A Valentine's Resolution + Menu

{photo by Sara Remington}

"In the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give." 
John Lennon {a famous misquote} 

Last year, between raising a baby, renovating a house and preparing to launch a book, I felt like we hardly saw our friends. As is my busy nature, I usually launch into the new year, skipping resolutions and racing right toward the next big project. This year though, I made just one resolution—to make more time to spend with the people we love. And as soon as I said it, something started happening. Our pals Kirsten, Dario and their girls spent the whole first weekend of the year with us. My friend Erin moved to our neighborhood, and Carrie had a whole free weekend to come spend with us upstate. Jocelyn came from Philly for a Sunday and I got to rock her new baby boy. Two of my oldest girlfriends planned a trip from LA and I got not just one but three meals out with them this very week! I started taking weekends completely off {novel idea} to just hike and play and soak up every minute with sweet Greta and András. And, András and I moved Greta to a little jewel box nursery here at home, which means there’s more time for each other while she sleeps, too.

Right smack in the middle of this resolution, came the idea to host a virtual valentine’s party for the launch of my book. Which, of course, brought it’s own set of craziness and coordinating details. But with them, came this other amazing feeling of being a part of all these new and old friendships, of actually spending more time with the people I care about, of peering into their lives and learning from them.

I got a peek into Katie and Joe’s sweet marriage, three girls and 18-years deep, on Mom's Kitchen Handbook and shared my Two-for-Two Cheese Soufflé with them. I spent the day making Better Than Boxed Chocolate Cake with Nancie McDermott and felt in very good company that I’m still working on my wedding thank you notes! And I finally got to meet her sweet {"the sweetest man"} hubby, too!  I fell completely in love again with my own beloved, and charming almost-newlyweds Laken and Tyler over Grilled Lamb Chops and Melted Polenta at Farmhouse. I reconnected with my friend Tim Vidra, whose Etsy shop Behind The Screen Door supplied a few props for my book, and finally met his fiancé Mary, for whom he prepared a killer rendition of my Skillet Steak with Thyme Butter on his blog E.A.T.  I learned that sometimes you have to pick up and drive across country for love like Carolyn, from Spoonful of Cake, and bake your man a batch of Rise & Shine Muffins to help him get settled. 

I came to breakfast in my PJ’s with Tara, Topher and tiny Abigail for a stack of Multigrain Pancakes with Chocolate Shavings at Crumbs on My Keyboard and was reminded that though we can live life forever newlyweds, “It’s a real privilege, in fact, to graduate on to a love deeper from the sweet spot where you start.” And, since I never tire of chocolate pancakes, I enjoyed them again with Katie Hamm at Healthy and Happy Hour, who is getting married in October! Congrats Katie! I ate Seared Halibut with Coriander and Carrots with Luisa and James {at LucidFood}, my newest newlywed friends who live just a skip, hop and jump away from us in Brooklyn. I learned a clever new way to serve my Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding from Martha at CherrySpoon and enjoyed a chocolate hiatus with Maia at Dessertolicious, who made her hubby my Olive Oil Cake with Tangerine Marmalade. Sure, there were a lot of dishes {thank goodness for the grateful husbands!} but it was worth it for that full-heart-and-home feeling that’s surrounding us today.

Which brings me back to resolutions. I’m taking a moment to make another, a Valentine’s Day resolution which is this: To bring the spirit of loving and giving to another, be it my beloved, my babe or my bestest of friends, into everyday moments. To dote over another with a good meal. It need not be fancy or fussy, or even as ambitious as Just A Little Organic’s Suppa Club fete {they baked my Dowry Dinner Rolls, AND my Better-than-boxed Chocolate Cake on the same day!}. It can simply be a plate of Roasted Beets with Ricotta and Pistachios, a lunch for my love, like Elspeth from Diary of a Locavore made for hers this week. Or a perfect stack of 1000-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies  as cookie-queen Dorie Greenspan and the lovely Aida Mollenkamp both shared with their beloveds this week. In Aida's words, when we “strive to punctuate our lives with gatherings that involve lovingly-prepared, handcrafted food” there are rewards. Those rewards come in the form of friendship, feasting, and often, love.  

That, my friends, is the best part of Valentine’s Day, and the lingering {I hope} message of The Newlywed Cookbook.

With this meal, I thee love.


1 comment:

Tim Vidra said...

Sarah, a beautiful story to go with a beautiful cookbook. Between you and all of the food bloggers and writers you have chosen I am in such good company. Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours. Gotta run along with Mary there are some grouper steaks waiting in the wings to get shown some love tonight.

Best, Tim

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.