I’m moving this blog from here to a self hosted site – foodjaunts.com
So if you’re reading this blog, I’ll keep it active for a bit to give everyone a chance to see it but then I’ll discontinue this blog and work solely on the other site.
Could I do a redirect? Yes but I don’t really want to pay $12 a year for that and since this is a relatively new blog I don’t see the point in paying.
So go to my new site and start following me there!
So I’m a huge fan of Middle Eastern food: kofta, falafels, shish taouk, the list goes on and on. I mean, how can you not like it? Pillowly pita bread, wide varieties of highly seasoned meat, baba ganoush, hummus – all delicious. (And yes I had to look up the spelling for the majority of those words).
I also love gyros although that’s more towards the Mediterranean side of things, but gyros are variations on shawarma and doner kebabs and no matter what they’re called I think they’re tasty. One of our favorite restaurants to bring people to/meet people at is Taz in Mason because, barring being a vegetarian (although there’s still super delicious meatless fare), everyone we’ve ever brought has enjoyed it. How can you go wrong with meat, bread, sauce, and some veggies to make you feel better about what you’re eating?
But since I try to cook healthy to counteract the times I treat myself while eating out, I wanted to do my take on it at home. I also happened to have some whole wheat pocketless pitas in the freezer (saw them at Findley Market and couldn’t resist picking them up because where else do you find whole wheat pocketless ones?) and I wanted to use them. And I really, really, wanted to play with my new, completely awesome, immersion blender. I just got married two months ago and it was a wedding gift – I squealed when I got it, I really did. Apparently I’m easily excited.
I think from start to finish the whole dinner took me about 45 minutes, and that was with making the sauce, meat, side, and warming the pitas. It was nice because it felt like an indulgence and I could be happy knowing that it was on the healthy side. So here it is; Spicy Turkey Pitas with Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce) and Squash Fries.
White sand beaches, ocean surf, and palm trees – why aren’t I in Jamaica/the Caribbean relaxing somewhere right now?!
Maybe because it’s been crazy hot weather, but the humidity has got me remembering warm tropical places and ocean surfs. We took a cruise a couple of years ago and had about 8 hours in Nassau and I was so excited to go and find some amazing street food or a sit down meal but the hubby put the kibosh on that *sigh*. He was worried about getting sick so we ended up eating at the Hard Rock Café. The Hard Rock Café!!! Not where I was really wanting to go in Jamaica. Where’s the jerk? The conch? The culture?
Although we did just honeymoon in Cancun and both got horribly sick. Like, didn’t get out of bed couldn’t be more than 10 feet away from the bathroom kind of sick that for me lasted a whole day and for the man lasted a couple. Favorite quote, we’re laying there sick and my husband goes, “Well we said in sickness and in health.” The next day I’m snacking on cheese fries and a chocolate malt (hey I wanted something fatty, I hadn’t eaten in over a day and a half) and he’s so frustrated, “Why are you so much better already?!” (I also didn’t get sick until eight hours after him) Ha, yay for my strong constitution.
We went to Xel-Ha, an eco-park, and I’m not sure if I blame the sickness on the food there (it was a tourist destination and I tend not to trust touristy area foods because it’s not like the cooks are worried about building a repeat clientele) or the fact that we were jumping/swimming/snorkeling/zip lining in the saltwater of the bay/lagoon and kept accidently swallowing some. My philosophy in other countries is that it’s better to go off the beaten path and find where the local’s eat because those cooks and chefs tend to take more pride in their food…they also don’t want to risk poisoning their neighbors and have to face angry mobs.
If anyone has read Steve Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue book, I completely want his job. To travel around to all those different countries, eating and writing about it? Yes please, sign me up. I know anytime I’m in the Philippines I’m always grabbing ihaw or palamig and I’ve never had an issue (disclaimer: those are not my images/pages and are the property of their original owners).
So due to the hot and muggy weather, what seemed like the perfect meal (and considering I had chicken thighs in the fridge)? Jamaican Inspired Jerk Chicken! I also had some mangos since I can’t resist buying a couple every week in the summer (they call out a siren song in the grocery store), and I figured a nice mango salsa along with rice would make a perfect meal. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of my jerk; I’ve never actually had it unless I’ve made it. There’s a newer Jamaican place that opened up in Clifton and I need to get down there to try theirs for comparison (I’ve heard its good), but until then, here’s my version:
I’m always on the lookout for new breakfast/brunch spots. I love breakfast and the one thing my husband and I do is always, always take the time to sit down Sunday mornings. Whether we stay home and cook or go out varies but the one constant is that we always have breakfast before going grocery shopping, running errands, cleaning, etc.
We had gone out Saturday night to my cousin’s graduation party/cookout and then headed to The Stand in Mt. Lookout to relax and enjoy the night. After getting home and passing out, we were pretty fuzzy on Sunday morning, exacerbated by the fact that I woke up at 9 am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Which means neither did he (Not that I had anything to do with that, I swear. Maybe I accidently nudged/shook him and I might have been thinking aloud/insisting we head to breakfast but eh). I just couldn’t motivate myself to make anything and we played the normal back and forth game of where do you want to go/where do you want to go?
After checking out my favorite site, Urbanspoon, Bellevue Bistro caught my eye. Check out their website and menu here. Am I the only one who looks at menus for fun? I think you can tell a lot about a place’s character/vibe by what they’re serving. BB seemed to be beckoning me with the promise of something delicious and different than the normal eggs and hash browns fare.