Spreading the Blogger Love!

Hey blogger-friends!

We just wanted to stop in and say how excited we are that Virginia Bloggers continues to grow!

Take a minute to check out the blogroll and “meet” some other local bloggers!

Oh and if you haven’t liked the Virginia Bloggers Facebook page yet, go give it some love!

One last thing, don’t forget that our next meet up is THIS SATURDAY @ 1pm in Richmond, at Kabab Grille! We’re hoping to meet some new faces, so please send us an e-mail if you haven’t already RSVP’d!

Virginia LOVE,

Liz & Sarah

Spreading the Blogger Love!

Hey blogger-friends!

We just wanted to stop in and say how excited we are that Virginia Bloggers continues to grow!

Take a minute to check out the blogroll and “meet” some other local bloggers!

Oh and if you haven’t liked the Virginia Bloggers Facebook page yet, go give it some love!

One last thing, don’t forget that our next meet up is THIS SATURDAY @ 1pm in Richmond, at Kabab Grille! We’re hoping to meet some new faces, so please send us an e-mail if you haven’t already RSVP’d!

Virginia LOVE,

Liz & Sarah

Guest Blogger: The Studio Foodie

Today’s guest blogger, Mel, is a food blogger from Northern Virginia who is literally changing her life to follow her passion! You can read about her culinary adventures on her blog, The Studio Foodie. 

Damn, my life has changed so much in the past week–its overwhelming, dizzying, elating, and scary as hell, all at the same time. With the click of a mouse and the delivery of an email, I went from Mel, a food blogging federal consultant with a surprisingly stable job despite the economy to an almost-unemployed potential culinary student.

I can’t even fully explain what happened, but something inside of me broke last Tuesday. I started out in my consulting career with so much zeal and excitement–I was going to change the world! As time went on, I felt like I hit one brick wall after another. The fun died.

“That’s ok,” I told myself. “Work is work. It’s something to pay for all the fun stuff I do outside the office.” To a very large extent, that’s true. I started focusing on just getting the job done so I could go home and cook. My kitchen became my respite from an increasingly-stressful workday. I kept telling myself that things would get better, but they never did. Finally, last Tuesday, I hit my last wall. The security of a regular paycheck no longer outweighed the stress. So I resigned.

After 1 August, my insurance ends. No more 401k contributions for a while. With no income to speak of, I have no way to pay rent so after 5 years making it on my own, this little foodie is moving back in with her parents. (They won’t let me live in the basement, unfortunately, so I won’t be able to totally fill the ‘adult living her parents basement’ stereotype.) I’m selling nearly all my furniture to get some more cash savings under me for a bit.

You have no idea how difficult this is for me right now. I have been fiercely independent since I figured out I didn’t always need help–just ask my parents. As a toddler, I was constantly complaining, “No!! I do by self! BY SELF!!!” to anyone who’d try to help me with anything from making a snack to tying my shoes. One of my biggest joys in life, beyond cooking, was the knowledge that I was a totally independent woman–I needed no one for nothin’. I paid my own bills, changed my own tires, and made my own way in life.

And now I’m exactly 7 days from plunging below the poverty line.

Over the past week, the song “Defying Gravity,” from Wicked, has been playing over and over in my head. I guess you can say it’s become my theme song, of late. The song comes at Elphaba’s breaking point, when she decides that she must follow her own desires–and essentially starts down the pathway to wickedness. As she stands with her roommate and friend Galinda (the future Glinda), she begins to sing, “Something has changed within me/Something is not the same/I’m through playing by the rules/Of someone else’s game. Too late for second-guessing/Too late to go back to sleep/It’s time to trust my instincts/Close my eyes–and leap!”

I think that’s what I’m doing–I’m leaping. If I fall, I shall hit the ground running and with grace…or at least a well-practiced smile and a “I meant to do that.” But life is too short to pass up your passions.

Something changed inside me last week. I was tired of the stress, the drama, the nonsense. I’m playing by my rules now. Those rules will probably change a lot over the next few months, but that’s alright. They’re mine to change. I’ve been in talks with some other companies for a while now, so if those jobs pan out, I’ll take them up on the offer. I’m aiming for a January start date for school, and in the meanwhile, I’ll focus on expanding the blog and finding a job out at one of those wineries I love so much.

I’m excited for the future, and scared like no other, all at the same time.

In the meanwhile, a woman’s still gotta eat! I’ll still be posting recipes, but now from the perspective of a paleo woman sharing a family kitchen with non-paleo parents, on a near zero-budget. I can do this. It’s gonna be a fun ride!

Mel @ The Studio Foodie

 

P.S. If you missed our event announcement, make sure you check it out an R.S.V.P. if you’d like to attend!

Event Announcement! Meet Up @ Kabab Grille

Hey bloggers!

Come join the Virginia Bloggers at Kabab Grille in Richmond on August 4th at 1:00 PM for a #VAis4Bloggers meet-up, where we will feast on authentic halal Pakistani (Punjabi) dishes prepared especially for us by the creative, and award-winning kitchen.

Kabab Grille has offered us a 50% discount ($5.75 for everything except drinks) on an array of menu items that will be served to us family style, as well as the opportunity to sample more of what we’ve tasted—or entirely different dishes altogether—from the impressive lunch buffet.

In addition to the ever-changing buffet menu, some of the dishes prepared exclusively for us will be Chicken Tandori Kababs, Goat Curry, Channa Masala, Tofu Jalfrezzi, Tandori Naan, Chicken Curry, and assorted Basmati rices. Vegetable dishes will rotate throughout the day, but may include Baingan Bharta (eggplant), zucchini, and Daal Tarka (lentils).

And of course, let’s not forget the real reason I’m going to be there: Halwah, a saffron-and-pistachio infused cream of wheat dessert that I first tasted at the Richmond Vegetarian Festival and subsequently had a near- foodie heaven experience.

Please RSVP to virginiabloggers@gmail.com if you can make it!

[For directions, please visit Kabab Grille’s website.] You can also check out their Facebook page here!

Hope to see you there!

Guest Post: Whirl & Whisk

Today’s guest blogger is a self-described bakeaholoic who makes some crazy-delicious goodies! Spend 10 seconds on her blog, and your sweet tooth will be itching for a bite! Today, she’s sharing a recipe for some homemade hazelnut candy bars! Enjoy!

I love living in Richmond. I grew up hearing (and believing) that Richmond was boring, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to find that Richmond is full of extraordinary places! Especially when it comes to food. I adore my city’s love for food and it has inspired me to start my blog whirl + whisk where I bake up something sweet daily.

One place in RVA that I love is Pasture. It’s a little restaurant located on E. Grace Street. They have THE most amazing homemade hazelnut candy bar. It is borderline life changing. So naturally I had to try to make it myself.

I’m not a huge fan of the actual hazelnuts in the candy bar, so I didn’t add any to my recipe, but there’s lots of Nutella flavor to make up for it! Feel free to add whatever you like to this recipe!

Hazelnut Candy Bar

Prep Time:†10 minutes (2 hours cooling time)
Bake Time:†0
Yields:†3 candy bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup milk chocolate morsels
Directions:

    1. Mix chocolate and nutella in a bowl. Set aside
    2. Heat heavy whipping cream in a pan until it is about to boil (when bubbles start around the edges) and poor it over the chocolate and nutella mixture and whisk on med-high for about 2-3 minutes
    3. Line a square baking sheet with parchment paper and poor the mixture in. Let cool for 2 hours
    4. Remove the parchment and cut into 1 inch strips. Cut the strips in half
    5. Stack 4 pieces on top of each other (they will stick together) putting melted milk chocolate in between
    6. Add more milk chocolate to the top and set in the fridge for 20 minutes
    7. EAT!
It came out amazing, and very close to the real deal. As a dessert and snack blogger, I can say that Richmond offers up a ton of inspiration for me and I wouldn’t be happier anywhere else.
Be sure to follow my blog to keep up with all of the crazy desserts and snacks I make daily! Like…

See more desserts and deliciousness @ Whirl & Whisk

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