Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Beers, brats and bourbon w/the Bradleys

As you might remember, my parents up and moved to Kentucky a few months back. I figured it was due-time I visited....so, Cole and I packed our bags, made some rockin' playlists (its Britney, b*tch), loaded up the car and headed east. Its a good thing I enjoy his company; I can't spend 24+ hours in a car with just anybody. Between my road rage, Cole leaving his wallet on the roof of the car, the highway being closed for construction, getting lost in Tulsa and an entirely-too-long-and-frustrating lunch break in St. Louis, I'm lucky he didn't leave me. I'd like to thank Parks and Rec and The Hunger Games for passing the time, since no one would play road trip games with me.

Once we arrived in Ky., we headed up to Newport on the Levee, a spot overlooking the Ohio River and Downtown Cincinnati. The weather was gorgeous, the sunset was spectacular and there was a trashy, pregnant lady taking bare-belly pictures on the riverfront. I cropped her out of the picture, sorry guys.


We walked across the Purple People Bridge, which connects Newport, Ky, to downtown Cinci, then stopped in for some deluxe grilled cheeses at Tom and Chee, which was featured on Man v. Food. Basically, I love cheese. I was once dared to not eat cheese for a week (I went through withdrawals). My college roommates often questioned how my digestive system didn't get clogged up from all the cheese I ate. To this day, I order a kid's grilled cheese at Chili's. So, naturally, when my mom told me about a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, I knew I had to give a try. Grilled cheese filled with BBQ chips? Clever. Grilled cheese on a donut? Sweet. Desert grilled cheese? You know the way to my heart. Consider me a fan, Tom & Chee. 

The rest of our weekend was filled with spirits. A trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery where we got to tour the facilities and sample whiskeys and bourbon filled candies (yum) and an afternoon at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (the largest Oktoberfest in America, mind you). Beers, brats and bourbon. It was a party in the streets, to say the least. I had to suppress the urge to burst out in song every time a saw a sign for schnitzel. Schnitzel with noodles is one of my favorite things (see what I did there?). After searching the entire festival for a Sam Adam's fedora, waiting in line for a good 45-minutes (during which time I was about to pee my pants) and winning a beer tasting, I scored the last hat in all of Zinzinnati. Boom. It looks real good on me, too. I walked away from Oktoberfest being really glad that I have the thigh strength to squat in a porta-potty. I broke the seal way too early.


Ky., (and Cinci), you are beautiful. My cankles salute your rolling hills (they're still feelin' that 5-mile run) and your actual, real life fall weather is a wonderful thing to behold. The added bonus of seeing my family is the cherry on top. Keep it reel, Ky. Until next time! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Foodie Friday | "Healthy" Chocolate Mug Cake

Something about combining the words "healthy" and "cake" just doesn't seem right. Lets get this straight: by healthy, I mean Paleo. It makes me feel a little less guilty about stuffing my face with cake like a ruffle clad, icing-covered baby at their first birthday party. Whether its "healthy" or not could be debatable, but I feel like its at least better than the Molten Chocolate Lava cake alternative...right? Totally. AND, its a single-serving size. Win.


Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

1 banana
1 egg
2 Tbls cocoa
2-3 Tbls almond butter
A drizzle of honey
A little coconut, if desired

Grease a large mug. In a bowl, mash banana. Mix in egg, cocoa, almond butter, honey and coconut. Stir until blended (banana will have some chunks). Poor into mug. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes, or until set. Eat, duh.


You can thank me later.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Foodie Friday | Kitchen No. 324

I love food. And weekends are always devoted to food. Cheat days, date nights, Sunday grocery store trips, brunches, BBQ parties, tail gate snacks.....its pretty great. In preparation for the weekend, I've decided to start a little something I call, "Foodie Friday."

Here's the low down: every Friday, I'll post about food. It could be about a local restaurant I love, it could be my newest cupcake creation, or it could be a to-die-for Paleo recipe. Regardless, its something you will need to try. Sound good? Good. (notice: this may only last three weeks, I have commitment issues.)

This week, I introduce to you, Kitchen No. 324.


The downtown address for fresh. This gem is located in the heart of Oklahoma City, in the ground floor of The Braniff building. When you walk in, it instantly shouts urban class. Clean, white walls, windows galore and employees dressed in trendy, hipster-esque uniforms.... I like to pretend I'm in the Upper East Side.

The menu is fresh, authentic, and 100% delicious. Everything is handcrafted each morning, from coffee  and pastries to hearty breakfast dishes and the best bacon this side of the Mississippi.

Cathead Biscuits w/Chorizo Gravy - half eaten, of course.
My menu item of choice was the Cathead Biscuit w/Chorizo Gravy. My taste buds were dancing like a NorthFace, leggings and Ugg clad Sorostitute after a few-too-many Skinny Girl cocktails. Add on a side of bacon and an iced chai tea latte and the 'buds were straight up doing the Macarena. Just the right amount of spice and flavor combined with the warm, homey, cheesy biscuit to put a new spin on an old classic.

Cole chose the Chicken Pot Pie, their best-known dish (he doesn't care for conventional breakfast food - what would Ron Swanson say?). What makes it unique is the layer of fried chicken baked inside, as well as the fried chicken leg and biscuit on top. It beats the Swanson (not Ron) brand pot pies from 20 Something that I lived off of in college, thats for sure. It also is making my stomach growl as I type....

It was pretty much a requirement that we visit the bakery (have you met me?!). It's hard the beat the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls, but man, these came close. Warm, flakey and gooey with that not-too-sweet-but-still-sugary icing on top - mmmmm.

You should probably stop by here for breakfast/brunch sometime in the near future- if you like your taste buds to get their groove on, that is. Watch this video for an extra push in the right direction.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Christmas all year round

Picture a warm, cozy living room. The fireplace crackling, hot chocolate (maybe spiked) in hand, wrapped in a blanket and cozied up to your loved one. The Christmas tree, lit in the corner, puts off that dim, magical light. I live for that light, folks. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It makes my heart flutter like a 12-year-old at a middle school dance. It makes me want to make snow angels for two hours, go ice skating, eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as I can and then snuggle.

When the lightbulb in my living room burnt out, I decided it would be a lot easier to start a project then to simply buy a new lightbulb. How grown up of me.


I'd been on a manhunt for this ladder for months. Months, I tell you. Garage sale searching and Craigslisting to no avail....I finally stumbled upon it on Ebay. For $25. Where have you been all my life, princessjenna2?! A few days later, it was sitting on my doorstep. I immediately requested the help of my Tall Drink of Water to hang it, made a trip to Home Depot for necessary hanging supplies and snacks, and happily strung the Christmas lights I had obtained at Ryan's garage sale back in early '12. It was perfect. 

My little urban paradise finally has a light in the living room. A Christmas light, to be exact. With the flick of a switch, it can be Christmas in my house, year round. Holy marshmallows, Santa Clause, I'm in love. Cue the music: *Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....*

In other news, I've kept this plant alive for over a year. And now, it has a baby. My mom is really, really proud of me. Maybe even more proud than the time I won that awesome stuffed pumpkin in a drawing contest, circa 1995.


Now, I'm going to start working on my Christmas list....its never too early for that, its called being prepared. Inquiries can be sent to itsamandab@gmail.com.