dust off, rust off

I don’t even want to do the math for how long it’s been since my last post; the amount of cringing that would elicit would leave me in severe physical pain. There have been so many times over the last few [busy] years when I would say, “Once I get through X, I’ll have more time, and I’ll start writing and posting again.” And, of course, I would get through that X, and another X would be on the horizon. For so long, writing and food were at the top of my priority list, and while I’m still cooking up a storm (and sharing my adventures on Instagram, @thejerc), the writing — my first love — stopped being a priority. The sadness over that causes me more pain than that aforementioned cringing.

Florence Gelato 2017

Two of the biggest Xs on the horizon over the last 18 months were my wedding and my honeymoon. When the wedding ended, I thought, “What did I do with my life before I planned my wedding?” But, fortunately, we had delayed our honeymoon until the Christmas craziness subsided, giving me the opportunity to pour myself into my next project: planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy. Now, after the perfect winter wedding and a gourmand’s dream tour through Venice, Florence/Tuscany and Rome, I’m left thinking, “Now what?” Continue reading dust off, rust off

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Hello Fresh: We’ve got a first timer here

Hello Fresh salmon ingredientsI am now obsessed with Hello Fresh, the weekly food box delivery service. My first order arrived last night, and I couldn’t wait to get cooking. This is the first time I’ve used a service like this, and I was super impressed. The Hello Fresh website was easy to use, and the meal selections were available a few weeks in advance, allowing me to order based on my tastes and my schedule. The giant box showed up on my doorstep on time, full of ice packs and fresh ingredients. Also, props to the the packaging designers, because everything was straight up adorable. (The soy sauce packets were little fish!)

I chose to make the fish meal first, assuming it would not stay fresh in my fridge as long as the others. (You can obviously freeze the ingredients upon receipt if your original cooking plans go awry.) I think I’ve come a long way in my culinary pursuits over the years, and I’ve cranked out some pretty good food (alongside some very sad, traumatic missteps), but the end result of this box was as close to “restaurant” as I’ve come. Continue reading Hello Fresh: We’ve got a first timer here

​excuses are like cell phones — everybody’s got one

I suck. I can’t even make excuses for my absence anymore.
Here’s my dessert from the other day: a protein waffle made with cookies & cream Cellucor protein, topped with oatmeal raisin Talenti gelato​, dark chocolate ganache and Mrs. Thinsters brownie crumbles. I know that doesn’t make up for the lack of posting, but… baby steps.
protein waffle dessert

the great do[ugh]nut debate

mint chocolate paleo doughnuts​I recently got into a spirited debate (at the gym, of all places) about the proper spelling of everyone’s favorite circular, fried treat with a hole in the middle. I steadfastly stood in the “doughnut” corner versus two “donut” supporters. Listen, people: It’s doughnut. “Donut” is part of a brand name; it should follow “Dunkin” or any other company/product that has legally filed its name to include the misspelling, but that’s it. Are you one of those people who calls tissues Kleenex? Stop giving these companies free marketing! (And if you’re spelling it that way because you’re too lazy to type it the correct way… just… go. Please.)

The great doughnut debate of 2014 reminded me that I had not made doughnuts in a really long time, so I took to Pinterest to find myself a healthy[ish] alternative to Dunkin’ Donuts (note the proper spelling in this instance), and found these paleo mint chocolate doughnuts from the Healthy Maven. (Sorry if you’re sick of paleo. I’ll make the next post something bad for you.) Continue reading the great do[ugh]nut debate

tbt: Blue Moon Cafe

Blue Moon Cafe Captain Crunch WafflesThe first place I remember seeing featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” was a breakfast spot in Baltimore that had a female owner with a rock-and-roll personality and a menu full of crazy, drool-worthy meals. I sat there thinking, “If I ever open a restaurant, THIS is what I would want it to be.” And when I had the opportunity to finally visit Blue Moon Cafe in Fell’s Point last month, that feeling only grew.

I’m not usually a waffle/pancake person when I’m out to breakfast, but there was no way I wasn’t getting the as-seen-on-TV Captain Crunch French toast. I’d been dreaming about this thing for, like, five years. I can still taste the sweet, buttery goodness… the tart berries… the fresh whipped cream. You need this. YOU. NEED. THIS. Continue reading tbt: Blue Moon Cafe

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies

paleo mocha chocolate chip cookiesFor the last few years, I’ve been participating in a cookie exchange with the same group of girls — past and present soccer teammates who have become good friends. And while I love catching up with them, I have to admit, it’s become a biz (yeah, that’s short for biznatch) coming up with a new recipe each year to top the previous year’s cookie.

This year, I went with the cookies I made for my fantasy football draft a few years back. In searching for an idea, though, I realized I don’t have all that many cookie recipes on here, so here’s a new one — paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies. Continue reading paleo mocha chocolate chip cookies