2015 February

Strawberry Jalapeño Soda

My best friend, Olivia, lives in Florida. If you have a friend who lives very far away then you understand that feeling of seeing her for the first time in almost a year. There are huge hugs, smiles until your faces hurt, and celebratory dinners. I have known Olivia for almost ten years and we have been through an enormity of life events together: sixteenth birthdays, graduating high school, road trips up and down the east coast, family problems, weddings; this year, she’ll be coming up to New England in the spring for a visit. I’m too excited. We’ve already made a list of at least fifteen things to do while she’s home–most of these items revolve around food and drink!

 

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Cinnamon Banana Oatmeal Cookies

After a wonderful week off from school, I am back to the daily grind. During a normal school week, I rarely have time to myself between teaching, working out, and being a barista. By the time Friday comes around, all I want to do is binge watch Orange is the New Black and dip chocolate-covered pretzel sticks in peanut butter. I know that I am lucky to have two jobs, my health, and a supportive boyfriend who keeps me from crumbling into a messy, sobbing pile on the kitchen floor. Between you and me, I work well under pressure and enjoy a challenging routine despite the stress it sometimes causes. So here I am, straddled between teaching, running, and family time; I’m trying hard to enjoy every single minute of it! All I can do is try.

 

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Mushroom and Sweet Potato Pasta

I can’t stop thinking about the crepes I had only 48 hours ago. Being as it is my February break, I decided what better way to treat myself than to get a ticket to a Broadway show. If you know a thing or two about New York City, you know that show tickets can be extremely expensive, albeit well worth the money. I have rushed shows and gotten free tickets to previews simply through research. Roundabout Theater Company provides discount tickets to adults between the ages of 18-35. The program is called HipTix and if you live in the city or are planning a trip, I suggest you look into HipTix. There are about five different broadway shows that you can see for $25 as long as you are within the age range. The show that I chose was a revival of Cabaret starring Alan Cumming and Sienna Miller. It was freezing in the city, but well worth the adventure that I had.

 

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Crispy M&M Fudge Brownies

Has anyone seen the new M&M commercial? “Crispy M&Ms are backkkkkkk!” It cracks me up and also makes me really happy. Growing up in the 90s was a great time for wacky snacks. Does anyone remember colored ketchup? That was just plain weird. How about those yogurts that had sprinkles and dyes on the top? Dunkeroos? Fruit Roll Ups? These are just the many snacks that were extremely bad for children, yet children HAD to have them in their lunch boxes. My mom generally avoided the processed food aisles in the grocery store. Good parenting right there! But as a ten year old, it kind of was the worst feeling to be the only one without shark gummy snacks or Gushers.

 

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Tropical Fruit Kabobs

Happy Valentine’s Day, Egg Heads! I hope you’re spending time with friends and loved ones on this February weekend. I woke up and made my mom the pancakes from my Portlandia cookbook, but since I didn’t have marionberries in my possession, I used chocolate chips. Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m allowed to have chocolate at 8 AM; these pancakes were delicious and filling. If you watch Portlandia, you’ll love the cookbook. It’s really hilarious and full of great tasting dishes.

 

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Pesto Pasta Salad

It’s been a busy, crazy week. Many of my Starbucks family members have been ill, which means their shifts need to be covered. Super Erin to the rescue! It also snowed during my shift, so my wonderful mother lent me her car, a more reliable steed, to drive home; she worries too much. I ended the evening with my boyfriend who whipped up some turkey burgers on the George Foreman (what a bunch of guys – George and Joshua).

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All this snow is making me long for summer nights. Nothing says summertime like a backyard barbecue with all the fix-ins. Well, it’s not summer in New England with all of this snow that we’re getting…It’s not even spring yet. The groundhog told us that we’ll have six more weeks of winter and you bet he was correct with his prediction. But, a girl can dream of grilled chicken, spiked cilantro limeade (yeah, that’s a thing!), and swimming pools.  I’m dreaming of a warm, breezy June afternoon chockfull of pasta salad and Ryan Montbleau’s Heavy on the Vine album.

 

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Guactastic Egg Salad

Two summers ago, a group of my friends bought tickets to a Dave Matthews Band concert. The venue is an outside arena, which holds approximately 30,000 people. Tradition calls for tailgating in the parking lot before the show starts, blasting “Crash Into Me” and “Ants Go Marching”, and waiting in ridiculously long port-o-potty lines (YUCK). Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were late for the opening band and preceded to ravenously eat our sandwiches before hustling into the venue. In other words, all of the beer and snacks that we had packed would have to wait to be eaten until after the show. Two of our friends decided to take their time tailgating and drink a few beers before Dave came on stage.

The show was amazing and we even managed to catch a few of the opening bands songs. After three hours of dancing like flower children, we were ready for some snacking. Our two friends who had stayed behind did not end up finding us…actually, they never made it into the venue at all.

Here’s what happened to the two stragglers: After having a few drinks, one of our friends, Stan decided that tailgating would be more fun than going into the show. He sold both his ticket and our other friend, Joshua’s ticket to a stranger, pocketed the cash and proceeded to eat and drink everything that we had packed to tailgate. Needless to say, he was on the struggle bus the following morning.

 

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RumChata Milkshake

Three years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to a cream based liqueur called RumChata. It tastes like liquid Cinnamon Toast Crunch. In fact, some of my friends want to simply add Cinnamon Toast Crunch to RumChata and call it breakfast.I would not suggest that due to the alcohol content of RumChata and the sugar content in Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I thought about creating a boozy milkshake out of RumChata and topping it Cinnamon Toast Crunch–breakfast for dessert! I’ve cut back on drinking in the past few months, but did taste test the milkshake before and after the RumChata was in it. While the non-alcoholic version is still delicious, the RumChata brings this milkshake to a whole new level of yum.

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Homemade Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies

Once upon a time, Miss Scrambled Egg was a girl scout; she paraded around in a brown vest collecting patches for learned skills and exciting day trips. She also sold a lot of Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scout Cookie selling is a tough job in New England because it takes place in the winter. Troops set up stands outside of grocery stores and plazas to market themselves. It’s freezing and kind of miserable, but it teaches the young girls about patience and communication.

To this day, I always look forward to February and March (probably a little bit too much). It’s Girl Scout Cookie season. The little troops make camp outside of our Starbucks store dressed as Samoas and Tagalongs. They bat their eyelashes at our customers and generally do a booming business. My favorite Girl Scout Cookie has to be the Tagalong–a peanut butter and chocolate cookie that reminds me of my childhood.

 

 

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