potato soup

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I was really excited about making this soup. I had come home from work, changed into my ‘cooking clothes’ (baggy shorts, tshirt held together by threads, hair in crazy bun) and was chopping and mixing and completely comfortable when I discovered that my potatoes were moldy and also trying to grow new potatoes. Whatever, potatoes!

new potatoes

new potatoes

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spinach and bacon pie

baked.

baked.

So sometimes feeding yourself consists of putting enough fuel in your body so that moving is still an option on the table. This generally means that there will be lots of coffee, and meal time is quick and to the point. Sometimes that means you eat frozen pizza twice in one week. Last week was kind of like that, we rotated between salad with grilled chicken one night then frozen pizza the next. And repeat.

Sunday was finally a day when I had enough energy/time to get in the kitchen and actually make some things happen that required more attention than dump and stir. And what happened was a spinach pie with a bacon lattice top.

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eating new orleans / mississippi wins, finally.

Something I’m trying to do as a fresh 27 year old is try new things. So I christened my inching towards 30 voyage this past weekend in New Orleans, eating only at new restaurants. There may not seem like a lot of daring in that decision. I can understand if you’re not amazed at my bravery. However, when I spend my hard earned money on food, I want it to be delicious. I would really like to be blown away. I can cook a lot of things in my own house, and if it’s not better than something I can make myself, why not just stay home and make it? (I’m not a snob or anything, cough.)

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So we trekked south to eat and drink our way through a couple of days off. New Orleans is a weird, crazy, strangely lovable city packed with good music, great food, and every kind of personality you can imagine. It’s one of my favorite food cities, I rarely have a bad meal when we are there. If all you hear is “Bourbon Street” whenever someone mentions New Orleans, I promise there is so much more to this fascinating place packed with history and culture. Once you’ve eaten at a few of the great restaurants, stayed in one of the lovely hotels and visited the garden district and zoo, you’ll understand. Here is a rundown of where we ate and what we got, how I felt about it, and a few other random ratings that don’t matter to anyone other than myself. For interested parties, I will be throwing out some ratings on a scale of 1-5, 1 being absolutely horrible, 5 being so amazing I couldn’t find fault.

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27 / my favorite pancakes

I turn 27 this week.

pancakes

pancakes

I recently watched the movie My Best Friends Wedding, with Julia Roberts in it. In the opening scene, we learn that she is a food critic and 27 years old. I first watched that movie over a decade ago. I remember thinking how put together she seemed, with her huge brick of a flip phone and unfortunate 90s suits and career that gave her travel and good food and the ability to write and get paid for it. For some reason, this woman that Julia Roberts was portraying exuded adulthood to me. I just knew I would have my career and life figured out by the time I turned 27. I predicted I would be married and well establishing in whatever I was doing, maybe even with a kid or two, because we all know the clairvoyant powers of 16 year olds. I knew that by the time I was 27, I would have my life together.

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labor day weekend / vegetable soup that’s actually good

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This past Labor Day weekend was long and really comfortable. I spent a couple of days with my college girlfriends at the beach. We ate and drank and laid on the sand. There was a baby in our midst and two more on the way. I could almost feel the change in the air: new life, (literally) new people, jobs and careers and locations were all ending and starting between the 10 of us. Even our conversations felt different, we talked about politics and being pregnant and giving birth and buying houses, all kinds of heavy, adult themes that weren’t even considered almost a decade ago when we first met, when our conversations were filled with boys, food, clothes, occasionally school, and whatever else undergrads talk about. I forget, it was so long ago.

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After college when we all got married and transitioned into careers and churches and awkward, quarter life crises that some of us (or maybe just me) are still going through, we met new people and had new relationships that felt awkward and strained at best. Being back with the people who really know me, friends who need no explanation, who were at and in my wedding, and saw me really grow up, felt like a breath of fresh air. Which it literally was, since we were at the beach. Despite all of our personal changes, it was incredibly refreshing to be with people whose friendship with me hasn’t changed.

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cauliflower is not bread / kind of a salad / turkey meatballs

dinner in a bowl : kind of a salad

dinner in a bowl : kind of a salad

There is a genera of people out there who like to substitute cauliflower for certain grains and bread products. Chop cauliflower small enough and pretend its rice or pasta! (it’s not) Or, an even worse travesty, mashing up cauliflower for baking and pretending it’s a pizza crust.

What?! If you have experienced the vast internet expanse that is Pinterest at all or have ever journeyed into the dark land of The Paleo Diet, you have probably been exposed to cauliflower pizza crust. You know what I call cauliflower topped with tomatoes and cheese? A salad. If you’re trying to find ways to cut calories, ok. If you want a salad, eat a salad. But if you want pizza, EAT A DANG PIZZA. Please, don’t mess with the perfection that is a toasty, chewy, delicious yeasted crust and pretend that cauliflower can replace it. It can’t. There is no such thing as ‘diet pizza’. Some things are sacred. Stop trying.
I’m done soapboxing. For now.

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homemade granola

nuts and oats

nuts and oats

At 8:53 last night I started putting together this granola, and by 9:04 it was in the oven. I love this recipe is because it’s so quick: stir, spread, bake. It makes your house smell like cinnamon and nutmeg which reminds me of cooler temps and what it’s like to not melt into a puddle of heat anger every time I walk outside. In case nobody noticed, it was almost cool outside this morning, which means fall is coming and I wont feel like murdering someone every time I leave the house because of how oppressively hot it is, and maybe I’ll stop looking up jobs and houses in colder states.

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