Baked Polenta with Tomato Basil Sauce

By | March 3, 2013

So, how did your National Day of Unplugging go? As ashamed as I am to admit, I may have only participated 50%.

I did, however, step away from my devices long enough to do some cleaning and to make this delicious baked polenta recipe…

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7 Useful and Free Apps for the Busy 20-Something

By | February 23, 2013

Have you seen this Quicken Loans commercial? It’s pretty hilarious and on-point with how many of us under-utilize smartphones.

For years, whenever anyone told me that I NEED a smartphone, I would always ask, “Why would I ever spend that much money on a phone when I could buy something useful?”

Well, I finally caved in and bought an iPhone 5 when it launched last fall. And, after having it for four months, I can say that I finally GET IT.

Not only do I use it for playing Solitaire (I know, I’m a grandma) and [attempting to beat] Subway Surfers, but I also discovered ways to maximize its utility for simplifying my life.

I love that this one slim device allows me to do everything, from taking pictures and listening to music, to reading email and my latest magazine subscriptions.

But, with the endless lists of new applications available every day, there is a whole world of untapped productivity potential in your do-everything phones.

These are just seven of the most useful and budget-friendly apps I’ve come across that really do motivate, organize and simplify my active and hectic life.

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Diner Eats: The Nook Charlottesville

By | February 21, 2013

Dreaming of…

An Oreo milkshake from The Nook in downtown Charlottesville.

Though the stretch of shops and restaurants Downtown offer countless high-end and gourmet options, sometimes all you want is quick and comforting diner fare.

New Jersey is the capital of American diner culture, so of course we set high standards.

The Nook’s food can’t compare to Jersey diners, but this Oreo milkshake did not disappoint. Creamy, not-too-sweet, concentrated Oreo flavor and slurped up in under a minute.

The Nook
415 East Main St.
Charlottesville, VA‎


Spicy Turkey Ragu

By | February 18, 2013

If you read Bon Appetit and follow their social media accounts, you’ve probably seen them advertise the Cook the Cover contest.

After seeing the delicious pasta recipe featured on the February issue, I knew I had to give the spicy rigatoni ragu a try.

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Chinese New Year Dumplings

By | February 17, 2013

Last weekend was Chinese New Year, and for Chinese families, this holiday is a big deal. The day marks the beginning of the lunar calendar, but it’s also a time when everyone travels back to their hometowns, leaving work and school for weeks to celebrate the festivities with their families.

Most of my family is, unfortunately, separated by oceans and continents. Despite not having all of our relatives with us, my mom and I made the most of celebrating the holiday this year by making dumplings entirely from scratch.

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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Molten Lava Cakes

By | February 14, 2013

So there are only two hours left before your super-romantic and perfect Valentine’s Day dinner, but you’re still scrambling for a dessert idea.

Well this molten lava cake recipe from The Tasty Kitchen may be the perfect solution.

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Eataly Market and Restaurants

By | February 5, 2013

When walking around the Flatiron District in New York City, it is almost impossible to miss the entrance to Eataly. Located on Fifth Avenue, across the street from the iconic Flatiron building, Mario Batali and Lidia/Joe Bastianich’s gourmet Italian market houses beautiful foods from as far away as Europe and as close as New York.

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Mudhouse Charlottesville

By | January 24, 2013

My new obsession with espresso continues…

This time in the form of a latte from Mudhouse in Downtown Charlottesville, Va. A rich and comforting cup of perfectly roasted espresso and beautifully decorated foam.

This cozy and artsy little coffee shop is a must-visit if you’re ever in town.

213 W. Main St.
Charlottesville, VA 22902


National Pie Day Celebration

By | January 23, 2013

Ok, so celebration may be an exaggeration. I did, however, take some time out today to celebrate this very important holiday.

Ideally, I would have baked a pie from scratch, but I don’t know if I’m up for that challenge yet.

Trader Joe’s apple pie more than satisfied the Pie Day criteria.

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Simple Smoked Salmon Lunch

By | January 17, 2013

When your basic turkey sandwich isn’t enough, top a rice cake with herb cream cheese, lettuce, tomato and some thin slices of smoked salmon. Just a few basic ingredients can transform a monotonous lunch into something delicious and worth looking forward to.

*Photo by Wesley Wey