Special Dinner, Special Blogger, Special Announcement

October 1, 2008

Hi everyone, Matt posting this evening.  Kath was taking a test tonight and since she’d be coming home ravenous for dinner, I was in charge of the meal.  And since I made all sorts of modifications to our base recipe, she just told me to write the post tonight!

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On the menu was Spinach Florentine Pasta, inspired by Jessica’s Florentine Macaroni and Cheese. This was so easy, and I’m surprised to admit that it’s our first time using frozen spinach (I think).  There’s only two steps – cook your noodles in one pot, and cook your other stuff in another pot.  I used 3.5oz Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Egg Noodles.  As for the other stuff, combine in one pan:

  • 10oz frozen spinach bag
  • .75C milk
  • .25C grated parmesan
  • .5T whipped butter
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1T AP flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • big pinch kosher salt and pepper
  • some red pepper flakes
  • lotsa fresh oregano, whole leaves
  • lotsa fresh basil, chopped

Bring to low simmer over medium heat, then back off to low until mixture thickens a little.  Mix it with the noodles and serve!  I topped it with a dab of greek yogurt and a basil cluster for the presentation.

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(Kath’s thoughts: I really enjoyed the recipe. The sauce could have been a TAD creamier/thicker, but overall, it was fantastic with tons of veggie bites and just the right liquid level).

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And don’t forget the crusty piece of bread on the side!  Here’s how to make any piece of bread amazing: take a chewy piece/slice/hunk, give it a little drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and bake in the oven until crispy on the outside.  It makes the perfect dipping bread, and for you “Chewers” out there (like us), it satisfies your carnal cravings.

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(Kath again: OMG this bread is SOO GOOD!!! He says it’s his ciabatta recipe (look on the sidebar) just baked into a round loaf. I think the secret is baking it with the olive oil.)

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As for the special announcement

I’ve made quite a career change recently!  I wasn’t very happy with the career paths I had been on in the financial world (glad I got out of that one in time!) and the marketing/advertising/PR.  In reexamining my passions for life, there are two things that I realized are super important to me: delicious food, and caring for the environment.  I’ve always been reluctant to pursue a career in food because I didn’t want the lifestyle of a chef, and I was too nervous to take the full leap to become a restaurant entrepreneur.  But I started looking around, and I found a great job….

at EARTH FARE!!!!!!  I’m working in the community coordination department for our local store in SouthPark.  Basically, anything that this specific store can do to relate to the outer community, sponsor charities, attract customers, and sell more groceries is part of my job description.  It’s still in the vein of what I’m good at (communicating, selling, personal skills), but it obviously incorporates my love for food.  So I’m real excited about that, but that’s not all….

Because I also got a job at GREAT HARVEST BREAD CO!!!!!!  I haven’t officially began this job, but the gist of it is GH is opening a new store in the southern part of Charlotte, and they need a guy to come in early in the morning for half the week to do Sponge and Dough work – mixing the doughs, elaborating the sourdough, kneading, etc.  I’ve never directly said this but this is actually my favorite part of baking because that’s the part I have the most control over.  Anyway, as things develop I’ll be sure to elaborate. I’ll be working this job starting at 4:30 in the morning 3 mornings a week. I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to make my favorite hobby “work” and be paid to do what I love.

Kath’s Back

Most nights the husband cleans the entire kitchen while I blog. I have to say I was SO EXCITED to be the one cleaning the kitchen tonight!! And you-know-who wasn’t that thrilled to have to blog either :D But he sure made a great dinner!! I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for WEEKS and it kept getting pushed back on my calendar. It was great!! Like he said, we haven’t ever cooked with frozen spinach, but this was definitely an appropriate time to use it. We both agreed fresh spinach would have been too watery.

GOTR went well today. The lesson of the day was reflection and they had to run in silence. It actually worked REALLY well. They ran more laps than ever! After practice my coach and I went running again – about 30 minutes. It was a glorious run through pretty neighborhoods. I changed into dry clothes and was on my way to class. I had a Chobani with the rest of my box of raisins from GOTR while doing some last-minute cramming.

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My exam went pretty well, but I have no clue how I did. It all depends on how she grades my answer>s! I got home around 7:45 just in time for dinner to be put on the table. <3 My yogurt held me over perfectly.

So the husband’s big career change = 20% discount at EarthFare for this family!!!!! You can imagine how excited I was with that one. I’m so happy he’s going to be happier now that he’s doing something that gives him end-of-day satisfaction.

Off to bed for my AM workout rest!

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

1 melisa October 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Congrats on the new job, Matt! Sounds like lots of fun!

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2 molly October 1, 2008 at 8:04 pm

now THAT is how a job should make you feel! i hope i find something so perfect for me in the near future and i’m wishing you the best of luck in your ventures!

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3 grace October 1, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Yay for the Husband!!! :)

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4 Steph October 1, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Congratulations Matt on the new job! It’s so awesome that both of you are pursuing food careers. I think it’s so rare now for people our age to get paid for doing jobs that we love and are passionate about!

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5 Lauren October 1, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Oh my, the Great Harvest Bread Co NEEDS better bakers! I went to the one in fort mill once, and the bread was stale and like a rock! Literally you could not even bit into it!

Also good luck with Earthfare! Everyone there is SO nice. My old nutritionist works at the one in Rock Hill as a side job. Trust me, you’ll be with tons of passionate foodies.

Good luck!

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6 mh October 1, 2008 at 8:13 pm

awesome Matt! I’m so happy for you!

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7 VeggieGirl October 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

CONGRATULATIONS TO MATT ON THE CAREER CHANGE!!! Fabulous!!

Glad that your exam went well, Kath!!

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8 Katelyn October 1, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Congrats!!!! Being happy with how you spend your days is so important. Good luck!

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9 Justy2003 October 1, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Congrats on the new jobs, husband! Sounds like the perfect thing for you (you and your delicious breads)! And that’s awesome about the discount! I would LOVE to spend 20% less (or buy 20% more!!! ;) ) at the grocery store!

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10 mom October 1, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Congrats to the son-in-law.

Mom Buzz

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11 Cookienurse October 1, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Congratulations on both jobs, Matt – how wonderful! It’s great that both you and Kath are pursuing incredible passions!

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12 emily October 1, 2008 at 8:27 pm

congratulations on the jobs. They sound great!

Good luck!

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13 Lisa October 1, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I was already envious of EarthFare, and now Matt works there. How great for both of you – and what a fantastic discount!

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14 Jen October 1, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Sounds like a happy evening in the KERF household! Congrats to Matt on the career change – doing something you love is an amazing thing (says an envious person who does not do something she loves) Yay for a happy household!

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15 Jessica October 1, 2008 at 8:32 pm

What wonderful news for you Matt, congrats on BOTH new jobs and for following your passion!! I hope you love them both!

The pasta looks great, I love the elegant look of the wide egg noodles and I bet the butter and goat cheese were yum-o!

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16 caitlin (seebriderun) October 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm

yayyy matt!! congrats! i know you’re going to do really well.

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17 Anne P October 1, 2008 at 8:40 pm

that’s so fabulous matt!!! congrats and thanks for sharing your news with us :) when do you start at earth fare?? or have you already?

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18 HangryPants October 1, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Congrats Matt! My brother works at Whole Foods (cheeses) and he absolutely loves it. I think if you love and appreciate food, a job in the industry is nothing by good.

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19 SH October 1, 2008 at 8:50 pm

To echo everyone – congratulations and best wishes! From the sounds of it, you’re really going to enjoy these new challenges!!

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20 Biz319 October 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm

AWESOME Matt! You have to do something that you enjoy doing, and what better thing to do than to work at Earth Fare AND Great Harvest!

I miss Great Harvest – they don’t have one near where I live now.

CONGRATS!!!!!

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21 Bev October 1, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Congratulations Matt !! Your so lucky to have found something you are passionate about. Good luck to you both :)

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22 Megan October 1, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Matt: I am so excited for you! I love Great Harvest Bread! I respect you for following your passion!

Yeah for 20% off Earth Fare!

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23 Hil October 1, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Congratulations, Matt! Good on you for zoning in on the things that really matter to you and going after them.

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24 hk October 1, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Ahhhh what news!!! Amazing :) I can’t believe how exciting this is- for you both!! Huge congrats :)

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25 linds October 1, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Congratulations Matt!!!!! Enjoy the new job(s) :)

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26 Andrea October 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm

congrats husband!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! great news.

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27 D.D. October 1, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Matt- You’ll love Great Harvest, I promise! I worked there for 1.5 years and it’s a fun environment. You’ll be exhausted at the end of the day, but it’s worth it. And you get TONS of free bread and goodies!

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28 Brynn October 1, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Congratulations Matt! I was so confused for a minute. Since Kath had made the comment before your announcement, I thought she was writing. I was like, how are you going to work two jobs and go to school??? What??? haha. I get it now. I’m jealous of your discount!!

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29 Amy October 1, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Congratulations Matt! That sounds like a wonderful career change :) Dinner looked great by the way-all the green just looked so yummy!

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30 katherine October 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm

That is so wonderful that you have found your passion! Congradulations Matt

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31 Cat October 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm

I just wanted to say CONGRATS on the career change and for having the courage to follow your passion. I hope everything works out wonderfully for the both of you! You two are a GREAT inspiration to me as well as to so many others, and I wish you both all the best!! :)

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32 Rachel October 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Congrats, Matt! I am totally jealous of the 20% off at EarthFare. :)

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33 Christie October 1, 2008 at 9:41 pm

I think that is a great decision and it is importnt to follow your passions and do what you love to do… i love to see people working at something they are passionate about. My dad always would tell me that if you love your job you never have to work a day in your life!

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34 Candy October 1, 2008 at 9:43 pm

How cool that you got to come home to a hot meal! Congrats on the new jobs! Awesome.

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35 Kelsey October 1, 2008 at 9:49 pm

That pasta looks like it would be right up my alley.
Congrats on the job change Mr Husband, that is quite exciting! (Great Harvest might possibly be the greatest company ever….bread=heaven!!)

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36 emmy October 1, 2008 at 9:56 pm

congrats and congrats. those both sound like a lot of fun. it’s really great to see you both turning passions into paychecks.

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37 Bridget October 1, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Congrats to the husband! Both jobs sound awesome!

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38 Amy October 1, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Yay! What awesome job news. I’m in a bit of the same boat myself these days and your taking the plunge into something new is totally inspiring. In fact I just opened the job search engine back up thanks to you.

Thanks for sharing the news and your stories!

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39 magpie October 1, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Wow, that’s awesome :) Yay for following your dreams!

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40 Amy October 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Congratulations Matt! It’s so important to do what makes you feel good. :)

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41 Katrina October 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm

The pasta dish looks so good, will have to try it sometime.
Congrats on the career change and jobs you’ll love to “the husband”! I want to taste your bread! I’ve been meaning for weeks to do that start ferment at night and keep forgetting, I want to make Kath’s Oatmeal bread.

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42 ModelBehavior October 1, 2008 at 10:37 pm

Is it just me or is the entire blogging community all about the changes lately? Perhaps having your life more public then others forces you to look at it more critically and encourages you to go for what you really want!

Congrats husband!

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43 WendyF October 1, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Congradulations Matt, you have found a great career. Our friend started a bread shop in the Bay Area and went on to make amazing pasta(he still makes some bread in his shop) , so you never know where this path will lead you. :-)

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44 Kristie October 1, 2008 at 11:02 pm

That dinner looks and sounds soooo good.

But more importantly, Congrats Matt on the new career path. Making changes like that is always scary but it sounds like you found the perfect thing for you and like an awesome job overall!

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45 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) October 1, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Congrats, Matt! How exciting that your work will be something you love and are passionate about!

You and Kath are so inspiring!

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46 Marianne October 2, 2008 at 12:01 am

Looks like a good day all around in your household! And that pasta looks great – wil have to use it for some inspiration next time I pick up some frozen spinach.

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47 Jenn (eating bender) October 2, 2008 at 12:03 am

Great dinner, great blogger, great announcement!! Congratulations :)

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48 Katie October 2, 2008 at 12:26 am

congratulations matt! we’ve all heard about the travesties that result from being unhappy at work. so yay!

i LOVED this recipe. my boyfriend is coming in from ny tomorrow morning and this might very well be one of our meals!

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49 jessnyc October 2, 2008 at 1:28 am

yay congrats! way to find something you love and go for it…and 20%?! lucky ducks :)

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50 cup_cakes October 2, 2008 at 2:38 am

Congrats matt for the career change!! It’s so great that you found something you can love :)

And I can TOTALLY see how posting can be such a chore…. So i understand 100% how the husband could be “not that thrilled” to have to blog, and that kath would be excited to not have to do it for a day! I think that’s why I can never have a blog… Posting three times a day takes serious dedication!

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51 Becca A October 2, 2008 at 4:35 am

Congrats Matt and best of luck!

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52 Chiara Goodyear October 2, 2008 at 7:08 am

what is “AP Flour”? Thanks!

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53 Sammie October 2, 2008 at 7:16 am

Congrats Matt!!! When I met Kath, I told her how impressed I am of your bread baking – it always looks yummy. The EF job sounds like a blast – can’t wait to hear more what you will be doing. It is so important to have a job that you enjoy and it is obvious that these 2 positions are definitely the jobs for you.

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54 cindy October 2, 2008 at 7:19 am

Congrats to the KERF Family!

I like the tag team blog, will we be seeing more of that?

Good Luck on your new career path

Your are right about the life of a chef. My son is a chef (CIA grad.) It is tough, but if you enjoy it, it just becomes the way you live.

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55 Kath October 2, 2008 at 7:21 am

Thank you so much for all of your well wishes!!!!!!

AnneP,
He started at EarthFare 2 weeks ago. I’ve been waiting to let him make the announcement and we’ve been busy! Great Harvest doesn’t start for a few weeks (when the store opens).

Chiara ,
AP = all purpose.

Kath

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56 Bree October 2, 2008 at 7:32 am

Matt, congrats on the awesome jobs!

Dinner reminded me of dish I want to make again, I used some strained ff plain yogurt (greek yogurt would work) in the sauce along with milk to thin and feta instead of goat cheese, I think I will morph these ideas for next time…

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57 Andrea (Off Her Cork) October 2, 2008 at 7:39 am

Congrats on the job Matt! Making a career change is always a bit nervous but exciting at the same time. Woooo! Now you’re going to have to start a blog to tell us all about your adventures. ;)

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58 Jaclyn October 2, 2008 at 8:06 am

Congrats Matt!

You seemed really excited when we discussed it at lunch a few weeks ago, so I am SO glad that it ended up working out for you.

Guess we’ll be seeing a lot more grocery shopping at Earthfare these days ;-)

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59 zestycook October 2, 2008 at 8:10 am

A Special COngrats to Matt on the new GIG!! Glad the exam went well Kath!

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60 Marlow October 2, 2008 at 8:32 am

Awesome news on the career change! I am the Outreach Coordinator at a Natural and Organic Co-op food store in Wilmington, NC and I love it! It truly does combine my love for food and my love for my community!

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61 Jo October 2, 2008 at 9:39 am

A great example of a fab husband/wife team!!! joint blogging! Matt – massive congrats on the new job, that sounds fantastic and its great you are getting to do something that you are so interested in.

Your supper looks YUM! Definitely going to try that bread trick. The pasta dish looks good too – one quick question: is whipped butter something special or whipped up by hand? (hope I’m not asking a silly question!)

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62 runjess October 2, 2008 at 9:46 am

That’s wonderful about the new job. I too am in the midst of a career change: I’m currently still working in my field but studying to be a personal trainer. I agree, you must do what you love (even if it doesn’t use the MA degree that I paid for). Congrats!

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63 MWS October 2, 2008 at 10:01 am

ee! I am just reading this this morning, and I had to add my congrats to Matt as well :) What a great move!

and awesome about the discount! so happy for ya guys :D

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64 Kath October 2, 2008 at 10:06 am

Jo,
Good question! We have whipped butter in a tub. With a little air whipped in, it’s not as calorie dense per TBSP as regular butter but still has the great buttery taste.

Kath

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65 melissa October 2, 2008 at 10:26 am

Congratulations on the new job (s)!
It’s such a wonderful thing to do be doing what you love and get paid for it!!

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66 Marilyn October 2, 2008 at 10:44 am

Congrats on the job, Matt! That is awesome. :)

Kath – enjoy the discount. ;) Also, wanted to say that I’ve been reading the blod for about a month, and really enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to do this for us.

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67 Marilyn October 2, 2008 at 10:45 am

^ that should say “blog,” not “blod.” oops.

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68 Jill - GlossyVeneer October 2, 2008 at 11:18 am

I have to admit, I am jealous of the Great Harvest gig. I have been tempted at the thought of opening my own franchise, but I’m not ready for that. If they opened one near me I would be very tempted to quit my job and work there!

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69 Amanda@RunningOnCoffee January 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Congrats to your hubby on the job change! Not familiar with that store though, must not have made it up to the northeast. Hope you did well on your test!

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