that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

tfg enters the toddler phase

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 9, 2013

Today marks my blog’s third birthday. When I look back at where I was when I started this thing, I simultaneously can’t believe it’s been only three years and it’s been that long.

A few things in my life have remained constant — family, friends, my ability to mess up seemingly innocuous tasks. (Oh, and my beloved car, which also celebrates its birthday this week.) But then, so much has changed. When I started, I baked and wrote to take my mind off the crapstorm my life had become. I was pecking away about mac n’ cheese in my secluded cubicle cave at a failing newspaper, and spending all of my free time on foodgawker. Sometimes I’d be sitting in the dark, the bedroom illuminated only by the laptop, scrolling through the endless trove of food porn until 2 a.m. When I got laid off that winter, I had even more free time to experiment in the kitchen — my roommates often coming home to some strange plate of food on the kitchen table. They would have eaten it regardless of how it tasted or what adjectives I put to it, but it appeared I actually had a smidge of culinary talent despite my sometimes… unconventional methods (or “brilliant” shortcuts that led to burnt eyeballs and broken appendages).

(Not even kidding… As I write this, I just realized I left a wing sauce on the stove for about 15 minutes too long and it is now a burnt, sticky substance at the bottom of my pot. I got lost in my little blogging world over here. Writer > chef.)

The three biggest developments of this last year started with the purchase of my condo in December, which marked the real beginning of my “big girl life,”  No more roommates — just me, on my own. Yes, that meant bug killing duties rested solely on my shoulders, but I now had free rein of my [bigger] kitchen and the foreign task of cooking for one.

Once I got settled, I started looking for a new “thing,” and that’s when I fell into a brand new “fitspo” world. Well — not entirely new because I have always been active, and at that time, was playing on three soccer teams, but I wanted more. I joined kickboxing. I started consistently doing “Insanity.” Shaun T became my best friend. I became my downstairs neighbor’s worst enemy. I felt great and knew moving my diet even further along the healthy spectrum would only improve my life. I started “clean eating.” (Enter my friends mocking my “#cleaneating Instagram posts.) I cut back on the bread. I cut dairy almost entirely out of my diet. I relished the challenge of making people drool with things that were actually good for them. Now, I’m teetering on the edge of being “one of those Crossfit people,” but I make no apologies for feeling stronger (both physically and mentally) than I have at any other point in my life, and much of it comes back to the food.

The last development builds on last year’s mover and shaker: Pinterest. In last year’s blogiversary post, I made it my goal to make one Pinterest meal per month. I actually did a double take when I went back and read that. Per month?! I’m doing, like, three per week. I will always have a place in my heart for foodgawker, but Pinterest has become my new food porn purveyor. And it helps a Type A-person like me organize everything into neat little boards. Many of my favorite creations have been inspired by something I’ve found in Pinterest.

This past year has brought about a lot of changes. Some good. Some bad. Some itty bitty. Some monumental. I’m in a much different place now than I was when that’s forking good turned two, but for your sake, a few things have stayed the same… I still love writing. I still love cooking. I still love taking pictures. And I still haven’t conquered corn soup.

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cookies & cupcakes combined

Posted by culinaryneophyte on May 24, 2013

cookies & cupcakes combined

Some food porn for your Friday: special birthday cupcakes for my good friend!

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happy birthday, Oreo!

Posted by culinaryneophyte on March 6, 2012

Did you know today is Oreo’s 100th birthday? The first of America’s favorite sandwich cookie was eaten March 6, 1912 in Hoboken, N.J.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a dessert involving Oreos that isn’t incredible. Oreo milkshakes? Oreo truffles? Oreo crust? Cookies ‘n cream anything? I like to leave bags of Oreos open so they go stale. Mmmm, stale Oreos… Is that weird?

Happy birthday to my favorite edible centenarian! Everyone should probably celebrate Oreo’s big day by making a batch of the best Oreo-laden cupcakes on the planet.

A full Oreo inside!

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the big o-n-e

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 9, 2011

Not since I was dealing with first-day-of-school jitters has the end of August/beginning of September been particularly eventful. For the last four years or so, I’d just been chugging away at whatever articles or projects were on the table, and the only reason I’d even bat an eyelash is because the volume of school buses would make my hour-long morning commute even longer.

This year’s a little different. See, 2009 was one of the best years of my life, and 2010? Quite the opposite. But during late August/early September, I found a little bit of salvation, and it wasn’t until the one-year anniversary of these little milestones that I realized just how important this time of year has been.

First, I bought a new car. A car that — unlike my last POS — didn’t require $800 tires and maintenance every 30 feet. A smoother ride during an otherwise bumpy time made a difference, so here’s a ‘birthday’ shoutout to my little “Elantr.” (The “a” on the car’s tag was missing, which was almost a deal-breaker for this linguistics enthusiast.)

Around this time in 2009, I also started the  “365” project, which prompted me to take one photograph each day for an entire year. (Shockingly enough, nearly 25 percent of my photos were of food.) The mission of shooting something — anything — every day forced me to change my perspective and find the beauty in all things, even if I spent the entire day inside my bedroom.

Most importantly, I started this blog. I wasn’t a blogging “n00b” at the time; I had run and written an entertainment/odd news blog for nearly two years, but it became more chore than chum, and I let it fall by the wayside. I wasn’t in love with the writing I was doing at work either, and passed a lot of time there on a great site called StumbleUpon, where you enter your interests and it takes you to fun websites you’ve probably never seen.

One day, I hit ‘stumble,’ and the screen filled with glorious baked goods — more specifically, a cupcake containing an entire Oreo cookie and marshmallow goodness. I had stumbled upon Picky Palate, which is still one of my most favorite food blogs today.

Feeling ambitious, I baked up a batch and taste tested them on my friends. Instant classic. (They still ask me to make these, like, once a week.) “So that was fun,” I thought. “But what do I do with this leftover stuff?” Specifically, cream cheese. I again took to the Web, and found an awesome recipe for macaroni and cheese that replaced half the cheddar with cream cheese. Again, I fed my friends. Again, they were pleased.

Finding success in the kitchen was a great feeling, and it really took my mind off a lot of the crappy things going on outside the kitchen. Even if/when something I made totally flopped, I usually emerged with a smile on my face and a story to tell.  The logical progression was to share my stories with the people with whom I was ultimately sharing my finished products. The easiest way to do that? You’re looking at it.

A lot of “blogiversary” posts take a look back at their content over the years, and most gasp in horror at how little they knew and how bad their photography was. Well, I still don’t know everything, and my photography could most definitely be better. My goal before my blog’s second birthday is to buy a fancy shmancy camera so I can finally get on foodgawker, post more often, drive traffic to my site, get my cakeballin’ off the ground and attempt macaroons (because they’re pretty and temperamental).

Thank you to everyone who has visited, favorited the site, encouraged me and provided feedback both good and bad. You’re pretty forking awesome.

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