Weekend in Greenville

We headed to Greenville, NC this morning to attend a babyshower for our friends Riley and Megan.  It was a coed shower, and our friends invited Rascal to spend the weekend with us too.

He’s such a good little traveler.

During the car ride, I ate an apple and trail mix for lunch, plus a Luna bar and read a bit of The Omnivore’s Dilemna, but mostly I just played on Pinterest.

Pinterest makes a 4 1/2 hour car ride so much more bearable.

I took absolutely no photos of the babyshower.  What is wrong with me?

We dropped the gifts by Riley and Megan’s house after the shower, then swung by Omega Sports so I could buy new running shoes.  Riley and I are planning to go running with their running group in the morning and silly me forgot my shoes at home.

I needed new ones anyway.

Megan is filling me in on a bunch of the symptoms of pregnancy she’s experienced and referring me to books I might want to read…someday.

Now we’re watching Carolina beat the crap out of Duke (we all went to UNC Chapel Hill).  Go Heels!

Riley and Megan have two dogs, Penny and Sydney, and they have been fun to watch playing with Rascal.  Penny didn’t mind having a balloon tied to her collar, but Sydney didn’t like it one bit.

Brad bought his favorite wine, Biltmore’s Century White, at the store, so I enjoyed a glass of that before dinner.

Dinner was kabobs and cous cous and dessert was half a cupcake leftover from the baby shower.


I got two questions yesterday that I thought were worth sharing on the blog.  I’ll post more answers from the “ask me anything” portion of my reader survey tomorrow.

I read your blog post today and had a question for you.  I saw that you put avocado on one of your salads and it didn’t look like a full avocado.  I always see recipes online that only require half an avocado and I wonder how they save the other half.  Mine always seem to turn dark very quickly.  Do you have any tips on how to save part of an avocado?  How long can you usually save it for?  Thanks for your help!!

I used to try to keep avocados from turning brown with a bit of lime juice, but that never really worked for more than a day.  Then I read somewhere that you could put an avocado in milk and it would not turn brown.  I thought this was pretty strange because milk and lime juice really have nothing in common except for the fact that they’re both liquids.  I decided to test this theory by using water and lo and behold, it worked!  So whenever I cut into an avocado, I leave the pit in the avocado (this helps), fill a plastic container with an inch or two of water, put the avocado flesh side down so all of the exposed flesh is submerged in the water, seal it, and put it in the fridge. The avocado usually keeps for up to five days this way.  It really depends on how ripe the avocado is when I cut it and sometimes I have to cut off a bit of the flesh that has browned, but will find the flesh underneath still green.  It works pretty well for me.

I have a question about the recipe development. How do you do it? Have you been cooking for a long time? How do you know what goes together and how much of it? Also, do your original recipes go through many revisions based on how they taste or is what you post usually the first try?

Although I’ve always cooked a little bit, I started cooking more consistently when I I got my first apartment as a Junior in college.  That was almost nine years ago.   I’m one of those people who hate reading directions so even then, I would kind of make up stuff, but nothing too complicated.  When I got out of college I started to cook more, and then when I met Brad (five years ago) and had someone to cook for regularly, I started to cook a lot.  Every night was an adventure in the kitchen — the opportunity to try something completely different and new.  Like I said, I hate following directions, so I would look at a recipe and use basically the correct measurements, but for herbs, spices, etc. I would often just add the amount I thought should go in or add to taste.  If I made the recipe again, I might make other adjustments based on what I thought would make it taste better.  Often I improvised because I had *almost* everything I needed to make a recipe, but didn’t want to go to the store.  After years of cooking like this, I got to the point where I was mainly making stuff up as I went.  Brad would often comment how I never wrote anything down and thus, would never be able to duplicate the meals he really loved.  That was one of the main reasons I started blogging.

What I post is usually the first try when it comes to cooking.  When it comes to baking, I don’t post everything because I’m not that great of a baker, so things only come out right about 75% of the time.  And if you’ve been reading a while, you know I rarely bake at all.  So there have been quite a few baking flops, but I don’t usually mention them.  I kind of have cooking ADD so I don’t know if I could make revision after revision.  Typically, it either comes out right and I post it or it doesn’t come out right and I never try to make it again.

As for knowing what goes together, that’s just comes from years of experience cooking and doing cooking research.  I actively look at recipes to see what kind of ingredients people put together.  Most of my stuff isn’t very cutting edge (in my opinion) but there have been a few discoveries (like using fennel herb in white bean soup) that turned out great because I knew just enough about them to throw the ingredients together.  With cooking (not baking) it’s pretty easy to taste as you go and adjust accordingly.  This is why I love to cook and baking kind of scares me.

That’s all for tonight.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!