Happy New Year everyone!
Wishing you all a fantastic, prosperous, healthy and delicious 2016! The last couple of weeks of 2015 were relaxing, with lots of family time, play time, relax time and food time - it was just the most ideal way to end a great year. 2015 was indeed grand! Before we dive into this sparkling new year it is a good time to take a moment to reflect, appreciate and celebrate the year gone by.
I said the same thing in my Retrospective 2014 - but 2015 propelled past me at the speed of sound! It certainly was a year with many highs! My core word for 2015 was “resolute” and back then I wrote:
steadfast, firm, purposeful, determined, unwavering
All of which I can very well wrap my head around and would like to apply to my daily life.
- Steadfast in my faith and belief
- Firm in my thoughts
- Purposeful goals to follow
- Determination to follow through those goals
- Unwavering courage to step out of the box
To help me shape this big goal I had 3 core desires: shakti, courageous and freedom. I wrote:
As I look at these words they lift me up and give me motivation and inspiration. I will be asking myself as I progress through 2015 how my decisions, ideas and choices make me feel and if they correspond to my 3 core desires.
I do not make resolutions instead I choose a core word and 3 core desires that act like my beacon guiding me through the year. I followed through every step of the way making 2015 a year that unfolded in a kaleidoscope of colors. It was a year of fun, enlightenment, empowerment and humbleness.
What my core word and desires for 2016 are, I’ll be sharing in my next post but I look forward to breaking out this year!
January 2015 chimed in on a pretty magnificent note with quite a few highlights following each other.
- The food project I was working with Thüringen Entdecken (Thuringen Tourist Board) continued throughout 2015. My recipe, article and images for one particular project Thuringia meets Asia: Dumpling Sushi created several waves, dividing Thuringia in two - even Germany’s biggest paper came over to interview me!
- Talented friends kicked-off a food project World-Eats Digest and together with the extremely talented Nitin Kapoor, Anh Nguyen and Bron Marshall our work was exhibited under the title "The beauty of a single ingredient".
- I had the spectacular opportunity towards the end of the month to work with Bauknecht in Cologne during the LivingKitchen exhibition. I was hired to give a 1-day food styling workshop to several German bloggers. My workplace for the day simply rocked!
- I could not complain about this workplace either!
- Favorite recipe in January was this fruity and spicy wild herbed pumpkin and persimmon soup
- Favorite Instagram: hyacinths, tulips and figs brightening my Sunday!
- I celebrated 9 years of blogging with this fitting fruity and colorful photographed Vanilla infused Kumquat Marmalade Semolina Cake
- My Cooking School series went to Japan and we covered Ramen to the finest of details!
- Together with Soeren we rocked to the sound of Bryan Adams and the Summer of 69’
- Favorite recipe my Lamb Balti
- Favorite Instagram image: 6-minute soft boiled egg with hummus on my carrot, nut, seed flourless bread, buttery wholewheat toast with homemade kumquat marmalade, tulsi mint tea
- I went on air and was interviewed by the lovely Sina Peschke of the radio station LandesWelle Thüringen and we talked about packing healthy lunches for the kids.
- Work continued to be amazing as I travelled to some stunning locations in my region. Developing, writing and photographing exciting topics kept me on a constant high!
- With my big breakfast post I intended to make us all breakfast champions! It was also my first post on my blog featuring only images taken with my smartphone for Instagram.
- Everyone wanted a slice of my flourless carrot mutli-seed and nut bread
- Favorite Instagram: A midweek treat! School's out for a day and we brunched in style! Can you spot the photo bomb?
- In April it snowed and that brought my spirits down. A few weeks later however we were indulging magnificently in the sun!
- Getting ready for Easter with a few photo shoots of a cute Easter lamb and I made a sweet challah with orange and pistachios
- I flew to Vienna for my first workshop in 2015 and spend time with these lovely ladies Jeanne Horak-Druiff and Monika Kogler.
- Workwise I was travelling in Germany and shooting delectable sweet treats but also creating and shooting some exquisite recipes for my clients
- My favorite recipe was a piquant Mexican-Greek infusion with the Gyros style Tacos and Tzatziki
- There were many great Instagram shots this month but two of my favorite were this awesome Viennese feast to celebrate the end of the workshop and this image of Jeanne and me
- The Vienna workshop was so imperial - we had so much fun with lots of good food, great laughter and some awesome participants.
- I continued to travel for my clients, discovering new regions and lots of great ingredients. It was thrilling to say the least as it got my creativity flowing in all aspects. writing, recipe developing and of course photography!
- I got back on the plane heading out to London for the next food photography workshop! Totally stoked to be seeing the awesomest of friends again and meeting a long time virtual friend for the first time - Andrew you are a star!
- I got hired to shoot for a Michelin Star chef for a magazine feature! I spent the most awesome day shooting on location with some very talented people and then am rewarded with death by chocolate by the Chef!
- Between the red carpet in Cannes and a wild Austrian artist you will find humble ole me on Euromaxx TV
- The James Beard Foundation really liked my Spring breakfast of champions and was featured on their Instagram for #jbfspring meals!
- Favorite recipe was this delightful Dandelion Avocado Gazpacho with Deep-water Prawns
- Favorite Instagram: once again it was a fun month and my favorites have got to be this crazy #LondonFoto15 group and cocktails at the Ritz with another bunch of fab ladies!
- I celebrated my 43rd birthday and cake was the staple that day!
- Sweet dreams are made of these and these - what work looked like on many days this month!
- One of my favorite on-location shoots and jobs was visiting the asparagus farm. On this beautiful June day I spent the day learning so much about the queen of vegetables. The White Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Vanilla Kissed Salmon Steaks was a wonderful brust of flavours!
- I recapped the London workshop, which was exhilarating and so much fun. Crazy participants with so much talent and laughter!
- More fun work as I created and shot a series of fruity smooties!
- My mentorship over at The Compelling Image was going very well and my student was creating some great shots for her portfolio!
- According to Sarah Sifton Food Editor of The New York Times "Photography is hugely important in the recipe game ... Food styling truly has become an integral part of any food-related operation." I was selected as one of 10 most droolworthy Instagram accounts that "show just how beautiful food can look when styled accordingly"
- We enjoyed what was one of the hottest summers ever with lots of lavish barbecues and cocktails!
- I travelled some more discovering and shooting on-location at some gorgeous places!
- The dignified German magazine Der Feinschmecker who commissioned me to shoot with the Michelin Star chef featured my image in their June edition
- Favorite Instagram of the lush and fresh peas on white
- Favorite recipe of the month was my Indian feast to mark my travels to India the following month!
- I travelled to India! After 26 years I went back to my homeland and for the first time taking my son and husband with me! It was a mix of emotions, reliving old memories, having one of the best family reunions ever, eating our way through cities we visited and getting back in touch with my spiritual self. July was all about Incredible India - my camera worked over time and my senses were alive every precious moment!
- My darling baby cousin got married and we celebrated in Pune for 4 consecutive days!
- My birth city Bombay welcomed me with color and freshness!
- We ate like the Rajputs in Udaipur!
- The Taj Mahal at sunrise blew me away!
- A memorable family selfie ever!
- Reaching the peak of our travels. Finally I made it to our holy Golden Temple.
- Eating our way through Amristar with the best yet humble Punjabi feasts.
- Recipe of the month the summer herb and fruit smoothies I created for my client.
- Back in Germany I was on the road again travelling for my client. Working on-location in such serene surroundings was envigorating after the hustle and bustle of India!
- I spent most of August writing the most extensive and emotional travelogue - Incredible India: Colors, Light and People. With many tips and suggestions of travelling in India!
- My client photography projects took me to wonderful locations and events with a picinic at the vineyards and canoeing on the Saale river
- My son became a teenager and got his braces!
- The heat was on as summer sizzled away and almost all our meals were taken outdoors.
- But some like my favorite recipe in July were taken indoors: Summer Risotto with Peas Zucchini Avocado and Lemon Tarragon Sander Fillet
- Favorite Instagram commemorating wine season
- Summer turned into Autumn, but the heat was still relentless. I continued to travel Thuringia on client projects visiting wine festivals and creating more beautiful recipes
- I wrote a mindful piece on the “wellness” trend and healthy eating - lots of great tips and the recipe for Zucchini Noodles with Garlic Shrimps, and Olive Caper Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce and Feta Cheese is filled with goodness and tastes.
- Said goodbye to the last of the cherries with my Cherry Meringue Tart
- Visited the International Automoblie Exhibition in Frankfurt and while my boys had eyes only for the cars I could not stop drooling over the culinary highlights.
- Favorite recipe was certainly this wine braised herb chicken with roasted grapes
- Favorite Instagram Thai style creamy pumpkin soup
- Back on the plane in October heading to Dubai again to spend time with my parents, connect with some good friends and for my annual Dubai Food Photography and Styling Workshop
- Dubai is always very special as my parents, brother and we come together and spend some quality time with each other. This year was more special as my mum celebrated a big round birthday! (cannot disclose LOL!)
- The food photography workshop together with my talented friend Dima Sharif is always high powered. We divide it into two parts: one for the professional chefs and restaurateurs and the 2-day course for amateurs and professionals in the food business.
- Together with the awesome Chef Russell of Lafayette Gourmet there is always something stunning to indulge in and photograph!
- Dubai just buzzes with energy!
- Lots of family time strolling the old souks and capturing the light, meandering on the creek in an abra, often eating well and for the first time not so well. Always gaping at the opulence!
- November arrived in a hearbeat and with it the darker time of year. The temperatures were so mild it felt more like early spring. This all inspired my photography as I shot lots of deeper, darker and richer yet colorful and lighter food.
- I was back behind the camera shooting for clients and for some favorite food projects.
- I also took place in front of the camera! Together with the German TV station MDR we shot a film in Leipzig on the topic on indulgence and what food means. It was a long day but so much fun! We created a humble yet brilliant dish with simply good and pure ingredients!
- Paris hurt and the world wept!
- This guy has been the love of my life for 17 years!
- And I found this guy in an old vintage store and brought him home!
- I binged on variations of this dish Skyr with green tea honey poached pears
- Favorite recipe was my festive jewelled Cauliflower Couscous with Baharat Spice Fennel Seeds, Pumpkin, Almonds and Cranberries
- Favorite Instagram Just pears on black!
- The sweetest of all months and my kitchen represented this on all the way!
- I baked a decadent Chocolate Gianduia Stollen With Cranberries and Papaya
- There were enough cookies here to feed the neighborhood - I think I did! It was a fun shoot with lots of great iconic Christmas cookies and edible gift ideas.
- The was a naughty Butterscotch Pudding with Prunes and Walnuts and a Whisky Sauce which was my favorite recipe of the month
- I shot in the winter darkness, using the last light of the day and the raw vegetable salad was vibrant and beautifully lit. Shame I could not see much in my studio though!
- Some excitement as Dima and I released the first few images of the long awaited cookbook we worked on together back in 2013!
It has been a big year filled to the brim with many highlights almost no lows and a year that found me in a very happy place. Resolutely I moved forward but not stubbornly - I made changes where necessary and persevered on the new course. It was a year that family ties got stronger and friendships more meaningful. It was a year where I focussed on the good and made sure that the bad was stopped old in its tracks. I reduced superficial friendships and concentrated on those who meant more to me. It was liberating.
Throughout the year I have always had the support of many people around me, who inspire me and encourage me, advice me and critique me. My year would not be shaped like it was without their unconditional love and support. From my family - parents, husband and son to my dear friends - I thank you always and excuse me if I do not say it often enough you all mean the world to me.
Not just my partners and colleagues on various workshops and projects but some truly special friends. Jeanne, Simone and Dima. Thank you for being a part of my roller coaster ride!
Finally I cannot end a recount of the year without a massive thanks to all my readers, freinds and followers who share my year on my blog and across my social media platforms with me. New friendships are budding and new ideas are being worked on. This space is running on 10 years now and there are many of you that are around from the early years. Your faith and loyalty is always cherished - please know that.
Here’s to releasing 2016 and letting it run free to grow into an even more spectacular year! I hope you will be a part of it!
Maybe we will see each other in the wonderful Rome hills and Experience a 2-day retreat in the heart of the Italian countryside with me. Set your goals and join my for a fantastic food photography ans styling retreat.
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2016 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First