Monday, October 25, 2010

Eggsperimenting: Loaded Frittata

I started this thing freshman year of college... It was sort of like a personal challenge. There are very few foods that I dislike, and I really just wanted to have ZERO foods that I dislike. So I started with cucumbers. I didn't like cucumbers, so I began slicing them very thinly and putting them on my sandwiches. Then I progressed to ordering dishes with cucumber and not asking for it to be removed. Eventually, I stopped hating cucumbers, and now I actually like them.

Well I hate eggs. HATE THEM. They're my second most hated food behind onions. I used to actually feel sick just from the smell of scrambled eggs. So about a month ago I decided to experiment with eggs to see if I could change my own mind. Here is my first eggsperiment: Loaded Frittata.

  • 8 organic eggs
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushroom
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 5-7 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish
1. On the stove, heat garlic and olive oil in a large oven-safe pan until slightly golden. Add sliced mushrooms and sautee on high. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. While mushrooms are cooking, beat eggs with a whisk. Add tomatoes, olives, parmesan, and a generous amount of salt and pepper
3. When mushrooms are almost done, lower heat and pour the egg mixture into the pan.
4. With a rubber spatula, slowly push the outside of the egg mixture in, bringing the cooked bits of eggs to the middle.
5. After about two minutes, transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes, then begin checking for doneness. Don't let it overcook!
6. Let cool for a couple minutes, then cut and garnish with parsley and extra parmesan.

- See why it's called a LOADED frittata? -

Coming from a person who really hates eggs, I actually liked this frittata. A lot. Probably because it was SO flavorful and full of ingredients. But I still got the protein from the eggs! In the future I will probably add more eggs to make it a little thicker. I would really recommend this recipe as a base to make whatever kind of frittata you'd like. Experiment with your favorite ingredients and see what works best! As for me, there will definitely be more eggsperiments to come.

Are there any ingredients that you absolutely hate? Would you be willing to try them in a new way?

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is How it Works

You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath.

No, this is how it works

You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again.

On the Radio - Regina Spektor

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happiness hit her like a train on the track...

Let me preface this entry by saying I've been stressed lately. And I mean really stressed. October is the month of class projects, midterms, mock trial craziness, law school applications, and the dreaded LSAT. Deadline upon deadline upon deadline. Those deadlines have been wearing on me...

- - -

So Thursday I stopped by Fresh Market for the first time in months. As silly as this sounds, it was probably the best part of my week. I walked down the aisles mesmerized by the different cheeses, the heirloom tomatoes, the olive bar... I forgot how much I loved this place!

That's when I realized what I'd been doing to myself for the past few weeks. I'd gotten so caught up in my future that I deliberately neglected the things that make me happiest right NOW: cooking, farmers markets, reading, going to church, exercising, spending time with friends, going home for the weekend. For what? An LSAT score that will probably be mediocre at best?

Sometimes we get so caught up in reaching goals and being productive that we feel as if personal happiness isn't important. The goal is what matters, and we don't deserve to be happy until that goal is achieved.

But what kind of life is that?

I guess the point of all this is that we need to remember that the little things that make us the happiest matter. Our happiness matters. Yeah, the LSAT and law school and future employment all seem HUGE. But we shouldn't hate our lives right now in an attempt to make a better life in the future.

So go read a book or lay out by the pool or bake a cake.
Do whatever it is that makes you happy, and do it without regret.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Happy National Coffee Day!

- Hand-pulled Latte from Zibetto -

In celebration of National Coffee Day, I'm going to tell you about the best coffee experience I've ever had. Zibetto Expresso Bar in New York City has both the best coffee and the most interesting coffee-shop atmosphere I've ever experienced.

I guess the reason it has the most interesting coffee-shop atmosphere is that it's not really a "coffee shop." It's an expresso bar. You open the door and walk into an etremely narrow, extremely white room. There's one long marble bar along the wall and no seating at all. Customers stand at the bar and sip their expresso.

It's evident from the hand-pulled expresso and homemade croissants and paninis that Zibetto really cares about quality. If you want a break from the fast-paced streets of NYC and generic ubiquity of Starbucks, do yourself a favor and check out Zibetto on 6th and 56th.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


- Pensacola Beach, Dec. 30, 2009 -

"People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly."

- Eat, Pray, Love

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sugar-Coating Corn

I recently read an article about corn refiners petitioning the FDA to rename High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) "Corn Sugar." Sounds healthy and natural, right? I, like many others, was NOT a fan of the idea.

Well earlier tonight I saw another one of those irritating HFCS commercials, but this time they were calling it "Corn Sugar," and that definitely pushed my buttons. It's not approved for our food labels, but it's being used as an advertising tool?!

Corn refiners want the name change because HFCS now has a negative reputation, and for good reason. Manufacturers are picking up on that negative reputation and switching to alternative sweeteners, so corn refiners are losing money. In hopes of making a bigger profit, corn refiners want to use the term "Corn Sugar" to trick consumers into either
  1. Thinking more positively about their product or
  2. Buying their product just because they don't know HFCS and Corn Sugar are the same thing.

Corn refiners are utilizing the "ignorance is bliss" mentality. Except this time, your ignorance is their bliss.


Many people simply aren't educated about High Fructose Corn Syrup, so they don't understand that the negative reputation is a valid one. I don't want you to be one of those people, so here are the facts:

Yes, HFCS is a mixture of glucose and fructose.
Yes, HFCS is nutritionally equivalent to table sugar.
Yes, HFCS is in almost everything you eat.

But HFCS is digested and absorbed differently than table sugar. It skips glycolysis and travels straight to the liver. In laymen's terms, HFCS is turned directly into fat. And unlike other carbs, HFCS doesn't cause the pancreas to produce insulin, so your brain doesn't get those "I'm full" signals.

Not to mention, HFCS is one of the primary causes of our nation's dependence on corn, which leads to health risks, obesity, monoculture, soil erosion, runoff, eutrophication... Check out the documentary King Corn, because it is excellent and describes everything WAY better than I could!

It's nearly impossible to avoid HFCS all together, but it's important to know what it is and how it effects your body and our environment. It's also important to recognize the motives behind advertising strategies like this. I don't like being conned, and you shouldn't either.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10, 2010

  • Flakey Professors
  • Purchasing 18 binders at once
  • Beginning of decision-making
  • Random acts of kindness

- Instead of charging me for 20 stamps, the Staples guy gave me 2 out of his wallet. -

September 9, 2010

  • Threading - Beauty is pain?
  • Sushi with Juli
  • Mock Trial Tryouts
  • Losing my Jersey Shore virginity

- Futomaki Roll and California Roll from Jasmine Cafe -

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 8, 2010

  • Emotional overload
  • Stuffed shells with friends
  • Too much lemon zest
  • Reading about sustainable agriculture with a fuzzy brain
  • BBM is my new BFF.

- Empty wine glass. Very empty. -

Eggs, Salmonella, and Propaganda, Oh My!

The front page of today's USA Today issue invites readers to "take a peek inside a henhouse." Henhouse is a gross understatement. Pearl Valley Eggs is a HUGE facility with several football-field size houses filled with countless 27-inch cages. They produce up to 850,000 eggs a day... That's a whole lot of eggs, and a whole lot of hens. And USA Today makes it seem like heaven on earth for those "healthy and disease-free" hens.

The point of the article is to dissuade readers from believing "animal rights groups and organic supporters [who] have pointed a finger of blame at this kind of industrial agriculture." Hmm...

Unless you've been living under a rock, you should know that we're up to 550 million eggs that have been recalled for salmonella. Seriously, think about that number. 550 MILLION. This is the largest egg recall in history, and it's made many Americans actually start thinking about what's going onto their plates.

Instead of trying to sugar coat industrial agriculture like USA Today did today, let's take a quick look at some facts:
  • Eggs become infected with salmonella because hens become infected. Once the hen is exposed to salmonella through dust, feces, insects, etc. the egg is infected before the shell is even formed.
  • Large scale facilities have hundreds of thousands of hens in extremely confined spaces. Once one hen is infected, the overall rate of exposure and overall infection increases exponentially.
  • Large-scale egg operations with 100,000+ hens are 4 times more likely to have a salmonella issue than smaller-scale, non-organic operations.
  • Egg production facilities are not required to test for salmonella.

If you just take a look at these facts, common sense will tell you that large-scale factory farming obviously results in a higher risk of salmonella.
I have an clear bias toward local and/or organic eggs for various reasons, but as far as salmonella goes, it's simple. Smaller-scale farms have fewer hens in a larger space. The risk of salmonella exposure in these farms is significantly lower than the risk in industrial egg operations.

So I guess the real question is, why is USA Today trying to discourage its readers from buying local and/or organic? Maybe it has something to do with agricultural biotech machine Monsanto's "Dairy Coalition" that was created to pressure editors of major news sources to keep negative press out of the papers... Just a thought.

Anyway, the moral of the story is to read critically and think about the factors that might be influencing what you read. And buy local. :) Thoughts on industrial agriculture versus local and organic agriculture? Salmonella? Monsanto? Administrative regulation?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Septemebr 7, 2010

  • Nonstop Mock Trial
  • Sneezes galore
  • Fluffy robes make everything better.

- At my desk "working..." -

Monday, September 6, 2010

365 Project

First, I don't claim to have come up with this idea. A few people I know have decided to partake in 365 Project, where you take one photo every day for a year. I'm just following the trend. This is going to be a big year for me. Senior year of college, big decisions coming up, etc. So here goes Day 1!

- My Filofax. My Life. I can't function without lists. -

September 6, 2010
  • Pajamas all day
  • Kardashians for procrastination
  • Catching up on my to-do list
  • Brownies with roommates

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am insatiable, but my hunger has never kept me from exulting in pleasure for the moment or hour or day... however long it lasts.
One raspberry, one kiss, one emerald... one macaroon will never be enough.
- Gaile Greene

Sunday, July 18, 2010

High End, Low Cost Shopping!

I move into my new apartment in one month and recently I've been stressing over redecorating. This summer, I've looked EVERYWHERE for the perfect comforter, and I seriously mean everywhere. My main problem is that my college budget is a little too low for my taste in... everything really. Finally, I was on Friday and got an excellent deal on this Tommy Hilfiger comforter and sham set (more on ideeli later).


I absolutely love it. I also bought a chunky white lamp to go on my night stand. It's very traditional, but the heaviness of it makes it a little more modern and it compliments the damask pattern perfectly. I found it at TJMaxx for only $29.00!

My new bedroom has a little corridor where my closet's located with a window at the end, and I think it's going to be the perfect place to hang these Lilly Pulitzer Party Pom Poms I bought on sale in December and still haven't opened! I've got a cute little white chandelier that they'll look perfect with.


So anyway, back to what this post's all about - shopping on a budget. This summer I finally discovered the wonder of online shopping. You can get so many great deals online that you can't get in the store.

Take Kate's Paperie for example. I found this NYC Stationary Heaven while I was in SoHo and fell in love. I bought a few things while I was there, but came home wishing I'd gotten more. So I was browsing through the sale items online, and I started finding amazing deal after amazing deal! I ended up with over $200 worth of Lilly Pulitzer stationery, wrapping paper, and home items for only $60!

And now, back to Ideeli. Ideeli's a site for online discount shopping, much like Hautelook, Gilt Groupe, and RueLaLa. For most of these sites, you have to be invited to join. Once you join, you get daily emails around 11:30 letting you know about all the sales going on that day, and they open up at noon. You have to be quick if you want something though - it goes fast. These sites are great, because you can get clothes from top designers, jewelry, home items, and even vacation packages at unbelievable prices. If you'd like an invite to any of them, let me know and I'll send you one!

So the moral of the story is, if you're like me (expensive taste with a not-so-expensive budget) you can still get the best of both worlds! You just have to be a little creative about it. Check out discount stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls for home goods and don't forget to look online either!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Oh, what I wouldn't give for a plate of fried green tomatoes..."

If you have a garden, or if you're just an avid farmer's market shopper, you know that it's tomato season - the best time of the year! So to make use of those 1029831 tomatoes before they go bad, try frying them green.


  • 2 small green tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying
1. In a cast iron skillet begin heating 1/4 inch of oil at medium-high.
2. Slice tomatoes just under half an inch. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Combine corn meal, flour, cayenne, and salt in a tupperware container. Close the lid and shake until well mixed.
4. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with a little water to create an egg wash.
5. Dip the tomato slices in the egg wash then place them in the flour mixture. Shake until well coated.
6. Fry the tomatoes on one side until golden brown, then flip.
7. Cool the tomatoes on napkins to soak up excess oil.

Lunch from the Garden - Tomato and Cucumber Sandwich with Fried Green Tomatoes

  • If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use any heavy pan with a high rim.
  • To test the oil and make sure it's the right temperature, sprinkle a little flour in the pan. If it starts frying immediately, but doesn't burn, you're just right.
  • Don't fry all the tomatoes at once. Crowding the pan will cause the oil temperature to lower. You'll end up with greasy, mushy tomatoes - not good!

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Return to the Blog World

I've been away so long, I don't even know what to write! I have some new recipes, but right now I just want to talk about New York.

It was wonderful. For the first time in my life, I was completely alone. The strange thing is that it wasn't a scary experience at all. Not the twenty times I got lost. Not when I got off at the wrong subway stop and ended up in Chinatown. Not when I was walking down the streets at night. Not when I audited a culinary class. Not when I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner alone for five days. It was liberating.

So here are a few of my favorite photos from my trip. I hope you enjoy.

Rockefeller Center

Handmade, Solid Chocolate Wedding Cakes

Culinary Institute of America

French Culinary Institute

Delicious Sandwich in SoHo


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Culinary School, Here I Come!

Well, for a few days at least. Two weeks from today, I'll be spending five days in New York City to visit...

The French Culinary Institute

and the Culinary Institute of America

FCI is in the city, in SoHo, and CIA is in Hyde Park. I'll be staying in the city and I'll just take the train to CIA. Words cannot express my excitement! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blackberry Crumble

Blackberries are EVERYWHERE right now, and this is crumble is a perfect way to make use of them! I made this for the first time a week ago with friends. We used a recipe as a guideline, but made a couple changes. I made it again the next day (I'm serious, blackberries are everywhere!), made even more changes, and this is the final product. Enjoy.

  • 4 cups ripe blackberries (hand-picked if you can!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried oats
  • 1 stick butter, chilled and cubed
1. Remove any stems and leaves from the blackberries. Rinse and pat dry.
2. Lightly combine blackberries, granulated sugar, balsamic vinegar, and 2 tbsp flour. Try not to crush any of the berries.
3. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups flour, brown sugar, dried oats, and chilled butter. Pinch the mixture between your fingers until the butter is thoroughly distributed and everything becomes crumbly.
4. Pour the blackberry mixture into a buttered 9x9 baking dish and top with the crumble.
5. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
6. Transfer to the top rack and broil for one minute, or until the top becomes crisp. Watch carefully so you don't burn it.
7. Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  • Add more or less sugar, depending on how sweet your berries are. Mine were pretty sour, and I don't like things very sweet. So you might want to add a little more.
  • I know the balsamic vinegar sounds weird... but just trust me! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life Update

I've been MIA lately for various reasons, but I'm back! I know my blog is supposed to be about food, but I guess it's okay to have a life update every now and then, right?
  • I took a completely spur-of-the-moment trip to Tampa (which is SO not me) and made some amazing new friends!
  • Over the course of one week, I spent more time in the library than I ever have in my life.
  • I became FSU's Mock Trial chair!
  • I moved out of the apartment I've lived in for the past 2 years.
  • I'm back in Pensacola for summer.
  • I have a new job at a pediatrician's office.
I think the best part of the past month is that I got to know some people I probably never would have known had it not been for going to Tampa. I'm not a spontaneous person. I like goals and plans and lists and staying at home! But because I stepped out of my box, I really loved my last two weeks as a Junior.

So life is good, but also busy. Here are a few photos - some from my blackberry, so not great quality. Enjoy.


just for khush :)






Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer, Come Soon






I know this post has nothing to do with food, but I just can't wait for summertime. Less than two more weeks. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pizza is Like Sex

Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good... We've all heard that one, right? Well I'm not going argue the sexual aspect of it (If you want some funny commentary, go here or here!), but is the pizza part true? Have you really ever had a seriously BAD pizza?

Well I got first my lesson in pizza making last night. I bought some raw dough and had big plans for my first real pizza. What did I end up with? Chewy overworked crust (stretching the dough is harder than I thought!) and waaaay too many conflicting flavors.

Okay, thinking back on it now, I realize that marinara, mozarella, goat cheese, asiago cheese, kalamata olives, and crimini mushrooms might be a little bit of a flavor overload. But at the time, I was staring into the depths of my fridge salivating over all the potential pizza toppings. So what did I do? I threw everything I loved onto the pie.

Even though my first homemade pizza was too chewy, too thick, too acidic, too salty, and couldn't easily be eaten without a fork, it was still pretty darn good.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shrimp Boil: Before and After



Thursday, April 8, 2010






Monday, March 29, 2010

There's an App for That!


Last summer I was at a farmer's market and saw what I thought were most delicious watermelons... Until I got home and cut one open. It was grainy and not flavorful at all.

If you've ever wondered how to tell whether your produce is at it's freshest, there's an app for that! On iphone it's called Harvest. Check it out!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Haircots verts: French green beans.
My method: Asian-esque.
French, Asian... Fraisian? Sure.

Not my photo, but this is what they look like before being cooked!

So haircots verts are those little skinny baby green beans. I'd actually never cooked green beans before, but I saw them at New Leaf and couldn't resist. I can't really provide a legit recipe because I was just playing around, but I just had to share because they were delicious!

1. Cut the dry ends off of the beans.
2. Start out with a cold pan and cold oil. Sauté one clove of garlic on medium-high heat until golden.
3. Add green beans. Cook in the garlic oil for about 5 minutes.
4. Add red chile flakes, soy sauce, a little water, and some honey. Whatever you think will taste right.
5. Put the lid on and let steam on medium heat until they're almost cooked through (about 5 minutes).
6. Take the lid off, add about 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar, and keep cooking on high it until the glaze thickens.

This is more of a method than a recipe. To make it simple, just sautee them on high, steam them in a lot of flavor, then crank up the heat again. The Result: sweet, salty, spicy Frasian goodness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just for Fun: Downtown Pensacola Buildings






Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Hill Cheese

If you live in Tallahassee and you've never tried any Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses, you're doing yourself a great disservice. Especially if you've never tried their Green Hill cheese.

Green Hill is Sweet Grass's soft-ripened, pasteurized, double-cream cheese. It's delicious, gooey, sweet, salty, slightly acidic, and SUPER buttery. If only one food (other than butter, of course) could be described as buttery, it would probably be this cheese.

Oh, just look at it. If I had no self-restraint whatsoever I could easily eat the whole thing.

Okay, you're probably wondering what exactly makes this cheese SO great. What makes for a 1st Place American Cheese Society cheese? Is it some crazy secret ingredient? A state of the art manufacturing process? Nope. It's the cows.

These aren't the "Happy California Cows" that are stuck in factory farms and fed tons (literally) of grain every day. These are even happier Jersey cows that are fed on a traditional rotational grazing system right next door in Thomasville. They eat... wait for it... GRASS. I know. Weird, right? Cows eating what they are supposed to eat. And as a result, you get delicious milk and even more delicious cheese.

Sweet Grass Dairy is located in Thomasville, Georgia, so there are tons of places in town you can buy their cheeses. In Tallahassee, check out Simply Entertaining or New Leaf Market.

Cheese + Rosemary Bread + Grapes + Kalamata Olives + Honey = Delish Lunch

PS - Even Martha likes it!