I’m fairly sure some may have noticed that I really have not been as active as i normally am. Well I can explain what I’ve been up to. My one year birthday is approaching so I have worked on making changes to my blog. For one I am not moving away from my family here on Word Press, though I have burned through the retina in my eyes from the endless and tiresome “theme searching”. You all know what I mean, or perhaps I’m too picky or anal on how I’d like my page to look, and I’ve never been happy with it.
I also have done some heavy thinking, soul-searching the last few weeks, as I see how much my site has grown in the last year, and where I’d like to see myself a year from now. I believe setting goals are important as they can prevent one from falling into a mundane routine. My original goal a year ago was to have 500 followers in a year, and I surpassed that goal by 700. What started out as a blog of sharing recipes has evolved into much more as when i got sick for the first time in my life, my inner awareness of being healthy came to light. Last November I auditioned in Los Angeles for Master Chef, season four. I got the opportunity to meet and shake hands with Chef Ramsey and I passed the first phase with my “Southern Stuffed Pie” and salted bourbon caramel dipping sauce. Myself and others who had also passed were in another waiting area for the next phase. It was there that I tanked and blew serious chunks in “The Tank Room”. In this phase small groups of 7-9 people get interviewed as a group by the producers/casting agents. From here only one or two would be asked to return for an on-camera interview getting one closer to the final 100.
They say things happen for a reason. I’ll admit I felt bitter about what took place a year ago and I really did not elaborate on what exactly took place, nor will I now. But by the time your done reading this post you should have a general idea of what went down. I can honestly reflect back and see that I clearly was not ready mentally, and was all over the place with my answers in the tank room, which left me vulnerable and open prey. There is no one to blame as this a competition and my moment of weakness did me in. My family and I were still grieving from losing two family members a mere three weeks apart, just a few months before. And a dear friend of mine from high school was battling terminal brain cancer, which today I am happy to say she is a miracle and in remission.
I am a strong person by nature mentally and very competitive. I’ve worked in Auto finance, specifically loan servicing. I’ll be even more specific, Mid stage collections, legal, BK’s and repossession. Not an easy job as one needs to have “thick skin”. Well last year I lacked not only my thick skin but my passion, fire and inner bitch that would have gotten me through this phase.
Having an illness and getting sick has been for me a life altering experience. As hard as its been at times, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am stable, sixty pounds lighter, healthier and chock full of energy at 47.
But as I stated earlier, things happen for a reason, as I am mentally stronger than I’ve ever been in my entire life.My outlook on everything has changed, my fire, passion and fight to go straight for “the jugular” is back.I have never been the type to throw another person under the bus, but this time I am ready to dodge that bus, and get my apron. So mark your calendars!!
Clarissa Ellis grew up learning to cook with her mom. In a time where traditional home-cooked food was going out of style, Clarissa learned to love and make those simple 'comfort foods' and family favorites. As she grew - and her mom got busier with long work hours, Clarissa supported her mom by taking over most of the cooking duties around the home. By the time Clarissa started high school - she had absorbed her mother's approach to traditional, homestyle Italian dishes; and thanks to So Cal's great weather year round... a love of cooking on the grill.
Fast forward 30 years and Clarissa has never stopped cooking. She continued to explore food, learning more from So Cal's amazing cultural variety, trying things out on her family and her friends... and always learning. Never content to merely cook a good meal, Clarissa developed the habit of talking sharing her ideas with family, friends and coworkers.
After a lifetime of learning and experimenting, Clarissa's love affair with traditional Italian cooking, and 'comfort foods' has grown into a robust, creative and cross-cultural approach to cooking that still manages to remain 'accessible' to the rest of us.
Now Clarissa brings her experience and her approach online through her blog - giving all of us a chance give ourselves, our friends and our family the benefits of a lifetime of passion and joy in cooking simply great meals.