February 22, 2013
Despite my love of food now, I didn’t really have much of an interest in making anything other than chocolate chip cookies and spaghetti until I was in college. After my sophomore year of college when I was living in my parents’ condo in Arizona with a really nice kitchen and I realized that during my junior year, I wouldn’t have that cushy meal plan anymore, I thought I should maybe have a couple of dishes under my belt. Lasagna was the first one I tried, although a disdain for ricotta lead to me to making it with cottage cheese.
So for the past eight-ish years, lasagna has been my thing. I’ve never made it any more complicated than I did during the first summer, always using cottage cheese, no-boil noodles, ground beef and jarred sauce. No one has ever complained.
But I have finally created a more refined version of lasagna. On top of that, this lasagna not only offers built-in portion control, but also makes dishing the lasagna out so much easier. Instead of trying to slop a square onto the plate (it’s supposed to come out neatly? Mine certainly did not), just neatly scoop out one roll. And while, certainly, boiling the noodles and then rolling them up took longer than simply layering all the ingredients, it was not as difficult or time-consuming as I thought.
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February 4, 2013
I love food photography. I can browse Pinterest’s food & drink section for hours, staring at all the beautiful photos of recipes, both sweet and savory.
However, I don’t often love my food photos! Working at a food editor for a magazine, I often felt pressure to take beautiful photos to accompany my recipes; however, I never had any proper training, equipment or styling skills. It ended up being an obsession – but I am breaking through that obsession now (and because I’ve been rejected from Tastespotting and Foodgawker so much, I think it’s definitely time).
So, don’t mind if my food photos are more of the iPhone variety these days (although I still plan to use my DSLR when it’s handy). Really, it’s for my own well-being.
I’m officially calling this recipe “Pumpkin Turkey Chili,” though some might article that it’s a bastardization of the word “chili.” If you say that – fine, it’s a stew. Whatever you want to call it, it’s chock-full of healthy things and really filling, to boot.
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January 25, 2013
If I were an organized person, this recipe would have appeared during the holiday season. After all, that’s when people indulge in cheese and puff pastry and bread and all those things that we immediately eliminate from our diets once Jan. 1st rolls around.
But I’m not, so it didn’t.
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January 10, 2013
I often feel the need to add a disclaimer to my blog posts, stating “THIS PHOTO IS NOT STAGED. I PROMISE.” Crouton gets herself into such weird little situations and poses that I could imagine someone thinking, “Please. This is a cat we’re talking about. This is not for real.”
That would only come from someone who hadn’t actually met Crouton, but I digress.
Over the weekend, David had borrowed my debit card. When I was sitting on the bed, he tossed at me to return it (Not exactly the most responsible method of return, but again, that’s digressing). It soared passed me onto the floor on my left.
In the 10 to 15 seconds between the card landing on the floor and me looking to my left, I couldn’t tell you what happened. But, I looked down to see this:
I guess there’s a chance that the debit card simply landed there. I prefer to think that it landed next to Crouton, and that she stealthily drew one paw out to slide it back to her. “I’ll take this, thank you. I’ve been considering purchasing a new hair dryer to maintain my fluffy exterior. Or food. I need some more food.”
Crouton always thinks she needs more food.
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January 2, 2013
Welcome to 2013! I anticipated my first post of the new calendar year to be much more photo-heavy, but someone – ahem, my dear husband – has taken the camera’s memory card reader to work and subsequently left it there … for nearly a week now! Therefore, instead of macaroni and cheese or truffle oil pasta recipes, today you instead receive a recipe for cilantro chicken and broccoli, a not-photographed dinner we tried last week.
But let’s check in with Crouton first, shall we? The little princess received a new calming collar in her Christmas stocking – an invention that actually seems to work on her – so sneak attacks and volatile moods are currently being suppressed. On Dec. 31st, when I was packing to visit friends in Delaware for New Year’s Eve, she decided to take a little nap – right on the clothes I was packing to wear that night. I know this is a phenomenon not exclusive to Crouton. Why do cats, when given the option of sleeping on an entire king-sized bed or any other myriad places within the house, always have to choose the clothes, book, keyboard, etc., that you’re using? Those sequins could NOT be comfortable!
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December 27, 2012
I take a lot of cute photos — of my pets, of my food, of my family, of my friends. However, these photos are all posed and many times, all planned. I have this theory — the photos that really matter, despite their smaller, pixelated size, are the ones that you take with your mobile phone.
Think about it. In the past, we used to say “oh, wait, let me go get the camera!” By the time you returned, point-and-shoot in hand, however, the photogenic moment had passed. These days, whenever there’s a moment we want to capture, it’s much easier to whip out the iPhone (or Droid, or whatever) and preserve it for posterity. Here are 19 moments from 2012 that were worthy not only of capturing with my iPhone, but also saving until the end of the year. These were the events that were significant in my life this year — run your mouse over the picture to see the caption.
Casey Shea, Kelsey, and Tiffany at Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis on St. Patrick’s Day
It’s always exciting to release a new magazine that I was in charge of. It was doubly exciting that the couple on the cover was a former coworker and friend of mine.
It took a year, but we finally honeymooned in Jamaica. Nothing like kicking off a vacation with a glass of Champagne and a sunset over the balcony.
Let’s go, Os! Mother’s Day baseball game with Jenny and Chris.
We finally have all-new appliances in our kitchen!
No more linoleum. I need not say any more.
Not every day is a happy day. In 2012, we said goodbye to David’s uncle, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. The day was appropriately gray.
A blurry picture for a blurry night — that’s what Seacrets in OCMD will do to you!
I never expected it, but a photo I took graced the cover of a magazine in August 2012.
We rescued a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in July, who took to Porter instantly.
I’ll have what she’s having — Katz’s Deli on Kelsey’s birthday
Kelsey finally gets her dream car!
David gets hit by an 18-wheeler and walks away. Talk about counting our blessings — and I counted them even more in October when he got a new job that didn’t require him driving many hours of the day.
A beautiful weddings magazine — and the one that turned out to be my final as managing editor.
This year, I joined the board of directors for the local children’s theatre — there are some kids hamming it up backstage!
Clark Kent and Rainbow Brite
After staying away for 18 months, we visited Arizona (and its sunsets) for Thanksgiving
When visiting AZ in November, we almost brought home a cat. Crouton would not have been happy.
So long, What’s Up…in December, I took a new job at the School Nutrition Association. My little “office” on my last day, after being cleaned out.
Everyone’s in good spirits at our annual Christmas party.
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December 20, 2012
It’s December 20th, and Crouton has done her fair share of stripping our Christmas trees of their
ornaments. I’m fairly positive this is not a Crouton-specific phenomenon, but rather something cats just
instinctively do. An old college friend of mine recently posted a photo on Facebook of his cat actually
sitting in the tree, a la Simon’s Cat, so it’s clear that Crouton could be much, much worse. However,
she does seem to go out of her way to make sure the tree is free of all things shiny. At this point, David
and I have just resorted to kicking the ornaments back under the tree next to the wrapped presents.
(The ornaments are plastic. We’re not stupid; we’ve made it nearly impossible for her to reach the glass
ornaments…although I can hear her in the back of my head now, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”)
Fighting with the cat over Christmas tree ornaments means that’s it’s definitely the holiday season. As
such, it’s the time of the year for warm, comforting foods. This pork and apple ragu, a recipe inspired
by Top Chef contestant Stephanie Izard, fits into that category. The original recipe calls for papardelle,
which I do really love, but I found it easier to manage using shells or other smaller, shaped pasta.
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December 19, 2012
As of last Tuesday, I’ve been self-demoted from professional food writer to amateur food blogger. As I touched on in a previous blog entry, I left my job as the food (and weddings) editor for an Annapolis-based magazine recently to become a communications specialist for an association near Washington, D.C. However, I think this is a good move for my waistline, as I will less-frequently making delicious things like this:
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December 10, 2012
For the second year, David and I are hosting a Christmas Party. We’re so lucky to have friends who come from near and far to celebrate the holiday season with us — we’re currently at 30 RSVPs, and I’m sure that there will be a few additional guests for forgot to email, call, or text me prior to the party.
It’s an interesting week coming up — tomorrow is my last day at What’s Up? Media, I’m taking one day off — but I have SO much planned for that day — and then I start a new job at the School Nutrition Association on Thursday. Today after work, I have a happy hour planned with a fantastic group of coworkers/friends here at the magazine that I’m really and truly going to miss working with. This particular job has had its ups and downs, but one big benefit was working with an amazing group of 20-something gals who were all at the same stage of life as me. Tomorrow, I have my last class at AACC (Fitness for Sports and Nutrition) for the semester, and on Wednesday, I have a board meeting at the children’s theatre. Luckily, Thursday night is free, but then on Friday, we’re attending another holiday party.
I take no credit for this photo nor this idea, that belongs to this blog. However, I AM going to implement it. I already have the mini candy canes!
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December 4, 2012
It’s been 3 weeks since my last update, and I promise there’s a good reason for that.
Trip to Arizona (where my mom tried to give me a cat).
Producing a traveling troupe at the Children’s Theatre.
I know, you’ll say that’s hardly an excuse. But look at this kitten my mom tried to rehome to me.
Actually, that’s not the kitten she tried to give us. The one she was working really hard on convincing David to take home is the one attacking the sweet one staring off into the distance. In other words, it would have been Crouton 2.0.
Needless to say, Crouton:Return of the Claws did not make her way to Maryland.
While I was in Arizona, we celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. In her honor, I made a rich, fudgy chocolate-raspberry torte.
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