Cooking 101 in 1001

Apple Chestnut Tarts (the Kitchn)
Apple Cider Cookies/Muffin Tops (Dishing Up Delights)
Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust (Martha Stewart)
Artichoke and Feta Wontons (Foodival)
Bacon, Cream Cheese, and Horseradish Dip (CHOW)
Baked Pita Chips (Life’s Ambrosia)
Baked Apple Streusel Pancake Bars (the Kitchn)
Bacon Caramels (Not Without Salt)
Bite Sized Bacon Caramels (the Kitchn)
BLT Salad with Avocados and Blue Cheese Dressing (Closet Cooking)
Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown Butter (Foodess)
Butternut Squash with Lime and Rosemary (Fat Buster Mack)
Cannoli Sandwich Cookies (the Kitchn)
Chewy Homemade Udon Noodles (She Simmers)
Cheddar and Beer Soup (The Apartment Kitchen)
Cheesy Poofs (How to Cook Like Your Grandmother)
Cheesy Tater Tots (Life’s Ambrosia)
Chicken Pot Pie Soup Over Mashed Potatoes (Chaos in the Kitchen)
Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe (BlogChef)
Chinese Style Spinach and Mushroom Soup (Bon Apetit)
Cold Ginger Soy Sesame Noodles Recipe (Group Recipes)
Corn & Black Bean Soup with Spinach & Feta Biscuits (GuiltyKitchen)
Cornmeal Waffles with Smoked Salmon and White Cheddar Cheese Sauce (Global Gourmet)
Cranberry Chutney (Closet Cooking)
Cream of Mushroom Soup (All that Splatters)
Creamy Steak and Mushroom Soup (Life’s Ambrosia)
Drunken Noodles (Real Thai Recipes)
Elote (Roasted Sweet Corn) (the Kitchn)
English Toffee (Patent and the Pantry)
Fried Eggplant and Mozzarella with a Roasted Marinara Dipping Sauce (Closet Cooking)
Fried Ravioli (Dishing Up Delights)
Funnel Cakes (the Kitchn)
Garlicky Herb Twists (Purple Foodie)
Ginger Cinnamon Caramels (the Kitchn)
Goat Cheese Tart with Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, and Caramelized Onions (the Kitchn)
Golden Macaroni and Cheese (Elizabeth’s Edible Experience)
Grilled Corn and Feta Salad (Tasty Kitchen)
Grilled Turkey and Brie Sandwich with Cranberry Chutney (Closet Cooking)
Herbed Garlic Bread (Real Mom Kitchen)
Hot Cheesy Bean Dip (Closet Cooking)
Irish Cream Dream (Grumpy’s Honeybunch)
Jalapeno Cheddar Schones (Whitney in Chicago)
Lighter Zucchini Fritti Olive (the Kitchn)
Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Closet Cooking)
Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches (Recipe Zaar)
Maple Syrup Marshmallows (Foodista)
Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese (the Kitchn)
Monkey Munch or Chex’s Muddy Buddies (The Food Librarian)
Nicole’s Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups (the Kitchn)
Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) (Closet Cooking)
Outback Bread Recipe
Outrageous Brownies (Ina Garten)
Pad Kee Mao, Thai Drunken Noodles (Massive Appetite)
Pasta alla Norma from Cook’s Illustrated (the Kitchn)
Peach Ginger Hand Pies (the Kitchen)
Peanut Sesame Noodles Recipe (Gourmet)
Peanut Vermicelli (Whisk, a Food Blog)
Pepitas Candy (Food Mayhem)
Peppermint Marshmallows (food loves writing)
Portobello Lasagna Rollups (Ellie Krieger)
Pumpkin Pie French Toast (Closet Cooking)
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce (The Unemployed Cook)
Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce (Brown Eyed Baker)
Sechuan Noodles (Ina Garten)
Sesame Peanut (long life) Soba Noodles (Newlywed Cooking)
Shepherd’s Pie (the Kitchn)
Simple Sesame Noodles (The Pioneer Woman Cooks)
Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger Pork Wraps with Peanut Slaw (the Kitchn)
Spiced Apple Cider Sorbet (the Kitchn)
Spicy Corn Fritters (American Recipes)
Steamed Bao (The Lay Gastronomer)
Strawberry Mascarpone “Pop Tarts” (Dishing Up Delights)
Sugar Cookie Recipe (Alton Brown)
Sweet Tea (the Kitchn)
The Best French Toast In The World (How To Cook Like Your Grandmother)
The Classic Caprese Salad (the Kitchn)
Try This: Candied, Salted Bacon (the Kitchn)
Weekend Apple Pancake (the Kitchn)
You and Me Chicken Pot Pies (Ellie Krieger)

The “In” Crowd

I had an odd experience happen to me in grade school that has affected my “need to fit in” when in a group setting.

I have always been classified as weird, which is an adjective I do take pride in now, but in grade school, I couldn’t wear it quite as the badge of honor that I do know.  Of course, being labeled as “weird” in grade school meant 8 years of being ignored or persecuted for the most part.

I’ve largely gotten over this: I’ve been enough of a leader in high school, college, and now in my career that people accept that I’m a little goofy, but largely a good person to like and to know.  For the most part, I’ve been able to ignore those who don’t care for me and am able to coexist nicely.

In sixth grade, we had a new girl who moved to town, who was quickly absorbed by the Populars – sat near them in classes, had companions during recess and lunch, guaranteed dates to middle school dances – someone to be a part of the clique.  Her popularity itself didn’t surprise me too much, she really was of the “type” (wealthy and vapid); but what unsettle me was how readily-accepted she was.

Then again, I had established myself as weird pretty early in the game.

At any rate, I cornered one of the Populars in the bathroom one afternoon (my only real stand against the status quo through those long years of grade school) and I asked her, “Why does [New Girl] get to sit with you at lunch, hang with you at recess? How do I get to be a part of your group? How do you let people in?”

I think the Popular I cornered was pretty shocked that I had even bothered to talk to her, much less ask a question of great importance.  After floundering for words for a moment, replied coolly, “You can talk to us.  You can sit with us at lunch.  You can talk to us on the phone.”

Even then I knew it was all bullshit.  Effectively, I would have to skin a sheep, wear it on my back into the flock, and hope no one noticed my salivating-for-popularity chops until I was accepted.  I had no intention of putting myself out there for their approval and acceptance; they already had enough made-up ammunition in their persecution of me, why give them anything concrete?

And just like that, the exchange was over.  The Populars never had anything to fear, thinking and waiting for me to try and wedge myself into their clique.  And I returned to my books and my occasional friend, ultimately shaping myself into who I am today.

I think of that incident today because I’m thinking of cliques as they exist in the adult world.  I just realize that not everyone gets to be readily-accepted to every social group that they float through in life.  This realization might crush some people.  I still sleep relatively well at night, because the people who do let me in to their group are the ones I really want to be with.

I just don’t have time to wonder how much cooler it would be to be a part of a group that clearly doesn’t need me.