Hop and jiggle

These truths I hold to be self evident:

1. Birthdays always need sprinkles
2. Birthdays on holidays call for a special level of celebratory creativity
3. The final term of any degree necessitates jello shots
4. old college traditions and new culinary educations can lead to wonderful things

I present: birthday cake and Bellini jello shots, presented in (food safe!) Easter eggs. Happy birthday Katie, and happy Easter everyone! Hope everyone celebrates in a way that makes you smile.

inclement weather

hey dc, i’ve only been gone for 2 weeks. i know it’s been hard, but an earthquake AND a hurricane is a little excessive.

in all seriousness: be careful this weekend, mmk? i’ll be back in a week and i’d like things in working order.

in more seriousness: inclement weather events in dc are some of the most fond memories i have from the district. we weathered hurricane isabel in the terrace of Anderson Hall, hurricane ernesto at rumors (yep. went there.) and snowpocalypse¬†and¬†snowmageddon¬† in various dwellings across the metro area. i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t missing the hour-long lines in the grocery store, the¬†hilarious¬†alert dc updates, and all the FUN to be had snuggled up warm and safe with your favorite people in the world.

be safe. i miss you all more than you know.

ps: i already knew this guy was pretty cool. last night the rest of america found out. way to go, chef!!

the one where i moved far, far away

so i’m here! tuesday marks two weeks in the queen city. here are the last few weeks in (iphone) pictures.

i was sent off by the girlies in STYLE.

Mad Dog came to town (old town, to be specific) and in between navigating an enormous yellow truck on 495, we managed some lovely evenings.

Chart House

Jackson 20

Mad Dog and Manfriend GRACIOUSLY took the time to drive my self and my stuff all the way down here.


my poor attempt at documenting our entrance into NC. i took a lot of naps.

we’re heeeeeeeere!

that low building in the front is the NASCAR Hall of Fame. WHO'S YER DRIVER?!

After a looong day of unpacking (I use that word loosely. Mostly men moving my boxes around.), we celebrated the best way 3 Irish Catholics know how.

I think the bartender had a crush on Mad Dog. That’s all scotch.

The next day, Mad Dog used his 6th man-sense to guide us to Big Bird’s final resting spot.

After a delicious $4 lunch (!!), Mad Dog used his 7th sense to seek out….BOOZE.

You can buy beer and wine at gas stations and Target, but for liiiiiicker, you must enter a compound run by un-friendly ex-marine ABC agents.

The kind, patient gentlemen hung my girly curtains while I uncovered tools essential to my culinary education.

but only until the clock struck scotch-thirty.

Mad Dog drove off into the sunset to go visit my tremendously talented cousins in Asheville, and a few days later I said a temporary (but tearful) goodbye to Manfriend…and I was alone and unleashed on the Queen City. First things first: I went to Target and Trader Joe’s (suburbia!!). Then I got in the kitchen, to whip up a creature comfort: granola.

My old oven ran 25-50 degrees cold. This one does NOT.

I hung a picture of my patron saint, Chili Pepper Cat, and hoped next time he would guide me.

And, low and behold, the next venture turned out much better.

forget to buy flour? flourless peanut butter cookies to the rescue! (with TJ mini PB cups to boot)

Chili Pepper Cat also guided me–to a job! I start tomorrow. It’s a super cute (there are twinkle lights involved) restaurant/bar a few blocks from the football stadium. ¬†There is cold beer, turkey legs, and no polyester suits for miles.

Speaking of poultry legs, Manfriend visited again this weekend and we inaugurated the kitchen properly. Balti Chicken, oven-roasted potatoes, and broccoli.

And here we are! I promise monster posts like these won’t become the norm. Especially if y’all come visit!


I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time now (hilarious, right, because I post so frequently as it is) because this makes it REAL.

After a number of major life changes in the past six months, I’m taking on one more: in less than a month, I’m moving to North Carolina to attend Johnson and Wales University and pursue a degree in Culinary Arts. Yep–I’m going to culinary school!¬†

Did I just wake up yesterday, decide to move 300 miles from everyone and everything I know to throw down tons of money to learn to chop carrots faster? Not quite.  This is the result of years of dreaming, lots of research and financial planning, and countless conversations with people who have been through it.

It’s exciting and¬†terrifying¬†and a completely different feeling than when I went away to college. Instead of running hair-on-fire from high school, I’m leaving a city that I love and amazing friends that have become family. I’m worrying about health insurance and¬†utility¬†bills instead of dorm rooms and dining halls. ¬†Turns out, I’m a grown-up.

And then I think about standing on my feet in a hot kitchen for 7+ hours a day learning about food–butchering meat, simmering stocks, designing menus–and I get SO excited.

So what do I want to do when I’m done? ¬†How long will I be there?¬†What’s it going to be like? Can you come visit? Will I keep blogging? Hold your horses–we’ll get to all of it.

What do I want to do? 

I want to make food better. ¬†I want to do recipe development-create new and delicious healthy dishes for cookbooks, magazines, or tv shows. I want to make school food better–show kids (and parents) that cheeseburgers 4 times a week when they’re 7 is setting them up for a lifetime of food struggles. Oh, and that vegetables are delicious when they’re not boiled into mush.

How long?

One year–I’m doing an accelerated program called Garnish Your Degree (haha) designed for students who already have a bachelors. You can read more here.

What’s it going to be like?

Classes are 4 days a week, 7-8 hours a day. Two labs (like Foundations or French Cookery) and one more traditional class (like Food Costs or Nutrition) per quarter. ¬†Three quarters of classes + 1 quarter of full-time internship and I’m done!

Do I accept visitors?

Yes! I have a spare bedroom aching to be used.

Will I keep blogging?

YES! I’m hoping to use DTMS as a space to document all my schooling adventures. I don’t know a soul in NC, so I fully anticipate I’ll become a blog/social media addict.

Wait–what about Manfriend?

There’s no way I’d be here without his encouragement and support. He was the one that made it possible to have my dream become reality.

He’s also not so secretly looking forward to the amped up dinners he’ll be feasting on after this is all over.

So that’s the scoop! Manfriend, Mad Dog, and I are making the big move together, so I highly¬†recommend¬†following me on twitter ¬†(@kleighmc) if you’d like to bear witness all the cross-country antics.

this makes sense.

To reestablish the natural balance of the universe after my previous post, here’s something a little more serious, with the potential to do a lot more good.

My dear friend Slow Motion’s main man The Claremonster is a maniac. ¬†If you think I like food a lot, you haven’t met this guy. He’s an eating machine, but with good reason. ¬†The man runs more miles before breakfast ¬†on a Tuesday than I’ve run….ever. Then he goes for a swim. And bikes home.

Well he’s eating and running and biking with a purpose–he’s not only doing his second¬†triathlon¬†this August, but doing so to raise awareness for¬†Leukemia¬†and Lymphoma research. ¬†Here’s a note from the Monster himself:


Hey guys,

As I think most of you know I have gotten pretty involved with running and triathlons. I’ve done a couple of races already this year, but the highlight of my season will be Timberman 70.3 in August. I am completing this event in honor of my dad who passed away last summer, and in an effort to raise awareness and reach out to others who are battling blood cancers, I have set a goal to raise $5,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. I have created a website to document my fund raising and training efforts.


All the money we raise will go to the Conquer Cancer Foundation’s grants & research programs, and you can find donation instructions on the side of my page. Please forward this on to anyone you can think of (parents, friends, wealthy benefactors, etc.) and help me get this idea off the ground.

Thanks for helping out!



Alright? Alright. Click on that link, or this one, or this one. they’re all going to the same place. ¬† We all know someone who’s been affected by cancer, but there aren’t nearly as many taking on the personal challenge to help.

Take 5 minutes, give  a little, and make a big difference.

i don’t think you’re ready for this jelly

It’s Friday of a three-day weekend and that means one thing: viral videos!

These just rocked my world–food moving slowly. Like, 6,000 frames per second slowly. ¬†I’m a sucker for a good¬†interpretive¬†dance (wait, huh?) and that little square of Jell-O shakin’ what its momma gave it is a sight to behold.

click image for video

And maybe even more cool–popcorn popping at 6,200 frames per second.

Have a great weekend!

[via the kitchn]

you could be in pictures!

EXTRA EXTRA read all about it! DTMS has gone…local. ¬†Yours truly is the newest Easy Meals writer for examiner.com! Super exciting (and a super kick in the pants to keep up with you all more regularly ūüôā )

Here’s ¬†my first column–I went with a DTMS classic, the infamous steak salad. Click on the picture below to go to the full article!