Sunday, January 27, 2019

U is for: Upstate New York

I love living in New York City.

I love the fact that I can walk out of my apartment building and have basically anything I want at my fingertips.... A Michelin starred restaurant, food options 24 hours a day, concerts, theater, any kind of bar you could ever imagine, shopping, and accessible transportation.... the list goes on and on.

But as much as I enjoy the hustle and bustle, sometimes I like to return to my Montana roots and escape to nature. Go to a place where, when you shut off your Sonos speaker you hear.... nothing. Silence. Peace. Serenity. A place where you can still enjoy world class cuisine and lodging and feel like you're far away from the city, without actually having to go that far.

That place for me is Upstate New York.

Recently, I've had the opportunity to spend more and more time up there. And the one thing I've learned... is there is SO much to discover! A short drive upstate opens up a whole new world for hiking, antiquing, apple picking, concerts, wine & beer tasting, world class eating, and much, much more. Air Bnb named the Hudson Valley a Top-20 worldwide travel destination for 2019, so now is the time to experience what the area has to offer.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

T is for: Turkey Buffalo Chili

Last January, I successfully made it 24 days of the Whole30 Diet, coinciding with a dry January. I made things like Thai Cashew Chicken with Cauliflower Rice and Gluten Free Italian Wedding Soup. Overall, I'd say it was a success, I lost some weight and overall got a nice healthy reset.

Which was completely reversed when we then boarded a plane south to spend 4 days in  Jamaica eating jerk chicken and drinking all we could at an all-inclusive resort.

It's all about balance, right?

Fast forward to January 2019... I failed miserably at dry January (I think I made it 10 days), and I'm definitely not doing Whole30... BUT, I am trying my best to eat as healthy as possible. Pair that with the cooler weather, and that equals me craving the comforts of a nice, hearty chili. Last weekend, I kept it more traditional with a beef and bean chili, but this weekend I wanted to recreate a recipe of one of my former co-workers, Joe Kosa (he also inspired my grilled clams post this summer.)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

T is for: Todos Santos, Baja California Sur {el Pueblo Magico}

There are some places you visit, perhaps even enjoy immensely, but never return on account of you wanting to visit more wonderful places.

And then there are the destinations that intoxicate you. Seduce you. Make it so you never want to leave. And when, inevitably, you're forced to say good bye (because, well, life and non-refundable plane tickets), you immediately start plotting your return.

Todos Santos is one of those places.

This enchanting town in Baja California Sur was designated by the Mexican government back in 2006 as one of about 100 "Pueblos Magicos," or Magic Towns, recognized for beauty, history and culture.

And perhaps that is simply the best way to describe it... magical.

T is for: Turnovers with Bourbon Soaked Apples & a Hot Honey Glaze

Hey y’all! Justin here giving Jaymee a little break from cooking.

In our house, the common order of duties is: Jaymee cooks and blogs, Justin shoots and cleans. We decided to switch it up a bit and give you a different taste (get it??) I love everything sweet, have a huge affinity towards baked goods, and with it being fall and Thanksgiving and all... I figured how about some delicious apple turnovers!

Now to keep the theme the same here on E is for Eat I’ll get into a little story first. As you may already know, Jaymee and I moved to Brooklyn in October of 2017, which is prime apple picking season here in New York State. I’m a huge fan of visiting apple orchards this time of year to kind of usher in the season and get ready for a few months of holidays, friends and family. Sadly, our move coincided with fall, and with all the joys associated with settling into a new place there wasn’t much time for an apple picking excursion. Fast forward to 2018....

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

S is for: Sacchetti with Ricotta & Pears in a Brown Butter Fig Sauce

This was possibly one of my more ambitious blog posts.

Not only did I made homemade pasta sheets for the sacchetti (more on these little guys in a minute), but I also made homemade ricotta for the filling.

And then I also made a sauce.

And crispy prosciutto for a topping.

I was so tired by the time we got to the beauty shot, that I just threw everything onto the cutting board and told Justin to snap a few overheads and be done with it.

Turns out... I sort of love it. And speaking of love... this pasta was all sorts of heart-eye-emoji feels.

Speaking of which... Happy National Pasta Day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

R is for: Ricotta with Rosemary & Lemon Zest {Homemade!}

Say "CHEESE"!!

This was my genuine reaction when I successfully made ricotta cheese on my own at home for the first time. I had learned to make it previously during a cheese making class at Brooklyn Kitchen, and I came home that night telling Justin how easy it was to make cheese, specifically ricotta, and that I couldn't wait to make it all the time.

Fast forward about 6 months and I still had not made the ricotta.

So while Justin and I were brainstorming what to make for "S"... we decided on a stuffed pasta called sacchetti (more on that in the next post.) When I mentioned I planned to stuff it with a mixture of pears and ricotta, Justin suggested I make the ricotta from scratch.

And so began our all-day cheese-and-pasta-making-affair.

Monday, October 8, 2018

R is for: Risotto with Squash & Gorgonzola {a tribute to Kasey}

I first met Kasey Passen in January of 2002 while studying abroad in Barcelona my senior year in college. We were randomly paired as roommates with our host mom. She would confide to me later that she initially thought I was going to be an annoying sorority girl who she had nothing in common with.

She admitted that she couldn't have been more wrong.

We bonded over our shared experiences, travels, our moms' names (Wendy/Wendi) and perhaps most importantly, food. Our favorite way to see a new European city was always to sample the local flavors. As soon as our meal would arrive, we would immediately declare "you win" or "I win," referencing who had succeeded in ordering the better dish. It didn't matter though. We always shared everything.

Throughout the years, we didn't always stay in the best of touch, but we would always find our way back to each other. Whether it was during our overlap of living in San Francisco, or trips to see each other in our respective cities, it was the kind of friendship where you would pick up exactly where you left off before, as if no time had passed, laughing and landing ourselves in ridiculous adventures. And of course, eating and sharing amazing food along the way.
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