New Year, New Magic and Not-So-New Music


A mural inside Hendershot’s Coffee in Athens, Ga.

I’m not a musician. I might be more than a little tone-deaf. And a consistent sense of rhythm is something that escapes me on a daily basis.

My taste in music is best described as an eclectic mix, often featuring dad-joke-levels of corniness and sugary pop. It’s very Billboard, but there are some random tracks here and there to keep things interesting.

That said, despite all of the above, there is one musical superpower I have. You ready?

Continue reading “New Year, New Magic and Not-So-New Music”

A Holiday for Foodies

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It’s the day that acts as an annual reminder to count your blessings, connect with your family and friends and to truly be grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life.

It also happens to be a celebration of food. And why not? Food sustains us and brings our families and friends together. It’s a mode of artistic expression for some and emotionally-charged for us all with every memory each recipe evokes.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and foodies, party planning enthusiasts and pretty much anyone who has spent more than two hours on foodgawker is super excited.

I’m super excited.

And to kick off the celebration I’m posting my Hobbies Cookbook. As I’ve mentioned in my post on peach wontons , I have a bucket list of hobbies. It’s an ever-expanding list of activities I want to at least try out once. And one of those activities involved me cooking my way through a cookbook.

As I couldn’t find a cookbook that really interested me, I decided to make use of the most interesting collection of recipes I know: the internet. More specifically, I utilized the obscene amount  of recipes I’d already accumulated in my Chrome bookmarks list.

And so with 100 recipes, I’ve put together my own collection, the Hobbies Cookbook. What follows are the 100 dishes I intend to cook, complete with links to the recipes and the blogs where I found them:

  1. Quick Raspberry Sauce
  2. Basic Bread Loaf
  3. Panera Bread® Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  4. Pork and Ginger Pot Stickers
  5. Asparagus and Peas Fritatta
  6. Black and White Cookies
  7. Mongolian Beef Recipe
  8. Chewy No-Bake Cookies and Cream Bars
  9. Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon and Fried Egg
  10. Quick Migas
  11. Strawberry Torte
  12. Carrot and Coconut Soup with Thai Red Curry
  13. Linzer Sables
  14. Guacamole
  15. Baked Cake Doughnuts
  16. Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
  17. Frozen Hot Chocolate
  18. Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
  19. Honeyed Pears in Puff Pastry
  20. Herb Butter Mushrooms with Smoked Mozzarella
  21. Alfajores Cookies
  22. Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
  23. Beth’s Best Tuna Salad
  24. Homemade Dulce de Leche
  25. Mushroom Bruschetta
  26. Mom’s Flan (by Abigail Garcia)
  27. 5 Minute Strawberry Mousse
  28. Kim Chi Fried Rice
  29. Polvorones
  30. Cilantro Mint Chutney
  31. Crema Poeta (Vanilla Bean Pudding)
  32. Pasta Puttanesca
  33. Cold Chocolate Custard with Whipped Cream
  34. Eggs in a Basket: Baked Eggs in Toast Cups with Melty Cheese
  35. Italian Lemon Almond Mousse
  36. Bacon Basil Tomato Sandwich
  37. Crème Brulee French Toast
  38. Chicken and Coconut Thai Curry Soup
  39. Ice Cream Tiramisu
  40. Olive Garden’s Chicken Milanese
  41. Peach Wontons
  42. Parmesan Herb Popovers
  43. Mocha Ice Blended
  44. Pancakes from Scratch
  45. BLT Salad
  46. Oreo Cookie Cupcakes
  47. Avocado Tuna Melts
  48. Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream
  49. Rosemary Foccacia
  50. Strawberry Fraiser
  51. Tuna Cornbread Cakes with Lemon Aioli
  52. Tres Leches Cupcakes
  53. Spinach, Chili-lime Vinaigrette, Avocado and Sunflower Seed Salad (There isn’t a link for this one. It’s just a salad UGA offered in one of their dining halls. All the ingredients you need are mentioned in the title.)
  54. Chocolate Cayenne Truffle Brownies
  55. Garlic Scallion Noodles
  56. Whipped Cream Cupcakes
  57. Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Pizza
  58. Cannoli Cupcakes
  59. Mac & Cheese Muffins
  60. Cinnamon and Sugar Tortilla Strips
  61. Almond Cake
  62. Pimento Cheese
  63. Payasam
  64. Korean Style Short Ribs
  65. Custard Cake
  66. Garlic Knots
  67. Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
  68. Pajeon (Korean Scallion Pancakes)
  69. One Bowl Chocolate Cake
  70. Spinach Salad with Spiced Pork and Ginger Dressing
  71. Churros with Chocolate
  72. Baked Potato Salad
  73. Palmiers
  74. Stir-fried Egg Ramen
  75. Turtle Brownies
  76. Bacon and Tomato Pasta
  77. Kourabiedes
  78. Crisp Gnocchi with Lemon Garlic Greens
  79. Microwave Lemon Curd
  80. Soft Pretzel Bites
  81. Tiramisu Cupcakes
  82. Honey Chipotle BBQ sauce
  83. Lemon Bars
  84. Fiery Angel Hair Pasta
  85. Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake
  86. Avocado Fries
  87. Amy Sedaris’ Vanilla Cupcakes
  88. Egg Drop Soup with Ramen Noodles
  89. Beignets
  90. Tiramisu Cake
  91. Chicken Francese and Egg Tagliatelle
  92. Chocolate Tart with Shortbread Crust
  93. Samosas
  94. 100 Grand Cupcakes
  95. Quick Potato Patties
  96. Root Beer Cake
  97. Butter Chicken
  98. White Chocolate, Cranberry and Strawberry Rocky Road
  99. Lemon Brulee Bars
  100. Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken

Now you can follow along with me as I try out each recipe. Feel free to comment on my blog with any questions and let me know what you think of the recipes, any changes you’d make to them, or even your own culinary anecdotes. Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear them!

Also, if you like what you’re reading, don’t forget to hit that “Follow” button on my site, so you can get automatic updates on my posts. Thanks!

Fun with Technology: Discovering Tumblr and Myself

© Holstee LLC, 2011One look at the laundry list of social media platforms I’m involved with and someone could conclude following:

Anita intends to saturate the internet with her presence. 

This is true. Journalism school (and my PR friends) have taught me well. I am all for some good ol’ fashioned branding. I am all about networking, reaching my target audiences and letting people know that I’m here and I’ve got important things to say–or tweet– and the skills to tell my stories well.

The list is getting long: Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, WordPress, LinkedIn, Google+ and now… Tumblr.

But this particular social media platform holds a different meaning for me. In stark contrast to all of the other SM sites, I use Tumblr purely for the LOLs, pardon the netspeak. Tumblr makes me happy. It’s like this pretty online scrapbook  that contains everything I like, love, laugh at, admire and aspire to be that I can share with my friends.

Plus, I think it combines the best of all the aforementioned SM sites (except LinkedIn). Tumblr mixes the brevity of Twitter, the friendships of FB and Google+, the curiosity of StumbleUpon and the pleasing aesthetics of WordPress.

And it’s all mine. For me,  Tumblr isn’t about my career. It’s about my happiness and appreciation for the small and giant, awe-inspiring things in life on display for myself and my friends. It’s not about branding or my portfolio.

(Which is why I have not included a link to my Tumblr page in this post. If you’re a good friend of mine, however and want to follow me on Tumblr, let me know and I’ll send you a link.)

Lately, I’ve been wanting to expand my horizons beyond what I do for a living. I love what I do. I love journalism, but I don’t want my career to define me. I’ve recently realized I’m more than my career, I have lots of facets.

And I can’t wait to discover every fabulous one.