My name is Blaire Ferguson, and I live in the bubble of Boulder, Colorado. I graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Marketing and later made a career change. I earned a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Colorado and work as a surgical nurse. More significant for you, however, is that food is my love language. It started in my middle school years as a result of my hatred for summer camp and my parents’ fear of idle time, which (in their estimation) I’d probably use for non-productive purposes. Therefore, for $40 a week, I was to clean the house, mow the grass, and cook dinner — everyone wins.
And because kids aren’t scared of experimentation (which is why some kids try drugs and casual sex; I was too busy playing Cinderella), cooking is not intimidating. Over the years, my skills and knowledge grew to the point that now, I get questioned regularly, “What are you cooking this week?” and the corollary, “What should *I* make?” And sometimes things like, “How should I organize my refrigerator?” So that’s what this blog is. I’m gonna tell you what I’m making and what you should think about making. And maybe where to eat. And a few other helpful pointers.
While I’m at it, I’m going to tell you about my favorite resources — from cookbooks to other blogs — because although I can cook pretty decently, I don’t make this stuff up on my own. I usually make a recipe as written first and then tweak however it suits me.
So for my first blogpost, I suggest my favorite strategy for carefree enjoyment: happy hour. And not necessarily at that trendy spot downtown. I mean in your own backyard or living room. With your significant other, or a gaggle of girlfriends. The beauties of this strategy are 1) it’s super simple; 2) it can (but need not) include an alcoholic beverage; 3) it can be customized to your or your friends’ diet-of-the-moment (“I don’t do gluten;” “I’m vegetarian;” “I’m on a cleanse” — ok, not that one).
I start with a cheese board — head to Cheese Importers in Longmont http://www.cheeseimporters.com/ and see if you don’t come away with 3+ varieties and a spread or two to go with. (For fun, check out these cheese knives I picked up there!)
Or, the simpler option is your regular grocery’s cheese section. Personally, burrata is the platform from which I begin. Add prosciutto, some pretty fruit (grapes are popular, but anything goes), maybe a spread (like hummus — make your own, like I do, using the recipe in Melissa Clark’s fabulous book Dinner: Changing the Game). Bread and/or crackers are optional. For inspiration on assembling your offerings, Ina Garten shows you how (https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-cheese-board-3539085).
So there you have it. You can make anything I can make with the quality ingredients, willingness to exit your comfort zone, and some patience. Also, it’d be really fun to hear back from you! But with that in mind, remember that this is my own personal blog, not a free-for-all invitation to criticize to your heart’s content. Please keep your contributions considerate and polite; I delete rude comments (credit: Jennifer Yu, userealbutter.com – you inspire me!).