Travel

Pittsburgh!

Now that Steven Michael and I are both vaccinated, we were finally able to get away for a nice weekend in Pittsburgh! Pre-COVID, Pittsburgh was one of our favorite places to go as it’s not too far, and has a ton of great food and things to do. This trip was exactly what we needed, a delicious taste of normalcy, pun intended!

Most of our travels are centered around food (obviously lol). We pretty much eat our way through a city and Pittsburgh is no exception. On this trip, we got to try our favorite breakfast spot for dinner and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The Pub Chip Shop on E Carson Street has these amazing homemade biscuits with honey butter and just … 中中中中中. These are the kind of biscuits that we talk about months after a trip, and make specific plans to drive four hours to get again!

Buttermilk Biscuit and Honey Butter from the Pub Chip Shop

On Friday night, we checked out the Pub Chip Shop’s dinner menu and OMG! So many amazing fried seafood options (it’s a fish and chips place), it was hard to choose one! Steven Michael got the Surf and Turf, which in this case was hand battered chicken and haddock with fresh cut fries. If there is fried shrimp on a menu, I’m all over it. We ended up eating in the car, which we’re used to after this year, because they aren’t open for indoor dining quite yet. They just put the food directly in paper bags that we ripped the tops off of and dove into. They even gave us some free house made donuts, score! Both of our meals were amazing to the point where we debated going back for dinner the next night, but ultimately decided we needed more content for you, our readers (you’re welcome).

However, just because we chose to go somewhere else for dinner the next night, doesn’t mean we didn’t run right back to the Pub Chip Shop for breakfast the next morning! I got two biscuits with honey butter, because give me allllllll the biscuits, and Steven Michael got a chicken fried sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a hand made roll called a bap.

Sausage Egg and Cheese at the Pub Chip Shop

Eventually, we peeled ourselves away from the Pub Chip Shop and explored the city. Pittsburgh has so many things to see! We spent some time in the Strip District that is lined with shops, restaurants and a farmer’s market. We got some cool metal art for our house, a new spice blend that you will be hearing about in a future blog, a ton of candy, a variety of root beers and sea monkeys (for Ellis)! On a friend’s recommendation, we tried a place called Peace, Love and Little Donuts and holy moly! We went a little nuts a bough a dozen crazy flavored mini donuts because they looked so good!

Peace Love and Little Donuts
Root Beers from Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop

We drove to Point State Park and walked along the river taking Polaroids of people and giving the pictures to them – it was a beautiful day! Then we took a chance and went to a place called Randyland, where we didn’t really know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised to find this funky little house covered in bright colored art that just radiated happiness to everyone around it. We even bought a shirt and mug to remember such a cool place!

For our last meal in the city, we tried Condado for some delicious tacos and dips. They had something for everyone, with make your own tacos that included meat, vegetarian and vegan options. We have already decided that we have to go back to try more things!

We had so much fun getting away for a few days, relaxing and not worrying about any responsibilities. We left Pittsburgh will full bellies, full hearts and a trunk full of IKEA furniture (as one does when a store is nearby). We have a tradition any time we take a trip to do a Ukulele cover, so I will leave you with that. Enjoy!

I Don’t Want to Know by Fleetwood Mac

Sides

Onion Rings

Guys … I get to write a blog about one of my favorite things! ONIONS! As you know from my onion rant in The Peanut Stew Incident of 2021, I have an obsession with the (literal) stinkers. Bread those suckers and deep fry them and you’ll find me drooling at the table.

For Mother’s Day this past weekend, I ate a lot of my favorite things. My day started with Sprinkle Waffles, I had ice cream for lunch and I requested Turkey Meatball Subs for dinner. I wasn’t allowed to help with anything all day, so I got to relax with my feet up in the living room (it’s kind of my thing) while Steven Michael cooked dinner. Imagine my surprise when I heard the sizzle of something being fried, and my utter delight to find out they were homemade onion rings!

Lucky for all of you, Steven Michael was nice enough to document the process knowing that I would want to post about them! They were salty, crunchy and everything good about food that is terrible for you. Pass the plate, I want some more!

Dinner

Bang Bang Shrimp Bowl

It has been an eventful few days in the DeLorme house!

Ellis has joined a Kids Run the Nation running class that meets twice a week and he absolutely loves it! Steven Michael and I are helping to coach the kids, so it’s a family affair. On Friday night, Steven Michael and I were finally able to meet up with some good friends for dinner and ice cream. It was so great to do something normal and feel safe while doing it!

Ellis also recently had his first scary fall, and has now learned that running on couches isn’t a great idea … especially when there is a coffee table nearby to catch your face on the way down! Don’t worry, he’s ok and assures us that the huge bruise on his cheek doesn’t hurt at all (unless he pushes on it reeeeeeeaaaalllly hard). Sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard way, but he’s still a cutie pie with one chipmunk cheek!

With Mother’s Day tomorrow, we’re having a quiet evening at home tonight. For my big day I have requested to play mini golf as a family and have Turkey Meatball Subs for dinner, yay! I’m looking forward to our family day very much!

I’m feeling good, so I thought I would share a recipe that might make you all feel good too! Steven Michael made this for the first time a few months ago, before this blog was ever a thought. When we decided to start on this blogging adventure, we knew Bang Bang Shrimp Bowls had to make an appearance at some point. Here they are! These are so sweet and saucy, and I’m a sucker for a good noodle dish. Maybe you moms out there can request it for your special dinner tomorrow!

What are your plans for Mother’s Day? Let me know in the comments below!

Dinner

Turkey Meatball Subs

I’m back! I promised that I would take this weekend and get my $#!+ together, so here I am with another fantastic recipe for you to try! Sometimes you just need a weekend away with the girls (all fully vaccinated, of course) to reset your priorities and get back on track with your food blog.

My friends Leia, Nichole and I had a lovely weekend at Greek Peak Mountain Resort riding the Mountain Coaster and water slides, relaxing in the wave pool, drinking absurd amounts of champagne, eating a lot of food and laughing our asses off. After a few glasses of the good stuff, we did our makeup, put on some wigs, and ran down the hallway to record a little snippet of a Charlie Puth song in the stairwell, because 仄儭?

One Call Away by Charlie Puth … in wigs.

We had so much fun! It’s been so long since we’ve done something normal that I started out a little nervous. But good friends and big laughs quickly eased all of my fears. I’m so thankful for these ladies and their ability to put up with my sense of humor for long periods of time!

Now that I’m back home and back to the reality of the day to day, I thought it would be nice to share my current favorite meal that Steven Michael makes for me, Turkey Meatball Subs! I ask for these all the time, like at least once a week. They are cheesy and saucy and full of amazing flavors that just melt together in your mouth. I promise you will love them too!

I’ll be back to share another adventure/recipe in a few days! Until then, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Where is your favorite friends weekend getaway?

Dinner

Paneer Makhani N’aan Pizza

Guys, I have been SLACKING lately. I completely forgot to write a blog for our usual Tuesday post, and now here we are at the end of the week and I’m giving you a short one. But, good things often come in small (short?) packages!

We have been on an Indian food kick lately. For the last three weeks, we have spent every Friday date night at our favorite Indian restaurant mainlining Makhani like our lives depend on it. Fortunately, the restaurant jars their incredible sauce, so we could bring it home to make this fantastic concoction.

Dad’s Sweet Makhani from Naan-Tastic and Thali of India

I present to you, Paneer Makhani N’aan Pizza! This is so simple that I’m not even going to write it out as a recipe. Just go to the store and get some Makhani sauce, N’aan, Paneer and shredded mozzarella then build your pizza! We also added diced red onion and some cilantro (Steven Michael had cilantro, I did NOT have that nasty soap leaf on mine), but you can add any other toppings you would like. I highly recommend going heavy on the sauce because it’s the best part!

I’m off to a girls weekend trip to a mountain lodge (yay, vaccines!). I promise I’ll get my $#!+ together for next week! See you soon!

Sides

Babaganoush

I know many of you (ok, probably like 6 of you) were wondering what we were going to do with the eggplants we posted on our Instagram story this weekend. It’s time for the big reveal! Drum roll …… Oh, you read the title of the blog? Well crap.

Even an anticlimactic reveal like that can’t take away from how freaking tasty Steven Michael’s Babaganoush is. Now that many of our close friends are vaccinated, we’ve gone back to having a few people over every Sunday to play video games, basketball, or just hang out. Most of our friends are vegan, so we have a lot of great animal product free recipes in our repertoire, like this Babaganoush.

While Steven Michael was making this, I took absentee cooking to another level. I was not in my usual place with my feet up in the dining room, instead, I was on my Sunny stationary bike working/sweating my little butt off in the garage. Coming back in from my workout to a yummy spread of pitas and Babaganoush was a great perk!

This is seriously delicious. It has a smooth and creamy texture and is packed with great eggplant flavor. The garlic definitely gives it a little bit of a bite, and I couldn’t stop shoveling it into my pie hole.

So invite a few (COVID safe, obviously) friends over, make some dip and get to snacking! Or … just make a bowl for yourself and go to town, I won’t judge.

I’ll see you in a few days with another great recipe!

Baking

Orange Pistachio Cookies with Orange Mascarpone Dip

When we started this blog, we promised that we would share the good, the bad and the ugly recipes. We aren’t shy about our kitchen experiments, some just turn out better than others. Of course, I use the term “we” lightly as you all know I don’t lift a finger when it comes to cooking. But I do my fair share of eating, so we’ll call it a joint effort.

I wouldn’t say that these Orange Pistachio Cookies were quite as bad as The Peanut Stew Incident of 2021, that one really took the gross trophy – but these were certainly not good.

In the last few years, I have come to really love pistachio flavor. I’m talking about that fake pistachio pudding flavor, not the taste of the actual nut. Pistachio is one of those truth adjacent flavors when it comes to the artificial version, like watermelon or banana. The fake version is nothing like the real one. I also don’t mind pistachio nuts, but when I get something sweet labeled as pistachio like ice cream or a cookie, I’m looking for that puddingy goodness. These cookies are all nut, zero pudding.

Steven Michael actually really loved them, so please don’t discount them based solely on my opinion. When it comes to sweets, I want a sugar party in my mouth complete with a sugar D.J, sugar dance floor and sugar disco ball. So cookies like these, that are less sweet and more true to their natural ingredients, are just ehh for me. Obviously, if they are in front of me, I will eat them anyway, so I feel like I really did give these a fair shot.

These are made with pistachio nuts (surprising, I know), orange zest and egg whites to form a meringue textured cookie. The texture is actually really nice. I love a chewy cookie and because the nuts are chopped in the food processor, there are no chunks. As a household with a five year old boy, we obviously had to use the dinosaur cookie cutters, T-Rex is optional for you. We paired the cookies with an Orange Mascarpone dip that was originally going to be icing, but we way better as a dip.

Please give these a try and let me know if you think I’m crazy for not loving them! I know there are nutty people out there, and these are probably amazing for them.

See you in the comments!

Date Night

Date Night! (FINALLY)

Today’s post is going to be a little bit different because we don’t have a recipe to share. We’re embracing what this blog is becoming; a hybrid food/lifestyle blog filled with yummy treats and snippets of our lives.

This weekend, something amazing happened. As more and more people in our inner circle get vaccinated, we can move around a little more freely. Notably, Ellis’s Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents are now vaccinated, so we feel comfortable with them spending time with him. As you can imagine, the minute everyone passed the two week mark after their second shots, our phone starting ringing with requests to spend some time with our little dude. It just so happened that three of those requests lined up this past Friday, leaving us kid-free from 3pm until 10:30am on Saturday!

Pre-COVID, Steven Michael and I used to have date nights every Friday evening while Ellis spent a few hours with his Aunt. While we’ve continued to have our Friday night car take-out dates, Ellis has been with us in the back seat for a year now. Those dates have also been super fun for all of us, and I’m thankful that the pandemic gave us that time together. But, it’s also healthy to have one on one adult time to just be together as a couple. So, we jumped at the chance to have our first kid-free date night in a year!

(It’s important to point out that none of the things that I am about to tell you about are sponsored. This is just what we did and why we did it.)

The second I got out of work, we were out the door and on our way to dinner. Here in Rochester, we have an amazing food scene, including a quick serve Indian restaurant called Naan-Tastic. We probably had about 50% of our Friday night car take-out dates there throughout the last year. The same people that own Naan-Tastic also own a sit down Indian restaurant called Thali of India that we have been waiting to go to until we were both fully vaccinated. It was time!

I am not exaggerating when I say that it was probably one of the best meals I have had in my entire life! Paneer Makhani might as well be running through my veins at this point, and this was just on a whole other level. If you’ve never tried it – YOU. ARE. MISSING. OUT. We also got the chicken curry and every vegetarian appetizer that they had (we were hungry). We both ate way too much food because we just couldn’t stop.

Chicken Curry and Paneer Makhani over Basmati Rice from Thali of India
Amazing Naan from Thali of India

If you haven’t heard of the Adventure Challenge books before, I highly suggest you check them out. They have a few different versions, but we have the Couples and Family editions and love them! Basically, they are books filled with scratch off boxes that describe dates or activities to participate in. You choose a box based on the title and clues that they give you, do the activity, then write a short description of what you did and stick a picture next to it. Every one that we’ve done so far has been great, but I think this one really took the cake.

After our amazing dinner, we scratched off this date:

THE PAWN SHOP

  1. Each of you write down your ultimate date idea for the night. This is your chance to make it all about what you want.
  2. Select one item from your house (keep it a secret) that you will take to a pawn shop to sell.
  3. Whoever sells their item for more money gets to choose the date idea for the night!
  4. Combine the money you got to pay for your date.

I immediately started freaking out because I’ve never been to a pawn shop, I have no idea what kind of things they would buy, and I don’t really own anything that I would want to sell. Steven Michael absolutely had a leg up on me for this challenge because he has an entire room full of band and music equipment that he was happy to sell. He grabbed a practice guitar amp and I ended up with a small bag of random costume jewelry. The only pawn shop open late enough is really more of a gold/jewelry pawn shop. Needless to say, they didn’t want any of our crap! Steven Michael ended up winning by default because his was actually worth some money, even though they didn’t want to buy it.

My legs and Steven Michael’s Rejected Amp Outside of the Pawn Shop

And so, Steven Michael got to decide what we were going to do for the rest of the night. We ended up getting ice cream from Moonlight Creamery in Fairport, because we don’t know how to say no to food. While we were there, we picked up some milk chocolate covered caramels and an insanely delicious rice crispy treat filled with some kind of cookies and cream business. (Have I mentioned my unhealthy relationship with food lately?)

Butterbeer Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone from Moonlight Creamery
Cookies and Cream Rice Crispy Treat made by The Crispery

We walked around Fairport eating our ice cream, then headed home to watch a movie of Steven Michael’s choice – he won fair and square. He chose Beyond Barricades: The Story of Anti-Flag, a documentary on the band. As we snuggled into bed, still eating like idiots, we both knew we should stop, but we just couldn’t!

Fast forward to the next morning, still stuffed to the brim, I sleepily turned to Steven and asked if he wanted to go out to breakfast – he did. An hour later, we had added Cheesecake Stuffed Challah French Toast, pancakes, eggs and bacon from the Highland Park Diner to the mix with no regrets.

Our Breakfast Spread from the Highland Park Diner

When we picked up Ellis a little while later, he was outside playing baseball with his Aunt and Uncle. He told us all about the pancakes he had for breakfast, and I couldn’t help but laugh a little. You have no idea, kid …

We’ll see you again in a few days with a great recipe! Drop a comment below or on social media and let us know what you like to do on your date nights!

Dinner

Spinach Pesto with Cheese Tortellini

I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling really good lately. As I mentioned in the Fish Foil Packet post, when my hip surgeon originally told me that my running days were over, I felt like I had lost a piece of myself that I had worked incredibly hard to get in the first place. But, ordering that spin bike and starting virtual classes has changed everything for me!

When I was training for my half marathon, I was running three times a week, doing a YouTube arm video five times a week, and taking a runners cardio class once a week. All of that activity, along with family walks and hikes, made for a pretty active lifestyle. At the time, that was new for me, and I was so surprised at how good I felt. I had spent my entire life in a sedentary state, and I didn’t know what I was missing.

Today, I feel like I’m on my way back. With the Peloton app (this is not an ad, just my thoughts), I’ve been able to take a variety of classes to see what works for me in my new, post surgery body. I have really been enjoying pushing myself and seeing improvements each day. I finally have hope that I’ll be alright again!

Steven Michael is a long distance runner and runs most days of the week. Ellis has even caught the active bug and started his first running class last night! With all of this activity, we don’t always have time to cook an elaborate meal at the end of the day. This Spinach Pesto with Cheese Tortellini is the perfect solution. The whole thing takes 15 minutes to make, and it is incredibly delicious. It’s so easy that I could probably cook it without the help of my personal chef, Steven Michael. Though, let’s be honest, I’m not going to! Technically, this will give you four servings, but with all of the physical exertion and my lack of self control, we each ate two. Oops!

What kind of activities do you enjoy? What makes you feel good? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on our social media pages!

Lunch

My Favorite Chicken Salad

Good morning and happy Friday! I’m so glad you chose to join me this morning for a little chat and a killer recipe.

Weekends are a great time for fast, easy meals – more time for playing outside or working on your hobbies! This chicken salad ticks all of the boxes you’re looking for in a satisfying lunch. It requires pretty much no effort, and packs a lot of flavor. The tart Craisins and sweet apples pair perfectly with the saltiness of the mayo and bite of the onions. As an added bonus, you can feel good about being lazy and buy a rotisserie chicken from the store. If you prefer a sweeter salad, you could always leave the onions out, we have done it both ways (but you know how much I love onions ).

When I eat this, I prefer just the salad alone on a good Kaiser roll. My default mode is Plain Jane. Steven Michael, however, likes to add some flair with lettuce, tomatoes, and a little bit of turkey bacon. It really is customizable to your taste. Ellis still lives off of PB&J, pizza and dinosaur chicken nuggets so he wouldn’t touch it. His loss!

I’m getting my second dose of the vaccine this afternoon, but we’ll be back on Tuesday with another great recipe and a few more antibodies, woo!