about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.


Can you believe that today is my last day at Poplar Ridge?  Hard to believe it was early May when I drove down the gravel path and through their gates for the first time.

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I have been so blessed to work in such a beautiful and serene place.  On my best days, I can walk the grounds, eat from the vines, and soak up the sunshine.

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And on days when I am down, I can visit the horses or stare across the acres and acres of green, clearing my mind.


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Hard to believe ELEVEN weeks have gone by since my first day on the farm.

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In what felt like a very short summer, I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about farming and identifying varieties of vegetables in the ground.

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I’ve explored the gardens and learned to harvest my own ingredients from the farm to the table.

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I’ve made a few animal friends…

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And some really great people friends too.

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By day, I cooked in my running shorts and gym shoes…


And at night, I got dressed up in chef whites to serve dinners of 50+ people.


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I pulled ingredients straight off the vines…

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And brought them into my gorgeous farm kitchen.

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And with them I made some pretty incredible food…


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I have never been one for transitions or change.  I tend to cling to the familiar with every muscle in my body.  Luckily I have Casey, who always pushes me to grow, and makes me less afraid to try new things.

This very weekend last year, I was driving my life across the country in a budget truck, headed towards a new home and a second chance at my career.

[August 24, 2009 204[3].jpg]

[August 24, 2009 203[3].jpg]

I remember feeling so lost and scared, and when we finally got our internet hooked up at our new house, one of the first things I did was check my favorite blogs for a glimpse of something familiar.  But while I was uprooting my life that weekend, my favorite bloggers were at the first ever Healthy Living Summit, laughing, eating, and forming new friendships.  It felt so strange to me that while my life was in total chaos, somehow life had gone on outside of Charlotte.

What a difference a year can make.  For as much as I learned about food and cooking this year, I learned a lot more about myself.  I’m not scared of much anymore, and I think I can handle just about anything.  Fast forward to this year, and I’m getting ready to move again.  But this time will be different – I won’t be depressed and overwhelmed.  I will be excited and grateful that I have so many wonderful opportunities to change and explore.

But before I move again in a few short weeks, I have a few other things planned – starting with this year’s Healthy Living Summit!  I’ll be on a plane at 5pm en route to Chicago to finally “meet” so many of the bloggers that I’ve gotten to know through my computer screen.

It feels very appropriate to close the door on my last day at Poplar Ridge and head straight to the HLS, since my next step will be to continue to explore the writing opportunities and projects that blogging has brought me.

See you in the Windy City!

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68 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Tina     at 8:31 am

I love all the reflections in this post. What a crazy year you had, but a beautiful one that brought such great things. Have a wonderful time at the HLS! Wish I could be there to meet all you wonderful ladies.


Jen     at 8:47 am

I love this post! I’m so happy you had a chance to grow this year and wish you so much success and happiness in the future :)


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks Jen! Hoping to cheer you on at lots of races in the future, and sign up to do a few together! :)


Kamaile     at 8:47 am

I look forward every morning to reading your blog and look forward to reading about your new adventures in DC! Have fun in Chicago!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

That is awesome – so honored to be a part of your day. :)


Sarah Soon-To-Be (Once Upon a Lime)     at 8:55 am

I love this! Really wonderful post. You have a lot of incredible things going on right now, enjoy them! And I am desperately hungry now after looking at all of those yummy dishes :)


Teri [a foodie stays fit]     at 8:58 am

Congrats on a very successful summer! And year!


Jess     at 9:28 am

What a sweet and positive post. You are such a great writer.


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you! That means a lot.


Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 9:28 am

Great post! I remember when you started there. What a great experience. Thank you for sharing it! Have fun this weekend and have a safe flight!


Kelly     at 9:49 am

Good luck w/your new adventures!! :)


Nancy F     at 10:08 am

I am so sad to see your time at the farm come to an end. I I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed it and how much I have learned. Through your posts from the farm I have been encouraged to try vegetables and grains I’ve never had before. I have come to incorporate and really enjoy more healthy, delicious, vegetable based meals while trying out your farm recipes. Not to mention the fact that your pictures of the farm and foods you posted were all so pretty. I’m going to miss the farm too! :-) Thanks for a great time! (I’m looking forward to your next adventure!)


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Me too :( But I promise there are a lot of fun new recipes coming when we move to DC, and I will still be trying all sorts of new produce. I’ll just have to pay for it myself now!:)


JL Goes Vegan     at 10:11 am

Beautiful post! Your bravery to dig in and try new things, and go where life takes you, is such an inspiration! Have a safe and wonderful HLS trip!


Ginna     at 10:15 am

Congrats Emily! I can’t believe its been a year already!

What’s next for your culinary adventures? Will you be a full-time blogger now?


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Think I’m going to cover next steps in my next post, since I’ve gotten so many questions about it. The short answer – LOTS of new recipes, how to’s and a lot of writing gigs!


Ginna Reply:

Great! I am amazed how blogging in one’s free time can lead to professional opportunities…can’t wait to see what’s ahead!


Mimi     at 10:21 am

Sounds like you had a great experience this summer. Your courage to go new places, try new things and take risks is truly inspiring. (:


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you! :)


Jordan Wandfluh     at 10:37 am

Hey Emily I follow your blog religiously and I was wondering what type of running shoe you recommend? I am training for the Chicago marathon and I recently bought some Asics I seen Kath wearing but I find them a bit too heavy for my liking. They feel like bricks on my feet. Do you recommend anything different?


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Hi Jordan! I wear Mizunos, which are a great neutral shoe. My best advice would be to go to your local running store and have them assess your running stride. They will be able to tell you if you need a neutral or stability shoe, which will make a HUGE difference in how efficient your runs are!


MA* Reply:

I also must endorse sauconys – I know so many people who started running in them (including Emily and myself!) and have had success. But emily is 100% right about going to a running store – their knowledge is priceless!


Katie @ Healthy Heddleston     at 10:41 am

This was such a great post Emily! I have loved reading about all your adventures you’ve had on the farm and it’s so cute to see you in the evening white serving outfit :) How did you get the gig at the farm anyway?


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I found the farm online and wrote a well-worded email to the owners. I set the internship up completely on my own, and got it approved through my school. Just goes to show that you have to take CHARGE of your life, and not be scared to take a chance. :)


Katie @ Healthy Heddleston Reply:

That’s amazing Emily! Good for you!! :) :)


eatingRD     at 11:06 am

What an inspirational post! Very neat to see how things can change for the better :) I kind of feel like I’m in a transition period and scared of what’s next or if I will find something, but hopefully time will bring good things. What a wonderful experience as well, that farm is gorgeous! Have fun at HLS!


kathleen     at 11:27 am

This post is amazing. I don’t leave many comments, but I’ve been cheering you on for over a year. Your time at Poplar Ridge has been an incredible journey for us readers and I just know it’s going to be exciting in your new place. I’ve made quite a few of your recipes and it’s really made me look at how and what I buy in the world of veggies. Have fun at HLS and thanks for sharing your days with us.


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awww thanks! That’s so nice to hear. I think you guys will enjoy the DC adventures too. :)


Molly     at 11:31 am

Love this! You rock. Good luck at HLS and in DC. It’s been so fun following you!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks! Keep following…good things to come in DC :)


Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 11:33 am

Loved the recap! Have fun in Chicago this weekend :)


Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul     at 12:00 pm

I’m not sure it’s the “right” thing to say, but congratulations on completing this chapter! I very much relate to your situation – as one year ago I was also driving and moving from Cincinnati for a new home, and am now ending my internship and moving again in a few short weeks. It’s amazing to think you’re finished already – as I feel like I was just reading about your first day so recently! It’s interesting to see the progression of someone else’s life through their blog, and then to compare it to your own ;-) Congrats again and enjoy the transition!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Wow, sounds like we really are on the same path. Thanks!


Meghan     at 12:04 pm

I’m so happy for you! I left Cincinnati this summer to pursue my new career and I left so much that was familiar. I’m still nervous but your blog is inspiring and you reassure me that I made the right choice. Good luck in D.C.!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Change is scary. If I can do it, you can do it! :)


Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner     at 12:11 pm

What a great post. I love all the different elements of the farm that you brought to your readers. And I’m so glad I found your blog! Have fun at HLS, wish I was going!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I’m so glad you found the blog too. :)


Paj     at 12:18 pm

I found your blog when you started at the farm. I was googling recipes for my own CSA share. I’ll still be following you as you move though. Good luck.


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

That’s awesome! I promise there will be a LOT of new recipes when I move – stay tuned! :)


Marci     at 12:21 pm

Really nice reflective post. Changes are scary! August is also a month of things changing in the past for me! I am kicking myself for not signing up for HLS. I’m a semi-new blogger and didn’t really know what it was about when I started blogging! But your blog is one of my favorites, and I love actually learning things from your posts now, and I know in the future too!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks so much! I promise there is much more fun to come in the future… :)


Amber K     at 12:47 pm

Have a blast!


Maura     at 12:58 pm

Congrats Emily! You are an inspiration to me and I am so happy I found your blog a couple of weeks ago. Have a blast at the Summit. Maybe next year, I’ll be there :)


Chelsey     at 1:43 pm

Have the greatest time here in Chicago!


Vanessa     at 2:04 pm

Very inspirational post. I sorta related from moving my home in new jersey to charlotte 3 years ago.. Now I’m in a transitional stage and am searching for the next chapter and challenge in my life. Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes and pick a place on the map and go there and start over. It’s just so hard to know what’s next. I hate change too, needless to say dealing with change on my own.. You’re lucky to have your guy with you.. Good luck with your future! Will loook forward to your posts from D.C.


R @ Learning As I Chop     at 2:13 pm

So great to see how much you learned! I am very jealous of that farm experience


Tracey     at 2:38 pm

Wow! What a great experience you had and the food all looks wonderful. You can cook for me anytime;)

I’m going to be at HLS this year too. It is my first blogger conference and I’m looking forward to it!


Brianne http://beautythroughbalance.wordpress.com/     at 2:51 pm

I love your blog and this recap of your farm experience was so nice! I love the idea of just going away for a few weeks and trying new experiences and seeing new sights, this made me very happy to see.


Cynthia (It All Changes)     at 4:13 pm

I love this recap. It shows such growth and like coming along for the ride. Have fun in Chicago.


Jasmine @ Eat Move Write     at 5:56 pm

What a great blog. I too uprooted my life and moved across country (Indiana to Cali). I didn’t have a job or a home or a friend here in Cali, and in three years, I’ve beautiful a truly beautiful life. Amazing how that works, huh?

Love your blog, girl. Good luck and have fun at HLS!


Lisa (bakebikeblog)     at 7:05 pm

Wow – how quickly did those 11 weeks go! I hope you have an awesome time at the HLS! It sure looks like there are lots of fun times ahead!


Rebekah @ Rebeltarian     at 9:14 pm

dream. job. Such a cool opportunity. I love loved the creations that have come out of it!


MA*     at 9:44 pm

Do you need an editor? I’m looking for an in to the publishing industry :) xo


Tricia     at 10:09 pm

Beautiful introspective post. Life is so much more meaningful when we are able to reflect on our choices and experiences and see how all the pieces fit together. The learning never stops, and thank goodness for that.
So excited for you and all the wonderful things yet to come:)
PS: I have to know what photo #8 of the “incredible food” is, pasta dish with???


missy Reply:

I believe that’s the zucchini pasta with tomato and mushroom sauce – so, so yummy! :)


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yes it is! Thank you :)


Pure2Raw Twins     at 11:50 pm

Love seeing your journey! It is pretty amazing to see how far we can all grow and learn in one year ;) I have definitely changed from one year ago today! Look forward in following your next adventure!


ilana     at 12:56 am

This was a beee-you-t-iful post, Emily. :) I especially loved the pictures of your year in cooking–what gorgeous food you made! I’ve made some similar life changes recently, but I really admire the way you are embracing yours with grace.
Have fun in Chicago, and let me know you are back in DC–maybe we can meet up for yoga or a hike!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you!!


Neen @ Broad Bean to Runner Bean     at 3:49 am

aww i cant believe it was your last day on the farm this summer has flown by! it looks like you had an awesom summer though! one that you’ll never forget, i hope you have a ball at the HLS. x


alexe @ soyaetchocolat     at 8:25 am

I love this post! I always saw you as a strong women in constant need of new challenges. It’s great to know that you weren’t always like this. People can change. We just have to set our mind on it and really believe in ourselves. Having a good support system (through family, friends, husband or boyfriend) helps too. :)

I can’t wait to see what’s next for you. You’re always the first blog I read in the morning!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I have changed a lot in the past few years. Thank you so much!


Heather     at 10:06 am

Have fun at HLS. Love all the great pictures!


Ashley     at 10:22 am

Love the story you have told in this post. I’m so excited to see what DC has in store for you + Casey. I know there are great things to come for you both!


Sophie     at 10:56 am

There is nothing like the end of an internship. I did three in college and there was always such a weird calm about it- about what you’ve done and how meaningful it is.

Chicago is amazing! Have such a good time.


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Weird calm is a great way to describe it. :)


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