Shelly Marie Redmond is the Editor in Chief of collegelifestyles.org, a chic and magazine-inspired website aimed at demystifying style and fashion, etiquette, and (of course) food and cooking! While interning (and broke), Shelley realized that newsstand magazines didn’t quite do it for her. So she took fashion, mannerisms, and dining into her own hands. Then she put it ALL on the Internet. She hopes to eventually turn collegelifestyles.org into a distributed magazine. So be on the lookout because these are tips and tricks you won’t want to miss.
Candice Allouch: How and why exactly did you get the idea to start collegelifestyles.org?
Shelly Redmond: While flat broke in my internship, I realized a few things: while I loved the fashion magazines, health magazines, and classic movies and mannerisms – nothing was out and available for students and sorority ladies on the matter. Fashion was way too expensive, cooking was too time consuming, and the classic manners were last updated in the mid 1900s. At the same time, classmates would come to me for advise on health, fashion, and, yes, mannerisms! At that time, College Lifestyles ™ was born! I didn’t start the website till a few years later – but I had the idea cooking in my head!
CA: If you were a food, what would you be, and why?
SR: Chocolate. Very few people dislike chocolate and I am a huge people person.
CA: What would you order for your last meal?
SR: Argentine Steak (rare), asparagus, and potatoes. Bread with fresh butter (not the butter in a packet) would be the appetizer. A nice glass of Malbac (Argentine wine). Finished with a delicious slice of dark chocolate cake. YUM!
CA: What’s your favorite health food?
SR: Greek yogurt.
CA: Is there anything you won’t eat?
SR: Insects. I watch on TV how folks find chocolate dipped crickets a ‘delicacy’ as well as the reality shows where folks eat bugs. No way.
CA: What’s your favorite snack food?
SR: Chips and salsa.
CA: What’s the best dinner party or party party you’ve ever hosted?
SR: When my husband and I moved into our home, we hosted a ‘red and white’ party. Instead of a ‘house gift,’ we requested our guests bring their favorite red or white wine. (Note – this was an over 21 party). We had an incredible selection of appetizers – hot spinach and artichoke dip, shrimp cocktail, beer braised meatballs, various cheese/meats tray, various olive salads, dark/milk/white chocolate dips strawberries. It was wonderful!
CA: It’s late at night and you’re leaving the bar. What are you craving?
SR: Well, being a mom, bars are not in my vocabulary! But I will say if I am on travel, and it is late at night – nothing beats pizza!
CA: What is your drink order when you go to a bar?
SR: See above answer. I rather have a nice glass of malbec (wine) during a meal with my husband or friends. Plus, the wine has a ton of antioxidants compared to the sugar/calories in many mixed drinks.
CA: What’s the most creative concoction you’ve ever made in the dining hall?
SR: I was the salad queen! I would take chicken from the ‘hot line’ and add to my salads – along with all the veggies. I would also take any tuna, chicken salad, pasta salad and make my own ‘salad goodness!’ If feeling sweet, I would add grapes or apples to my salad.
CA: Best hangover cure?
SR: Eeks! I don’t recommend drinking to get a hangover. Not classy at all. But remember, hangovers are part due to dehydration – so drink up the water.
CA: Do you use recipes when you cook?
SR: Yes and no. I use a recipe as a base – then add and subtract foods to my liking. My husband and I love cheese, so I typically add more cheese to recipes. We also like olives, so many recipes not calling for olives, I add some!
CA: Favorite cookbook?
SR: Anything from Eating Well. Delicious and nutritious.
CA: Favorite dessert?
SR: Dark chocolate anything!
CA: What’s your biggest early cooking disaster?
SR: Pumpkin soup. My husband loves pumpkin, and I thought it would be great to make him a pumpkin soup. I followed the recipe to a tee, and it was terrible! We tried adding spices, but nothing worked!
CA: Your go-to date night meal?
SR: It depends which type of date! I will give you some scenarios!
Friday night date at home! Once we put Mireille (pronounce Meer-Ray) down for the night, we will make a great tray of various cheeses (brie, feta, goat, swiss), meats (prosciutto, ham, turkey, salami), crackers, and fruit (grapes, apples, strawberries) and have a nice glass of wine to discuss our week and plans for the next week.
Date night out and about! I strongly believe in variety. If we have a sitter and go out on a date, Greg and I will ‘alternate’ cuisines and have a nice glass of wine. We are sure to order different items and ‘split’ our meals with one another.
Date evening with Mireille! We go to Jason’s Deli. Delicious!
Candice Allouch is a junior at American University but abroad in Florence, Italy during the fall semester where she learns (and loves) to cook with the wonderful ingredients that Europe lends.