The Beauty Of Cook Out

The Beauty Of Cook Out

I hear those hush puppies calling my name.
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Cook Out is a renowned establishment all throughout the South, and it's probably one of the greatest fast food joints to ever be created. Coming to school in the South has opened my eyes to this wonderful place, and I wish everyone would have the opportunity to taste the delicious food they have. Fortunately, Cook Out has been working on expanding their locations across eight states. Starting in North Carolina, Cook Out is now in South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

1. The Milkshakes

There are over 40 milkshake varieties, so you basically can't go without finding something you want. My great grandmother used to crave the chocolate milkshake and would have it as her dinner. They have so many options and depending on the time of the year, they have amazing specialty milkshakes as well. The Butter-Finger Shake is phenomenal, 10/10 would recommend.


2. Cook Out Trays

Cook Out trays are the perfect combination of beauty and grace. Whether you're crying because finals are harshing your mellow, or you have a DD to drive you there on a Saturday night, a Cook Out tray is the cure all. They're inexpensive and good for the soul.

3. Hush puppies

Cook Out's hush puppies are amazing. Their signature deep fried cornbread bits are so delicious and way too hard to pass up.

4. Corn Dogs

Hands down my favorite option on the menu. Their corn dogs are breaded and deep fried to perfection, and it's only 0.99 cents. Can you really go wrong? The answer is no.

5. Bacon Wrap

These are a real weakness to many. A bacon wrap is literally a flour tortilla with bacon and lettuce. Cook Out somehow made this random concoction a huge success, and this food steals the heart of many that frequent the drive thru.

Cook Out is a huge hit for all of us attending school in the south. It's always sad craving Cook Out when you're home and can't drive those 3.3 miles to get yourself a Cook Out tray. This fast food joint is easily one of the best parts about going to school in North Carolina, and it is going to be greatly missed during the summer.

Cover Image Credit: Island Packet

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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