Monday, December 2, 2019

C is for: Croque Monsieur {with Colman's Mustard}

Depending on the type of cuisine, I generally have some go-to orders if I happen to see them on the menu.

If it's brunch, I'm a sucker for huevos rancheros or eggs benedict.

If it's Italian food, I will almost always order some sort of bolognese or a spicy rigatoni.

And if I'm at a French restaurant and I see a Croque Monsieur on the menu (especially at breakfast or lunch), then that will most likely be on my plate (with frites!)

So when I decided to partner with Colman's Mustard to create a unique recipe with this spicy mustard, the iconic (and decadent) French sandwich immediately popped into my head.

In the name of "research," I sampled some traditional Croque Monsieurs in the West Village of NYC before trying my hand at home, and I can confidently tell you that I really nailed this. (If I do say so myself!)

*This post is in paid partnership with Colman's Mustard.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

C is for: Cruising Aboard the Norwegian Encore

I have a confession to make.

Before this year, I had never been on a cruise.

I know this fact may come as a surprise to some of you, but my mom is claustrophobic so we never went on one as kids. As I transitioned to adulthood and started traveling more, I always preferred to "choose my own adventure," so to speak... plotting my own path wherever my adventures took me.

However, much like an all-inclusive resort, there is something to be said for not having to worry about all the planning and guesswork. I think there's definitely an argument for both on your travel bucket list, and Norwegian Cruise Lines is doing its best to turn me into a cruise fan.

Last month, I had the opportunity to check out NCL's newest vessel, The Encore, and let me say it was a sight to see! If you like the idea of high class dining, endless activities and entertainment, while stopping at tropical ports along the way... then you should definitely check it out!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

B is for: Baby Shower Brunch


I don't have any kids. Nor do I have any plans to have them. But I do have two adorable nephews whom I love dearly, and I love playing "Auntie J" to both of them, as well as all of my friends' kids.

And I love throwing parties.

And that is how it came to be that I threw a baby shower for our friends Rob and Nicole this past August. The baby we showered is now here (her name is Brooklyn, and she is adorable), so I suppose this blog post is a little past due. (Pun intended.)

But in the event any Aunties are planning a baby shower (or any brunchy party for that matter), hopefully you can use some of these ideas.

Monday, October 28, 2019

A is for: Arancini Skewers {Risotto Balls}


I'm a sucker for cheese and charcuterie.

Like, if you are a restaurant and you have some sort of meat and cheese plate on your menu, chances are, I'm ordering it. And when I'm entertaining, you can almost count on the fact there will be some sort of board filled with Italian meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, dried fruit and those adorable mini pickles.

So when Icons of European Taste reached out about a potential collaboration, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Create a recipe using Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano?

Sign. Me. Up.

I immediately began cooking up ideas in my brain... pasta, mini pizzas, crostatas, meatballs, deviled eggs, prosciutto wrapped asparagus... the list was extensive. But the idea that really resonated on both sides was Arancini... or if you're like my boyfriend and get annoyed by fancy names: risotto balls. They've been on my list for awhile to create for the blog, so I was super excited to come up with a version for these very special Italian products.

*This post is in paid partnership with Icons of European Taste.

Monday, September 30, 2019

A is for: Arthur Ave Food Crawl {Bronx Little Italy}

One of my favorite things about living in New York City is that there is no shortage of amazing Italian food.

We are a stone's throw from Lilia and often frequent Barano. I love hitting up the West Village to dine at popular spots like Don Angie, i Sodi and Via Carota. And on my birthday this year, we checked out newcomer Rezdora.

But if you reaaaaally want to experience NYC Italian culture, then you need to make a trip to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. It's the Little Italy that Manhattan's Little Italy would love to be but probably never will.

It's also where Justin and I had one of our first dates. At the time, I was still living in Connecticut, so I would often make the trek to NYC on the weekends. One of those occasions, we rendezvoused in the Bronx. We've since returned two other times with friends, and as I type this I'm realizing it's been far too long since our last visit.


Friday, August 2, 2019

A is for: Austin {bachelorette party planning checklist}

This post is wayyyyyy overdue.

Like.... a year overdue.

But like I always say... it's better late than never, right?

So I last visited Austin in June of 2018 for my friend Megan's bachelorette party. Our group of 12 girls descended on the city for three days of food, fun and debauchery.

Much like I did for the New Orleans bachelorette party I attended last year, I figured it would be handy to type up a guide for any girls (or guys) planning for a similar trip.

As with the NOLA bach party, I was not solely in charge of the planning. I helped out with a couple of things, but I would whole-heartedly recommend our entire itinerary, so I'm including it all here in the form of a mini Austin Bachelorette Party checklist, if you will. Please let me know if we missed anything!

Monday, July 22, 2019

A is for: ABCD Dip {Avocado, Basil, Cottage Cheese & Dill}

I'm going to be completely honest with you guys.

I wasn't really sure how this dip would turn out. I had an idea for something that utilized cottage cheese and fresh herbs to create a refreshing dip for veggies and chips. But having never actually used cottage cheese in a dip recipe, I just wasn't sure if it was going to work.

But, that's the fun thing about food blogging. You come up with ideas, try them, and sometimes they work... sometimes they don't... and sometimes the results completely exceed your expectations.

This was a case of the latter. I was totally blown away by how good this was!! Even my friend Rob, who hates cottage cheese was eagerly gobbling this down and totally shocked when I told him what was in it.

It almost has a Green Goddess taste to it, with a wonderful whipped, "moussey" consistency that is positively delightful.

**This blog post is sponsored in part by Hood Cottage Cheese. Recipe and words are my own. 

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