Thursday, January 25, 2018

J is for: Jamaican Jerk Chicken

January has flown by. Seems like just last week, I was telling you about my plan for detox and sharing a recipe for a Whole30 Italian Wedding Soup.

I'm happy to report the detox has gone well! I've been working out 5-6 times per week, and mostly eating a clean diet of meats and veggies, leading to a noticeable change on the scale. Minus a small hiccup when my friends Liz & Ben visited and basically hazed me to drink (ok, so it didn't actually take a ton of convincing), I've also managed to stick to "dry January."

Truth be told, it's more like "dry first 3 weeks of January." We have a wedding this weekend, and then off to Jamaica on Sunday to celebrate Justin's birthday, effectively cutting the detox a few days short.

Speaking of Jamaica... I've been dying for my friend Alexis to teach me her jerk chicken recipe, so this seemed like perfect timing!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I is for: Italian Wedding Soup {gluten free, paleo, whole30}

As I type this, there's something called a bomb cyclone going on outside my window and every time the wind howls and spirals snow into the air, it literally sends shivers down my spine.

This is also known as "sit on the couch and eat soup while we watch movies all day" weather.

What kind of soup, you say? I'm so glad you asked.

As I mentioned in my "Healthy January" post earlier this week, I'm currently on a clean eating re-set for the new year. I'm avoiding alcohol, dairy, added sugars and most grains.

So when I was brainstorming ideas for the letter "I"... I came across a dish called "Italian Wedding Soup."  Basically, it's a chicken broth-based soup with mini meatballs, a bitter green such as escarole or curly endive, and small pasta such as orzo, pastina or acini de pepe.

Monday, January 1, 2018

H is for: Healthy January {& Happy New Year!}

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and festive time ringing in 2018. As I mentioned in my Hot Honey Fried Chicken post yesterday, a "Healthy January" is much needed for my body at the moment. Knowing this was coming, I sort of blew it out in style, eating a bunch of pasta in the Bronx Saturday,  fried chicken for lunch yesterday, Joe's Pizza for dinner, and Borgatti's raviolis for dinner tonight.

But tomorrow....

Tomorrow commences a month of healthy eating and no alcohol. I'm also going to try to drink 64 ounces of water per day (I'm horrible about remembering to drink water, so I even downloaded an app to help.) And I'm also going to avoid dairy, added sugar and most grains... to which my friend Nicole asked today "What exactly are you going to eat?!?" Haha, fair enough... but the answer is: lots of veggies and meat.

Since I figure a lot of people will be doing the same, I've put together a few ideas to help get you started. It was fun to go back through some of my old posts (sadly, most were pre-Justin, so the photos aren't as pretty, but you'll get the idea.) I'm also hoping to do a couple of posts this month with additional healthy recipe ideas, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

H is for: Hot Honey Fried Chicken Strips

Along with most of the country, I will be commencing a major cleanse/detox/healthy eating pilgrimage starting on January 2nd.

If you've been following the blog and/or my instagram stories, you already know that a majority of my diet recently has consisted of: bread, pasta, fried things, wine, & champagne.

Hey, it happens.

It's the holidays, it's cold, there are parties and well... it's just too hard to say no to all of that. January is a nice time to hit the reset button and give your body a break.

But guess what? It's still December. (Why is Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" suddenly playing in my head?)

Cue these delightfully spicy & sweet chicken fingers. You might even have all the ingredients on hand, which means... there's still time to make them before January 2nd rolls around!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

G is for: Garlic Pizza Knots

We recently threw a holiday housewarming party to break in the new digs, and I of course made a boatload of party food.

I made my Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs, Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail, Hummus and veggies, stromboli (which I need to share the recipe for at some point), and garlic knots.

I only made one batch each of the stromboli and garlic knots, and let me just say that they were gone in about five minutes flat. (I'm not exaggerating.)

Justin and I decided we should recreate the garlic knots for the blog, but make them a little extra special. Justin had the idea to stuff meat inside them, and I said why stop there and added cheese as well.

The result... little knots of pizza dough, meat and cheese, that when dipped in warm marinara is a beautiful little miniature pizza present, a perfect gift for the holidays from me to you.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

F is for: Fried Mac 'n Cheese Balls

A couple weeks ago, Justin and I hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new NYC apartment. My mom flew in for the holiday, and we also hosted various friends who did not have a chance to head home.

Being the psycho organized planner that I am, I sent out several emails in anticipation of the big feast. I have certain staples that are always on my own Thanksgiving table (GBC, garlic mashed potatoes, Grand Marnier sweet potatoes, sourdough stuffing... just to name a few.)

However, I wanted to make sure we also included dishes that were special to our guests. My friends made several suggestions, including macaroni and cheese. Feeling like we already had enough side dishes to go with dinner, I decided to turn the idea into an appetizer. A cheesy, breaded, deep fried, glorious appetizer.

Monday, December 4, 2017

E is for: Eggs en Cocotte with Crab

Hopefully most of my readers know by now that I'm the new floor reporter for Food Network's reboot of the Iron Chef franchise (it's called Iron Chef Showdown, and it airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm ET/PT, so if you don't already... PLEASE watch.)

Anyways, what many of you DON'T know, is how I got the job.

I'll save you what my friends call one of my "yarns" (long stories that tend to drone on endlessly), and just tell you that it included a live audition at the Food Network studios in NYC. Actual chefs competed with a "secret ingredient," and I had to interview them throughout the process.

The ingredient that day was eggs, and one of the chefs made something called "Eggs en Cocotte." To be completely honest, I had never really heard of it before, though in retrospect I had definitely eaten them previously without knowing the fancy name.

Basically "en cocotte" is a French term that refers to the way the eggs are cooked. (In small vessels or ramekins.) It's a very elegant way of serving eggs, and I thought it would be fun to share with you here on the blog.

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