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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

S is for: Singapore {travel}

When my friends Geno and Michelle decided to move their family to Singapore for work, I knew right away I needed to go visit them.

What I didn't know is how much I would love this unique city state!

First of all, Michelle informed me the favorite pastime here is eating. Uhhh... Sign me up!! (Close second is shopping, and I'm all for that as well).

It's also one of the cleanest cities I've ever visited. (It's illegal to spit on the streets, chew gum, or litter.) Pretty impressive considering it's one of the most densely populated countries on the planet (second only to Monaco, which I also visited this year.) And being that we had two awesome and gracious tour guides, it made for a wonderful start to our Southeast Asian trip!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

S is for: Steak Tacos & One Minute Guacamole

How many times have you come home from work, with every intention of cooking dinner, only to decide you're "too tired" or it's "too late"? This inevitably ends with either take out or having wine and popcorn for dinner. (Guilty.)

But guess what? You don't have to do that!

I'm excited to share details today about a new kickstarter project, Aroma N Spice. The founder, Marina, came up with this idea while trying to develop quick, easy nutritious and GLOBAL meals for her family.

The result is these delicious and convenient meal starters... all full of flavor, all gluten free, and all allow you to sample different cuisines from around the world.

Of course, I gravitated directly to the Mexican spices, and tried out a chile rub for steak tacos, along with her super fast guacamole mix. Both were packed with flavor and I literally had dinner ready in under 10 minutes. To help get her business off the ground, she's launched a kickstarter campaign and needs your help! The best part is... just by pledging a small amount, you will get tasty spice packets in return! It's a win-win. To help make her dreams a reality, click here!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

R is for: Rosemary & Sage Sourdough Stuffing {or Dressing}

In my five years of writing this blog, I've posted most of my Thanksgiving recipe favorites here on e is for eat.

Among some of my go-to's...
Brie Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Kale & Butternut squash salad

But for some reason I've never shared a stuffing recipe. Which is crazy because it's one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides. It's one of those things where I will sneak bites of throughout the day and before you know it I've eaten a whole pan of stuffing.

My step-mom Jennea has an awesome recipe that was passed down from her grandmother. I'm sharing that today, with a few tweaks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Q is for: Queso {served in a squash!}

I want to bathe in this queso.

Actually, scratch that. That would be a waste of this delicious cheese sauce. Instead, maybe I will just siphon it into my mouth in a funnel made of tortilla chips.

I can't take credit for the recipe OR the genius idea of serving it inside a roasted squash. My realtor and friend, Kara, brought this to my housewarming party and there was a crowd around it until it was completely gone. 

And not only does  the squash make an adorable (and edible/disposable) serving dish, but because it is fresh out of the oven, it helps keep the queso warm. 

A warm, cheesy bath of queso.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

P is for: Pulled Pork Sliders

In the fall and winter, I probably make pulled pork in my slow cooker about every 5 or 6 weeks. It's easy, it's comforting, and it warms your belly on a cold night.

It also is great for feeding a crowd, as I recently did at my house warming party to celebrate me finally becoming an adult (well, in theory anyways).

I do already have a pulled pork recipe on the blog, and while I love it and totally recommend that you should try it out... it's not the most convenient of recipes. It calls for a homemade rub and wrapping the rubbed pork in plastic wrap overnight and it also calls for a homemade BBQ sauce. Neither are particularly labor intensive, but when you are looking for an easy weeknight dinner, you want to eliminate as many steps as possible.

Enter this ridiculously easy (and ridiculously good) pulled pork recipe.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

O is for: Oxtail Ragu

Daylight savings time is the WORST.

Ok, aside from that *one* night you get an extra hour of sleep (conveniently falling the night of my housewarming party), it's a total drag.

It starts getting dark at like 4:30, which is totally depressing and also horrible for getting food photos done. But mostly it's just depressing.

It's times like these that call for comfort food. Things like pasta and hearty ragu sauces and garlic bread for sopping up that delicious sauce. And cheese. And red wine. Lots of red wine.

Don't worry, I won't tell if you carb load on this amazing sauce. It's not like we need to be in bikinis anytime soon. (Oh wait. I'm going to Thailand in two weeks. Oh well... screw it, I'm eating pasta.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

N is for: Natural Balance Cat Food

I didn't choose Mays, Mays chose me.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting my mischievous orange cat, you're not surprised to hear this. I was at the SF SPCA looking at kittens, when this tiny little orange ball of fur with wild green eyes started mewing. I opened the cage and he crawled immediately into my arms and stuck his nose right in my face.

Like I said, Mays chose me.

But he can't choose his food. He relies on me for that. When I first brought him home that day, he was still eating the food given to him at the humane society. I knew I needed to transition him to a higher quality product, but I just wasn't sure what. The first thing I chose did NOT sit well with him. Poor little thing. New home, new owner, and he couldn't go to the bathroom properly.

I was desperate for something to help get him regular. I did so much research and eventually settled on Natural Balance®.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

N is for: Normandy-style Mussels

I've basically been dreaming about these mussels ever since I had them four months ago.

I discovered these beauties as part of a summer trip to the South of France during my stay in Cannes. My friend Dana and I were craving some quintessential French dishes. She wanted French Onion soup, and I was in search of some moules frites (mussels with fries). We found them both at an adorable little French restaurant on Le Suquet called La Beija Flor.

We sipped rosé and people watched and stuffed our face with French food and it was glorious. We also made friends with the owner of the restaurant, Christophe, who informed me that the mussels were actually a family recipe. It came from his grandfather, Antoine, who is from Normandy.

Friday, September 30, 2016

M is for: Maple Bourbon Cider Jello Shots {& the NYCWFF}

I'm super excited to share these jello shots on the blog today for a number of different reasons.

1.) They're delicious.

2.) They're perfect for fall.

3.) They will also be served at an upcoming event for the New York Wine and Food Festival that I will be hosting!! (More on that in a minute.)

These are somewhat similar in look and ingredients to my Caramel Apple Jello Shots, but I actually prefer them with bourbon for a slightly smokey, warm-your-belly-on-a-brisk-fall-day type of feeling.

I also used a touch of my smoked maple syrup to kick up the smokiness a notch and pair with the bourbon. (If you don't have smoked maple syrup, you can use the tiniest drop of liquid smoke or just sub with regular maple syrup.)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

M is for: Monaco, Èze & Cannes {travel}

One of the things I love about living on the East Coast is the ease and proximity to Europe. I can basically get there for the same price and same travel time as it takes me to get to the West Coast. It's crazy, but true.

So when Dana and I chose to postpone our Asia trip until fall, we decided a shorter vacation was in order so that we had something to look forward to this summer.

Eventually, we settled on the South of France. Sunshine, beaches, great food, endless rosé... it had #adventuresofJayNa written all over it.

Because we only had a limited amount of time available, we elected to fly directly from JFK to Nice, France using credit card points. (Chase Sapphire Preferred FTW). We basically boarded the plane, ate dinner, drank some wine, went to sleep, and woke up in France. Seven hours on a red eye and we were there and ready for four and a half days of adventure in the French Riviera.

Oui s'il vous plaît!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

L is for: {grilled} Lemon Blueberry Smash

I'm super excited about this post for a number of reasons.

1.) Blogging twice in a month is a miracle for me these days, let alone in an 8 day span.

2.) The second reason sort of relates to the first because there's no way I would've done this without the help and of my cousin Erin, who is an amazing photographer and friend. She mostly specializes in newborn and family photos (you can check out her work here), but wants to start dabbling in more lifestyle and commercial work so suggested we collaborate on a blog post during her recent visit.

3.) These cocktails are DA BOMB and you should totes make some this weekend. (Yes, I just said "totes." Deal with it.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

K is for: Kiwi Salsa

Where did June go?

No, seriously. How is it July 5th already?

And while I'm at it, what happened to May as well?

Always the case with summer, isn't it? Flies by, no time for anything except for having fun outside. (Like, blogging for example.)

But you do have time to make this salsa. Because it literally takes no time at all. (OK, not literally, but it's super quick, I promise).

It's supposed to be 95 in Connecticut tomorrow. NINETY FIVE.

You need to eat things like fruit salsa and grill things outside, like fish tacos. And then eat them with said fruit salsa.

Friday, May 6, 2016

J is for: {Mint} Julep Jello Shots

As you know, the Kentucky Derby is this weekend. And as you also probably know, the Mint Julep is the signature drink at Churchill Downs as the ponies run for the roses.

It's definitely on my bucket list.

But for now, I will settle for a super awesome Derby party thrown by friends, complete with fancy hats, a red carpet, and even a live pony!

A Derby party wouldn't be complete without Mint Juleps, and a Jaymee Sire attended party wouldn't be complete without Jello Shots.




In the interest of time constraints and getting this up before Saturday's race, I'm simply posting the recipe instead of a full blog post. Cheers!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I is for: Ice Cream with Maple, Bourbon, Candied Bacon & Pecans

My mom was in town last weekend, and one of our stops was my favorite butcher, Avon Prime Meats. Aside from the Berkshire Pork Chops, Lemon Pepper Chicken & Bone Broth (pretty much staples for me these days) we also picked up some Tullmeadow Farm peach ice cream. I first sampled this amazing ice cream on my trip to get my Christmas Tree this year from the actual farm. It's some of the creamiest ice cream I've ever had.

My mom and I liked to play a little game all week called "just one bite" where instead of scooping up a whole bowl of ice cream, we would just take one bite.

I'm going to warn you right now... you will not be able to limit yourself to one bite of my newest ice cream creation. Maple Bourbon Bacon Pecan Ice Cream. (Say that five times fast).

Sunday, April 24, 2016

H is for: Hawaiian Grilled Cheese Sliders

My original plan was to post these for National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, which takes place every year on April 12th.

But, lucky for me, my procrastination hasn't totally ruined one of my favorite food holidays... because, ALL of April is National Grilled Cheese Month. So if you haven't celebrated yet, get on it!

In the past, I've commemorated the event with green bean casserole grilled cheese sliders, a PB&J grilled cheese with bacon jam, chicken parm grilled cheese, and even a Nutella dessert grilled cheese.

If you're not normally a Hawaiian pizza fan, not to worry. Neither am I. But for some reason I'm on board with these. Perhaps because they are grilled in more ways than one.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

G is for: Gouda Bacon Mac and Cheese

I realized something the other day.

In 4.5 years of this blog's existence, I have posted exactly two mac and cheese recipes.


That, my friends, is a travesty.

In order to attempt to right this massive underrepresentation of one of the greatest comfort foods of all time... I present to you:

Gouda Bacon Mac and Cheese.

Really, the title should be: "Gouda Cheddar Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese with Bacon, Mushrooms and Greens"... but that seemed like a mouthful.

Better to stuff those mouths with delicious bites of mac and cheese.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

F is for: Fried Brie with Jalapeño Cherry Dipping Sauce

You guys.

So this new schedule is kind of kicking my ass.

For those of you who are unaware, ESPN started a new morning Sports Center exactly 5 weeks ago. By far, it's been one of the most rewarding things I've accomplished in my career. Helping to get a brand new show off the ground on a national sports network is no small feat. We have an outstanding crew, and we have a blast. But we are also on the air from 7-10am Monday-Friday, which means my alarm goes off at 3.

Yes, 3am. It is an ungodly hour to be awake.

The good news is... I'm done at 10am everyday. Sounds amazing, right? Sounds like I would have loads of time for hitting the gym or working on my neglected food blog. But inevitably, when I get home around 11am, all I want to do is sleep.

So last week, I forced myself to try to get back into the blog game. Had to cancel lunch plans to do it (thanks for understanding, Jen!) As I was trying to think of something to do to coincide with the letter "F," the word "fried" kept popping into my head. I had some leftover brie in the fridge from a girls ski weekend and I thought to myself, "can you fry brie?" Suddenly I was determined to find out.

I'm happy to report that yes, yes you can.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

E is for: Everything Bagel Dip with Homemade Bagel Chips

My friend Devon and I have this hilariously awesome Christmas present tradition in which we insist on buying each other some sort of kitchen or food related gift.

It started off as ridiculous kitchen gadgets. She's gotten me things like a cake tester (aka metal toothpick) or a special ginger peeler. (I use both BTW). I got her a "butter boy" one year for helping to butter corn on the cob.

This year, we gravitated to more "food stuff" items. I got her a special tea infusing travel mug and some of my favorite coconut green tea. She gave me a colorful set of Le Creuset ramekins (I love me some ramekins), and some deliciously wonderful spices from Oaktown Spice Shop.

I'm excited to report that both are prominently featured in today's post!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

D is for: Date Energy Bites with Almonds, Oats & Coconut

I don't know if I'll ever get used to the early mornings. Never once in the past year has my alarm gone off and I've thought to myself "Wow, I'm wide awake and ready to start my day."

Generally speaking, it's more like "Ugghhhh. Noooooo. Just five more minutes." Followed by "Ok five more minutes." Usually I do that a few too many times before I frantically throw the covers off the bed and try to quickly hurry out of the house.

To help speed my getting ready process along in the morning, I do as much as I can the night before... including prep my breakfasts on Sunday for the week ahead. My go-to grab and go breakfasts these days: Overnight Oats, hard boiled eggs, and these date energy balls to eat as a mid-show snack.
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