Opportunities and Options


I was sitting in the FVTC commons this afternoon, munching on freshly baked slice of heart attack on a plate pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. I was also having an awesome chat with one of my favorite classmates, Chelsea. Incidentally, have I mentioned how much I LOVE the fact that, despite my non-traditional student status, very few of the younger students treat me differently? I sometimes feel like I’m being allowed to relive my 20’s…without all of the life mistakes I made the first time around!

So as it were, Chels and I were discussing her plans for the summer. She recently applied for a job as an activities director at a youth camp in northern California. If she’s hired, she’ll have 8 weeks of sunshine, warm weather, river raft trips, swimming, crafts, and bonfires with the kids. Fun in the sun and all room and board expenses taken care of? Sign me up! My heart went pitter pat…until I went to Chef Jeff’s office to discuss my summer internship options with him. He reminded me that within the next 2 weeks, the job board posted in the culinary department corridor should be bursting at the seams with summer job opportunities right here in Wisconsin. Jobs will be offered for seasonal employment at gorgeous resorts in Door County, water parks and restaurants in the Wisconsin Dells, or possibly even positions in the Southeastern part of the state. All beautiful destinations, in places where I can either commute to, or live on site but either way, where Brian will be able to come and visit. Given a choice of temporarily leaving my home, the love of my life, and my fur babies to drive my car 2,000 miles across the country in exchange for warm weather, or staying close to home and having a job opportunity that, if successful, could lead to a full-time year ’round position, I think I’ll choose the latter. It sounds like the more responsible choice for me to make. Sometimes being a grown up can be fun…I’m not sure if this is one of those times or not, but it feels good to know that I’m making choices that will affect me long into the future instead of living for the “here and now”.

(Photo from: http://www.explodingdog.com)

On to another fun topic…COOKING! I’ve been blabbing for the past year about how much I’d love to cook and blog my way through a cookbook. Considering the fact that I own enough cookbooks to justify renaming the guest bedroom a “library/reading room”, I’ve been having a tough time deciding exactly what cookbook would be my favorite to cook through. I wanted to find a book written by an author who inspires and encourages me to improve my skills through his/her writing. When I think of inspiration in the kitchen, I instantly think of two amazing women and one incredible chef. Abagail (Abby) Johnson Dodge, Martha Stewart, and Chef Michael Symon (whose good looks could give me hot flashes in the winter!) all make me want to become a better chef, and they’ve all written their books in ways that make it an absolute joy to read them. The concern with all three, however, is that their books are either limited to one “genre” (Abby only bakes, so there would be no cooking challenge for me), they’ve already been blogged by many other people, or they are a bit too challenging for me to take on while I’m still enrolled in school full time. After all, if I’m going to do this properly, I should attack it like I did my school year. I’ll set a goal to cook a set amount of recipes each week/month and know that I can attain the goal without so much difficulty that I’ll want to throw in the towel after the first month. So my search continued…until I set my fingers on this WONDERFUL cookbook:

This 5 pound bundle of love includes recipes in both the baking and cooking genres, and it includes amazing recipes ranging from acorn squash with brown sugar glaze to zucchini stuffed chicken, and cherry divinity. I also made sure that there were plenty of recipes that include the use of bacon because as you’ve well learned by now, I believe bacon in the food above all other foods. As a matter of fact, I need a bumper sticker for my car that warns, “I brake for bacon”

Speaking of that food of the gods, feast your eyes on this amazing and incredibly simple recipe from The Taste of Home Cookbook. I can’t wait to make and blog about this one…

BACON FRIED RICE


Photo by: Taste of Home

The recipe states that it serves 6. That probably means I should double the recipe for Brian and I, because I’ll likely have 3 servings for every normal person’s single serving. I’ve never been normal when it comes to bacon…

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