Big Kids in the Big City

I just finished one of the best smoothie bowls I’ve ever made!

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How I made it: Last night I mixed together 1/3 c. milk, 1/4 c. Greek yogurt, 1/4 c. [dry] quick cooking steel cut oats, 1 tbsp. chia seeds in a bowl. I also sliced and froze a whole ripe banana and half a mango. This morning I added to a blender another 1/2 c. milk, the oat mixture, a lot of mixed greens, a pinch of salt, a drizzle of honey, and the frozen fruit. Then I blended ’til the cows came home (probably also ’til I woke up Madre, sorry :/ ).

This was the thickest and coldest smoothie ever, thanks to the overnight chia mixture + the frozen fruit. Topped with sunflower seeds, Honey Bunches of Oats, and sweetened shredded coconut.

All I need is a tropical beach.

Other fun eats from this week at home:

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quick cook steel cut oats (that 1/4 c. serving size is diddly squat) with butter-caramelized banana slices + Greek yogurt with the rest of the caramelized banana, chia seeds, cheerios, and sunflower seeds

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half of one of my lunches: salmon and hummus on top of the last of the spinach in the container (fewer dishes FTW)

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crockpot split soup – one of my all time faves

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overnight oats (made with the quick cook steel cut oats again, because that’s all we have at home), topped with sunflower seeds + Honey Bunches of Oats

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leftover split pea soup + salad with homemade honey dijon vinaigrette

I’ve also been eating copious amounts of Boom Chicka Pop’s kettle corn, because once you start you can’t stop.

On Wednesday I had the privilege of hanging out with some of my beautiful friends from Boston University in NYC! Casey, Connor, Louis, Adrienne, and Fiona ♥︎

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We met up in Times Square and walked almost 4 miles down to The World Trade Center from there. We lucked out with some gorgeous weather!

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I also lucked out when this famous bagel place was on the way.

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It’s called Best Bagel and Coffee, which is the most gimmicky name ever, but over 1,000 people on Yelp loved it, so I went. In Yelp I trust.

I went for bacon, egg, and cheese on a whole wheat everything bagel.

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Indeed, this was whole and everything.

Confession: This was my first NY bagel in my entire life. Like, I’ve eaten bagels in the state of New York, but I’ve never had a quality NY bagel until this day. I’ve only lived here for 12 years. I’m a slow person in many regards.

My bagel sandwich was absolutely delicious and great walking fuel while the rest of my friends built up a “hangry” appetite for lunch by the time we arrived at the World Trade Center. It’s so interesting being the only nourished one in the group. You just watch everyone else get angry and/or delirious.

After they were all fed at a gastropub called Suspenders, we walked around to the 9/11 Memorial.

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Connor is from Maine, so the big city was a bit too overwhelming for him.

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sees grass. lays down.

And since I’m queen of navigation when it comes to food places, I brought my pals to Rice to Riches (the most vulgar but amazing rice pudding place you will ever enter)…

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…and then Eileen’s Special Cheesecake (it was featured on Food Network, so you know it’s legit).

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Holla for International Women’s Day!

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A delightful amount of food, a crap ton of walking, and countless laughs with some of my favorite people (I kind of hate myself for the cheesiness of that last one…but it’s true).

When I got home, my body wasn’t sore and had a lot of energy for the first time this whole week, so I did a quick 16 minute workout in the basement (30 seconds work/10 seconds rest/4 rounds):

Yesterday started with that smoothie up there + a manicure and pedicure with Madre early in the morning, because I had to take a train right back into the city for lunch with Pop, my brother, and Christine from Boutiquefull (also my good friend from BU)! Christine met my brother and dad in NYC, since they all work down there, so Pop asked to take us out to lunch one day.

I wouldn’t usually take a 40 minute train + 20 minute subway ride just to eat lunch in NYC, but I’d do it for these folks 🙂

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We went to Harry’s Italian, and let me just say, thank God for complimentary focaccia bread.

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Also for giant meatball subs, one of my favorite meals on the planet.

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It was so fun catching up with Christine and hanging out with Pop and bro Ben!

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After lunch, I headed uptown to meet with a couple of the Sisters of Life. I signed up to be a co-worker for them, which is essentially a volunteer to help women in crisis pregnancies (with resources, babysitting, material donations, praying, just being a friend, etc.), so we just chatted about that and all about life (duh).

All the Sisters of Life are just pure JOY. Ugh. Love ’em.

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stopped into this church as I was speed walking to catch my train back home

Last night we went to flavor town (as Guy Fieri would say) for dinner. In other words, I roasted/grilled a bunch of veggies, Madre made salmon and rice, and we dug in.

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grilled eggplant with s+p

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Moroccan roasted carrots (olive oil, salt, pepper, Moroccan spice, brown sugar)

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honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts!!!

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the crispy leaves are the best, and I pretty much ate all of them straight out of the oven

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homemade roasted bell peppers for the first time ever

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Madre’s perfectly cooked teriyaki salmon

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altogether now

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Madre bought apple strudels, so I ate one a la mode of course

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Fancy, eh? The occasion was our friend Brother Sam visiting for the night!

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‘Twas a lovely evening of food, fellowship, and watching embarrassing home videos with the guest.

I’ll catch ya back in Boston! I need to buckle down and study, because I spent 75% of this spring break reading blogs (#noragrets).

Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

So tell me:

Do you like to sip or eat your smoothies? Eating them out of a bowl with a spoon is the superior way, but your opinion is still welcome.

Have you ever eaten a real New York bagel?

One fun thing you did this week!

13 States in the Past Week

It’s like I’ve traveled through colonial America.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Habari Gani, and happy holidays ALL AROUND!!! I hope you have all enjoyed your holidays and that they have been filled with good people, conversation, fun and food 🙂

Let’s catch up! As the title suggests, I’ve been hopping all over the place ever since I arrived in (1) New York from Ireland.

Monday

On Monday morning, Madre dropped me off at the train station so I could head up to Boston for a couple days! It seems petty, but I really wanted to see Rachel and all my friends at school before finals ended and everyone scattered for winter break. 

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salad that I packed in a tupperware for a midmorning snack

(P.s. the train left from (2) Connecticut, and went through (3) Rhode Island before arriving in (4) Massachusetts.)

Upon arriving in Boston, Rachel kindly picked me up at the train station. We hugged, [almost] cried, and went straight to lunch at a bucket list place. As we do. 

Al’s Cafe was a two minute walk from the station and perfect for us hungry ladies. The item to get was the large meatball sub. Since we were quite hungry, we also ordered a large steak and onion sub. 

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But guys, when they say “large”, they actually mean MAMMOTH. These sandwiches are the size of freaking baseball bats!! Two feet, more or less.

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We split them, and although we ate a decent portion of them, they still made for a good 2.5 meals. They’re super delicious and cheap to boot!

I saw as many people as possible while in Boston, and it was just delightful. I couldn’t stop smiling.

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my friend Kelsey so sweetly made a welcome home sign for me ♥︎ ♥︎ ♥︎ 

Rachel’s Christmas gift to me was also spot on.

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Tuesday 

We tackled one more bucket list place on Tuesday morning – the Thinking Cup for a cup of coffee.

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I don’t drink coffee, so this was actually my first full cup of coffee EVER. I got a cappuccino, and it was…fine.

I had to add a little sugar to make it more palatable, but I finished the whole thing, so I didn’t dislike it.

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A tasty Greek yogurt cup for my real food.

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I had a little over 24 hours with Rachel, as I had to drop her off at the airport at 1pm, but those 24 hours were worth it!

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I was pretty sleep deprived but also antsy at this point, so I took a long walk after dropping her off, which made me feel a lot better.

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Then I went to Mass at the Catholic Center, followed by dinner with Joe and girl talk with Fiona and Kelsey before I had to head back to NY.

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‘Twas a beautiful thing to reunite with some of my favorite people in Boston, even if just for a couple days. 

Wednesday

I started my day with a Popsugar cardio-kickboxing-sculpt-something-basic-girls-do workout, and then my parents and I took my great-aunt out for a Korean lunch!

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Korean short ribs might be my favorite meat ever

In the afternoon, I had to unpack and re-pack for Florida and Texas (more to come on Texas later).

That night, we picked up my brother from work in the city and rode into the sunset for (5) Maryland, our first pit stop in our road trip to Florida. We passed through (6) New Jersey, (7) Pennsylvania, and (8) Delaware.

Thursday

My cousins came to our hotel to have breakfast with us, so I moved and grooves super quickly with this < 10 minute body weight countdown workout before going to the lobby for a nice complimentary breakfast (yay for Marriott!) with the fam.

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Always fun to see these cuties (and my aunt and uncle, who are also cute 🙂 ).

Then it was time to hit the road again! We drove through (9) Virginia before arriving in (10) North Carolina for the night. 

Cracker Barrel for dinner! One of the most satisfying meals there ever was.

complimentary biscuits and cornbread (praaaaise) + lemon pepper trout with sweet carrots, steamed broccoli, and mac and cheese + apple pecan crumble pie a la mode to share for dessert

Friday

I utilized the exercise room for a 20 minute workout before breakfast. 

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plus a hard boiled egg

The last leg of our journey included (11) South Carolina and (12) Georgia before we finally reached (13) Florida! A total of 19 driving hours later…yowza.

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lunch on the road — Madre’s fantastic Asian pork and egg sandwich on Jewish rye bread (what a tasty combo, honestly)

We celebrated our arrival with dinner at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant!

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Ben and I also watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that night, which was unfortunately quite unsatisfactory compared to the book. There’s just SO MUCH HAPPENING IN THE BOOK. 

Christmas Eve

I got to sleeeeeep innnnnn (sort of, I went to bed at 2 am).

We ate breakfast, cleaned the house, exercised, and also I massaged Madre on our new portable massage table (that I requested ever since I started giving massages in Ireland)!

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We went to the Christmas vigil Mass in the evening, which was wonderful and so joyful! The Lord has come!

Then we drove to our friends’ place for Christmas Eve feasting and fellowship.

Christmas Day

I was up and at ’em early(ish), not for presents under the tree but to prepare brunch for the family. Just as exciting, in my opinion! I made Ben my sous chef 🙂

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I made square, muffin-sized quiches, and Ben helped me make cinnamon rolls, Canadian bacon, and turkey sausage.

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individual quiches = more buttery crust surface area (I used this crust recipe and this quiche recipe as a guide)

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mini frittatas with the extra egg mixture that couldn’t fit into the quiches

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in pajamas — the best way to do Christmas brunch

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used the Minimalist Baker’s recipe!

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swoooooon

Not gonna lie, Ben and I crushed the brunch game. We were all mighty happy clams all day after this meal!

Other Christmas happenings: more massages, a nap, yoga, and a visit to Disney Springs after dinner! Disney Springs is basically like Disney’s own little city with lots of shops and restaurants.

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a couple white dudes freestyle rapping — entertaining for sure haha

We walked around for a good 2+ hours, weaving in and out of the surprisingly dense crowd.

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the decorations were beautiful! (Disney only does aesthetically-pleasing everything, or else it’s not Disney.)

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Hoooooooowee. That’s a lot of catching up to digest, isn’t it? Just like how my stomach has a lot of digesting to do from brunch yesterday STILL. More on that in tomorrow’s post though!

So tell me:

Two things you did for Christmas/the holidays this weekend!

Does your family have any Christmas/holiday traditions?

Something outrageous, funny, or exciting you witnessed in the past week.

Weekend Confessions V

weekend confessions

#1: I woke up past 10 AM on both Saturday and Sunday.

I blame Daliza for getting me on the night owl schedule.

#2: My hair is starting to grow past my shoulders, giving me an unintended retro look.

Thank God for hair dryers and straighteners.

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#3: I’m still going strong with red, white, and blue food.

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cookie dough cereal with strawberries, blueberries, and banana

#4: I bought way too many tickets at Festa Italiana on Friday, so I had to keep buying food to use them up.

I thought the tickets could be used for the carnival games as well, but it turns out that they could only be spent on food. Not that I’m complaining.

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meatball sub hallelujah

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strawberry and sea salted caramel gelato

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“Granita”— an icy almond flavored drink (non-alcoholic 😉 )

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soft pretzel with mustard

Mike shared his zeppoles with Daliza and me too! Fantastic.

#5: Sauce and cheese and bread were all over my face as I ate my meatball sub.

Just like last year.

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#6: Before Friday, I couldn’t remember the last time I ate a soft pretzel.

I’m glad I changed that. Soft pretzels are doughy heaven.

#7: We played at my neighborhood playground at midnight.

Hoodlums, I know.

#8: I’ve eaten this dinner almost every night this past week.

Pesto pasta with grilled Italian chicken breast with melted mozzarella and tomato slices on top. Festa for the taste buds!

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#9: I tried this baked avocado egg for lunch on Saturday, and I don’t know how I feel about it.

It seems like an awesome idea in principle, but it tasted…interesting.

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plus a classic egg in a hole using Dave’s Killer Bread and cooked in buttahhh

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Eaten with some poppy seed 34 Degrees crisps*

It was slightly bitter (probably due to the avocado rind), and the baked egg also reminded me of the taste and texture of a Chinese egg tart. It was weird.

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[source]

#10: I toss my salads in my baking mixing bowl and eat it straight out of there.

Practicality.

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Or straight out of the salad container.

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#11: I watched two animated movies on Saturday night.

Minions at the theater and then The Book of Life at Daliza’s house afterwards.

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WE LOVED MINIONS. I’ve never watched the Despicable Me movies, but after seeing Minions, I definitely want to! It’s good that Minions was a prequel 🙂

#12: We sat in handicap seats at the theater.

We walked in a little late, so those were the best ones available. Don’t worry, we definitely would have gotten up if someone needed the seats.

#13: The men’s final was the only Wimbledon match I watched.

I never knew when the matches were being televised throughout the tournament, but I’m glad I caught the last great match between Djokovic and Federer. I like both of them, but I was secretly rooting for Federer. Djokovic totally killed it though!

#14: Seeing how flexible Djokovic is makes me really want to stretch more.

The announcers called him, “Gumby-like.” I’m inspired.

#15: I cooked with panko bread crumbs for the first time ever last night.

Baked chicken fingers, baby! I added cayenne and paprika to the bread crumbs for a little uppercut of flavor.

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Hope you all have a great week ahead! Embrace the bad hair days and embrace the carbs.

*34 Degrees sent me some of their Savory Crisps to try. As with any product that I endorse on Daily Moves and Grooves, I have to love it to keep eating it and showing it to y’all!

So tell me:

Three delicious things you ate this weekend! 

Have you ever tried the baked avocado egg?

Are there any recent animated movies you love? People are raving about Inside Out, and I really want to see it!

Any weekend confessions!?

Summer Food Bucket List

I feel like a new woman!

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Chopped it.

My mom said that I haven’t had my hair this short since I was, like, five years old. It’s true! If I look like a youngster, I might as well embrace it. Apparently this hair length is called a “lob”➔ long+bob.

There’s a lob on my head.

Ba da bop ba baaa, I’m lobbin’ it.

Like my lob? 

In other news, I made some fancy chicken last night. I say fancy only because it took me forever to make and I made it in a cast iron skillet. Oh, and it had mushrooms and {dried} rosemary in it.

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I used this recipe

I had it over some slightly mushy brown rice, because I’m that person who doesn’t know how to cook rice properly. WITH a rice cooker.

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Last week I shared my summer bucket list, which included a bunch of activities I’d like to do before heading back to college. This week I have another summer bucket list— for food!

I should take advantage of the blessed availability of a kitchen while I’m home. Also, I want to make an effort to find some awesome food festivals and events in my county and in NYC. I’m not naturally an adventure-seeker, so when I discovered Eventbrite, I decided to join their summer bucket list for food festivals and events. It’s a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and find adventures!

Why not, right? I live next to the Big Apple for crying out loud— home of some of the best and most diverse food in the world!

This is a two-part bucket list. The first part is a list of foods I’d like to make at home, and the second part is a list of restaurants and food events I want to check out.

I’m going to use the term “bucket list” lightly this time, because I know I cannot check off all the following items. But at least I have a list, a sense of direction, and motivation! Right? Just nod your head in agreement, please.

The Food to Make

  • Peach cobbler {a la mode, of course}

peach cobbler

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  • Homemade pizza
  • Homemade popsicles
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Fresh lemonade
  • Banana soft serve

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  • Fish tacos
  • Salmon burgers/fish cakes
  • Re-creation of Mei Mei’s “Big Awesome” scallion pancake sandwich (one of the best things I’ve ever eaten)

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  • Soba noodle salad
  • Homemade shamrock shake
  • Bananas foster
  • Muffins of any kind

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  • Cheese biscuits (just because I need something to fill the space in my heart after having these ones in Florida)

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I’ll come back for you one day…

The Places and Events

  • Bareburger

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  • Rice to Riches
  • Festa Italiana at a local church (for the meatball sub ♥)

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Nope, this post is not sponsored. I just thought Eventbrite was onto something groovy. They have this cool event management page, where people and companies can create and organize events and sell tickets. I actually found a few of the events listed above through Eventbrite! Their website makes it easy to find the location and type of event you’re looking for.

So go seek adventure this summer. You might discover fun things like a gelato class or a Greek festival! You might also learn that you can’t cook a certain food. Like rice.

So tell me:

Three things you want to cook/bake this summer!

One food event you want to attend this summer.

What is your hair length right now?

Have you ever messed up cooking a food that is supposed to be dumb easy?