• Out and About: Pizza Blitz

    Some nights even 15 minutes of cooking is 15 minutes too much.   It took me two hours and fifteen minutes to get home from work last night. Normal commute from that part of my territory? One and a half hours, sometimes a little less if the traffic lights cooperate. Thankfully my one year old, who was in the car for 45 minutes of the commute, was an absolute doll.   So, when I got home and realized we were just three quarters of a baby bottle away from an empty gallon of milk, my heart sank. I need milk for my coffee in the morning. NEED milk. And the…

  • Packaged: Good Earth Dinners

    At the grocery store last week, concise shopping list tight in my hand, I wheeled down isle four, passed the macaroni, the rice, almost to the Hamburger Helper, when something caught my eye:     Busy work schedules…no…CRAZY work schedules sometimes make cooking meals next to impossible. And rather than resort to takeout on these types of nights, I like back up options: frozen pizza, mac ‘n cheese, soup and crackers, etc. And last night, it was Good Earth Restaurant Favorites.   So, back to other week when I was grocery shopping…. These Good Earth packages were part of a buy one, get one sale. My first thought was, “Okay,…

  • Kona Grill

    Out and About: Kona Grill

    What do Aquaman, Naked Sushi Girl, and tons of food have in common? Why, they were all part of the Kona Grill VIP party in Baltimore last night, of course.     That’s right. Last week I was the lucky recipient of a VIP invite to the pre-opening bash at Kona Grill in Baltimore, Maryland. With over a dozen locations in a variety of cool cities, including Las Vegas, I expected good food and a buzzing atmosphere, and last night proved to be both those things with an added splash of whimsy (Aquaman and Naked Sushi Girl), friendly chatter (me, Jessica, Jodi, and Janine), and goofiness (me, Jessica, and our husbands).  …

  • Reading: "Admission"

    I’m in a small book club with a few girlfriends and we meet as often as we’re able to breeze through books. That’s the upside to being in a smaller club; we’re not tied to a specific time frame to finish each book. The downside to being laid-back is that when you have a “so-so” book, it can take forever for the group to finish…and sometimes we just give up, meet anyway, and move on to the next book. Last year one of my picks was the book Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It seemed like a good choice, even to the scrutinizing New Yorker: Portia Nathan is a thirty-eight-year-old…

  • This slow cooker chili has a mouth-watering Texas twist!

    Slow Cooker Chili With a Texas Twist

    This slow cooker chili has a mouth-watering Texas twist! September is officially up and running, and now more than ever I’m starting to crave those comfort foods that depend on cooler weather: beef stew, apple pie, potato soup and—one of our fall favorites—chili. My chili recipe has taken several years to come together, and even still I make variations here and there depending on what my pantry’s stocked with. It’s pretty fail safe, especially since it cooks low and slow … almost anything cooked for endless hours on a low temperature in a slow cooker or a Dutch oven turns out wonderful. And, since the dawn of the Instant Pot, I can…

  • Out and About: Poblano Grill

    Last night Todd and I had our first Back to School Night. It was a hoot! We were surrounded by first timers nervously pacing while wondering where to sit, as well as seasoned professionals who sat back and observed, relaxed from their stumpy little kid chairs. Unlike a lot of the parents, we chose to keep our kids at home, which served three purposes: 1. We were able to sit still in our little chairs and actually focus; 2. My in-laws were able to spend time with Mia and Jack; and 3. Todd and I were able to grab a quick dinner out afterwards! Needing to be quick – only…

  • Cheesy Potato Soup

    Cheesy Potato Soup with Bacon

    The other day I had a Facebook message from a friend suggesting an online food contest she thought I should try. Actually, her words were, “You could rock this!” and I was flattered (even if it turns out she said the same thing to her other foodie friends). What kind of contest is it, you ask? A potato contest! And what does the grand prize winner get? A professional photo of the recipe and the cover of Family Circle magazine, plus a few other goodies. So, I am going to rock this. I have the most amazing, comforting, delicious, cantstopthinkingabouttheleftovers recipe for cheesy potato soup with bacon (easily converted to…

  • Out and About: Isabella’s

    I was watching 24 Hour Restaurant Battle the other day, and one of the chefs created a lengthy menu filled with lots of little portioned entrées. In Spain they call these tiny meals “tapas,” and it made me think of my favorite local restaurant: Isabella’s Taverna & Tapas Bar, in downtown historic Frederick. Before I go on, one thing: Volt would probably be my true favorite local restaurant, except for the fact that it costs a small fortune to eat there. I’d like to think my favorite restaurant is one that I can visit on a whim any weekend. Volt is definitely a planned visit, at least for my wallet. The last time I went…