You’ve been invited to a very informal dinner party…

First off, if you haven’t downloaded the iPhone app, Red Stamp, please stop reading this blog and do so immediately. Red Stamp, for lack of a better word, is awesome. And hilarious. In its most basic sense, Red Stamp is an online card app used for, say, sending your friends a more personal birthday message than a mere Facebook wall post. Trust me, when your download is complete, you’ll be gushing about it just as much as I am. Anyway, to tie this all in, last night I felt in the cooking mood and had several friends and neighbors stop by and have a bite to eat. It wasn’t anything fancy, just some good food and even better company, but Red Stamp’s cute little invitations somehow made the whole affair more memorable, as opposed to what it really was: people eating spaghetti.

Now, on to the nom. On the menu for last night was spaghetti topped with shrimp, goat cheese, and vodka sauce, with a baked sweet potato on the side. Obviously, you can easily find all these things at Kroger, but for those of you on the “financially-savvy, I’d-rather-use-food-points” side, Uncle Harry’s General Store on Central Campus has a surprisingly diverse inventory. I was able to pick up the pasta, goat cheese, sauce, and shrimp (P.S. Harry’s also stocks salmon, steak, and more…who knew?!) from there, and then went to the supermarket for the rest of my cooking needs.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try and remember…I will always forget to take cool Instagramable photos of the whole cooking process. All is not lost though, as I did snap one picture of the meal-in-the-making, so here you go:

Last, but not least, we had pumpkin cupcakes for dessert! The recipe was unbelievable, and I know I’ll most certainly be making them again. We finished the entire first batch in one sitting, but low and behold, there was some extra batter and frosting left over so I was able to whip six more cupcakes up this morning. They’re currently sitting in our locker room fridge, patiently waiting for someone with a sweet tooth to stumble upon them…

Everyone was a member of the Clean Plate Club last night.

This morning's batch. Who will reach them first?

I always have a good time trying out new recipes, and I’m exceptionally grateful last night’s cooking experiment didn’t result in a small grease fire. This actually happened the last time I used my Central Campus kitchen – that particular story ended with a fire explosion making the outside of my apartment look like the stunt set of a Mission Impossible movie. Luckily, I was okay (I still don’t quite know how), and learned firsthand to never throw water on burning oil (and by the way, why was that never covered in my 6th grade Home Ec. class?). Anyway though, last night the food turned out well…but that wasn’t the best part. In my mind, the real point of any good meal is sharing it with others. The dinner party last night consisted of a pretty random group of people – friends from high school, neighbors, and roommates – who didn’t all know each other before sitting down to eat at my tiny table. Food is sometimes the best way to meet another friendly face on campus, and it seems as if everyone seemed pretty happy and content after our carb-crazy feast.

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