Going to El Burrito Before We Couldn’t

As reported in the Free Times this week, the beloved Five Points institution El Burrito is rolling up soon due to the entire block its on being bought up by big Hollywood money. Its last day will be April 24. Known for inexpensive eats, quick eats, and tasty eats all at the same time, the burrito place is loved by college students, soccer parents, and nearby residents. I had never been, for no particular reason really, and neither had Patrick, so we rode down there to see what we had been and will be missing. The set up is...

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Using the Instant Pot to Keep the Oven Off

We’re slowly feeling the mercury rise as it slides towards summer, and as we all know, one of the worst parts of summertime is having to cook in its heat. That’s why I’m extra excited about my Black Friday purchase of an Instant Pot ($99 normally, $69 on Black Friday!). Yes, I too succumbed to the craze because cooking with the extremely old stovetop pressure cooker was inefficient and sometimes pretty scary. That chk-chk-chk-chk sound when it got going fast made me nervous. At first the yogurt making function was exciting, but mostly now I use it to pressure cook...

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Goodwill Writing

The reason my posting here has waned considerably over the past year or so is because my writing elsewhere has been increasing. One of my favorite clients to write for is the Good Life Blog, which features ways to live well in a thrifting world. Since I haven’t been posting updates about it to this blog, I wanted to do a roundup of some of my favorite posts from there. You can see them all here. Cooking Up the Past   Getting Cozy with Goodwill Wear Those Jeans to Yoga Class Cute Tiny Appliances & Little Dipper Sized Hot Corn Dip Getting Classy with Your Beer Glasses While you’re there make sure to check out the other talented writers that are also featured on the Good...

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Lavender Infused Milk for Cheerios

It was a random night a week or so ago when I came across a Facebook post from my friend Nichole of Gap Creek Gourmet. Continued below in the comments, someone mentioned infusing lavender into the milk and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Lavender is probably one of my favorite unusual flavors. I perused the internet on the best way to infuse the lavender into the milk – hot or cold infusion? The Kitchn recommended letting it just get to a simmer, while I used a cold infusion this past weekend to make lavender cream...

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Rooftop Pizza Brings Detroit Style Pizza to Columbia

Just in case anyone wants to deposit money into my account, I bank with Carolina Collegiate. Their main/only location that actually houses (useful) humans is on Rosewood Drive so a few months back when I was doing some bank related activities, I noticed a sign at the old Moe’s Grapevine advertising a Rooftop Pizza Pub was opening. Shortly thereafter, the Free Times reported more details on it. Then they opened in December and I finally made it there with friends right before everyone’s resolutions to eat healthier kicked in. Having never been to the Moe’s (yes, I know I...

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My 2017 Resolutions, Intentions, Goals

Yes, everyone is tired of hearing about everyone’s else’s resolutions or intentions or goals for the clean slate of the beginning of January. But I want to write about mine just so I can come back to this and remind myself of why I set these at this point in time, because as we all know, so much can change in a 12 month span. My 2017 goals are: 1. Save $9k– I put about $8k towards debt elimination between the months of July and December. If I can do that in six months, it seems like it should be really easy to set aside 9k in 12 months. 2. Go to Portland again– I haven’t been since 2012!! I need to see Woody and Kellie and some different scenery. Maybe Patrick will come with me. We shall see, but when the iron strikes for cheap flights, I’m going for it! 3. Paint the beadboard part of the outside of the house– We’re coming up on eight years in this house and haven’t touched up anything on the exterior of the house except a new roof. Re-painting it will freshen up the place with minimal cost and medium effort.  4. Get a blue couch– I just really have always wanted a teal blue couch! It’s a color I love, and we have a dark wood paneled room that is...

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Looking Back at 2016

I love looking back at these reflective surveys each each and seeing what I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing at the time. Some things never change, and some things do, radically. Here are ones from New Year’s Eve 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011. 1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? I got a really good job that pays well that I really enjoy and was able to put some of that extra income to good use knocking down about $7000 of debt from the kitchen remodel in six months. Also, I went ziplining (twice). 2. Did you keep...

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Less Formal Friday Fashion

Fashion is such a fascinating thing to me. I both love and hate it at the same time. I want to want fashion to be my top priority, but comfort always wins. It just does. If I am able to enjoy an event in flat shoes rather than suffering through a bit of it before leaving early in painful but chic heels, then there is no question which direction to go. But as I have gotten older and need to deal more with using my clothes to direct the level of authority that I need to be issued in the office, I have noticed two things happening simultaneously that are to benefit of the people like myself who need comfort to be the top priority when choosing clothes in the morning. First, the level of formality in clothes that is expected by society is lowering. It’s happening slowly, but pushing forward faster by millennials and even Gen X, who are realizing that they can run top corporate companies just as easily in jeans as they can in suits. The only example we need: Zuckerberg. Secondly, fashion companies are taking notice and offering items that can pass as business-casual clothes for people to wear to the office on “I don’t have a meeting days” that are both fashionably strong-minded and comfortable. Luckily I work in a business casual office that embraces...

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Thanksgiving Office Potluck Ideas That Don’t Suck

It’s the best time of the year… office potluck season rings in soon! There’s a ton to celebrate between now and the end of the year and most offices where people like each other fill a conference room table full of their favorite goodies to enjoy together for a few hours during the middle of the day in a season punctuated by festivities and time off. What could be better than that? Not much, except that sometimes thinking of what to bring to the office potluck can present logistical issues. The ideal dish needs to be able to maintain its integrity at room temperature, easily scalable to feed a crowd, not heavy to carry, not easily spillable or won’t shift during transport, easy to pick up on the buffet line, and be something that people will tell others that they have GOT to try. Breakfast Blueberry Muffin Cake from the Country Cook Strawberry Muffins Savory Tomato Basil Muffins Appetizers This weird throwing up pumpkin veggie tray… you’ll get points for creativity at least. Parmesan Cheddar Basil Bites Thanksgiving Specific Foods Stuffing in a Bundt Pan Roasted Veggie Pasta for a Crowd Vegetarian Pot Pie  Desserts Candied Pecans Butterbeer Fudge Peanut Butter Chocolate Goat Cheese Fudge  Requires a Slow Cooker Beer Cheese Dip (be cool, use a local craft beer instead of Guinness) Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Glaze Balsamic Brussels...

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Eat Them Gators!

Ever hated your opponent so much you wanted to just… eat them? Unfortunately this year, the Gamecocks’ schedule is full of mascots that would result in a cannibalism charge — you can’t just chow down on a pirate or a minuteman. But it’s totally acceptable to take a bite out of this week’s opponent. Alligator nuggets can be purchased at Palmetto Seafood at 2200 Gervais Street, frozen or on ice for $13.99 for a pound. The ladies behind the counter recommend breading and frying the gator, which works out perfectly since this year’s Florida game is away. There are...

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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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