The Chef and I have been lounging in bed until noon, looking at recipes in Gourmet magazine, and contemplating homemade pomegranate marshmallows, artichoke ravioli made out of potato slices, and every recipe out of Jamie’s Italy. Long walks, movies until late at night, laughing over the newspaper, and even talking about the wedding and its planning. Yeah, I know. I met the Chef, we’re deeply in love, I got a book deal, and I made my deadline. You probably don’t want to hear another bit of my good news. However, I have to interrupt this planned week of silence to announce something that floors me. Again. Over at WellFed, the Food Blog Awards for 2006 have been announced. To my delight, I find that I have been nominated for Best Food Blog, with a Theme. Having one this award last year, I never expected that I would be nominated again for the same award. Thank you. The theme of this website certainly starts with living gluten-free. However, what I have found — particularly this year — that in writing about gluten-free, I am simply writing about living. And since April, that means writing about loving. My dear little blog has also been nominated for another award, one that particularly moves me: best food blog post. My YES post the one where I announced how the Chef and I fell in love, deeply and immediately. It is also where I revealed that we are going to be married this summer. Most importantly, I wrote it, in the first draft, entirely for the two of us. That we allowed the outside world to read it was a secondary decision. That piece of writing was my anniversary present to him. We really do have a love affair with food. It cannot be a surprise — and thus I hope I am not giving anything away — to say that the last chapter of my book is, in some large part, about the Chef. In fact, I finished wrote the last words of that chapter in the kitchen of his restaurant, last week. After writing and editing and shaping the book, I saved my favorite chapter for the last. About 3 pm, just two hours before dinner service, it was time for the last scene in the book. It will be entirely new to readers of the blog — in fact, at least half the book is prose and stories I wrote in the past four months, which has not shown up on the blog. I cannot tell you the ending now. But suffice it to say that it felt right. There I was, in the kitchen of his restaurant, my laptop propped up on the sink, writing the last words of my first book, while he simmered rabbit stock and roasted pork tenderloin to my side. We both burst into happy tears when I had finished. The YES post served as an inspiration for that last chapter. This is why I feel so humbled and honored to have been nominated for both of these awards, but particularly the one for best post. That was — I have to say it, because it is no exaggeration — the most beautiful writing experience of my life. So, if you have read the piece, and it opened something in you, well….feel free to go here to vote for it. Other than that, please revel in the good news for other bloggers. There are so many of us out here, writing our hearts out, and trying to capture our love of food in words and photos. My dear friend Tara is nominated in the same category as me, for a wonderful post she wrote called Diary of a Mad Foodblogger. Genius. And Molly? Well, dear Molly announced the other day that she has been given a book deal from Simon and Schuster. I’ve been sitting on this news for weeks, as I was happy and happier to help her through the process. And now, Molly has again been nominated for Best Food Blog. She’s too modest to announce it for herself. But me? I can. Go vote for Molly. Seriously. Me? Well, as silly and hackneyed as it sounds, I truly am humbled to have been nominated. I’ve been so out of the food blogging loop this year. It’s lovely to know that you’re all out there still noticing. (And by the way, on that note — whoa! happy, happy days it has been, reading all your comments on the fact that I finished my book. Seriously — thank you.) Okay, consider this a little interruption. It’s time to go back to the Chef. He’s making chicken cacciatore from scratch, the Italian way. I know. I’ll be quiet now. See you next week, everyone.