Once Upon a Thyme

A 20 something fuck-up, cooking her way to sanity. Documented, yet unaccounted for.

Hitchin’ It: Wedding Planning Part II

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As a continuation of the first wedding planning post, I wanted to chat a little bit about the next steps in the planning process and how the first 3 steps have worked for us. 1. The budget: believe it when people tell you, it can get real expensive, real fast. We’re lucky enough to have very generous parents that are contributing more than we could ever ask for, and I was confident that we would have no problem sticking to the budget. While I still know we’ll keep it at or below the budget we have, I was blown away yesterday when we started doing estimates and realizing how much this can actually cost. Consider what is important to the two of you, and save on the things that don’t mean much. As a result, #2, the guest list, has definitely seen some activity in the way of edits. We were ruthless, and the reality is that we would rather have an amazing celebration with our close friends and family, than an OK party with a larger crowd. That said, no matter how much we tried, there are people we are just not willing to cut (mom, you’ll get an invite), so while it’s still more people than we’d like, I’m pretty sure we’ve reached the final number. 3. The Venue: After an entire week of venue tours, I’m so happy to say that we finally decided on the place, and are pretty sure we have an exact date. It’s perfect and everything we wanted for our big day. I cannot wait.

In terms of planning, since we’re about a year and a half away from the day of the wedding, there is definitely going to be a long stretch of minimal to no progress, but my pinsanity (that’s pinterest insanity, in case you’re wondering) has reached an all time high, and the next 3 things on the list will absolutely be finalized over the next couple of months.

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Peperoncini & Jalapeño Chicken Tacos

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Now that I have 8 hours of class every Sunday, our Saturday nights have started to resemble what I can only assume is a wild weekend night for a couple of 97 year olds. The past 3 weeks we’ve actually had cook offs, just between the two of us which obviously complicates the voting process and the selection of a winner, but coming up with a theme to compete on has added lots of excitement to our weekends. Like I said, WILD. The first cook off was pizza themed, then we did ravioli with homemade pasta, and this past Saturday we opted for a Mexican themed stand off. Let me tell you, it was fucking intense. Just imagine the two of us in the kitchen, watching community, and drinking margaritas. I was in bed by 10pm. I don’t know how we survived.

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Garlic and Rosemary Chicken Leg & Thigh

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ok, enough of that self reflective bullshit, let’s get to the good stuff.

I’m gonna go ahead and pat myself on the back for this one. We spent a lot of time in class butchering and fabricating just about every type of meat, and yesterday I took another class on chicken fabrication (essentially removing the meat from the core of the bird) and just had to come home and show off my mad skills. By simply exposing a bit of the leg bone and keeping the leg and thigh together, you can make the simplest dish look super fancy pants, and with the added flavors I threw into the pan, you can’t really go wrong. I must say, I didn’t think I’d like this part of the class, I figured I would get grossed out, but it’s actually a lot of fun. If you’ve never fabricated a whole chicken, check out this video, it gives a pretty good walk through of how to do it. I actually find it therapeutic. Morbid, no?

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In a Rut

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I’m gonna get sappy over here, so stop reading right this second if you hate that kind of crap, but I thought I’d share in case any of you are in a similar place, can relate, can provide assistance, or can be helped by any of the nonsense I blabber about.

*Side note: if you need a quick and super easy recipe for tonight, check this one out. Add some lemon juice for added flavor!*

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New York Favorites

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[A picnic in Hoboken by the Hudson, overlooking the West Side of the New York skyline]

So we’ve officially been living on this side of the world for a little over 9 months now, and while we don’t live IN New York City, we’re a mere 20 minute train ride away, and I spend everyday there, including weekends. Don’t get me wrong, there are great places in Hoboken and it’s the perfect little town for us, but nothing compares to New York City. That’s not to say I’d rather live there, cause I wouldn’t, and that’s the honest fucking truth. Though I’m in the city everyday, Gregory spends his days working out of the apartment, so come Friday night he’s aching to make his way out of the house. There is honestly nothing that you can think of wanting to do that New York doesn’t offer. I’m so happy to say that we have really made the best out of our time here thus far, by going anywhere and everywhere we read about, and eating and drinking our way through this crazy amazing place.

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Culinary School 101: Mise en Place

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Happy monday my peeps, and the happiest of mondays in deed! I got the best of news last night, that I’ll share with you all soon enough. But for today, I want to take it back to basics. Remember that one time I taught you how to make the most perfect medium diced potatoes? Well, while that was one of the first things we learned in culinary school, I skipped a couple of things along the way that I think are important for the cook in training. Basic, but very important nonetheless.

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Asian Chicken Salad

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I had Asian food on my mind pretty much all day on Wednesday, and I came up with this little concoction of a million different veggies, and a salad dressing that, though it requires quite a few ingredients, you will be stoked you made it. The sad truth is that when you get an Asian chicken salad at a restaurant or those prepackaged ones at the store the dressing has a CRAZY amount of sugar, I’m talking LOTS. So I wanted to recreate the flavors using less sugar and focusing more on the strong and delicious flavors that asian ingredients have. Listen here, friends, you won’t be pissed about this one. So gather your chopsticks, make a grocery list (you’ll need it) and make this at home. SO good, SO healthy.

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Tomato and Avocado Salad

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Today I have a super quick, easy, and refreshing salad recipe for all of you. However, it might seem like a lot of writing, and that’s because salads are as easy to make as they are to mess up, so read along if you’re interested in learning some helpful salad making techniques. This is kind of a spin on a Mexican salsa, but you can actually eat it as a side to your meal, or add a protein and make it a whole meal. As the temps start to get a little warmer, this will definitely be a regular part of our menu. Not to mention, I have to get my ass into a wedding dress at some point in the upcoming future, so this is a perfect addition to my diet.

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Hitchin’ it: Wedding Planning Part 1

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Hello buddies! hope your week has been a fab one. I’ve had a few recipes I’d like to share, but the absence of decent photography is really killing ma vibe. I’m in the works of figuring out what to do about it, but I definitely have one for tomorrow for you guys. In the interim, I thought I’d introduce a new little series. #1 because I think talking about weddings is always fun, #2 because it will help keep me on track, #3 because why the fuck not. It’s my blog bitches!!!

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Mushroom and Butternut Squash Stew

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Hello everybody, we’re back from the dead, and back with a vengeance. The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of trips back to California, celebrating the impending arrival of my nephew, xmas, new years, and most recently (and importantly), my engagement to my buddy Greg! oh yes, JimBob has decided to make an honest woman out of me, and we’re on our way to being Mr. and Mrs. Papierniak. So, it is with a fresh manicure, and a fab diamond on my left ring finger that I bring you yet another winter recipe. Winter is still in full force out here, and I’m still loving it. People around here are super pissed about it, they’re ready for summer, they’re done with the snow, but I AM NOT. I am not ready to start sweating like a wild animal, showering 3 times a day, oh yeah, and being in the kitchen in culinary school in scorching 100 degree weather. No thanks. I’ll eat soup for the rest of my life, wear a comforter in the shape of a jacket, and keep warm with endless glasses of wine every night. yes, yes I will.

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