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Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in eat/make/do | 0 comments

eat/make/do [10]: Be Nice!

Feeding a Llama at Tennessee Safari Park

Feeding a Llama at Tennessee Safari Park

I’m the world’s most infrequent blogger, but I’m proud to be to #10 of my link round-ups. See them all here.¬†I’m planning a meta link round-up of all of my favorite link round-up sources…which will mean you can just stop reading mine and go to theirs ūüôā

I love this idea of a compliment club. You think you’re being nice to the other person, but it’s a really positive measure for yourself, too. You look for the best in people and might get a happiness bump yourself.

Speaking of that, I made a worksheet to keep up with these recommendations from The Washington Post for boosting happiness with a few 2 minute exercises each day.

Take 21 day happiness challenge: Print them out or keep them digitally to follow along.

I’ve talked about this before...I found and love these tips for raising adventurous eaters.

Hello, lover – Miso-Butter Tofu¬†(including more tips for tots). Sign me up! My hubs is traveling this week for work, and I’m all vegetarian all the time while he’s away.

I’ve been into following my horoscope lately, and it’s been really fun. I use Astrolis. Scorpios, UNITE!

We’re a little bit biscuit crazy here in Nashville (Exhibit A and B), and these Angel Biscuits sound divine!

The reactions to the Pea-gate had me rolling! Go Straight to Hell, New York Times and I Made the Pea Guac¬†and…

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Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in eat/make/do | 0 comments

eat/make/do [9]: Let them eat LUNCH!


Above: Dill curry tuna salad on whole wheat bread with mixed greens

I LOVE a happy work lunch! One of my favorite tricks is to make one big central component on the weekend or shop for tasty ingredients specifically for work lunch – then store and prepare everything AT work to streamline mornings at home. Sometimes my work-friends and I will spend a lunch break shopping for work food, and we know we’ll have quality options on hand for the week. Shopping and preparing food together is just as much fun as going out (maybe?).

I’m obsessed with these two posts from bon appetit. I’m inspired to¬†hosting a cheese plate lunch at work. Everyone would bring their favorite cheese (or even some charcuterie) and some fruit or hearty¬†crackers – all to share. How fun would that be? (I have no doubt that it would look exactly like this.)

I’m no longer packing lunch for my son (Hallelujer! due to a change of schools with a tremendous menu upgrade), but¬†100 Days of Real Food (I won this¬†cookbook – which is also a great resource since it features a lunchbox section!) and Wendolonia¬†were some of the best sites for inspiration.

How refreshing does this Sparkling Lemon Herb Tea look??? And these lunch ideas sound delish! (I helped with prop styling and sourcing on these shoots! So fun!)

I love the idea of this Citrus Boost dressing. I usually whip up a similar dressing for my salads and bowls, but this one sounds extra zingy. If you’re short on time, this trick would probably go a long way to brighten up your midday meal.

Deb from The Smitten Kitchen might hate packing lunch, but she’s fabulous at it.

Really a post about breakfast, but I still love the placemat at your desk tip.

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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in eat/make/do | 1 comment

eat/make/do [8]: Obsessed

I’m officially on the spiralizer train (check out my zoodles – zucchini noodles above). I got one 50% off at the Williams Sonoma outlet in GA¬†(a Paderno)¬†on our weekend away about a month ago, and I’ve been using it constantly. I’ve been using the blog Inspiralized as inspiration, and I’m drooling over this salad.

Can I please be a professional grocery shopper (a la¬†#6)? I love grocery shopping. I even ‚Äúwindow shop‚ÄĚ at grocery stores. I recently had a¬†off and spent most of it perusing Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s with a friend buying cool products that I can’t get at Kroger. I’m a total sucker for great packaging.¬†Grocery shopping fulfills the ‚Äúretail therapy‚ÄĚ need for me just like buying shoes does for other women. I hope my husband is thankful for this. Also, you all just found out I‚Äôm weird. Oops.

I need to make homemade marshmallows STAT! I’m not sure I can do the whole candy thermometer thing though. So much pressure! How cute is that mold though? It might be a must-have! (Please note the people in the comments asking what to do with leftovers – hello, eat them!)

Oh man…you know I love a good tamale.

I loved this post on arranging super market flowers. I could probably do a whole post of my own since this is one of my favorite weekly rituals (getting them on sale from the discount bin!). Until then, Cup of Jo has a great guide!

I loved this post about summer sympathy meals (a great follow up to my series on the topic). I recently prepped this vegan lentil tacos from Oh She Glows for a great friend in her final months of an intensive post-grad program. I did the lentil filling, peppers and onions, and the lettuce wraps, and it was an easy way to pull off a meal (easy to prepare and easy to transport).

Have a great week!

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Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in eat/make/do | 3 comments

eat/make/do [7]: Tasty Findings

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 9.30.04 AM

I made this cake a few weeks ago. It’s vegan and gluten free, and it’s freaking delicious! The cake is a mix from Pamela’s¬†made with chia (in place of the eggs) – topped with coconut whip, maple toffee shards, and toasted coconut. I’m making a second version for a gathering tonight in Girl Scout Samoa-style with this “caramel,” toasted coconut, and shaved chocolate. (Photo by @adrianhitt // Look inspired by @andybowdy and @katherine_sabbath)

Here are a few of the tasty things I’ve run across lately and can’t wait to make:

Need some Asian-inspired carb loading? I’ve got you covered, just don’t forget to invite me over…

Japanese Garlic Noodles

Soy Sauce Noodles

Vegetable Lo Mein

I make simple sushi at home regularly (mainly veggie without raw fish – I need to level up for that one), and I knew when I saw this tofu with spicy mayo roll – I had to make it at once. I made it this week, and it was PHENOMENAL!

Make your own hot pockets…yes, please.

Seriously simple salad…I could eat this thing with every meal!

This post on hacking bakery cakes is genius…and don’t miss this one linked within it.

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in eat/make/do | 2 comments

eat/make/do [6]: Welcome, 2015!



I reluctantly took¬†all of the holiday decorations down this weekend. My usual rule is Epiphany, but I just couldn’t do it that early this year. I hate how blah and empty everything is when all of the festive decor is put away, and I REALLY get a lot from the extra light in the house. Something I’ve always done is trade the Santas for snowmen…the jingle bells for snowflakes…and the red and green for white, silver, and gold. I just can’t go cold turkey. To push it even further this year, I replaced my ornate living room tree with a few sparse snowflakes so I can enjoy the twinkle lights just a little bit longer. I’m not sure what the “rule” will be for finally putting away the last of the trimmings¬†–¬†maybe January 31st?

You may be completely over talking about the holidays and New Year, but I found a few links to share on the topic:

  • I love the idea from Ezra Pound Cake to make notes for yourself about what worked and what didn’t for next Christmas as you’re packing everything away this year. It’s like finding $5 in your pocket that your past self left for you. Take it a step further and click forward in your calendar to make notes to yourself about optimal times to start shopping and decorating, take photos for your cards, update your mailing list in July so it’s ready when the time comes…when the holidays come next year, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
  • Guided meditation is a great way to increase your presence and self awareness and reduce stress…and it always appears on my list of intentions at the New Year. Here are a couple of good sound tracks for background music,¬†too, if you’d prefer to just go through your own head-to-toe scan – acoustic guitar¬†and Tibetan healing sounds. These two are also great music for working.
  • Shout out to all of the new mamas that are EVERYWHERE in all my feeds. The New Year brought so many new faces, and I love seeing all of the sweet pictures.
  • And I’m sure since we’re all doing extra healthy eating and meal prep…here are a few hacks to help you out. ūüėČ
  • Not sure if you noticed that I left out my goals/resolutions/intentions from this year’s family update, but I don’t need to make any because I’m still working on the same old ones. I’ve really taken up the “try new cheeses” one (I mentioned that in 2011, ya’ll. Dang.) lately since I’m still making up for lost time with all things dairy after 22 months without. I’ve been buying a soft cheese and fancy crackers during my weekly trip to the grocery store. It’s been really fun to experience new flavors and textures, and I’m not sure why I waited so long. I’m also reallllly wanting to make bread and tortillas soon (mentioned last year).
  • And in otherworldly made from scratch dairy deliciousness…
  • My BFF Marie has made it super easy (and affordable) to make your relationship even better this year¬†(check it out even if you’re not actually “married”, but in a married-like-arrangement).

I found this bit of writing on an instagram caption really beautiful. It’s by Frank¬†Prisinzano (I’m OBSESSED with his crispy¬†egg technique – HT: smitten kitchen).:

“#Soffrito for grandmothers gravy at @sauce_nyc…You want a nice sauce you need to orchestrate layers of flavors deep within its fabric. This can happen in many ways, reductions, soffrito’s , steeping, and gastriques are just a few. Start by envisioning the flavors you want to juxtapose and then decide how to best extract them and in what order of intensity you wish them to pop. Now decide what your base should be, consider this your canvas and everything else your paint. Your “palette” should have 3 main flavors that you know work well together, and with whatever you are planning to put this sauce on. Make one of the flavors bold and another subtle, hide the last one altogether so it shows up and then suddenly vanishes. Play with tartness and bitterness to complicate sweetness, wield spice to confound and heat to tease. It’s complete when you can taste and rattle off every flavor as it reveals itself

#theDNAofasauce #deconstructed #embellished#learntolayerflavor #thenreaptherewards#foodchoreographer”¬†[sic]

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Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in eat/make/do | 0 comments

eat/make/do [5]: Try New Things


Today’s roundup has new-to-me tastes, skills, and ideas.

  • I would love to go to culinary school someday, but I have no idea what I’d follow it up with. I’ve always said my only downfall would be butchering. I am very anxious and uncomfortable while I’m breaking down meat. I was shredding some chicken one day from a split breast, and Mr. J asked me if I was in pain because I was grimacing so much.¬†Here’s a good guide to butchering a chicken¬†that I am keeping for reference when I’m feeling inspired/brave.
  • I love getting the Brain Pickings emails every week. It’s like exercise for your brain…not a feeling I’ve had much since leaving college finals behind. Sign up today, and we can discuss.¬†Kinda like book club?
  • I haven’t listened to a podcast in a while, but this one from Alton Brown just might get me back in the habit. I’m a huge fan!

“I enjoy exploring¬†the nuances of food and drink; I enjoy trying to be¬†an expert on the food I make.¬†The difference between a¬†meh¬†experience and a superb experience is all¬†about the details, really ‚ÄĒ ¬†the espresso grind, the bread knead, the¬†tomato harvest, the martini garnish, the noodle chew.”

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