It's Been a Good Year

Tomorrow's my birthday.

It's time for me to take stock of my previous year, decipher what my one-year-older self might discover, and see where this coming year might take me. I'm also posting my favorite recipe for a great fritatta, Happy Birthday to Me!

I've had a great time this past year writing and re-discovering photography-for-photography's sake, just like in college. Working as a photo art director day-in and day-out, I figured I was getting my fill of photography, and felt incredibly lucky that I landed (and have held onto for the past 11 years) a wonderful job in a very small field, that utilized my BFA in photography.

What I hadn't realized, was that my own photography, which had been shelved for the past 20 years, was an outlet that I missed. It's one thing to tell the photography and stylist how you'd like a shot to look (and I work in the fashion industry for my day job). It's an entirely different thing to be in complete control of a shot: content, lighting, styling, angles, everything. This is my place, where I don't have to negotiate with anyone, don't need to explain why I want something a certain way. It's a haven for me, that also allows me to write to my heart's content.

With my blog, I've loved meeting new people and reconnecting with friends. I have also been given many impromptu lessons by my photo-industry friends, who I can't thank enough. The support, love and guidance that all my friends have shown me this past year has made me realize how many great people I have in my life. And, how many people are willing to eat my thousands of dishes the day after a shoot.

My daughter has grown, she turns thirteen the day after my birthday, into a lovely young lady. There are times when I just can't figure out what demon took over her, but for the most part, she's still entertaining to be around, and has taken up chess and singing. Oh, and, she's almost as tall as me. Yes, at only 5'1",  it's not such a big feat, but she's getting there faster than I did, which means that my hope that she'll make it to 5'6" or taller might come true. (In case you were wondering, I chose 5'6" because in general, pants are made for that height, so she'd never have to have her pants shortened, like I do :).

For the coming year, here are my to-do's. I'm not calling them resolutions or goals or anything like that. Too serious. Just a list of things I'd be thrilled to do.

Writing and Shooting:  I'm going to keep writing and shooting, with an eye towards cultivating some paid work. A book would be ideal, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. There will be, I hope, many new opportunities to meet more people and get more input on my work.

Friends I love: I want to spend more time with my friends, too, somehow integrating them into the few hours I have left after the full-time job, the food projects and time with my daughter. It will somehow happen, even if friends will need to participate in my shoots when they join us for dinner.

Dance!  There will be more dancing. Not for everyone, that's just a goal for me, but I'd be happy if others want to come along. I think I'll get into some kind of performance again (a few years ago it was samba, including a jaunt down Mission St. as part of the Carnaval Parade). At the very least, a combination of weekly classes and Wii Zumba should do the trick.

So, I hope that you will join me periodically in pursuing my to-do list.

And, make this fritatta while you're at it.

Fritatta A la Gran Fran

serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a side-dish and 1 or 2 as many, many meals.


  • 2 Russet potatoes peeled and sliced thin
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

You will need a broiler-proof non-reactive deep skillet.


  • Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and swirl it around to coat the sides and bottom of the pan.
  • Place potatoes in pan, one at a time to create one layer. Do not crowd them. This will make a nice base for the Fritatta.
  • Cook the potatoes over medium heat until they are browned, about 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and cook another 5 to 8minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn.
  • Crack 5 eggs into a bowl and mix them as if you’re making scrambled eggs. Be sure to break up all the yolks and get them all mixed together well. Add salt to taste, but not too much.
  • When the potatoes are cooked on both sides, sprinkle them gently with salt. Pour the beaten eggs over the potatoes. Move the pan around to distribute the eggs evenly. After a minute or two, slide a spatula around the sides of the pan and tilt the pan so the raw eggs run into the space that the spatula created.
  • Keep the pan on the flame for 3 minutes or so, shaking the pan gently, until the eggs begin to set to about an inch around the circumference of the fritata.
  • Set the broiler for 3 minutes. Place pan under the broiler and watch carefully as top of eggs get bubbly, firm, and golden, until the top is well browned.
  • Remove from oven. Place a serving plate on top of the pan, using oven mitts, grab the pan and plate and flip the Fritatta out onto the plate.

Enjoy hot, warm, cold, or at room temperature. Wonderful with a ripe tomato salad sprinkled with finely minced scallions, a dusting of kosher salt, and a good dollop of olive oil (this is Gran Fran's addendum to the above recipe).