Monthly Archives: December 2014

Nearly Birthday Musings: Foods You Should Learn in your 20s

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.

Hell, 10 minutes from now.

I’m not upset about turning 30. Truly. My bff Ally very wisely called your twenties the “middle school” of your life. So I’m excited to see what my thirties will bring. (Although, let’s face it, I was still working out a lot of the kinks in high school, including but not limited to my hair. Bangs were not for me.)

I just happened to be trolling looking on Twitter tonight and saw one of those annoying/clever Buzzfeed lists. You know, lists like: 20 Signs Your Dog is Gay. 10 Signs You Used to Watch Muppet Babies. 253 Signs You Read Too Many Buzzfeed Lists.

But this one was oddly apropos today. 26 Foods You Should Learn to Cook in Your Twenties. So, I decided to click.

I was very pleased to see that I’ve made just about everything on their list. I have never made homemade pancakes (I leave the homemade pancake making to my pal, Sarah, cause she’s got some mad skills). I’ve also never made mussels at home. I love mussels, but they never compare to the first time that I had them. I was on a boat in the north of Spain and the mussels were being pulled out of the ocean and cooked in white wine for us on the boat and we were eating mussels and drinking wine and on the boat and holy shit I sound like such an asshole but I don’t regret those mussels at all maybe I regret telling this story but I’m just going to go with it.

Ahem. Anyway.

I’d like to add a couple things to this list. So without further ado, a few extra items for Buzzfeed’s consideration.

27. A fried egg.

Egg cookery can be tricky. I’d say to make a perfectly cooked fried egg is important to have in your repertoire. Good for breakfast. Clutch for brinner. Always perfect to bring to the party.

28. Chicken Noodle Soup.

Beef stew (#22) is great, but that’s a heavy, cold weather, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish. Chicken soup will soothe your soul (according to the books) and it’s plain delicious. It cannot be beat when you’re sick. It’s also great with a soda on the side.

29. An Entertaining Meal.

This is a meal that you can make when friends come over and people will be impressed. This dish doesn’t have to be gourmet, per say, but it needs to have something special about it. My go-to is Ina Garten’s portabello mushroom lasagna. It’s not a hard dish, but it’s time-intensive and I feel like it shows the people I made it for that I love them. CAUSE I DO.

Fun fact: one time I made this for a dinner party and then dropped it on the floor and had to throw the whole thing out. I laughed a lot and then bought a frozen lasagna for the party. The party was RUINED. (It wasn’t, but it wasn’t quite as delicious.)

30. Your favorite food.

I’ve saved this one for number 30, symbollically, because I have yet to master this. I love fried chicken. It is my favorite food. I’ve only made it once at home and it was ok. This year, I will master some fried chicken.

So, those are my thoughts. My final musings as a 29-year-old.

And those musings are about fried chicken.

I’m not surprised.

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Talking with My Mouth Full: Reading Gail Simmons’ Book

When you walk through the aisles of your local bookstore scroll through the book section of, you’ll notice it is lousy with female memoirs. You can read a book from anyone from Judi Dench to Jenny McCarthy (pass on Jenny, but…Dame Judi Dench? YES PLEASE.)

I think we’re in the age of the great female autobiography.

Is that a thing? No.

Am I making it a thing? YES.

Disgruntled Blog Reader 1: Now, Bethany, what does this have to do with food?
Disgruntled Blog Reader 2: Yeah, the only books you should be reviewing are cookbooks.
Gruntled Blog Reader 3: Hi, is this Anna Keller’s blog?

To DBR1: It does. Stay with me.
To DBR2: It is…sorta. Stay with me.
TO GBR3: No, you can visit that excellent blog at

I just finished Gail Simmons’ book Talking with My Mouth Full and I have to say that she inspired me so much. I’ve always loved her on Top Chef, giving sound culinary critique with poise and a sharp wit. But I didn’t know too much about her until I read her book.

Broad strokes of what I learned about Gail:

She’s Canadian. She’s funny. She loves to eat and travel. She loves her friends and family. She started her professional life before her dream job even existed. She worked hard through every phase of her career, gleaning everything from each position before she moves onto the next. That’s insatiable desire to learn inspiring, if you ask me.

Oh yeah, she also has an ability to describe a meal that makes you want to slap your momma it sounds so delicious. I’ve never been so hungry while reading.

This book, along with Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? should be required reading for all women, particularly young professional women. Women who want to work hard, who want to enjoy their careers and their lives, who love and depend upon their friends and family. And particularly women whose appetite, both literal and figurative, is insatiable.

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