2010: A Year In Review

I was going to avoid the whole “year in review” type of post, but as I started to think about it and read back through old posts, I couldn’t resist picking out some month by month highlights  to share with you.  At the end of my 2009 Year in Review I stated, “Never in a million years could I have predicted all the things that 2009 would bring.  So I’m not going to even bother guessing what is in store for 2010.”

As crazy and unpredictable as 2009 was, I think 2010 will go down as the year that changed everything…


I kicked off the year in my second term of Culinary School, where I conquered New World Cuisine and found my love for Baking and Pastry Arts.



I finished out my freshman year of culinary labs with Stocks, Soups, and Sauces and Intro to Dining.  I wrote about running and pooping, and subsequently grossed out the whole blog world.  And I drove to Jacksonville, Florida to help my BFF Mary Ann run the 13.1 with Donna half marathon – her first ever!


I kicked off my Sophomore year of Culinary school with International Cuisine and Advanced Dining Room.  I experimented with going gluten-free, and after a month-long nagging lung infection, I was finally diagnosed with pleurisy, bringing my running and training to a temporary halt.  At the end of the month, I got to meet Master Chef Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook – amazing!



Adventures in culinary school continued with Advanced Patisserie and Classical French Cuisine.  I also got to meet one of my fitness idols – vegan athlete Brendan Brazier!


Despite having to give up training due to my bad lung infection, in April I ran Charlotte’s Racefest Half-Marathon, posting my best half-marathon time to date!

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And I finished out the month in Ohio heading back to Denison with my college BFF’s!

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May was a huge month for me.  I kicked if off by starting my very last class of culinary school – Garde Manger – and by running the hardest and soggiest marathon of my life.

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We celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and before I knew it – I was graduating from culinary school!   Graduation was celebrated with a week-long vacation on Topsail Island, NC with all my favorite people and dogs.

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June kicked off my summer-long internship working as the Head Chef at Poplar Ridge Organic Farm!  I harvested my own vegetables, prepared healthy vegetarian meals, and even acted as sous chef for some famous Charlotte chefs.

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We wrapped up the month in Hilton Head with a much-needed weekend at the beach!

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My work on the farm continued into July, when I cooked for my first private dinner party and did staff presentations on healthy food.  Back at home, I got the opportunity to film a cooking show in my kitchen which was definitely a first for me. 

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Having gone back and forth and weighed many different options, we finally started considering moving out of Charlotte, and set our sights on Washington, DC.  During July, we made two separate trips to the East Coast to look for neighborhoods and places to live.  At the end of the the month, I ran the Run For Your Life 4 Miler and vowed to never do another race in the heat of the summer.

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In August we made it official, and signed a lease on our new house in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia!  And before I knew it, my time at the farm had come to an end and I was saying goodbye to all my summer friends.  I celebrated with a trip to Chicago for the Healthy Living Summit – my first blog conference!

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And as soon as I got home it was all about packing because…


September brought MOVING DAY!  I spent the first few weeks digging out of boxes and getting us settled in our new home.  Just as soon as I got my kitchen organized, it was time to start the Project Food Blog competition!

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October didn’t really go as planned.  It started out with trips to the farmers market, exploring our new neighborhood, and lots of training runs for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon.  But half-way through the month I was hit by a car while crossing the street, which left me with a really banged up knee, and some pretty fragile emotions.  Even so, I headed to Ohio to be a bridesmaid for my new sister in law just two days after the accident. 

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I found myself sidelined for both the Columbus Half-Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon, but I went and cheered my heart out despite the fact that I couldn’t run myself.

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After the nightmare that was October, things definitely picked up in November.  I kicked off the month with a 5-day trip to San Francisco for the Foodbuzz Festival!  It was an amazing week with lots of old and new friends from far and wide.


I continued to cook my way through the Project Food Blog competition, and even made my very first video!  I got a double dose of family fun at the end of the month, first when my family came to visit us in DC…

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And then with a long weekend in Atlanta to celebrate Thanksgiving with Casey’s family!

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December was relatively low-key and I spent most of the first half of the month preparing to transition The Front Burner to Daily Garnish!  We spent eight days in Ohio celebrating Christmas and birthdays, and getting spoiled by having so much time with our families.  I also finally got to tell the world that I will be an aunt next year!

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Whew – the end!  It was definitely a year with a lot of growth and a lot of changes.  As fun as it was, I’m hoping for a little less drama in 2011.  :) 

Wishing you all a very safe and happy New Year’s Eve!  Thank you for being such a big part of my year – my life would be so different without you guys.

What was your favorite memory of 2010?