All Good Things… My Final Day in the Kitchen

All Good Things… – My Final Day in the Kitchen

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

The following clichés are true… All good things must come to an end… and guess what?  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

I set reasonable goals for my education, and while they had to be tweaked midstream due to unforeseen circumstances, I can proudly say that I have achieved what I set out to do…engage and better my brain, while giving myself  an improved chance at finding a lifelong career.  Not a job…a CAREER.

My journey as a student blogger for Fox in the Kitchen is ending, but my journey toward a successful life is far from over, and it’s highly unlikely that this is the end of my educational training.  I’ve had a heck of a time with this old brain, but I have thoroughly enjoyed being inside the walls of Fox Valley Technical College.  The instructors, the staff, my mentors and peers… there really isn’t much to be said but glowing accolades for the school!

Every day, new doors are opened for me, revealing new opportunities.  Some of them appear terrifying, so I slam the door and run back onto the road.  Others are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, trying to entice me to enter and follow the wrong course.  Fortunately, my education and life-learned wisdom (mostly through trial and error) has helped my discernment. My faith has kept me on course…and I know with all of my heart that I’m right where God needs and wants me to be at this point in my life.  Each and every breath I take gives me the chance to be a better person and make the world a better place for others, and that’s just what I intend to do…one smile, one good deed, and one cupcake at a time.

I’d like to publicly acknowledge and thank all of the wonderful people in the FVTC marketing department who have allowed me the opportunity to bring you these posts.  It’s been a source of great joy for me to do so.

My next goal is to continue to use my personal food blog and website, “It’s Yummilicious”, as a means to provide great food tips, grocery savings information, and recipes to my readers, but I also plan to start writing a book about my adventures in food and life.  I am hopeful that within the next several months, my physical health will improve enough for me to return to work, at which time I will launch an Internet storefront where I can sell my baked goods.  I hope you’ll join me there.  I’d love for you to see what God does with me next.  I’m about to spread my wings and soar!

I wish you all the very best…always-


My good friend, Gina and I, after the ceremony. We made it!


What’s the Point?

I’m in the middle of a pretty wicked and crazy busy term at school. Of course, it’s my own fault. I’m the genius who decided it would be perfectly acceptable to take on a 19 credit course load. Add into the mix a part time job in the FVTC kitchen, an internship position with the research and development office, weekly work study assignments (aka, this blog post), holding down a position as an FVTC student ambassador, and privately tutoring a couple of my fellow classmates with their Culinary Applications class work. Oh, and let’s not forget my duties and responsibilities as a girlfriend, and finding time to practice cooking and baking in my home kitchen.

Hey, I took it all on with the best of intentions, and the hope and dream of graduating this upcoming December. However, unless I can find a business in the hospitality industry that is willing to take me on as an employee and an intern, there’s a good chance that graduation may not happen this year. So yes… this is where you have my blessing to jump up and down, giggle, and say, “I told ya so!”

Regardless of when I graduate, I have dreams about what I’d like to do with my degree once I’ve flown the FVTC coop. There are so many different ways that I’ll be able to utilize my skills and knowledge in the culinary and hospitality industries that I’m having a difficult time narrowing down my course(s) of interest. As of this moment, I believe I’d like to work as a catering/banquet/event manager. I’m a work in progress, though, so don’t be surprised if I change my mind some more before graduation.

Right now, it’s time to focus on the present anyway. With Cultural Cuisine a mere 10 days away, the next few days will be a blur of excitement, running, and completion of last minute to-do lists. The buzz in the northwest corner of the Appleton campus is beyond exciting right now! There are less than 100 Cultural Cuisine tickets left, so I’m sure we’ll have another sold out show this year. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, be sure to stop over at the First Community Credit Union (directly inside the Appleton FVTC entrance #10) and pick them up, or mail a check (payable to Fox Valley Technical College) to Chef Jeff Igel at the Appleton FVTC campus before Tuesday, February 22nd. The last day tickets will be mailed will be February 23rd. They’re $35 a piece, or $50 at the door on the day of the event. Come and get cultured with me!

In case you think this post was written without food love, think again. I couldn’t possibly leave you lovely readers sans a recipe. I am simply not that cruel. The question is not to share or not to share, it is what to share. Will it be sweet or savory? Salty or spicy? Considering the above average temperatures in Wisconsin this week, I’ve been dreaming of warm weather. When I think warm temps, I think GOLF. When I think golf, I think Bill Murray (the funniest golfer to ever wear plaid pants). When I think of Bill Murray, I think of MEATBALLS. If you’ve never seen the movie Meatballs, (circa 1979) do your funny bone a favor and rent it.

My favorite way to eat meatballs is dipped into a sweet and tangy warm concoction of chili sauce (8 oz bottle) and grape jelly (16 oz jar). Mix the two ingredients into a crock pot, turn it on low, and add 40-50 frozen, appetizer-sized meatballs. Heat through, eat, and make your tummy happy. Hey, don’t knock ’em ’til you’ve tried ’em! I once took them to a party and the entire batch was devoured within 20 minutes. ENJOY!

At this point, you may be saying to yourself, “Geez, that’s a pretty basic recipe… from a culinary student, none the less. What’s the point?”

The point is, life doesn’t always have to be complicated, and it should always be in good taste!

I hope that your week is filled with all of the things that make your heart sing!

Expanding Thoughts

A lot has happened in my life this week, both personally and educationally. Some of it was AWESOME (i.e., the Green Bay Packers making it into the SUPER BOWL against the Pittsburgh Steelers!)…

…and some of it was not so awesome. In fact, facing the reality of my declining health and continued medical problems was downright depressing. However, while I continue to be concerned about what’s going on and look forward to a full diagnosis from a great team of doctors, I think that right now I’d prefer to focus on the good stuff that’s happening in my life, thank you very much.

Good stuff like the incredible cinnamon blueberry cake that I made over the weekend…The cake that helped to expand my waist line. Incidentally, I’d like to publicly thank the genius who designed the elastic that is sewn into my stretchy pants. I you. I loved the aroma in the house while the cake was baking! Oh, while I’m thinking of it, please forgive my poor photography. Until the day comes when I can afford to buy myself a nice digital SLR camera, I’ll have to make do with pictures like this:

Another great expansion this week came dressed and ready to be placed into my bank account…I applied for another scholarship. Thus far, I’ve been the fortunate and grateful recipient of three scholarships to help me fund my way through college. I am humbled by the gracious nature of so many businesses, organizations, and individuals. Without the help of scholarships, I would likely have been unable to fund my way through this higher educational experience. What they’ve done for my life has been UBER cool. Thousands of dollars in funding is available and it’s saddening to think that much of it goes un-awarded due to lack of applicants. There are monies available to all students, and they are not all based on financial need, so you truly have nothing to lose by spending 5 minutes to complete the application. If you’re interested in applying for some funding, click HERE and fill out an application before the February 11th deadline. NOTE: You will need a recommendation letter from two Fox Valley Tech instructors. Common courtesy is to ask for their permission before using their name on your application.

Back to the topic at hand: I’ve spent a few too many hours this week expanding my recipe database. The Internet is a plethora of drool worthy food sites. One of my favorite finds of the week came from Michelle, who gave me a great new Super Bowl snack idea. Because these yumsters have bacon in them, I plan to make a few batches, since it’s likely that I’ll eat 2 dozen a few before they come off of the baking pan.

As many recipes as I’ve collected, I now have enough to keep me busy cookin’ 24 hours a day until 2021, when I will likely suffer a nasty fate. I can almost hear the headline now: “Local woman dies in freak accident when the elastic in her stretchy pants gave way and snapped her to an untimely death.”

At least I’ll die a happy woman.

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