bear with me [for an amaretto fruit salad recipe]

so, this poor little food blog. i left her sitting here all alone, left you all sitting here, waiting for limoncello cupcake recipes, flatbread recipes, tortilla soup and mediterranean sweet potato pilaf recipes….
i had the best of intentions, truly.

but something happened.

life.

you might be familiar with it. the way it changes everything, sneaks around corners with the unexpected, sometimes even with delightful surprises…
never predictable, always crazy. crazy good. but crazy nonetheless.

oh, life.

i have ebbed off of blog posts for a long, long while for many reasons. i confess a lot of that had to do with the eerie silence around here – i wonder sometimes if there is anyone really reading my ramblings [i know you do. really.], i wonder if anyone is benefitting from my recipes, adding to them, changing them, or inspired in any way by the years and heart i have poured into this blog. i don’t leave comments on every blog i read, though i do on most – and i am not pandering for comments by any means!! i am just being honest. sometimes i just wonder if it is all worth the research, the minutes/hours spent preparing pretty dishes, styling, photographing, uploading, editing, choosing the best sequence of photographs, changing my mind, deciding again, writing, editing, deleting and starting over, giving up and starting over again. and then again.

well, i do believe it is indeed worth it.

i love this. i love food. i love shopping at thrift stores for unique little dishes, and reading through old recipe books for new inspiration. i love encouraging you all to truly enjoy good food, to take the time to care for yourself. i hope that comes across here.
i am not a chef, an expert, or employed by anyone but myself [which i think is pretty darn awesome anyway]. i am just a girl who is passionate about good eating, who loves people, and who loves to tell stories through the lens of my camera. i don’t like doing dishes, or capitalizing my letters. or mushrooms. i really don’t like mushrooms.

anyway.

like the recent arrival of spring, i hope to grow a new passion for this little blog and watch it bloom and grow.

i thought i would begin [again] with a refreshing amaretto fruit salad i created just yesterday, and loved so much i made more again today. i hope you will enjoy it too. feel free to substitute other favourite fruits, especially as the seasons change! but don’t skimp on the amaretto, or quality of said amaretto. i personally love Disaranno liqueur. 🙂

amaretto fruit salad

amaretto fruit salad

1 deliciously ripe pear
8 or so strawberries
handful dried [unsweetened] cranberries
a few squeezes fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup organic [unsweetened] coconut flakes
teaspoon cinnamon sugar [plus extra for dusting]
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur [the good stuff]
1 banana

core pear, cut into eighths, then cube slices. hull and slice strawberries. place with dried cranberries in a medium mixing bowl and toss with fresh lemon juice. stir in amaretto, coconut flakes and cinnamon sugar. just before serving, peel and slice banana into 1/2 inch slices and very gently mix in.

garnish with a little extra dusting of cinnamon sugar.
[a few sliced almonds would be a delightful addition here as well!]

i hope you enjoy.
i cannot wait to share more deliciousness with you soon.

love,
chanelle

[all photos copyright chanelle richardson/@iamchanelle]

macaron

macaron, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

would you believe these are my very first macarons??? purchased from this adorable place.

[top to bottom: vanilla bean, pumpkin spice, french chocolate, hazelnut]

[nom, nom, nom, and NOM]

if you have never enjoyed a macaron before, may i suggest you change that? immediately. right now. run, don’t walk.
her first macaron

ok, off you go.

love,
chanelle

will it be enough

will it be enough, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

this is neither making food nor eating food…

but it could count as singing for my supper, i suppose.   i can always relate something to food, haha! 😉

i wanted you to see what i’ve been up to these days – it’s just a little slideshow i put together with a bitty song i wrote and recorded on a little mic in my living room late last night. [yawn!]

and?  my RAD friend Bryan Ferguson laid down some harmony for kicks and giggles, check it here.

i had way too much fun with it, and cannot wait to add more to make it a real grown up song someday.  music and life go hand in hand for me, and it thrills me to be able to actually work on projects like this.  stay tuned for more.

hope you all enjoy.

love,
chanelle

dear Haiti,

dear Haiti,, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

i love you. my heart is broken for you. i pray you heal and find peace and hope again.

– here is a very simple way we can all help.  i hate to sound cliché, but for the cost of a latte and a donut, we can all contribute to the epic relief efforts in Haiti even just a little bit.  and so you know i am not just preaching at you, i have done this myself.  it is truly this simple:  after you Text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts, you will receive a confirmation text back from the Red Cross – follow their directions to confirm and you are done.  they have already raised $10 million dollars to aid Haiti – let’s raise that!

– please also take a moment to leave a comment over on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  she is holding an incredible giveaway for the relief efforts in Haiti, and all it takes is a comment.

– i know there are many more incredible relief efforts out there – please feel free to leave links, names, anything you like in the comments to spread the information on their behalf.

i cannot even begin to imagine what this must be like for mothers, fathers, children, friends.  here are some photos of the current state of things.  as i have scrolled through each image, i have put myself in their shoes and wept.

i want to gather all those children in my arms and make their hurt go away.  this is so horrific.  there just aren’t words.  let’s all give what we can, and pray, and hope and pray some more.

love,

chanelle

good morning, 2010

good morning, 2010, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

i enjoyed my very first cup of stumptown coffee this morning, sent to me by a lovely friend.
roast
[SO GOOD!]
i also had some fun shooting my first photos of 2010!
rather appropriate subject, don’t you think? 😉
beans
grounds


happy, happy new year to each of you.

this one’s gonna be awesome. i can tell.
press

i am already plotting my next kitchen adventures, and looking forward to a year of learning and growing as a cook/photographer/writer/wife/mom/dork.  cannot wait to share my journey with all of you!!!

cheers!

love,

chanelle

wrapping things up

limoncello cupcake, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

well, phew! i have been making cupcakes for almost 24 hours now, haha!

-red velvet cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting

vanilla cream cheese frosting

– peanut butter and chocolate chip cupcakes to be topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache

cute, warm, melty, chocolatey, peanut buttery mini cupcakes

pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting

and

– lemon cupcakes with limoncello frosting

slice

i am finally done and about to pack everything up, get cleaned up and changed into my little black dress [if it still fits after all this taste testing!] and head on over to the house where my incredible, beautiful friend will be saying her vows to a very lucky man at midnight. what a way to ring in a new year!

i just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you all a truly happy New Year, wherever you are. I hope the coming year is so sweet for each of you.
oh, and stay tuned – first recipe of 2010 will be these delightful little limoncello cupcakes! you know i love you. 😉

pucker up

peace.

love,

chanelle