Some of my blogging and cooking highlights throughout the year have been:
- Participating in Vegan MoFo and publishing 27 posts during October.
- Being tagged by Johanna GGG for a Stylish Blogger Award.
- Being tagged by Mandee, coldandsleepy and Zuckerbaby for the Liebster Award.
- Meeting up with several Melbourne veg bloggers at the Planet VeGMeL picnic.
- Upgrading my very old basic camera to a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX9V in July 2011.
- Recipe testing for Terry Hope Romero's new cookbook.
|Monty was very interested in this chilli that rolled off the bench|
Favourite recipes from my blog still on rotation are:
- Cheezy roast vegetable pot pies
- Pita bread
- Tofu scramble (this has changed a bit over time so watch out for a new post soon)
- Ethiopian inspired soup
- "Butter Chicken"
- Dal Makhani with Punjabi Cabbage
- Chilli sin carne
- Lemony roasted potatoes (aka. Lemony Snickets)
- Mexe Wedges
- Smoky Alfred
- Broccoli and tofu cannelloni
- Choc-mint & Jaffa balls
On a personal note, 2011 started off on a high and went downhill from there. It was exciting to move back into a much larger home with a brand new kitchen after our lengthy renovations were finally completed. It wasn't long after the move back home that we discovered a lump on our dog Jasper's hind leg which was diagnosed as a bone cancer. This turned our world upside down as we were faced with the decision to amputate his leg and hope that no secondary cancers had started to form or to euthanise him in a week's time.
We gave our darling dog a chance and Jasper fully recovered from the amputation in a couple of weeks. His spirit did not change in the slightest, he still loved (and demanded) his daily walks and chased our cat Monty around the house at times. We cherished every day that we were able to spend with Jasper and tried to put in the back of our minds that our time with him could be limited.
Six months after the surgery Jasper's health deteriorated in a matter of days and an X-ray of his lungs confirmed our worst fears. A secondary cancer spread to his lungs and had been growing at an aggressive rate. It was so traumatic to hold him in our arms and watch him go to sleep forever. It was the first time the man and I had ever been in such a position with any of our pets. We were both totally devastated and couldn't function properly for days. He was like our second child, not a dog, which a lot of people wouldn't really understand.
Almost 4 months have passed but we are both still grieving. We miss him dearly and I still cry at times when I think of him. It has taken me until now to be able to write about him which hasn't been an easy task but hopefully it will help somehow. I still love seeing Jasper's cheeky grin every time I leave a comment on someone's blog so I won't be changing my profile picture anytime soon.
|We planted a Japanese Maple in Jasper's resting place|
Rather than leave you on a sad note, I'll sign off with a few goals for the year, which are:
- Update my blogger template soon. I have been looking into this for what feel likes ages but haven't been able to decide on a layout!
- Experiment with cuisines I haven't cooked with before.
- Take photos when eating out and post about these experiences more often.
- Participate in my 2nd Vegan MoFo.
I would like to thank everyone that reads this blog and especially those who have left comments throughout the year. I really love hearing from you and appreciate every comment I receive. Hope you stick around for another year!