Going away to college is a funny thing. A lot of times I’ll come home and notice small changes like a new kitchen decoration, leftovers of a new dinner that I’ve never tried, an entirely new back porch….but none of these changes bother me. I like new kitchen decor, I don’t discriminate when it comes to leftovers (none are safe from my “I’m home for the weekend, so I’ll just stand in front of the fridge with a fork and eat leftovers” wrath), and a new deck means no more splinters! The only changes at home that bother me are the ones I see in our cat, Hope. Over the past two years, I have noticed these expected, but still annoying, changes in her behavior:

1. Demands wet food twice a day, upon waking and at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon.
2. Begs for food, as in sits beside someone on the floor during dinner and just STARES. If it’s something like bacon or fish, she’ll meow, but the staring is sort of creepy.
3. Circles anyone with a crinkly bag like a vulture. Hope has an affinity for any sort of salty, bagged chip type food; no matter how many times you push her off the couch, she never stops climbing over you until she sees you toss the empty bag in the trash.

Those are all fairly normal cat behaviors, I suppose. However, the other two changes are pretentious kitty behavior that baffle me to no end.

4. She has to be fed two different flavors of wet food each day, as in Mixed Grill in the morning and Sea Captain’s Choice at night….no more Classic Pate twice a day.
5. Hope is now OBSESSED with kitty treats. Who knew there were treats for cats?! Hope’s new past-time is sitting in front of the pantry, waiting for an innocent passerby to walk towards the pantry. The second someone steps into her invisible kitty parameter, she’ll start meowing like crazy, hoping for a treat. Usually she gets what she wants.

Readers, this is a public service announcement, courtesy of My Fancy Tuna: DO NOT FEED YOUR CAT KITTY TREATS!

In other news, my spring break is completely wonderous! I’ve basically done nothing at all.

I LOVE IT!

I think I wear myself down so much when school is in session that by the time a break comes, all I want to do is be a recluse and watch movies with Lara. And bake banana bread muffins, which I did on Sunday (delicious!)

I’ve also become mildly obsessed with pesto over the past couple of weeks. Kayla made an awesome dinner with pesto, pre-packaged cheese tortellini, and broccoli a few weeks ago and I decided to recreate it tonight for dinner. Instead of tortellini, though, I used frozen ravioli – yum! The entire dinner came together in fifteen minutes. Eat it, Rachael Ray!

Pesto Ravioli with Broccoli
From Food Network Magazine’s “50 Things to do with Pesto” booklet, serves 6-8

2 1 lb bags of frozen ravioli (I used beef, but the beef sort of freaks me out if I think about it too much, so use cheese if you’re not a fan of mystery meat)
– 1/2 ish cups of your favorite pesto (or more to taste)
– 1 bag of frozen broccoli
– Parmesan/mozzarella cheese, for toppings

Obviously this was not the fanciest dinner ever, but it was tasty! Just boil your ravioli according to the package instructions, then drain, reserving about 1/4 cup pasta water. Stir in the cooked (read: microwaved) broccoli and pesto, then top with some mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese. Done and done! No pictures, but just try it if you’re caught in a dinner rush!

And now I’m off to finish baking these cookies (Lovin’ In the Oven, thanks!) for my mom to take to work tomorrow using my new cooking stone that I got for Christmas – it really does make a difference to the way these cookies are baking! Perfectly crispy around the corners, soft and chewy in the middle! The stone also made them shinier; they always told us in my Food Principles lab that cookie sheets were much better for baking than the jelly roll pans I use (the heat is more evenly distributed), and after seeing the difference tonight, I have to agree.

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