2020 A Home-Cooks Moment

comments 8
Comté Grilled Cheese with Fig Jam and Black Winter Truffles on Homemade Sourdough Bread

Happy New Year! I feel refreshed and hopeful with every new year.  This year in particular because we seem to be rounding a corner with the vaccination roll out.  Our hearts have been especially heavy because my husband is an Emergency Room Physician and I am a Registered Nurse.  In the back of our minds we always knew a pandemic was possible but never truly believed it would happen.  In the beginning, we were glued to the news trying to understand what was happening like everyone else. We did our best to inform our family and friends of the severity of this virus.  We tried to be good examples on how to navigate our new way of living.  We questioned ourselves many times on how to best limit our social lives.  My son, a high school senior had dreams that this would be his year as a wrestler.  We witnessed his dreams crumble right before our eyes.  The frustration to keep them motivated to do well in school when everything felt so hopeless.  Polarizing politics, civil unrest, fires, earthquakes need I say more?  Our mental fortitude waxed and waned.  I know we have a long road ahead but I’m hopeful that we are heading in the right direction.  We know more about this virus than one year ago.  We are better at treating patients who get infected.  We now have a vaccine.

For those of us that cook and use it as a creative outlet.  This was our moment.  All of a sudden time was no longer an obstacle.  My weekends were free with nowhere to go.  Time alone in the kitchen always was my sanctuary.  I, like many others became a sourdough addict.  I was always the self-proclaimed non-baker.  I hated to measure and weigh.  I’m drawn to the fire and flame and improvisation of cooking.  I love the sound of my knife as I chop and the sound of sizzling when food hits the pan.  The pandemic actually gave me pause and opened up a side of me that I didn’t think existed.  Strangely, I wanted to slow down and learn to weigh in grams.  I didn’t mind waiting two days for one loaf of bread.  I mean this is insane but it has been the most rewarding thing I’ve learned in the kitchen in a very long time.  I feel more complete and well rounded.  A confident  home cook.  In hindsight, I am grateful that cooking was there for me.  Cooking kept my mind curious and excited.  With all the frustrations that 2020 ushered in, cooking became my center.  It kept the home stable and loved.  It reminded me that when the world seemed to be falling apart we should take hold of what we can control.  It helped me realize that I am the only person responsible for my happiness.  My faith and family held together and we are indeed closer.  I knew that when the year came to a close I wanted to end it well.  On New Years Eve I made myself a luxurious sandwich.  Black Winter Truffles with Comté cheese and fig jam with homemade sourdough bread.

This isn’t a recipe in the official sense.  It’s more of an idea with tips.  The ingredients are interchangeable and can be fluctuated as you see fit and desire.  Here is a list of the ingredients I used.

Sourdough Bread, KerryGold Salted Butter, Comté Cheese, Fig Jam and Black Winter Truffles


Mise en place-French for setting up.  Have everything ready to go.  Butter at room temp, grate cheese, shave proper amount of truffles

Butter both sides of bread

If bread has open crumb use larger slices so cheese doesn’t fall out

Cover skillet to help with melting


Cheese pull

Cheers to a better year from an RN and Home-Cook.

The Author

First off, I'm not a writer. This should be abundantly clear as you read this bio. I'm not a trained Chef either. I'm a Mother, Wife, Registered Nurse and Fraudulent Chef. Why a blog you ask? Well, I don't want to be a line cook, executive Chef, or a restaurant owner. I just want to cook what I want, when I want, and for who I want. Cooking is a creative outlet for me. I don't even consider myself a blogger because I don't blog often. So advertising dollars and web fame is not my motive. Finding the time to cook, write up a recipe, photograph it while maintaining a job and household is challenging. However, it has given me great joy over the years to see people carrying on dishes that I've developed. It's also an online cookbook that I can reflect on. My cooking is an expression of the strong women in my life and inspired dishes from my favorite restaurants. I'm a recipe impostor of dishes from restaurants I love. Furthermore, many of the recipes are spruced up from my childhood. I'm a Mexican-American, native Californian who has spent time in New York and married a first generation Costa Rican. My cooking reflects all of these aspects. Karen's Kitchen is not a Mexican food blog. As much as I'd like to fit into a pretty little red, white and green box. I find it too limiting and reject the notion of creating a Latino point of view because it makes a blog cohesive. So my recipes are all over the place, with no rhyme or reason. Home cooks never apologize for not graduating from culinary school. You will find that my recipes are easy to follow and geared for the home cook. They look amazing and will make you look like a Domestic God/Goddess in front of your loved ones. It's my hope that you find the love for cooking and make some of my recipes your own. Cheers to cooking, eating and surrounding yourself with lovely people.


  1. Monica Murillo says

    Love this Karen and love all of you! Thank you for sharing your passion for cooking with all of us and the encouragement for us to try too, while enjoying great food! I still remember our last dinner with you guys….cannot wait until we can do that again! I am so proud of you!! XOXO!

    Monica Murillo

    • Thank you for reading. Most people don’t take the time. I love and miss you all so much. Everything is gonna be alright it’s just going to take some time. Hang in there. Give my love to the Fam Bam!

  2. Carmen says

    I am very proud of you 💖 I cannot wait to try this recipe. God bless you and your family cheers to 2021

  3. Janie Lugo says

    Hi Karen,
    Happy New Karen Again!
    I love what you wrote about starting the New Year. As your Mom I couldn’t be more proud of the woman you’d become not only a Godly woman, a good wife, mother, daughter, nurse and kind and loving to all, but on top of all those special qualities and a cook with so much passion who loves to cook for her family and friends. I remember when you lived in New York your passion of cooking was born. I can’t wait to be able to visit again and spend time together and enjoy your new recipe’s.
    Every thing that you have made has been delicious, and I don’t say that because I’m your Mom.
    I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m drooling just watching the video. Looks soooo good…..
    Love you!
    A Proud Mom

  4. Lina says

    Happy New year my Beautiful Friend! I absolutely love seeing your posts! Your recipes are amazing and your pictures are beautiful! You are such a inspiration to me, to my love of cooking at home and to my soul! You make me remember to think of myself and what I love to do.. and that is to cook my heart out! Love you, and all that you do 💚

  5. Lina,
    Hello there gorgeous! We are of the same spirit. We are cut from the same cloth. You are living your dream, I still haven’t fully realized mine. I’m safe here. I’m totally risk averse. You however are not and you inspire me too. Look forward to sitting down together and enjoying a meal we both had our hands on! Cheers to 2021! Love you girl!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s