Lora Hogan > Recipe  > Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend

Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend

There is nothing like old friends.

And I mean old friends.

Friends you have known for a decade or more.

There’s something special about them.

They know you.
They’ve seen you fail.
They’ve seen you succeed.
They’ve seen you cry.
They’ve seen you made-up.
They’ve seen you green and sick to your stomach.
They’ve seen you take a chance.
They’ve seen you make a ginormous mistake they couldn’t stop you from making.
They’ve seen… YOU.

There’s something amazing about that.

And I love my newer friends, but sometimes, seeing an old friend is great medicine.  And I’m lucky–I’ve stayed in touch with a lot of my friends from childhood through today.

And over the past few days I’ve been lucky enough to see two friends I hadn’t seen in a long while. What a difference it makes.

The sorority sister.

Sorority Sisters

I got to see one of my favorite college sorority sisters.  We hadn’t seen each other since we were both living in NYC and I was dating Mr. No Good for me. (See The Fairy Tale Date That Was) She is married to the most fantastic man and has just graduated from law school at the top of her class! It’s amazing how many crazy things we have both been through in our short lives, but it was wonderful to catch up. Have you ever noticed when you see an old friend how you can just talk like nothing ever happened? And how you can instantly cheer up and feel good? It was just like that. And the end result is how wonderfully lucky we both have been–and how our lives may have been a bit crazy in the past decade (can you believe it’s almost been a *decade* since I was a Freshman in college? Now that’s crazy), but we’ve always emerged swimmingly and cheerfully.  And that’s pretty special. I just wish I got to see more of her–she is so fantastic! But, even a brief encounter, reminded me that we live in a digital age–being far away from friends is no excuse not to keep in touch! Here’s to being a better email buddy. 🙂

The high school friend.
If I thought it was crazy how long it has been since Freshman year of college, it’s even crazier to think how long it has been since Freshman year of high school! So yeah, let’s not do that.  But I was able to briefly see a friend from high school (who actually lived down here in Florida for a bit.) Old guy friends tell it like it is, which is nice.  We got caught in a rain storm and both were coughing up a storm (not a good sign), but we still managed to have a great time. Again, those conversations that can go forever and that there’s no awkwardness and feels like no time has passed. Those are amazing. And fantastic. He’d seen me date what I thought was Mr. Right and he saw me date the guy he knew was Mr. Wrong. And we both have done some heavy personal navigation in the past few years.  And we’re still in the midst of it. And that’s okay.
Seeing my old friends reminded me, that life is always changing. You are always changing. And there is no “right” and no “wrong.” Life is a journey, cliche as it sounds.  But the journey is dependent on your attitude and your relationships.  The glass should be half-full and friends, family, and quality of life are more important than any boy, money, or career.  Find the happiness wherever you can. And always find the you. Take risks. Open up. Let Go.  Live.

My friends may both be in committed relationships, but they reminded me that it’s important to be single. My guy friend said his sister joined match.com and went on 25 dates in less than a month and then found the guy she is currently dating. Wowza! I do not have the patience for that, nor do I have the need to be in a relationship that extremely. I’m okay with me.  My girlfriend told me all her single friends on the West Coast have as many problems meeting good guys as me. So I am not the last single girl on the planet, even though it may feel like it sometimes.  And it’s rough wherever you are.  She also reminded me of my strengths and the importance of trying new things and following where the path may lead.  I’m grateful for who I am, where I am, and the friends I have.  I may not be an actress or write my own sitcom, but I can at least blog about whatever it is I want. (And there’s no grammar police on the internet!) And life will work out in the end.  Thank you friends, for the reminders and encouragements.
Of course, that cough I had did get worse and turn into an awful flu/cold thing, complete with a fever. Guess that’s what happens when you take a red-eye flight. 🙁 Lesson learned, red-eye, lesson learned.  I did crave comfort food, so whipped myself up a batch of stove-top Kale Macaroni and Cheese. And happily ate it alone. Maybe it’s not the best thing to eat when you are sick, but it helped cheer me up a bit. I recommend you try it–even if you’re healthy!
Kale and Alfredo Macaroni and Cheese 

Kale Macaroni and Cheese

Kale Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Serves one-two, depending on portion size.


  • 1 cup orecchiette (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups torn kale (I used the pre-washed and pre-torn Trader Joe’s organic Italian)
  • 1 cup shredded mixed Italian Blend Cheese (Again, I used Trader Joe–his Quattro Formmaggio blend is fantastic–mixing equal parts Fontina, Asiago, Parmesan, and Provolone.)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Olive oil (eyeball this one) for sauteing kale
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Bring water to boil and cook pasta.
  2. In a separate sauce-pan, while the pasta is cooking heat olive oil. Add garlic and kale. Saute over medium heat until kale is slightly wilted and cooked.
  3. Remove kale to a separate bowl.
  4. Melt butter in the pan. Slowly add flour, followed by the milk. Very slowly add both–like you add flour to chocolate chip cookie dough.  Reduce heat to low and whisk flour/butter/milk mixture thoroughly. Once all clumps are gone, add the cheese.  Again, whisk thoroughly, eliminating bumps. Add freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. By this time, your pasta should be done.  Drain and mix with the kale.  Add pasta and kale to the cheese sauce.  Stir thoroughly until all pasta and kale is evenly coated with sauce. 
  6. Divide into bowls, serve, and enjoy.

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  • Model_MB

    October 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    well how was it?! lol

  • Lora

    October 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    It was actually super tasty! Rich, though, even with the skim milk and harder cheeses. Good for comfort food, but not an every day food!!