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Nothing to do with food, but hey I do other things besides eat.

As I embark on my final blog post, I want to give fair warning that this will not have much to do with food. Graduation is merely a week away, and it’s all that is ever on my mind. Sure, I’m excited I’ve achieved such an accomplishment. However, I’m graduating a semester earlier than the majority of my friends, and I’m struggling with it. 

That being said, one of the greatest chapters of my life is coming to an end—not just college itself. My experience at KOMU-TV. I guess you could say working at KOMU has a lot to do with food as during every producing shift all I do is eat, and someone’s bound to bring in some goodies. I’ve lost count of how many Shakespeare’s pizza parties or Heidelberg outings we’ve had as a group.

As I look back on my experience as a reporter and producer in college, I have nothing but fond memories. Sure, there was the stress and the days that didn’t go as planned, but that’s not what I remember most. I remember moments like this:


The picture above is the Wednesday night crew: producers, reporters, anchors, and faculty members. I’ve worked with these folks every Wednesday night for the past 16 weeks, and they have made my last semester here the best it can be. Whether we’re trying to find people to go pick up dinner for us or stressing out about the job hunt, I look forward to every shift. 

I apologize this post doesn’t have much to do with anything food, but I’m feeling sentimental.



What does employment mean for my lifestyle?

It’s official. I’m employed. Well, it’s not “official”, but it’s official that I’ll be signing a contract soon. Until then, I won’t say exactly where or what the job is, but let’s just say… on certain days, my nostrils will enjoy the sweet, sweet aroma of Crunch Berries as it wafts through the downtown air.

The first thing I want to do in my new city is try out all the local eats. Problem: I have no money. Sure, I technically will have a job, but that first paycheck is going to go to all the bills I never knew could exist. But I can’t keep living with a college kid’s stomach. Or can I? I guess I can spend all my free time watching the Food Network and trying out new recipes, but I think this blog is proof that cooking talents just aren’t in the cards for me. 

Here’s the way I see it: 

  1. The way I eat just isn’t healthy.
  2. I never buy groceries… My friends don’t understand when I eat and neither do I.
  3. Eating is my favorite thing, so why don’t I treat it better?
  4. I’ve got about a month to get my act together. 



Nomsgiving: A tale of Thanksgiving dinner prep

Thanksgiving. The day when all cooking skills are put to the test. Will you burn the turkey? Will your mashed potatoes be lumpy? Will the stuffing be too moist? Will you chop off a finger with that knife? 

I have to start off by saying my mom really knows what’s up on Thanksgiving day. As my dad and I sat on the couch watching the parade and the football games, she clanked away in the kitchen preparing the evening’s “feast”. I say “feast” because there were only three of us eating the dinner… No pity party here; who needs a big gathering when it’s 80 degrees in Texas in November? We’ll take that trade.

I did help my mom. I promise. She made me pull the nasty gizzard and giblets out of the turkey and replace them with stuffing. It was awful. Look at that sick picture below. Why would anyone want to eat that on purpose?

I then proceeded to “chop” celery and onions. I say “chop” because I’m terrified of knives so it was more of a timid cutting while petrified. This is me:

Onto the mashed potatoes. Me oh my, do I love some mashed potatoes. If a Thanksgiving meal were nothing be mashed potatoes, I’d be a happy girl. My mom and I even decided to go all they way and skip the microwaveable potatoes. We actually peeled potatoes and mashed them. This is a big deal for me as you know by now the microwave is my best friend.

Unfortunately, I slid the peeler over my thumb multiple times. Fortunately, I never peeled off a layer of skin and people didn’t get any extra protein in their taters. I’m a culinary genius, I know.

At the end of the day, my parents and I nommed hard then saw Lincoln. If that’s not American, I don’t know what is.



A hidden Knoxville gem. To me at least.

If you’re ever in Knoxville, be sure to stop by Cocoa Moon. I never would have thought I’d promote Asian Fusion food, but this was unbelievable. I ate a pork chop (what?) with a side of mac and cheese and the most delicious mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten. 

And the bar looked like the kind of place you would see Ryan Gosling slow motion walking through (Crazy, Stupid, Love, anyone?)

The Breakdown:

  • The pork chop: Overall, the pork chop was a little above average. It had a great taste, but it wasn’t juicy or all that tender. The bottom was slightly charred, but hey, who doesn’t like a little crispiness? 
  • The mac and cheese: I used to be the kind of person who could only eat Kraft Mac & Cheese, so I’ve come a long way. That being said, my parents just informed me that I used to gag even when I ate Kraft when I was little. So there’s that… Anyway, the mac and cheese was delicious and cheesy. Nothing more needs to be said.
  • The mashed potatoes: YUM. So much yum. They were salty, smooth, and full of flavor. 

The only downside?

The wait. My friends and I went to the restaurant the night after the University of Missouri vs. University of Tennessee football game, so downtown was incredibly crowded. The first restaurant we tried was a three hour wait, and this one was only 25 minutes. Score. They definitely tricked us though. We did our waiting once we sat down. It took an hour and a half for us to get our food. It was to the point where people were starting to gnaw pieces off the table. That being said, it’s possible the food wasn’t that great. We probably would have been okay eating a bunch of saltine crackers. 

Fun fact: After reading the article this picture came from, I learned that:

In actuality, without these holes, crackers wouldn’t bake correctly.  These holes allow steam to escape during cooking.  This keeps the crackers flat, instead of rising a bit like a normal biscuit as the steam tries to escape; these holes also help to properly crisp the crackers… Read more at




The food I’ll miss the most.

Goodbye, Flat Branch.


Goodbye, Addison’s.


Goodbye, Shakespeare’s Pizza.


Goodbye, 44 Stone.

Goodbye, CoMO food. 

I remember walking down 9th Street for the first time like it was yesterday. My parents and I weren’t sure where the best place was to eat, so we ended up at the Rome and ate delicious calzones. It wasn’t the last time I’d venture through the delicious Italian restaurant’s doors. I went there with my entire floor at the beginning of my freshman year, and I think that’s where we really began to mesh as a group of friends.


These restaurants don’t just serve great food, they contribute to wonderful memories that I know I’ll never forget. For every friend’s dinner, we’ve gone to a restaurant to celebrate and have taken an unnecessary number of pictures (as the photos above illustrate).

I’m definitely not ready to leave either of these things—friends or Columbia food—behind. However, graduation calls my name and I’ll do so in a few weeks. 

Places like Flat Branch serves fantastic brews (Honey Wheat beer was amazing.) and delicious burgers. Addison’s has nachos and also delicious burgers (hey, I like burgers.). Shakespeare’s has… PIZZA. So much delicious pizza. I can’t say it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had (I’m from Chicago.), but it’s so much more than that. The atmosphere and tradition/history are something I fell in love with the first time I went there with my parents during my freshman orientation. While I sat there and talked with them, we discussed how we could see me sitting there with my “college” friends like the “cool” college kids do. And I’ve done my fair share of just that. 

Again… the Columbia eats mean so much more to me than just good food. Columbia is a college town, and the District will never escape my memory.



It’s Halloween and that means CANDY.

I may almost be 22 years old, but I love candy just as much as the next person. And with Halloween tomorrow, I find myself wondering… why is candy so expensive, why do people think it’s so bad for kids to have it, and where did this tradition come from? (Click on the picture to read another woman’s point of view on candy).


You may be scoffing at my “why do parents think it’s such a bad idea for their kids to eat candy” comment. I understand it’s full of sugar and not the healthiest “food” on the planet. As the parent, you have control over your child’s candy consumption. Let them enjoy the wonders of trick-or-treating. I remember going from door to door as a kid and feeling cheated when someone tried to put an apple in my bag. An apple? Really? It’s the one night a year where children can throw everything they ever thought about nutrition out the window. Why ruin it? Just because a stranger gives them candy, doesn’t mean they are going to eat it all that night. 

As an “adult”, I find myself looking forward to Halloween just so it’s acceptable for me to eat more candy. However, some people question the point of receiving candy on Halloween. Isn’t dressing up enough? No. It’s simply not. For me, not knowing what the person behind the door was going to place in my bag added to the excitement of the day. And emptying out my haul on the kitchen table after the festivities were over was always the best part of the night. I would trade with my brother, and we’d put the rest in a jar that my mom would allow us to eat sparingly. Like a treat for dogs, if you will.

Although I’m not sure the exact origins of candy on Halloween, I do know it’s been going on for centuries. A Wiki Answers article claims ancient Rome would pass out sweets on days they honored the dead. True? Maybe not. But we can’t break tradition!

That leads me to my next point: the cost! My roommate and I went to Target the other day to buy some candy for our apartment. We wanted a large variety bag (you can’t have all the same candy), but we were shocked to find the price was in the double digits. What?! It’s a bag of candy! This goes for any pricing strategies: I bet stores would sell more of a product if they lowered their prices. Higher prices = lowers sales; lower prices = more sales. Am I right? I’m not an economist at all, so I may be completely off, but as an every day consumer, I think sales revenue would increase. Sure, a company could get a decent profit if a few people buy a very expensive product, but I think the balance between high prices/less sales-low prices/high sales isn’t that balanced. It doesn’t even out. You’d get more sales with lower prices!

…All this for some candy.



            On October 2, 2012, The University of Missouri opened its first food pantry—Tiger Pantry—geared toward helping the MU family.  There are people across the state and across the nation who attend college universities on student loans and government grants, but some still cannot manage to properly eat. That’s where Tiger Pantry comes in. It serves to be sustainable through green resources and recycling. From their website: “The pantry will more specifically target undergraduates without financial means, graduate students with low income salaries, and international students with little assistance. The pantry will require a Mizzou ID to receive service.” Volunteers can help out and teach the importance of wellness and health.

            The pantry’s opening has also opened opportunities for other students. Tiger Pantry is allowing another group to start up a new project—benefiting the pantry. Sustain Mizzou is a student based organization focused on sustainable living. The group made the Tiger Pantry Garden. All the veggies grown there will be donated to the food pantry.

One Sustain Mizzou member talked KOMU 8 about the garden. “Sustain Mizzou wanted to do this because we wanted to give back to the community and the students. By donating the food, people are going to have a much healthier option at the Food Pantry,” said Sustain Mizzou member and Sustainability Coordinator Kat Seal.

            The pantry’s founder, MU student Nick Droege, created the pantry after he visited University of Arkansas Full Circle Pantry. Now, Mizzou is one of many universities across the country with a pantry.

            Click on the circles on the map below to learn about food pantries on other college campuses across the country.

            Click on the links below to follow KOMU’s coverage of the Tiger Pantry opening:

·      New Food Pantry Targets MU

·      Tiger Pantry Opens in Columbia

·      Tiger Pantry Begins Food Distribution

·      Student Group Growing Vegetables for Tiger Pantry




When chicken meets a George Foreman

I like to take the easy way out of things when it comes to cooking meat or reheating leftovers. Want to eat pizza from last night? Most sensible people might use an oven to reheat it—it makes the crust crisper and the pizza tastes a little fresher. Let me tell you how it is for me… 

Why waste time heating up the oven when you can just slap a slice on a plate, shove it in the microwave, and call it a day? 

I finally decided to buy a bunch of frozen chicken because I can add it to basically any meal. Pasta, salad, quesadillas, rice, etc. So I bought all of those items as well. First of all, my boyfriend advised I cut all the chicken pieces in half to make my purchase last longer. Well, that itself was quite the process. I have an irrational fear of knives. I think somehow the knife is magically going to slip and chop one of my fingers off. No one wants that. So I used this huge, sharp knife, put my hands way too close to it on the slimy chicken, and sliced them all in half. Awesome, right? 

Well, what happens when I finally want to cook the chicken? Obviously I’m going to take the easy way out… My roomie has a mini George Foreman grill.

Naturally… I use the George Foreman to heat up my frozen chicken. Yes, it works, and that’s where the story starts. 

The first time I used Mr. Foreman’s convenient kitchen grill, I actually took the chicken out of the freezer earlier in the day to let it thaw. Grilling it in the George Foreman was an interesting experience, but definitely successful. The outside cooked a lot faster than the inside did, and it was a little dry in some parts, but… still delicious.

My second rendezvous with George? Not so successful… 

The chicken went in like this: 

Came out looking a little bit like this, but worse (I took a picture but somehow my camera deleted it):

I decided I didn’t have the patience to let the chicken thaw, so I just took it straight out of the freezer and put it right on the grill. I was so anxious to make my chicken quesadilla and wound up with food fit for the garbage can. The worst part? The inside of the chicken was still raw. The outside looked like the picture directly above and the inside looked like the picture above that one. 

I’m so disappointed I’m never going to be able to hold dinner parties. I once brought a plate of Baja cookies to friend’s party. I put them on a plate and tried to pass them off as my own. And you thought I couldn’t get anymore pathetic.

So what did I wind up eating for dinner you ask?

And they WERE great.



I’m sorry… That blender is HOW much?

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now or I haven’t mentioned it enough… I’m a fan of the quickness when it comes to making a meal of any kind. And no, it’s not because I’m a "millennial".

I just appreciate the taste of food so much, I don’t want to have to wait for it to be in front of me. The less time between the beginning of prep and final consumption, the better. I microwave mashed potatoes and hot dogs. 

All that being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was enthralled by what I’m about to describe to you. This, my readers, is a Blendtec blender. Why am I getting unreasonably excited about a kitchen appliance I’ll never be able to afford? It makes smoothies, HOT soup, ice cream, etc. 

Ch-ch-check it out below:

Bad news for college kids, though. Heck, it might be bad news for the average consumer. This amazing gadget? It costs $499.95.

I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t consider buying one if I had 500 bucks laying around. I watched a man at Sam’s Club demonstrate everything the blender could make. At Sam’s, it was only $360 I believe. Other than Sam’s, I think you can only buy this stroke of genius online. I tasted hot tortilla soup and kiwi ice cream that had spinach in it. I honestly think the guy was throwing in everything but the kitchen sink (yay cliches). 

I know this seems like a whole new level of laziness, but wouldn’t I actually save money on grocery shopping in the long-run? It’s an investment, right? Clearly, I can’t afford such a luxury now, but maybe it’s something I can work toward. 

Random person: “Hey Kayleigh, why do you work so many long hours? Are you trying to get ahead in your career.”

Me: “Oh no, not really. I just have my heart set on this wickedly awesome blender.”



Not cooking related… but a pretty nifty interactive website

I’m definitely not a marketing or advertising guru, but you have to check out CACTUS FULL SERVICE ADVERTISING

I seriously just googled “cool interactive websites” and their page came up. The first thing I saw was a story about the Colorado Lottery logo. I have no personal connections to Colorado, but my roommate is from there and told me to click on the video

Wow. If you watch the video, you can see why I was so intrigued. It really shows that advertising and re-branding a company’s image can be fun more than work. More than that, once I got past that video, there are so many things to click on! You could almost say it’s too “clickable” (I kept getting lost navigating the site), but it certainly kept my interest. I continued to click on things I never thought I’d be interested in. 

They blog about their latest work, clients, culture, and even news. And they have videos for everything—not boring, documentary type videos where a narrator drones on and on. But the narrators really know how to keep a viewers interest. The layout is eye-catching, and, like I said, encouraged me to click on everything.

They have a section for an overview of their work and individual sections for each client they’ve worked with. 

I decided to check out Smashburger. Cactus’ website has a slide show of pictures of outdoor and indoor advertising they’ve created, the inside of Smashburger buildings, the uniform, etc. 

I think the movement of the website after I clicked on a tab is what kept me there. Like I said, I’ve never really put much thought into advertising, but I spent almost as much time there as I did on Facebook today. And I’m embarrassingly addicted to Facebook. I mean, even ESPN did a story on Cactus’ interactive campaign. 

Their website currently features their work to promote Denver Zoo’s (clearly, they’re based in Colorado) new elephant exhibit. As a result, their main page currently looks like this: 

Heck. This company even created an interactive website for a doctor who works to prevent suicide. The site’s called Man Therapy, and it’s great. 

Moral of the story: interactive websites are the way to go. I even stumbled about an interactive website for Zune that I’m not quite sure I understood the purpose of, but I definitely played on it for a long time. The most interactive my blog gets it clicking on some links and some videos, but hopefully that keeps you around… I can post more panda or Toy Story videos of you want?