One Year Ago

This time last year I had a crazy idea. I liked to cook, and I liked to be online, and I liked to take pictures. I thought, “I should put all of this together and try something… new”. So I created this blog and began to document all of my trials in the kitchen. It’s been fun- beyond fun… but I’ve been so lazy this summer!

Luckily, my laziness only extended to getting in front of the computer to blog, but not to cooking in general, because boy did I cook this summer! My biggest cooking challenge? No oven! So I needed to get creative with my stove and find lots of way to keep myself cool.

Peach Ice Cream

My biggest accomplishment this summer? Ice creams and sorbets! Thanks to an awesome Christmas present (thanks, Steve!), I was able to try out tons of different Icy treats. My faves? Peach Ice cream was decadent and slightly reminiscent of the yummy stuff me and my mom love to buy in bucket loads down by Gaffney, SC. Chocolate sorbet was another winner. What a treat!! Icey-cold chocolatey goodness… and sorbet means no fatty cream!! It was wonderful. Third-prize ribbon goes to the rhubarb ice cream which was sweet, tangy, and velvety. It’s a must for next summer. I know I’ll be craving it once those first signs of summer start to pop up next year.

My Peaches in their ice bath

Another biggie for me this summer was burgers. I became a burger-holic. Pesto burgers, Italian burgers, All-American burgers, Down-south burgers, BBQ burgers, Mexican burgers, Turkey burgers… I was obsessed. And I became quite the perfectionist. I truly believe, and I mean this sincerely, that I perfected a moist and delicious turkey burger this summer. (My award is still in the mail.) But seriously, I could not get enough of burgers- and that was absolutely not a bad thing!

My Perfect Turkey Burgers with Avocado and Feta Salad

I also got big into using my grill pan to make my new fave: chimichurri skirt steak. I’m in love!! And you all know how much I love my parsley- this recipe brings it to another level. Especially when I was receiving bi-monthly fresh care packages from my dad the farmer. My dad loves to grow his vegetables and herbs in his huge garden and gifted me with, among other yummy things, a huge bag full of parsley. I used that whole bag the next day, and when I let my dad know he was shocked! That was a huge bag of parsley!! And that was a delicious chimichurri sauce!

The yummy Chimichurri Sauce

All in all, it was a good summer. I’m looking forward to a fall full of cooking and full of blogging.

It’s Official!!!


So even though I’ve been a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher for a few months now, a few weeks ago I got the coveted email telling me I could now order my MOO business cards. A few day of patience and I received my cards in the mail:

Aren’t they cute? I love them, and to me they’re so much more than cute business cards. They signify the last few months that I’ve spent immersing myself in blogging and cooking, virtually meeting some amazing bloggers and readers, and being able to share so much about myself and family… and this is only just the beginning!

I’m a Winner!!

What am I doing on here? Why am I writing a blog post? What’s wrong with me? Didn’t I get enough last month??

No! And, as a treat for being so good last month, I won a prize! You heard me- I won a prize for participating in NABloPoMo. Aren’t I lucky?

I won a handmade semi-precious stone earrings and necklace from Mim at Mim’s Muddle. I have the choice of these awesome prizes:

A) Moukaite jasper necklace with gold-plated beads, bead caps and toggle clasp. Length 49.5cm. With matching earrings.
Moukaite jasper necklaceMoukaite jasper earrings
Click on the photos for bigger images.

B) Snowflake obsidian and riverstone necklace with silver plated bead caps and sterling silver toggle clasp. Length ~49cm. With matching earrings.
Snowflake obsidian and riverstone necklaceSnowflake obsidian and riverstone earrings
Click on the photos for bigger images.

C) Sodalite and riverstone necklace with pewter beads and sterling silver toggle clasp. Length 52 cm. With matching earrings.
Sodalite and riverstone necklaceSodalite and riverstone earrings

So I thought about it all night and my final choice is: (A) The Moukaite jasper necklace with gold-plated beads, bead caps, and toggle clasp, with matching earrings. Mim made these from scratch which makes them ultra special and absolutely unique. Thanks for being so generous Mim!

30 Posts in 30 Days

I did it! 30 Posts in 30 days!

And don’t worry- even though I won’t be posting every day (because that was crazy!!!), this didn’t turn me off from blogging in general.

Blogging has really become a part of my life. I can’t wait to share more recipes and stories here as the days go on.

Shopping Day!

A few posts ago I told you about my shopping habits. Today, I was totally prepared, with list in hand and circular in bag, to get everything I needed and try to stay within my lines. But, as usual, I found myself veering off the track here and there. So I thought it would be fun if I shared with you some of my food purchases and a few of my distractions this week.

I obviously needed to get a few basics for Thanksgiving. I started out saying I would only cook a side dish and a dessert but ended up signing myself up for a few courses. Here’s the plan (let’s see if it actually happens):

1. Macaroni and Cheese

2. Cornbread

3. Eggplant Lasagna

4. Cranberry Sauce

It’s not too much- but more than I’ve ever made for any holiday so I’m really excited to see how it all comes together.

But that’s not all I purchased today. I can’t help it-  I love food, I get excited and my stomach and curiosity move quicker than my logic. I usually get home and go: “What was I thinking?”.

For example, I bought Persimmons. As I was checking out, my check-out girl asked me: “What do these taste like?” and I said “I don’t know.” And that’s why I bought them. Look at them:

Aren’t they pretty? I have no idea what they taste like, if you eat them as a fruit or cook with them, but I will soon find out.

I also got some Apple Butter when I went to get some peanut butter. I’ve never had apple butter and am always looking for different things to have for breakfast. Let’s see if some apple butter spread over toast is a win.

I also found myself buying some canned chilies. I had no clue what I would make with them but always wanted to use chilies in a recipe and was shocked to find them in my tiny supermarket.

I ended up using one of the chiles tonight to make chili, something I’ve been dying to make in forever, and WHOA! It turned out great!! I plan on posting that recipe tomorrow. It was super simple and packed with lots of flavor!I also can’t wait to make and post the recipe to the eggplant lasagna (it’s just amazing). It should be a great week for food and for cooking!

Going strong… sort of

FoodCandy
That’s my post!!

I’m a third of the way into NaBloPoMo and things here are still moving along. More than posting, I’m having fun with the whole NaBloPoMo community. I’m even having fun saying NaBloPoMo (and spelling it). I got a fun surprise in my mailbox this morning and wanted to share. FoodCandy featured my Affogato post on their main page as a Featured Blog Post. Very cool guys and thanks for the shout out! And now I get to follow that up with today’s cooking disappointment…

I had planned to post my mid-week blues cure: A knock-your-socks-off Steak and Potatoes Wednesday night dinner. I was pumped all day long to come home, cook up an awesome steak and potato gratin, and write a post about how cooking mid-week can really brighten up your mood and liven up your night.

Instead, I came home after a taxing day at work (I had lunch at 2:30!!), a long train ride home (Gotta love the MTA!) and had zero energy to cook up a steak dinner. I barely had enough energy to cook period- but I did. I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich and had it with a steaming hot cup of coffee. I’ve got to say, it was good. Really, really good. I mean, it took 10 minutes total to make and I felt so happy and full afterwards I couldn’t be mad at myself for not making the steak.

I’m kind of mad now realizing I haven’t got much to post, but I’ll learn to forgive myself. And hopefully you will too.

Feeling Lucky

Last week wasn’t perfect. Had some trouble with a recipe and had to chuck the whole post- that stunk. Had a tough week at work- that was stressful. Got hacked by absolutely awful spam- that’s the worst! However, I believe that when something bad happens to you, something good is waiting for you just around the corner.

Foodbuzz

First, I was accepted into the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program this week! I’m super excited- if anything because it makes me feel a little validated. I have a blog. I like to cook. I write about the things I cook… That’s it! It might not seem so amazing but it’s definitely something meaningful for me. Plus, the Foodbuzz community is a really great place to meet new bloggers- and a great resource for me as I’m learning my way through this thing called blog.

MAJOR AWARD

Second, I won an award!!! Isn’t she pretty. I’m naming her Veronica because she’s sassy! But actually it’s called an “It’s a Major Award!” and it was given to me by Wendi of Bon Appetit Hon. Here was my acceptance speech:

“I won an award?? I can’t believe it!! Who to thank?? First I’ll thank my family for not believing in me and forcing me to show them how good I can cook- HA! Second I’d like to thank my boyfriend for being a guinea pig (sorry about that Stir-Fry again) and sometimes sous chef. And last, I’d like to thank Wendi, who beyond this award (which is so awesome I can’t wait to put it up on my website!!!) is also challenging me with her food memories project and really showing me how cool a blogging community can be (isn’t that why we do this? To create community?). So thanks so much Wendi!!! Now I need to go call my family and rub it in… not only can I cook- but I got an award too!!!”

… I was trying to be a little cheeky- but I really meant it! Winning that award really made my day- and Thursday happened to be an extra tough one. So thanks again Wendi! And know that I am working hard to decide who deserves the award next!

Last, I got what has to be the absolute opposite of a mean spam post- My dad left me a comment! I’m sure he was just happy with the intense praise I gave to his meatloaf recipe but it was still really sweet and very much appreciated. He’s a great dad and I’m happy to have had my many years of not cooking to hone my tasting skills.

All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good week.

I’ve also decided to (because I’m a glutton for punishment) be a part of NaBloPoMo- otherwise knows as “National Blog Posting Month”. It’ll be hectic for sure but I do enjoy creating and being a part of this blogging community… so with all that said…

…wish me luck!!!

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