Monday, April 25, 2011

If you didn't get enough sugar on Easter...'s a way to choose your second (six hundredth?) helping of the sweet stuff.

Honesty time: I stole this off my "sister in law's" (my "adoptive" brother's-we grew up together-wife) facebook and posted it because I am doing a research project on PKU right now. Ahh, life and work connections...ain't they grand?

Love to all,
~the "you can call me sugar and you can call me honey just don't call me late to dessert" gal,  Jess

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Semi-Abnormal Gal Wishes You...

...and yours, a very Happy Easter.

 Mum, Daddy and I

And if you don't celebrate Easter, a lovely spring season!

Whatever you were celebrating this weekend, I hope it involved copious amounts of delcious, fresh foods. My Easter meal was fantastic, and there wasn't a drop of ham in sight!

Any guesses?

Love to all,
~the, "I don't always like being traditional" gal, Jess

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Italian Granny Comfort Food

I've talked about my Grams before. My tiny little Italian grandmother, whose only goal in life is to feed all the loved ones in her life until they pop like seared sausages. (sweet Italian style sausage, of course).

In the spirit of what would have been her annual Easter trip to visit the her only granddaughter (hi! that's me!) I give you one of her "weekly standbys". An amazingly delicious standby.

Grams always called this meal of meatballs and green beans in tomato sauce "Rolls and Poles."

Start with the Italian Standards:

ground beef, garlic, onion, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.

Mixey-mixey with a camera shy egg, then roll out the mixture into just-smaller-than-your-palm sized balls and sear in a skillet.

Yum. You could just eat these, straight up and steaming.
If you want some more veggies in your life (or dinner plate!) go collect the rest of the team.

Marinated fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, green beans and some tomato sauce (Grams would have pulled a jar of her own sauce out of the pantry, but I'm a pretty big Paul Newman fan. That and I don't jar my own sauce. Yet.)

Steam the beans, quarter the 'shooms and the jar?

Saute the mushrooms, then add the steamed green beans.

Finally, add the "rolls" (meatballs) back in with the poles (green beans) and bring the whole mess up to a simmer in the sauce.

Plate with a few marinated mozz balls.

Then proceed to have a full out photoshoot. I just loved this meal, visually, emotionally, oh and did I mention it was delicious?

I even shouted out: "Grams, I can't wait to have my leftovers!"

What? You don't talk to your deceased Italian grandmother while cooking? You are so missing out. Oh wait, you don't have an Italian grandmother? My greatest apologies. Well, at least you can make meals like mine did. Just go with the flow, oh, and you can lick your fingers if you need too, I won't tell. And neither will Grams.

Love to all,
~the "I might be a wacky Italian gal, but man can I cook some rolls and poles" Jess

Monday, April 18, 2011

I hate to brag....

....but I had the best weekend. No really, it was better than yours. So, sorry. In attempts to make up for the fact of how unfair it is that my weekend mops the floor with yours, let me tell you why it was so good.


Gaga. Monster Ball. More like Monster Amazball!

I honestly can't put into words how fantastic this show was. Without  a doubt my favorite moments where when Gaga just talked to the audience; she is edgy and wonderful and so damn honest. Oh, and don't you just love that her "monster" strongly resembles a fish from the hadopelagic zone? Be still my little marine bio nerdy heart. You had me at Paparazzi.


A lovely shopping spree/lunch and wine outing with my bestie, Ash. 

Refreshing whites at CPK: KJ Chard for Ash and a Murphy-Goode Sauvignon Blanc for me. Guess I forgot to photograph our actual lunches. Told you wine with lunch was a good idea! hehe.


A wonderful "pre-birthday" out with friends at Orchid Thai of Winter Park. (My birthday is on Easter, which I always spend with my family, so I'm celebrating my big 2-5 before and after the actual day!).

 Ash and I, as pretty as the orchids on the table. tehehe.

Mieng Kum. This lettuce wrap style appetizer that Michael ordered for the table! Peanuts, dried baby shrimp, lime (yes, you eat the peel!), ginger, onion, coconut shreds and a honey sauce of some sort. So good. I can't wait to have this again!

I ordered the Larb chicken for my entree and truly enjoyed the bright combination of flavors: fish sauce, red onion, cilantro, ginger, lime and a touch of chile. Yum.

I won't lie though...I was a little jealous over Michael's tofu pad thai. Next time, next time.


Mango mimosas at Wine Room (followed by some unpictured glasses of spicy red blends, my favorite.)


White girl dancing at Eye Spy, crammed hip to hip with 100 of my new best friends. Thankfully unpictured, 100% perfection. I love non judgmental dancing joints that play a wonderful mix of top 40 and 80's rock, whose "time to get out people" song sequence is the following: Don't Stop Believing-Journey, City Streets-Carol King, Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen. Did I mention it was perfection? 


A silly rickshaw ride back to our car, after the mandatory stop at Jimmy Jones (for moi) and a very long line for pizza (for Ash and Jenna) where we chatted with some friendly guys from Uruguay.


Vietnamese Lunch at Pho Vihn.

Fried Spring rolls for the table. 

Ashley's pork vermicelli bowl, with a chopped spring roll, random but fun!

 I had #100, which is Thập Cẩm or "Special combo of shrimp, snow crabmeat, pork roast and wonton with noodle." aka YUM. Plus, I love any meal that comes with a plate of stir-ins...I adore playing with my food!


A successful swimming lesson with Christine! This little guppy can finally breathe into the water and is nearly ready to let go of the swim board! yay. (PS. In case you were wondering-yes, I can swim...and have been since I was a little girl, I just could never do a true free crawl with my face in the water, etc and I'm training for a Sprint Tri in the fall! ahhhh.)

So, there you have it, my sad friends....the 8 reasons why my weekend rocked my socks off, and your faces off, as in: "Oh-ah-in yo face!"

Love to all,
~the, "I'm only occasionally a braggart" gal, Jess

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Breakfast: Snack Plate Style

The weatherman keeps saying that it is spring, but with summer like record highs in the 90s everyday, it sure feels like summer came way to early for this Sunshine State Gal.

At least I can have a cool breakfast on a hot and sunny morning:

A morning snack plate, if you will. I do, err, will.

If you need a cool way to break your morning fast follow my lead:
1 liberally peppered hard boiled egg, a 6oz carton of lemon yogurt (Liberte brand), a few slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese and a tablespoon of peanut butter (Jif Natural, my new nutty love).

Random? Perhaps. Tasty? Oh yes. Time required over stove? Nada.

Love to all,
~the "I enjoy seasonally driven meals" gal, Jess

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why I don't have a Twitter

"Reruns of Shear Genius are on-whoot"

"I love Victoria Stilwell. Pity (or blessing) my dog doesn't need training"

"It is 83 degrees in my house right now and humid as heck, but my lovely low power bill is preventing me from turning on the air. I'm cheap and I sweat. Own it."

"Hair appointment booked. Whoot."

"Photography lesson booked. Whoot"

Are you annoyed yet? Cause I am. And yes, I literally think in little status updates. All day. Everyday. Whoot. But I keep most of them to myself. Because I don't want to be THAT girl. At least not on Twitter.

"Celery and Cream Cheese is so good. Whoot."

"No wait. Celery and peanut butter is better."

"Celery and Archer Farm's Feta and Roasted Red Pepper dip wins. Whoot-whoot!"

Oh yes, we progressed to the double whoot. What? You don't believe the worthiness of the double whoot? Well, Twitter or no, my celery snack plate was off the chain.

What? You don't keep a ball-peen hammer on your dinning room table?

Oh, and the real reason I don't have a Twitter? It's two fold: 1-I don't understand the whole @blahblah and #whattheheckisahashtag. 2-I have a "dumb phone" that doesn't connect to the internet. So, my annoying whoot-laden tweets?  All coming to you on Saturday afternoon. 

Oh wait, they just did. 

Love to all,
~the "I'm not afraid to say technology still confuses me at times, but food doesn't" gal, Jess

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I cannot wait for the leftovers


Love to all,
~the "if I only have 25 minutes for lunch I damn better enjoy every moment" gal, Jess

Monday, April 4, 2011

This isn't good-bye....

It's just a "see you later."

Steve, you are a great guy. I hope Chicago treats you well!

I guess I won't be able to have a sake bomb without thinking of my new Chi-town Buddy for quite a while. Best wishes and kisses!

Love to all,
~the "I'm always sad to see a friend move away, but happy to have a new city to visit and a couch to crash on!" gal, Jess