Tourist Tuesday: Rome

DSCN2678I don’t know how to start this post other than to gush. I love Rome. Being there makes me so happy. Yesterday was Ryan and my two-year wedding anniversary and we celebrated with a long weekend in Rome. It was wonderful. Yes, the traditional gift for this anniversary is cotton (in Rome he got a sweatshirt and I got a tea towel), but I think maybe the second year anniversary gift should be pizza and gelato instead.

Part of the reason I love Rome is that I studied abroad there seven years ago during my junior year. Living in Rome was the first time I was away from home for so long and the first time I lived in a city. I ate so much pizza, pasta, and gelato. My roommates and I also cooked dinner together almost every night and befriended the local shop owners. We’d buy the fresh pesto and the guys in the store would give us free chocolate. My roommate Inga became one of my best friends, and with our upstairs neighbors Charlie and Michelle, we tore up the city. Continue reading

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Sweet and Tangy Wings

For me, chicken wings have sentimental value. That might sound like a stupid thing to say, but I think most people have at least one food that makes them feel happy, or nostalgic, or something gushy like that. Chicken wings are one of my happy foods.

Wings were a staple of my junior and senior year of college. Every Thursday, my friends and I would race to Cornerstone, our favorite local bar, to take advantage of 25¢ wings. The thing is, you had to arrive before 10pm to get the deal. If you couldn’t get there by 10, we would call in your order to one of our friends who was already there (and if you were first to arrive you usually had to order about half a dozen varieties of wings). But what made wing night so great, is that it was a standing date with my friends. We’d eat a ton, have a vodka cranberry (pretty much all of our drink of choice at the time), and then we’d dance all night. It was a blast, and today wings still remind me of happy times with my college buddies. Below are some college pictures, circa 2007.

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Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad

I’m out of my rut!! I went to the grocery store the other day and bought lots of ingredients to make all kinds of foods. I feel a little guilty though because almost nothing I bought was for a dinner recipe – practically everything was for a dessert. Except for today’s recipe which is salad!

My lovely friend Charlotte, who is so supportive and helpful with my blog, suggested I post my first-ever salad recipe. When I read her email, I thought, “ugh, salad.” I seriously dislike making salads and I prefer what I can buy at a restaurant. I don’t have all the diverse and exotic ingredients they have. And I’m just incapable of coating my salads in dressing like restaurants do. I always have a dressing puddle at the bottom of my plate. But if the purpose of my blog is to push myself to expand my cooking horizons, then I should get over my aversion to salad-making and just make a darn salad! Continue reading