Appliances Anonymous
August 23rd, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk, raiding your pantry, ice cream cones and other frozen delights.

Homemade ice cream is headed my way and I won’t have to lift a finger. That’s because I gave my ice cream machine to a friend of mine and he has big plans.

It took me a while to dig it out of the appliance cemetery - also known as the tippy top shelves of the cupboards in my kitchen. It was buried there after I had used it twice, for a banana pudding ice cream and a strawberry sorbet.

But I just had to have the machine after watching Oprah Winfrey on her old show talking rapturously about all the low-cal treats that could be made in the easy-to-use thingy. It was sort of easy to make the frozen desserts. But it was also easy to eat the whole dessert - which sort of canceled out the low-cal part. And then there was the cleaning of all the parts.

So now the machine is taking up residence at my friend’s house, much to the dismay of his wife. She feels they have enough small kitchen appliances crowding their cupboards that they already fail to use more than once a year.
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Filed under: Culture • Shopping • Tools


The dog ate my...everything
August 16th, 2011
07:45 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk, raiding your pantry, ice cream cones and other frozen delights.

Some years ago, my family's dog Penny made off with a rump roast that had been left defrosting on a counter while we were all out running errands. My mother assumed the dog ate the entire thing because she couldn’t find even the tiniest scrap left of the meat.

But I found a big hunk of it - several days later when I did a headstand in the box of clothes my siblings and I used for playing dress-up. I screamed, then my mother screamed and Penny went into hiding while we disposed of the now quite ripe evidence.
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Confessions of a meal mooch who took a risk on a stranger
July 27th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk, raiding your pantry, ice cream cones and other frozen delights.

Some people love to cook. I do not happen to be among their number. I cook so that I won’t starve, consume only processed foods or eat from take out menus too much.

I don’t cook for fun. However, many of my friends and family do cook for fun. And I am among their biggest fans. I love to get invited to a great home cooked meal.

My friend Carol makes a meatloaf that has made grown men weep with gratitude when they get to take the leftovers home– if there are any. Becky makes a simple salad of romaine, fresh veggies and homemade dressing that is almost a meal of its own. Tom’s gatherings always include pork loin and beer-can chicken. He seems to always invite women to bring all the labor intensive side dishes and desserts.
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Filed under: Culture • Dining • Eating Clubs


Sabotage in the eggplant plot!
July 26th, 2011
11:30 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk, raiding your pantry, ice cream cones and other frozen delights.

When you’re a child and you don’t like a certain vegetable there are ways to avoid it. Refuse to eat it - hide it in pockets or under plates or feed it to the dog. But when your spouse grows that vegetable with love and serves it up with their own two hands – you are stuck with gagging that ingredient down and smiling while you eat it.

However, one fellow I used to work with bragged about how he made certain that he never had to eat another one of his wife’s homegrown eggplants. Let’s call him "Max" so he doesn’t have to go into the Husband Protection Plan.
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Filed under: Etiquette • Gardening • Make


Feeling hot and chewing cold
July 22nd, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk, raiding your pantry, and ice cream cones.

I sweat a lot for a not-very-skinny girl, and Atlanta summers can be sweltering. They were even hot before some smart aleck weatherman invented the heat index so we could feel hotter than the thermometer reading.

But even before I moved South, I had a habit of chewing on cold things to beat the heat. As a child and even past the point where I was old enough to drive, I would pour grape Kool-Aid into ice-cube trays and freeze it.

Sucking on the purple cubes was a great way to cool off - that is until I overindulged and almost developed frostbite on my tongue.
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Filed under: Bite • Dishes • Ice Cream


Tackling the cone
July 21st, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk and raiding your pantry.

First of all, there is a big difference between “enjoying” ice cream and “needing” ice cream - so for the sake of time, we will not even discuss the one-person, one-spoon and one-carton method of scarfing down the frozen medicine of your choice.

But during your saner moments – do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or a cone? Easy question, right?
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Filed under: Bite • Dishes • Ice Cream


Pantry raid! How long could you hold out?
July 20th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She liked boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper and eating cold pizza at her desk for breakfast.

What’s behind that pantry door?

This week I will do my food shopping only at one very special place: my own pantry. Lord only knows what I will find in the back corners of the lowest and highest shelves. I expect to be eating some tuna salad from all those cans I bought when forecasters were predicting the last snow storm that brought Atlanta to a halt - which may give you some idea of the vintage of those items.
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Filed under: Cooking • Leftovers • Make


The least dignified meal of the day
July 19th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She liked boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables and letting produce rot in her crisper.

I don’t always eat breakfast at home. But when I do, it is usually healthy. It may be some oatmeal with fresh fruit, black walnuts and cinnamon or perhaps brown rice with lemon juice, soy sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

But if I’m running late, my breakfast is often a ham and cheese biscuit picked up on the way to work from a fast food restaurant with a huge container of unsweetened ice tea.
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Filed under: Breakfast • Culture • Dishes • Office


When isn't a bargain a bargain? When you end up with a lotta rot.
July 13th, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She liked boxed mixes and tarted-up vegetables.

Hi, my name is Linda and I am a compulsive shopper at membership big box stores.

Right now I am composting several avocados, half a ginormous bag of baby carrots and some celery in my refrigerator - along with some shriveled up oranges and some garlic that is growing roots. I bought it all in bulk because it was SUCH A DEAL!

And I must confess to using my refrigerator way too often for accidentally composting produce that was so pretty and sold at great prices at the store where I am a member.

Here's why: A mango a day – doesn’t quite work the same healthy magic that an apple a day does.
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Filed under: Cooking • Hot Messes • Shopping • Supermarkets


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