Hello 2011

by Jenn on January 2, 2011

in Gluten Free,Photography

A whole year.  It’s amazing to think that we’ve made it, living across the ocean on another continent for an entire year already.  Our year of travels, food, friends, adjusting to expat life, learning a new language, so much happened in 2010.  I know my last post was a bit of a sappy roundup already, but this time I wanted to look a bit more towards the future, as to what 2011 might bring.

We spent our New Year’s in Switzerland.  It was relaxing and quiet.  After our very eventful Christmas in Venezia, a few days of nothing together was just what we needed.  Well, not quite nothing.  The very day that marked our first entry into Switzerland with only 4 suitcases of belongings the year before, we decided to go to the pinnacle of all train stations – literally! The Jungfraujoch is the highest train station in all of Europe, at 3454m high, nestled right between Mönch and Jungfrau in the Alps.  We ate duck and pumpkin soup at the highest restaurant in Switzerland, and then we went outside and to stare at this:

View from the Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps

It may have been -11C out with near 30 knot winds, but completely worth my numbing hands holding my camera to see the Jungfrau up close and personal.  It just seemed a fitting way to commemorate the beginning of our adventures en Suisse.

It’s also a good place for a little soul searching.  And thinking.  Thinking about this blog, and where I want it to go.  Where do you want it to go?  If you’ve noticed on the right sidebar I’ve had a little poll up for a while, asking your favorite aspects of this site, and at the moment I’m writing this it’s an exact three-way tie between recipes, food photos, and gluten free tips.  Ha I guess this is to be expected as those things are at the heart of Jenn Cuisine.  But so is the world around me, and the stories that surround us and the food we eat.  As much as we love to cook and eat yummy food, we love to travel, explore new places, and experience some of the wonderful beauty that nature presents to us.

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In the coming year, I hope to open up more to you – to tell you more stories, show you more photos, and as always, savour in the bounty of flavor that is gluten free.  I’ve always called Jenn Cuisine a *mostly* gluten free cooking blog, because every once in a while I would make something that was glutenicious (afterall, it is only my husband who cannot tolerate gluten, and I am perfectly content to munch on fresh made bread and pastries).  But looking back at 2010, I realized that every single post last year was gluten free.  That’s right, every. single. one.  I intend to keep things this way.  Will I get rid of the old glutenicious recipes? I don’t think so, but I may make a special category for them so that it’s even more clear than it is now.  I think after a year of blogging completely gluten free, I can transition from being a *mostly* gluten free cooking blog to a full-fledged gluten free blog.  What do you think?

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The gluten free online community is one of the most tightly knit, friendly and supportive groups of people I’ve come to know.  I have to thank you all for your encouragement with my baking experiments, suggestions, and beautiful recipes, many upon many of which we have enjoyed in our kitchen this past year thanks to your awe-inspiring talents.  And for you glutenicious folks, don’t think I will abandon you.  Y’all have been with me through my gluten free forays so far, and hopefully you’ve figured out by now that most of my posts are just as tasty to a glutenicious person as they are to someone who is gluten free.  And if nothing else, my crazy baking attempts are at least entertaining :)

Instead of resolutions, I decided instead to set goals – but what good is a goal if no one knows about it? So I get to share :)

As for my food goals, I have a few things I’d like to conquer over the next year…the first being cookies! Gah they are my baking nemesis.  Who would have thought that such a simple basic baked good would bring me such frustration? ha.  Remember when I was getting close with my peanut butter cookies and was foiled by a difference in ingredients? Turns out I was foiled by more than that.  I need to work on making cookies with gluten free flour.  Next up – puff pastry.   I am bound and determined to get this figured out too.  Another baked good I got close to, but never quite got to work.  I WILL be successful with puff pastry this year, I promise!  I want to do more with pastas.  We both love pasta dishes, and the variety and diversity of pasta really lends itself to a number of great dishes.  I also want to cook more with beans.  Beans are full of important nutritious elements, gluten free, and really underutilized in my kitchen.  We’ll see what happens, I’ve got lots of new ideas of flavorful dishes to try!

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I have photography goals.  Really specific ones like figure out an artificial lighting set up and how to nail my focus.  And more generic ones like to capture more moments with friends, and actually go hiking with my tripod.  I decided to participate in a project 365/52 this year – don’t know if I’ll be doing every day or every week, but I want to take more pictures and practice.  I’m also going to start a new series here on Jenn Cuisine – I don’t know yet how often it will be (I’m thinking weekly may be too much, maybe every 2 weeks or so), but it will be about the tips & tricks I’ve learned as I’ve tried to take food photos.  Maybe it’s helpful to see things from a total amateur’s perspective.  Like how I set up a shot and how I went from my first frames to my final pic that shows up in a post.  To go over some of the technical in relation to food photography – how different light affects photos, why in-camera flash is not your friend, a few other things ;) I asked about this on twitter and got a rather overwhelming interest in me sharing my thoughts, so stay tuned for some gluten free photography fun as well.

Apparently one learns a good deal about one’s self when going to the mountains.  All my best thinking is done with mountains in view. Especially mountains as wondrous as the Swiss Alps.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Baisa January 2, 2011 at 3:00 am

Fantastic post. I love all your goals, which you will undoubtedly attain! (Although I really don’t understand the difference between a “resolution” and a “goal”, but ooooookay!) Your photos of the Alps are absolutely magnificent. What a wondrous way to ring in the New Year. I do miss that about living in Munich (the OTHER side of the Alps). I loved going to Garmisch to have dinner and enjoy the alpine scenery!

Have a great year, Jenn! (I know you will!)

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 3:05 am

Thank you Jackie! Ha I guess I always imagined a resolution as something with a more measurable metric of success….like go running 3x a week for example…but maybe there is not so much of a difference afterall :) Hope you have a wonderful 2011 as well!

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Rosa January 2, 2011 at 3:00 am

Gorgeous HDR shots! It has been a pleasure reading your blog and meeting you. Looking forward to seeing your 2011 recipes and posts!

Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 3:06 am

Aww thanks Rosa – it has been wonderful getting to know you as well (and equally looking forward to all of your photos and recipes!). Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats January 2, 2011 at 3:26 am

Happy New Year – love the photos. Your photos of Switzerland consistently beat out any commercial photo I have ever seen – and honestly, they sometimes beat out the object itself. I never cease to be amazed at your photos of the mountains – you make them look even better than they already look in person :)

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 3:38 am

Oh Valerie, your words are too kind – I really don’t know what to say to respond to such a generous compliment. Thank you! I still walk away feeling like I did not do them justice – I’ve never been able to live so close to such spectacular mountains before, and they still leave me speechless every time I find myself in front of them :)

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats January 2, 2011 at 4:14 am

Wow, you are up late/early :)

You are so welcome. Your photos are truly wonderful.

On a different note – it was only when I had not been in Switzerland for a while that I really started seeing just how spectacular the mountains are.

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

ha, had a café a bit too late in the evening I guess :)

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Lisa @ www.bakedinmaine.com January 2, 2011 at 5:58 am

Jenn~ I always enjoy reading your posts.
I especially love your photos WOW!

Looking forward to 2011 and new recipes!

Have a Healthy New Year!

Lisa
xo

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

Aww thanks Lisa – you as well!

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Peta January 2, 2011 at 7:55 am

Lucky you I wish I was with you on New Years Eve. It was 40+ degrees Celsius here in south Australia on NYE. Beautiful photos and a great website. Looking forward to seeing you in 2011

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 9:56 am

Wow that’s a warm New Year’s! All the best in 2011!

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Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours January 2, 2011 at 10:00 am

Lovely lovely photos, bring back happy memories of holidays in Switzerland.

The Jungfraujoch is very special. Did you know that to dig the tunnel the workers camped in it for all of one winter and came out in the Spring when it was dug.

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 10:41 am

Thank you Helen! Yes while we took the train up there was a bit on the story of how the rail was made, very interesting!

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InTolerantChef January 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

Great goals you’ve set Jenn. Gluten free is just as good and tasty as gluten full dishes, and it’s great to have someone like you explore them with us. I haven’t got a clue with my photos, I just point and shoot and hope for the best, so any tips will be welcome. Happy New Year!

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Jenn January 2, 2011 at 10:41 am

Thanks, Happy New Year as well!

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Zoe January 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Happy New Year, Jenn! As someone who is always striving to improve my own photography, I’d definitely be interested to follow your photography series. I enjoy reading food bloggers’ takes on food photography and how they accomplish their photos since we all have different photography situations such as available lighting, different cameras, etc. As for the differences between resolutions and goals, I think a resolution is something that one is determined to do or be whereas a goal is something that one strives to obtain, an objective, and at best that goal is always changing. Plus, a goal sounds more achievable than a resolution. How many of us have achieved goals versus achieving resolutions?

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Jenn January 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

hmm Zoe, maybe you are right there – goals do seem a bit friendlier and approachable, maybe that’s the whole difference:) Happy New Year!

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dario @ foodpixels January 3, 2011 at 2:08 am

Happy New Year Jenn!
Love , love the photos …. I miss my mountains.
I am sure you’ll hit the target in 2011 and I look forward to read more of this beautiful blog.
Cheers, Dario

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Jenn January 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

Happy New Year to you as well Dario!

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Dinners & Dreams January 4, 2011 at 2:40 am

Amazing shots. Apleasure for the eyes.

Happy New Year!

Nisrine

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Jenn January 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Thanks!

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Christine January 4, 2011 at 4:39 am

Happy New Year to you as well! Beautiful photos!

I’m looking forward to your photography segment – your photos are always so gorgeous!

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Jenn January 4, 2011 at 6:21 am

Aww thanks!!

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Linda January 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Happy New Year, Jen! I think you should go for it with the completely gf blog. Your gluten free recipes are such an inspiration as are your wonderful photos. Good luck with your goals.

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Jenn January 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Linda – I don’t think it will be too hard given my current track record :)

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Jessica January 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Great post. Your goals are so inspiring. And I agree, the gluten-free community is so tight knit! It is a blessing to be a part of it. Also, your photos are absolutely STUNNING!!!!

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Jenn January 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Aww thanks Jessica!! It really is a blessing, I’m so happy to have gotten to know such an awesome group of people :)

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Choclette January 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Wonderful photos and a great way to bring in the New Year.

Reading this post has just made me realise that what I thought was a gluten free cake I made today may not be – I used buckwheat flour – ahhhh, I’d better go and check.

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Jenn January 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Thanks! Despite its name, buckwheat is not part of the wheat family and naturally is gluten free. However, one still always has to read the labels because there could be risk of cross contamination depending on how the grain and resulting flour are processed.

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day January 23, 2011 at 3:57 am

Oh my god, your photography is amazing! I am blown away by how you captured the brilliance and majesty of the mountains.

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Jenn January 23, 2011 at 6:45 am

Oh thank you! Those mountains really are gorgeous, aren’t they?

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