‘Food’ Category

21 July 2014

How I use my toaster oven

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random

Apparently, you can use your toaster oven for a lot of things. Pizzas, toast, etc.

But I use it for a much more practical purpose.

I used it to make s’mores.

Yes, you read that correctly.

My favorite thing to make in the toaster oven: s’mores.


My friend Liz introduced me to this genius and now I’m obsessed.

S’mores for dessert sometimes during the week and DEFINITELY on weekends.

You even get the little char on the marshmallow!

Sure, it’s not as good as regular s’mores over a campfire, but I highly recommend this. NOMS.

So, seriously what else can I use this toaster oven for?

06 May 2014

Learning a new way to eat

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random

Hello everyone. Yes, I’m still here and am still bad about writing on this blog.

But, I’m back today because there’s been something I’ve been working with lately that I wanted to share on my corner of the Internet.

Food, well, looking at food/eating in a new way.

When I got back from my promotion trip to Paris/Amsterdam, I finally decided to see the doctor about the “weird” way I was feeling. You know, that fun bloated, water retention feeling usually reserved for the week before your period, but I felt it every single day. Clothes didn’t fit, and honestly, I just felt awful about myself, all the time.

And when I went, some of my worst fears were confirmed. I was 15 pounds heavier, officially at my “scary weight,” which is also the heaviest I have been since…high school maybe?

To say I was crushed, is an understatement. It was like facing a huge fear and knowing all of my instincts were right.

But the tests she ran point at nothing. According to my blood, I’m 100% healthy. So, while we investigate a few other things, I’ve been put on a restricted diet. No gluten, dairy or processed sugar. Or, next to none in my diet.

And as someone who has never had a food allergy (or not since I was a little kid), this is really difficult because now, I am trying to look at food in a new way.

First off, dairy. This is painful to cut back on because I LOVE DAIRY. Cheese! Yogurt! Frozen yogurt! All of the cheese!But with baby steps, I’m cutting back.

Gluten, holy cow that is in everything too, same with processed sugar!

So, for now I’m reading websites about Paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free foods (or substitutes), being more diligent about cooking at home from Paleo and gluten-free websites, drinking more water, cutting back on alcohol and trying to be smarter about what I eat. It’s all about baby steps to a new way to eat.

Is it fun? No, not always. I love donuts, sweets, cupcakes, pastries, beer (BEER!), fried foods, etc.

But I hate the way I feel, so I am willing to try something new. And hopefully, it just gets better from here.

26 January 2014

New favorite weekend activity

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Breakfast was never my jam (pun!)

Sure I would eat breakfast but it mostly consisted of a granola bar, piece of fruit or whatever else I could get my hands on. It just wasn’t the most important meal of the day. In fact, when I travel, dinner is the only time I really SIT down to eat.

But, with me starting to run, turns out breakfast is really important. Learned that after I nearly passed out at the gym on the treadmill because I was running on an empty stomach.

So despite my previous hesitation to make and eat breakfast, I started coming around to it. And now, it’s one of my favorite weekend morning activities.

Yes, I get up, get coffee going and make breakfast. And then I sit in the living room w/the TV off, no music and read while eating.


Okay, I’ll admit I don’t mix up a lot of what I make, but now I’ve added a little serving tray to escort my breakfast in to the living room and I feel so fancy!

Guess old habits can change :)

18 February 2013

Hard habit to break

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

This year, I decided to give up chocolate for Lent. I was planning to give up alcohol but multiple friends told me “that’s f*cking crazy.” They’re right, I wouldn’t have lasted two days.

So, if alcohol is out, that means it’s time to test my will to give up my other vice: chocolate.

I have a massive, massive sweet tooth and love a bite of chocolate or even a little chocolate dessert when dining out. I cannot help myself.

But there is a difference between a “bite” of chocolate and, well having too much of it. And because I moved to the latter part of last sentence, that’s why I decided to give it up.

Yeah, this hasn’t been easy.

Friday, while in the throws of a massive cold, I ate a bit of chocolate, and didn’t even realize it until after. My giving-up-something-for-Lent coach told me this was a pass. I was sick. Then…Sunday night I had a chocolate chip cookie (or three) my friend made for dinner. But…I feel like I get a pass because that would have been disrespectful to turn down this as the final part of her homemade dinner.

Again, hasn’t been easy.

And to keep my mind off of chocolate, I’m trying to eat more veggies, chew gum and have other sweets that taste good, but, well not as satisfying.

When is Easter again? Kidding, I can do this, I think :)

Did you give up anything for Lent this year?



08 November 2012

Cooking Thanksgiving – Year Two

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

So, it’s November (wow), which means it’s time to start thinking ahead to the holidays, starting with, Thanksgiving.

Last year, my SIL and I took the baton of cooking the big meal, and it was a nerve wracking experience that ended with everyone happy and full and no major accidents. Sure, I got a burn on my arm and a cut on my hand but I had all limbs at the end of the meal!

And now, my SIL and I have started talking about Thanksgiving year two and since last year’s meal went so well, I don’t think we’ll be making a ton of adjustments!

Menu plan (so far) is:

  • Turkey (not pre-made this time!)
  • Butternut squash soup
  • Steamed green beans (with a small green bean casserole)
  • Mashed potatoes (made with real potatoes this year)
  • Stuffing

The major thing we learned last year is that we had WAY too much food. I never thought I would say that but the number of leftovers were crazy and really, we could pare it back and stick with the classics. We tossed out the rolls, cranberries and wild rice/corn dish from last year. Well, the latter isn’t totally out, yet.

I tend to go a little overboard in menu planning, making sure there is something for everyone, so most times, I overthink it and there is way too much food. So in looking at this list and adding a few appetizers on top (in case we’re running late), we should be still plenty full at the end.

When we finished cooking last year, I kept thinking, we can change things next year! Make new stuff! Try new recipes! And this year, we’re keeping it pretty simple.We are a product of routine and knowing what will be there (and thus enjoy) is not a bad thing. Change isn’t a bad thing either but sometimes, it’s nice knowing what to expect.

Now, if I can make it through this year without another new burn, I would be even happier :)

Are you getting excited for Thanksgiving?