As a kid, my annual family trip to Daytona Beach, Florida always coincided with St. Patrick’s Day. Even though we don’t have a lick of Irish in us, we all made sure to pack a green outfit in our suitcases. Green socks, green shorts, green bobbly shamrock headbands–there was an unvoiced competition to be the greenest of them all.
I haven’t been to Daytona Beach since I was 15 years old, but this weekend the whole family is headed south, and we’ll be spending St. Patrick’s Day on the shores, just like the good ole days. I can tell you one thing, I will NOT be drinking any green beer.
If you’re like me and beer isn’t your preferred libation, you’re in luck—there’s arguably no better beverage to celebrate the Emerald Isle than Irish whiskey.Read More
Happy Monday, friends! I have some exciting news to share today… Drum roll, please! Several of the photos I recently shot for Napa On Providence were featured in the March/April 2013 issue of Epicurean Charlotte Magazine!
Including the magazine cover itself:
I never in a million years thought I’d walk by a newsstand and see something I created on the cover of a magazine. It’s simultaneously weird and exciting! I have big aspirations for 2013, and this magazine cover has revitalized my desire to pursue new food outlets in the coming months.
Also in the magazine, next to my delicious looking bean photo, is the chef’s recipe for Napa’s white beans and sausage. I haven’t cooked the beans myself, but I’ve eaten them, and they’re outstanding!Read More
I’ve been incredibly distracted the last couple of weeks, spending every breath of free time surfing Craigslist and property management company sites for a new apartment. It’s one of those life moments when I just wish someone would tell me what to do. Should I stay in my current rental and pay the (exorbitant) rent increase or move? And if I move, where? One bedroom or two? Is it safe? Can I walk to work? Does it get good light? Is street parking a deal breaker? Is shared laundry?! Where will I put my shoes? Is there a coffee shop within walking distance? What about good restaurants? Will my beloved green couch fit in the new rental? GAS STOVE!!!! Will my friends and family still come to visit???
It’s a lot to ponder.
With all this rental business looming overhead, I’ve been a stranger to my kitchen. You know what that means. It’s time for a little restaurant recap!
Let’s start with the Common Market hot mama panini–tomato, red onion, red pepper, spinach, Havarti, and mayo plus turkey–that I devoured right there in the parking lot.
No shame, this girl.Read More
Last week, on a lunch-break grocery shopping spree, I picked up ingredients for this shrimp and tomato bake. It’s a low-stress meal that can easily be made after work or prepared the day before. (I find that recipes using canned tomatoes taste even better when they’ve had time to sit.) Shrimp, tomatoes, and a bit of cheese–it’s a dish built for carbohydrates. I recommend a crusty bread or a twirly noodle.Read More
Over the years, I’ve developed a bad habit of eating at my desk and working straight through lunch. Bypassing a midday break means more work gets done, and, all else equal, I get to leave an hour earlier than I would otherwise. It’s a horrible, horrible thing.
Lately, in an effort to maintain my sanity and some degree of happiness, I’ve been making a conscious effort to break away from my desk every day for lunch. Most days, this means me, my salad, and my iPad huddled next to the fireplace in the back of Caribou Coffee. It’s incredibly relaxing sitting next to the heat of the fire and feeling the buzz of the city whirling by. Though, I’m quickly developing and addiction to afternoon lattes. Good thing or bad thing, I’m not sure.
Friday, I met my new friend Keia (check out her blog: the Sunnyside Up) at Harvest Moon Grille. Keia and I first met via phone when she interviewed me for her Creative Loafing article on what is means to be a foodie. This was our first official lunch date, and in true Mary fashion I started our convo off by awkwardly exclaiming “So… I want to be you!” I quickly followed our laughter with an explanation that I’d love to work as a freelance food writer and attend an abundance of fun food events as she does. And now you want to be her too, am I right?Read More
It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago I subsisted on a diet rich in processed foods and Olive Garden takeout. As a new college graduate, I found cooking dinner during the workweek especially challenging. By the time I got home from the office and pulled a meal together, I’d be close to passing out from hunger. And the reward for all my hard work? Eating the leftovers for dinner e-v-e-r-y night for the rest of the week. Oh, the joys of cooking for one.
Back then, I had a few quick standbys–deli turkey sandwiches, blue box mac and cheese, and rotisserie chicken quesadillas, to name a few–but, my specialty was cheese ravioli, steamed broccoli, and Texas toast. From the depths of the freezer to depths of my belly in 5 minutes flat. When I was especially tight on time, I’d often turn to prepackaged freezer meals to fill the void. Somedays, I’d have a Lean cuisine for lunch and another for dinner. I was partial to the pastas, pizzas, and paninis, though it wasn’t the taste that made me opt for the frozen entrée route–it was the low price and the low-calorie counts displayed on the packages.Read More
About that recipe I promised you…
How good do these pork skewers look?
I tend to shy away from Asian cooking. Usually, it’s because the recipe calls for lots of ingredients I don’t have on hand (rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce? oyster sauce??). The long recipes and foreign (no pun intended) techniques are intimidating! Last year, in a short-lived wave of cooking confidence, I bought a wok at Ikea, and I’ve used it a whopping two times.Read More