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What an eventful few days. We need to back up almost a week to cover all the important subjects.

Sunday I went to the annual girls cooking day at my Granny’s. We made the oyster dressing for Thanksgiving AND Christmas. It can get labor intensive with all the chopping and stirring so we just knock it out in one huge batch. I also made stuffing for the eggplant bread…a delicious Turkish Borek I learned doing a Turkish class back in Baton Rouge. I have decided to make the stuffing on a regular basis and add it over pasta or just eat it plain. It is so delectable.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that the oyster dressing starts with at least 3 pounds of butter. Of course we are making an obnoxious amount, so maybe it’s not too bad. We also used 3 boxes of unsalted tops Saltine crackers, enough garlic to keep vampires away for years, onions that fill the top of the largest Tupperware container made, a gallon of raw oysters (plus juice), every celery bunch in the grocery, and poultry (or as we call it…poetry) seasoning.

My eggplant stuffing included NSA (no salt added) diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, and diced eggplant. By the way, I never realized how labor intensive dicing eggplant could be. It takes way too long to peel and julienne and then cube it. And it’s the most awkward shape. But I managed to survive! I seasoned with a little salt and Greek seasoning. It was fabulous!!

Of course I forgot my phone at home so I only snapped a few pictures with my Mom’s phone.

20121125-102344.jpgJust a little garlic.

20121125-102348.jpgSporting the ever fashionable hair net and apron because I’m following ServSafe regulations!!!

20121125-102357.jpgEggplant deliciousness

Fast forward to Wednesday. I went to Baton Rouge to see Roger’s senior design project. It officially works!

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It looks completely different now because the entire bottom panel has wires, circuits and other lightbulby things engineers use to make something work. It produced 4 inch sparks….this is a very good thing.

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The little white/bluish lightening on the left is the tesla coil doing its thing! If you are confused and maybe even weirded out, don’t worry…you aren’t alone.

While Roger was busy making sparks, I was making cookies! I decided to try a new recipe I came across. The name is Yukoslavian Shortbread Cookies. And they were amazing. From what I’ve gathered, all 3 houses they went to enjoyed them thoroughly. Warning: these are not healthy cookies…everything is ok in moderation! Plus, if I could, dessert would be a food group.

First I started with the bottom layer of the cookie: the shortbread. Creamed butter and sugar, add flour, egg yolks and salt.

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Next I packed the dough into the bottom of the pan and spread blackberry preserves on top.

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Third layer: the meringue. Beat egg whites until stiff. Number 1 rookie mistake: over beating (lumpy yuckiness) or under beating (doesn’t form a peak). Add granulated sugar and continue to beat until a shiny meringue is formed. The sugar should also be mostly dissolved. No crunchy meringue allowed. Add chopped walnuts and lemon extract as you fold the mixture. Spread on top!

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I topped the meringue with more walnuts and baked it in the oven for 40ish minutes. The finished product!

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Thursday morning wake up call: 6AM. Turkey Race time! New Orleans Track Club puts this 5 mile race on annually. A beautiful scenic view of City Park and an ending victory lap in Tad Gormley. I ran a lot slower than anticipated. Not sure what got into me but it was hotter than expected and I was out of breath the entire time. But that didn’t stop me from coming in the top 21.8% of finishers. Hooray!

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“Why are we up this early on Turkey Day?!”

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Trying to act cute and get attention.

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Great friends Amany, Ellen and Lauren at the finish!

Next it was time to feast…I’m sorry to say I didn’t get any pictures of my food. But I was ravenous after the race and couldn’t shovel the food fast enough. There was an array including smoked turkey, roasted turkey, oyster dressing, cornbread dressing, crab and eggplant dressing, rice and gravy, 2 different homemade cranberry sauces, mirliton dressing, BBQ ribs, rice dressing, ham, rolls, and corn yumminess my cousin made. There was so much more I just can’t think because it was so overwhelming.

I stopped at Rogers’s house for a little while. I FINALLY got to try the fried turkey. This is my 7th Thanksgiving with them and I never had a piece. Perfectly tender and seasoned.

Onto Memphis!! We had a great time over spending and eating. Here are some pictures to sum up the trip!

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20121125-100558.jpgMy new toys!!

20121125-100627.jpgWhen in Memphis, do as the Memphisians (?!?) do. BBQ nachos!

20121125-100712.jpgWe know how to pick a hotel! Free cocktails from 5:30-7:30.

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20121125-100754.jpgDucks and fish in the atrium welcoming us!

20121125-100924.jpgGlamour shots after happy hour!

20121125-100934.jpg Colleen and Aunt Genny eating World Famous Fried Chicken. I may add that it was amazing. I had a fried chicken leg, greens and baked beans. The greens were my absolute favorite.

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20121125-101334.jpgMy first dive in Panera Bread breakfast. Steel cut oats with strawberries and pecans. For all those interested (I’m sure it’s not many) it was 320 calories.

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20121125-101454.jpgMore BBQ nacho sampling.

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20121125-101529.jpgBBQ spaghetti. Yes it exists. A staple in a good Memphis BBQ joint. And the best I’ve had. We may have even bought a quart to go…

20121125-101618.jpgA taste of autumn.

Only 364 more days until the next Memphis trip! This week I’m going to Second Harvesters Food Bank.

It will be an exciting next couple of weeks. I’m working at Saks Fifth Avenue as a representative for Yoku Moku cookie company, flying to Houston this coming weekend for shopping and a Christmas party, Woman’s Hospital 1/2 on the 9th, Roger’s graduation on the 14th, party on the 15th, and lots of cooking and baking in between.

Until next time! Eat Smart and Move More.