Wednesday, May 24, 2017

W is for: Wasabi Potato Salad & Wagyu Beef

For some reason, this specific blog post has been staring at me from my "to-do" list for longer than I care to admit.

And I don't really know why exactly. Both recipes turned out awesome, so I know it's not that. Justin took the photos, which are beautiful, so it's not that either.
If I'm being honest with myself, the reason is probably fairly simple. 

Life.

Sometimes life happens. And it changes plans and sucks your energy and adds things to your to-do list that are more pressing than a wasabi potato salad.

As many of you know, I was laid off from my job at ESPN as part of the mass talent cuts made on April 26th. For anyone who has ever been laid off, you'll understand me when I say it's a punch to the gut. They can tell me all day long it's about business and money and changing times in the industry. But at some point during that HR meeting, your eyes glaze over and the people talking start to sound like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons. And all you really hear is "you're no longer needed here."

Friday, March 31, 2017

V is for: Veggie Tots

"Give me some of your TOTS."

"No, go find your own."

That's pretty much the conversation you will have if you make these delicious veggie tots. You may or may not hoard them in your cargo pants like Napoleon Dynamite, but you will definitely not want to share them. ("I'm freakin' starved!)

I'm calling these "veggie tots" because you can pretty much make these with any veggie. I made them with cauliflower to mimic the look of their potato cousins, but you could also try broccoli or sweet potatoes.

Now, will they exactly mimic tater tots? No, I can't promise that. But they will provide you a much healthier and lower carb snack by subbing cauliflower and baking in the oven.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

U is for: Uni Carbonara {Sea Urchin Pasta}

I have a weird love-hate relationship with Uni.

I feel like it's a very "foodie" ingredient and I'm supposed to be obsessed with it and order it whenever it's on a menu.

But the truth of the matter is, I don't love it.

Most of the time, it tastes to me like I'm taking a big bite of the ocean, and if you've ever been crushed by a wave and taken in a mouthful of seawater, it's not always the most pleasant experience.

That said, there are some instances where I can enjoy and appreciate the unique flavor and "umami" it brings to a dish. For example, one of my last nights in Greece a couple years ago, we ate at a nice Italian restaurant in Mykonos for my friend Josh's birthday. They had an uni pasta dish so I decided to try it. And lo and behold... I liked it! That said, it was still very rich and I couldn't finish the whole serving (especially after wine and appetizers), but I liked it enough to try my own version here on the blog.

Monday, January 30, 2017

T is for: Travel! {Montreal}

This always happens.

As soon as I return home from a really awesome trip, I immediately must start planning another one.

Remember when I went to Greece? I came back and instantly started mapping out my visit to London.

Or how about my epic trip to South Africa? I went to Tulum just a few months later. France planning bled right into planning for Singapore and Thailand, and once I returned home from that vacay (and recovered from my bacterial infection), I frantically felt the need to go somewhere cool for New Year's Eve just a few short weeks later.

I considered somewhere warm like Miami, or a ski weekend in Vermont, but thankfully my travel partner in crime (Dana) texted me with the same urge and said "Let's go to Montreal!" Done and done.

Monday, January 23, 2017

T is for: Tomato Tarragon Soup with Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

My addition is real.

And for once, it's not food related.

I know I'm about 5 years behind on this, but I finally started watching Game of Thrones. And I now understand what all the fuss is about.

I've been meaning to start for about a year now, and finally decided that winter of 2017 was the right time. (Winter is coming... heh.)

Problem is, it's consuming my life. I watched 17 episodes my first weekend. I'm now through the first three seasons (so 30 episodes in all) with 30 to go.

The rest of my life is somewhat suffering because of it, specifically the blog. So I'm implementing a self-imposed "pause" from my GOT binge to get caught up on a couple blog items... starting with this very season-appropriate comfort food dish: grilled cheese and tomato soup. (Ironically, I actually made this during the first weekend of binge watching, so I did manage to tear myself away from the show for a couple hours then. A girl's got to eat, you know?)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

T is for: Thailand: Railay Beach & Koh Phi Phi {travel}

After an amazing two days in Chiang Mai, we were ready to get our sun and beach on in the Southern part of Thailand.

There are plenty of islands to choose from, and we did some pretty extensive research before settling on Railay Beach and Koh Phi Phi in Krabi Province. Some islands are more chill and remote, others are more party atmosphere, and still others fall somewhere in between.

Additionally, there can be drastically different weather patterns depending on which islands you choose, so make sure to look into average weather and rainfall when you plan to visit.

And also remember... at the end of the day, you're in the tropics, so it can rain at any time. Just be ready to go with the flow!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

T is for: Thailand: Chiang Mai {travel}

After stuffing our faces in Singapore, stop number two on our Southeast Asia adventure took us to more amazing food in the north of Thailand, to Chiang Mai.

From everything I heard and read about this place, I had a feeling I would fall in love immediately and I was absolutely right.

Of the four places we visited on this trip, Chiang Mai stood out as my favorite.

From sampling the delicious food to exploring the markets to interacting with the friendly people to understanding the culture... it was easy to understand why it's known as "The Jewel of the North."

Chiang Mai, you shine bright like a diamond.
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