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Notes from the Road January 2018. A new year, a new month, and a new focus for Fork in the Road. And a whole lot of food and travel!

Ciao, friends! Here we are, at the end of the first month of 2018. I’ve realized I start off most of these monthly recaps with some variation of the phrase “wow, can you believe another month has gone by?” I have the same sentiment now but I also had a very full month of travel, learning, and lots of food so it seems appropriate to close this first chapter of 2018 and embark on a new month.

These (sometimes) monthly recaps are a chance to break from the usual recipes and travel posts to share the behind-the-scenes of Fork in the Road (FITR). From where FITR is featured, links I’m loving, books I’m reading, to places I’m going, these posts are a way to connect one-on-one with you and keep you updated with all things food and travel. You know, the important things in life.

So let’s get to it!

notes from the road: January 2018

January 2018: Fork in the Road Features

This month has been a big month for FITR, as it was featured in:

As I’ve mentioned in past Notes from the Road posts, I’m a regular contributor to 196 Flavors, a food blog featuring traditional recipes from every country in the world. In January I had the honor of writing about traditional meals from the Czech Republic, including Obložené Chlebíčky (an assortment of garnished breads), Vepřo Knedlo Zelo (roasted pork with sauerkraut and dumplings), and Knedlíky (traditional boiled dumplings). If you’re in the mood to switch up your dinner favorites, try out these delicious dishes!

I’m a sucker for a good #weekendread, an article to devour on a weekend morning with a cup of coffee. I often bookmark and save these articles as I come across them and, in my quest to create more space for learning this year, I’m setting aside time each week to find out facts about random things that interest me.

Some of my favorites this month included:

  • The Foods Americans Once Loved to Eat from Smithsonian: a look back at foods and ingredients that Americans once loved and have now lost a taste for. We’re experience a bit of food nostalgia now in modern times by throwing back to classic cocktails, but would you like to see eels and beaver tail on your menu again?
  • Learning to Love Sake: Japan Ramps Up Efforts to Entice Foreign Markets on NPR: Do you like sake? I have friends for which a sushi night is not complete without a bottle of warm sake on the table, however it’s not a non-negotiable for me when eating Japanese food. And the Japanese sake industry wants to change that.
  • What is Ghee and How to Use It by Katie Cavuto: Have you cooked with ghee? Ghee, or clarified butter, is gaining in popularity and is a go-to for many with dairy intolerances, who say they are better able to tolerate ghee than regular butter. Check out fellow dietitian Katie Cavuto’s post on all things ghee.
  • Seven Foundational Cookbooks that Shaped American Cooking on Saveur: I’m a cookbook fanatic but limit myself to only 4-5 a year or else my dreams of having a minimalist kitchen would be crushed by my love of book collections. I especially love flipping through old cookbooks and learning about popular dishes throughout time and this article on Saveur feeds that craving with a list of cookbooks that shaped American cooking throughout the years. A great weekend read!

I’ve also torn through a few fictional books this month, including re-reading the A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy, beginning the Shadow and Bone series, and experiencing terror and rage simultaneously while reading The Handmaid’s Tale. In nonfiction I read Born in the Country: A History of Rural America, which is an interesting look at the history of American farming and agriculture communities from pre-colonial to modern times. A unique angle on American history!

January 2018: On the Road

January was a big month of travel and I had the opportunity to spend time on both American coasts this month. In the beginning of the month I traveled to Philadelphia for a work meeting, which was my first time in Pennsylvania. While in Phillie we hit up the delicious plant-based restaurant Vedge (which has an amazing cookbook) and also strolled around the famous Reading Terminal Market (where I of course ordering a cheesesteak #wheninrome). I will definitely be making my way back to Philadelphia to further explore the City of Brotherly Love in the future.

I also took a quick 18 hour trip to Los Angeles this month for work and was able to fit in dinner with friend at A-Frame in Culver City. I loved this Hawaiian-Asian fusion restaurant and would highly recommend it if you find yourself in the area. L.A. is one of my favorite cities to visit and I am always in awe of its delicious mix of food and culture.

Francesco and I have also made a commitment to explore more of the Bay Area this year. We live in Berkeley and you can regularly find us strolling around Oakland and San Francisco, but there are so many more areas to explore and we’re determined to see them all. We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary earlier in the month by having drinks at The Claremont Hotel and dinner at the renowned Chez Panisse. We also met friends at Hog Island Oyster Bar in the San Francisco Ferry Building for dinner, and tasted our way through the Livermore Wine Valley (the much cheaper and closer version of Napa and Sonoma). More soon on our Bay Area adventures!

fork in the road // a shift in focus for 2018

As of December 2017 Fork in the Road is officially two years old, but before July 2017 the blog was definitely more of a hobby and creative outlet. When I started FITR it was a way to share recipes and travel tips, as many friends and family were asking for recommendations for the places we had visited.

Over time the site has definitely shifted more toward food and recipes and after experimenting with different topics over the last two years, it’s become apparent where the site is headed: easy dinner recipes inspired by food and ingredients from around the world.

I’m an idea person and I’m interested in so many things, so the blog has seen its fair share of different topics (and too many design iterations to count!): food history, recipes, travel, sustainability, green eating, minimalism, how to become a dietitian. And while I still love all of these topics, its obvious that the globally-inspired recipes and travel tips are what YOU as the reader are interested in. They are the most popular posts on the blog by far and I’m excited to hone in and dig deeper.

So what should you expect from FITR in 2018? A focus on food and ingredients from countries we’ve visited and food and travel tips for our favorite locations. Interviews with interesting people in food and nutrition with a global focus. Guides to creating delicious and easy dinner recipes using most ingredients you can find at your stores, with a few new must-try favorites to add to your recipe rotations. And lots of lots of photos (and videos?) of food.

Thanks for joining us on this month’s Notes from the Road: January 2018! We’re excited to take this next step and we couldn’t do this without you all. I’d love to hear what you’d like to see in the coming year or what you’re working on creatively for yourself. Leave a comment or follow us on Instagram or Facebook!

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  1. I’m trying to feel better from a cold by taking spices. What are some good combos to take. Like garlic or honey & lemon. Etc.

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by. While I am a registered dietitian, I am not able to provide individual nutrition counseling here…but my go-to foods to eat when I have a cold are warm herbal teas with fresh lemon juice and a bit of honey. I always try to work in a bit of citrus for the vitamin C. Zinc is also known as a cold-fighter and I take it as a supplement, but some foods high in zinc are chickpeas, beans, broccoli, and meats like beef and chicken. Feel better!

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