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I find it hard to get back on the blog after vacation and the subsequent cold that followed.  The cold was a small price to pay for an amazing vacation.  A week in New Orleans eating ourselves silly and watching lots of football.  We have a running list of restaurants we want to hit.  Just to name a few we visited Sobou (crazy small world story, ran into a guy I know from Portland sitting at the table next to us), Pesche, Palace Cafe, Cafe Amelie, and Butcher.  I wasn’t kidding when I said we ate ourselves silly.

I even met Archie Manning- what a lovely man!

Archie & Archie Joe

I’ve been having fun in the kitchen.  For my birthday, I had a few friends over for a simple dinner and I made an incredible lasagna inspired by the Pioneer Woman.  I say inspired, because the resulting lasagna was only slightly reminiscent of her original recipe.   I was off work for Martin Luther King, Jr day and cooked up  a storm.  I made chicken broth.  With that broth, I made chicken tortilla soup and wild rice soup (with my pulled pork instead of ham).  I’ve baked up several batches of banana nut muffins trying to use up all the bananas I’ve thrown in the freezer over the last few months.

banana nut muffins

While writing this up, I realized I have taken so few pictures lately, both on vacation and in the kitchen.  I can’t believe I didn’t take any of the lasagna because it was awesome.  This had been my second time making it and I’ll make it again for sure.

Now that the holidays are over and the new year has settled in, I’m regaining my balance.  My whirlwind day in the kitchen Monday helped quite a bit with that.  Hope your new year is off to a tasty start as well!

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