Yogi says,

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.



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3 responses to “Champagne Wishes and Kangaroo Dreams

  1. Whee you’re going to Australia! That is awesome.

    And that’s a great goal to have….cultivating relationships. No matter how introvert you are, you need people in your life…being by yourself too much…well, that’s why cat ladies are weird. Also, humans just need human interaction to keep them from becoming lonely. Let yourself step out of the comfort zone, step by step, and you might be surprised by all the lovely stuff you may have been missing. 🙂


    I love the Kangaroo clip art you posted here. I found it on Google images and wondered where I could purchase it or if there was a charge for him! He is so cute! Please advise.

    Beverly from Memphis, TN
    my email is

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