Category Archives: food series

Sweet treats for writers

Since NaNoWriMo is around the corner, I’ve decided to compile a list of goodies for writers.  Feel free to add any ideas in the comments, as I’m always looking for gift ideas for my writer friends (and, if I’m completely honest, for myself). ūüôā

1. Tools – I know that most people do a majority of their writing electronically, but many of us love the old fashioned tools.  I love fancy pens and I have a whole relationship with my moleskine notebooks.  If your writer is a big nerd like me, a vintage type writer or vintage typewriter accessories! Yes, please! 

2. Editorial services – Any writer who has a finished product needs an editor.  The longer and more complex the product, the more we need an editor.  I recently paid for a developmental edit from Writer’s Digest critique and editing services, and it was worth it.  You don’t have to use them, but be sure to use a reputable editor as these services tend to be pricey.

3. Food & libations – Starving artists, it’s a thing.  I swear, I’m always hungry.  Over the years I’ve gotten some pretty sweet treats from friends (and from myself) including:

Book Cookies – a friend made these for me and I loved these so much that I took pictures to remember them!

 And of course coffee and tea related swag from Etsy. Here are some of my favorites

4. Literary themed cookbooks – these are so much fun. My favorites are Maya Angelou’s cookbook and Literary cocktail recipes

5. Random cute stuff on Etsy like Writing signsWriting jewelry, or a Writer tshirt. There are so many cute ideas out there

6. Beware the “how to” books – this really depends on the author. Some writers are not fans of how to books, and instead get tips from magazine, blogs, writer communities, and other online resources. But there are some really good books out there, like my absolute favorite – Stephen King’s On Writing. But again, be careful in giving advice books when not specifically asked for.  

And finally:  Moral support. This is the most important. Love your writer, pet your writer, tell them to keep at it, and if they ask you to read something, please do it.  But whatever you do, don’t stress the word still  in the following sentence: “you’re still writing that same story?”  Actually, now that I think about it, you probably shouldn’t put an emphasis on any of the words in that sentence. It may make your writer cranky and in need of the aforementioned treats.

Urge Cookies and other weird food facts

As I’m over 30 and have a job that requires me to sit on my growing posterior all day, I’ve decided to do that thing that most adults do over the course of their lives: DIET. <hiss, boo>¬†¬† That has to be my least favorite four-letter word.

Which reminds me, why haven’t they come up with some sort of metabolism shot that would allow me to continue my unhealthy lifestyle and still squeeze into a size 2?¬† I can see it now – “I’ll have a coke, burger, fries, and a side of metabolism booster shot, please.”¬† :p Hey, we can all dream…

But as that’s not happening anytime soon, and because I’m hungry, I give you – weird food facts:


#1. Graham Crackers were originally created to stop “carnal urges” including the kind you do by yourself.¬† Because apparently these urges can be tamed by eating crackers. ¬† Hmm, interesting theory, I wonder what the old creator of graham crackers would think of the gooey goodness known as smores? :p

#2. Eggs aren’t refrigerated in the United Kingdom, but you still need to refrigerate the ones you bought in the refrigerated section of a U.S. grocery store.

#3. Saffron is one of the most expensive (and possibly THE most expensive spice) in the world. I know this to be true, as I spent a fair bit of money buying some in an awesome market in Barcelona.

#4.  For the newly health-conscious like me, beets can turn your pee and poo red (learned that one the hard way).

#5.¬† People have been paid in chocolate…well, kind of.¬† According to an article at the Smithsonian.com, it was sometimes used in place of wages during the Revolutionary War.¬† Also, it can help you recover from being around Dementors and in dealing with real-life annoying people (who may also try to suck the life out of you).

There you have it.¬† If you’re dieting like me, I feel your pain.¬† If you’re not, eat something in my honor. ūüôā

Office worker confessions – Food

Ah yes, food in the workplace, such a joyous thing. I’m not talking about the kind of food you bring in a bag from home or what you purchase from the vending machine. I’m talking about the free stuff…the stuff that turns us into vultures in business casual.

 

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Source: Pixabay & Wordswag app

Food!¬†Glorious food! ūüôā

Anyway, it seems as though there are three kinds of free office food scenarios:

  1. Your meeting food – You’re attending a meeting that’s either painfully early in the morning or one that stretches through lunch and therefore, you have won the privilege of free food.¬† Score!
  2. Not your meeting food – You’re not in a meeting, but someone is.¬† Now, you can be one of two people:
    • ¬†Sneaky lunch stealer¬† – you lurk outside of meetings and swoop in to get your free lunch or perhaps you¬†boldly pretend you belong before sneaking off with your prize.¬† Oh sneaky lunch stealer, you are a bold and beautiful beast of the office world.¬† Just be careful though, we’re all on to you and unless you bring the rest of us meeting cookies, we just might tell.
    • Left-over luncher:¬† What’s that congealed mass of meat-like product?¬†What meeting was it from?¬† Was it from¬†yesterday or today?¬† It doesn’t matter!¬† The microwave is your friend (I hope).¬† So fill up that paper plate and go to town, my friend.¬† But hurry up, the rest of the office heard there’s free leftover food and it’ll only be moments before the rest of the masses descend.
  3. One of your coworkers brought in food: You fall into one of these categories-
    • You brought the goodies – Yay! We thank you, patron saint of all those who get the 10 am or 2 pm cravings.¬† We love you and your delicious goodies.
    • You are an eater – You squeal with delight with free goodies and thank the person who brought them, hopefully not with your mouth overflowing with said treats.
    • You’re a vocal¬†dieter or a hater – You complain about the free goodies¬†and/or never say thank you.¬† If this is you, then you sir, YOU stink.¬† I don’t care if you’re on a diet or decry the use of “thanks.”¬† Either don’t partake (quietly, preferably) or say thanks.¬† Why the finger wagging?¬† Well, you trolls are the reason the goodie-bringers stop bringing goodies.¬† So be nice and don’t complain when someone brings in free and delicious treats.¬† Otherwise, you’ll get some serious side-eye and stank-face from the rest of us (and trust me, it’s well deserved).

 

 

Pasta, the only time it’s okay to eat elbows (Food Series)

Image credit: pixabay & wordswag app

I hate diets.¬† Although to be fair, I don’t know anyone who loves them.¬† Because of my slowing metabolism (boo, adult life!), a sedentary lifestyle (hey, it’s dangerous to write and walk!), and a widening waistline, I’m going on one.

But, to make myself feel better, I’ve created this series – the food series – to wax poetic about my favorite foods or tell you stories about them.

Today’s post: glorious pasta.

Mmmm.¬† I already ate and that picture kind of makes me drool.¬† Oh pasta, you’re never just a side dish to me.

That’s enough waxing poetic, now for a story:

When I was going through my divorce, I rented a new apartment and the day I left my ex, I left a lot of my stuff at the old place as well.  So, when I moved into my new place, my family helped me get my things from the old place and into the new.  But, since we only had a few hours, again Рa lot of stuff was left behind.  I went again with my dad a few weeks later to pick up a few more things.

While we were there, I grabbed a hodgepodge of stuff – a lamp, a¬†step-stool (yes, I’m short)…honestly, I still wasn’t sure what else to take as splitting up joint assets is a difficult thing.

My dad and I walked through the condo to the kitchen where we went through some of my previous belongings – should I take the cookie jar?¬† No, he had always liked that jar.¬† Should I take the glass baking dishes I bought in college?¬† Yes.¬† Should I take half the pots we got when we got married?¬† I guess…

Anyway, I remember turning around, not really sure what to do and my dad suddenly asking me if I wanted the giant box of pasta¬†I’d bought at Costco a few weeks before I left my ex.¬† I think our conversation went something like this:

“The pasta?”

I artfully raised an eyebrow. (Yes, I can in fact do this…probably because I spent a lot of time practicing when I was a teenager.) “Isn’t that…I don’t know, kind of silly?”

“You’re starting over in a brand new place and letting him live here with all of the things you bought together.”

“But Dad, what will people say?¬† What’s next, the ice cubes?” (Back then, I still cared what people said about my divorce.)

“This is something small.¬† You’ve been nice enough.¬† You’ve had to buy cups, plates, furniture,¬†a TV,¬†food…it’s costing you a lot to set up a whole new place.”¬† My dad took the box of pasta and tucked it under his arm.¬† “Think of this,” he said. “It’s one¬†thing that you won’t have to buy.”

I looked at the box under his arm.  It held at least 15 boxes of assorted pasta that I loved to cook Рelbow, linguine, spaghetti.  He was right, it was a fair amount of food and with setting up an entire place on my own and paying for a lawyer, my bank account was frighteningly slim.

“Okay,” I said and the slight¬†ridiculousness of walking out with a giant box of pasta made me smile, even in that difficult time.

And then we left and I never went back.

In the end, there were quite a few things I never got back from my ex, but I’ve been able to replace most of¬†it¬†myself over the last year and a half.¬† I’m actually still working my way through that giant box of pasta and I still don’t know why my dad was so adamant about the pasta.¬† It was the point of it, I think, after all my ex had taken enough from me.

Either that or it’s because we’re part Italian, you know…and we’re very serious about our pasta. ūüėČ

Food Series – Coca Cola

<Sigh> If there’s one thing I’ve learned on the other side of 30, it’s that I can no longer eat what I want¬† and suffer no consequences to my waistline. Boo.¬† Metabolism, why must you fail me now?¬† A desk job, stress, business travel, and the time suck of online grad classes have not helped at all.¬† Not to mention that I’m a huge foodie.¬† You know those people who say they get so busy at work that they forget lunch?¬† Yeah…I never forget meals – I look forward to them – and I get supremely cranky/hangry when I miss them.

What’s this all mean?¬† Diet time for me.

Snorgtees http://www.snorgtees.com/lettuce-the-taste-of-sadness
Image credit: Snorgtees http://www.snorgtees.com/lettuce-the-taste-of-sadness

Boo.¬† Let’s be honest, lettuce really is the taste of sadness.

But since I’m cutting down on a bunch of bad foods, I’ve decided to pay homage to them in my new food series…perhaps if I wax poetic about them, I won’t miss them so much.

I guess I should start with Coca Cola…

image credit: @prolixme and Enlight app

Coke, don’t be coy¬†–¬†you know you’re my stomach’s soulmate.

That’s right, I drink Coke – not diet, zero, lite, what have you – I drink¬†pure, unadulterated,¬†glorious coke.

And for my diet, I shall be giving it up for…..hmm well, not completely.

Coke is like the bad boy in my life.¬† I know he’s no good for me.¬† He’s trouble.¬† I’ve given him up so many times.¬† I’ve gone months without him and I think I’m over it.

But then –

Then, I see him somewhere – with that beautiful red glow – and I tell myself, I deserve it. I’ve had a bad month/week/day/hour…darn, I think maybe¬†I stubbed my toe a few steps back?¬† And so, I deserve to indulge myself in this one lovely little vice I have.

I pop the top and gulp down a little taste of heaven.

Sure, I might hate myself later for it…and remind myself that I could’ve had the more responsible iced tea or water.¬† But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t completely enjoy it.

<Sigh>¬†But for my health and waistline, I’ll be slowly phasing coke out of my life.¬†¬† I’ll start with one a week¬† – except on business trips, because I don’t drink coffee (I’ll limit myself to 3 cokes per week at first.¬†¬†Because hey man, business travel is really rough) and cut down from there.

I’ll also try to change my indulgence to Coke Life (made with stevia and sugar for a few less calories), Coke Zero (meh), and Diet Coke (made with tears).

Oh coke, I already miss you.

Do you drink soda?