Wow, I’ve been out for a while. Exciting things have been afoot though, most notably, I started a new job! After nearly six years of trying I’m finally working in public/media relations. I’ve only been there for about two weeks now so far but I think it’ll be awesome once I get used to the new workplace operation style.

I’ve been trying to write this post for days and keep getting distracted or bored with it and stop. It’s terrible- as someone who wants and needs writing to be a reflex, daily writing is the only answer. Even if that means I have less food related posts here, or if I work on other writing, or y’know, actual work. It’s going to have to happen. Next month will mark one entire year of writing monthly for the Free Times, something I can’t believe mostly because people are paying me money to have a byline, and because it seems like I’ve been doing it for so much longer somehow.

The process of finding new topics to explore is my biggest challenge in any sort of writing scenario, which is also partly a reason why I went on an unplanned blogging hiatus. Additionally, we are having some major plumbing issues right now, so we are avoiding running water as much as possible right now, including the dishwasher. As a spoiled person, I refuse to wash an entire load of dishes my hand in the sink and we are resorting to paper plates, plasticware, and using as little pots and pans as possible. I’ve got to give a shout out to Patrick though, his glorious self stayed home from work the other day to deal with our plumber friend and city folk coming to investigate the pipes… and get this- he washed an entire dishwasher full of dishes outside. He used his sous-vide rig to let the dishes soak in hot, soapy water, the rinsed them off and laid them out to air dry under the carport. All I had to do was bring them inside. He’s strange sometimes but ingenious as well.

In the spirit of expensive things breaking, I also dropped my freakin’ iPhone 5c on the ground, which being one of the newest models, means it costs the most to repair or replace. Even with insurance the cost will be rocking in at almost $200. Believe me, I already went ahead and bought a big, honkin rubber case for it. The most infuriating and ironic part is that JUST this past Friday, I bought a little plastic Belkin case for it from Target. It didn’t save the screen, so my PSA here is: BUY A BIG, FAT CASE. I don’t care if it costs forty bucks, or if it’s bulky.

The rest of my life-wise, I’ve been going a little nuts with Pinterest. There have been some hits and misses both in the categories of food and organization ideas, which have been my main focus. Over the snow days we had in February (also known as my week long vacation between jobs) I went on an organizing frenzy. One of my bigger projects was expanding our “library” and installing a light in it that I’ve had for seriously almost two years without having put it in. What’s wrong with me?! Below is the piece de resistance, the magical and versitale Billy bookcases, with a BENNO DVD tower to the right, which was the new addition.

This gallery wall is also in the process… still even a few weeks after starting it! Dozens of Command hooks and a ton of slipshod measuring (that measuring tape was taped to the wall to help me try to ensure accurate lines. Like any good project, it’ll get there someday I hope.

Recipe ideas from the boredom of being snowed in include wine fruit snacks. I couldn’t find unflavored gelatin at my local Bi-Lo, likely due to not looking in the right place, so I tried to see what would happen if I used pectin instead.

Pectin made a squishy Jello jiggler like consistency with a pleasantly soft bite but it was hard to get a perfect looking one out. After the snow melted I rushed out of the house because we’d been cooped up for three days, and got gelatin from Whole Foods. And yes, I realize that gelatin is not vegetarian at all but I was insatiably curious. The gelatin produced a very nice looking heart but with a harder, actual gummy bear-like texture that seemed to put people off when they bit into it. I made my book club girls and a few other various friends try them and they mostly thought the consistency was weird. But then again, I was expecting people to basically chew wine like it wasn’t no thang, so… maybe that was the problem. I wholeheartedly recommend using cabernet sauvignon though, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t love red wine!

Other Pinterest scavenged recipe hits as of late are:

Aloo Phujia

Vegan Crispy Stir Fry (not great as leftovers, btw)

One Pot Andouille Sausage Pasta (made with Tofurky andouille sausage that 14 Carrot ordered at my request!)

As always, my monthly calendar of food and drink events in Columbia will be up on the last day of the month, FRIDAY! and I am excited to be getting back into this groove! What have ya’ll been up to lately?!