what I’ve been up to…

…obviously not cooking for this thing. Oops.

Sorry I haven’t been writing lately…first, I had spring break, which inspired me to do absolutely nothing. I got a tattoo though, its a poppy flower on my left forearm. I got in in memory of my daddy, he passed away when I was 14. I’m pretty pleased with it, shout out to Emperor Tattoo (especially my artist, Rachel), they’re an awesome group of folks.

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also, shout out to The Great Gatsby lurking in the corner…rereading it for the first time since high school

And then, I had my 22nd birthday. We didn’t do much except go eat pizza & cake, drink beer, and then fall asleep by 9:30. I guess 22′s the new 40. I certainly feel older than 21, that’s for sure. That might just be from working too much and not sleeping enough…but that’s beside the point.

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here’s my lovely momma and I at my birthday dinner

I’ve had to cut down my course load at school from full time to part time, in order to keep my job at the French restaurant. I don’t mind that much, it just means it’s gonna be 3 months longer until I graduate AND I get a little more time each week to actually concentrate on my school work and have a little free time, so thats nice.

Today, Chris and I went to Radnor Lake with some of that new found free time. It felt so good to hike again. I missed the woods. I’m glad spring is finally here, because that means that all sorts of wildflowers have started to pop up. Tennessee springs are quite great.

ImageImageImageImageHopefully in the next week or so, things will get settled enough and I’ll have some time (and a day with enough sunlight) to shoot some more recipes for you guys. I have so many ideas that I want to share with y’all…I just need to get off my lazy butt and start cooking.

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with cookies and milk lately.

ImageEvery night before bed, I have a glass of milk and a few cookies. Most nights it’s just plain old Joe-Joe’s (Trader Joe’s far superior incarnation of the Oreo), but when I have days off I try to always make a batch of these.

Chocolate chip cookies have always been my favorite, but no cookie has ever infuriated me they way they have. I tried and failed to come up with the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for most of my teenage years. My mom was always content with the recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House bag, but that could never turn out the soft chewy cookie of my dreams. My perfect chocolate chip cookie was something I had resigned to only being able to find in bakeries and coffee shops. Continue reading

ten-courses of stress, burnt hands, and a bit too much love for a British soap opera

Last night, I served and helped prepare a ten-course dinner and lived to tell the tale.

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Every quarter, the class that runs the dinner service at the restaurant at my school has to prepare an end-of-quarter dinner for the faculty and staff. Usually, they put together a few courses, the teachers eat, and they leave.

We decided to be overachievers and do a quasi-traditional early 20th century English formal dinner based around the best show on television…Downton Abbey. Continue reading

Grilled Artichokes with Spicy Lemon Aioli

I KNOW.

ImageI just gave you a plate full of veggies and all I have to follow up with is more of them. But, don’t fret…these are too good to pass up, and I’ve always seen artichokes as more of a vehicle for a sauce or dip anyways. So it’s a snack, not a vegetable (at least that’s my flawed logic) AND this aioli has only 3 ingredients and is reaaaaally addicting, so it’s totally worth it.

Also…I’m baking cookies all day today, so my raging sweet tooth will make its appearance soon enough. Don’t you worry about that one little bit. This girl loves chocolate & sugar more than life itself. Continue reading

Beet and Feta Salad

Last night, I found myself wandering around the produce section, longing desperately for summertime.

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I didn’t find much (considering it’s Tennessee in March, which means the weather’s too confused for anything to grow), but I found enough to make a salad for today’s lunch. You see…I never get to eat lunch. I cook at work during the day, so I never really have time to eat til dinner.  Which sucks, because lunches are the best.

So, I made this salad, AND you should make this salad. Its stupidly simple and different from your typical lettuce+other veg+dressing=salad. It satisfied my urge for something fresh and crunchy and not cooked in butter. Continue reading