Monthly Archives: February 2013

How many hobbies is too many?

First off, sorry about the lack of fun recipes recently. I’ve been in a food funk where I prefer to eat processed food rather than make my own meals, and as a result, I grow fatter and lazier by the day. The gross Rochester weather always kicks my ass and makes me want to curl up with my laptop by the fire. The very idea of lacing up my sneakers to go for a run sends me diving under my blankets in fear.

So, obviously, my mind has turned to other things. Mainly, art.

I always go through phases, as I’m sure most people do, with what currently holds my attention. Whether it’s writing like a maniac, studying books on photography, whipping up culinary masterpieces, or teaching myself how to paint (again!), I cycle through them all each year it seems.

We just moved into new offices for work, and the blank walls got my itching to get out my paintbrushes for the first time in over a year. The result?

photo (4)

Super nerdy neuron art!

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I also made this tryptic of a tree, inspired by pinterest and the mass quantities of sparkly christmas decorations I got on sale at Michael’s.

photo (2)I apologize for the lack of quality photos, I just took these with my phone.

But sitting in front of the tv for hours and hours with a paintbrush in my hand, paint covering my sweatpants, I remembered how cathartic it is to just create something. So I decided in my typical, impulsive fashion, to spend tons of money on new art supplies, buy an instructional book, and move everything into the empty office at home, which is currently mid-renovation.

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I can organize everything, lay it out where I can see it, and actually sit in a chair while I work, instead of hunched over my canvas on the family room floor.

And the book I got is incredible. For anyone looking to pick up painting, I seriously recommend Lee Hammond’s Big Book of Acrylic Painting. It has so many great explanations and exercises for practicing techniques, I feel like I am really relearning the basics of painting, instead of making it up as I go along.

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So, yes.  Food blog, painting post…doesn’t make much sense. But I wanted to prove to you that I’m hard at work conquering another hobby, while sort of putting the others on hold. I have some great recipes planned for the next week or so though, so check back!




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Fried calamari with garlic aoili

Calamari, squid, octopus, tentacles, rings, seafood, fried, baked, batter, flavor, garlic, Wegmans, fresh, frozen, aoili, dipping sauce, marinara, homemade, restaurant, delicious, simple, quick

If you’re a seafood lover like me, fried calamari is one of your favorite appetizers. I always order it at restaurants, and as I bite into each awesome morsel I wonder how hard it would be to make them at home.

Turns out, it’s pretty freaking easy. I found a package of frozen calamari at Wegmans and sliced them up, fried them, and served them with some homemade garlic aoili (also surprisingly simple to make!)

Calamari, squid, octopus, tentacles, rings, seafood, fried, baked, batter, flavor, garlic, Wegmans, fresh, frozen, aoili, dipping sauce, marinara, homemade, restaurant, delicious, simple, quick

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Valentine’s day red velvet cupcakes


Happy V-day everyone! For all the happy couples, enjoy your day. And for the lonely hearts out there? Keep your chin up, it could be worse. You could still be with that gross ex of yours. You know which one I’m talking about.

And even though Kevin is far away during this romantic holiday, I thought I would get in the spirit of love and make some red velvet cupcakes with marshmallow cream frosting. They came out a little messier than I would have liked, and the cute heart wrapper things I had set aside didn’t work, but they still taste awesome!


The coolest person in the world, Beth (HI BETH!!!) helped me make these this weekend, after she so bravely endured being my assistent during an engagement photo shoot for some friends. The girl has a knack for holding things, as it turns out. And that’s not all she can do! Just look at her lovely chocolate decorations:


Gentlemen? She’s single 😉

(Kidding. I know that men don’t read my blog.)

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bottle (1 oz) red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 jar (7.5 oz) marshmallow cream (fluff)
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350. Line cupcake tin with paper cups.

In a small bowl, mix flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, mix 1/2 cup butter and sugar on medium. Add eggs and beat 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Stir in food coloring and vanilla. On low speed, alternate adding buttermilk and flour mixture. Beat in baking soda and vinegar. 

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 20-22 mins or until they spring back up when poked.

To make the frosting: microwave fluff for 15-20 seconds, beat with butter on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Frost cupcakes, decorate as desired.


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Fruity pebbles rice krispies treats

Frooty pebbles, fruity pebbles, flintstones, cereal, sugar, color, rice krispies, rice crispies, rice krispy, kellogs, cereal, snacks, fun, easy, kids, lunch, children, kitchen, baking, healthy, delicious

It’s not unusual (cue the Carlton dance!) for people to go through phases with their eating habits. For most people, that’s something like “I love avocados  and I’m adding them to tons of dishes!” or “I can’t stop eating pints of Ben and Jerry’s since the breakup!” or even “I’m so broke this month all I’m eating is ramen and mac n cheese.”

For someone like me (read: weird), these phases usually involve cereal. For new readers, understand that cereal basically raised me. As a child who hated everything her mother cooked, cereal stepped in. It was a quick breakfast before the bus came, it was dinner when mom made pot roast, it was a sweet dessert while watching tv.  Continue reading

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