Johanna Caruthers

Johanna Caruthers

Johanna Caruthers is a senior studying English Literature at McDaniel College. Being a picky eater, she started cooking and baking after realizing that the only thing she enjoyed at the dining hall was the cereal bar.  Throwing dinner parties has become her new obsession, among the already lengthy list that includes fashion magazines, writing poetry, modernism, dinosaurs, Mad Men, and typography. She balances out her insatiable sweet tooth with yoga.

Greatest Kitchen Disaster: Homemade Twix Bars: crumbly shortbread, over-salted caramel, and burnt chocolate.

Ideal Date Meal: A Jim Dandy sundae, with scoops of strawberry, chocolate chip, peanut butter, cinnamon, and chocolate marshmallow ice cream, topped with whipped cream, bananas, and rainbow sprinkles.

Signature Cocktail: A gin and tonic always makes me feel like a member at Jay Gatsby’s party.

Best Breakfast: When I went abroad, I fell in love with the traditional English breakfast, blood sausage and all!

Daytime Indulgence: Any type of fancy coffee beverage, complete with a large dollop of whipped cream and delicious syrup drizzles.

Impulse Buy: Harrison’s Fig And Olive Relish

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Impulse Buy: Harrison’s Fig & Olive Relish
Store: Lemon Street Market
Price: $7.95

Working the front desk at a yoga studio definitely has its perks. In exchange for four hours of work, I not only receive unlimited free access to all classes, I’ve also met a lot of really cool people and eaten a lot of really great food. I know, I know, a little unbelievable, right? Yogis have gotten a pretty bad reputation regarding their taste palates. The popular belief is that those who practice yoga have an affinity for all things vegan and organic, that is to …

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Table for Two: DIY Dating

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In the slightly bastardized words of Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a young person enrolled in any sort of continued education must be in desperate want of a large fortune. The horror stories of subsiding off of half-packets of ramen and doubled-steeped bags of tea are, unfortunately, all true. And having recently passed into the academic afterlife, I am here as the bearer of bad news to tell you another depressing fact of life: it doesn’t get much better. I’ve spent the past three months living under my (incredibly generous) parents’ roof, working a hostessing job …

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You’re Invited: The Chip-n-Dip Party

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Photo by J. Baumstein

There’s something about Mad Men‘s Peter Campbell that gives me the heebie jeebies. Yes, he’s incredibly dashing in those navy business suits, and yes, his control and influence in the meeting room is impressive. However, maybe he’s just a little too much of everything. His drive and motivation quickly turn to jealousy and anger, causing him to manipulate situations, undermine his fellow employees, and even lash out irrationally from season to season. And those giant blue eyes, although aesthetically pleasing are just a bit too big, a bit too clear, a bit too I-am-peering-into-your-soul-and-seeing-all-of-your-dirty-desires. Maybe …

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Table for Two: The Importance of Being Caffeinated

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I’ve been drinking coffee since I was six years old. Yes, I know it seems a little young and probably contributed to my (lack of) height. True love knows no age.

Every Sunday after church my family would go out to breakfast, and I would always take on the task of preparing my mom’s coffee. I would shake the Sweet’N Low packets in a bunch, making sure all of the synthetic sugar crystals slid to the bottom before ripping them open and unleashing my own personal blizzard into the cup. Then, I’d carefully tear the tops off of two half …

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Dorm Room Bar: Birthday Bellini

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True Life: I’m a sucker when it comes to celebrations of all types. I love throwing a party for any and all occasions. My apartment hosted a Thanksgiving feast in the fall, and I have been known to scour Google for obscure holidays, just to have an excuse to throw a party and bake something fantastic. (Get ready for Eat Your Vegetables Day on the 17th, and Waffle Iron Day on the 29th.) Birthdays are no exception to this obsession. In fact, a birthday may be my favorite holiday out of the year. Getting to celebrate the fact that someone …

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What’s On Tap: Whistle Stop Amber

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Brewery: Johanssons Dining House
Beer: Whistle Stop Amber
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Draft
Price: $3.25 (during Happy Hour)
ABV: 5.3

A lot of people wouldn’t take me as a beer girl. They would look at me, in my over-sized pink sweater and Audrey Hepburn cigarette pants and think, “Oh, she’s a vodka-and-soda girl,” or “Oh, she’s a gin fizz girl.” And honestly, I’m all of those girls. However, I became a beer bunny while abroad in Dublin, Ireland. One small sip of Guinness and I was a goner. I started looking for interesting brews …

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Paltry Pantry Pasta (aka, Chopped: College Edition)

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My kitchen is a sad place right now. The dinner table shakes under the weight of heavy textbooks and flashcards for Arabic conjugations. The floor has not been Swiffered for longer than I care to take responsibility for and the dishes in the sink threaten to topple over, covering any innocent bystanders in a volatile combination of ketchup, yogurt, and soggy tea leaves. However, the most depressing part of my kitchen is the refrigerator, which currently houses one applesauce cup, half an avocado, four packets of tuna fish, and apple butter. I know, I know; prisoners have better options …

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Impulse Buy: Champagne

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It is no secret among my friends and family (and all of you readers who have kept up with my previous posts) just how much I adore champagne. It has a special place both in my heart, and on the tiny shelf in my shared refrigerator. There’s just something magical and classy about the bubbly beverage.

Champagne is used in celebration, to mark something new, something now, something that has the potential to be more than just “something.” January 1st is toasted with a tall sparkling glass, a bottle is broken on the bow of ship about to set sail, and Marilyn Monroe supposedly bathed in 350 bottles worth of the stuff.

While that last tidbit has nothing to do with new beginnings, it shows the other side of champagne that I love: its extravagance.

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Dorm Room Bar: The Animal Cell

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There are only three things I remember from my high school biology class:

1) I can only successfully dissect an animal if its head has already fallen off;

2) things are exponentially cooler when they’re floating in formaldehyde; and

3) I can make a pretty kickin’ model of an animal cell.

My fourteen-year-old self was so interested by all of the parts of this teeny cell that made up my own body, as well as the bodies of all other mammals (which is kind of unsettling to think about when one’s trying to sear a steak or whip up a

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Sweet Dreamin’: Passover Macaroons

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Last year around this same time, a theme seemed to develop among my closest friends: they all started dating Jewish boys. Furthermore, not only were these boys Jewish, these boys also happened to be best friends. You can see the problem emerging, no? I was the only single shiksa in this exclusive dating circle. Whenever the late-night girl talk switched over to the traditions and anecdotes of Judaism, I tried my hardest to relate. I wanted to be a part of this culture. Judaism is soaked in history and ritual, everything becoming sacred and mystical when uttered in Hebrew. I …

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