NOTE: One of the best parts about hosting a guest blogger series like this one is getting to know enthusiastic, talented people like Lauren Easby of A Red Ember. This DIY and lifestyle blogger makes her mission is energize and inspire others to pull out their old sewing machine and create, and I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.
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One of the scariest and most exciting parts about moving into your first apartment is realizing you have to cook for yourself. Gone are the days you can get home from dance class to find dinner ready on the table (Thanks Mom and Dad!). Gone are the days of something I like to call the “Magic Fridge”. It’s a refrigerator my parents are lucky enough to own. All you have to do is write the item you want on the notepad on the outside, wait a few days, and it appears in the fridge. MAGIC. Nope, my apartment did not come with one of those. It came with the boring non-magical kind that I have to stock myself.
My parents sent me off to college armed with this cookbook filled with all our family recipes. Some of them include notes on when it was commonly made or who it originally came from. It has become not only an invaluable resource but a reminder of my family history.
In true Rollins fashion, some of the instructions have been lost along the way or as some say “not necessary”. True gems can be found throughout this cookbook such as:
- Marinate for awhile
- Cream cheese well (as in cream the cream cheese well)
- Dot with ketchup, makes it look nice
- Cook 1 hour (I wonder if this needs to cook this long)
I will never change or update these. Each one brings a smile to my face when I am cooking.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes and family memories:
Each summer, we would spend a week at a special place we call Redwood, located just outside of Yosemite. Redwood is not a cabin because it doesn’t have walls, but not camping because there are beds, a shower, and a stove. It’s a special place. Strawhats is a staple at Redwood. We would make it at home because it freezes well, reheat on the stove, and done. (Full recipe at a Red Ember.)
La Grand Eggs
There is something so special about having the whole family together for a meal. When I was younger, my grandparents hosted a huge Mother’s Day celebration at their house. At times, there were as many as 50 people over for brunch. La Grand Eggs were a staple at these types of events because it’s easy, delicious, and makes a lot. Any time we have these eggs, it brings me back to Pomma and Papa’s backyard in the springtime.
My Aunt Carla earned the title “Dessert Queen” with all the amazing treats she would bring to family events. Creme-de-menthe Brownies were one of her specialities and a favorite of mine. For many years, we would go to the Shakespeare Festival in Lake Tahoe. The stage was outside, right on the beach so the audience had the most spectacular view of the lake at sunset. We would pack up a picnic dinner, blankets and sand chairs and arrive early to stake our place in the sand. Our dinner would change, but Aunt Carla always brought Creme-de-Menthe brownies and baklava.
About Lauren: By day, Lauren Easby is a digital marketer by night she a blogger at A Red Ember. Her blog is full of inspiring DIY posts on jewelry, home decor, sewing and more. She is a Nevada native who was transplanted to Portland about 2 years ago and loving it. You can find her on her blog at aRedEmber.com or on Instagram at @laurenezb.
ATTENTION BLOGGERS: If you are interested in writing a guest post for this series, please visit this page. Thank you!