Sunday, July 31, 2011

7 Links

Mara chose me to do the the 7 Links challenge. I'd seen this on a few blogs, and I think it's a fun way to look back on your blog and share some of its hidden contents with readers.

1) My most beautiful post.

Wow, this one was hard. I just have a point and shoot that I'm not even that skilled at using. I think this roasted cabbage with grilled tofu turned out nice, though!

2) My most popular post.

Statistics-wise my baked chile rellenos and shortcut cubed steak stew have been neck and neck for months.

3) My most controversial post.

Kind of funny, but at the bottom of this post I mentioned John Besh, who spoke at my brother's CIA graduation. I poked fun at his blazer and periodically a random googler will end up there and get pissed at me for it. I delete them as they come in, but I've been called a b*tch more than once by "Anonymous."

4) My most helpful post.

I've done a few "how to" posts, complete with step by step pictures. I think the most popular is how to butterfly a chicken.

5) A post whose success surprised me.

I was pleasantly shocked to see such a warm response about my Project Food Blog entry, where you describe yourself as a food blogger. I wrote from the heart and wasn't sure people would take the time to read it. I've since made it my About page, since I think it does such a good job describing me and Dinner at Christina's.

6) A post that didn't get the attention it deserved.

I really need to do another post on this to take pictures and give it justice, but rustic cabbage soup rocks! I make it about once a month in the winter months. It is really, really good and healthy.

7) The post I'm most proud of.

I'm not really sure if I conveyed through the blog how badly Project Food Blog crushed me. I was eliminated after round 2, but thought I would make it much, much further. I went in there balls out.

I poured my heart out in my story, I spent 7 hours making tamales from scratch, and I spent a couple hundred dollars and three days cooking for the dinner. I was devastated to be knocked out, and didn't even go into my kitchen for a few weeks. It was the closest I've come to quitting blogging. I was bitter against the contest, the process, the judging, the voting, and those that moved on when I didn't.

So, the post I'm most proud of is the five course dinner for 9 that I planned, shopped for, prepped, decorated, cooked, plated, and served by myself. I still can't believe it when I look back, but it's there in photos so I know I did it!

7 bloggers whose 7 links I'd like to see:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

eBay Central

I'm sure if you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you've noticed my many, many, many eBay posts.

My mom and I are on a mission to make a bunch of extra cash for the wedding. So we've cleared out her many attics and closets, and gone to an auction or two, and hit up some yard sales and thrift stores.

We set up banquet and folding tables in the extra bedroom to organize everything for easy access.

There's stuff on top of the tables, and also under in baskets and boxes.

I have a scale I've been using to weigh everything for shipping. We have a whole closet full of boxes and packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and cushioning. A corner of the room is also devoted to envelopes and tape, for more packing.

I even moved my computer in here for easy listing!! It's on a little makeshift desk. I have markers, measuring tape, my scale, and everything within easy reach!

For the past three weeks anytime we aren't working, we've been eBaying. It takes so much time to research the items you have to see what they are and how much they're worth listing. Then you need to photograph them, write descriptions, and weigh for shipping.

I have added an eBay widget on the right hand side of the blog, under my profile to keep up with the action!!

I've also been finalizing some wedding stuff lately, since we're now under the 5 month mark!!! It's so crazy to think in 4 months and a few weeks I'll be getting married!

I'll update soon with wedding details and add it to the wedding tab too!

Friday, July 22, 2011


I have to leave for work in a few minutes, but just wanted to do a quick update to let you guys know we accepted an offer on the house. If everything runs smoothly from this point (inspection, appraisal, financial red tape) they want to close on Sept. 7th!

A lot of my work shifts have been 2-10pm so I haven't been doing any cooking. I'm sad I don't have anything to update about.

Monday, July 18, 2011

August/September Taste of Home

Everybody go get the August/September of Taste of Home. The front looks like this:

Then turn to page 33. It looks like this:

I think you'll recognize a certain somebody.

If you're nice, I just might autograph it for you to keep forever and say "hey, I knew that girl once."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

House for Sale!

You've seen me post photo updates of the house for about 4 months now.

It's finally done, cleaned up, and ready to go on the market this week!!

Through the hard work of my dad (a licensed contractor), Angie's list recommendations, and Johnny, I give you the final product:


Please help share the word on the off chance you know anybody looking for a house in the Chicago suburbs! The sooner it sells, the sooner Johnny can move to NC and we get to live in the same time zone state again!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Softshell Crabs

I never showed you this, way back from when my dad was helping us renovate the house. It was a long time ago, I know, because he cooked these on a Friday for Lent.

Plate of fresh soft shell crabs he brought from NC. To clean the crabs you cut off their face (I know!) and you can eat the entire thing. Crabs molt their exterior, hard shell so there is a brief window for soft shell crabs. However, my dad does pull off the soft top shell, which makes it easier to clean the inside of the crab, removing the lungs and other gunk. I MUCH prefer eating soft shell crabs that my parents clean, versus those at a restaurant. I learned that the hard way- yuck.

Taking a little dip in oil.
Hopping out of the tub!

We had a huge, huge pile of soft shells. Which Johnny was pretty scared of. He said they looked like giant, fried spiders.

So, we also had some fried fish for him, too.

My plate, stuffed to the edge. The seafood was served alongside some fried rice my dad made and a green apple slaw I made.

And you better believe by the end of the night that whole platter of crabs and fish was gone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


So, I just get back to regular posting and some sort of normalcy, and I go and get my computer infected with a nasty virus! Johnny, the web developer/resident computer fix-it man is of course a thousand miles away in IL, while I'm here in NC. Hopefully he'll be able to find the time to remote in and fix it, so I can return to posting again ...again.

Sorry guys!

Edited to add: Looks like everything is back to normal after Johnny worked on it for a few hours last night. :) I just lost all of my settings and everything, so I need to re-do it all so I recognize what the heck is going on!