Gyro Fries? Yes Please!

I’m so proud of my little sitter. She’s pretty awesome, but like most millennials she doesn’t see how amazing she really is. Although she doesn’t see her self as a foodie (like her big sis), Liv has managed to find an amazing little bar in Silver Springs, MD.

Of course there are hot wings but this one concoction of old bay & lime is pretty amazing. Its perfectly salty & slightly spicy- paired with a Shock Top (buy 1 get 1). It was a pretty successful happy hour.

Then the bartender suggested the gyro fries. There was brief silence as we both looked at each other & replied ” yes please! we’ll have one of those”!

My sissy made me proud when she said in her very southern pleasantries ” Sir when you bring those fries, another ’round please? … and you can bring the check. Thank you so much (insert smile)”

A girl after my own heart.

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Hot Chicken

When you we visit Nashville you have eat hot chicken. Its unique this city and worth the pain. Please beware of the KFC emergence of this knock-off. There really is no comparison.  Its spicy & juicy straight through with a local honey drizzle. Underneath a cool slaw and a sweet potato pancake (usually a waffle).

Unfortunately, the mac & cheese did not live up to my expectations, but that’s a post for another time.

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Bao in Knoxville ??

I travel a lot for work. Since having my son I have managed to get travel down about once a quarter. One of the perks of traveling is trying new restaurants, which is right up my alley.

Recently, I was in Knoxville on business and spent the evening at a very quaint restaurant. The atmosphere was so laid back  and actually more of a lounge feel. Many people don’t know this about me but I love Asian cuisine- authentic or fusion, its all deliciousness.

As a home cook it’s incredibly hard to conquer so there won’t be any recipe postings here. One of my favorites which has been so difficult to find in Memphis is Bao.

So imagine my surprise when I ran across a Bao inspired dish in Knoxville. Let me tell you it was pretty darn good. The bun was soft and fluffy with smokey chicken topped with a spicy aioli & Kimchi inspired slaw.

 

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You may be saying, “Jen, when did you start eating Bao buns?” I’m so glad you asked.

A few years ago a my girlfriends and I took a trip to NYC and our curiosity landed us in china town. No doubt we were looking for cliche’ tourist deals that we never found. But what we did find were streets filled with small bakeries and eateries. We had dinner plans, so I thought a snack would be great. I ended up to full to eat dinner and perfectly satisfied with the chicken & pork filled bao.

That’s when my obsession with this amazing asian inspired savory pastry began. Not since my first Jamaican meat pie as a child had I ever been so happy with a protein wrapped in a pastry 🙂 .

 

5 things I learned in NOLA

I love New Orleans, LA.  I will go on a limb and say I have been there more than any other city. Quite arguably my favorite city on earth  (comparatively speaking, I haven’t seen a lot of earth).

I started visiting NOLA in college (17 years ago) and most recently visited in April to celebrate my sister’s graduation from college.

So here are 5 things NOLA has taught me over the years:

  1. LEAVE YOUR JUDGEMENTS AT HOME (or at least in your hotel room)- I don’t think this needs any explanation when walk the streets on NOLA on the weekend.
  2. TRAVEL AS A CLIQUE – Nothing ruins a great weekend in NOLA  like losing your friend who wondered off or was going to meet you at the corner of Iberville and she thought you said Bienville. This rule was paramount in the days prior to unlimited anytime calling.
  3. BRING AN ADVENTUROUS APPETITE – Many people know that the best part of NOLA is the food. Its simply amazing. By any means don’t take this trip to culinary paradise with your co-worker who only eats “chicken tenders” and openly proclaims Applebee’s as their favorite restaurant.
  4. MY MOM IS WAY MORE FUN THAN YOU THOUGHT SHE WAS– Because I love my mom & mom-in-law, Enough said…  🙂
  5. LIFE IS SHORT, ENJOY THE MUSIC!

The Travel Dilemma

My mother sister and I have had the most horrible time trying to decide where to celebrate my sisters college graduation.

My mother has all types of stipulations she will not fly too long or go any where too cold. She spent her tears and early twenties in Miami so she has no interest in going to the caribbean. not to mention the fact that she believes only couples should travel to beaches so beautiful.

Being the discount diva I am, I suggested Mexico. The travel deals come a dime a dozen all across the internet. However, both my sister & my mother refuse to go to Mexico. Mostly because of El Chapo or just plain silliness. Not to mention neither have any interest in cruising ( you can thank the onboard illness breakouts a few years ago).

So where was left .. I ad no idea. This entire travel dilemma came about b/c I did not want to go to Disney World again on my grown up time off. Now I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, but growing up in FL we went to Disney and other attractions  A LOT ( thank you FL resident discount). Now that I have a child I see many trips in my future. So I would like to spend my time & very scarce money on a more grown up trip.

So where have we decided to go ….. New Orleans! Home of the grown-up good time. No thrill rides needed.

 

Tired parents, a baby, & Pandora

It’s about an 8 hour drive from Memphis to the beach on the Gulf Coast. For someone who grew up in Miami, I would consider this landlocked. I have no intentions of ever being being further away from a major body of water, but that’s another post.

On this trip we hooked up the Pandora and let randomness ensue. After listening to songs that ranged from early Ludacris, The Fugees, Jezzy, and Johnny Taylor we started talk about what music will our son listen to, how many songs today will really be iconic -score a memorable moment in your life.

By the time Maroon 5 and Alanis Morsette get into the mix- we can’t help but laugh about the fact when we really love good music regardless of genre it makes you sing out loud and completely rock out in your car – Shout out to Aerosmith that was all over the radio when I was in high school.

Anyway just a few random thoughts 2 hours from our destination.

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Preparation is not always enough

So I’ve been planing for July 1 2013 for 6 months. I truly thought I was ready the day after I turned in my application and now it’s time to move. Call to action, my hubby told me this morning how proud of me he was, but next mission trip “we have to go together.” Of you know my husband you would know that he is pretty calm, but there was a firmness in his voice that i usually only hear when I try a new recipe that didn’t turn out like the picture and he says ” you don’t have to make this again.”

My mother and sister cried. One on FaceTime and one over the phone. I know there proud and worried all at the same time.
My prayer is that God will allow me to remain calm and hear his voice and control my anxiety to follow God’s plan for our journey.