So, as you all may know, I am a foodie. IE someone who enjoy's cooking and eating good food. What was interesting and unique for me about the past year was reducing the amount of ingredients that I allowed myself to be able to use which forced me into trying new and creative ways of combining different foods. What's great is that it becomes easier to know which ingredients to throw together the more experience that you have. I love to learn different styles of cooking, it would be even better if I had someone there who loved to cook as well, but I get by on my own most of the time. I was so sad when my foodie friend Tanya moved away. She and I had really similar backgrounds and had the same types of interests. We would get together and experiment and although not all of the things we cooked turned out well, every time we got together we had fun and so did our kids. She taught me the basics of making a good spaghetti sauce, including lots of veggies. We figured out the basics of Swedish Meatballs together (It took a while to get this one), we even planned on making Tamales together. She moved away before we could get to the Tamales but I figured it out on my own. As I posted before on the subject a poor unsuspecting mexican friend of my son's tasted the result of using olive oil for the masa dough, blech. But I did figure it out and now the tamales taste great whenever I decide to make them. It would be fun to figure out some vegetarian versions though I have a couple of recipe's that I want to try but I haven't gotten to them yet. I will probably use a blander type of fat for the masa, like palm vegetable shortening when I do these. If you are wondering why I am posting this so early in the morning (if you notice anyway), it is because for the past two nights my daughter has been getting to bed on time. So for the past two morning she has been rewarding me by getting up at 4 a.m. She has been off schedule because of the holiday's and it has been driving me crazy. Now I have to suffer!! Well I am going to try to get her to give me a break and go back to sleep, cross your fingers for me.