I went down to the river last night.

Yesterday my brother Ben came up with his wife Amber and their son Xado, so we went done to Purdons crossing on the Yuba River and had a camp out. I haven’t slept so good in a quite a while, due to having a new born baby in the house, so I was very greatful to sleep under the stars. The weather was perfect, just right I would have to say. I went for a swim in the river this morning, such a nice way to start the day.

Life is going pretty good now, I have my daughter with me half the time and work is going great. It really is nice to be cooking again. I missed using my talents very much. Cooking has been a passion of mine for so long, I don’t think that it will ever really go away. I good with this, because you have to be passionate about something.

I also found out today that a young friend of mine took his life on Saturday. Adam Kennedy was a good man, he worked for me at my restaurant for a year and half. I’m deeply saddened by this, but I know his whole life was a struggle. This is the second friend this year to go this way, so it’s really making me wonder whats going on. I’m greatful I have the joy in my life that I do, because this is what keeps us on the right track. Peace to my friend, I hope it’s better now.

I started my new job today!

Back to work in Nevada City, and back to work in the restaurant business. I started at “Posh Nosh” today, and I had a blast! It’s nice to be back doing what I know and love, because cooking is such a part of me now. I’ve been doing it so long, and in the end I will probably still be doing it. I’ve had a goal for many years to become a master chef, and some day I may even make it there. I’m not sure that I will accomplish this working at Posh Nosh, but hey, it’s good to be working and cooking again anyways.

I’m not too totally sure of how this will effect my travels and adventures, but I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to keep it going. Now that I’m back in the area I’ve been able to see it in a whole different light, so I expect to see some different places and a fresh look at some places I’ve been a few times.

How about a cheese cake recipe for the road?

Cheese Cake

crust
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup ground nuts
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine
mix together with hands and press into a 10″ cheesecake pan, covering bottom and 1″ up the sides. set aside.

filling
3 (8oz) packages Philadelphia cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 pint sour cream

Cream sugar and cheese until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating only until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into cheesecake pan.
Bake at 325 for 1 hour, turn of heat. Leave in oven with door closed for 1 additional hour.
Cool completely and refrigerate at least an hour before removing from pan.

Last Tuesday at 8:32 am my wife gave birth to the newest member of the family. Elijah Clayton Collins was born at our home in Colorado in a kid swimming pool in the living room. Both mom and baby were perfectly healthy and this was an amazing experience for all of us. We were truly blessed, because not only were we privileged enough to have a healthy baby, but we had an amazing midwife whom we respect very much. For anyone thinking of having a baby in the future I would highly recommend this path. Hospitals are not for me or my wife, so this was truly a dream come true for both of us. Everything is so much less stressful when you are at home and comfortable, rather than at a hospital with everything cold and strange.

I’ll leave with a couple more pics of the boy. Enjoy