California Dreamin’

Big news over here – we are west coast bound! My partner landed an amazing job in San Diego, and after talking it through (insert pat on the back here for neither of us saying “YOLO” once during the decision-making process), we decided to meet this new adventure head-on.

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At this point, I am still a bundle of excitement and nerves. It’s a big change. I’m hoping I find a job that’s great, some people that are equal parts lovely and sarcastic, and that there will be beaucoup opportunities to try out new dining & recipe experiences for the blog. I guess I don’t even know if people eat out there. Don’t they just subsist on avocado, sunshine and ocean breezes?

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The other thing is that moving ain’t cheap. Everything starts adding up so quickly. So, in order to save some dollars this week, I’m turning to a recipe that has never let me down in times of pennies being pinched: Leftovers.

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LEFTOVERS

Ingredients:
  • Remnants of a meal gone by (at least one serving)
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Give Mint.com the side-eye for being kind of snarky about your current financial status

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2) Open your fridge and say something to the effect of “What have you got for me, sweetheart?” or “I believe in you, magical fridge of food possibilities – let’s do this!”

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3) Find some of your delicious dinner from last night, and decide it’s good enough

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4) Take a second to debate whether to try and recreate it or just eat it cold

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5) Probably just eat it cold – still good!

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Pancake Perfection

“Hello, I love you,” is something I’ve literally said to more than one plate of pancakes in my lifetime. Totally justified each time, but I guess this means I’m not a great pancake monogamist. I think because we only have them once in a while (usually on a lovely, lazy weekend morning), they feel extra luxurious and delicious. Deluxurious, if you will.

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Pancakes are also one of those recipes that once you know the basic ingredients, it’s easy to branch out and try different variations to spice it up. Blueberries! Chocolate chips! Kale! (Well, probably not kale, but it seems to be sneaking its way into everything else, so I thought I’d offer it up).

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I think everyone has their own favorite variation on pancakes, and if not, there are 479 recipes on allrecipes.com alone to pick from. Bringing your options up to at least 480 is one of my favorite versions: Weekend Pancakes.

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WEEKEND PANCAKES

Ingredients:
  • @ least one person who likes to cook
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Find an old bottle of maple syrup in your pantry and mention (out loud) that pancakes sound amazing

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2) Hear your partner/friend/roommate/live-in chef offer to make some

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3) Watch them appreciatively from afar, offering up words of encouragement (“Those smell great!”) or half-assed participation (“Can I set out some plates or something?”)

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4) Set out some plates or something

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5) Enjoy!

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Gadgets and Gizmos Aplenty

I don’t think I truly realized how many different kitchen utensils existed in the world until we registered for our wedding. I felt a little odd requesting gifts from family and friends simply because we added a couple of rings and a signed paper from the state to our relationship, but people seemed cool with it. And we were definitely appreciative for the opportunity to get a set of silverware so we weren’t constantly defaulting to chopsticks.

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When we got that registry gun in hand at the store, it got a little paralyzing. Oh mylanta, the amount of kitchen gear out there. I distinctly remember standing in front of a device that made waffle sticks and reveling in its cleverness. Then I snapped back to my real world, where you can toast a waffle and slice it into sticks yourself, saving approximately $30.

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Not to give you the impression we were completely kitchen gadget-less pre-wedded bliss. I’ve had a few of my main food prep staples with me for years, and they were used for today’s awesome recipe, Takeout Food.

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TAKEOUT FOOD

Ingredients:
  • 1 menu
  • 1 phone
  • 1 method of roundtrip transportation
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Look at takeout menu and select tastiest dish listed

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2) Pick up the phone, dial number listed on said menu & tell all of your food dreams to the person who answers (just your food dreams, though; despite what anyone says, no one wants to hear your real dreams – that’s only interesting to you)

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3) Find transportation (car, bike, bus, feet, etc) to get on over to the restaurant

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4) Pick up your food

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5) Use transport to get back to your place (keep the bag your food is in closed tightly)

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6) Enjoy!

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Grahams w/a Guest Chef

Chefs find their inspiration from so many places. What they are craving, what fresh ingredients they have access to, places they’ve traveled to that have broadened and intrigued their flavor profiles.

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I think meal ideas also come from the people around us. It’s always a kick to eat an incredible dish only to also be regaled with a heartwarming story about the relative who created the dish years ago. I know when I meet someone new, talking about food is a great way to break the ice (break the bread?) and sometimes leads to new recipe inspirations.

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Recently I was hanging out with someone I’ve known for about a year and a half. We have a lot of mutual friends, but haven’t hung out just the two of us in a while. We, of course, started talking about food, and she showed me one of her favorite snacks. It was so good, I wanted to share it with you (with her permission, of course). Izzy and I present to you: Graham Crackers in Milk.

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GRAHAM CRACKERS IN MILK

Ingredients:
  • Smattering of graham crackers
  • Some type of dairy product
  • Parsley for garnish (optional, but classy)
Directions:

1) Organize your ingredients

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2) Pour out that milk, ensuring that it reaches appropriate dipping height

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3) Get really excited about all the deliciousness that’s ahead

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4) Dip away (careful not to let the graham get too soggy – timing is everything with this dish)

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5) Enjoy your perfectly soaked cracker

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Optional: Parsley waving

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