How Our IKEA Kitchen Is Holding Up, Two Years Later

It’s hard to believe that we’ve had our kitchen for two years now! And on another exciting note, I just finished paying off the last payment on the HELOC we used to finance most of it. It goes to show that you can pay off a bunch of debt for something you really want if you put your mind to it. Also increasing your income helps too. So a lot of people considering IKEA kitchens wonder how they look after real life use. Two years into daily abuse, our stuff is holding up amazingly well, I have to say....

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Oh My Guac, There’s Olive Oil In This

We’ve all got those few foods that we just don’t want to like. And occasionally, it seems worthwhile to re-try some of those foods. Others, never. My never food is olives. I refuse to even try olives. But guacamole and avocados are on my re-try list every so often. I haven’t bought into avocado toast yet, but recently in Mexico, I tried guacamole again on a whim. And it was SO GOOD. It could just be blamed on the fact that we were in Mexico and the avos probably came from a few miles away, but our lovely server...

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Sorghum Gingerbread People

Sorghum is making a comeback. And when ingredients are making a comeback, it’s important to invite them to the table, tell everyone about them, and get more people using them so there’s a demand and the farmer will grow more. It’s economics, but tastier. So I like to help facilitate that by showing new ways to make those ingredients more familiar and integrating them into recipes. These sorghum gingerbread people are just one example. The molasses in the gingerbread cookies is replaced by sorghum, as they have a similar consistency and role in the cookie’s taste, but with a...

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Autumn Nachos for that Fall Feeling

I got hit with a bolt of inspiration the other day: autumn nachos. I googled around and found nothing else of the sort. As my mind raced I used the Notes app on my phone to keep track of the ideas. These were gonna be some heavy nachos at first, as my initial thoughts included baked butternut squash shreds and pomegranate arils on top of everything else below. Let’s be glad that I left those off for the structural integrity of the chips. This is a very customizable recipe that looks like more effort than it’s worth, but it’s...

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Trina’s Pimento Cheese – Made with Grand Marnier?

The internet is truly the great rabbit hole. One minute I was reading about The Making of Charleston’s Grand Marnier Craze, and the next I was looking up how to buy Durkee sauce. The article references a pimento cheese made with three tablespoons of Grand Marnier, so I looked it up and found that the Charleston Junior League, of Charleston Receipts fame, has another book called Party Receipts that was released in 1993. Within its pages is a recipe for Trina’s Pimento Cheese. It is a curious pimento cheese recipe indeed. It calls for the usual: jarred pimento peppers, shredded...

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4 Reasons to Relocate to Columbia, SC

Anyone who has left their hometown has struggled with where their perfect new city might be. Should you go west to San Francisco? North to Boston? If you ask us, you should head south to Columbia, South Carolina. It’s a small Southern town with a lot to offer. The history Columbia is an old, historic town and its residents cherish its history. There’s no better example than the city’s Main Street. The area is currently undergoing a revitalization effort to preserve as much of its historic architecture as possible. Today, you’ll find trendy shops tucked away in 110-year-old buildings and modern...

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Tips For Your First Cruise

Every year, my friends and I select a destination and spend several days together on our annual girls trip. Usually these take place in September, but this year we altered our plans a bit and decided to take a cruise in October. Planning began in February for this one, mostly to make sure everyone was able to give everyone time to take off of work or have babies. Some girls in the group were experienced cruisers and others, like myself, were first timers. We chose a five night cruise out of Mobile, Alabama with stops in Costa Maya and...

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How to Instant Pot — The Book!

If you follow the world of trendy food Instagrammers and bloggers you’ve probably seen the humorous works of Daniel Shumski. Will it waffle? Will it skillet? are all questions that he asks and answers. This time he doesn’t ask a question but he does answer tons and tons of them, namely, wtf do I do with this thing? Instant Pots have risen in popularity pretty quickly since they came on the market, and with good reason. I’ll admit it — I was TERRIFIED of my stovetop pressure cooker, thanks to my parents warning me it would explode if I...

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The State of My Freelancing

It may have gotten buried in the past seven years, but my original intent with starting this blog was to use it as a platform to get myself jobs. Freelance jobs, and a real non-secretarial job. I have succeeded on both fronts (thank you), but wanted to talk about how my freelancing has evolved through the years. I blogged for nearly a year before I started querying local publications about writing for them. My very first freelance gig was with Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, writing about a cooking class at UofSC. I wrote for them sporadically over the next year...

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Stay Sharp For Butternut Squash Season

It was about ten years ago when I first handled a butternut squash in my own kitchen. I was in my apartment, and was expanding my cooking repertoire when I found a recipe for butternut squash fries. The butternut squash was bought, and I was there in the little apartment kitchen with some terrible knives that I brought from home. The idea of sharpening a knife was so foreign I didn’t even know it was a thing. Cutting that stupid squash was my workout that day with those terrible knives. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t lose a...

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About April Blake



April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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