They Say That Breaking Up Is…

Hard to do.

Yeah we know. But that’s not what’s going on here, folks. It’s just not. Not exactly.

It’s been a while… obviously, that’s totally my bad. Let’s catch up, real quick and dirty.

So I graduated from college, then went through a phase of major anxiety and self doubt (i.e. job hunting), and finally, after numerous rounds of  awkward video interviews I found the place where I think I’m supposed to be right now– Birmingham, Alabama. I’ve ecstatically accepted a fellowship with Time Inc.’s lifestyle group, and will begin working with the editorial team at Cooking Light magazine in less than a week. I leave tomorrow. I’m beyond stoked, ya’ll.

Alas, with all of this excitement coming on, I’ve been paying B&F far less attention than it deserves. In fact, the attention thing has been an issue for an embarrassingly long time and what all of this means is… it might just be time say adieu. This blog has been an amazing avenue for me to connect with others, share my passions, experiment/grow in the kitchen, and document my college experience. I cherish the night I stayed  up until 4 a.m. creating Beauty & the Feast, I cherish the memories attached to each post and recipe, I cherish the support I’ve found through writing here. That said, as I move into a fresh stage of my life, it wouldn’t be fair for me to drag B&F along if I can’t give it everything I’ve got.

I missed my traditional birthday post listing off significant(ish) stuff I’ve learned during the year, so for my farewell and for my own self-reflection, I’d like to throw out a few things I  want to learn during the next chunk of my life, accompanied by a barrage of food photos from over the course of this month. Cause everyone likes to stare at food, yeah?

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Cures for Mild Life Anguish

Totally honest, I’m the farthest thing in the world from bummed right now.

Even still, finding yourself bummed out/dissapointed/down in the dumps is just a part of life. It happens.

The important thing to remember is that no matter how cruddy your day looks, there are plenty of ways to alleviate the yucks that don’t involve crying under the covers. In no particular order below, you’ll find five cures that I’ve recently found to be quite potent.

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© 2013 Lyric Lewin

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Nine Ways to Make Any Week Better

Not that you’d guess it considering my words from a few days back, but after I shut down the pity party, guess who had a nice week. A truly wonderful week, in fact.

Most of it wasn’t my doing, but I did end up finding a handful of things that are pretty much guaranteed to improve your week. This week, or any old week.

Maybe you can wedge a couple into your life over the next seven days. If there’s a chance that doing so could make a cruddy week good or a good week great, why not?

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Cheers to New Years

I know I’m a couple days late and, coming right out of the holiday season, quite a few dollars short… but Happy New Years, folks. I’m gonna go ahead and put this out there—2012 has been my favorite year to date. Definitely not the easiest, but for me, one of the most impactful of my 21 by far. And with that being that, I want to officially kiss it goodbye by highlighting my top 12 posts of 2012. These 12 rank as my favorites for the year partially because of the food, partially because of the stories and largely because of the experiences associated with each. Come now, reminisce with me for a sec…

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Thoughts of Thanks

My original intent was to get the mandatory blogger’s list of holiday-spurred thanksgivings up by Monday of this week. Did not happen, obviously. That’s fine though, this is more timely anyway.

However, the reason this was not posted two days ago is because I haven’t accomplished too much of anything over the past two days. Mostly because I’ve barely left my bed during the past two days… not like in a depressing, hidden under the covers with a pint of Moose Tracks ice cream way. No, it’s been more along the lines of taking a “lazy day” to the utmost extreme (borderline too far) in completely checking out from real life. This experience may just go down in Darcy history as one of the most indulgent, rejuvenating and comfy time warps in my college career. And I dig it.

That said, for some reason, I’m having a shamefully tough time transitioning back into society, so bear with me if I sound a touch off. The past 48 hours were somewhat odd, but oh so wonderful. Mercy, those hours rich in reading, HBO and bed picnics did me good. I am beyond thankful for that Twilight Zoneish mental vaca.

Balsamic Green Beans with Mushrooms & Mint
Photo by Lyric Lewin

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Once Upon a Summer

Even though summer heat and summer sun and summer produce will be around for a while longer, summer break is pretty much spent.

Looking back, the past couple of months seem a surreal blur. A blur of so many faces, places and occurrences that came and went before I even had a chance to process what the fudge was going on.

This summer has not been at all what I’d planned or expected. But you know what? I’m designating it the best summer of my young life.

Because that’s my prerogative.

I’m down for a reflective recap, if you are.

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Tastes of Summer

Ya’ll, I need to show you something real quick.

So, I’m the managing editor and food editor for this awesome little independently student-run magazine, Ampersand. I think I’ve mentioned that. Maybe. It’s all up in my newly renovated What’s Going on Here? page. Check it.

Anyway, our recently published summer edition features some truly phenomenal recipes for this here season of sun, contributed by a few top-knotch food folks around Athens.  If you live here, I hope you are a patron of each of their affiliated restaurants. If you don’t happen to live around here, you should visit. And eat.

I highly recommend reading through Ampersand’s entire Sounds of Summer issue… and I might be mildly biased, but I’m thinking the food section is as good as any a place to start. Might help with planning your dinner menu tonight. And with that, I invite you to enjoy the following food porn courtesy of Ms. Lyric Lewin, one of our amazingly talented photographers/writers. She is likewise responsible for the lovely new header image you see above. Plus, she lands among my favorite people ever. Muchos kudos to Lyric!

Okay, I’m done. Get at it.

Photo by Lyric Lewin

21 Things I Know After 21 Years

It’s already that time of year again…       21 years ago today, I was born weird and wacky world.

How I ended up so old so fast, I haven’t the slightest clue. I’m well aware that in the grand scheme of things, I’m still relatively young. And as much as I feel like I know at this point, there remain infinite amounts of knowable things I need to know… like how to do my own taxes.

That said, I know that no matter how much I end up knowing, I can never know it all, which is probably for the better. But here are a few things I’m confident I know for certain. And by a few, I mean 21. Twenty-one knowns for 21 years. Lookee there.

Please note that in all of the following, when I say “you,” I’m not referring to you personally, because you are a doll and I’d never tell you what to do. I’m referring to the general second person “you.” More than anything, I guess I’m referring to the not so general “me.”

Along with those non-accusatory 21 things, enjoy a walk down my cake memory lane with the edible birthday dedications I’ve baked over the course of my year as a 20-year-old.
PS– lovingly baking someone a place to stake candles on their special day is the ultimate expression of caring. Which is why I’m okay with being banished from my own kitchen right now… because my roommates are the bomb. That’s all.

Okay, here we go.

Pigs on Parole Cake– triple chocolate, peanut butter, bacon. For the first of our apartment to turn 21… it had to be special.

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