the foodie diaries: vol. 1

I’m sure you all are dying to know how my chicken turned out. Well I have good news! It turned out delicious! I was so proud! I forgot to take a picture because I was too excited to wait to eat it. But trust me. It was AWESOME. Use your imagination to envision the most yummy, juicy, tasty chicken breast ever and that’s what I ended up with. Kind of. Well. By my standards.

A while ago, after obsessing over her blog and her adorable house and cooking knowledge, I asked my friend Kathleen to take me under her wing to transform me from Princess Boyardee to one hot domestic diva. She happily agreed, adding that she actually wants to do this with her life! (Wonderful how that works out, isn’t it?)

meet kathleen! (and her adorable son jackson)

Monday night was day one of my domestic transformation. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. In retrospect,  I think I didn’t expect Kathleen to be as invested as she was. I figured she’d come over, and apathetically tell me a few recipes she likes and a couple simple kitchen tips for this and that and GOD never turn on the stove if there’s nothing in your pan and then call it a night. But thankfully I  couldn’t have been more wrong!

Kathleen showed up with cookbooks and notebooks and lists spilling out of her arms and we got right down to business. A brief consultation let her know that I wanted to cook things that met the following criteria:

  1. Easy with minimal prep time (since I usually get home past 7:00 p.m.)
  2. Healthy (because Dan doesn’t exercise nearly as much as I do.)
  3. Yummier than McDonalds (because I want Dan to actually eat what I cook.)

Then Kathleen took inventory of my cupboards and fridge, and even did some rearranging for comfort and ease! She brought over a list of vegetables and fruits that are in season right now (which is now on my fridge) and we made a grocery list. But we didn’t stop there. We actually got in the car and went to Publix.

Yes. Publix. Not Wal-Mart. Not Big Lots. PUBLIX. For an underpaid journalist, this. is. HUGE. I have to admit I was really terrified. I thought I’d end up spending way over budget for food with which I would have had no clue what to do.

But again, I was happily in the wrong!

We came back with all sorts of food for less than my biweekly food budget. I can’t for the life of me remember everything, but some of the things we walked away with were:

  • strawberries
  • almonds
  • spinach
  • arugula (which I didn’t know existed until this shopping trip)
  • cous cous
  • whole grain pasta
  • whole grain bread
  • cucumbers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • plain yogurt
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • raspberries

And so much more!

Just to give you a taste of where I’m coming from, a month ago my grocery list looked like this:

  • mac & cheese
  • boxed dinners
  • frozen dinners
  • white bread
  • cheese slices
  • cereal
  • milk
  • potato chips
  • spaghetti
  • pasta sauce


Since our first cooking lesson, I’ve made a couple things I’m proud of.

  • cous cous salad with shrimp, spinach, red onion, and cucumber dressed in a homemade (I MADE IT!) vinaigrette (olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper)
  • creamy pasta (recipe originally by Ina Garten) with whole wheat rotini, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and a cream sauce (half & half, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper.)
  • yummy mcyummers sandwich oatnut bread, roasted garlic hummus, spinach, cucumber, turkey. (I’m proud of this one because I came up with it all by myself and Dan actually loved it!

And so begins my epic transformation! Anyone have any easy recipes and/or good foodie blogs to share? Please do! Comment away!

2 thoughts on “the foodie diaries: vol. 1

  1. I am so proud of you! What a blessing that you needed exactly what Kathleen was wanting to do. Can’t wait to come over for dinner 🙂

  2. What a great job! I recommend three things: Read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, read my favorite blog at, and if you think it’s worth the investment, subscribe to RealSimple Magazine. There’s always 5 easy/healthy/delicious “weeknight” meals in every issue, nutritional information for every recipe, ideas for brown bag lunches, and just all around rad stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s