Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Zucchini Cookies! 🍪


This is a DELICIOUS way to use up some extra zucchini! Especially in the Summer time when these lovely veggie plants are growing like crazy in your garden! These cookies are soft, cake like, and taste wonderful. Even your grandmother will be impressed! ❤️


1½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup grated zucchini
1¾ cups quick oats
½ cup butter, softened
3 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a large bowl and stir to combine ingredients well. Cut in shortening. Beat in egg until well combined. Add zucchini and oats and beat until evenly mixed in.
Spoon drops of cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Cream butter in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Add more milk and/or powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
Frost cookies once they are completely cooled and sprinkle the tops with a little nutmeg.

Friday, July 8, 2016

To Bake or not to Bake?

I'm a firm believer that we are all given a God given gift and for some, many gifts, that we should indeed share them with the world. In some crazy way we all need each other. We are all interconnected. I love how we will meet certain people or events will happen at just the right time, then BOOM! Everything falls right into place. All because of timing. How many times have you heard that throughout your life? That, "it's just not the right time yet." Especially if it concerns Mr. Right coming along or while planning for a child. As humans it's so hard for us to be patient. We want it all, and right now! How about just enjoying the journey while we get there. Being grateful for the moment we are in now. There are seasons for everything and we all go through this at different times in our lives. Even as I write this, it's a good reminder to myself that I'm right where I need to be. I may not love it 100% but I'm learning to be more patient, grateful in my life, right now, today. I have so much growing to do, at 35 I have a long ways to go. So, the question I ask myself today. To bake or not to bake? Do I pursue something I have this undying passion for or do I continue to put it on hold out of fear? Only time will tell, I guess.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A day in the life of a Restaurant Server.

With last weeks rant about my experience back into the industry, I've decided to write today about dealing with the "entitlement" issues of our guests. I truly feel like I'm speaking for many of the industry people out there, across the board. So, I have this love/hate relationship with social media, and technology in general. I love it because it's a way to reach so many, especially if you haven't talked to someone in awhile. It's a wonderful way to connect with family who may not live in the same state as you, they can sort through your experiences, pictures and almost feel like they just saw you yesterday, when maybe it's been a year since they've seen you. The downfall of it is, there is so much negative that it can bring to someone's life. We all know the majority but for instance, you go to a restaurant and you have a bad experience, you don't just tell your mom and your best friend like back in the day, you tell the ENTIRE WORLD on Social Media, Tweets, Yelp, IG, and God knows what else I may have forgotten. Remember the customer is always right, no matter what. But is the customer ALWAYS right? In customer service, you're taught this. You are conditioned by this. You know your Boss will give you the ultimatum if the guest experience is anything but rainbows and butterflies. Although there is always two sides to a story, it doesn't matter though because you are replaceable! We live in a world now where everything is about self gratification, being HEARD, and ruining people through posting things online for everyone else to read, judge because we feel this sense of entitlement, we want to be heard! What happened to empathy? Compassion? Does it exist in the industry anymore? Wow! Times have reallllllllllly changed. Today, it's like, it may cost you your job if you have ONE off night, not because you're in a bad mood but because you just had an "off" table who's expectations of their experience were much higher. Although, you truly were doing the best that you could do and it just wasn't good enough, they of course needed something to complain about, on Yelp. So. For the guest who is always right, please think twice before you write a bad review and make someone feel worse than all scum of the earth. Think that maybe, just like you, they too are trying to pay their bills and "just get by." Do you ever have off days? Are you perfect? What if someone were to blow you up on social media because you had an "off" day at work, would you still have a job? Now, don't get me wrong, I always anticipate a great experience when I go out, it may not always happen but at least I'm aware in my mind in case it doesn't happen, so I'm not too disappointed. You see, when we have TOO much expectation and we get let down, we get pissed off. REALLY pissed off. In fact to be honest, just one week ago, I can't believe I'm writing about this but I went to a very popular restaurant in Atlanta, Barcelona Wine Bar, had a great experience the majority of the night EXCEPT for when my server accidently spilled olive oil in my purse while pre-bussing the table. My $500 Kate Spade purse, in which the GM did nothing about, really. He came over to the table with his many, many apologies, handed me his business card, saying if I needed my purse dry cleaned to give him a call. I could have let that experience ruin my mood, my night, my date, and ultimately I could have written the worst review you could possibly imagine because you know, anyone else in the city would have. But you know what? I didn't. Pick and choose your battles people. Material things are REPLACABLE. Peoples jobs are NOT always replaceable and in a world where there is always someone willing to do your job better because they're faster, stronger, smarter, better looking, etc., Employers don't hesitate to replace you. It's sad, really. How is that job security? It's always about money, and is the employer making money from having hired you. Guests' need to have a little bit more empathy and compassion before blowing up their "not so bad experience" into something more than it actually is. STOP. Stop with the entitlement. It's absurd and absolutely unreasonable. Not to mention annoying. There is a reason why industry people hate waiting on people like you. Do us all a favor and just stay home. The next time you have a bad experience, don't be a snob, walk out the door and write a bad review on Yelp. Acknowledge the situation with the server and management. Resolve it there, please. You don't always know someone's story or if they just may be having an off night, especially the day after a Holiday. Relax, they are just as human as you. We all make mistakes.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Welcome back to the Industry?

It was only a few short months ago, I was ecstatic about going back in to the restaurant industry, full time. For the first time ever I would be a part of a grand opening team in a brand new restaurant! This is it, I thought! I'm finally out of Admin, the most boring j.o.b on the planet because it is just that. Booooringg. Now, 3 months into this I'm like, "What the hell was I thinking?!" Did I make the right decision? Is the grass always greener on the other side or maybe I should have just watered the grass that I was already standing on? Wait. I'm so confused. At this point, it's like, what am I willing to put up with in order to stay where I'm at? What will I not put up with? Where do I want to go from here? What do I want this to lead to? I realize, no matter what we do for work, there is ALWAYS someone, always, that will make your position harder than it actually should be. Why though? Power trip maybe? Most likely. Typically the person that got picked on in high school and now wants to make your life a living hell in order to feel good about what they do and for themselves. I'm over it though. Done. You can stick a fork in it. I'm too good for it and worth so SO much more than to be treated like crap. So, today was one of those days where I felt like this. Where I felt like, ok, I need to be out of the industry. For good. I decided a week ago that I was going to start taking some classes at Emory University for Creative Writing in the Fall and THEN shortly after making this decision, I was out at a favorite restaurant of mine in my neighborhood one night, STAPLEHOUSE, I met a gentleman visiting from Chicago. Guess what? He was a journalist at one time and now works for a marketing company... It's more of his passion. He was visiting the city for work. I told him some of my story, he said, "just start writing, you don't need school to become a writer." He continued to tell me that he went to school, and spent thousands of dollars to write. We chatted for awhile. Well, here I am, "just starting to write."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I feel like I always come back to this. I'm reading a book right now called Anything by Jennie Allen. A very powerful book. Convicting to say the least. I love how she just pours her heart out, almost like you're right next to her having a deep conversation over coffee. I'm really enjoying every minute of it. It's brought me a little bit of peace too, and I love hearing about other people's walks with God. I'm tough, all around. I have a lot of fear, fear of not getting what God will give to me. Fear that I will fail. Fear that I'm not good enough. Fear that I'm not smart enough. Fear of truly, truly suffering worse than what I've ever experienced, which is not bad compared to most. Fear of being single for the rest of my life because I'm not deserving of ever being a Wife again. It's overwhelming. Yet, I ask myself, "why would I know any better than my Creator?" I don't. Period. There are so many things I would love to still do and see, I pray that things work out for the best. I also know I do have purpose. Something bigger than just myself and doing the everyday mundane. I have more to offer. Or don't I? Again, that insecurity creeps up on me and makes me doubt what I have to GIVE. As I sit here in one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Atlanta, I find myself thinking about all of this. I start a new journey on Monday, I hope it works out and that I absolutely LOVE it. I figure I'll give Atlanta one more shot. I mean what's the worst thing that could happen? I move back home in a year? Work at a winery in my hometown and get to travel more maybe? Who knows what God has in store for me in 2016, I just have to have Faith and trust that my journey will be exciting and filled with new things, things I can learn and be excited about. I'm adventurous, love to travel so I should probably not be so resistant about what is to come. But. But, what if it involves suffering? Am I willing... willing to suffer for Him?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Why I Changed My Life

After reading this story, a lot of things really hit me. Like, what I wanna do with my life. The direction I want my life to go in. How important is it for me to have a Career, because society tells me I SHOULD have one. What drives me. What makes me absolutely cringe. How much I truly hate the corporate world, and so on & so forth. 

In my old life I wore Ann Taylor suits and heels, and raced from my apartment in New Jersey to New York City's Penn Station every morning. I never would have imagined the way I live today. Let me back up. I was in advertising by age 23 and soon worked on some of the biggest accounts in the business- Playtex, Hasbro, Allergan. It was exciting and competitive. When I took a communications job at Maersk, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, things got even more intense. I'd jet off on business trips every other week; I slept with my BlackBerry under my pillow. After three years I felt very successful. But I wasn't fulfilled, and my personal life was falling apart (at 30 I was getting divorced). I worked even harder yet felt stuck. Then in April 2009 one of Maersk's ships was hijacked by Somali pirates, and the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken hostage- you probably know the story from the Tom Hanks movie. The company sent me to be with Phillips' wife, Andrea, in Vermont to handle the deluge of press. She was incredibly worried about her husband, but she's such a sweet woman that she was letting local female reporters use her bathroom! In the middle of the international media firestorm, I found myself drawn to the family and their tight-knit community of neighbors, who kept dropping off food. Meanwhile, I kept preparing for the worst- I knew I would be the one to break any bad news to them. When Richard Phillips was rescued after five days, everyone was beyond joyful, and he and Andrea asked me to stay on to help manage his overnight fame. Looking around at this family and the beautiful Vermont countryside, I realized I didn't want to go back to my corporate job. So I called my boss and quit. There's so much pressure to stay on the career track, it felt like ripping off a Band-Aid. That summer a friend of the Phillipses set me up on a blind date with a dairy farmer whose name was- of all things- Ransom. He lived just 10 miles away, and within a few months I moved onto his farm. After the Phillipses I took other work, and in 2011 I found a job at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets dealing with farmers, which married my old communications skills with my new way of life. At first the closeness of the community that drew me to Vermont was hard to get used to. I remember going to the hardware store for a can of paint stripper to redo the kitchen cabinets. This woman behind the counter says, "You'll need two cans." I'd never met her, but she knew who I was, and she'd clearly been in my kitchen. It was so awkward I went home and cried. And it was hard to override old criteria of success- to me, a high-powered corporate job. But I started to feel successful in other ways. I learned to garden and help with the animals; I've made new friends. And I love that whether I'm at work or the grocery store, I'm connecting with people meaningfully-people who are going to be a part of my life for a long time. 
Alison Kosakowski Conant, 37

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Perfume • Chocolate • Roses

These are all too predictable. We should know the difference between an ordinary gift and something truly unique. Give an experience. If the person you're shopping for loves food, find a cooking or wine-tasting class you can take together. Tell your love about it over a bottle of wine on February 14th, but book it for a later date. It will feel much less contrived. Or if your significant other loves the mountains, plan a trip for a day/night and take a little road trip together! Play Tourist. Treat your own city as if you're a visitor, and go on a tour. Do that thing you keep saying "we should really do." It could be a scenic and romantic adventure or a playful one. Use your insider knowledge. If you know someone, whether it's your significant other, or best friend (if you're single) who loves macaroons, cupcakes or donuts, put together a box of favorites! For me, it would be a mix of all the above! Not to mention, there's something romantic about giving your favorite book (or theirs) with a note in it as to why you or they may love it. Happy Valentine's Day, ya'll!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Toast to Twenty16

A month in to the new year and I'd say it's been so far so good. I don't think it's been too bad of a Winter for anyone, except maybe the Mid-West of course. I don't know about you but I still struggle with really dry skin this time of year. I've tried many different types of skin treatments, and I'm still.... STILL a huge fan of Philosophy. I use the whole Purity line and my favorite moisturizer is the Miracle Worker because you can use it for day or night, and it feels very velvety when you apply it to your face. Rodan + Fields skin care line I've heard is very good, Shiseido's Ultimune Eye Power Infusing Eye Concentrate is incredible, and Chanel's Sublimage La Creme Yeux is amazing if you aren't on a budget. Everyone has different skin types, and most of us try and drink as much H2o as possible to help with hydration... But. But, sometimes it's just not enough. Depending on our genes, how we are taking care of our bodies, etc., sometimes it may never be enough. There's still Hope! I truly believe once you find a product that works with your skin and makeup, it's totally worth the price of having to take care of your skin and spend that extra few dollars. Trust me. I'll be 35 next month and I can't stress how much I am looking forward to taking care of myself that much more. Not just my skin but my body too! It's time. Time to make a toast to 2016!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 the year of the predictable.

It really has been a great year to start. So was last year. Spending NYE of 2014 in Charleston, SC was a dream and to ring in the New Year was even better! I love that city for so many different reasons. I spent New Years Day 2015 on the beach of Sullivan's Island. I didn't want to leave, I hated coming back to Atlanta. I'm trying to remain positive about this year despite the outcome of last year, it didn't end well. It was truly the year of the unpredictable. Maybe I was just having an off year, although I was overwhelmed with so much emotion, confusion, hurt, loneliness and isolation. This year will be different. I declare that I will find love. More of God, and just more happiness in general. Taking that jump and doing what I love the most despite what society tells me I "should" be doing. I hope to just be me and be happy with what I enjoy doing the most. Sorry guys, I don't have a degree at 'Bama, UGA or Florida but that's ok. I've learned that I am enough. That I'm smart enough, I have a desire to learn and grow in the field I have more of a passion for, and because I'm worth so much more than just sitting behind a desk. I also want to connect with females more and make some closer girl friends. I want to travel more, and go to Cancun at some point this year! Girls trip? Maybe! No more fear. I'm not going to be enslaved to the what ifs, and the 9-5 paycheck, no way. It's time. Time to live life.