Fruit & Vegetable Fail

This is the aftermath of my afternoon snack. I have been really terrible about eating my fruits and vegetables this week, so I made myself, once and for all eat these strawberries I brought to the office and left in the fridge since Monday. Yes, since Monday, it’s gross I know. They were a bit on the almost overripe side, which is why a few of them aren’t eaten all the way to the top. Not eating my fruits and vegetables feels especially bad so me since I am a vegetarian. What in the hell else have I been eating? Carbs and cheese, as evidenced by last night’s creation. Tuesday night was a semi okay night, as we went to Cellar on Greene, which is attached to Claussen’s Inn (to the left) with our couple friends of whom the husband is about to go for a year to Afghan-iraq-an. I am not sure which place, but that covers most of the possibilities. Back to the food though. I had the $19 for three courses deal, my choices being the watercress salad, the pasta primavera, and peanut butter pie for dessert. The salad was amazing, with candied pecans, fresh tangy goat cheese, adorable little watercress leaves that felt like I was eating shamrocks, these fantastically mild onion slices on top, and more accouterments. The pasta primavera was chock full of...

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Trying To Find Happiness In A Pan

Tonight’s recipe is brought to you by the following sponsors: leftover cheese from the party Alton Brown as my muse A terrible day at work I have this cheese in the fridge left over from the party and I had already grated all of this off of it before snapping the picture of the drawer above So what else could I do but make an overly cheesy macaroni dish? This recipe is based on Alton Brown’s macaroni and cheese gift from the gods, with my additions below. I have made it in its original form before and it was magic in your mouth. Making things like this on a semi regular basis are what led me to gaining weight and needing to hit the gym hard core. Speaking of which, I am making fattening food and not at the gym right now because the sky is on and off opening up. That does not make for a potentially relaxing yoga experience. The bad day at work will just be chalked up to a terrible experience that we’ll forget about with each bite of cheesy goodness. Let’s get on with this macaroni show, shall we? (Isn’t my recipe holding method great? When I re-do the kitchen I am going to integrate some sort of recipe holding device). Lots Of Cheese & Some Elbow Noodles Ingredients 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 3...

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The Supply & Demand Model of Girl Scout Cookies

Subtitle: “JUST GIVE THEM TO ME.” It’s that time of year again! That’s right, in front of every grocery store and Wal-mart is a table set up with Girl Scouts peddling their delicious cookies that they keep America coming back for annually. You also may experience the phenomenon of the co-worker sending an order form around the office to sell more boxes of cookies for their daughter. Either way, most of us can’t help but reminisce about last year’s box of cookies and the last bite that was taken before they were not to be seen again until the fat resurfaced on your thighs, belly or ass. This weekend as I was out at gallivanting around town, I was talking about the fact that I was mad at myself for forgetting to buy Girl Scout cookies last time I saw them in front of the Bi-Lo. The friend I was lamenting to made a brilliant insight about those cute little marketing geniuses in disguise. She said, “You know, Girl Scout cookies aren’t even THAT good. They are just only around one month a year, so we think they’re amazing but really, you can get better cookies inside the store for a lot cheaper.” (Photo credit: Orange County Register) On the way into the store, I asked one of the little Girl Scouts how much a box was, and she...

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ABCs of Me

Yes, I am going to indulge in a meme. But first, will someone tell me how to pronounce the word “meme?” Age: 25, but 26 in May Bed size: Full but I think I want a queen when our renter moves out and I can take my computer desk out of my room. Chore you dislike: Mopping. It’s only worse because I have to sweep up all of the dog hair tumbleweeds first, THEN mop. Dogs: Radar Love, and the renter’s dog is Woody. Woody and Radar are BFFs. Essential start to your day: Why is this even a question? COFFEE. Favorite color: hot pink, also aqua. Gold or silver: Silver Height: 5’7″ but I always wanted to end up being around 5’10”. Good thing for heels! Instruments you play(ed): Desk drumming is about as good as it gets for me. I tried to play the acoustic guitar in middle school, but it has a better home now with a friend who actually plays and enjoys it! Job title: Office & Member Services Coordinator. Kids: Never. I just don’t feel that maternal draw towards then and regard them as disturbances. Sometimes they are ok when they are around that age before they can really walk well, as long as I can give them back shortly thereafter. I’ve never changed a diaper and don’t ever plan to. Live: Columbia, South...

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Is A Hero For The Zero

My credit card balance is finally at zero again. Not that it was terribly high to begin with, it was actually around $425, but just to have it at nothing makes me feel excited, and like there are even more opportunities to save now. I am a casual credit card user. My limit is only $1000, I have never carried more than a $600 balance, and I’ve only paid interest fees once, when I forgot to make a monthly payment on the small balance I was carrying. What I would do is a cycle of putting a purchase on the card, say something I didn’t really NEED like clothing, and would casually toss $100 or so per paycheck at the balance. But in the meantime, I might put another purchase on the card, then toss a random $50 at it. So the balance was only really wavering by a few dollars over the course of the month, and even though I wasn’t paying interest on it, I wasn’t doing myself any favors that way. It felt like flushing money down the toilet because I would justify the purchase by thinking that, “Oh, I’ll just pay for this later!” That’s exactly the mindset the credit card companies want people to get into, and they want us to get into it much deeper than I did. The more you put on...

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The Last Weekend Of February Was Well Travelled

It seems like I was all over town this weekend! Friday found me pretty antsy at work towards the end of the day. I think I was starting to get on the nerves of one of my favorite co-workers, but I think she forgives me unconditionally! I started getting the idea into the husband’s head that we needed a date night, so I gave him a selection of places: Cellar on Greene, Mojito’s, Rosso, or Travania. He went with Mojito’s, which was an excellent choice, I’d been wanting to try them for a while now. It’s almost easy to miss Mojito’s, the only way you’d know it was there on Gervais is from the blue and green Christmas lights outlining the windows. It’s next to zpizza, between Park and Assembly if you need a little more directional guidance. It wasn’t too busy when we arrived at 7, but it was hopping very shortly after, which is why I only have two pictures from our dining experience. Husband got a Cuban beer, but noticed something odd about it. The flash had to be right on the words, but it says IMPORTED FROM HOLLAND. That makes me doubt it’s authenticity, but he said it was good beer anyway. I got the vegetarian plate, which consisted of rice and beans (beautifully presentation for a simple meal!), a yucca, and sweet plantains. I...

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Managing The Office Paper Flow: Part 1, Mail & Catalogs

As an office manager, I am responsible for the daily incoming mail deluge. When I started this position in September, the stack of mail consisted mostly of catalogs and sales post cards. To add to the problem, most of the catalogs were mailed to multiple people in the office, most of whom didn’t even work here anymore. It makes me cringe to think of how many of these catalogs were needlessly printed, mailed, then tossed out; even though my office does recycle paper. I made it my mission to reduce the amount of paper flowing into our office, beginning with the first week that I was here. To implement a paper reduction strategy in your own office, begin by holding on to the daily mail that you already receive. Distribute what’s necessary to the appropriate people, but hold all mail that is addressed to people no longer employed with the company to assess. Send out an email to all current staff members letting them know that you are working on reducing the daily paper flow and want to make sure that only what is relevant and useful gets to them. Making people feel like their time is important will encourage them to cooperate with you more at this point in the process. Once people start returning unwanted mail (preferably with a note so that it’s clear that it is...

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It’s Far Too Easy To Buy Things Online

I bought this domain today before I went on my lunch break and feel exhilarated to finally have a .com of my very own, and also angry at the fact that websiting is a lot more involved than I ever thought! How did the Internet ever get this far? I swear I was able to handle HTML back in 1998, what happened?! Until I get a grip on things, the posts may not be as frequent, or things may look out of whack, just me taking the time to get used to this higher level of the ball...

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Antiques, Thrift & No Bubble Tea in the CWC

Saturday had the makings of a perfect, leisurely day spent mostly outside in some form or fashion. I had great plans to spend the day in the Cayce-West Columbia (CWC) area, not venturing more than a mile and a half or so from home base. I stopped by Melrose Antique’s at almost the corner of Meeting and 9th streets in West Columbia because I had been meaning to for a few years. It is a nice little shop, converted from an older home and you can tell from the outside that there are probably some pretty cool things inside. I was immediately greeted upon entrance to the shop, and made a loop through the house. Though I didn’t make any purchases, I saw some cute, reasonably priced things. These are what caught my eye: Part of a set of candleholders. It looks like a taper candle will fit in the hats that these cute little doggies are holding out for you. They are pretty heavy, to offset the weight of a lit candle, I assume. Priced at $35, they were cute, but not that cute for me today. I have a joke with my mom regarding corn accessories. She has corn shaped plates, corn shaped corn holders, a corn shaped brush to brush the silk off of fresh corn, and God knows what else relating to corn. Making fun...

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Trader Joe’s Swiss Beer Cheese Fondue Trip Report

This was a Valentine’s day dinner for my husband and myself. I grabbed it from Trader Joe’s in Charlotte the Saturday before V-Day, because my love is a fan of both beer and cheese. The preparation is insanely simple: Cut packet, dump in pot, stir in the suggested spices, garlic, nutmeg, or pepper. You can use a crock pot to heat your cheese, or a real fondue set, or a double boiler, but I didn’t want to get the baby crock pot out of the attic; we don’t have a fondue set, and I was being too lazy for a double boiler! I went with a light sprinkle of garlic powder as my flavoring agent and set the eye on the stove to medium so that it would have plenty of time to melt while I prepped the vegetables, fruit and bread we were going to use as dippers. The dippers were red bell pepper strips, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, green apple slices, and French bread cut into bite sized hunks. Pretzels were supposed to be included too, but I forgot them in the pantry, oops! By the time I was done with the slicing and dicing, the cheese way delicious and melty. I called my husband inside from his man cave and we dug into the cheesy goodness. The downside to eating the fondue right out of the...

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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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