Tuesday, September 11, 2018

R is for: Redwoods {California Coast}

As many of you know, I previously lived in San Francisco for five years, yet somehow, I never made it far enough north to see the towering Redwoods of Northern California. Last fall’s Great Northwest Road Trip with Justin provided the perfect opportunity to check it off my bucket list.

As I detailed in previous posts, we started our trip in Montana, spent a few nights in Canada’s Lake Louise area, and continued down through Seattle and the Oregon Coast, where we stayed in an eclectic bed and breakfast called the Mermaid’s Muse, complete with a saltwater hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Justin and I continued along our Great Northwest Road Trip with a drive through one of California’s Redwood forests. During our adventure, I learned there are three species of Redwoods, but the Coastal Redwoods are the tallest living things on our planet. The highest one ever recorded stood 360 feet in the air, which is the height of a 36-story building just to give some perspective. But they aren’t just tall, they are true giants, measuring up to 18 and sometimes even 20 feet wide. The oldest ones have been around for thousands of years.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Q is for: Quahogs {Grilled Mexican-style Clams}

I really despise how everyone talks about Labor Day being "the end of summer." Quite simply, it's not. The last day of summer is actually September 22.

I get that it marks the return of football season and back to school for many, but I'm just not ready to let go. Winter is so cold and long (especially on the east coast), that I don't want to rush getting to it. Not to mention the fact we had a couple of 90 degree days last week, so it's certainly still feeling like summer outside. And while I do really love fall, I'm determined to hold onto summer for at least a few more weeks.

Part of the reason for that is my love for grilling on the rooftop of our apartment building. I will most definitely hold onto that as long as humanely possible. It's truly one of my favorite things about our location.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

P is for: Pistachio & Peach Ice Cream

When Justin and I made the big move to NYC last fall, we had to do quite a bit of downsizing. Like, A LOTTTTTTT. There was a Craig's List sale, a yard sale, and multiple trips to Goodwill.

One of the things I decided to part with was my Cuisinart ice cream maker (a Costco impulse buy back in 2012.) It's served me well over the years, including concoctions like Strawberry Balsamic Rosemary ice cream, Fernet Branca Ice Cream (with a ginger syrup back of course) and a Maple Bourbon Candied BACON & Pecan Ice Cream, just to name a few.

My reasoning was that it takes up quite a bit of room in the cupboard as a stand alone appliance. BUT... if you simply get the attachment for your Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, it doesn't take up any extra cupboard space as long as you store the bowl in the freezer. So my sister got me one for Christmas. Annnnnd that bowl has sat unused in the freezer ever since. Until now...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

O is for: Oregon Coast & where to stop on Highway 101

When Justin and I began mapping out our route for our Great Northwest Roadtrip, he had two simple requests (well, technically a third that wasn’t as simple.) Two of them I will reveal in later posts, and the other was simply “to visit Goonie Beach.” For those of you who are familiar with the Oregon Coast, this means Cannon Beach in Astoria, Oregon.

Since we had planned to stay a night in Portland with my high school friend Dustin and his family, Astoria wasn’t exactly on the way to our next destination (the Redwoods), but it wasn’t too far out of the way either. And being that he only had a few specific bucket list items for the road trip, I felt it was worth the extra effort.

That also sparked the idea to take Highway 101 all the way down the Oregon coast. And while that would generally be a gorgeous idea, we spent most of the day driving in the rain. We still saw some beautiful sights and made a few stops along the way, so I figured I would still share them with you! Hopefully if you ever attempt it, you will have better weather and more time to explore (we did this all in one day, but I would suggest splitting it into at least two days.) Moving North to South, here’s where we stopped:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

N is for: New Orleans {bachelorette party planning checklist}

Last month, I attended the bachelorette party of my good friend Kristen in New Orleans. It was my first visit there since my senior year in college (pre-Katrina if that gives you an idea of how old I am.)

Back then, I was there working the Sugar Bowl, and I couldn't even tell you one thing I ate. Not. One. Thing. This time around, the focus was just as much on the food as it was the partying, partly because the bride specifically asked me to help with the food and restaurant planning.

I debated whether or not to blog the trip for a couple of reasons... 1) I mostly just took iPhone photos, 2) I didn't get to explore as much of the city as I normally would if I was there on my own and 3) many of our food options were limited because we had such a large group of girls (17 to be exact.)

But in the end, I decided it might be helpful for future bachelorette party planners out there reading my blog, so here's a quick "checklist" if you are planning an upcoming visit to NOLA (and specifically if it involves a large group!)

Monday, April 16, 2018

M is for: Migas Tacos

So I have a confession to make.

I accidentally skipped the letter "M" recently on the blog (insert face palm emoji girl.)

I realize that even my most faithful readers probably did not notice. But I knew in my heart that it had been skipped, so here I am making good on my blog theme that I selected 7 years ago, not realizing the limitations it would sometimes present in sticking to my alphabet themed blog.

Anyways, I'm heading to Austin soon for my friend Megan's bachelorette party, so tacos have been on the brain lately. Austin is known especially for their affinity for breakfast tacos, and even more specifically, "migas" breakfast tacos. Migas literally means "crumbs" in Spanish, referring to the crumbled bits of tortilla chips mixed in with the eggs and other vegetables. And since I will be consuming copious amounts of these breakfast tacos, it is TOTALLY necessary to eat extra amounts of them before I even touch down in Texas, right? (Right?)

Monday, April 9, 2018

L is for: Lasagna Rolls {from Don Angie}

Ever since I visited Don Angie last November, I've been sort of obsessed. It's a new Italian restaurant in the West Village of NYC, and everything on their menu is addictively delicious. I've been three times so far, and while my order has changed *slightly* depending on who I've dined with... one thing has remained constant: the famous "Lasagna for Two."

It's definitely their signature dish, and certainly their most-instagrammed one. (Did I really just type that?)

But it's true. It's not your typical lasagna. Instead of large heavy squares, it consists of light, rolled sheets of pasta where every piece has the perfect balance of cheesy goodness, pasta, and crispy edges. It's as beautiful as it is delicious.

It's also 64 dollars.

Monday, March 26, 2018

L is for: Lake Louise & Lake Agnes Tea House Hike

"Because the greatest part of a road trip isn't arriving at your destination. It's all the wild stuff that happens along the way." -Emma Chase

Last fall, Justin and I took a road trip to forever top all road trips. And one of the things on my "To Do" list this spring is to catalogue some of my favorite stops here on the blog. If you weren't following along on Instagram with our hashtags, #exploringwithjandj or #roadtrippinwithjandj, let me give you a quick little refresher...

After my layoff from ESPN, we decided that a trip of some sort was in order. Eventually, the idea morphed into a road trip. I mean, when else in life do you have the opportunity to just take off on the road for 2+ weeks?

I knew Montana had to be on the list, as I was eager to show Justin my home state and introduce him to the rest of my family. My mom was gracious enough to lend us her Jeep to help us save on rental car costs, so we had a beginning and an end. Aside from that, we had some stops planned out along the way, but we tried to be flexible and spontaneous whenever possible.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

K is for: Kalua Pork {in a pressure cooker}

If you follow me on Instagram, and more specifically, Instagram Story, you probably know about my appreciation obsession with my multi-cooker. (More commonly referred to as an Instant Pot, except mine is a Breville, so I feel weird calling it an "Instant Pot.")

Many of my friends have been asking me for recipes, or if I have any posted on my blog. And every time it happens, I'm reminded of this Kalua Pork I made TWO MONTHS AGO and never posted.

Justin was working that particular day, so I busted out the tripod to take photos on my own. And while I'm actually kind of impressed with what I was able to accomplish in low winter light and the camera's timer function... I'm also not super thrilled about the photos so I kept putting off this post.

However, the photos don't do the actual food justice. This recipe is super simple (only 3 ingredients) and super versatile, and it can be on your dinner table in about 90 minutes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

J is for: Jamaica {Ocho Rios}

On the eve of another Nor'easter (we're supposed to get a foot of snow tonight?!?), it seems fitting that I'm finally getting around to blogging about our trip to Jamaica from a month ago.

Can we just go back to 80-degree temperatures & endless drinks where the hardest decision is debating between pool or beach?

No?

Ok, well, I guess these photos will have to do.

*Sigh*

Anyways, the main purpose of the trip was to celebrate Justin's 40th birthday (or Jaharoni's for those who only know him from instagram.) We also just wanted a little warm weather reprieve from the New York winter, and we got that with four days in "Jamaica, mon," where the pace of life is slow and everyone is happy and friendly all the time.

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!
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