A big move, a new job and a new hobby

I’ve been absent from this site for awhile.  It all started with my immense frustration of the job search and wallowing in self pity/only having energy to sit around in my PJs and watch marathons on Investigation Discovery.  Not healthy.  And also sending my husband and parents articles about how screwed up many company hiring practices currently are.  I still get angry thinking about it… I think I have job hunt PTSD.  That should be a legit thing.

Finding a job in today’s world is WAY more frustrating than it should be–and way more demoralizing.  When someone starts looking for a new job the government should supply that person with a therapist and some medication–seriously.

At any rate, I finally found a job!  I work as a technical writer and I get to work entirely from home = AWESOME!  The job also gives me a lot more time to be creative for myself (more on that later) and read what I want to read in my free time (rather than reading the same set of books every year as I get ready to reteach them).

So after I settled in to the job I did what a lot of people do– I kept saying “yeah… I should totally get back to that whole blog thing.” And  would then wind up watching TV or participating in some other fruitless task.  But I did continue cooking and so I will now reintroduce myself (and you, dear reader) to this blog with a pictorial representation of what I’ve been up to the past few months.  Recipes of some of these dishes will follow–if there’s a recipe you particularly want to see let me know in the comments section!



After discovering an amazing Afghan/Persian restaurant near my house, I decided to tackle a nan recipe.

Persian Inspired Meal

Which I served with yogurt marinated grilled lamb, grilled tomatoes and saffron rice pilaf.


Drank some wine with the cat in a leopard Snuggie. This is pre-job wallowing at its finest.

Roasted Carrots

Roasted carrots–I love roasting carrots and my favorite spice combo is salt, pepper, parsley and cardamom. The cardamom is my secret (not any more) ingredient.

Chicken ramen

I discovered the joy of adding ramen noodles to chicken vegetable soup instead of egg noodles. Just get one of those cheap packs and throw away the seasoning packet.


Made a wine poached pear and blue cheese salad. I brought this over to a friend’s house for a dinner the night before I started my new job. It is now known as “new job salad”


Painted my nails red because I was feeling sassy with a new part-time job (also watched a lot of football)


Discovered a great ramen restaurant in DC (review to come!)


Demonstrated my maturity by sending a picture of this great Caribbean spice to my husband.


Made awesome grilled brussel sprouts (recipe to come!)


Left my temporary job at Cheesetique–a wine and cheese bar/shop near my house. It was bittersweet; I loved the job and my coworkers but couldn’t maintain the lifestyle of working 2 jobs. Pictured here: caramelized onion cheddar from England.


I did enjoy a lot of cheese trays during my time at Cheesetique (and still).


Made one of my favorite vegetable dishes: spinach and sweet potato gratin. The recipe can be found here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/11/swiss-chard-and-sweet-potato-gratin/ Obviously, I made some substitutions. This was for the family Thanksgiving dinner.


Got really excited about Christmas and drank my wine with a santa swizzle stick.


Made one of my favorite, go-to recipes: slow cooked pork ribs with tomatoes and chilies. The recipe is from my favorite cookbook: Wine Bar Food


Also from Wine Bar Food, this simple steak that has become my favorite prep. Simple salt and pepper on a sirloin steak. Grill. After slicing, sprinkle with fresh rosemary and sea salt. Serve with arugula that has lemon squeezed over it. Drizzle olive oil over the steak and greens. Amazing!


Continued pre-Christmas excitement with my favorite X-Mas movie. More wine was drunk.


Made chicken dumplings from scratch (recipe to come) and realized that I can actually cook some Asian dishes.


Developed a new French onion soup recipe (I will be sharing with you soon!)


Decided to perm my usually stick straight hair and enjoyed several weeks of waves.


Made one of my favorite lunches: carottes rapees with whipped butter and crusty french bread


Tried that low-fat alfredo sauce made with cauliflower that everyone is pinning on Pinterest. It was pretty good. But I did cheat and add a little cream and cheese


Discovered the glory that is pan seared scallops with caramelized fennel


Tried Weenie Beenie–a food stand near my house–and fell in love with their messy but delicious chili cheese dogs


Also tried Le Diplomat in DC and can’t wait to go back. Perhaps I should write a review–that would give me an excuse to go back a few times.


Had a Mexican fiesta party and made fruit salsa for dessert–this stuff is awesome!


Discovered that I actually have a little talent when it comes to painting and took it up as a hobby. This is my favorite creation so far–modeled after an Edward Hopper painting.


Grilled pork tenderloin and topped with a really great basil gremolata. Served with sautéed mushrooms.


Tried the lasagne recipe from the TV show Extra Virgin (recipe on Cooking Channel website) and decided that this is my new go-to lasagne recipe.


And, finally (from last night, so this brings us up to the present day) made the tomato bread recipe (recipe is on this site!) with a simple salad for dinner. Perfect and light

And that’s what I’ve been up to these past months, at least food-wise.  And the big move?  Well I don’t have pictures for that but at the end of July I will be moving to Germany for 5 years!!  Europe, here I come!

You can look forward to more frequent posts on here from me with new recipes and tips.  Tonight my husband and I are actually playing “Chopped” again.  I’m excited to see what is in the mystery basket!



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Categories: General


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


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2 Comments on “A big move, a new job and a new hobby”

  1. May 7, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Thank you!

    • May 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Thank you for the compliment–it made my day! I’m glad you enjoy my blog. When I have time, the 2 blogs I enjoy following the most are Smitten Kitchen (great recipes, down to earth) and Life Lived Lavishly–this blog mostly deals with food (it’s food centric) but I find the author’s writing style and insight really beautiful. Worth a read: http://lifelivedlavishly.wordpress.com

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