Category Archives: Thoughts

soak and simmer.

I’ve moved. Come find me at soak and simmer.

P.s. – I’ll keep all my old recipes up here if you’re looking for something. :)


I survived! I survived!

Well…I made it! I survived not eating out during Lent, and I didn’t cheat once! I was turning down chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants, eating lunchables in parks to avoid hunger, and learning how to cook all the delicious things I featured on this blog.

So what’s next you ask? Well, I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’m in the brainstorming process to decide what I’d like to do with this blog.  I want to keep it focused on food and cooking but am looking to incorporate some of my personal life in it as well.

Expect to see a new concept coming soon…

Just how bad is High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Obviously my grocery shopping and cooking has picked up during this Lent challenge.  But what I didn’t expect was this challenge was going to increase my awareness on healthy foods in general.  Whenever I do go grocery shopping, I think I do a fairly good job.  I try and stay on the outsides of the store as much as possible (produce and dairy).  When I do venture in the middle it’s normally for breakfast bars, some frozen foods (I’m a lover of the Healthy Choice meals) and when I’m treating myself, some chips. – I have a serious salty tooth.

But recently I’ve been paying more attention to foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.  I’m hoping at this point that most people know the dangers of the ingredient, but here’s an excerpt from a recent study:


From Princeton University: “A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.”


If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at just how high fructose corn syrup affects your body, watch the video below.  Warning – it’s a long one.


I spent some time at the grocery this week to check my normal purchases to find out if they did contain high fructose corn syrup.  I think I was lucky, but still suprised. Here are some normal purchases I’ll be cutting out of my grocery list and their replacements:

Sara Lee Classic 100% Whole Wheat

Replaced by any of the Nature’s Own Products


Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars

Replaced by Full Circle Cereal Bars


Yoplait Light Yogurt

Replaced by Stonyfield Yogurt


I don’t think I eat enough products with high fructose corn syrup for it to be a serious problem, but I feel more comfortable just cutting it out altogether. Most of these news products taste just as good if not better than their unhealthy counterparts. No problem at all! :)

Charleston Twestival

Last night I attended the Charleston Twestival.  What is twestival? Well, being the internet geek I am, let me give you a rundown.

“Charleston is now one of the many international cities participating in the worldwide Twestival, which brings people together using social media in order to raise money for charity.  Each city chooses its own charity and Charleston has chosen Concern Worldwide.  All of the events will raise money to target worldwide poverty.”

It was a really great event! I knew a couple people that attended but also got to make some new friends. BUT…(knew that was coming) unfortunately I couldn’t completely enjoy myself. Because I couldn’t eat anything!

Since I went right after work and wasn’t going to be home until 10PM, I knew I had to eat something. So after a quick stop at the corner store I made my way to Marion Square to eat some dinner. Please look how fancy I am.


Seriously, I had a Lunchable for dinner.  Now that was just sad.  Especially since I had to watch people eat delicious baked goods and jambalaya all night.

Bread pudding … which I’ll just assume was delicious


Here are some other fun photos from the event: (courtesy of Chad Norman’s Photo Set)

The event was held at The Real Estate Studio

There’s Sweet Tea Vodka in there!

DJ Natty Heavy was great!

Can you spot me at the auction table? :)

Who doesn’t love breakfast?

Breakfast for lunch. Breakfast for dinner. Breakfast for breakfast.  Really, who doesn’t love it?  I myself prefer the ‘man’ type breakfasts.  Bacons, eggs, sausage, hashbrowns.  Yum. One of my favorites ever is Eggs Benedict.  My Dad makes it every year for Christmas so it’s both delicious and has great memories attached.

I tend to stay away from the sugary-stuff.  Give me sausage links over pancakes any day.  The exception is I LOVE waffles covered in strawberries and whip cream.  Seriously amazing. What’s your favorite?

A moment please.

So cooking for myself is fun. I like learning new things and trying new foods. But really, I want to go out to eat! I’m in the home stretch (just over two weeks!), but I’m really craving some fried food.  I don’t even care if I sit at a restaurant, I’m just really really really wanting some grease covered french fries. Or chicken strips (fried!). Sometimes I feel like I’m eating a like a rabbit.  Here are some beauties that I’m craving right now:

Chick-Fil-A deliciousness

McDonald’s Filet o Fish … yum!

A burger and fries from Five Guys

Oh goodness. How long till Easter??

Cleaning out the Pantry

My pantry is a mess.  My refrigerator is a mess.  I don’t even know what’s in there anymore. Yesterday I found a mushy shallot. It’s gross. So I have declared this week, the week of pantry cleaning. What this means is no grocery list – no recipes. Just fly by the seat of my pants. Most of my meals will probably consist of pasta and some leftover vegetables/cheese thrown in. Nothing fancy. By doing this, I’m hoping to create an organized way of keeping food. No more toss it in the closet and 2 months later discover my potatoes are covered in roots. No more expired salad dressing. I want to know what I have and when I need to use it.

Another goal for the next week or two will be organizing dry foods. I’m going to be scouring second hand stores to find an acceptable system for organizing all the flour, sugar, salt, spices, etc. I’ve got some mason jars lying around so that might be the first step.

As always, I’ll keep you updated on my adventure.

And just to give you a little pretty goodness – check out these photos from some blogs that participated in the ‘Week of Eating In’:

Beef Cheek Confit with caramelized baby turnips and garlic scapes – Via No Recipes

Beef and Broccoli Rabe – Via Goldilocks finds Manhattan

Sweet Heat Red Beans – Via The Eaten Path