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February 2019 Newsletter

January was a pretty big month for me. I was a little quiet online as I glided (or panicked) before finishing up my next book, which is going to be released in the Spring of 2020. It's a subject that I became so passionate about, that I spent 1 1/2 years researching, tasting, eating, drinking, traveling, and writing, to share.

When I write a book, I don't just open my computer every once in a while and jot something down. Or cook up a recipe. I live it. My whole life becomes my book and it becomes more than just a book: it's an obsession.

(And if you don't believe me, ask my partner, who puts up with me for the two year-process of putting together a book.)

I'll share more information closer to the release date, and will let you know when the book is available for pre-order. Right now, I'm on vacation and taking a little blog break while I recharge and refresh my batteries. Speaking of which, if you have trouble dialing down (like I do), I've been using the Calm app. That's not a sponsored link and it's not a free app, but I've been using the "Guided Nap" stories and the sleep options, too, and found them quite helpful. The meditation sessions are also very good, too.

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I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately, and how much things have changed. When I started, I was just writing and sharing stories and recipes. (If you remember that far back, some of them were pretty goofy!) Then others joined in, doing the same, and we all had fun playing in the digital sandbox, and we invited readers to join us. Over the years, some of the people that started, have dwindled away. The rest of us adapted over the years to the new technology, the attention, cameraderie, relationship with readers, and the excitement that this new (at the time) medium offered us. (And new people came on board, with different objectives, and ambitions, than we did.)

With it all, came changes to technology, social media, being search engines-friendly so people can find your recipes, and, of course...sharing the joy of cooking, shopping, with glimpses into French culture. I sharing recipes the most, but I also like interaction with readers, and others who share my passion.

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I read a couple of things recently that addressed how much has changed. Two veteran bloggers decided to call it quits. One was Tavi Gevinson, who started her blog when she was just 15 years old. (Geez, when I was 15, I was playing hide-and-seek with the other kids in the neighborhood.) Her blog became wildly successful and after growing up along with her blog, she wrote a lengthy, final post about stopping Rookie. It brought up a lot of interesting points and is a long read, but worth it, even if you're just a reader of blogs and not a blogger.

Another good read by someone who decided it was time to stop was by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. Grace wasn't just someone who launched a style blog, but she was incredibly supportive of women working, individual entrepreneurship, as well as a featuring accessible style and design. We had an exchange many years ago and she was very (very) generous with advice and encouragement. I had so much respect for her after that.

(I did a video in Paris for Design*Sponge back in 2010. You can watch it here.)

In a post, 2019: Our Final Year, Grace decided to go rogue and spend her final months doing whatever she felt like, and taking her blog in whatever direction she wants to. She was also interviewed by The House that Lars Built where she also talks about what changed and why she's moving on.

Both talked about the conflicts about having sponsors and investors. And the challenges of being online these days, too. I face some of those challenges, too (no one mentioned typos, but those vex me too), and think others who are sometimes overwhelmed by it all will find some choice nuggets of life wisdom in their farewell messages.

In other news...well, not much to report since I'm on vacation. Yay! I'll be posting some pictures on my Instagram account, and will be back shortly.

A bientôt,
- David

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Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

These Spiced Candied Almonds (above) are like the most amazing granola you've ever had, without all the stuff they tell you that you have to put in your granola, but that you don't really care about. It's like having only the good parts. (You know, the pieces you pick out and eat before everyone else gets to the granola.)

Did I finally make friends with my slow-cooker? Find out in Slow, as it goes...

This fast, warming Escarole Soup with Meatballs and Beans is especially nourishing with little meatballs floating in it, but it can go vegetarian (or vegan) too!

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