Dinner

Tomato Tortellini Soup

🎶 School’s out for summer! 🎶

That’s right, Ellis is officially done with Preschool! The little dude graduated last week and is off to Kindergarten in the fall. While other children yelled hello to their parents during the ceremony, our special boy waited for complete silence before screaming, “hi, Butts!” (We’re Butts.)

Ellis after graduation with his new “guy” named Ms. Valvo, after his teacher

It’s funny how I have already forgotten what it was like to have him home with me all day in the beginning of the pandemic. We were spoiled with full day Preschool! This week, I got a sharp reminder with 3687 snack requests, 105638 “you gotta see this!” exclamations and 459 potty breaks. Having a child stuck to your butt 24/7 is an experience. Of course, the 3 times he snuggled into my side while I was working made everything ok.

There have been a few wet days here lately, so Steven Michael decided to make a soup to really bring home the cozy rainy day feels. This Tomato Tortellini Soup takes a recipe we used to use for specials in the restaurant (Cheese Quesadillas and Tomato Soup), and kicks it up to another level by adding Tortellini. Fun fact, I used to, and honestly still do, call Tortellini belly buttons – shout out to my mom for turning me into a cannibal. Ellis was very confused when I told him what we were having for dinner, but we all know he wasn’t going to try it anyway.

How are you starting your summer? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Dinner

Red Chicken

June has arrived! The summer weather is in full swing, bringing with it shorts, swimming, PRIDE and humungous hair. (Shout out to my fellow curlies!) We’re looking forward to our summertime travels, seeing family and friends that we miss very much.

While we wait for school to end and vacations to start, we thought you might enjoy this tasty chicken recipe that winds up on our table pretty often. We use Red Chicken in tacos, burritos, rice bowls or other crazy concoctions. We even featured it in a special at our former restaurant some time ago. It may have a simple name, but it’s packed with flavor. Steven Michael originally made this for burrito night last week, but we had extra, so he dreamed up something that turned out pretty great – stayed tuned for that recipe later this week!

Where are you traveling this summer? Let us know where you’re going in the comments below!

Dinner

Shrimp Po’ Boys

Spring has certainly sprung here in Rochester, and we’ve been enjoying the sunshine! Yesterday, Ellis rode his big boy bike for the first time! He was scared, but powered through and had a great time. I know as soon as he gets the hang of it, we’ll have to stop him from flying down hills and doing crazy jumps – the joys of raising a little boy.

Now that I’m mostly healed from my hip surgery this winter, Sawyer (our dog) and I have been taking at least one or two walks every day. I was worried that I wouldn’t be outside as much now that I’m not able to run, but Sawyer has made sure I get my daily dose of Vitamin D.

Steven Michael and Ellis have both been having a great time with their running adventures. Steven Michael is keeping up with his training and Ellis’ running class is ending this week with a lap-a-thon for charity. All of the DeLorme’s are staying active!

All of this sunshine reminds me of one of my favorite places on Earth, Sanibel Island in Florida. My family has been vacationing there since I was five years old, and both my parents and grandparents have winter homes on the island. Sanibel is the only place that I have seen Po’ Boys on a menu (at the Island Cow), though I know that they are well loved everywhere. So, when Steven Michael suggested that we use them for a blog recipe, I channeled all of the summertime/Sanibel vibes and gladly agreed.

These sandwiches were gigantic! We made two huge ones, but they could have easily fed four people. Anything with fried shrimp is a winner for me and these home made ones were killer. The sauce is great and the lettuce gave it a fresh crispness. Steven Michael had tomatoes on his, but they aren’t my favorite so I passed. These are a great summer meal!

Let me know what your favorite summer dishes are in the comments below, and who knows, maybe Steven Michael will attempt to make one!

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 … 🤤🤤🤤🤤🤤. 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

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 🤷‍♀️?

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?

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!