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11130090_10204523503792205_6552929262663868064_n IMG_2373_winner-best+peopleschoiceMy recent posts have been lackluster, I know. I fell out of the blogging spirit this past year and I have no one to blame but my own laziness. I no longer saw the challenge in creating new and exciting foods, spending hours with my camera to capture the perfect picture, then a few more hours editing the photos on my computer. By the way, the photos are LARGE, and take up significant amount of space on my hard drive. So add in all the time I spend shuffling things around and backing up my external drive.

And that doesn't even include writing the damn posts!

But I am not jumping ship just yet. I am putting my blog on hold while I settle into my new apartment with Kevin, prepare for my July wedding and subsequent honeymoon, and throw myself headfirst into my chaotic career.

Unfortunately, this means little time for book writing as well. I miss my characters and my stories, but all my ideas will have to wait until I have time to sit down at a computer for hours on end. First and foremost, I want to establish my position as a new roommate and future wife (eek!) to Kevin. It's taking some adapting, but we are loving living together.

So, my dear readers, farewell for now. Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for occasional updates and possibly some shots of food. Links are on the right. And while you're waiting eagerly for my return, PLEASE!!! check out my three published books, also on the right. Read em, review em, tell everybody you know how much you love them and get them to read and review them! If you like my writing style, you'll enjoy my novels. Plus: sex scenes, pirates, gorgeous men, cooking school, puppies, rock and roll, and quirky best friends. 

For now, enjoy these pictures of my most recent cake competition win (I won first place AND people's choice!), and have a wonderful summer!

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Breakfast, sammy, sandwich, bacon, egg, cheese, hot sauce, franks, tater, tots, potatoes, hash, browns, diner, crispy, home, easy, diy, delicious, weekendKevin is the master of breakfast. And since I suck at mornings and cooking before I've eaten anything, it's pretty much a guarantee that on the weekends Kevin will cook me delicious breakfast while I grumble and moan on the couch about how hungry I am.

And this sandwich is the king of all breakfast foods. Why, you might ask? Because it IS all of the breakfast foods! The trick to an amazing breakfast sammy is the layers and the consistency. Sure, you can get a soggy bacon, egg, and cheese from any fast food place. But if you want an experience...you do it yourself.

Or get your fiance to do it for you because you aren't a morning person.

Breakfast, sammy, sandwich, bacon, egg, cheese, hot sauce, franks, tater, tots, potatoes, hash, browns, diner, crispy, home, easy, diy, delicious, weekendYou will need: ...continue reading

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Howdy. It's been...forever since I sat in front of this blank screen and wrote about food, my life, or how much I like being lazy and playing video games instead of cooking food and having a life. But I'm still here!

And even better, my website is new and improved! You probably can't tell, because all of the changes happened behind the scenes, involving technical shit I can't even begin to comprehend. I have a new server, though, and the site should run smoother, at least on my end! Which means (hopefully) I won't get frustrated when my photos wont upload and abandon posts mid-sentence.

EPCOT_ECROVE3_7171528579...

Which I totally just did! I started this post yesterday, went to add some photos of me and Kevin in Disney, and it took foreverrrrrr. So I walked away. Hopefully Ken (Remember him?!) has fixed this, and I can get back to telling you about how I'm too busy to do anything of importance.

I went to Disney world. I love Disney World.  ...continue reading

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It's pretty obvious that I've been a terrible blogger this past year. And in the past month I've been non-existent. It's not like my life has changed much in the past few years to excuse my absence, and yet absent I was. I think a lot of it can be attributed to a shift in my attention: away from things that take a lot of time to set up, plan, execute, organize and complete. You know, like blogging, photography, cooking, and writing extensive novels.

And it's not that I don't enjoy the process, because at times I still do. I still get pride when I really nail a food styling session, or make headway on a book. It's just that the external rewards for completing these tasks are so few and far between that they don't motivate me to keep going.

When I worked at a job where I spent all day on my computer, I had nothing better to do than blog and comment on other people's blogs, read up on photography and food styling, and work on my social media presence. I had a lot more blog traffic, and I would get comments on things I spent time on, making me feel good about myself. I'm a sucker for positive reinforcement. 

Things have slowed down almost to a complete stop. I can go 6 months before someone comments on my blog, traffic is down, and the only excuse I have is that I'm not putting in the effort. I feel stupid for being so bitter about it, but it's like, why put in the effort when no one reads it or cares?

So I guess I've been in a funk. My motivation has been lacking, and I can't convince myself to strive for something when the reinforcement isn't a given outcome. Like in...

Video games. 

My brain feeds off of accomplishing goals and being rewarded for them. And it turns out that leveling up or beating a boss is a fucking fantastic way of making me feel good. At the end of the day, I might feel better about my life if I created a gorgeous recipe with stunning pictures and wrote a witty blog post. But I'll be happier and have more fun if I play four hours of video games, level up twice, and unlock a new part of the map.

Games are FULL of goals that I can achieve. I might not be able to breeze through a boss battle in one go, but I can walk around an area and do repetitive tasks that bring me closer to getting money, weapons, achievements, trophies, and other fun things.

And now I'm babbling about video games. Therein lies the problem. But the point of this post is to remind myself that I can write, and that I should keep cooking and posting recipes. At least so that I don't succumb fully to the dark void that is video games.

Stay tuned for new recipes coming up!

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pita, homemade, pita bread, pockets, falafel, hummus, israel, israeli, mediterranean, jewish, easy, simple

After getting back from Israel this summer, I was thrilled to discover it wasn’t that hard to find decent falafel, hummus, and even shawarma if you knew the right places to look. However, locating perfectly poofy pitas that could hold a pound of food without cracking or ripping proved to be nearly impossible.

So my fiancé and I rolled up our sleeves one afternoon and made our own from scratch, surprising ourselves with how easy it is. And there’s nothing better than fresh, straight-out-of-the-oven pitas.

You will need:

pita, homemade, pita bread, pockets, falafel, hummus, israel, israeli, mediterranean, jewish, easy, simple ...continue reading

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hummus, home made, chick pea, tahini, garlic, lemon, Israel, Israeli, Mediterranean, Jewish, KosherYeah, yeah. We know you went to Israel, Sarah. Will you shut up about it already?

No I will not. Not until I finish posting these recipes for awesome Jewish/Mediterranean/Israeli food. I already shared the shukshuka, and now I'm going to share two in a row. Because, really, what is homemade hummus without homemade pita bread?

Both recipes are so incredibly simple, I swear you're going to laugh. There's no excuse for buying premade stuff (except for laziness, which is always a viable excuse for me), but after you taste the homemade stuff and experiment with spices and flavors, the tubs will lose their appeal.

Now, there are a billion hummus recipes on the internet, but this one is special to me because it was the recipe on the back of the business card for our Israel Experts group coordinator, Erez. He was a funny guy, and he told us his favorite brand of Israeli beer and gave us chocolate, so I figured he knew what he was doing as far as hummus went.

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hummus, home made, chick pea, tahini, garlic, lemon, Israel, Israeli, Mediterranean, Jewish, Kosher ...continue reading

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Thanks to my awesomesauce fiance for fixing my computer and figuring out why my photos weren't uploading! I can go back to regular posting, including getting through this big backlog of recipes. shukshuka, shakshuka, shakshouka, israeli, jewish, eggs, tomatoes, garlic, poached, breakfast, hot, spicy

Being in Israel this summer opened me up to so many new culinary flavors and opportunities, while also reminding me that no matter what, there are some things I will always find repulsive. Cucumbers, being one of those things. And tomatoes.

Or so I thought, until I tried Shukshuka for lunch. It turns out that when you break down the tomatoes and simmer them with spices and garlic, and then poach a few eggs in it, it doesn't taste like slimy fresh tomatoes.

Not only is shukshuka a fun word to say, but it’s an awesome dish that can be adapted to suit your preferences. The three main ingredients are tomatoes, spices, and eggs. It’s basically eggs poached in tomato sauce, but it makes for a hearty and delicious meal that I never get sick of.

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shukshuka, shakshuka, shakshouka, israeli, jewish, eggs, tomatoes, garlic, poached, breakfast, hot, spicy ...continue reading

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  • I'm paying for my wedding photographer today...using checks from 2005 that have puppy dogs and kitties on them.
  • My to do list has, in three separate and distinct entries, directions for doing laundry:
  1. do laundry
  2. fold laundry
  3. put fucking laundry away
  • I'm wearing batman underwear beneath my fancy work dress
  • I think I'll eat halloween candy for lunch
  • I can't figure out why wordpress isn't letting me upload my pictures so I can finally get rid of the huge backlog of posts I'm sitting on!

so for your amusement, until I can get my shit in order, hang out on buzzfeed.

 

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In Starting from Scratch (which is selling pretty well on Amazon, btw, and has gotten more than a couple emails from happy readers!), there is a scene where Emily finds Maw Maw's spaghetti sauce recipe on the back of an old photograph, and challenges herself to cook it. The recipe tied her story together with her grandmother's, bridging the generation gap a little bit.

I wanted to post a stellar homemade pasta sauce recipe that Maw Maw would be proud of, but I don't have any! And rather than throw together a recipe and claim it's an old family favorite or that I've made it dozens of times to great success, I figured I could gather a bunch of recipes from equally talented bloggers, and let you pick and choose which ones to try.

Top Row:

Pasta All'Amatriciana from Livliftoo
Easy marinara from twopeasandtheirpod 
Fresh tomato sauce from theviewfromgreatisland

Second Row:

Pasta Bolognese from theviewfromgreatisland
Bolognese sauce from tasteloveandnourish
20 minute tomato sauce from runningtothekitchen

Third Row:

Quick and fresh basil tomato sauce from chocolatemoosey
Lemon basil marinara from ingoodtastemag
Spicy 30 minute tomato sauce from nutmegnanny

Bottom Row:

Slow cooker vodka pasta sauce from the frugalfoodiemama
Italian tomato sauce from kitchentreaty
Spaghetti and sausage ragu from ErrensKitchen

Be sure to let the authors know you tried and loved their recipes, let them know you found their link from my site, and don't forget to get your copy of Starting from Scratch!!

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chocolate, mint, chip, cookie, dough, dip, ice, cream, dessert, eggs, oreos, thin, mints, girl, scout, cookiesIn the spring I discovered, purely by accident, that there is such a thing as cookie dough dip. And I was intrigued.

Then I found a recipe for Mint chocolate chip cookie dough dip, and I knew I had to make it. I mean, what could be better than a dip that reminds you of cookies that reminds you of ice cream? It's pretty great.

Recipe taken directly from Host the Toastchocolate, mint, chip, cookie, dough, dip, ice, cream, dessert, eggs, oreos, thin, mints, girl, scout, cookies ...continue reading