January 26, 2010

So 300 posts.  Really?  300?  How did that happen?  Didn’t I just start this blog yesterday?  Numbers, as they say, don’t lie and my count says 300.  Wow.  I thought I would give you some Top Ten Lists in celebration.

Top Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

1. I play guitar and sing.  Well, I don’t much anymore but I started guitar lessons in 7th grade and took them all the way through high school.  I sang in coffee houses all through college and at some open mic’s in my 20’s.  Now I sing “The Wheels on the Bus” ad nauseum.  I also write my own songs for the boys such as the “Hippo Song” and “I’ve Got Two Little Boys and They’re Eating Some Dinner”.  Genius stuff.

2. My boys’ names are Graham and Spencer.  There is a very cool (and very expensive) clothing line also named Graham and Spencer, which I didn’t know about until after we had decided to name the youngest Spencer.  It is the last names of the two designers.  I am always tempted to buy something of theirs so I can go around town showing people my label.

3. I am very very afraid of spiders.  All bugs really.  Can deal with snakes but not bugs.

4. I kind of hung out with – I wouldn’t say dated – the drummer from Alice in Chains for a summer.  He had a cervil (which is an African cat – like a small leopard) roaming around his house.  True story.

5. My dream is to attend the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Napa for pastry.

6. As a child, I was told that I would grow to be 5’9″.  I stopped at 5’3″.  Sometimes I pine for those 6 inches.  My own mother is four inches taller than me and both my brothers are over 6 feet.  My boys are tall for their ages so it looks like the short gene skips a generation.

7. I used to be a huge Bruce Springsteen fan.  My senior year of high school, I camped out on 3rd Avenue in downtown Seattle (with my parents’ consent) to get tickets for his concert.  In spite of almost being at the front of the line, we had lousy seats.  I wrote a letter to his fan magazine (Backstreets) and it got published.  And that is the only bit of my writing that has ever been published.

8. I don’t like tropical fruit.  Wait.  Is pineapple considered a tropical fruit?  If so, I don’t like tropical fruit except for pineapple.

9. I used to work in radio and I went to concerts for free for two years.  I got to go backstage often and met a lot of cool people.  Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Etheridge, kd lang, Jackson Browne, Hootie and the Blowfish, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dave Matthews (yes, he is my neighbor – well, close enough), Tori Amos, Chris Cornell, the Spin Doctors (yes, this was the mid-90’s), Shawn Colvin, etc.

My favorite experience was meeting Jackson Browne.  My dad has been a huge fan since the early 70’s and we listened to a lot of his music all throughout my childhood.  I was friendly with his record label rep and asked if he could get us good seats and backstage passes.  This very nice guy delivered and we enjoyed a terrific show.  Afterward we went into the holding room where the “meet and greet” was going to happen and waited.  The label rep found us and brought us back to Jackson Browne’s dressing room where we got some one on one time with him.  My dad was like a kid in a candy store (not a description I would ever use for my dad) and asked him all sorts of questions.  Jackson Browne was really lovely and indulged him.  I had a lot of fun and was so proud that I could do something special for my dad who has done so many special things for me.

10. I met my husband online.  We used a site called kiss.com which was eventually bought by match.com.  I didn’t want to put up a picture but I didn’t want guys to think I was a dog either, so my tagline was “People Tell Me I Look Like Teri Hatcher” which at that time, pre-Desperate Housewives, they did.  Of the 50 responses I got, 48 of them told me how much they loved Teri Hatcher.  My husband was one of the other two.  About one hour into our first date (that eventually lasted ten hours), I asked him if he thought I looked like Teri Hatcher.  He said, “I don’t know who that is.”  He responded to me because he liked what I wrote about myself.  That may have been the moment I knew I was going to marry him.

Top Ten Cookbooks I Would Bring to a Desert Island
(I’m not saying my favorite books because some of my favorites fall into that category because of good looks.  If I were going to be stranded, I would like some variety – and some dessert – so that is how I chose these books.)

1. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone – Deborah Madison
2. Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen
3.  All of Jeanne Lemlin’s books
4. Fields of Greens – Annie Sommerville
5. The Martha Stewart Living books, Volume 1 and 2
6. From the Earth to the Table – John Ash
7. The Provence Cookbook – Patricia Wells
8. Real Vegetarian Thai – Nancie McDermott
9. Tartine – Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
10. The Perfect Scoop – David Lebovitz

Ten Food Bloggers (+2 More) I Want to Have a Potluck With and Their Assignments

1. Stacey from Stacey Snacks – Appetizer of her choice – no meat please!
2. Sarah from In Praise of Leftovers – Galette or Pizza of her choice
3. Sara from Sprouted KitchenPeanut Sauce Bento Bowls for everyone and her boyfriend as a photographer
4. Joy from Joy the Baker – Dessert and possibly breakfast for the next morning
5. Lisa from Lisa is Cooking – Main Course – something interesting and spicy
6. Tracy from Shutterbean – Some kind of salad and her adorable boy to play with my boys
7. Tara from Seven Spoons – That chickpea dish and her sweet gentle soul
8. Vivianne from Food and Style – That mac and cheese and she has to let me speak French with her
9. Allison from Local Lemons – Her Limoncello, once it is done
10. Cheryl from 5 Second RuleToasted Cumin Hummus and her wit
11. Giao from Kiss My Spatula – Her perfect bread with homemade goat cheese
12. Tim from Lottie and Doof – Two words – French Fries

I could have invited about 20 more people – so many lovely blogs out there.  Thanks to everyone for reading!  I really appreciate your support.


  1. Congrats on 300! I loved reading more about you. I love how you met your husband and you are too gorgeous to be a Terri Hatcher look alike:) I think I own all but 2 of your top ten cookbooks…and if you ever get all of those bloggers to cook for you, can I be invited? Love you and your blog Dana. Congrats again!

    Comment by Maria — January 26, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  2. Oh Dana, What a lovely post. I so enjoyed reading it and learning a bit more about you! You were truly inspired to write this piece… And yes, I do think pineapple is considered a tropical fruit :-)
    Thank you for including me in your list of Food Bloggers you want to have a potluck with. I’d make that Mac & Cheese anytime for you and speak French with you all night long!
    You are just wonderful!

    Comment by Viviane Bauquet Farre / food & style — January 26, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  3. Does Hootie and the Blowfish count as cool? Really?

    Other than them, your old job sounds cool! :) Oh, I met Ed online, too. Online dating – best invention ever!

    Comment by Hilary — January 26, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  4. This is a great 300th post, filled with many great tidbits! Love it. I’m especially jealous of the Alice in Chains drummer (amazing!) and that you met Tori Amos. Was she as sweet as I’ve heard she is?

    Comment by The Ordinary Vegetarian — January 26, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  5. Congratulations on 300 posts! I’m the short one in a tall family, too. Nuni seems to have taken after me, though.

    Comment by Kate @ Savour Fare — January 26, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

  6. yayyyyy I am so excited to be invited to the potluck. I will bring all the bento bowl you could ever want, and we will indulge and put hugh to work ;) Congrats on 300 posts, that’s impressive!

    Comment by Sara — January 26, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  7. This was lovely! It was touching and funny! I don’t normally have many laughs in my office, but your put a giggle in my day! I met my soon-to-be husband online too! People are always so suprised…and don’t ever give up your dream of going to CIA in Napa!

    Comment by Eva — January 26, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

  8. Dear Terri Hatcher,
    You’re very cute and I am in love with Bruce Springsteen, always have been.
    I hate tropical fruit of all kinds, and I would love to make you a meatless appetizer.

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — January 26, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  9. I decided within the first 2 paragraphs that I would comment today, because your post made me smile, then laugh, and then smile again when I got to see my name on your list.

    As someone is is 5″4 (this is a lie I’ve told myself for a while — I think I’m 5″3-1/2, which really probably means 5″3), and who played center forward on her 8th grade basketball team (5″4/5″3 isn’t bad for an 8th grade girl), I can relate to the short girl thing. And Terri Hatcher! YES! That’s who you look like. I couldn’t put my finger on it until you mentioned it.

    I’ve said too much, but I’ll say more the next time we’re in the same city and can grab a coffee, or a meal, and gab our heads off.

    p.s. My dad and stepmother had my little brother the same day Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley had their daughter. I got to ride in an elevator with Billy Joel. That’s not nearly as good as your Jackson Brown story, but it’s all I’ve got.

    Comment by Cheryl @ 5 Second Rule — January 26, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

  10. Wow, what an accomplishment!

    Comment by Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes — January 26, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  11. ….and here is to 300 more !!!
    keep them coming , I thouroghly enjoy reading your posts .

    Comment by Gourmet Goddess — January 26, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

  12. Oh, you sweet, sweet friend. Can I also bring my little guys? We’ll dress the gaggle of them in Graham and Spencer. They’ll be stylin.

    What a delicious meal that would be. Legendary, surely.

    Congratulations on 300. It’s been such fun, and this is only the beginning.

    Comment by tara — January 26, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

  13. wowzas – happy 300th, dana! i love potlucks! thank u so much for inviting me. your place or mine?! looking forward to the next 300 with baited breathe. xo.

    Comment by giao — January 26, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  14. Wow, I didn’t even know about the Alice in Chains drummer. Can’t wait for our next dinner/play date to ask. Dying to check out those other blogs now, too. Will you play guitar and sing the Hippo song for us sometime soon? Congrats on your 300th post. YOU are a treat, Dana!

    Comment by Deb — January 26, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

  15. i ran into dave matthews–literally– in green lake this past august. i was on a run (really cute and sweaty) and he was crossing the path to toss a water bottle. i was starstruck.

    congrats on your 300th post! quite the achievement.

    Comment by Ellen — January 27, 2010 @ 12:05 am

  16. Dana, congrats on your 300th post… love the site and recipes..

    Comment by Cassandre — January 27, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  17. Wow, 300 posts that’s awesome! I loved reading all your top 10 lists, sounds like you’ve had some really great experiences. Funny, I’m 5’3″ too, and was told I would be at least 5’7″, Anyways, can’t wait to see what else you’ll be cooking!

    Comment by Jacqui — January 27, 2010 @ 1:30 am

  18. Great post Dana. I am proud to say I knew most of your top ten list…..except hanging out with the Alice in Chains dude and your dislike of tropical fruit.

    Comment by kelly — January 27, 2010 @ 6:51 am

  19. Happy 300! Thank you for your wonderful recipes, beautiful photos of food and other things, and for sharing your life with your readers. I can’t wait to read the next 300!

    Comment by Penny — January 27, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  20. Congratulations on 300! You’ve listed so many interesting things about yourself. Can’t wait for the potluck. ;) How fun would that be?

    Comment by lisaiscooking — January 27, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  21. I’m 5’9″ – you can have my 6 inches. :)

    My #1 cookbook/encyclopedia is How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I am constantly referencing it and always thrilled when I’m looking for an obscure recipe/ingredient and yup, it’s in there. Maybe the Madison book will be my next purchase…

    I discovered your blog only recently, but I have been loving every single post and can’t wait for 300 more!

    Comment by Jenna — January 27, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  22. happy 300th..you dont look a day over 250!!! lol
    I am with you on the spider fear! I wont even pick up a dead one!

    Comment by Leslie — January 27, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

  23. Congrats!!! And what a fun post!

    Comment by Michelle — January 27, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

  24. Congrats sweetness!
    I would SOOO bring a salad and my boy! Gawd that sounds like such a feast. I wonder if we could really make it happen….

    300 is big! Way to go, you!

    I also met my hubby online. I love learning more about you!

    Comment by Tracy — January 28, 2010 @ 1:36 am

  25. Congratulations! It was fun to learn more about you. I was especially interested in your favorite cookbooks. Even if you did cheat a bit with #3. ;)

    Comment by Beatrice — January 28, 2010 @ 2:31 am

  26. Heck, I want to marry you after that lovely, revealing top ten post. You have a very special, unique voice. And I love checking in, reading what you’ve openly shared on each one.

    Comment by Chef Gwen — January 28, 2010 @ 5:07 am

  27. I knew I sensed a kindred spirit. I also have long begrudge my small stature (5’5″) because I was told as a kid that I would be 5’7″. It was given to me as a medical fact. My parents are also tall, and I’m not sure what happened to my genes. I hold out hope for my son- he’s a big guy already. I have a paralyzing fear of bugs as well. Snakes, no problem. Spiders, I can embrace. I had a pet boa constrictor, and a pet tarantula as a kid. But put any type of insect in my path and I’ll run screaming to the hills. I spent some time in Asia, where bugs abound, and I had an actual panic attack when a flying cockroach got stuck in my hair. Damn bugs, I hate em.

    Comment by Heather — January 28, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

  28. Dana,

    Congrats on 300! I found you around number 250 and so glad I did:) You inspire me in more ways than just cooking…and that’s a good thing:) I also saw Jackson Browne in concert..and snuck backstage to catch a glimpse of him and his girl at the time, Darryl Hannah:) But MY real claim to fame is when I got pulled up on stage when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant by ROD STEWART!! I always had a thing for him and when he danced with me and rubbed my belly..I just HAD to name my third child, Jake Stewart…no my hubby would not go for Rod:) Jake and Rod are opposites:) LOL My gentle giant. Keep writing!!!!

    Comment by Nancy — January 29, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  29. USED to be a Bruce Fan? Having myself grown up between I and J streets in New Jersey (you know, a few letters down from the famous E Street–yes, THAT E Street), I have to say, there’s no such thing as “used to be” a Bruce fan. That’s for life!

    Congratulations on your milestone–fun to learn more about you!

    Comment by CakeSpy — January 29, 2010 @ 7:32 am

  30. i love this post! so lovely to get to know more about you. i love the story about how you met your husband.

    hey, i used to work in radio too! public radio, though, so no cool concerts…but definitely cool politicians, authors, newsmakers, etc.

    no tropical fruits?! gasp! no mango? eek! :)

    Comment by HappyTummy — January 29, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  31. Congratulations on your 300th post! I’m jealous of all your celebrity interactions. I have a thing for celebrity sightings.

    And I’d love to make you pizza someday :)

    Comment by The Leftoverist — February 1, 2010 @ 4:04 am

  32. Loved reading this post!

    And, no – I won’t hold against you the dislike for tropical fruit… and no, I will not hold against you the “pine for 6 inches” (if I stretch my neck really hard I might make it to 5 ft.. :-)

    Congrats on 300 posts!

    Comment by SallyBR — February 5, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

  33. Hey Dana. Loved all the cool things I just learned about you. Looking forward to to making some more of your treats!!!

    Comment by julie — February 9, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  34. Hey Dana – loved reading your 300 – I knew quite a few of the top ten things. I think I was there the night you met the Alice in Chains drummer – I remember playing basketball really late that night. Love your posts.

    Comment by Sharon — February 27, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

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