Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, y’all! I have been feeling all warm and fuzzy today, which may be due to the glass of wine I just consumed while baking for the big day tomorrow. More than likely, though, my gratitude results from the amazing support and encouragement I’ve received from real-life friends and online friends alike regarding the recent name change of my Instagram account from @gradschoolfoodie to @politicaljunkfoodie. I thought of this name last Friday when I was writing the first draft of my most recent article for INDY Week, Your Thanksgiving Food is Political. I spontaneously changed it after hearing from friends and my mom that it was not, in fact, stupid, and it was in fact, clever and arguably more representative of me as a person than my previous handle. The name change was inevitable, though, as I plan to finish grad school sooner rather than later.
Last Monday felt like Christmas morning…for more reasons than one. I was absolutely exhausted after staying up until 3:30 am finishing up a draft of my first dissertation chapter. I also received a present in the form of a box of “rescued” organic produce from Hungry Harvest, a produce delivery service based in Maryland that has expanded to serve the Triangle area. My box included a variety of goodies from apples and oranges to kale and summer squash. This company’s mission to reduce food waste is admirable, and it is cost-effective, as the price of these boxes save customers money they would spend on “prettier” fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. I honestly do not understand how stores throw away produce like this, as my box full of less-desirable items was a sight for sore eyes. I admire Hungry Harvest’s efforts to save these delicious treats, and I was so excited to brainstorm recipes involving the contents of my box.
Hey, y’all! It’s been a minute since I’ve written a post. Actually, it’s been almost 2 months…eek. To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement. I recently started working part-time at one of my favorite breweries as part of their event staff. I also just finished up teaching a six week summer class (after teaching a six week online class at the beginning of the summer). Normally, I would still be procrastinating on my dissertation during this busy season, but I actually have been hard at work collecting *good* data. Of course the moment I finished collecting survey respondents, my computer crashed. Thus, I have not been able to write a blog post because I had to use a loaner laptop for 20 days. Last week, I received my laptop (with a new hard drive) back from ITS.
After a day of grading papers, working on my never-ending dissertation, and catching up on emails, I enjoy relaxing in front of the TV at night. However, I am trying to get back into reading because I sleep better when I minimize screen time, and so far, my efforts have been semi-successful. I’ve been slowly making my way through Anthony Bourdain’s books, but I long for the days when I had the time and energy to reread the Harry Potter series every summer. The characters and their many adventures continue to comfort me, as they transport me back to the days of my youth. I may pick up a few of the books this summer, as the stories are truly (*cheese alert*) magical…just like these cookie butter bars.
Spring is in the air here in North Carolina! As I discussed in a recent post, the semester ended the first week of May, and I am loving this season of life…for the most part! While I and other college and graduate students may think it’s summertime, the current weather forecast has reminded us that summer is not due for another few weeks. The only time I appreciate rain is at night when I’m trying to fall asleep (I sleep terribly, and rain seems to help me relax), so this week full of showers has not been my favorite. I have slept more soundly, though, which caused me to leave my house on Saturday morning to go to the local farmers’ market, an uncharacteristic activity if you know me.
Two posts in one week! I’m killing two birds with one stone because I missed a post last week, and I’m coming to you live with a clutch recipe just in time for Valentine’s Day. This recipe is so simple, yet it is one that my friends continue to request I make for parties, picnics, or random get-togethers. It’s so simple that it’s not really a recipe. I’ll call it a non-recipe for the fellow food bloggers out there.
I first discovered this recipe hack on Pinterest when I was in undergrad, back when I had even less free time than I do now. This non recipe first trended because it reduces the amount of fat that is usually present in a boxed cake mix. Instead of adding oil, eggs, and water to a dry cake mix (store bought, sorry Ina!), you add a can of soda or seltzer water.
I recently realized that my three most beloved desserts begin with the letter B: bourbon pecan pie, baklava, and brownies. On Friday, I created a poll via Instagram story, so I could decide what to write about this week. The participants indicated they wanted me to post a recipe. There’s no Electoral College equivalent here, so I’m giving the voters exactly what they want, an original recipe for one of my favorite desserts. Obviously it contains alcohol, and also obviously, it pairs wonderfully with more alcohol!
Wine and chocolate combine to create the most stereotypical and appropriate girls’ night feature, so this recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day this week. Not only do these treats complement each other individually, they also play nicely together. The red wine in these brownies brings out the sweet flavor of the chocolate, while adding an overall richness to a typical brownie.