Will travel for food…

Photo via Bon Appétit

It’s no secret that I love to travel, and when I do travel somewhere, it’s usually because of the food!  I have a weakness for Spanish tapas, but I’ll eat just about anything!  A real bonus when traveling is when your hotel can also feed you well!  Bon Appétit just released their 2014 list of Food Lover’s Hotels.  Check it out here.  Now, where should we go first and who’s coming with me?

What’s your favorite foodie hotel?

Best ever avocado toast

If you haven’t jumped on the avocado toast bandwagon yet, then you’re missing out!  Some foods are so simple, so easy that, they just don’t get the attention they deserve.  Avocado toast deserves a billboard in Times Square.  It’s really just smashed avocado with a few simple ingredients on top of a piece of toast.  Simple, right?  But when you take one bite into it you realize it is so much more than that.  Plus, I’ve jazzed mine up with a few extras to make it even more special.  It’s silky, rich and delicious – perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a quick snack.  Here’s how I made mine.

Ingredients //
Juice from half a lemon
Rustic bread
Red pepper flakes
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Goat cheese, crumbled
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions //
Slice an avocado in half and remove the pit.  Scoop the avocado into a bowl and add the juice from half a lemon. Using a fork, smash the avocado until just slightly chunky.  Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Spread the avocado mixture on top of a piece of toasted, rustic bread and garnish with thinly sliced cherry tomatoes, goat cheese crumbles, a sprinkle of cilantro and a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil.

Oh, and did I mention, you can top it with an egg for an even more sinful snack?!



Gifts for the foodie


It’s no secret Philly is famous for cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and Tastykakes, but the City of Brotherly Love has so much more to offer food lovers. Looking for a creative, tasty hostess gift?  I’ve rounded up 5 of my favorite Philly treats.

1.  Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates // Handmade in Philadelphia

2.  The Famous Fourth Street Cookie Company // Award-winning cookies from Philly’s iconic Reading Terminal Market

3.  La Colombe Pure Black Coffee // Premium coffee, sourced globally, produced locally

4.  Di Bruno Bros. Sicilian Olive Oil // A taste of Italy from Philly’s gourmet guru’s

5.  Art in the Age ROOT Organic Liqueur // Inspired by root tea from the 1700’s, it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before


It only sounds fancy schmancy

Photo via Fig + Olive

Wondering what to do with your surplus of zucchini this summer?  How about zucchini carpaccio?  It just happens to be one of the signature dishes at Fig + Olive which has outposts in NYC, LA and Chicago.  It sounds fancy, but it’s actually super easy.  Plus it’s light and refreshing, which I always prefer on those scorching summer days.  Here’s how to make it.

Zucchini carpaccio

Ingredients //
1 lb zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons shaved low-fat parmesan
4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Sea salt and pepper

Directions //
Arrange zucchini slices in a pretty pattern.  Whisk olive oil and lemon juice together. Drizzle over zucchini.  Top with cheese, nuts, and salt & pepper.


One ingredient all-natural ice cream!

Ohmigosh, this is so amazing!  Creamy, delicious ice cream with one ingredient and no extra tools or equipment!


How you might ask?  Frozen BANANAS.  That’s right, simply pop sliced, frozen bananas into a food processor and violà…instant soft-serve, custard-style ice cream!


It’s so simple.  Slice bananas and freeze them for at least 6 hours in a Ziploc bag.  Add to a food processor and purée until creamy.  If needed, to help smooth out the purée, you can add a splash of milk.



You can experiment with adding some additional flair such as peanut butter, Nutella, honey or chocolate.  Enjoy plain or top with sprinkles, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, cookie pieces, you get the idea!

I was skeptical about this far-fetched kitchen trick at first.  I figured the texture would be icy or crumbly, but it was delicious, rich and silky.  Also perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

Have you tried frozen banana ice cream?  What do you think?


Easiest appetizer ever

Over the weekend we met up with some friends to cheer on California Chrome…womp, womp!  While the thoroughbred came up short, the appetizer I brought to share was certainly a crowd-pleaser.


Living in South Philadelphia, not far from the Italian Market, I’m fortunate to have Di Bruno Brothers at my disposal.  Di Bruno Brothers has been serving up gourmet goodness since 1939 and are well-known for their exceptional cheeses, meats and other Italian specialities.  I picked up a few simple ingredients: marinated mozzarella, roasted red peppers, salami, Roman artichokes, and pitted Kalamata olives – then I got to work!  Simply assemble ingredients on wooden skewers and violà….the easiest appetizer ever!  Easy to pick up and eat, each skewer is exploding with flavor.  And the best part – they can be made in advance and you can easily find all of these ingredients at your local supermarket.

The combinations are endless – here are a few other tasty ingredients to help you customize your skewer:
-Cherry tomatoes
-Artichoke hearts
-Mozzarella (marinated or plain)
-Roasted red peppers
-Tortellini (cooked, chilled and dressed with Italian vinaigrette)
-Italian bread (cubed and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil)
-Sun-dried tomatoes
-Pepperocini peppers


Buon appetito!

Love, lemon & thyme


I finally found the perfect match for my homegrown lemon thyme…sweet and savory lemon thyme shortbread cookies!  These buttery delights are super simple.  With a little help from BHG, here’s how to make ’em.




Lemon-Thyme Shortbread Cookies //

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme or thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 cup butter
Coarse sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.   In a large bowl, stir together flour, powdered sugar, cornmeal, thyme and lemon peel.  Drizzle with honey; do not stir.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling.  Knead dough until smooth; shape into a ball.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, pat mixture into a 9-inch square.  Using a pastry blender, sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes; do not separate.  If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bottom starts to brown and center is set.  Remove from oven.  While warm, recut shortbread.  Cool completely on cookie sheet or wire rack.  If desired, drizzle honey over each cookie before serving.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.